The Big 5: Why I couldn’t implement 2014 National Conference report – Jonathan; Buhari’s government, worst in Nigeria’s history – Agbakoba | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has revealed why he didn’t implement the 2014 National Conference, despite having over seven months to do so, although he said he left office with the hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari would implement the report.

The Otuoke-born leader who revealed this in his book titled, My Transition Hours, launched on Tuesday said the crisis in the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives where then Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, had led some members to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the then main opposition party, including the Senate which also suffered a number of defections, prevented him from doing so.

“At the time the National Assembly was therefore not conducive to the health deliberations and consideration of such an important document. It was obvious that some members of the National Assembly and their collaborators were ready to shoot down anything that in their thinking would improve the image of my government,” he said.

The Presidency on Tuesday criticised former UK Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, over her recent publication advising investors to be cautious about doing business in Nigeria, as contained in an op-ed for London business newspaper, City A.M.

Reacting to the issue, Presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Tuesday, described Patel’s claims as a “wicked proposition lacking in substance and devoid of merit in empirical evidence established by facts,” stressing that when it comes to policy decisions, this (Buhari’s) government has put in place instruments that have extraordinarily and unprecedentedly reduced corruption and corrupt practices.

“Cummulatively, we have established a proper climate of investment on account of which, the nation has gained 24 points of excellence in the global ease of doing business index,” the statement read in part.

Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as the worst in the history of Nigeria, adding that his re-election mantra, ‘Next Level,’ is a failed document and one lacking in “conceptual overhang.”

Agbakoba, who is also one of the stakeholders in the the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) floated by a group of opposition parties including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), explained that the coalition clearly understands that to win the forthcoming elections, a united opposition is required. Hence, the CUPP will formalise its consensus candidate by January.

“We are all united in the mantra and the strong song around our campaign, that is, ‘Anybody but Buhari.’ “We are making sure the four locust years from 2015 to 2019 will never repeat themselves in Nigeria. This has been the worst government in Nigeria’s history,” he said.

Spokesman of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, has reacted to the allegation by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that one of the brand logos for the All Progressives  Congress (APC) “next level” campaign was stolen from a school in the United States, The Rex Institute.

Despite the fact that it has been tweeted by the President, and retweeted by the Presidency Twitter handle, Keyamo who was speaking on AIT on Tuesday, dismissed the logo (which has its arrow protruding from the letter V) and accused the opposition of designing it themselves, maintaining that the next level campaign logo advertised in many national newspapers and used on the official brochure of the APC next level campaign is the official logo of the Buhari campaign.

“They themselves went to steal a logo, they themselves crafted it as if it was our own, promoted it on social media, that we stole it. Fraud, fraud, you see the fraud that is going on?” “You see the fraud going on on social media, from the PDP supporters? You see the difference?” he added.

Details on the deliberations of Monday’s meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and representatives of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on the lingering issue of national minimum wage emerged on Tuesday, despite the governors silence on the outcome of the meeting.

According to Thisday, who quoted a source,  the governors presented the books of 12 states; two per geo-political zone, to the president to back up their claim of incapacity to pay the N30,000 recommended by the National Minimum Wage Committee, warning that two-thirds of the 36 states would go bankrupt if they are forced to pay the new proposed figure.

“When the minimum wage negotiation started in November 2017, the average total monthly allocation to states was N800 billion. By the end of negotiations in November, 2018 the allocation had shrunk to N600 billion,” they are said to have argued with the president reportedly telling them he would study their case and get back to them after their appeal to him not to accept the figure proposed by the minimum wage committee.

And stories from around the world:

US President Donald Trump has been asked to ascertain whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday sent a letter demanding a second investigation. (BBC)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday South Korea risked damaging ties by shutting down a fund meant to settle compensation for South Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War Two. (Reuters)

Having survived a challenge from hardline anti-Europeans in her own party, British Prime Minister, Theresa May will meet with the president of the EU commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels on Wednesday to fine tune the terms of the Brexit divorce. (AFP)

Australia will not sign up to a United Nations migration agreement because it would compromise its hardline immigration policy and endanger national security, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Pakistan has summoned a high-ranking diplomat from the United States to lodge a strong protest against President Donald Trump’s “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” criticism of Islamabad’s role in the Washington-led “war on terror”.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua called in the US Chargé d’Affaires (US CdA)  Paul Jones to the foreign office in the capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday, after Trump alleged that Pakistan “don’t do a damn thing” for the US while defending his decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the country. (Al Jazeera)

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