Polities

Governor Wike Cancels Covid-19 Lockdown

The lockdown imposed in Rivers state to curb the spread of coronavirus has been canceled by Governor Nyesom Wike.

This was made known in a state broadcast by Wike earlier today, as he stated that no part of Rivers state will be under lockdown from May 26.

The governor also revealed that all land borders will remain closed, and that anyone seen without a face mask will be arrested.

“In the last two months we have implemented several calculated measures in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in our State.

Some of these measures were severe, but necessary, including the total lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas, which are, without doubt, the social and economic never-centers of our State.

Arguably, these measures and your sacrifices have enabled us so far, to contain and limit the spread of this virus to 4 out of the 23 local government areas of the State.

We are totally in control, working hard every day and believing that the worst will soon be behind us.

In continuation of our struggle against the spread of covid-19 in our State, we had planned to resume the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas from Wednesday 27th May 2020.

However, after a comprehensive review of the measures we have taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.

In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.

All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted.

All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.”

Gov Dapo Abiodun extends Lockdown Again

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has extended the coronavirus lockdown in the State for another one week.

Governor Abiodun disclosed this during a press briefing at the Governor’s office in Okemosan, Abeokuta on Friday.

Abiodun said he was “constrained to painfully extend the current ease of lockdown in Ogun for another one week.”

The Governor, while giving updates about COVID-19 cases in the state, expressed worries that 49 cases were recorded in the outgoing week.

Abiodun informed that 25 cases were recorded in a single day, stressing that there is an increase in community transmission of Coronavirus in Ogun.

On the lockdown extension, he clarified that Ogun residents, as usual, will be allowed to go out between the hours of 7am and 5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

While stating that the current phase of lockdown will end on May 31, the Governor said the second phase would commence on June 1, with further ease and relaxation.

FG lists diseases responsible for 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths

The federal government has said health challenges like tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, HIV, kidney disease and cancer are responsible for 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated this during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday.

Ehanire also noted that 70 per cent of deaths were males, while the remaining 30% are females.

Majority of positive cases recorded so far are between 29 and 49.

He said : “The core morbidity of the fatalities we have had to COVID-19, 70% of them have hypertension, or diabetes, and the rest were kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis and other sundry challenge.

“A finding from the analysis of the death patterns shows 70% to 30% for male and female around that ratio and about 70% fatalities were persons who are 60 years old while majority of positives were between the ages of 29 and 49; those are the most active ages in life.”

As at Thursday night, Nigeria had recorded 6,677 confirmed cases of Coronavirus.

A total of 1,840 patients have been recorded, while 200 have died.

COVID-19: Governor Ayade orders resumption of Sunday services in Cross River

The Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has ordered the resumption of Sunday worship in the state.

The Governor’s order was contained in a press statement entitled “Resumption of Public Worship” issued on Wednesday night and signed by Mr. Christian Ita, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Ayade.

The statement, which was dated May 20, 2020 with reference: Our Ref: GO/PRESS/012/VOL.I/ 202 said that the order suspending public worship in the State is hereby lifted with effect from Sunday, May 24, 2020.

“His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade KSJI, the Governor of Cross River State, is very grateful to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Christians of various denominations, and the entire Muslim community for their support and cooperation during the period of suspension of public worship in our state in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“His Excellency acknowledges that the understanding and cooperation of religious leaders contributed immensely in keeping our State Coronavirus Free thus far.

“However, conscious of the Spiritual Economy, and in response to appeals by religious leaders in our state, His Excellency has issued the following executive orders:

“The order suspending public worship in the state, is hereby lifted with effect from Sunday May 24th. 2020. Consequently, starting from Sunday, May 24, 2020, church services are permitted but should be limited to the sitting capacity of the Church. Same applies to Mosques.

