Five things to know to start your Thursday

Calls for Govt to fund political parties are undemocratic — Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has described calls by some people pleading for the Federal Government to fund political parties as undemocratic and capable of slowing the country’s democratic advancement.

According to him, using government money is an invitation to anarchy, the suppression of democratic growth in our political system, and complete control of the political processes in the country.

He made his opinion known on Wednesday when a delegation of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) paid him a visit at the National Assembly in Abuja.

The speaker also argued that what is expected is for parties to be self-funded, a practise that is according to international best practices. He added that using government money to fund political parties could result in a proliferation of political parties.

“I am not sure how many countries fund their political parties; we will have to do research and to be sure that it’s international best practise …Government is an interested party if it will be providing the funds,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi.

“That will also mean they can compromise the system. There is also a proliferation of parties that will become a problem if the government begins to fund the parties since there will be free money. ”

Read also: 2023: Tinubu appoints Akeredolu as S/West campaign coordinator

Oluomo denies involvement in N500 Tinubu stickers on tricycles, drivers in Lagos

Musiliu Akinsanya, alias MC Oluomo, Chairman, Lagos State Park and Garages Management Committee, has reportedly denied involvement in the controversial sale of stickers bearing image of himself; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu to tricycle (aka Keke) drivers.

According to NAN, he was reacting to a video which had gone viral showing commercial tricyle drivers protesting against the sale of the stickers, sold for N500 each.

However, MC Oluomo said in a video posted to Instagram on Tuesday: “My attention has yet again been drawn to a video clip circulating online showing an altercation between two people as regards a sticker,” MC Oluomo said.

“It came to me as a surprise seeing that people were attaching the video to me and were also quick to state that it was a campaign fee to support the election of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“Naturally I would have just ignored knowing that it’s the handiwork of naysayers. Being in an election session, I also know their malicious intentions and the cheap political goal they aim to get with the video. I am however compelled for the sake of clarity to set the record straight.

“I did not know anything about the said sticker, neither did I sanction the sale. I would appreciate additional information as regards the location where the incident happened so that we can conduct thorough investigation.

Ayu promised to resign if northern PDP presidential candidate emerges — Bode George

The infighting in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took another turn after the withdrawal of the Wike’s camp from the Atiku presidential campaign train following Chief Bode George’s insistence on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP Chairman.

Chief George made his view clear on Wednesday when responding to questions surrounding the circumstances behind the sudden withdrawal of Wike’s camp from the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign train.

His views, which were captured live on Channels TV’s Politics Today programme, saw him express his disappointment over the lack of respect for agreements that are reached even on moral grounds.

“We are talking about removing him, or forcing him. He himself stated pointedly that, peradventure, if the presidential candidate emerges from the North, he would resign,” George said. “So why is he sticking to the point?” He questioned the moral fabric and integrity of the party chairman for insisting on continuing as the chairman knowing that his insistence was tearing the party apart.

“The issue we are talking about is a purely moral issue,” he continued. “Once we use that moral issue to allow Atiku to compete, because of President Buhari…is he from Anambra or is he from Lagos? He is from the Northwest; he is from the North. He is on his eight year,” he added.

He advised that Ayu resign based on his promise to do so if Atiku emerges as the party’s presidential candidate.

Putin ramps up nuclear threats as Ukrainian forces make headway in the east

Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking steps to escalate the invasion of Ukraine. His standoff with Kyiv and the West, includes a “partial mobilization” that he announced on September 21, following a stunning military setback in Kharkiv that has sparked nationalist backlash at home and raised the prospect of defeat.

According to NAN, after months of reported delays, the Kremlin-designated leaders of Ukrainian regions that are partially controlled by Russian forces abruptly announced on September 20 that they will hold so-called referendums on joining Russia from September 23-27, even as fighting rages.

The statements came as the Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament quickly passed amendments that stiffened punishments for soldiers who surrender, desert, or refuse to fight during a period of mobilization or martial law. The words “mobilization” and “martial law” were added to the law for the first time.

The next morning, Putin said that a mobilization affecting “only citizens who are currently in the reserve…and primarily those who served in the armed forces [and] have a certain military specialty and relevant experience” would begin immediately.

The moves may be part of a Kremlin plan to start recasting Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine as a war, a word it has essentially banned, and ratchet up threats – including nuclear saber-rattling – amid growing concern over Ukraine’s advances in the east.

Putin swiftly dialed up the nuclear threat in his address aired on September 21, saying that Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect its territory and adding, “This is not a bluff.”

The Kremlin’s latest moves come as Ukrainian forces push ahead with their lightning counteroffensive in the northeast and amid mounting complaints at home over the Russian military’s poor performance.

China sentences former justice minister to death with two-year reprieve

China has sentenced former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes and bending the law for selfish ends, state media said on Thursday.

In July, Fu admitted accepting bribes totalling over 117 million yuan ($16.50 million). This is according to Reuters.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.