The Late 5: FG approves N20bn for revitalisation of public universities; #OsunDecides: I have no rift with Gov. Aregbesola – Oyetola | More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Osun governorship election, Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, has denied any rift between him and the state governor,  Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, over last Saturday’s election.

Oyetola who dispeled the rumour in a statement on Monday by the Director-General of  his Campaign Organisation, described as irrational the insinuations in some quarters that there was a rift between himself and the governor, stressing that those peddling the rumour are “detractors out to create disaffection within the APC camp ahead of Thursday’s governorship rerun.”

The Federal government has on Monday released N22.68 billion to settle part of the retirement benefits of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who made the disclosure in Abuja, said the government also approved the release of N20 billion to revitalise public universities in line with demands of the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU), adding that the money for the universities will be released through normal channels while that of the ex-airways workers would be paid after verification.

The minister in announcing the constitution of a nine-member committee to verify the claims of the ex-workers, said the money approved was 50 percent of  the N45.3 billion total entitlements of the ex-workers of the Nigeria Airways Limited in liquidation.

Supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday were at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to protest the decision of the commission to conduct a rerun governorship election in Osun on Thursday.

Carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “No To rerun, “INEC don’t conspire with APC”; “The people spoke on Saturday, announce the results ” among others, berated INEC for not declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke the winner of the poll having scored the highest number of votes in the poll.

The protesters said the people of the state had spoken and that majority of the voters wanted Adeleke as the state governor and that the peoples’ wish should be respected, Punch reported.

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has lambasted the People’s Democratic Party (INEC) over its call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its candidate, Ademola Adeleke, as winner of Saturday’s election in Osun.

In a statement issued by the Culture Minister on Monday, he accused the PDP of pretending not to understand the real meaning of the outcome of the Osun election, charging the PDP to comport themselves and adhere to the democratic principles and rule of law.

“In its time, there would have been no room for a supplementary election in Osun because the PDP would have used state institutions to hijack the election proper, as it did in Ekiti in 2014,” he said.

The Federal Government has said it would commence the revocation of the licences of oil companies that fail to stop flaring of gas in their operations in the country next year.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed this while speaking at a Stakeholders’ Engagement on Monday, said that the quest to discourage gas flaring led the Federal Government to initiate the gas flare commercialisation programme, adding that future renewals of oil and gas licences would involve the assessment of the gas components and gas flare rate of each company seeking renewals.

“Any oil company that cannot find a way to ending its flare ought not to be producing. And I have said to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, beginning from next year, we are going to get quite frantic about this and companies that cannot meet with extended periods — the issue is not how much you pay in terms of fines for flaring, the issue is that you would not produce. We need to begin to look at foreclosing of licences. This is very urgent,” he said.

And stories from around the world:

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the probe into alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump, was about to resign or be fired Monday, US media reported. (AFP)

Russia’s ruling party suffered two rare defeats in regional elections this weekend as its candidates lost to nationalists amid widespread discontent over a pension reform backed by President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday the attackers who killed 25 people at a military parade had been paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the bloodshed. (Reuters)

The United States government has “abandoned the fundamental norms of mutual respect” after a new round of tariffs came into effect on Monday, China said in a document released as a response. (Al Jazeera)

Myanmar’s army chief on Monday warned against foreign interference as world leaders gather at the United Nations to find ways to hold the country’s powerful generals accountable for atrocities against Rohingya Muslims last year. (Reuters)

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