The Big 5: Security chiefs raise alarm over stockpiled arms by politicians ahead of 2019; Nigeria’s population now 195.9 million – UNFPA | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday urged the Governors of the 36 States of the federation to declare a state of emergency in the education sector of their respective states to curb the rot in the sector.

Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of the NEC meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, explained that the decision was sequel to the consideration of an interim report of an ad-hoc committee on the National Education Policy, Prospects, Challenges and Way Forward of the education sector.

“All Governors to declare a state of emergency in the education sectors of their respective states and demonstrate their commitment to revamping education,” he said.

Following Thursday’s meeting of Security Chiefs with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the chiefs have raised concerns over the alleged stockpiling of arms and ammunition by politicians ahead of the 2019 general election.

Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali who briefed reporters, said that the meeting recommended the deployment of security agencies to the states to enable the peaceful conduct of elections and to further douse the tension created by the outcome of the political parties primaries and some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process, as the Inspector-General of Police pledged that all security agencies would be neutral and nonpartisan in their operations as it concerns the general elections.

“Another area of security concern includes postelection violence as desperate politicians may whip up ethno-religious sentiments to create security situation in the country,” he said.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the true intention of the Executive Order 6 was to ensure that assets connected to suspects facing trial for corruption were not dissipated.

Malami, who was a guest on a Channels Television programme on Thursday, also said that the government could not be adjudged disobedient to court orders and ruling when, in fact, it had appealed some of those judgments and rulings.

The essence of the Executive Order number 6, is to attack the economic undertones that constitute the source of strength, the source of desire of the person, in terms of nailing down the process of judicial determination of process,” he said.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says Nigeria’s population has hit 195.9 million, stating that 76 percent of its citizens (148.8 million) are between the ages 0 to 24 and the population expected to double between now and 2050.

As contained in its UNFPA State of World Population Report, he UN agency also revealed that the country has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, with less than 20 percent of married women in urban communities using a modern contraceptive method, adding that “there are still millions of people who are having more—or fewer—children than they would like, with implications not only for individuals, but also for communities, institutions, economies, labour markets and entire nations.”

The National Population Commission (NPC) had earlier in April 2018, said “Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has denied culpability in the pipeline fire incident that occurred last week in Umuaduru and Umuimo communities in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia, which had claimed lives and valuable properties..

In a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation said the incident was not as a result of negligence on its part, but was triggered by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into its System 2E pipeline network with a view to intercepting the flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba.

Ughamadu who said the clarification became necessary in view of the recent statement by a legislator indicting the NNPC over the fire outbreak, explained that the presence of items such as jerrycans, among others, at the scene of the incident as contained in the preliminary report on the matter, indicated that the activities of vandals in the area ignited the flame.

And stories from around the world:


Police in Turkey investigating the alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have expanded their search, reports say.

Unnamed Turkish officials say his body may have been disposed of in a nearby forest or on farmland. (BBC)

Pope Francis indicated he would consider making what would be a landmark trip to North Korea after being invited to visit the isolated state, South Korean officials said. (Al Jazeera)

A date for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is being discussed, Russian state news agency RIA cited Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as saying on Friday. (Reuters)

European Union leaders warned Britain on Thursday they would offer no more concessions to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations but expressed confidence that a deal can be done before the country leaves the bloc next March.  (AFP)

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Islamic State militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by U.S.-backed forces and had executed some of them and promised to kill more. (Reuters)

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