The Big 5: South East Leaders say Atiku/Obi candidacy is for the survival of the Igbo race; ASUU blasts Fayemi over statement on professors salaries | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Some Igbo leaders comprising members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Igbo Leaders of Thought, the intelligentsia among others, on Wednesday, resolved to support the candidacy of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi in the 2019 election.

According to the leaders led by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, who made the resolution in Enugu, citing years of exclusion from the centre, said their position was based on the restructuring agenda put on the table by Atiku/Obi, which four zones of the country had agreed on, stressing that their campaign isn’t against anybody, but simply a campaign for their very survival.

Speaking after the meeting, Prof Nwabueze called on them: “Do me the honour of achieving the success of the (Atiku/Peter Obi) ticket before I am gone. We must ensure the survival of the Igbo race in Nigeria and it is only through the success of that ticket that we can get it,” he said.

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has ‘no locus standi to talk about morality in today’s Nigeria’s politics.’

Saraki who spoke to journalists on Wednesday in Ilorin, said he considered Oshiomhole’s recent statement about moral ground a joke, noting that for “somebody who has been told to have been collecting not even naira but dollars from candidates and is being accused by his party’s aspirants and governors doesn’t have any moral ground, to continue to be in politics, not to talk about being a chairman of a party.”

“I remember in those days, even Oyegun, they never accused him of something like this. I have left that party. I’m sure the President, based on integrity, knows the right thing to do. So, on moral ground, he cannot speak,” he added.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed dismay over the statement credited to the Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi that “Nigerian University professors earn same salary of N500,000 as him or even more and that the strike embarked upon by ASUU was needless as the Muhammadu Buhari’s government has done more for education than any other government.

According to a statement released to newsmen in Ibadan, ASUU stated that while it will not like to be distracted in her struggle for the revitalization of Public education by political opportunists like Governor Fayemi, the Buhari education policy has brought disaster to education, noting that the education budget before President Buhari took over in 2015 was above 10 percent but has worsened by a retrogressive allocation that took 2018 education budget to six percent.

“Fayemi’s utterances revealed the mental state of those ruling us. We challenge him to publish what a university professor earns as salaries and allowances and what governors earn and allowances.  If lecturers earn more than governors why did Fayemi run away?” the statement added.

The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, has again denied reports of his arrest by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property, insisting that he would not be distracted by people who were yet to come to terms with his emergence as the governorship candidate in the state.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on the allegations of non-declaration of assets, Uzodinma who said he joined politics from the private sector, expressed surprise that the panel accused him of not declaring his assets for the past 20 years, stressing that he had never seen anywhere in law where private people are made to declare their asset to government.

The lawmaker also said he had only two per cent share in the contract handled by Niger Global, the company accused of complicity in the $12m contract for the dredging of Calabar channel, adding that “if there is any question that must be answered by the company, the majority shareholder should first answer their own query.”

“All I know is that some aggrieved persons are behind this, otherwise where was this panel since 2004.I was in the 7th Senate from 2011 to 2015, why did this issue not come out? I have been here in the 8th Senate from 2015 to date why didn’t the issue come up?” he queried.

A Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday ruled that the five suspects arrested for the April 5 Offa robbery attack have a case to answer, ordering that they remain in prison custody.

Counsel to the accused persons, Abdulrasheed Lawal however announced his withdrawal from the suit on moral grounds, adding that he lacks full knowledge of the case since inception.

The Magistrate, Bio Saliu, in response granted the lawyer’s withdrawal and adjourned the case to Thursday, December 6, 2018.

And stories from around the world:

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday took America’s “pressure campaign” against North Korea to a summit of world leaders, as concerns mount over Pyongyang’s key allies easing sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. (AFP)

British Prime Minister, Theresa May faces a grilling from Members of Parliament later over the draft Brexit agreement the UK has reached with the European Union.

The PM secured her cabinet’s backing for the deal after a five-hour meeting, although several ministers are understood to have spoken against it. (BBC)

Ireland achieved all its key priorities in Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday, adding that its approval by the British government marked one of the better days in his career. (Reuters)

The repatriation of Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar will not begin on Thursday as planned, two sources directly briefed about the matter said late on Wednesday. (Reuters)

An angry Donald Trump removed a senior advisor after his wife demanded her sacking, with more heads set to roll in a White House reshuffle triggered by infighting and setbacks in the midterm elections. (Al Jazeera)

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