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The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said that he is considering running against President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election billed for February 2019.

The former governor of Kwara state said he can make the change that Nigeria and Nigerians desire.

He disclosed this in an interview with Bloomberg.

“I am consulting and actively considering it. I believe I can make the change,” he was quoted by Bloomberg.

Saraki, a former chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, defected to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party. The governors of Benue and Kwara have also defected to the PDP. Fourteen other senators also dumped the APC for PDP and African Democratic Congress (ADC), a party associated with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The PDP is expected to hold its primary election in October.

Saraki also claimed that the PDP has learnt its lesson from the loss in 2015 and stand a chance of leading Nigeria in the right direction.

“We (PDP) have the opportunity with the right kind of presidential candidate and a president to provide the leadership for the party. The party has a good opportunity to lead the country in the right direction,” he said.

BIG STORY

Buhari Did Not Sideline VP Osinbajo, He Only Tweaked Governance —– Femi Adesina

Peter Okunoren

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A source in the presidency has dismissed claims that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been sidelined following President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration of an Economic Advisory Team (EAC) to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT).

While the EMT was headed by Osinbajo, the newly constituted EAC will report directly to President Buhari.

Speaking as a guest on Channels TV’s Politics Today, on Wednesday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said all that the president had done particularly this week was just to “tweak governance and get the best for Nigerians”.

He also maintained that the presidency remains one and that there’s been too much suspicion and different kinds of inferences which he believes are only aimed at driving a wedge between both the President and the Vice President.

“The Vice President is the number two man in the country. the new economic advisory body can also relate with the Vice President as necessary.

“It’s just some Nigerians who want to drive a wedge between the President and the VP, that read meanings into everything and insinuate but there’s no need for that,” he said.

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BIG STORY

Ekiti Varsity Undergraduate Stabs Lover To Death Over N2,500

Gbemileke Ajayi

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People wailed uncontrollably on Tuesday evening in Iworoko Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti State, as a female student of the Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti (EKSU) identified as Bukola Odeyemi, allegedly stabbed her boyfriend, John Iju, to death.

The murder, according to eyewitnesses, occurred at Treasure Base Hostel in Iworoko Ekiti.

Findings revealed that the 20- year old Odeyemi is a 300 level student of the Department of Biology Education while the deceased, who was 22, was also an EKSU student.

Witnesses said the incident occurred at about 10am at night and the fracas was said to have broken out after the suspect had demanded a sum N2,500 from the deceased to plait her hair in the saloon, which the victim had turned down.

A source said: “the refusal of the boyfriend to meet up with her demand resulted in hot argument, which angered the lady and they started fighting.

“During the fight, the lady saw a sharp knife on the tray and immediately brought it out and stabbed the deceased on the chest.

“The deceased who could not survive the deep cut fell on the floor with blood oozing out of his body. The people around there cried for help but that could not help. The man died on the spot”.

The deceased’s friends were said to have rushed to the police station at Iworoko to report the case.

Speaking with journalists on the telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu confirmed the incident.

He added that that the suspect had been arrested and was now being detained at the police headquarters.

Ikechukwu explained that investigation had begun into the matter and the suspect will be charged to court as soon as his men conclude their findings.

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BIG STORY

Lagos Govt Gives N20,000 Each To 2nd Batch Of South Africa Returnees, Set To Train Them On Skill Acquisition

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The Lagos State Government on Wednesday gave a sum of N20,000 to each of the second batch of 315 Nigerians evacuated from South Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fresh batch of returnees arrived a week after another 187 Nigerians fleeing xenophobia came back from South Africa.

The joyous returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 7.21p.m aboard an Air Peace B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI.

The flight, which originated from the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, was received by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Air Peace Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema.

Also on ground was Mr Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora.

Presenting the token on behalf of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr Jermaine Sanwo-Olu said that the money was a palliative for the returnees.

Sanwo-Olu said that the returnees from Lagos State would be transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), where they would be trained on skill acquisition.

Dabiri-Erewa told newsmen that the returnees would be profiled according to their states and local governments of origin to complement the federal government’s effort in reintegrating them.

She said apart from giving the returnees stipends to get back to their respective states, there was also a medical team on ground to provide assistance to those with medical conditions.

Dabiri-Erewa also noted that the Nigeria High Commission was working with the South African authorities to reduce the unnecessary delays which had so far characterized the evacuation exercise.

On his part, Onyema told newsmen that some Nigerians were stranded in South Africa for over four years and could not return home due to financial difficulties and lack of proper documentation.

He said: “What Air Peace is doing to freely evacuate Nigerians from South Africa is part of our support to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and we are doing it wholeheartedly.

“The airline is only asking the government to do what it has been doing to facilitate the smooth return of the Nigerians.

“We are not asking for any refund because we knew that the cost of evacuating the Nigerians will exceed N300 million at the end of the day.

“We are so happy that even our pilots and crew that went to South Africa refused to take their allowances saying that it is their own way of showing patriotism,” Onyema said.

He commended the Nigerian government for the matured diplomatic way it was handling the xenophobia issue with its South African counterpart and called on other well-meaning Nigerians to assist in the resettlement of the returnees.

One of the returnees, Chuks Okoma from Delta State, thanked God for sparing his life considering the ordeal faced by Nigerians in South Africa.

Okoma said that he had been in South Africa for six years without a job and sleeping in the street.

Another returnee, Michael Udoh, narrated how some foreigners were burnt in South Africa, adding that they were unable to move around.

Udoh, who had been in South Africa for six years, said that the country refused to renew his work permit after it expired, thus making him jobless.

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