The Big 5: Stay away from partisan politics or lose respect – Buhari tells religious leaders; PDP condemns Buhari’s travel restrictions | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s placement of travelling restrictions on 50 high-profile Nigerians, stressing that the ‘decree’ was a direct clampdown on the country’s democratic order and an overthrow of rights of citizenry as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday in Abuja, the PDP described the development as a ‘draconian step’ clearly targeted at members of the opposition parties, business community, religious leaders, former political leaders and traditional rulers, perceived to be averse to the President’s re-election bid.

“The whole world can now see how fascism is fast taking over our democracy and judicial system and how the Buhari administration, by fiat, has directly ordered that citizens be secretly trailed. Their movements and financial transactions are restricted by government agencies, without recourse to due process of the law,” he said.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles of Nigeria trounced the Mediterranean Knights of Libya 4-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match played on Saturday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Saturday.

Scoring for the 2013 Nations Cup Champions opened just two minutes into the match through a penalty kick converted by Forward, Odion Ighalo who went on to net a hat-trick in the game as well as a beautiful finish from Samuel Kalu.

The Nigerian team are expected to play the return leg on Monday in Libya.

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has asked the South-East chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and leaders of the zone to accept the choice of former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, as running mate to the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, in order not to upset the political arrangements  ahead of  the 2019 general elections.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who made the appeal in a telephone interview with Vanguard on Saturday, against the backdrop of the claim by the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Dave Umahi that the leaders of the zone were not consulted in the nomination of Obi as running mate.

“As the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I am a father to all the political parties. My appeal is that Igbo leaders in the PDP should let bygone be bygone and accept whoever has  been nominated. We should not upset the apple cart. We should accept Peter Obi so that we can move ahead, politically. This is both my prayer and appeal,” Nwodo said.

President Muhammadu Buhari has advised religious leaders in the country to stay away from partisan politics or political controversies ahead of the 2019 general elections, so as to avoid losing public respect.

Speaking at the Interfaith Initiative For Peace Conference in Abuja, Buhari said his advice is coming on the heels of roles he has witnessed religious leaders played so far, appealing that they speak to their respective members to read the manifestos of each political party, discuss and pray for God’s guidance before casting their votes.

“Very soon, political campaigns will commence leading to elections in February next year. Religious leaders should not be seen to involve themselves in partisan politics or political controversies. Otherwise, they risk losing their status and public respect,” the President said.

Ahead of his inauguration on Tuesday, Governor-elect of  Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said his government is likely to pay the six months backlog of unpaid salaries owed workers in the state within one year.

The former Minister of Solid Mineral Development, who disclosed this in an interview with Punch when asked how he intends manage labour crisis in the state, as he expressed belief that the state’s “genuine, long suffering workers and pensioners will cooperate with us in addressing this issue.”

“We do not know enough about the finances of the state yet and it would be irresponsible to count chickens before they are hatched. Once we get in, we will undertake a forensic review of the state, including a staff audit and that will give us a more accurate picture of the finances and where to get money to offset outstanding  liabilities,” he added.

And stories from around the world:

The United States is seeking regime change in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday in a speech broadcast on state TV. (Reuters)

Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (BBC)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from prison for organising what the government claims are illegal protests against the Kremlin.(Al Jazeera)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States would be “punishing” itself by halting military sales to Saudi Arabia even if it is proven that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul. (Reuters)

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling. (AFP)

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