“Use of nose mask is compulsory for all worshipers. Churches and Mosques should provide buckets for hand washing, or sanitizers. Churches and Mosques are advised to strictly keep to the above instructions. The enforcement team will still go around to check compliance,” the statement added.

Alleged N48bn Agric Ministry scam: ‘Your govt stinks, FEC filled with corrupt racketeers’ – PDP blasts Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said the revelation of alleged over N48 billion fraud in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has exposed the “monstrous corruption, sleaze and cover-ups” going on in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

PDP said the confession by the queried former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Umar Bello, that the duplicitous purchase of a building for a humongous cost of N7.044 billion passed through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) further exposed the rot that has permeated the Buhari administration.

The opposition party in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Buhari All Progressives Congress, APC-led government “stinks.”

PDP stressed that “such revelation has again shown how the corrupt cabal in the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been pillaging our national treasury and fleecing our nation of billions of naira through fraudulent transactions in various ministries, departments and agencies, while parading before Nigerians as saints.

“Nigerians were shocked by reports of how funds meant to service the food security system in our country are being plundered by those in power, resulting in the crippling of our agricultural sector thereby creating attendant hunger and starvation in our land.”

The opposition party described as “shameful that the FEC, under President Buhari’s watch, is being fingered in financial manipulations and procurement sleazes in the Agric ministry including the alleged disappearance of N48 billion contractors’ fund, over N7billion duplicated payments, diversion of N9.1billion worth of drilling rigs to unnamed private individuals, purchase of carcass building for N7.044 billion.

“In addition to misapplication of billions of naira meant for strategic grains, rural grazing area settlement funds and other food production intervention schemes.”

COVID-19 lockdown broadcast: Buhari, Mustapha causing confusion in Nigeria – PDP raises alarm

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has berated President Muhammadu Buhari for not announcing the extension of gradual lockdown ease himself.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, had yesterday announced the extension in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases.

Mustapha had made the announcement on behalf of the president during yesterday’s daily briefing of the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Recall that the SGF had over the weekend informed Nigerians that Buhari will on Monday issue new directives regarding the COVID-19 lockdown.

The President, however, failed to address the nation, rather directed Mustapha to announce the new directive on his behalf.

However, PDP faulted the assumption of presidential powers by Mustapha, to announce an extension of lockdown and curfew in Nigeria.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said Mustapha’s action has brought so much confusion in Nigeria’s polity.

The opposition party charged the president to put an “end” to the confusion by addressing Nigerians.

PDP stressed that Buhari’s decision was an abuse of power.

The statement reads: “Our party points out that nowhere in our laws are the powers to broadcast Presidential executive orders to declare curfew and restriction of movements vested in the Office of the SGF.

“The action of the SGF has brought serious confusion in the polity regarding the legality or otherwise of the directives contained in the SGF’s announcement.

“Such powers are vested in the person and office of Mr. President and not exercisable by proxy, directly or indirectly; which makes the action of the SGF a recipe for serious constitutional crisis in our country.

“Our nation is a state governed by dictates of the law, particularly in the exercise of powers vested in statutory offices, especially that of the President.

“The PDP holds that the announcement by the SGF is, therefore, another manifestation of abuse of our statutory offices arising from the abdication of responsibilities by President Buhari since the last five years, which had also become more pronounced in this fight against COVID-19.

“Our party, therefore, invites Mr. President to end the confusion in the polity, arising from the action of the SGF, by immediately addressing Nigerians in his official capacity to fulfill the demands of our laws in respect of the necessary protocols on restrictions and other management procedures in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our country.”

Buhari writes Senate, requests confirmation of new SEC DG, others

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday received President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for confirmation of Alhaji Lamido Yuguda as the new Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alongside three other nominees.

The three other nominees are to serve as full-time commissioners of the commission.

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 3 and 5(1) of the Investment and Securities Act 2007, I write to request for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the following four nominees as Director General and Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Their CVs are attached herewith.

