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Business & Economy headline Press Release sponsored

Forums reiterate commitment to Africa’s energy future


Emphasizing Africa’s Position on Natural Gas: The African Energy Chamber (AEC) and Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF) Collaboratively Commit to Africa’s Energy Future
With the GECF introducing a critical discussion on the role of natural gas at the 4th edition of the Workshop on the Promotion of Natural Gas Demand, African Energy Week in Cape Town will expand on dialogue, emphasizing the African position on energy transition and gas.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 30, 2021 — Global debate on natural gas and its place in the world’s future energy sector has taken the world by storm, with dialogue dominated by environmentalists calling for the sudden end to the utilization of the resource and developed countries favoring renewable energy investment and developments.

Yet, the African position within global dialogue is often negated, and the continent’s needs and resources rejected due to unilateral decisions to abandon fossil fuels.

With developed countries granted the opportunity to utilize natural resources to drive development, Africa should be allowed to do the same, and thus, while keeping in mind the current climate crisis, the continent and its stakeholders are committed to exploiting its significant natural gas resources to drive socio-economic growth in a clean, and increasingly sustainable way.

Speaking at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF) 4th edition of the Workshop on the Promotion of Natural Gas Demand on Wednesday the 29th of September, NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber outlined the African position on natural gas.

With the virtual workshop comprising a discussion on how natural gas can serve as a catalyst, not just for enhanced socio-economic growth, but for the global transition to cleaner sources of fuel, Ayuk emphasized the value of the resource for Africa, with natural gas serving as a key driver of the continent’s economic development.

Africa faces challenges that the developed world does not. With over 600 million people lacking access to electricity, and 900 million without access to clean cooking, the continent desperately requires accelerated energy sector growth to meet rising demand and lift millions out of poverty. Natural gas offers the best solution, with its considerably cleaner processes, increasing availability, and attainable technology positioning the resource as Africa’s saving grace.

“If Africa had discovered natural gas before crude oil, we would have been able to develop faster than we have already seen. We need to make our voices heard and they need to be heard now, tomorrow and in the future. We need to tell African stories about how gas will change our future and how it will change our continent. With 600 million plus people without access to electricity, energy poverty is real. It is not just a catch phrase,” stated Ayuk.

Meanwhile, with significant resources across the continent awaiting exploitation and development, Africa has the potential to establish energy security and independence for years to come, reducing the continent’s reliance on foreign aid and accelerating socio-economic growth. However, in order for the continent to realize national growth objectives, a collaborative and integrated approach to resource monetization is required, and both the GECF and the upcoming African Energy Week 2021 (AEW) in Cape Town recognize, and will promote this trend, driving Africa’s energy future.

“I think the GECF, with its focus and engagement, will not only shape GECF member states but the entire African continent and world at large. Gone are the days when we have to rely on aid in Africa. We have massive gas resources that can drive development and reshape our economies, and when we talk about a just transition, Africa needs gas,” continued Ayuk.

“The African continent is blessed with so many natural resources as well as great people – which is actually the most important part. Electricity is fundamental to how modern society and economies grow. We have two problems in Africa: the access problem and the availability problem. About 50% of African countries electricity output is 50% less than demand. With over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven natural reserves in Africa, this presents a clean option to address the continent’s power deficit,” stated Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Genesis Energy Holding.

Within his keynote speech at the GECF workshop, Ayuk emphasized that the continent is positioning itself for enhanced natural gas-directed investment and development, establishing an enabling environment in response to increasing international pressures.

“We are making a lot of changes across the African continent. Nigeria, for example, has passed the Petroleum Industry Bill and despite taking 20 years, it is better late than never. The Bill will drive a lot of incentives and investment into natural gas in the country,” stated Ayuk.

Also speaking at the GECF workshop, Mr Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, provided further insight into Nigeria’s natural gas potential, emphasizing how the PIB is enhancing gas monetization and investment. According to Kyari, “Nigeria has over 200 trillion cubic feet of reserves and the PIB has opened Nigeria up to investments in natural gas. The regional market is huge, and Nigeria has a role to play, while paying attention to greenhouse gas emissions.”

By incentivizing natural gas developments, resource-rich nations are actively pursuing the creation of domestic gas markets, with the resource offering critical opportunities for economic, infrastructural, and social growth.

