The Late 5: Edo Governor labels BEDC enemy of progress, wants license revoked; Buhari slams wife again over allegations of cabal frustrating his government | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it spent a total of N623.16 billion on subsidy from January to November, 2018.

This was contained in its report dated 19th December, 2018 which was presented to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) at its last meeting in Abuja where revenue generating agencies gave account of their performances in the year.
From the document it shows that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently subsidising Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol through its under recovery arrangements, the Nation reports.

The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye on Tuesday alleged that the Inspector General of Police had deployed men to arrest him with a plot to inject him with a substance that will kill him.

Responding to the accusation by the Senator however, Police Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said there’s no such order by the IGP, while describing the statement as mischievous with the aim to mislead the public and orchestrate disaffection towards the police.

“There are no police personnel deployed to arrest him. Or does the senator know something we don’t know? Has he committed a crime that he is afraid of?” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to an allegation by his wife, Aisha Buhari that his government has been hijacked by two powerful elements who are behind the slow pace of development in the country under his administration, describing it as baseless and “her business.”

The President who disclosed this during a recent interview with the Hausa service of Voice of America (VOA) as seen in a clip shared on Twitter by a Nigerian journalist with the service, Saleh Shehu Ashaka, insisted there was no cabal running his government and asked his critics to name one decision taken by the cabal.

“That is her concern, and this has shown the level of my democratic trait that anyone is free to express his own opinion. But expressing an opinion is different from reality; let them show a single thing that the cabal have organised and forced me to execute,” he said.

Governor Godwin Obaseki has lamented the epileptic power situation in Edo where residents of the state have been forced to celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivities in darkness while appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke the licence of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over what he described as “crappy service.”

The governor who stressed that Edo people deserve a better service provider than BEDC, considering the fact that the State is host to Azura Power plant which generates over 700MW of electricity to the national grid, added that much as he is not a believer in conspiracy theories, he is however constrained to believe that BEDC is on a mission to sabotage the developmental efforts of his administration.

“No excuse is good enough for the abysmal failure of BEDC and we appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to without delay, revoke the operational licence of BEDC and rescue  Edo people and residents from the crappy service being delivered to our people who are harassed weekly by BEDC to pay for electricity that it did not supply,” Obaseki said.

The Media aide to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign any more constitutional amendment bill as “politics of vendetta.”

In a tweet on Tuesday, Olaniyonu said, “Since he rejected the PIGB a few months ago, I knew he will, in fact, not sign ANY bill till the end of his tenure. Politics of vendetta.”

And stories from around the world:

The Pope has used his annual Christmas message to appeal for peace in conflict zones including Yemen and Syria.

“My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture,” Pope Francis said on Tuesday. (BBC)

At least three Sudanese protesters were wounded by gunshots on Tuesday when security forces dispersed rallies in the capital, witnesses said, after a week of demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday he would not reopen the government until he gets $5 billion to fund his border wall, as the partial government shutdown dragged into a fourth day.

“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open,” the Republican president told reporters at the White House after his annual Christmas teleconference with US troops. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it,” he added. (AFP)

Venezuela’s foreign ministry on Tuesday described as “interventionist and disrespectful” U.S. comments on a weekend incident in which the country’s navy stopped two ships exploring for oil for Exxon Mobil <XOM.N> off Guyana’s coast. (Reuters)

Syrian government forces have entered the country’s northern border region of Manbij controlled by Kurdish fighters, local sources told Al Jazeera and Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

The development comes a day after Turkish-backed Syrian fighters dispatched fighters and armoured vehicles to the front line along Manbij and days after Washington took an unexpected decision to withdraw troops from Syria. (Al Jazeera)

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