Here are the stories that drove conversation today:
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has denied any plan to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase.
Ortom said media reports on the governor’s purported plan to leave the APC was false, misleading and the handiwork of detractors playing politics with the blood of the people and that he enjoys a cordial working relationship with other leaders of the party both at the local, state and national levels.
According to the statement, the governor is fully aware that the killings in Benue began during the past PDP-led administrations in the state.
“What is of greater concern to the governor now, is how to stop the killings in the state and also tackle the humanitarian crisis that displaced nearly 500,000 people.’’
It stated the government was collaborating with the Federal Government on the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons.
Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku has described as false and misleading, claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that Fulani herdsmen don’t move around with AK-47 rifles but sticks and machetes.
Speaking to journalists over the weekend at a special awards dinner organised in Abuja by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), where he bagged an award of excellent service in the health sector, Governor Ishaku insisted that it couldn’t have been imaginary that farmers were killed with AK-47 rifles in their clash with herdsmen in Taraba and Benue states. “It’s absolutely wrong for the President to say herdsmen don’t move around with guns. I mean, who then kills who? It couldn’t have been imaginary that people have been killed with AK-47 in the farmers-herdsmen clashes. We simply have to stand up to the truth and do something to stop the killings,” he said.
Governor Ishaku also harped on the effects of the recurrent clashes between farmers and herdsmen on the health sector in Taraba, “The current insecurity has put a lot of pressure on our health facilities much more than we anticipated.”
The President had made the claim during his bilateral meeting with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in Washington DC, last week. “The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing. The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a matchete to cut down foliage and give it to their animals, these ones are carrying AK-47,” President Buhari had said.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye on Friday warned the federal government to urgently end the unending sectarian killings in different parts of the country, stressing that Nigeria as it is presently constituted may cease to exist if the murderous attacks continue.
Adeboye, who made the declaration at the May 2018 Holy Ghost service also warned that “unless the killings stopped there may not be elections in 2019 in Nigeria.”
Continuing, Pastor Adeboye said, “I am going to ask you to join me in prayer, because unless these killings stop, and stop immediately, even Nigeria may not live. I am not talking about individuals now, I am talking about Nigeria itself…a bishop asked me not too long ago, ‘Daddy, has God told you who win the next election?’ “I said, Sir, I am not even sure yet there will be an election. Because unless these killings stop there may be no elections next year. ‘Are you prophesying, Daddy?’ No, no! I am not prophesying. I am just reasoning. Because nobody will want to go out to vote if they are not sure they will be able to return home safely,” he explained.
He, therefore, called on the Buhari led government to urgently end the killings before it dovetails into a religious war.
Dr Francis Adedayo has emerged as the new President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Adebayo was elected Sunday, at the end of the association’s 58th Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting held in Abuja to head the National Officers Committee of the association and run the affairs of the association for the next two years alongside other officers.
In his acceptance remarks, Adebayo said that “Every part of the health sector would be represented; we want to be fair and promote the profession, and also to see that our workers work well. He further called on government to improve the work environment and upgrade the infrastructure in the health sector to meet international standard.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) nationwide ward congress turned bloody in several states of the country, on Saturday, with some individuals losing their lives while several others were injured in melees that greeted the internal election of executives into ward positions of the party.
This was as the exercise was marred by boycott and postponement in some states.
In Lagos and Delta states respectively, an outbreak of violence led to the loss of two lives while two party members sustained different degrees of injuries in Oyo State, with a serving minister, federal lawmakers and many others said to have escaped being lynched.
Popular entertainers Davido and Small Doctor are among the numerous artistes that won awards at the 12th edition of the HEADIES early on Sunday.
Davido won the award as Best Pop single and artist of the year while Small Doctor won the 2018 best street hop artiste.
Others are MI- Best rap single; Teni- Rookie of the year; Reminisce- Best rap album Mayorkun with next rated award; Omawumi- female best vocal performance; Praiz- male best vocal performance; Nasty C- Africa artiste of the year; Aramide- Best Alternative Song, Simi- Best recording of the year; Yemi Alade- Best Performer; Tiwa Savage- Best collabo; Kidominant- Producer of the year; MI- Lyricist on the roll.
Wizkid received the best music video award, the best R and B pop album award and the viewers’ choice award for his song “Come closer” while 2face had the best reggae dancehall single award for his song ” Holy holy”. The biggest winners on the night were Wizkid (4), Simi (3) and Davido (3).
The awards which took place at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos commenced on Saturday night and stretched into the early hours of Sunday also featured performances by established and promising artists.
The Headies award formerly known as the Hip Hop World Awards was established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria to recognise outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry.
And stories from around the world:
Cardiff City were on Sunday returned to the Premier League after a goalless draw at home to Reading. Neil Warnock’s men sealed the record eighth promotion after a single season in the competition in 2013/14.
Wolves had already secured one of those spots heading into Sunday’s final round of regular-season Championship matches
Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger (68) was Sunday given a fitting farewell in his final home game in charge after 22 years with a 5-0 thrashing of Burnley on Sunday.
“I would like to finish by one simple word: I will miss you. Thank you all for being such an important part of my life.”
Wenger won three Premier Leagues and a record seven FA Cups. His crowning glory coming in the 2003/04 season when Arsenal won the league unbeaten.
He was presented with the special gold trophy given to the club for that achievement after the match by two Arsenal legends Bob Wilson and Pat Rice, who worked on Wenger’s coaching staff for many years.
Meanwhile, Burnley have qualified for Europe for the first time in 51 years after finishing seventh.
The United States on Saturday scolded China for attempting to impose “political correctness” on American carriers by asking them to classify Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as Chinese territories.
A White House statement excoriated Beijing for the demands, which it termed “Orwellian nonsense.”
“President Donald J. Trump ran against political correctness in the United States,” it said. “He will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.”
The statement added that the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign air carriers, including a number of American carriers, on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing’s standards.
As of Saturday, the website of American Airlines listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as entities separate from China. Rivals United Airlines and Delta listed Taiwan separately but not Hong Kong or Macau.
Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, maintaining its own government, military and independent foreign policy. But Beijing has refused to recognize the island, viewing it as part of its territory awaiting reunification with the mainland — by force, if necessary.
Pakistan’s interior minister Ahsan Iqbal has been shot in the arm in a suspected assassination attempt at a public meeting in Punjab province but will survive, his aide said Sunday.
According to Asim Khan, a special aide to the politician “Ahsan Iqbal was targeted and shot in the arm,” “He is out of danger and being taken to a medical facility in Lahore. The attacker has been arrested.” He added
He said no more details were available. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has condemned the attack, which comes as the country gears up for federal elections expected this summer.
Malik Ahmed Khan, a spokesman for the Punjab government, told AFP Iqbal had been attending the meeting in his constituency in Narowal district when he was shot in the right arm.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.