The Big 5: Senate approves payment of N348b as oil subsidy claims; Saraki, Ortom meet with PDP leaders in Ilorin and ther stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Senate on Wednesday approved the payment of over N348 billion as outstanding oil subsidy claims to 74 petroleum marketers.

The approval followed the adoption of the interim report of its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) on the Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance to Settle Inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) as an interim measure to stem the threat of fuel scarcity, increase economic activities and promote more harmonious relationship between government and companies.

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus; and a presidential aspirant of the PDP, Alhaji Sule Lamido, on Wednesday, held a private meeting in Ilorin.

Others at the meeting were the Governor of Kwara, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed; his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom; Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, among others.

The meeting which held behind closed doors reportedly took place after the eighth Fidau prayer for former PDP Chairman, Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s late mother to discuss strategies for the speculated defection of  Saraki and the others from the APC to the PDP.

Constituency projects donated by the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye were on Wednesday, set ablaze by suspected thugs few hours before its inauguration.

The projects which include the Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin-Noma, in Lokoja and LGEA Primary School, Lokogoma which had its windows, ceiling fans, and blackboards damaged.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed its Osun governorship primary which was scheduled to take place in Osogbo on Thursday.

According to a statement on Wednesday night by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, the primary election will now take place on Friday, July 20, while a meeting between the Primary Election Committee chaired by the Governor of Zamfara State and stakeholders of the party will take place on Thursday.

Chairman of the APC in Osun State, Gboyega Famoodun, who confirmed the postponement said the move was “due to unforeseen developments.”

The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on Wednesday decried the incessant loss of lives and property in the country.

Secondus who was speaking in Sokoto when he led some party leaders to condole with Governor Aminu Tambuwal over the recent killing of 39 people in the state, said President Muhammadu Buhari should focus on addressing the security challenges in parts of the country rather than embarking on foreign trips.

And from around the world:

British police have identified several Russians who they believe were behind the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the Press Association reported on Thursday, citing a source close to the investigation. (Reuters)

Israel’s parliament has passed into law a controversial bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state.

The “Jewish nation state” bill downgrades Arabic as an official language and says advancing Jewish settlement is a national interest. (BBC)

Turkey’s state of emergency which was imposed after the failed 2016 coup came to an end on Thursday, but the opposition fears it will be replaced by even more repressive legislative measures. (AFP)

Two pro-government villages in northwestern Syria were evacuated on Thursday, state television reported, in an agreement between the Damascus government and insurgents who had laid siege to them for several years. (Reuters)

A new global report says HIV infections are rising in about 50 countries.

The report, launched by UNAids, says half of the people who are newly infected with the virus are not receiving the treatment they need to prolong their lives. (BBC)


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