The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed the date for the screening of its presidential hopefuls. National Publicity Secretary Felix Morka announced the development in a statement issued on Sunday. The screening exercise was scheduled to hold today. Morka said a new date for the exercise “will be announced shortly”. The APC spokesman had, on 19 May, said a total of 28 aspirants obtained forms to contest the presidency on the party’s platform, but three persons – Labour MInister Chris Ngige, Petroleum Resources Minister (State) Timipre Sylva and Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele – failed to submit their forms. Ngige and Sylva were among ministers scheduled to resign their positions as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with Section 84(12) of the electoral act, which bars political appointees from participating in party primaries. A valedictory session presided over by Buhari had also been held for the ministers, with Ngige and Sylva in attendance. However, both ministers resolved to continue in office. On his part, Emefiele had sought a court order allowing him to contest the presidency. However, while the matter is yet to be concluded in court, the APC deadline for the submission of forms on 13 May passed.
Gunmen have abducted a local politician in Anambra, a few hours after news of the beheading of a lawmaker in the state became public. The abducted man, Uzozie Chukwujekwu, is a special adviser to a former chairman of Nnewi South Local Government Area (LGA). The area has witnessed frequent attacks lately. The gunmen reportedly invaded Umudiji Umuohama village in Ukpor, a community in the council area, in the early hours of Saturday. The attack occurred six days after gunmen abducted a lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye. Mr Okoye, who represented Aguata 2 State Constituency, was beheaded and his corpse dumped along a road on Saturday. The latest victim, Mr Chukwujekwu, a farmer, was reportedly abducted from his house. The gunmen, who abducted him, shot his only son in the stomach for refusing to open the gate for them when they invaded the area, Premium Times reported. The politician’s son has been taken to a nearby hospital where he is receiving treatment. State police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident and said an operation has been launched to rescue the victim.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it has suspended the resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route. In March, the government suspended operations on the route after an attack on the train by gunmen. Eight passengers died in the attack, while many were kidnapped. The train service was scheduled to resume today but the families of the kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers kicked against the resumption. In a statement on Friday, Yakubu Mahmood, spokesperson of NRC, said a new date would be announced soon. While apologising for the delay in the resumption of train services, Mahmood assured the distraught families that it was working hard to secure the victims’ release.
Germany wants to intensively pursue gas and renewable energy projects with Senegal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday during his first trip to Africa, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and food prices. Scholz kicked off the three-day tour in Senegal, which has billions of cubic metres of gas reserves and is expected to become a major gas producer in the region. Germany is seeking to reduce its heavy reliance on Russia for gas following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. It has initiated talks with the Senegalese authorities about gas extraction and liquefied natural gas, Scholz said. “It is a matter worth pursuing intensively,” he said at a news conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall, adding that progress in the talks was in the two countries’ common interest. On Friday, a German government official said Germany could help explore a gas field in Senegal. Sall said Senegal was ready to work towards supplying the European market with LNG. He forecast Senegal’s LNG output reaching 2.5 million tonnes next year and 10 million tonnes by 2030. Germany has invited both Senegal, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union, and South Africa to attend the G7 summit it is hosting in June as guest countries. Both countries abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sal said he would visit Moscow and Kyiv in the coming weeks. Scholz made a stop at Niger, from where he will fly to Johannesburg on Monday evening for the final leg of his tour.