The names for confirmation are: Mr. Lamido A. Yuguda, Director General; Reginald C. karausa, full-time Commissioner; Ibrahim D. Boyi, full-time Commissioner; and Mr. Obi Joseph, full-time Commissioner.

APC gets new National Secretary

The National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, sworn in Alhaji Waziri Bulama as the new acting National Secretary of the party.

The Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC) inaugurated Bulama at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, NAN reports.

The position of national secretary of the ruling APC, which has been vacant since 2019, was formerly occupied by Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.

Speaking on Monday, Oshiomhole said that the party consulted President Muhammadu Buhari and other relevant stakeholders before adopting Bulama as the party’s acting national secretary.

“The party had been meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders who came to a conclusion that Alhaji Waziri Bulama should be admitted as the acting national secretary of the party, pending the ratification by the National Convention,” he said.

Responding, Bulama said that he had no agenda of his own, promising to work along with other party executives to move the party forward.

He lauded the contributions of the founding fathers of the APC and the feat achieved by the current NWC of the party.

Bulama assured the national chairman of his resolve to help build a formidable and united APC.

“I want to assure you Mr. Chairman and all party leaders that I will work with my colleagues to ensure that the party works harmoniously a d consolidates on its successes,” he added.

Focus On Development Of Health Sector – Shehu Sani Appeals To World Leaders

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has called on world leaders to learn from the Coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world.

The former lawmaker expressed that countries that spend a lot on defence should now refocus their energy on the health sector.

He also expressed that countries should now include viruses as a potential enemy to national security.

He wrote:

Senator Shehu Sani@ShehuSani

The World must learn from the tragic experience of this pandemic or would be doomed the next time;Countries that allocates & spends billions in defence & peanuts on health must now reset to include viruses as one of its potential ‘foreign enemies’ or national security threats.

Gambari’s depth of national, international politics, is a huge boost to Buhari govt – Akeredolu

Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has hailed the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has hailed the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a congratulatory message by the governor which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, Akeredolu described Gambari’s appointment as a round peg in a round hole, in view of his experience in both national and global politics.

Akeredolu emphasized that the Ambassador’s long public career and as a university lecturer will come in handy in his new role.

Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has hailed the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a congratulatory message by the governor which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, Akeredolu described Gambari’s appointment as a round peg in a round hole, in view of his experience in both national and global politics.

Akeredolu emphasized that the Ambassador’s long public career and as a university lecturer will come in handy in his new role.

The Governor added that, “with the experience garnered over the years as an astute diplomat and a gentleman, Ambassador Gambari is bringing his wealth of experience to enhance the good works of the president and his cabinet.”

While wishing Gambari success in his new role, Akeredolu said he was confident that the new Chief of Staff will not disappoint the nation.

The Governor lauded the President for his choice, adding that the appointment of Gambari has once again portrayed president Buhari as a leader who has good intention for the nation.

Ondo 2020: Aspirants, committee secretary rejects Oke’s emergence as APC’s ‘Unity Forum’ candidate

The Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Prof Ajayi Boroffice who is representing Ondo North Senatorial District at the red chamber of the National Assembly has kicked against the emergence Olusola Oke as the consensus candidate of the Unity Forum, a group within the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Prof Boroffice who was reacting to the announcement on the choice of Oke by the Chairman of Unity Forum, Alhaji Ali Olanusi on Tuesday said the group was yet to adopt a consensus candidate.

Recall thatAbNaija POST reported that Olanusi who was a former Deputy Governor in the state announced Oke as the group’s consensus candidate billed to contest the APC’s governorship ticket with Governor Akeredolu.

While urging the governorship aspirants within the group to start preparations for the “direct primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State”, Boroffice emphasized that the criteria for adopting a consensus candidate were not met by the group, Boroffice emphasized that “the fact is that Unity Forum has no consensus candidate. This fact is premised on two fundamental reasons.

