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Princes William and Harry, other grandchildren hold somber vigil by Queen’s coffin

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The Queen’s grandchildren stood guard around her coffin in a solemn vigil, a day after their parents held an emotional vigil in the Palace of Westminster.

The Duke of Sussex joined his brother, the Prince of Wales on Saturday in wearing uniform around the coffin in Westminster Hall, ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.

Harry, who saw action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has previously been denied the chance to wear his military uniform as he publicly mourns, because he is no longer a working royal.

But the King decided his youngest son could wear uniform for the vigil, saying he would stand at the foot of the coffin, with William at the head.

William and Harry were joined in their silent tribute around the coffin by cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise Windsor and her brother Viscount Severn.

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Beatrice and Eugenie on Saturday paid a personal tribute to the Queen, saying: “Goodbye dear Grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we’re so very proud of you.”

The Earl of Wessex’s children, Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, are due to stand near the middle of their grandmother’s coffin.

Despite being a former Army officer, he has been in civilian dress for official events, including walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday when it was carried to Westminster Hall for lying in state.

On Friday evening, the Queen’s children – Charles, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex – took part in their own vigil.

The King, Anne, Andrew and Edward had solemn looks on their faces as they stood vigil around their mother’s coffin, with their heads bowed throughout as members of the public filed slowly past them.

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It comes as final preparations are under way for the funeral on Monday, with politicians and royal dignitaries from around the world expected to arrive throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, Prime Minster Liz Truss met the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand – Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern – at the Government’s Chevening country residence, a No 10 spokesperson said.

Charles has also met chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace on Saturday and visited police headquarters to thank the emergency services for their work in planning the funeral.

On Sunday, Ms Truss will meet Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, Polish President Andrzej Duda at Downing Street.

She will have an audience with the King before attending his reception for visiting heads of state at Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

Charles concluded his tour of the home nations on Friday, starting his day with a visit to Wales, after trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland in recent days.

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Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to queue to see the Queen’s coffin laying in state, with some facing more than a day in line.

Queen Elizabeth II ‘s grandchildren (clockwise from front centre) the Prince of Wales, Peter Phillips, James, Viscount Severn, Princess Eugenie, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor and Zara Tindall hold a vigil beside the coffin of their grandmother as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London. 

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Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council

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The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.

In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”

On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.

Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.

 

The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.

The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.

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Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.

The statement:

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.

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“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”

 

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Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list

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Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.

In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.

Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.

But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.

“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.

“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.

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Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.

He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.

But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.

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Newspaper Headlines Today: Benue residents flee as flood takes over homes

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1. Residents of flooded areas in Benue State have fled their homes as a result of the flood. Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Dr Godwin Oyiwona said on Friday that the flood had risen to a level of 11.1m on the seasonal flood gauge on river Benue.

2. The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party took a new dimension on Friday with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, making a series of allegations against the Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, among others. Wike accused Ayu of receiving a N1 billion bribe. Ayu and Atiku have refused to react to the allegations.

3. Geng Quanrong, the Chinese man accused of killing Ummu Buhari (Ummita), will be served Chinese meals. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) made the confirmation as his trial gets underway. Kano Correctional Centre spokesman, Musbahu Kofar-Nassarawa said Quanrong was not expected to eat ‘gabza’, a meal for prisoners.

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4. The three policemen abducted by some gunmen in Ogun State have regained freedom. It was gathered that the cops, who arrived Ogun from Zone 2, Onikan Lagos for an investigation, were captured in broad daylight yesterday along the Wasinmi road, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun.

5. Some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State have been abducted in an attack along Kaduna-Kachia highway in Kaduna State. It was gathered that the attack happened at a place called Tashar Icce, which is some meters from Kujama community in Kajuru Area of the State.

6. The federal government has told the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the National Industrial Court ruling and call off its seven-month strike. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the advice while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja.

7. The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, accused the former Senate President, David Mark, of working against him during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential primary election. During a chat with some selected journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday, Wike said David Mark was part of those who plotted his defeat.

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8. Following weeks of anxiety and serial postponements, the presidential campaign council list of the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was released with several notable names of party chieftains missing. The 422-man list has names of political heavyweights, including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors, as well as serving and past public office holders.

9. Against the backdrop of recent visit to All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate Bola Tinubu in Abuja, by some notable actors, the National Executive Committee of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, has warned its members to desist from doing anything that would jeopardize the interest and purpose of the guild.

10. Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo was yesterday, charged with ‘improper and/or violent conduct following the incident where he appeared to knock a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand. The incident happened at Everton’s Goodison Park after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat last April.

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