These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Beijing on Saturday to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation holding between September 3 and 4 as part of a six-day official visit to China.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president is expected to join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to witness the signing of an agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of $328m facility provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank.
“During the High-Level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business representatives on the margins of FOCAC, the Nigerian delegation is also expected to sign no fewer than 25 MOUs, including those proposed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission , Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation , and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture,” the statement read.
The Presidency has said that the recent comment credited to the President Donald Trump of the United States President, can’t keep other world leaders away from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking with journalists on Saturday against the background of the visit to President Buhari of British Prime Minister, Theresa May on Wednesday, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on Friday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that there is a special attraction to Buhari and Nigeria.
“You know that as a policy, we said that we are not going to answer the American President, however, the fact that the entire world and world leaders are cueing up to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, is an indication that there is something about President Buhari, there is something about the Nigeria he now leads, that the world likes.
“I think that Nigerians themselves should better look at this from this positive point of view, is a major development,” he said.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has made clarifications on the resolutions of its National Executive Committee (NEC) on the mode of primary election for the 2019 General elections.
Spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena who spoke to journalists on Friday said: “NEC resolved to adopt direct primaries for the nomination of the presidential candidate and all other primaries, adding that the use of indirect primaries is conditional and dependent on logistic impediments, peculiarities and need of a given state that makes it unable to use direct primaries.”
He further explained that for states who have chosen to go for indirect primaries, the state executive committee (SEC) of the party shall in consultation with aspirants and other critical stakeholders seek the national working committee’s (NWC) approval to adopt it.
The Opposition People’s Democratic Party has said that all its presidential aspirants would sign an undertaking that they will abide by the outcome of its presidential primary slated for October 5 and 6.
Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with The Punch in Abuja on Friday, said that the aspirants would give a commitment to the party not to defect to other political parties either before or after the primary.
Ologbondiyan also noted that the party is “going to organise a transparent, free and fair presidential primary, whose outcome will be acceptable to our party, the contestants and the electorate,” as the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) have met with the aspirants during which they were told that the party would not favour any of the aspirants for the party’s presidential ticket.
At least 30 Nigerian soldiers late Thursday died in combat with Boko Haram jihadists who overran a military base at Zari village in northern Borno, near the border with Niger, two military sources told AFP on Saturday.
“They came in large numbers in trucks and carrying heavy weapons and engaged soldiers in a battle that lasted for an hour. They overwhelmed the troops who were forced to temporarily withdraw before reinforcements arrived,” said the officer who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak.
The terrorists were pursued and bombarded by a fighter jet, and also suffered heavy casualty from the bombardment, said the military sources.
And stories from around the world:
Two ex-presidents from opposing parties united Saturday in homage to late senator and American patriot John McCain, in a momentous farewell ceremony that also rebuked the politics of toxicity and division trafficked by Donald Trump. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have admitted that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen last month – which killed 51 people, including 40 children – was “unjustified”. (Al Jazeera)
Palestinians reacted angrily Saturday to a US decision to end all funding for the UN agency that assists millions of refugees, seeing it as a new policy shift aimed at undermining their cause. (AFP)
Satellite imagery shows North Korea is poised to stage another military parade amid new worries that diplomatic efforts on denuclearization are stalling, though analysts say it is unclear whether it will showcase any of the country’s largest ballistic missiles. (Reuters)
The US, UK, France and Italy have called for an immediate end to deadly violence in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
A joint statement said attempts “to weaken the legitimate Libyan authorities and hinder the ongoing political process are not acceptable”. (BBC)