These are the top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the remaining girls abducted by terrorists from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were still in captivity because of some setbacks in the negotiation between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect.
Buhari said this in a statement made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The President said, “We are concerned and aware that it is taking longer to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors.
“Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks, owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks.”
Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly church, says the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed in terms of protecting Nigerians.
Speaking at the 2nd annual Chibok girls lecture organised by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement in Abuja, on Saturday, Bakare said the current administration and the previous one did not do enough to prevent Boko Haram abductions.
“There is something wrong when a nation is twice beaten. There is something undeniably wrong when the girl child repeatedly becomes the bargaining instrument in negotiation deals between the government and terrorists,” Bakare said.
“Let me ask this question, has this government handled the issue of the Chibok kidnap well?” the audience chorused, “No!”
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known to have access to the leadership of Boko Haram, says only 15 of the yet to be released 113 Chibok schoolgirls are alive.
Salkida, who announced this on his Twitter handle, said many of the girls have died as a result of crossfires from security forces that were supposed to rescue them.
Salkida said those of the girls still alive are no longer under the control of Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
“Today, my painstaking investigations on the #Chibokschoolgirls revealed that just a handful of the 113 #ChibokGirls are alive,” Salkida said.
“Many of the girls have died as a result of cross fires and bombardments of the security forces that no doubt were intent on rescuing them. I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 #Chibokgirls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months.”
Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, has appointed Mary Uduk as acting director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Uduk takes over from Abdul Zubai who has been redeployed to the external relations department of the ministry.
According to a statement issued on Adeosun’s behalf by Oluyinka Akintunde, her spokesman, Uduk’s appointment is governed by the provisions of the investments and securities act (ISA), 2007 and the conditions of service applicable to the director-general of the commission.
She added that the appointment was subject to satisfactory performance.
The Nigerian Army troops on exercise AYEM AKPATUMA yesterday arrested two persons, Mr Danasebe Gasama and Mr Danjuma a.k.a. American, in connection with the killings and uprising in Takum and Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State.
In a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu he said that the two suspects were arrested at Takum following an intelligence that they were the coordinators of several attacks both on Fulani and the locals.
He said that the preliminary investigation has further identified these two individuals as key players in the killings and uprising in the two Local Government Areas of the State.
And now, stories from around the world…
US President Donald Trump has hailed an overnight military strike on Syria as “perfectly executed”, adding: “Mission Accomplished”.
The US, UK and France attacked three government sites, targeting what they said were chemical weapons facilities.
More than 100 missiles struck in response to a suspected deadly chemical attack on the town of Douma last week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he condemned the Western strikes “in the most serious way”.
Air strikes on Syria were legally justified on humanitarian grounds, government documents say.
Downing Street published its legal case for military action hours after Theresa May said she was “confident” the strikes carried out by the UK, France and the US had been successful.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the action as “legally questionable”.
Bases near Damascus and Homs were targeted in response to an alleged chemical attack on the town of Douma.
US President Donald Trump’s top lawyer is under criminal investigation, the US justice department has announced.
Prosecutors say they are focusing on Michael Cohen’s business dealings rather than his work as a lawyer.
Mr Cohen has been under investigation for months, the court filing says.
The filing was in response to efforts by Mr Cohen’s own lawyer to stop prosecutors reviewing material seized from Mr Cohen’s office on Monday.
Mr Cohen’s team argues that the papers are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
An Egyptian appeals court on Saturday upheld a life sentence against the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie for “planning violent attacks”, judicial officials and his lawyer said.
The Court of Cassation also upheld life sentences against two other Brotherhood leaders including Mahmoud Ghozlan, a Brotherhood spokesman, along with five-year prison terms for 14 others, defence lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud told AFP.
Badie’s life sentence — his third — and the court’s other rulings are final and cannot be appealed.
Russia’s perpetually late World Cup stadium in Samara had some good news to report exactly two months before kickoff: it is finally getting its grass.
Twelve gleaming white lorries filled with rolls of the precious pitch arrived Saturday in the Volga River city from Germany.
Photographs proudly tweeted by the regional administration also showed nine construction crane-type objects identified as “artificial suns” stationed outside the stadium.
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