“Firstly, the political tendencies in the Unity Forum could not agree on critical processes that could have led to the adoption of a consensus candidate. For instance, while some members opted for zoning, some members disagreed. Recently, aspirants participated in a zoning process and a majority agreed that Ondo North senatorial district should produce the consensus candidate.

“Secondly, when the idea of consensus candidacy was mooted, the understanding was that all seven members of the Gubernatorial Candidate Selection Committee must unanimously agree on a consensus candidate. That condition has not been met.

“Therefore, it is the consensus opinion of the majority of leaders and members of Unity Forum in Ondo North senatorial district and other parts of Ondo State that Unity Forum is yet to present a consensus candidate.”

Also, the secretary of the committee saddled with the responsibility of screening and picking a consensus candidate for the group, Prof Sola Ehindero has distanced himself from the adoption of Oke’s candidature.

According to Prof. Ehindero, Olanusi has no authority to declare candidacy for the group adding that the report did not “emanate from the accredited secretary’s office nor does it reflect the true deliberations and conclusion of the members of the screening committee.

“I wish to call the attention of all members of the Forum in particular and the public at large to the following(1) H.E. Ali Olanusi is NOT appropriately qualified and morally empowered to issue any report on the committee’s deliberations mainly because he is currently a principal suspect in a bribery allegation related to the integrity and credibility of the report of the screening committee.

“The report is, in essence, a sponsored, compromised and fraudulent negotiated document to weaken the Unity Forum and pave the way for a WEAK candidate who can collaborate with the present administration in the state to tactically facilitate the resuscitation and emergency of the PDP preparatory to the surrender of the APC administration to the PDP in Ondo state through a previously negotiated agreement.”

Similarly, the duo Jimmy Odimayo and Prince Dapo Adelegan who are both aspirants within the forum have also denied the purported endorsement in separate statements issued on Tuesday.

Odimayo said “I did not agree to any endorsement and there was no decision according to the Secretary of the committee that anyone has been adopted. So the report of the endorsement is fraudulent” while Adelegan stated that “I was not a party to any meeting or decision process to announce a consensus candidate.

“To the best of our understanding, the other aspirants are still discussing amongst themselves on the possibility of a consensus candidate.”

Hold Buhari government responsible if coronavirus escalates in Rivers – Wike cries out.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has told the people of the State and the entire Nigerians to hold the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government responsible if COVID-19 escalates in the State.

Wike said this in his statewide broadcast on Friday, adding that nobody should be surprised if the coronavirus cases in the State rise in the coming weeks.

He said: “It has become imperative to alert the state and, indeed, the entire world to the fact that a dangerous escalation of COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers State looms large on our horizon due largely to the hypocrisy of the Federal Government and the continuous acts of willful sabotage by security agencies.”

He said for this reason, they cannot overstate the gravity of their present predicament, adding that “nobody should be surprised should Rivers State witness exponential increases in the infection and spread of COVID-19 cases in the days and weeks ahead as we begin intense testing.”

Wike said, however, that his administration was resolved and committed to remain strong and total.

He called on the residents of the State to see coronavirus as a matter of life and death by obeying the government’s directives to stay at home in order to protect themselves, their families and the state from the spread.

He declared that staying at home and staying safe for now was not just mandatory, but the best available option in the prevailing circumstance.

The Governor said that borders of Rivers State are continually experiencing serial acts of sabotage by security operatives, who allegedly allow and, in some cases, personally aid persons with risky COVID-19 status into the state.

“Recently, we intercepted a lorry-load of livestock with 22 persons who bribed their ways into Rivers State from as far as Adamawa State despite the Federal Government’s claimed restriction on inter-state travels and our definitive closure of all entry routes into the state,” Wike added.

He said that another 8 trucks with 200 persons hidden in loads of grains were intercepted as they were being smuggled into the State from the Northern parts of the country.

