These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to threats by Governor Nasir El Rufai to arrest and arraign Abuja-based cleric and Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Eneche over allegations of hate speech.
Speaking on the development, CAN President Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle said while it would continue to condemn hate speeches by religious leaders and other Nigerians, it would not stand and watch its respected leaders being set up for molestation, humiliation and prosecution over an unfounded allegation of hate speech, as it urged the government to define clearly the difference between what is considered hate speech and advocacy for dying victims of continuous killings in Nigeria.
“While we appreciate the fact that no government will want her citizens to be killed, we will admonish Governor El-Rufai to channel his strength towards getting the sponsors and perpetrators of the heinous crimes going on in Kaduna State arrested and prosecuted rather than chasing good Nigerians who are contributing immensely to the peace, growth and development of the nation,” he noted.
The People’s Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari no longer has the moral standing to seek re-election until he directly answers to the allegation that he has soiled his hands in the alleged corrupt acquisition of Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank PLC, as revealed by its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The PPCO who said it is privy to the facts of how these relations of the President have been hounding government agencies, major business concerns and intending foreign investors over kickbacks as well as strangulating companies that refuse to accede to their demands, challenged President Buhari to explain how his family members came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for what it described as scandalous acquisition.
“President Buhari should perish the thought of going ahead with his re-election campaign without clearing this pertinent issue, because it directly bothers on his integrity both as a person and the exulted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “He should therefore not continue to dress himself in borrowed garb of integrity until he cleans himself of the stinking corruption of his acolytes, family and friends under his cover,” the statement by the PPCO read.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has warned the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to address the consequences of their 16-year of rule in Nigeria rather than make President Muhammadu Buhari’s family a campaign subject in the 2019 elections
Presidential Media aide, Garba Shehu, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday said the PDP neither have the strength and support to fight President Buhari nor records of accomplishments in infrastructure, hence the reason they are dragging the President’s wife into their politics.
“The PDP leadership cannot afford to make family an issue in this campaign. Need I say more? The only thing I want to add is that PDP is engaging in mud-slinging because it finds it easier than speaking on their despicable 16-year record in the course of which they abused the trust of Nigerians,” the statement read.
The Government of Akwa Ibom State has disclosed the reason it gave permission for the use of the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo for the flag off of the South -South camapign of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement by the Director General of the campaign organisation for the re-election of Governor Udom Emmanuel, on Thursday, in Uyo, the decision of the state government to allow the stadium to be used for the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign after initial concerns over the potential damage to the facility and the humongous repair cost the state government will incur after the event is a clear indication that the Governor respects constitutional offices especially the office of the President
The statement further stressed that it was not a sign of weakness but a display of the leadership maturity of the governor.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.
National president of MACBAN, Muhammadu Kirowa, who made the announcement at the 2018 annual general meeting of the association, explained that the group decided to unanimously endorse Buhari because of the “numerous achievements recorded by his administration in the areas of Infrastructural development, youth employment and security.”
While adding that “MACBAN pledges its loyalty and support to President Buhari for his laudable efforts of uniting the country, infrastructural growth of the nation and transforming the economic life of citizens for posterity,” he urged leaders and members of the association at all levels to mobilise support and ensure that Buhari is re-elected, The Cable reports.
And stories from around the world:
A lingering scandal involving Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s son has soured his inauguration next week and tarnished the reputation of a far-right maverick who surged to victory on a vow to end years of political horsetrading. (Reuters)
Seven years after Germany scrapped conscription, its defence chief has said employing EU citizens is “an option” to fill expert posts.
Army general inspector Eberhard Zorn said the forces had to “look in all directions in times of a lack of qualified personnel”, such as doctors and IT specialists. (BBC)
Congress members trickled back into Washington Thursday but there was little hope of ending the government shutdown sparked by a row with President Donald Trump over his demand for US-Mexico border wall construction. (AFP)
A Pakistani separatist leader wanted over an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi has been killed along with five others in a suicide blast in Afghanistan, his group has confirmed. (Al Jazeera)
Security forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fired live rounds and tear gas on Thursday to scatter demonstrators who burned tyres and ransacked an Ebola center in protest at their exclusion from the presidential election. (Reuters)