Five things to know to start your Thursday

Sunak top as six candidates make second round of UK PM race

As widely speculated, Rishi Sunak, the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has taken an early lead amongst candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister.

Sunak secured the most votes in the parliament, beating his closest rival, Penny Mordaunt, by 21 votes. Sunak secured 88 votes, while Mordaunt got 67 votes.

Others in the race registered fairly average votes. The votes shared are as follows: Kemi Badenoch – 40 votes; Suella Braverman – 32 votes; Liz Truss – 50 votes; and Tom Tugendhat with 37 votes.

The result above is from the first round of voting, and as a rule, candidates needed at least 30 MPs to support their quest before they could proceed to the second round of voting.

Earlier, Nadhim Zahawi and Jeremy Hunt were eliminated from progressing to the next round because they could not gather at least 30 MPs to vote for them.

The remaining candidates will battle among themselves to get the most votes, and elimination will only happen if, during the process, a candidate comes last.

This process is set to be completed by Parliament’s summer recess on July 21.

The candidates will travel across the UK to meet Conservative Party members to convince them to vote for them.

Read also: Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak: What to know about the likely successors to Boris Johnson

Jimi Agbaje denies defecting to APC

Jimi Agbaje, the former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State during the 2015 and 2019 elections, has denied the claim that he has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Agbaje reacted to claims that appeared on social media that he had decamped to the ruling APC to work for the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s President.

He, however, debunked the report of him leaving the PDP for the APC during a televised programme aired on Wednesday on Channels TV Politics Today, saying “I was shocked to wake up to the news”.

“I think it is one of the downsides of social media where mischief-makers can just throw up anything and it is out there.”

“There is no truth whatsoever in it. I remain in the PDP. So this is smoke without fire, “he said.

“I woke up this morning to read the news just like anybody. Normally they say there is no smoke without fire, but I think this is a case of where there is smoke, there is no fire because there is no fire in the first place.” he concluded.

Lagos flood kills three siblings, four adults – NEMA

The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that three children and four adults have died from two days of continuous rainfall in Lagos State.

Ibrahim Farinloye, the Zonal Coordinator for the South West region of NEMA, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Farinloye said that eight lives were saved during the two-day period that started on Friday, July 8, and ended on Saturday, July 9.

“Saturday, July 9th, 2022 has revealed that about seven people – three children of the same parent and four adults – died as a result of the flooding that was witnessed during the two days of continuous rainfall,” he said.

“About eight lives were also saved during the period, as a result of the flooding that was witnessed during the two-day continuous rainfall.”

According to him, the victims – Michael, 18; Elizabeth, 17; and Timi, 14 – were swept away while trying to relocate from their room to the main church structure.

The three siblings were living in an uncompleted building belonging to Mercy of Christ Apostolic Church.

Protesters storm Sri Lanka PM’s office after President flees abroad

Protesters gathered in large numbers to storm the prime minister’s office in Sri Lanka, demanding that he and the president step down from power.

The angry protesters defied the barrage of tear gas, water cannon, the threat of arrest, and the declaration of a state of emergency to storm the prime minister’s residence to demand he and the president step down amid the several challenging economic crises the country faces.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesing through a televised statement, said that he had instructed the military and police to do “what is necessary to restore order”.

But footage captured by both the local media and international media showed armed security personnel standing by in the grounds of his office, providing no form of resistance as protesters, some holding national flags, milled and took pictures.

Protesters could be seen engaging in several forms of relaxation at the PM’s office.

It is the economic situation occasioned by a high cost of living, and rising food and energy prices that brought the nation to its knees.

Libya’s oil chief rejects sacking, says govt mandate expired

A new twist in the political situation of Libya arose Wednesday when the head of Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) rejected the prime minister’s authority to sack him.

This raises the prospect of an open struggle for control of the state’s energy company, in addition to the various oil resource controls that already exist in the former leading crude oil-producing country.

According to Reuters, Mustafa Sanalla said in a televised speech that Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah does not have any mandate to govern because his mandate has expired, giving him the warning not to touch the NOC.

The international community awaits the next move from the prime minister to see how it will affect the supply and price of crude oil.

The political situation in Libya has already removed 850,000 barrels per day from the market this year through a blockade by eastern factions, underlining the risks to the already constricted global energy supply.

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