The Governor lamented that the extent of sabotage was such that even a Deputy Commissioner of Police unilaterally appropriated and exercised “powers to illegally issue movement pass to individuals and companies indiscriminately in utter contempt and direct violation of the lockdown orders of the State government.”

COVID-19: FG reveals next line of action on Kogi

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says the federal government needs to re-engage the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello so he can allow officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, test residents for COVID-19.

Recall that theNCDC had returned to Abuja after Bello ordered them to go into isolation and take the COVID-19 test.

However, Ehanire said the federal government’s effort to support the State with regards to COVID-19 had failed.

The Minister spoke during the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, yesterday.

He said: “We tried to send a team of the Ministry of Health and the NCDC into Kogi yesterday but there were some differences there to processes.

“This will mean that we need to re-engage the state governor again and work with him and his team to create the conditions to which the Ministry of Health and the NCDC can complete their job.

“The agreement we had with them after discussions with the Governors (Kogi and Cross River) is that we should send a delegation to the states just to validate the facts.

“Of course, we need that for our national records and to be able to report to the world what the situation is in our country because by now the whole world knows that we do not have any record from these two states.”

Kogi and Cross River are the only two States yet to record an index case of COVID-19 since the pandemic broke out in Nigeria.

NCDC officials not wanted in Kogi – DG, Ihekweazu

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has lamented that Kogi State never accepted the assistance rendered by its official in trying to trace COVID-19 patients in the State.

NCDC DG, Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu was reacting to the misunderstanding between the body’s official and the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

Bello had asked officials of the  after they refused his directive of going into isolation and being tested for COVID-19.

The State’s Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement, wondered if NCDC officials had something to hide by refusing to be tested for COVID-19.

However, Ihekweazu said Bello was saddled with the primary responsibility of the health security of his State.

The NCDC DG spoke during the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 daily briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

According to Ihekweazu: “You can only offer help where the help is wanted. Yesterday we offered that help but it wasn’t in a place where the help could be accepted.

“Unfortunately, that is what happened last night. The reality is that we have had a great relationship with Kogi.

“We have supported Kogi State in every possible way. It is one of the first states that has an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) supported by the NCDC.

“I think in the long term, the purpose of our existence is to support the states. They have the primary responsibility of the health security in their state.

COVID-19 lockdown: Rivers Government arrests 14 persons, to auction 2 truckload of cows.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Friday arrested 14 persons hidden in two trailers conveying cattle from Adamawa State to Port Harcourt, the State’s capital.

Wike told reporters that the trailers were intercepted following a tip-off from well-meaning Nigerians, who told the State authorities that some Northerners were making their way into Port Harcourt.

The Governor ordered the prosecution of the 14 persons who were arrested at Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government area of the State.

They will be tried by the mobile court and undergo COVID-19 tests by the State Ministry of Health.

“This fight has nothing to do with individuals. The law must take its course. You are aware of what is happening and then some people want to illegally smuggle persons into the state.

“Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor are under lockdown and the law must be obeyed. The trailers and the cows will be auctioned tomorrow”, Wike said.

“You heard them saying that they gave money to the security agencies before they were allowed to cross the border. The owner of the cattle in a phone interview said they have fallen short of the law”, he added.

The governor said that people must be alive to eat cow; hence, the lockdown to protect the lives of Rivers people.

Wike cried out that some people were desperate to smuggle people into the State, but maintained that his administration would remain vigilant, despite the challenges it was facing.

Ahmed Aliyu, one of the defaulters, said that they were contracted from Adamawa State to bring cattle to one Alhaji in Oyigbo Local Government Area area of the State.

Aliyu also alleged that before they were allowed into the state they bribed security personnel with N1500.

How we planned to take over Nigeria – Ansarul terrorists.

Mustapha Aminu, one of the members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimeena fii Bilaa dis Sudan terrorists group, recently arrested by detectives attached to the Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), has opened up on their main aim.

Mustapha Aminu and his younger brother Sahid, were among the nine suspects arrested for having committed various crimes in the Northern part of the country.

