1. The Senate Committee on the Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organisations yesterday, decided to invite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek an end to the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians by South Africans. Chairman of the committee, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said it has become very urgent to take decisive action in putting an end to brazen and fatal attacks on Nigerians in all parts of the world. He warned that the incessant bloodshed could snowball into a conflagration with dire consequences for the two countries if the Nigerian and South African governments do not take prompt and urgent steps to end. Basiru said that there was a need for the Federal Government to take decisive actions to ease the tension of Nigerians at home and relieve the suffering of those in South Africa in the hands of local miscreants and hoodlums parading themselves as patriots to annihilate Nigerians.
2. Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Friday, strongly condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, in a speech on the floor of the House, said the time for speaking has long passed, and the time for action has arrived. He assured that the House of Representatives was united and determined in its resolve to meet the people at the point of their grievance and to channel grievances into constructive action. He said the House will seek and will obtain by whatever means available, due restoration and recompense for all that has been lost in this latest conflagration and all the ones that have come before. The Speaker further assured that they are committed to a sustained and special effort to see that the ends of justice are met for all Nigerians who have suffered.
3. A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Friday insisted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would lose the forthcoming Governorship election in Bayelsa state for choosing to field a weak candidate. He, therefore, congratulated the candidate of the APC in Bayelsa state, David Lyon, ahead of the elections. Frank noted that the APC’s candidate is better placed to win the elections in view of the fact that the PDP has curiously chosen to field a weak candidate against the APC’s flag-bearer. Frank said the APC will win the forth-coming governorship election in Bayelsa State, seeing the weak candidate Governor Seriake Dickson and the PDP have chosen as their flag-bearer. He noted that this was not the first time Dickson is toeing this path.
4. The World Bank on Friday dropped a bombshell that Nigeria was dying slowly and tragically living on borrowed time due to its neglect of the agricultural sector and heavy reliance on crude oil. The World Bank’s Senior Agriculture Economist, Dr Adetunji Oredipe warned of the looming danger ahead of Nigeria while delivering a keynote address at the Agriculture Summit Africa in Abuja. According to him, economic diversification into agricultural should be in practice not theory as the economy has become increasingly dependent on importation. He said if Nigeria had held to its market share in palm oil, cocoa, groundnut and cotton, it would have been earning at least $10billion annually from the three commodities. Painting a gloomy picture of the country’s agricultural sector, the World Bank Agricultural Economist regretted Nigeria is now one of the largest food importers in the world.
5. Police escorting Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Friday repelled an ambush staged by suspected Boko Haram insurgents between Bama and Konduga Local Government Areas in the northeast region. According to some police escort, they successfully repelled the ambush and there was no casualty on their side. One of the police escorts said they could not get the governor, adding that It was the last policy vehicle that was attacked after the governor passed. He said they were able to deal with them and dispersed and clear the road before joining the convoy in Konduga.
6. The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has declared that Civil Servants in the state are not owed salaries. He said his administration was up to date in the payment of salaries. Bello insisted that his administration had cleared all salary arrears owed workers in the state, despite inheriting them. The governor disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari gave him a bailout of about N30.8 billion to clear salary arrears of workers in the state. According to Bello, he had fully applied the bail-out fund to clear salaries and pension arrears.
7. Former Zimbabwe National Army Chief of Staff, Major General Trust Mugoba was confirmed dead on Friday. His death was confirmed a few hours after the demise of the ex-president, Robert Mugabe. Mugoba passed away at a private hospital in Harare a week after he was admitted with an undisclosed ailment. Mugoba left his post in March 2017 after he was seconded to the African Union where he assumed the position of Chief of Staff of the continental’s body’s Stand-by Force.Months after Mugoba’s departure, Zimbabwe’s military moved against longtime ruler, Robert Mugabe, ousting him in a coup in November 2017.
8. The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday, appointed a 5-member executive caretaker committee for the Rivers State chapter of the party. The caretaker committee to oversee the Party’s affairs in the state will be chaired by Barr. Isaac Abott Ogbobula. Other members are: Mr. Friday Kinika Owhor, Mrs. Beatrice Amobi, Prince Abolo Stephen and Mr. Baridon Badom (Secretary). The party NWC also approved the schedule of activities/timetable for the conduct of ward, local government and state congresses in Rivers.
9. Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda on Friday urged leaders in Africa to rise up to stop xenophobic attacks that have rocked South Africa. Kaunda, one of the icons of the struggle for independence in Africa, said there was the need for all people to stand up and fight xenophobia which he said was not in the African culture. The 95-year-old Kaunda said he wondered how Africa would be able to achieve the goal of uniting itself if such barbaric acts like xenophobia were allowed to prevail. Kaunda, who ruled Zambia from 1964 to 1991, said he was shocked and terrified to see the heinous and horrific incidences where blacks in South Africa were rising against their fellow blacks. According to him, the people of South Africa should remember that the same people they were treating with cruelty were the same people who were comrades in arms in fighting the brutal Apartheid regime.
10. The South African police on Friday reported that they have arrested 497 suspects who have been looting shops in Gauteng Province. Police spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, said 74 persons were arrested in Katlehong on Thursday, bringing the total number of arrests since violence erupted in Johannesburg to 497. She said the situation in Katlehong and other areas in the Province remains calm as the number of incidents continues to decline. Peters said while 11 people were killed during this period, only seven deaths have been directly linked to the incidents of violence and the police will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding each death. Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela called on the people to respect the law.