Bukola Saraki and the defectors at NASS; Dino Melaye’s abduction and other stories that drove conversation this week

These are the top ten stories that drove conversation this week.

The Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan said the state resolved to set up a Mobile Court to deal with erring drivers of articulated vehicles/trucks who park indiscriminately along the road.

He said over 2,000 vehicles were removed from the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue and Mile 2-Orile Road and taken to seven designated holding bays.

But it was all an attempt to get residents to stop talking about the hardship they face everyday as those trucks never left the road.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole threatened to suspend the Minister of  Labour and Producti­vity, Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika from the party for failing to reconstitute the board of agencies under their ministries based on a Preside­ntial directive to all ministers and as agreed at the APC Na­tional Executive Council.

For ­me it is the height of mischief for any ­minister: you cannot purport to be a honou­rable minister and you act dishonourably­ and nobody is greater than the party.

In reaction, Ngige maintained that the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) was yet to be inaugurated because of reports of diversion of funds to the tune of N48 billion.

When asked if he would comply and if he was not afraid of suspension from the party, he said: “How? In a party that we formed and brought them in? The man is talking out of ignorance. I’m not afraid of suspension.

[READ ALSO: Like Police Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, ACP Yomi Shogunle is handling the calls to #EndSARS terribly]

The Nigeria Police Force invited Senate President, Bukola Saraki to report on Tuesday to make further statements on the April 5 robbery in Offa, Kwara. And a National Roadside Drama unfolded.

On the day he was supposed to appear before the Police, his convoy was blocked. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was also placed on house arrest for a while.

Saraki, however, found a way to get to the Red Chambers where 15 Senators defected from the APC. The same day 37 members of the House of Representatives defected. And, unlike his slow response to killings in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari reacted almost immediately to the defections.

Also, Adams Oshiomhole has said the doors of the party are open to defectors to return, but would not be lured with gifts such as dollars or automatic tickets.

The Benue House of Assembly got a new leadership Tuesday, after members of the house impeached the Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange and announced new principal officers.

At a session presided over by the Speaker pro-tempore, Hon. Audu Sule, 21 members out of the 30-man Assembly, impeached the Speaker — who was absent at the plenary — over alleged highhandedness and elected Hon. Titus Ugba and Egli Johnson Ahubi as the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

This did not go without drama too.

After back and forth statements, the Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom announced his defection from the APC to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ortom made the announcement during a meeting with Local Government Chairmen and Councillors at the Government House, Makurdi.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos urged the Federal  Government to do everything within its powers to revive existing ports in the country to solve the issue of traffic congestion along the Apapa Expressway.

Ambode who was speaking during a town hall meeting in Ibeju Lekki Local Government area, said that this will solve the existing traffic congestion at the Apapa axis of the state, stressing that the recent chaos witnessed in the area was beyond traffic issues and concerted efforts must be made to revamp moribund ports.

This then begs the question: Why promise to clear the trucks off the road when it’s ‘beyond traffic issues?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 75 out of 230 stranded Nigerian Football fans absconded in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

Spokesperson for the ministry, Tope Elias-Fatile, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Wednesday, in Abuja, said 230 stranded Nigerian football fans were profiled to board chartered Ethiopian Airline to Abuja but only 155 boarded the flight at the last minute.

As reported by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Senator Dino Melaye was on Thursday kidnapped by unknown gunmen on his way to Kogi from Abuja.

A spokesperson for the Senator, Gideon Ayodele, reportedly confirmed that the Senator’s brother, Moses Melaye, reported the matter at Gwagwalada Divisional Headquarters shortly after the incident happened – a report the Police denied.

The Senator was, however, ‘released from his abductors‘ on Friday.

The Federal Government has approved a 10-year validity period for Nigerian passports to reduce the stress involved in getting a renewal every five years.

The development was made known by the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammed Babandede, who disclosed that the approval was part of the reforms by President Buhari to improve the quality and security of the passport booklets.

Former Super Eagles and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme has announced his retirement from football.

Ikeme who made the decision known to his teammates before a training session at the club’s ground, said he took the decision after consultation with doctors after a 12-month battle with leukemia.

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