The Big 5: Soyinka urges Buhari to stop admiring Abacha, Buhari holds closed-door meeting with APC Governors and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Nobel laureate and activist during the June 12,1993 struggle, Professor Wole Soyinka has called on President Buhari to stop showing loyalty to “Abiola’s tormentor.”

Soyinka who made the request during the Special National Honours Investiture held at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, commended the President for apologising to Abiola’s family and accepted it on behalf of the Nigerian people, but urged him to stop confusing Nigerians by showing loyalty to an individual whom he referred to as a notorious dictator and corrupt ruler.

“It is not possible to honour MKO Abiola in one breadth and admire his tormentor in another breadth. Loyalty is all very well but loyalty can become perverse if that loyalty is retained to an individual who if he were alive today would be before the International Court of Crimes against Humanity,”  he said.

While backing the call by the National Assembly for the formal release of the June 12 1993 poll result and a formal declaration of Abiola as the winner, he added that the Abuja National Stadium be named after him as earlier suggested, and remarked that the event itself should be seen as the beginning and not the closure to the event of June 12, as such could only come after all the victims of the struggle had been honoured.


The Lagos Government on Tuesday unveiled a statue in the state capital in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of June 12, 1993 Presidential election.

The unveiling of the  37-feet MKO Abiola statue was done by Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode at the MKO Abiola Garden, Alapere, Ikeja, who said at the event that recognising June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day in Nigeria was a crown of victory to the struggle that had taken the lives of so many nationalists and patriots.

The event had Lagosians from all walks of life who came to honour the hero of June 12, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, dressed in colourful attires portraying freedom and triumph.


President Muhammmadu Buhari on Tuesday night met with the governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The close-door meeting meeting, held inside the conference room of the First Lady’s Office at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, began at about 9:00pm, on Tuesday, is believed to be taking place ahead of the national convention of the APC scheduled for June 23.

The governors in attendance include those of Kaduna, Adamawa, Edo, Imo, Kwara, Kebbi, Kano, Kogi, Benue, Katsina, Jigawa and Ogun States.


The People’s Democratic Party(PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari praise-singing of Nigerian youths before the Moroccan Prime Minister, Saadeddine Othman, during his recent state visit as an “image rescue effort.”

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday, said Nigerian youths could no longer be deceived after the alleged “lazy youths” comment by the president.

“President Buhari should, therefore, end his gimmicks and let go of straws. He should amply come to terms with the fact that the only expectation Nigerians require of him is to tender a direct apology for his abysmal performance and get prepared to leave the stage for a more innovative and people-oriented president which Nigerians will elect on the platform of the PDP come 2019,” the statement said.


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has assured that the possibility of a national carrier scaling through this year is feasible.

NCAA Director General, Capt Usman Mukhar, who made this known on Tuesday, said if promoters of the project are properly guided to follow through with regulatory requirements, the process of getting an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) only takes 90 days.

The DG also stated that with the December 24 proposed timeline in mind, government decided to involve aviation agencies in the presidential taskforce because they want the national carrier project to succeed.


And stories from around the world:

Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday.

In a tweet, Trump said the first-ever summit between sitting leaders of the two Cold War foes meant “the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!”

“No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic!” Trump added. (AFP)


North Korean state media lauded on Wednesday the summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump as a resounding success, highlighting concessions by the United States President and the prospect of a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.

According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.

The U.S. president had said in a news conference on Tuesday he would like to lift sanctions against North Korea but it would not happen immediately. (Reuters)


Troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition on Wednesday launched an assault on Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah, in the biggest battle of a three-year war between an alliance of Arab states and the Iran-aligned Houthis.

Coalition warplanes and warships were carrying out strikes on Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the Red Sea port, the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile said in a statement.

The “Golden Victory” operation began after the passing of a deadline set by the United Arab Emirates for the Houthis, who hold the capital Sanaa, to quit the sole port under their control. (Reuters)


Taliban fighters have killed a District Governor in northern Afghanistan while clashes are ongoing elsewhere, despite the start of a government ceasefire, officials said.

The Governor of Kohistan district in Faryab was killed along with eight others in an ambush overnight, Provincial Governor spokesman Javed Bedar (Al Jazeera)


The Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on whether to change its laws against blasphemy.

The vote expected to be held on the same day as the Presidential election, is likely to take place in October.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “In terms of Ireland’s international reputation, this is an important step.”

“By removing this provision from our Constitution, we can send a strong message to the world that laws against blasphemy do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe such laws should exist.”  (BBC)



 

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