The Late 5: SERAP demands release of 112 Imo women protesters, Registration of 91 parties is awkward and unnecessary – Otubanjo | More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

A Professor of Political Science at the National Open University of Nigeria, Femi Otubanjo, has lamented the current political arrangement in the country where 91 parties exist in the political space, describing it as  “awkward and unnecessary.”

Otubanjo who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria explained that although the fact these minor parties can transform into major political parties, the ideological space does not allow for so many parties, adding that “it will be more difficult work for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), because it will not be easy to conduct an election with huge, longish ballot paper in a largely illiterate country.”

He however absolved INEC of any blame as it said the electoral body was a victim rather than a villain in the act of registration of political parties as their hands are tied by the Constitution.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has joined the call by Nigerians to demand the unconditional release of 112 Imo women who were arrested, detained and remanded in Owerri prison for participating in a peaceful protest on Friday.

The women who were demanding the whereabouts of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, were remanded in jail till September 3 by Magistrate S.K Durumba for embarking on a peaceful protest.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a timetable for State, National Assembly, Governorship and Presidential primaries, circulating on social media and published in a particular newspaper, as fake.

According to a statement released by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, on Thursday in Abuja,  the timetable as was reported in a section of the media is fake and should be disregarded by the general public as “the party is yet to announce its official timetable for the listed primaries.” 

The Presidency has on Thursday taken a swipe at a chieftain of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), Chief Akin Osuntokun, for allegedly claiming that a bomb blast occurred during the Eid-el Kabir day celebration in Maiduguri, Borno on Tuesday killing 88 people.

Presidential Media adviser, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Thursday, said for Osuntokun “to tell lies of that kind, betrayed a mind taken over by ill wishes against his own country,” adding that the CNM chieftain and his ilk should realise that this is the only country we have, and we can’t swallow poison and expect it to kill the next person.

“Happily, however, those for a peaceful, united and cohesive Nigeria are more than those against it. That is why those with baleful, hateful thoughts would never win,” he said.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned Monday’s attack on Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo by some youths under the aegis of Esan Youth Movement, over his alleged plan to impose a senatorial candidate on the people.

Chairman of the CNPP, Roy Oribhabor, who condemned the attack in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Thursday, described it as callous, irresponsible and unnecessary, noting that the attack negated democratic principles.

“The governor is the symbol of Edo people for now as the number one citizen, hence, our concern to condemn the action and educate them on the potency and importance of the office of the governor no matter the political differences,” Oribhabor added as he urged parents to warn their wards against undermining constituted authority.

And stories from around the world:

Israel still hopes the United States will recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, after a top U.S. official said the issue was not currently under consideration by Washington. (Reuters)

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has responded to Donald Trump’s latest attack on him by insisting that the justice department he heads will not bend to political pressure. (BBC)

South Africa accused US President Donald Trump of fuelling racial tensions on Thursday after he said farmers were being forced off their land and many of them killed. (AFP)

Consumers and businesses in the United Kingdom would have to pay more for goods and services in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit between the UK and the European Union, the British government has warned. (Al Jazeera)

Canada’s opposition Conservatives face a potential split a year ahead of national elections after a prominent former cabinet minister quit the party on Thursday to form his own right-leaning faction, focused on limited immigration and promoting free trade. (Reuters)

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