The Late 5: FG responds to Bill Gates’ comment on the economy, Trump signs memorandum banning transgender people from the military, and other top stories

These are top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

About 30 parents of the Chibok girls still in captivity on Saturday visited the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.

The parents had appealed to Obasanjo to use his regional and global influence and work with the federal government to ensure their daughters were also released to reunite with them.

They added that this call became necessary as many of the Dapchi girls had been released by their abductors.

Former Minister of Defense, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), on Saturday, urged Nigerians to defend themselves against killers in the country.

Danjuma made the call while speaking at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, Taraba State.

“I am not a politician and politics is one profession I don’t want to belong to because if I am a politician, I would not say what I am going to say to you now.

“When I arrived this arena, I saw rich cultural display, and I was amazed at the rich cultural heritage of our people. Taraba is a mini Nigeria with diverse ethnic groups living together peacefully, but the peace in this state is under assault.

“There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state and of course, some rural states in Nigeria.
“We must resist it. We must stop it. Everyone of us must rise up.”

The Federal Government has responded to comments made by Microsoft founder, Bills Gates about the economic approach of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Microsoft boss had said the execution plan of the blueprint does not prioritise human capital development.

Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, made the federal government’s position known in a statement signed by Akpandem James, his media aide.

“To demonstrate the commitment of the government to improving human capital development at the national level, the federal government has made significant increases in capital allocations in human capital related sectors in the last three years in spite of dwindling revenues,” the minister said.

He said the Buhari-led administration has increased the capital expenditure for health and education.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria has called on the federal government to release Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, its leader, from detention.

The group said El-Zakzaky’s “health is fast deteriorating” and could potentially go blind if urgent steps aren’t taken.

In a statement on Saturday, IMN accused the government of toying with the health of El-Zakzaky by denying him “urgent medical attention”.

Ibrahim Musa, the group’s spokesman, said: “The Sheikh, who was shot severally more than two years ago, losing his left eye in the process, is at a great risk of losing the other eye except something drastic is done.”

Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has said the victory against Poland was by luck.

Victor Moses, top scorer for Nigeria at the World Cup qualifiers, netted the only goal of a gritty game at the Stadion Miejski.

“We were lucky to have won this game against a very solid Polish side,” Rohr said.

“They created some big opportunities to score and were dangerous from set pieces that we found difficult to cope with.

“But I praise my team for their victory.”

And now, stories from around the world…

President Trump has signed a memorandum that bans some transgender people from US military service but rolls back the blanket ban he ordered last year.

The new directive adopts recommendations from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition” cannot serve.

But it gives the Pentagon and other agencies some discretion in the matter.

The earlier blanket ban was blocked by federal judges.

Mass student-led protests calling for tighter gun control are under way across the United States.

The protests – under the banner March For Our Lives – have grown out of a movement calling for change after 17 people were killed by a gunman at a high school in Florida last month.

Half a million people are expected to descend on the biggest march in Washington DC.

More than 800 sister protests are planned nationwide and abroad.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not return to the England squad for Tuesday’s international friendly against Italy at Wembley.

Wilshere, 26, missed the 1-0 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday with a minor knee injury.

He was hoping to win his first England cap since the last-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016.

The lawyer representing the porn star suing President Donald Trump called a tweet he posted of an apparent data disc a “warning shot” to the President.

On Thursday night, Michael Avenatti tweeted an image of what looked like a CD or DVD, with the caption: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is this worth???? #60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta.”

Avenatti said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the disc contains evidence proving the porn star’s claims about her alleged affair with Trump.

South Korea said Saturday that North Korea has accepted its proposal to hold high-level inter-Korean talks next week.

In a statement, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the talks are planned for Thursday.
The talks were first proposed by South Korea to be held in the Panmunjom truce village in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

North Korea said it will be represented by a three-member delegation led by Ri Son Kwon, chairman of the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland Committee.

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