Macron’s second place in EU election ‘disappointing’ but no policy change – Elysee

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PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s second place in the European elections behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right party is a disappointment but will not prompt a change in the government’s reform drive, an Elysee official said on Sunday.

“There is of course some disappointment,” an Elysee official said. “But the score is absolutely honourable compared to how incumbents did in previous European elections. There was no sanction.”

“(The president’s) objective is to intensify Act II of his presidency at the national level, so there is no change in policy to be expected,” an official at Macron’s office said.

“Our goal is for the French to feel the change. We already have positive signals on unemployment and spending power.”

Northern youths under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), has issued a 30-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari, to implement the Ruga policy across the country, warning that the group will resort to a line of action after the ultimatum.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja Abdul-Azeez Suleiman with the full complement of the leaders of the coalitions, came hard on Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, accusing him of retracting and disassociating himself from the policy and apparently been obsessed by curious ethnic tendencies and haste to reassure his tribal lords.

The group did not also spare former President Olusegun Obasanjo, southern governors, former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Femi Fani Kayode among many others for opposing the policy, just as they accused President Buhari administration of ‘twisting and wobbling deceitfully around the visibly-stewing security situation in northern Nigeria especially the herders- farmers’ conflict’.

The concluding part of the communique after several hours deliberation, “While we warn all state governors that stand against the implementation of the Ruga initiative to desist and give peace a chance, we place President Buhari and the Federal government on notice that they must act to halt and completely stop this raging madness within 30 days beginning from today, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

“The Nigerian security agencies are also placed on notice to check and bring under control the current unbridled inflammatory remarks by the southern leaders, in the same manner, they swiftly coined a tag of ‘hate speech’ around the Kaduna Declaration.

“We warn the elders, political and religious leaders of southern Nigeria to urgently halt the inciting remarks that provoke hate against the North, keeping in mind that no single person or group has the sole monopoly of unguarded remarks that instigate hatred.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we advise the federal authorities and the southern leaders to heed the 30-day notice failing which we would most definitely be left with no option than to consider resorting to our decisive line of action,” the group warned.

Highlighting the observations that helped the group arrive at the conclusion, the spokesperson of the group said: “For too long, enemies of the North both foreign and local have worked strenuously to ensure that the region remains backward, divided, weak, confused and bewildered by myriads of challenges and problems so it cannot survive long in the event of a breakup.

“This conspiracy has been perpetrated with the active connivance of some leaders from the North, accommodated by the cowardice of those that present themselves as northern political leaders today and feed on the negligence and insincerely of the federal authorities.

“Throughout the last four years, the administration of President Buhari has twisted and wobbled deceitfully around the visibly stewing security situation in northern Nigeria especially the herders and farmers conflict. The administration had proposed several conflicting and ill-designed approaches to the issue which was apparently only meant to buy time and never to be implemented.

“As evidence of an agenda that has its root and pattern in history, the latest approach similar to the ones operated by the Taraba and Benue state governments that aim to curb the movement of the herders and forestall further clashes with farmers were inadvertently interpreted in ethnic terms by southern Nigerian jingoists in high places.

“Instructively, Yemi Osinbajo, apparently obsessed by curious ethnic tendencies, and in a haste to reassure his tribal lords, quickly retracted by dissociating himself from the Ruga resettlement initiative announced by a government he is part of.

“Thus the proposal, whether by error or by design, provided the southern leaders the excuse to set their dogs of war against the Fulani communities domiciled in, or simply passing through, or grazing in the southern bushes.

“The stage for this scenario was systematically set by one-time President Obasanjo who, previously, flew the false kite of the existence of an agenda for the “Fulanisation and Islamisation” of the country which was immediately orchestrated by the cultural and political leaderships of the three zones that constitute the defunct southern region.

“Trouble-shooters like Femi Fani Kayode and his ilk typically saw it as an opportunity for the venting of their accumulated frustration and pent-up tribal and religious jealousies by inciting the southern people to arms for the ongoing carnage and mayhem against the Fulani. This was encouraged by the persistent hate-filled utterances by various shades of southern leaders and fuelled by the equally venomous sermons by their priests.

“The cleansing operation also derives inspiration and support from the damning remarks of their state governors who also emphatically denounce and reject every effort to share space with fellow Nigerian citizens of northern extraction.

