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UK’s Sunak Dismisses Resignation Talk After D-Day Row

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday dismissed rumours that he would quit before the July 4 general election, as criticism about his early departure from D-Day commemoration events rumbled on.

The Conservative leader issued an apology after outrage from veterans’ groups that he declined to join other world leaders at an event in northern France to mark the 80th anniversary of the invasion.

His decision to instead record a television interview, which also prompted criticism from his own colleagues, was the latest misstep on the campaign trial for the vote.

But Sunak, whom opinion polls predict will lead the Tories to a shuddering defeat to the main opposition Labour party, was defiant. “People are gonna say what they’re gonna say,” he said.

He warned against thinking the election result was a foregone conclusion, and said he had battled back from adversity before, notably after an internal Tory leadership defeat to Liz Truss in 2022.

“The reality is I’m not going to stop going, I’m not going to stop fighting for people’s votes, I’m not going to stop fighting for the future of our country,” he added on a campaign stop.

Sunak had until January next year at the latest to call a general election but decided to do so early as inflation slowed, indicating a turnaround in the parlous state of the country’s economy.

The announcement — made during a downpour in Downing Street — took his own party by surprise, sending it scrabbling to find candidates to stand in the 650 parliamentary seats up for grabs.

Other unforced errors before the D-Day decision included a campaign stop near where the Titanic was built, prompting comparisons of his leadership to the captain of a sinking ship.

Sunak, a 44-year-old former financier who has been prime minister since Truss’s short-lived tenure, has also faced questions about the veracity of his repeated claims about Labour’s personal tax plans.

He will likely face further scrutiny as the Tories, in power since 2010, publish their formal policy proposals on Tuesday.

Labour launches its manifesto on Thursday. Party leader Keir Starmer on Monday said there would be “no tax surprises” in it for working people.

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Poverty Fundamental Threat To Nigeria’s Democracy, Says Dogara

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A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that poverty is a fundamental threat to Nigeria’s democracy.


Dogara made the statement at an event in Lagos, where he spoke on the topic, ‘Democracy and the Free Market Economy’.

He stressed that widespread poverty among Nigerian citizens indicated that democracy was not serving the majority effectively.

“Our democracy is not working for the majority of our citizens. Although they are alive and free, they lack the means to pursue happiness.

“Poverty is a greater threat to democracy than weak institutions because it deprives poor citizens of their political voice and prevents them from holding their governments accountable; shattering public trust in democratic institutions,” he said.

The former Speaker, who represented the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency for 16 years and served as Speaker of the 8th Assembly, highlighted the importance of utilizing democratic rights to build an inclusive economy that empowers the majority of Nigerians to reach their full potential.

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Niger Scraps Immunity Of Deposed President Bazoum

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Niger’s top court on Friday lifted the immunity of president Mohamed Bazoum, paving the way for a possible trial after his ouster in a July 2023 military coup.

“The court orders the lifting of Mohamed Bazoum’s immunity,” said Abdou Dan Galadima, president of the court, created in November by the new military regime.

The Niger authorities accuse Bazoum of treason, financing terrorism and plotting to undermine the state.

He has been held at the presidential residence with his wife Hadiza since the coup on July 26.

After Friday’s hearing, Ould Salem Mohamed, one of Bazoum’s lawyers, said they took note of the decision and that the defence team would make a statement shortly.

Bazoum is accused of having spoken by telephone with French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a bid for support “by an armed intervention” during the coup.

The court hearing had been postponed twice, with Bazoum’s lawyers complaining of several obstacles to the right of a defence.

In December, the court of the West African bloc, ECOWAS, ordered his immediate release.

Niger pulled out of the regional grouping a month later.

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Reps Panel Recommends Acquisition Of New Aircraft For Tinubu, Shettima

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The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence has asked the Federal Government to purchase new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

The committee’s recommendation is contained in a report released after its investigation into the status of the aircraft in the presidential air fleet.

“The committee is of the strong and informed opinion that, considering the fragile structure of the Nigerian federation and recognising the dire consequences of any foreseen or unforeseen mishap that may arise as a result of the technical or operational inadequacy of the presidential air fleet, it is in the best interest of the country to procure two additional aircraft as recommended,” the report reads.

“This will also prove to be most cost-efficient in the long run, apart from the added advantage of providing a suitable, comfortable, and safe carrier befitting of the status and responsibilities of the office of the president and vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

In May, the house of representatives mandated the committee to conduct a “comprehensive investigation” into the aircraft in the presidential fleet to ascertain their airworthiness and technical status.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Satomi Ahmed, chairman of the House Committee.

There was a heated debate on the floor of House when the motion was moved.

Some lawmakers suggested that the President should travel via commercial aircraft or by road.

Ahmed’s motion followed reports of faulty aircraft in the presidential air fleet, forcing the President to use a chartered plane from the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia during his recent trip abroad.

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