Mustapha (21), during his interrogations with the police, said the plan of the group is to take over Nigeria.

The two brothers alleged that they were forced to abandon school in 2015 and join a terrorist group.

Other suspects are Shuaibu Ahmadu, Aminu Shuaibu, Ishak Khalid, Yusuf Abubakar, Awal Umar, Abubakar Isah Muhammed, and Abubakar Mustapha, all of whom confessed to be active members of the group.

The terrorist group popularly known as Ansarul is said to have carried out the abduction of two expatriates working with Tricata Ltd.

They were also alleged to have participated in the abduction of Magajin Garin of Daura in Katsina State.

However, their ultimate goal is to take over Nigeria.

Mustapha said, “I am 21 and Sahid is my elder brother. We are from Kaduna State and were in the same college when my father forced us to drop out of school.

“I was 16 years and they said that I was too young to go to Libya. My father handed me over to one Mahmoud who taught me how to shoot and drive their operational vehicle.

“My job was to run errands till I am old enough to travel abroad for training. I normally assist them to buy food and sometimes watch over the people that were kidnapped.

“When I was converted, they told us that we were fighting against the Nigerian government. They made us believe that when we take over Nigeria, our families will become millionaires and own houses in Abuja.

“I was placed on a N100, 000 monthly allowance to stay in town and be running errands. It is also my responsibility to collect arms from our members in Sokoto. I will collect as much as possible and take to the bush.

“We do not pay him because everybody is working towards winning the war. Sometimes, they give me money to give him as gift.

“Last year, when the police arrested my father, I swore that I would leave the group because I knew that police were also looking for me. After some months, I became broke, so I decided to return to the group.

“I am sorry and I wish that my father did not withdraw me from school. I wanted to become a doctor and will still like to go back to school if given the opportunity. I do not know how police will end the activities of the group because we are everywhere.”

Nigerian govt reveals next action on Chinese arrested in Osun state.

The Nigerian government has announced plans to prosecute Chinese and foreign miners caught in Osun and Zamfara State.

It was recorded that 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals suspected to be illegal miners were arrested in the states.

Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, disclosed this on Friday, adding that they would be prosecuted at the Federal High Court.

The minister said they are working with the judiciary to prosecute foreign illegal miners caught recently in Zamfara and Osun states, adding that such action would serve as a deterrent to others.

Adegbite lamented the operation of illegal mining activities by foreign nationals despite the ban on illegal mining activities in Zamfara since February 2019.

He said the foreign nationals, who had been identified included Chinese, Burkinabe, and Senegalese among others.

Adegbite said the Chinese nationals, in particular, lured artisanal miners with money to work for them.

“We are going to go diplomatic by interacting with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria so that it does not seem like we are unfairly targeting their people.

“We will present the facts to them so that they can also make sure they keep these people in check,’’ the minister said.

Adegbite said that the collaboration of state governments was, however, needed to address the situation effectively.

He said about 17 foreign illegal miners had so far been apprehended in Osun while two were apprehended in Zamfara.

Adegbite further disclosed that as part of the efforts to curb illegal mining activities in the country, the ministry was considering the need to register all local and foreign miners.

He said that the ministry was also in the process of registering all artisanal miners in the country since the government had decided to bring them into the sector’s mainstream.

“We discovered that a lot of the foreign illegal miners were in the country illegally because most of them had visitor visas, which lasted for only six months.

“The ministry would work with the Ministry of Interior to ascertain the status of foreigners to remove the illegal ones among them,” he added.

Bola Tinubu Sends Message To Buhari, Mamman Daura Over Death Of Family Member

The All Progressives Congress National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his nephew, Alhaji Mutari Dauda, who is also Mallam Mamman Daura’s younger brother.

NAIJALOADED reported earlier that President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with his extended family, Daura community over the death of his nephew, Alhaji Mutari Dauda.