“Yet neither Buhari’s presidency nor our northern leaders could have the courage to see any element of hate in the war tunes constantly sounded and danced to by these warmongering southern elites the way they were quick to coin the phrase “hate speech” against us barely two years ago,” the group quipped.

Speaking further, the group said: “Having come this far, we restate our emphatic repudiation of the vilification of one ethnic and religious group or the other for whatever reason or justification and deem the targeting of the entire Fulani race for vilification, systematic dehumanisation, profiling, alienation or any action that will render them object of attack and persecution, not only immoral and illegal, but also abhorrent to our sensibilities and ordinary decency.

“Accordingly, we remind the nation that so long as the Fulani would not be allowed to enjoy their citizens’ right of living and flourishing in any part of this country including the South, no one should also expect us to allow any southerner to enjoy the same in northern Nigeria.

“We find it odd that some northern political merchants who could not rise to condemn what is happening to their kith and kins and do not deserve to be taken seriously, were busy going round in a bid to sell the conscience of the northerner to Bola Tinubu by shamelessly waging a campaign for a fraudulent shift of power to the South-West in 2019,” the group noted.

Adama Traore

Cancelo did OK during the opening period. Evidently, that was not good enough for Guardiola, who switched the Italian to right-back at the break – sacrificing Kyle Walker in the process three days after he was left out of the latest England squad – and brought Oleksandr Zinchenko on instead.

There was marginal improvement. But it was limited. And that Cancelo made the mistake that gave Wolves the advantage they were never to lose, just highlighted the consequences of the City weakness that has been exposed.

A week to kickstart Wolves’ faltering season

Manchester City 0-2 Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves will ‘always’ compete

The victory completed a fantastic week for Wolves.

They started it in the bottom three of the Premier League but a 2-0 win against Watford – their first of the season – lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Then, an injury-time goal by central defender Willy Boly earned them a Europa League victory in Turkey against Besiktas and raised their hopes of reaching the knockout stage.

This win, in their 17th match of a campaign which began on 25 July, leaves them four points off a top-four spot.

In the past 12 months, they have now beaten all of the ‘big six’ in the Premier League apart from Liverpool, who they knocked out of last season’s FA Cup.

Man of the match – Willy Boly (Wolves)

Willy Boly heads clear
Willy Boly was at the heart of Wolves’ resistance. His 12 clearances was three more than any other player

‘It is a bad day’ – what they said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola tells BBC Sport: “We were not at our best. We had chances to score but it was a bad day and we lost the game.

“We did not make good process, we had problems in that sense. We are a team that plays a specific way but it is a bad day, that happens sometimes.

“When you win games, you think about the other one. Now we have the international break, then we can come back and go to the other games.”

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo tells BBC Sport: “We played good, the performance was good but defensively was very good and very organised. The boys worked hard until the end. The fans enjoyed it.

“We had a couple of good chances early on but it is too difficult to play against Manchester City. They play so fast but the chances came eventually. More importantly is how the players did their tasks, very good.

“Adama Traore is improving. He is special because he is very fast, he is unique in that and we searched for a moment of talent.

“It has been a long season already, too many games, but we always compete. I cannot say any game they have not done that. This is the way we want to work, maintain and sustain this.”

Wolves’ landmark win – the best stats

  • Wolves have beaten Manchester City away from home in a top-flight match for the first time since December 1979, having drawn once and lost six there since then before today.
  • Manchester City have lost at home in the Premier League for just the fourth time in 61 matches under Guardiola.
  • Manchester City have lost a Premier League match at Etihad Stadium without scoring for the first since March 2016 against Manchester United (0-1), with Manuel Pellegrini in charge.
  • Wolves have beaten the reigning champions of the top flight away from home for the first time since January 1984, when they defeated Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield.
  • Guardiola has a 25% win rate in all competitions against Nuno Espirito Santo (1/4) – of managers Guardiola has faced at least three times while in charge of Manchester City, only against Ronald Koeman (0%) and Jurgen Klopp (22%) does he have a worse win rate.
  • Traoré had not scored in his past 32 Premier League games before netting twice against City, last scoring against West Ham in September 2018.

What’s next?

Manchester City will look to get their faltering title bid back on track when they travel to Crystal Palace – one of the few teams to beat them last season – on 19 October. Wolves host Southampton on the same day.

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