The Late 5: Things are going to be harder than now – Buhari; Nigerian Army accuses UNICEF of sabotage in North East | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned governors and other leaders in the country to brace up for tougher times ahead, especially as regards the economy and infrastructural development of the country. 

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, said the President disclosed this to them during a closed-door meeting with the governors of the 36 states in Abuja, telling them that the country’s economy is in bad shape, also challenged them to brace up on way forward to salvaging the dwindling economy.

“So, all of us as leaders, especially those that are coming to the National Assembly and those coming back as governors and the president who will be re-elected by God grace, we should not think that things are going to be easy. “They are going to be harder than before, this was the message of Mr President,’’ he said.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has described vote buying as an act of corruption which the commission was committed to tackling.

Acting Chairman of  ICPC, Dr Musa Abubakar, represented by Shintema Binga,who the made the remark on Friday in Lagos, at a ‘National Campaign Against Vote Buying and other Electoral Malpractices’ urged Nigerian voters to shun attempts by unpatriotic elements in the society who might want to buy their conscience with foodstuff, cloth and cash.

Abubakar stressed that vote buying, which is a type of electoral fraud,  takes the form of collecting payment from candidates after voting for them, adding that such payments are usually made through agents either directly or through phone transfer.

The Nigerian Army says it is suspending the operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North-East theatre until further notice, alleging that the organisation has abdicated its primary duty of catering for the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engages in training selected persons for clandestine activities to continue sabotaging the counter-terrorism efforts.

As contained in a statement by the spokesperson of the Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col Onyema Nwachukwu on Friday, UNICEF was “sabotaging the counter-terrorism efforts” of troops through “spurious and unconfirmed allegations bordering on alleged violations of human rights by the military.”

“It is baffling to note that some of these organisations have been playing the terrorists’ script with the aim to continue demoralising the troops who are doing so much to protect the lives of victims of Boko Haram terrorism and safeguard them from wanton destruction of property and means of livelihood,” he said.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, says he alongside some governors worked against the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, because they were  marginalised and opponents within the party were used officially against them during his tenure.

Speaking while playing host to the National Organising Secretary of the APC, Emma Ibediro, in his office on Friday, Ganduje said they had a bitter experience under Odigie-Oyegun, hence “we decided to take active part to ensure that a change was effected: a change for the better.”

“We decided to effect a change and luckily, Mr. President, who is the national leader of the party, gave his consent to what we wanted to do.

An FCT High Court in Maitama has declared a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, as the winner of the October 6 Presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and ordered the party to forward Gana’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election.

In his judgement on Friday, trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf in nullifying the election of Donald Duke as the SDP flag bearer for the 2019 General Elections held that the zoning and rotation formula as contained in Article 15(3) of the SDP Constitution, stipulated that both the Chairman of the party and the flag bearer should not come from the same zone, hence the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed.

And stories from around the world:

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday further assurances on her Brexit deal were possible after European Union leaders told her they would not be renegotiating the treaty and scorned her stilted defense of Britain’s departure. (Reuters)

Britons will have to pay €7 (£6.30) every three years to travel to EU countries, as a consequence of Brexit.

The European Commission has confirmed that while UK travellers will not need a visa, they will need to apply for and buy another document. (BBC)

US President Donald Trump knew it was wrong to order election-eve payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him, his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen said in his first public comments since being sentenced to three years in jail. (AFP)

The UN envoy for Yemen called for the urgent deployment of UN monitors to observe the implementation of a ceasefire agreement in the strategic port city of Hodeidah and the withdrawal of rival forces. (Al Jazeera)

President Emmanuel Macron called for a return to calm in France after nearly a month of protests by the ‘yellow vest’ movement against his government’s policies which have hit growth and caused widespread disruption. (Reuters)

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