The Big 5: South East Governors lament state of Enugu airport, Buhari’s promise of credible elections in 2019 doubtful – SDP | More stories

Governors of the South-East states have called on the Federal Government to immediately repair dilapidated facilities at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

In a communiqué issued on Sunday after a meeting of the South-East Governors Forum at the Enugu Government House, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Chairman of the forum, who read the communiqué, said the runway, runway lights and the tarmac at the airport were in a deplorable condition and called on the Minister of State for Aviation to visit the airport for an on the spot assessment and urgent intervention.

The forum is also requesting that urgent steps should be taken for the reactivation of the cargo section of the airport.

The opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) has reacted to the assurance of free, fair and credible elections in the country during an interactive forum with Nigerians resident in China.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alfa Mohammed, expressed doubt over Buhari’s promise, noting that the anti-corruption war targeted at the opposition as well as the high rate of vote-buying especially in elections won by the APC with no one arrested or prosecuted, was already an indication that the 2019 elections would not be free and fair.

“The National Assembly attempted to reorder the sequence of elections which would have deepened democracy but the President rejected this. That same Act would have allowed for debating to be mandatory but the President rejected it. This does not portray him as someone who is not desperate,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed the success of his government in curtailing Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.

The president who was addressing the Nigerian community resident in China, maintained that the terrorist group was no longer in control of any part of the country, as he attributed the success to operations of security agencies deployed to counter insurgency in the north-eastern part of the country.

“The Boko Haram used to occupy quite a number of local governments in Borno State but they are not in anyone now. They have resorted to a very dangerous way of terrorism by indoctrinating young people, mostly girls and attacking soft targets, churches, mosques and marketplaces,” he added.

The Federal government has set aside $1.3 billion (about N468 billion) from the National Sovereign Investment Fund to finance five critical infrastructure projects.

Speaking as a guest on Nigeria Television Authority’s (NTA) programme, “Stepping Up” on Sunday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, listed the five ongoing projects to benefit from the fund to include: The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway construction, the Second Niger bridge, the East-West road construction, Abuja – Kano expressway construction and the Mambilla power project.

The Minister also explained that the Buhari administration believes it will be more beneficial to Nigerians to complete all inherited abandoned projects rather than start new projects, adding that the administration was committed to infrastructure development across Nigeria.

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum on Sunday warned that any attempt to remove the Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Matthew Seiyefa, will attract dire consequences.

According to a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South-West); Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South); Prof Chigozie Ogbu (South-East), and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), “the plot to remove the Acting DG is said to be hinged on the professional reorganization of the service by him whom the cabal is now interpreting as removing APC elements in DSS for PDP apologists, a clear indication of the divisions this administration has caused in every facet of our life as a nation.”

The forum called on President Buhari to immediately call his official in question to order by withdrawing the obnoxious directive and allow the agency to run professionally, as it warned that further alienation of sections of the country by the administration, particularly the Niger Delta where the acting D-G is from and the South-West whose only representation on the management of DSS has now been reversed, may turn out the proverbial last straw.

And stories from around the world:

Britain’s exit from the European Union could tip public opinion in Scotland in favor of seeking independence, an opinion poll showed on Sunday. (Reuters)

Some 400 prisoners have escaped from a facility near the Libyan capital Tripoli amid deadly violence between militia groups in the city, police say. (BBC)

Libya’s UN-backed government has announced a state of emergency in the capital, Tripoli, and its outskirts after several days of fierce fighting between rival armed groups. (Al Jazeera)

Two Reuters journalists accused of breaching Myanmar’s state secrets law during their reporting of a massacre of Rohingya Muslims were jailed for seven years Monday, drawing outrage over the attack on media freedom and calls for their immediate release. (AFP)

Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum was on Sunday consumed by fire, and much of its archive of 20m items is believed to have been destroyed.

There were no reports of injuries, but the loss to Brazilian science, history and culture was incalculable, two of its vice-directors said. (The Guardian)

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