Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his team have pulled out from the campaign team of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar. This follows a meeting early on Wednesday morning at Wike’s Port Harcourt residence. Reading out the communique after the meeting, party chieftain Bode George said the campaign council list released by the party which has the name of Wike is “putting the cart before the horse”. “The pertinent issue remains the [Iyorchia] Ayu leadership,” George added. “We, therefore, resolve that senator Iyorchia Ayu resigns as the national chairman for an acting chairman of southern Nigeria extraction. We resolved not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu.” Another ally of Wike and former Plateau Governor, Senator Jonah Jang, lampooned Ayu for embracing Sokoto Governor Aminu Tanbuwal and called him the hero of the convention. Jang said Ayu’s action showed that the outcome of the primary was pre-planned to shortchange the other contestants. The pro-Wike group said their support for Wike was not because he lost the presidential primary or because he was not chosen as the running mate to Atiku but in the interest of equity and justice in the party. Among those who attended the meeting were former governors Olusegun Mimiko, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Jonah Jang, Ayo Fayose and Donald Duke; as well as former Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke; former Information Minister Prof Jerry Gana; PDP South-South Chairman Dan Orbih; and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche.

The Senate has confirmed Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. Mr Ariwoola was confirmed at about 1255 hours on Wednesday after about an hour of drilling and questioning by the Senate. The motion for the screening was moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, at the plenary at 1135 hours. The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had called for the screening exercise to be moved forward from where it was listed on the order paper. Gobir moved that the Senate resolve into the Committee of the Whole to conduct the screening as well as suspend its relevant rules to admit the acting CJN Ariwoola and his entourage into the chambers. The motions were approved by the Senate.

Edo State epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, Dr Uwa Okhuarobo, has disclosed that the state has recorded 29 deaths out of the 225 confirmed cases of Lassa fever between January and September this year, thus making the state’s Lassa fever fatality rate 13 percent. He also said that the state has recorded 15 confirmed cases of monkeypox with no casualties. Dr Okhuarobo who disclosed this in a chat with Daily Trust said the Lassa fever cases spread across 11 local governments of the state, adding that the four local government areas with the highest burden include Etsako West, Esan West, Esan North-East and Esan Central. “For monkeypox, we have 15 confirmed cases between January and September; we didn’t record any death and all confirmed cases have recovered”. According to him, the 15 confirmed cases are spread around five local governments of Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba Okha, Uhunmwonde and Esan West. He said the response to the infectious disease control in the state is not new but they are taking measures to sustain the response and rid the state of infectious diseases. Dr Okhuarobo said the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has given an executive order to the local governments that have a high burden of Lassa fever to put machinery in place to ensure that Lassa fever cases are brought to the barest minimum.

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has accused Rwanda of direct aggression, renewing charges as he addressed the United Nations. “Despite my goodwill and the Congolese people’s outstretched hand for peace, some of our neighbours find no way to thank us other than supporting armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Tshisekedi said in a speech to the General Assembly. “This is currently the case with Rwanda which, in defiance of international law and the UN Charter, once more committed aggression in March with direct incursions by its armed forces into the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said. Tshisekedi said that Rwanda has provided “massive support both in war materiel and troops” to M23, which has been increasingly active in eastern border areas and which he brands a “terrorist group.” He accused the Rwandan military of supporting the M23 in shooting down a UN peacekeeping helicopter in March in which eight people died — six Pakistanis, a Russian and a Serb. “Rwanda’s involvement and responsibility is no longer debatable in the tragedy that my nation and compatriots are living through in zones occupied by the Rwandan army and their M23 allies,” he said.