The Late 5: Chief of Air Staff says Badeh’s death is unacceptable; ‘Buhari never directed NBS to change unemployment figures’ | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove conversation today.

Amidst chaos – boos and praises – President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun has downplayed its dissolution by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

“The Ogun chapter of the APC has dismissed its dissolution by the NWC of the party, as an exercise in futility, noting that the state chapter of the party remains in office and is carrying out its legal duties in line with the constitution of the APC,” chairman of the dissolved Ogun APC executive, Derin Adebiyi.

The NWC headed by the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to dissolve the APC at all levels of government in Ogun State.

The Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar has condemned the killing of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, saying the incident was “totally unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has described the killing of Badeh as “very sad and unfortunate.”

The president also directed security agencies to find his killers.

According to TheCable, senior government officials have said President Buhari did not direct the statistician general, Yemi Kale, to alter the figures of unemployment in Nigeria.

“Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the minister of budget and planning, was presenting his quarterly report on the performance of the budget. Thereafter, he invited Yemi to present the figures. After Yemi spoke, some of the ministers said it was best for him to release the unemployment figures and explain them within the context that Nigerians can fully understand. That was it. The president did not say one word to Yemi,” one minister said, according to the report.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, during a town hall meeting with representatives of the business community in Aba, Abia, said his leadership style and that of his running mate, Peter Obi, has not been seen in the country since Independence.

“We have two very experienced men, both in governance and business: Peter Obi and myself. I don’t think Nigeria has ever produced this type of leadership since Independence. If you are doubting us, you know what you should do? Try the two of us.”

And stories from around the world…

US President Donald Trump is reported to have ordered a full, rapid withdrawal of the 2,000 US troops in Syria, declaring victory over the Islamic State, and taking allies and his own advisers by surprise.

South Africa has issued an arrest warrant for Zimbabwe’s former first lady Grace Mugabe in relation to an alleged assault on a woman in a hotel in Johannesburg last year.

Gabriella Engels accused Grace of beating the “hell out” of her with an electrical extension cord in a room at the Capital 20 West hotel in Johannesburg’s Sandton district.

After the alleged assault came to light in August 2017, the South African government granted Mugabe diplomatic immunity. That immunity was overturned by a court this year after Engels, a model, challenged the decision.

Brussels has launched an investigation into the apparent hacking of the EU’s diplomatic communications network after thousands of cables were made public, including descriptions of Donald Trump as a “bully” and Crimea as a “hot zone” where nuclear weapons may now be present, The Guardian reports.

The dump of confidential cables on a public site lays bare the concerns of EU diplomats and officials over the Trump administration and its dealings with Russia and China.

A day after sacking Jose Mourinho, Manchester United have named former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said Solskjaer.

“This is an opportunity I had to take.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” during Prime Minister’s Questions.

He was asked to make a statement to MPs after facing Tory calls to apologise for the alleged insult.

Corbyn said he was “opposed to the use of sexist and misogynist language in any form” and insisted he had actually said “stupid people”.

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