The Late 5: Governor Ajimobi also skipped NYSC – Shittu; Prof Utomi, Ogboru emerge as Delta APC guber candidates in parallel primaries | More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to uphold the independence of the nation’s election management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the 2019 general elections approaches.

The president who disclosed this in a National Broadcast to the nation to mark the 58th Independence Anniversary of the country on Monday, also harped on the importance of the electoral process in the country’s democracy.

“I have committed myself many times to ensure that elections are fully participatory, free and fair and that the Independent National Electoral Commission will be exactly INDEPENDENT and properly staffed and resourced,” he said.

Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has accused Oyo Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, of working against his governorship ambition for fear of being jailed, adding that the governor himself did not participate in the national service.

The Minister who made the allegation during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics said he was deliberately screened out of the governorship race because “they” believe he cannot be easily manipulated, stressing that the governor has a hand in his NYSC certificate controversy.

“Certainly he did, using the NYSC as the last card. I have it on good authority that even he doesn’t have an NYSC certificate and yet he too wants to go to the Senate, I hope that at the appropriate time, that issue will also be brought to the fore,” Shittu said.

Prominent economist, Prof Pat Utomi has been declared winner and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress for the 2019 Delta governorship election in a parallel primary conducted on Sunday, polling 2,486 votes to defeat three other aspirants; Victor Ochei who polled 801.

The other aspirants Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, got 368 votes and Chief Great Ogboru who came fourth, polled a total of 106 votes.

In the other primary, 5-time guber candidate, Great Ogboru, emerged flag bearer of the party held at the College of Education (Technical) Asaba, polling a total of 3,292 votes to defeat his closest rival, Victor Ochei, who scored 160, Utomi who scored 26, votes and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh polled 12.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) has once again postponed its governorship primaries for the Lagos, Enugu and Adamawa, initially slated for Monday (today) to Tuesday (Lagos) and Thursday for Adamawa and Enugu respectively.

Meanwhile, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has indicated interest to participate in the rescheduled Adamawa APC governorship primaries election, hours after he withdrew from the race.

According to the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Alhaji Salihu Bawuro, who made the announcement at a news conference in Yola on Monday.“Now that the national headquarters had intervened to correct the abnormalities surrounding the Sunday’s unsuccessful primaries, Malam Nuhu Ribadu will be in full contest now that it is the direct primaries.” 

Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom has emerged as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s election in the state, polling 2,210 votes to defeat his opponents John Tondo who got 475 votes, Felix Atume and Paul Orhii who polled 44 and 10 votes respectively.

Similarly, a former Military Governor of Nigeria’s defunct Bendel State and Senator representing Plateau South, Jeremiah Useni, has emerged as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau for the 2019 general elections.

In Adamawa, former Acting governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri on Monday, emerged winner in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) primary election held in the state, polling 1,656 votes to defeat Ambassador Jamil Zubairu who scored 465 votes while former governor Bala Ngilari got 76 votes.

And stories from around the world:

U.S President, Donald Trump has said the new trade deal struck with Canada and Mexico was “the most important” ever agreed by the US. (BBC)

Britain cannot be bullied, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Monday, sharpening the government’s criticism of the European Union for taunting Prime Minister Theresa May and souring difficult Brexit talks. (Reuters)

Macedonia’s government vowed Monday to push ahead with changing the country’s name to appease Greece and build ties with the West, but opponents said low turnout in a referendum on the move made it illegitimate. (AFP)

A court in Uganda has adjourned the treason case brought against music star and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, local media reports. (Al Jazeera)

Turkey will resist U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on Ankara over the trial of a Christian pastor who has been detained for two years, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, accusing the preacher of having “dark links with terror.” (Reuters)

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