The Late 5: Tinubu asks Nigerians not to accept PDP’s apology, Pope says hell does not exist, and other top stories


These are the top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have killed six people in Bakin Kogi, Kaninkon chiefdom in Jama’a local government area of Kaduna state.

Auta Maurice, a member of the security committee in the community, said the people were killed in separate attacks between 10am and 11am on Thursday.

He said the gunmen, numbering about 10 wore army and police uniforms.

“The attacks occurred in the bush. The first attack occurred at about 10am when some members of our community went to the bush to cut wood for roofing their houses,” he said.

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians not to accept the apology tendered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Tinubu said this while speaking at a colloquium organised in honour of his 66th birthday.

“Don’t take their apologies. They lied, they falsified, they changed figures. For 16 years, they made fake promises and they say don’t talk about it? It is like when you catch a thief and the thief tells you not to talk about it, but tells you to go and steal your own.”

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm over the low ratio of medical doctors to patients in the country.

Mike Ogirima, president of the association, expressed the concern in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogirima said at the moment, Nigeria had a ratio of one medical doctor to 6000 people.

“We have almost 3000 medical doctors being produced annually by medical schools. But we do not have the facility to absorb all of them,” he said.

“If we don’t have the facilities then government needs to get the facilities in place to absorb the number of the medical doctors we produce.”

Gunmen believed to be cattle thieves killed 15 herders in the latest bout of violence in northern Nigeria’s herding communities, police and a local official said Thursday.

“Armed bandits attacked Bawon-Daji village yesterday and killed 15 people,” the police spokesman for Zamfara state, Muhammad Shehu, told AFP.

His account was corroborated by a senior local government official, Gado Anka.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said the visit of the MLK family members to Nigeria was not sponsored by the Federal Government.

Dabiri-Erewa in a statement on Thursday in Abuja by her media aide, Abdurrahman Balogun, dismissed insinuations that the government paid for the award, stressing that nothing could be further from the truth.

“It must be categorically stated here that the trip was totally privately funded and not one kobo was spent by the Nigerian government, as it was all a private initiative,” she explained.

And now, stories from around the world…

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to face trial for corruption and influence peddling, prosecutors say.

The case centres on an alleged attempt by Mr Sarkozy to get a judge to reveal information about an investigation into illegal funding of his 2007 campaign.

The judge and Mr Sarkozy’s lawyer have also been ordered to stand trial. They have all denied wrongdoing.

Mr Sarkozy’s team says he will appeal against the decision. He faces other legal problems over campaign spending.

Russia has expelled 60 US diplomats and closed the country’s St Petersburg consulate in a tit-for-tat response to US action over a spy poisoning case in the UK.

The moves were announced by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

It comes amid a row over the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in southern England.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury on 4 March.

Darren Lehmann is to quit as head coach of Australia at the end of the current Test series against South Africa.

The 48-year-old will step down after the final Test in Johannesburg, which starts on Friday, in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

Lehmann, who was cleared of any wrongdoing by Cricket Australia, had said on Wednesday he would not resign.

“There is no hell where the souls of sinners suffer in eternity”, Pope Francis was quoted as saying in a Thursday interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

Pope reportedly said: “After death, the souls of people who repent are pardoned by God and join in his contemplation, but those who do not repent, and therefore cannot be pardoned, disappear.

“Hell does not exist – what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

US Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has fired a parting shot at the White House a day after being fired by President Donald Trump.

Mr Shulkin said figures within the administration were planning to privatise veterans’ healthcare, and he lost his job because he opposed them.

President Trump replaced Mr Shulkin on Wednesday with the White House doctor, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson.

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