The leadership of the Senate met behind closed doors with the Service Chiefs over the lingering security situation in the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that those present at the meeting were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, and Chief of Air Staff; Air Marshal Oladayo Amao. Others were the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba; the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Ahmed Abubakar. NAN also reported that the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, was said to be attending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting when the closed-door session was held at the Senate. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said the security challenges had lingered and the Senate had hoped that the situation would have been better. In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff said that issues of national security must be seen from a collective perspective.
The federal government has defended the expenditure of ₦1.15 billion on the purchase of 10 SUVs for the Republic of Niger, saying that the move is to enable Nigeria to safeguard its territory in the best interest of Nigeria’s security. The federal government’s reaction follows the outrage that has greeted the deployment of such an amount of money to finance other countries at a time when resources are inadequate in the country and lecturers have been on strike for over five months due to poor funding of the universities. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a media chat with State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, said that this was not the first time Nigeria is supporting her neighbours. Ahmed insisted that the president had a responsibility to make such decisions “in the best interests of the country”.
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed to resolve the rift between the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike. Rather, members of the Board, during a meeting at the Abuja PDP national secretariat, resolved to set up a committee to take up the task. Briefing journalists after the meeting, the BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin said all members of the BoT are members of the committee. However, snippets at the meeting indicated that the BoT had dismissed the demand by Wike’s camp that the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu must step aside. The governor’s camp had premised its demand on an agreement said to have been reached earlier, that Ayu will step aside if a Northerner emerged as the PDP’s presidential candidate.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has asked the spokesman of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, to leave the country, blaming him for stoking tensions that led to deadly protests last week. The government said that the spokesman, Mathias Gillmann, had made “indelicate and inappropriate” statements which contributed to the tensions between the population and MONUSCO. “The Congolese government considers that the presence of this official on the national territory is not likely to promote a climate of mutual trust and calm between Congolese institutions and MONUSCO,” said the statement from the foreign affairs ministry dated July 28 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The Congolese government also said this week that it would reassess the mission’s withdrawal plan in light of the protests, a decision which MONUSCO said it supported. The mission is due to withdraw by 2024 according to a plan drawn up last year, but the government aims to speed up its departure, said foreign affairs minister Christophe Lutundula.