President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, would be leading senior government officials to various parts of the country for engagements as parts of the efforts to address the concerns raised by #EndSARS protesters. He also urged traditional rulers across the country to assist his government in pacifying the protesting youths, saying he had heard their cries and was attending to their concerns. The President spoke while receiving a delegation of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Describing their “role as guardians of our traditional values and culture” as most critical, the President urged them not to compromise their neutrality “because this is what significantly confers on you, your moral authority and legitimacy.” He said Mr Gambari would lead senior government officials to various parts of the country “and directly engage with you as part of this process. He will be reporting back to me on your various perspectives. Admitting the enormity of these challenges and “our growing youth population,” the President declared: “There is no hiding place regarding how we should address insecurity concerns, youth unemployment, job creation, boosting industrialisation and preparing for a transition into a digital economy.”
The Federal High Court in Abuja fixed 16 November for hearing in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress seeking the disqualification of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who contested the 19 September 2020 governorship election as the Peoples Democratic Party candidate. In the writ of summons, the plaintiffs accused Obaseki of forging his university certificate presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission in aid of his qualification for the governorship election. They also claimed that there were discrepancies in the subjects Obaseki claimed he passed in his West African Examination Council examinations and those in his school testimonial. They prayed the court for an order disqualifying Obaseki from contesting the election on the grounds that he supplied false information on oath to INEC, an act said to be contrary to Section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
Two Zamfara Sharia court judges who were kidnapped by bandits about two months ago have been released after paying ₦1 million each. The two judges, Salihu Abdullahi and Shafi’u Jangebe were abducted on their way back to Zamfara from Maradi in the Niger Republic and were asked to pay ₦10 million each, but the money was not available. When the bandits realised that the judges could not produce the amount after several days in captivity, they called their relations and asked them to bring whatever they could afford. A brother to one of the released judges, Malam Hassan Samaru said, “When the bandits realised that we could not meet their demand of ₦20 million, they finally called us and told us to bring whatever we have. “We paid two million for the two judges and they were released.” According to him, seven other people who were in captivity along with the two judges had also paid large sums of money and were released.
Ethiopia’s Tigray region asserts that fighter jets have bombed locations around its capital, Mekele, aiming to force the region “into submission”, while Ethiopia’s army says it has been forced into an “unexpected and aimless war”. The Tigray allegation was read out Thursday evening on the regional broadcaster. Ethiopia’s government has not commented on it. Earlier, Ethiopia mobilised for war in the northern Tigray region, dashing international hopes of averting a conflict between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the powerful ethnic faction that led the ruling coalition for decades. On Thursday, the deputy army chief said the “country has entered into unexpected war” after Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament unanimously approved a six-month state of emergency in the region which is ruled by the opposition Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). “Our country has entered into a war that it did not want. This war is a shameful war. It does not have a point. The people of Tigray and its youth and its security forces should not die for this pointless war. Ethiopia is their country,” the deputy chief of the army, Birhanu Jula, said on state television, adding that troops were being mustered from around the country and dispatched to Tigray. Communications remained cut off in Tigray after services disappeared at just around the time Abiy’s office first announced the attack and military action on Wednesday. Federal troops and regional forces clashed in Tigray on Wednesday after Abiy ordered a response to an alleged attack by TPLF on government forces in the region. The TPLF was the dominant political force in Ethiopia’s multi-ethnic ruling coalition for decades, but quit after Abiy, a member of the Oromo ethnic group, took office two years ago and reorganised the coalition into a single party.