The Big 5: PDP urges Buhari to ignore May 29 address, FG extends N1.9trn to states for salaries and other top stories

These are the major stories you should be monitoring today:

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has urged Buhari and the All Progressives Congress((APC) not to address Nigerians on the occasion of the 2018 Democracy Day on Tuesday.

In a statement on Sunday by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that “such addresses in the last three years, had contained deceits, falsifications and unfulfilled promises,” “while noting that Nigerians had become frustrated by “the magnitude of lies and deception told by the Buhari Presidency and the APC” and would prefer to spend the next one year contending with such past deceptions.

“The Buhari Presidency and the APC had, since assumption of office, violated all tenets of democracy, trampled on citizens’ rights. Buhari and the APC should not be associated with democracy under any guise,” it added.

The Federal Government said on Sunday that the tax base of the country now had 19 million taxpayers, noting that the taxes stood at about N1.17tn in the first quarter of 2018.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this at a press conference to mark the third anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying that the whistle-blowing policy had yielded the recovery of N13.8bn from tax evaders as well as N7.8bn, $378m and £27,800 in recovery from public officials.

Mohammed also said that “the Buhari administration has extended more than N1.9tn to state governments to enable them to meet their salary and pension obligations. The support has come in the form of budget support facility, Paris Club refunds and infrastructure loans.”

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Nicholas Okoh, has warned leaders against shifting blame to others after being elected into power.

“It will be a moral evil for any candidate to gain the confidence of the people, then after being elected into power, instead of improving the lots of the country, to turn round and start to blame past governments,” he said.

Okoh who said this on Sunday in his presidential address to the diocese of Abuja synod held at Basilica of Grace Gudu, Abuja, added that the “widespread” unemployment in the country should be tackled by the government as a matter of priority and “something drastic should be done to secure the lives and property of Nigerians anywhere in the country.

The cleric added that Nigerians are “tired of retrogression and stagnancy” and need to move forward.

The Adamawa Ministry of Health has confirmed that the cases of cholera outbreak in Mubi have risen to 434 with 13 deaths. The Information Officer of the Ministry, Mr Abubakar Muhammed, confirmed the number in a statement he issued on Sunday in Yola.

The Principal Medical Officer of Mubi General Hospital, Dr Ezra Sakawa, however said that most of the infected patients have been treated and discharged.

More than 30 persons were reportedly killed in a fresh attack by bandits in Malikawa village of Gidan Goga district in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara.

Zamfara Police Public Relations Officer Police Command, Muhammad Shehu, who confirmed the incident, said the attack was a result of a land dispute between two warring factions, adding that security operatives had been deployed to the area to restore law and order as well as prevent further attacks.

And stories from around the world:

United States President, Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that US negotiators were in North Korea for talks ahead of his planned summit with Kim Jong-un.

“Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself,” the US president tweeted.

“I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!” (The Guardian International)

China has voiced “strong dissatisfaction” after two US warships sailed by an island claimed by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea, adding to simmering tensions in the strategic waterway.

The foreign ministry issued a statement expressing “resolute opposition” to the US sail-by of the territory in the disputed Paracel Island chain on Sunday.

State-run news agency Xinhua said the two vessels were “expelled” from the waters. (AFP)

The leader of Italy’s biggest political party has called for the president to be impeached after he vetoed a choice for finance minister.

Luigi Di Maio of the populist Five Star Party said President Sergio Mattarella had caused an “institutional crisis”.

Efforts by Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte to form a government collapsed on Sunday after Mr Mattarella rejected eurosceptic candidate Paolo Savona. (BBC)

South Korean officials have said President Moon Jae-in could attend a possible summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Blue House officials said on Monday that discussions on Mr Moon’s potential involvement were at an early stage.

“We are still waiting to see how they come out, but depending on their outcome, the president could join [Trump and Kim] in Singapore,” the official told news outlet Yonhap. (BBC)

Colombian right-wing candidate Ivan Duque on Sunday won a place in June’s presidential runoff with leftist Gustavo Petro, deepening fears a fragile peace accord with Marxist rebels could be unraveled or the business-friendly economy overhauled.

With 94.4 percent of polling stations counted, Duque held a commanding lead with 39.15 percent of votes, while Petro was second with 25.08 percent.(Reuters)

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