The APC leader also condoled with Mamman Daura, the extended family and the entire Daura Community in Katsina State over the incident.

In a condolence message issued on Friday by his Media Office and signed by Mr. Tunde Rahman, and made available to DAILY POST, Asiwaju Tinubu said:

“I would like to commiserate with President Muhammadu Buhari over the passing yesterday of his nephew, Alhaji Mutari Dauda, who is also Mallam Mamman Daura’s younger brother.

“May Allah SWT forgive Alhaji Dauda his sins, show mercy on him and grant him Aljanna Firdaus. May Almighty Allah also comfort the family that he left behind.

“My condolences also to Mallam Mamman Daura, the extended family, the entire Daura Community and indeed the government and people of Katsina State over this loss. I beseech Allah to stand by all of them at this moment (Amin).”

Lagos state governor -Sanwo-Olu asked to create separate account for COVID-19 funds.

The Lagos State House of Assembly as told the Executive arm led by Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu to create a separate account for the funds donated towards the eradication of the deadly coronavirus.

The members of the House said there was a need to set aside a separate account for donations made towards COVID-19 in the State.

They also unanimously agreed that the Amotekun Corps Commander be properly scrutinized by the House after the appointment by the Governor.

Both were discussed at the Committee of the Whole on Thursday during the presentation of the observations on Corona-virus Pandemic Emergency Law, 2020 and the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency Law, 2020 sent to the House from the Office of Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

It was also agreed upon that there is a need for a Co-Chairman in the Coronavirus Pandemic Incident Committee, who can stand-in for the Executive Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu while briefing the House on the COVID-19 expenditure.

Hon. Setonji David, while concurring to the recommendations of the House noted that it must be mindful of the essence of democracy when performing its functions to ensure that the Constitution is upheld and the Executive is subject to the House.

He said: “No matter the urgency, the different arms of the government must adhere to their duties, and go through the right processes.”

In his view, Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu emphasized that the Executive should take into cognizance accountability, he also made it known that such funds, materials, and equipment donated towards Coronavirus pandemic are backed up by the Constitution.

Hon. Olayiwola Abdul-Sobur maintained that the donations and grants received from corporate, individual and religious bodies should be domiciled in the Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF) and the Executive must be reminded that no money should be withdrawn from any public funds without the authorization of the House.

“There should be transparency and trustworthiness on the part of the Executive and they should be mindful of the funds which are donations and grants that are not budgeted for,” he said.

On the Amotekun Law aforementioned, the House adopted the recommendations of the House Committee on Information, Strategy & Security as regards the observations on the recently passed Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency (Amendment) Law, 2020.

The House resolved to adopt the Provision of Section 20(1) which subject the appointment of the Lagos State Amotekun Corps Commander to the confirmation of the House be retained as it is in the practice and procedures of the House that sensitive appointments must be subjected to the confirmation of the House; more so, it is expedient that appointment of Amotekun Corps Commander be properly scrutinized.

In line with Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu’s submission that the issues bordering on security matters should be given prominence; Hon. Rotimi Olowo moved that the House adopts the recommendations of the Committee.

It would be recalled that the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni on Monday, May 4th, 2020 announced the receipt of letters from the Office of Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, who wrote on behalf of the Governor and urged the House to consider the stated observations and effect amendments in the highlighted sections.

On both Bills, Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa committed the observations raised in the letters to Committees on Health chaired by Hon. Abdul-Hakeem Sokunle and Information, Strategy & Security chaired by Hon. Tunde Braimoh respectively.

We won’t bow to pressure to declare COVID-19 case in Kogi – Yahaya Bello govt

Kogi State Government has reiterated its earlier resolve not to be pressured to announce a case of COVID-19.

The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, in a statement on Thursday, described as fake the news making the round that the state government is covering up an index case of the virus.

Dr Audu described the report as mischievous and politically inclined.

