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  1. UPDATED: Iran Fires ‘More Than Dozen’ Missiles At US Forces In Iraq [PUNCH]

Iran fired missiles Wednesday at Iraqi bases used by the US military, officials in Washington and Tehran said, in the first act of the Islamic republic’s promised revenge for the US killing of a top Iranian general.

The Pentagon said it was still “working on initial battle damage assessments” after “Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq.”

“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil,” the Pentagon said.

There were no immediate reports on casualties but the Pentagon said it had been ready, after days of steadily mounting tension and exchanges of threats of war.

  1. PDP, APC Clash As 30 Die In Borno Bridge Explosion [PUNCH]

The  Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress  on Tuesday locked horns on national issues, including renewed insurgency and insecurity in the country.

The PDP,  in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said the ruling party, the APC, was responsible for what it called renewed  insurgent attacks, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in some parts of the country. It also accused the APC regime of looting.

But its counterpart for the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu,  accused the PDP of falsehood. He said the opposition party was not constant in its lies.

The PDP and the APC  disagreed  over national issues ,  just as no fewer than 30  people were killed and 35 injured  in an explosion on a bridge at Gamboru, Borno State, on Monday.

  1. 78 Medical Officers Separate Conjoined Twins In 12-Hour Operation [PUNCH]

A conjoined set of twins that had one liver, a protruding tummy and a lower chest were successfully separated, in a 12-hour surgery involving 78 medical personnel, at the National Hospital in Abuja.

Speaking during a briefing held to announce the successful operation, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the feat was an indication that Nigerian hospitals were ready to compete with the best in the world.

The twins were both delivered at the Federal Medical Hospital, Keffi, Nasarawa State before they were referred to the NHA.

The minister said, “This is a demonstration of excellent team work, which also shows that with confidence in the health sector, we can do great things in Nigeria. “One of the reasons why some Nigerians travel abroad for treatment is because they lack confidence in the health sector. They believe that we do not have specialists and the required medical equipment to handle to handle sensitive cases, but this case has shown that we have the expertise. No foreign aid was involved in the surgery.

  1. Don’t Rig For Any Party, PMB Warns INEC, Police [LEADERSHIP]

Ahead of the January 25, 2020 rerun elections in 28 constituencies in 12 states of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) against rigging the polls for any political party.

The president has repeatedly promised Nigerians to leave a legacy of free, fair and credible electoral process at the end of his second term in office in 2023.

Buhari, who met yesterday with INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and top officials of the electoral body, as well as the inspector-general of police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, at the State House, Abuja, told them that anybody declared as a winner must be the person duly elected by the people

INEC will conduct a minimum of 28 rerun and by-elections this month in the affected states.

President Buhari, in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told INEC to ensure that the game was played by the rules, without fear or favour.

  1. Hope Rises For 2020 Budget As Oil Price Gains $14 Above Benchmark [LEADERSHIP]

With global oil price rising to $71 per barrel, expectations are high in Nigeria that if the trend lasts longer, the federal government would have more funds to execute the 2020 budget.

The new price is $14 above the $57 benchmark set in the 2020 budget of N10.59 trillion which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law last month.

The increase in global price of crude oil is triggered by the escalating face-off between the United States (US) and Iran.

Analysts said yesterday that Nigerians may eventually become major beneficiaries of the increase in oil price if the federal government opted to use the additional earnings above the $57 per barrel benchmark to fund the deficit in the 2020 budget.

Last December, President Buhari approved a record N10.59 trillion ($34.6 billion) budget for 2020. The budget, passed by the National Assembly earlier in the month has a deficit of 1.52 per cent of the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – representing around N2.18 trillion – to be financed through foreign and domestic borrowing.

In the budget, crude production is pegged at 2.18 million barrels per day with an oil price of $57 per barrel.

  1. Court Stops NERC, DisCos From Increasing Electricity Tariff [LEADERSHIP]

As controversy trails the planned hike electricity tariff, Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and electricity distribution companies (DisCos) not to implement the proposed over 40 per cent increase in the charges.

The court further directed NERC and the DisCos to maintain the status quo until the hearing and determination of a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Human Rights Foundation, challenging the tariff hike.

The group had contended that “the implementation of the purported minor review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order will create unquantifiable hardship and damages on Nigerian electricity consumers.”

It also argued that consumers would be made to pay very high tariff, which had been increased by over 40 per cent across the board of the current bills.

  1. Ile Arugbo: Buhari Urges Truce In AbdulRazaq, Saraki Feud [NATION]
  • PDP chieftains caution AbdulRazaq, Saraki •Group backs governor over revocation

President Muhammadu Buhari has waded into the feud between Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and former Senate President Bukola Saraki over the recent demolition of Ile Arugbo (old people’s home) in Ilorin, the state capital, it was learnt yesterday.

The President, said a source, set up a private investigative committee to examine the circumstances that warranted the demolition and report to him.

According to the source, President Buhari expressed concern about the crisis, which has dominated the media in the last two weeks.

The former Senate President and his younger sister, Gbemi Saraki, who is the Minister of State for Transportation, had chided Governor AbdulRazaq for the demolition.

The Sarakis said it was an affront on the memory of their father, Second Republic Senate President Olusola Saraki.

But, the state government refuted the allegation, saying the land, which belonged to the state, was illegally transferred to the late politician by the Bukola Saraki administration.

  1. Probe Stalls Slain LASU Student’s Burial [NATION]

The planned burial of the Lagos State University (LASU) student, Favour Daley-Oladele, murdered by her boyfriend for money-making rituals, did not hold yesterday due to the sate government’s investigation into the matter.

The late Daley-Oladele’s uncle, Toyeme Solomon, told friends and sympathisers, who thronged the Atan Cemetery on University Road, Akoka, Lagos, that the funeral had been put on hold.

Daley-Oladele was allegedly killed for money rituals at a Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Ikoyi-Ile, Osun State, by her boyfriend, Owolabi Adeeko, his mother Mrs Bola Adeeko, and the pastor of the church, Segun Philips.

Her remains were exhumed last Saturday by the Osun State Police Command, led by Commissioner Babatunde Kokumo. He said the exhumation was to assist the police in their investigation.

Solomon told The Nation that the family was advised at the mortuary that the Lagos State government wanted the family to wait until the conclusion of the investigation.

  1. 2023 Presidency: It’s Too Early To Decide Zoning Now ― Tinubu [VANGUARD]

…Says Buhari won’t tamper with Constitution

National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Tuesday said that anyone that loves Nigeria would not be talking about zoning and succession plan for 2023 yet.

The APC national leader who met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja also said that anybody that was talking about the zoning of positions now was being completely restless and not focused on the agenda of nation-building and development of our country.

  1. Buhari won’t tolerate religious rascality – Presidency [VANGUARD]

The Presidency said on Tuesday politicisation of religion has no place in Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would never tolerate religious rascality in whatever form.

The Presidency also restated its support for Nigerians to practice the religion of their choice.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu said the security agencies are working hard to rescue people held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents and reunite them with their families.

 

 

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