The Big 5: Osinbajo urges Christians to pray for Nigeria’s survival and progress; Police arrests 34 IPOB members in Nnewi | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday urged the Church to continue to pray for the survival and progress of Nigeria, stressing that with God, the country would move from glory to glory and from strength to strength.

Osinbajo who was speaking at the dedication of a 100,000-seat capacity auditorium at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Abuja, said the new church auditorium was a manifestation of God’s glory on the country.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who also spoke at the event thanked Christians, especially members of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre for constantly standing in the place of prayer for the nation, sadding that “the situation of Nigeria today is not the best but with your prayers, Nigeria will be great again.” 

Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Saturday secured a spot in the semi-finals of the ongoing African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana, following their 6-0 thrashing of Equatorial Guinea in their final group game.

Goals were scored by Captain Rita Chikwelu, Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie and Falcons playmaker, Asisat Oshoala who netted in a hat-trick,  the Falcons finished as runners-up in Group B behind table toppers, South Africa.

The ladies who are gunning for a record ninth title, would square up in a semifinal clash against their counterparts from Cameroon after they finished as runners-up in Group B behind South Africa, while the other semifinal game will be between Group B winners South Africa and Mali, who pipped hosts Ghana to go through to the last four.

The Police in Anambra has arrested 34 members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over reported attack on police officers and murder of a police inspector in Nnewi.

In a statement on Saturday by the Police spokesperson in the state, Haruna Mohammed, the IPOB members attacked Police Patrol teams with stone and machetes, killing one Police Inspector in the process while a police patrol van was also set ablaze by the IPOB members, adding that two AK 47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol loaded with ammunition were snatched from the Police by the IPOB members.

“The injured personnel were rushed to the hospital for medical attention; where the Inspector was certified dead by a medical doctor while the DPO and the ASP are presently receiving treatment,” he said.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has however reacted to the development, as it dismissed as “untrue” reports that its members on a campaign march of “no elections” next year in southeastern states on Friday, attacked and killed a police officer in Nnewi.

As reported by The Guardian, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group has never indulged in violence or crime, no matter the level of provocation from security agents and Nigerian government, adding that those allegedly arrested by the police following the incident, could be poor innocent citizens, as no member of the group was missing from the peaceful protest.

“What happened yesterday at Nnewi, Anambra State is another example of a lawless police organisation intent on causing trouble,” he explained, stressing that the officer in question was actually hiding inside a gutter and had resurfaced afterwards.

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Bashir Bolarinwa, has accused the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, of plotting to influence the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to stop the inauguration of the Representative-elect of Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency, Raheem Olawuyi.

“One of the plans they are hatching is that the Senate President himself will ask the Speaker of the House of Representatives not to swear in our rep-elect. That is one of the plans which they have but we know they will fail,” Bolarinwa told Punch in a telephone interview on Saturday.

Reacting to the allegations, Saraki’s media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the accusation as illogical, stressing that the Speaker of the House of Representatives neither works under the Senate President nor take instructions from him.

And stories from around the world:
94-year-old former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is no longer able to walk because of ill health and age.

The announcement was made by his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who said on Saturday that the former leader has been receiving treatment in Singapore for the past two months. (Al Jazeera)

British Prime Minister, Theresa May has written a letter to the British public pleading for their support for her Brexit deal, as the EU prepares to formally sign it off.

The prime minister said her agreement promises a “brighter future” for the UK and leaving the EU next year will be “a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country.” (BBC)

A senior Saudi prince cast doubt upon the reported CIA finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, saying the agency could not be counted on to reach a credible conclusion. (Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out at demonstrators who clashed with police in Paris during the latest protests sparked by rising fuel prices.

“Shame on those who attacked” officers, he tweeted. “There is no place for violence in the [French] Republic.” (BBC)

The U.S. embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Saturday it had received “credible and specific information of a possible terrorist threat against U.S. government facilities” in the capital, Kinshasa. (Reuters)

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