The statement reads “First and foremost, it is imperative that the public realise that there is no State Government that can deliberately put her people in harms way for whatever political reason, and the current administration has been scored high by local and international observers on Health. We have and will continue to put the health of our people as first priority.

“We are not new to Public Health Emergencies even if the COVID-19 pandemic is unarguably the most trying the world has ever witnessed. We have been in an annual fight against Lassa fever as the State is located in the Lassa fever belt, recording several cases with regrettable loses. We were first to establish a Biosafety Laboratory For Lassa fever in Nigeria and this year alone we have confirmed 30 cases of Lassa Fever that was duly announced. To accuse the state of a cover up of Covid-19 cases is mischievous and at best politically inclined.

“Is it not curious that I am the State Commissioner for Health, a member of the Governing board of FMC Lokoja, and also the incident manager for Covid-19 in the State, yet I have never been informed of the claimed cases in the report. There is also a representative of FMC Lokoja in the State’s Squadron against Covid-19 / Lassa fever and never for once was any such case raised in our meetings.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic we have held series of meetings with FMC Lokoja, and in this week alone we have had about 4 of such meetings. Such claims were never raised by the management of FMC. One then wonders the source and intent of the mischievous report. We are more inclined to believe that such fictitious claims being bandied about on the media are just meant to pressure the State into playing to the gallery of a narrative that ensures all States of Nigeria have Covid-19!

“We reiterate our earlier resolve not to be pressured to announce a case of Covid-19 where we have none, irrespective of Media propaganda from any quarters. We also remain resolute that getting a Covid-19 test result will not be a criterion for Kogites to access quality health care. We have learnt from previous experience in the management of Lassa fever that delay in giving appropriate Health care service under the guise of ‘waiting for test result’ can lead to fatal consequences!

“Hesitation by Health workers to give adequate Health care service resulted in the State having 40-50% Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in the management of Lassa fever, whereas cases managed at the State’s Specialist Hospital Lokoja received 100% recovery, hence our insistence that since it takes between 7 -10 days for suspected patients to get their Covid-19 test result, every patient must continue to receive adequate and health care services, while Health Care workers take all protective measures and patients that meet testing criteria will be tested.

“We remain committed to the WHO, Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC guidelines of who qualifies to be tested, and as at this moment, no case has been officially reported to the Kogi State, and media propaganda or devious intents from certain quarters will not push us to announce that we have a confirmed case in Kogi State.

“The lame notion that all the States surrounding Kogi State already have Covid-19 will not cause us to bat an eye lid, but rather increase us in conviction that if some other States gave in to pressure, we wouldn’t . We will continue to take samples from appropriate patients and members of the public in line with the laid down principles.

“Our Isolation centers are open for inspection from appropriate quarters and the insinuation by the said report needs not be given any attention. Kogi state had activated a rapid response team since 2017 long before any epidemic was suspected to occur.

“ Our success in investigating and curtailing alleged strange deaths in Okoloke Yagba west L.G.A in Kogi state in 2017 was well commended and applauded by National and international stakeholders. The so called strange disease which was later confirmed to be Yellow Fever was appropriately annihilated with collaboration from our ever dependable Health Development Partners.

“So much fake news has been peddled about Kogi State and we are no strangers to it. Recently it was said that 7 billion naira was expended in setting up a Marquee isolation center, an amount that is greater than the State’s monthly allocation, how ridiculous!

“KOGI STATE WILL NOT GIVE IN TO PRESSURE TO ANNOUNCE FICTITIOUS CASE OF COVID-19. We will only announce a real case of confirmed Covid-19 where it exists, and we advise our people to follow strictly the State Governments guidelines in the prevention of the disease, for as it stands, KOGI STATE IS OFFICIALLY COVID-19 FREE”.

Kogi govt makes clarifications on alleged escape of COVID-19 patients from FCT, Kano into state

Lassa fever: Kaduna records new case, four deaths

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