These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) has debunked reports that about 167 policemen out of the 2000 additional Police Officers recently deployed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to the Boko Haram frontline in the North east have absconded from duties, describing it as absolute falsehood and a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on the efforts of the force in the ongoing fight against the insurgents.
According to a statement issued by the police, all the 2000 Policemen deployed to the region have all reported and are on ground, in high morale and high spirit for the combat operation in the region, fighting alongside the Military.
“This story was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that Police personnel deployed for the operations in the North East would abscond. The Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the Military in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency,” the statement read in part.
Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday berated President Muhammadu Buhari over a recent comment he made, blaming his inability to fight corruption on the Nigerian system.
Atiku who said that the President Buhari’s admittance that his administration is slow shows failure of his administration in tackling corruption, adding that he will not allow the President make Nigeria the scapegoat for his failure, as his failure was personal, and not national.
“The system has challenges, yes, but where there is political will, the system can make progress. “Unfortunate as your admitted failure in the war on corruption is, it is your economic policy that is the greater failure. Your lack of ideas and your politicisation of the corruption war has made your administration fight legitimate businesses and the opposition,” the former Vice President said.
Former Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to hide under the killings by bandits in Zamfara to impose emergency rule on the state, as he advised the federal government to admit its failure and apologise to the people of the State, who were left at the mercy of bandits.
In a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, Fayose said: “With the emergency rule, there will only be Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state in February next year while governorship and state House of Assembly elections will be postponed till May,” stressing that the alleged plot by the federal government was aimed at paving the way for a fresh electoral process in the state so that APC can field candidates.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government cannot hide under its own failure to secure the lives of Nigerians to achieve its selfish partisan agenda,” he noted.
Simiarly, the Federal Government has said that the persistent attacks on residents of Zamfara especially the agrarian rural dwellers, will have a serious impact on agriculture and food security in the country.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, whio disclosed this on Wednesday in Gusau during an on-the-spot assessment of the activities of the bandits in the state, said stakeholders in the state’s security sector would meet to fine tune the new measures that would be used in tackling the threat posed by the bandits.
While expressing President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolences to the people of the state over the attacks, the minister advised the hoodlums to immediately surrender and embrace peace, assuring them that “they cannot withstand the consequences.’’
The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says that President Muhammadu Buhari’s assurances and directive to the security heads on the kilings by bandits in Zamfara are not enough, urging him to terminate the appointment of his service chiefs over the recent killings in the North East state.
According to the spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who condoled with the family of the victims, the “PDP holds that, more than ever before, the time has come for Mr President to review his parade.”
“The PDP has consistently told Mr President to review his parade. As the Commander-in-Chief, if his men in the front are being killed, he has the responsibility to review his parade, except if there is something underneath that he has not been able to explain to Nigerians,” Ologbondiyan said.
And stories from around the world:
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would deploy its first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles next year, saying the move meant his country now had a new type of strategic weapon. (Reuters)
Meanwhile, Russia has branded as “provocative” an alleged Israeli air strike on Syria late on Tuesday. (BBC)
America’s border security head warned Wednesday officials were overwhelmed by the “enormous flow” of families crossing from Mexico, appealing to Congress for health care funding after a second child died in custody.
US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the agency was unable to cope with the thousands of arrivals, as most facilities were built decades ago for men arriving alone. (AFP)
The two Koreas on Wednesday launched a project to reconnect rail and road links severed since the 1950-53 Korean War, but actual construction cannot start while sanctions remain in place against North Korea, officials said. (Reuters)
Two former Egyptian presidents have appeared in the same Cairo courtroom with Hosni Mubarak testifying in the retrial of his successor Mohamed Morsi on mass jailbreak charges. (Al Jazeera)