“Look at Mozambique. Mozambique has gone from nothing to potentially being the third largest natural gas producer in the world. How dare we look at them and tell them to leave it in the ground. What gas can do for Mozambique, as well as the 600 million without access in Africa is what we should be looking at. With natural gas, we see hope, especially with our young people. These young people will be able to work in a gas driven economy and find a hope and a future in Africa. Let us come back to reality, let us be driven by science and driven by hope that we can use our resources,” added Ayuk.

Emphasizing the role of natural gas in Africa, and providing African stakeholders with the opportunity to not only engage in, but drive the conversation on natural gas in Africa’s energy future, AEW 2021 is committed to driving energy sector growth as well as the transition to cleaner sources of fuel. With GECF Secretary General H.E. Yury Sentyurin coming to Cape Town in November to drive a strong discussion on the role of gas, both the AEC and GECF are reaffirming their commitment to Africa’s position in global dialogue.

“We need a strong commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions. As Africans, we are connected to our environment. We have an obligation to our environment. The AEC is going to be a partner and stand shoulder to shoulder with [the GECF]. The GECF have not just talked to us, but they have talked with us, and this dialogue is going to bring us to a promised land with natural gas driving our future,” concluded Ayuk.

AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy DMRE, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2021 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.

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News Press Release

SERAP writes Buhari, seeks trial of high-profile corruption cases, details of missing files

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting him to “instruct Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to take immediate steps to expeditiously, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecute high-profile corruption cases, and to publish details of the whereabouts of allegedly missing case files, as well as the status of prosecution of all the cases being handled by his office.”

The organization said: “The high-profile corruption cases include 103 cases reportedly sent by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] in 2017, and the 15 allegedly missing case files sent by the now defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, [SPIP] in 2019 to Mr Malami.”

In the letter dated 26 September, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The authorities’ failure to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high profile corruption cases amounts to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international obligations. Continuing failure to prosecute these cases may create the perception of a deliberate effort to protect those considered to be very influential and powerful.”

According to the organization: “The fact that these cases have been pending for several years suggests that your government has not carried out its public, constitutional and international obligations, including the obligations to show that no one is above the law as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.”

The organization said: “Public interest demands that high-profile corruption cases are concluded within a reasonable time so that those guilty are punished and the innocent are set free. The rule of law and the preservation of democracy also require that the authorities duly proceed in accordance with the law against every high-profile person suspected of grand corruption, irrespective of where he/she is placed in the political hierarchy.”

The letter, copied to Mr Malami, read in part: “SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent inertia by the authorities to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high-profile corruption cases. While many of these cases have been dragging before your assumption of office in May 2015, several of the cases have not satisfactorily progressed, contrary to Nigerians’ expectations.”

“Speedily, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecuting high-profile corruption cases would demonstrate your government’s commitment to enhance probity in public life and willingness to enforce accountability in public life. The basic postulate of the concept of equality: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you’, should be your government’s approach to high profile corruption cases.”

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] particularly section 15[5], and Nigeria’s international obligations, including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, as well as the rule of law.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in acting to ensure the diligent, expeditious and effective prosecution of longstanding high-profile corruption cases, including the 103 cases and the allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile corruption suspects.”

“We would be grateful if your government begins to implement the recommended action and measures within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.”

“If we have not heard from you by then as to the steps being taken in this direction, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to pursue prosecution of these longstanding high-profile corruption cases to their logical conclusion, and to regularly report to Nigerians on the progress of prosecution.”

“People get frustrated in the system if the process of justice is not allowed to take its normal course, more so, when apparently deliberate attempts are made to subvert and delay the process.”

“There is a nexus between corruption at high places in public life and threats to the integrity, welfare, security and economy of the country, as well as the rule of law. There is therefore a clear need for an expeditious, diligent and effective prosecution of these cases, which have already been delayed for several years.”

“Expeditious prosecution of those suspected of grand corruption irrespective of the position and status of that person is imperative to retain public confidence in the ability and willingness of authorities to prevent and combat corruption.”

“According to our information, details of about 103 high-profile corruption cases being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] were reportedly made available in 2017 to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon request.”

“Further, the case files of 15 high-profile corruption suspects are allegedly missing. The missing files are among the 23 cases reportedly sent by the now defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, [SPIP] in 2019 to Mr Malami, and include some charges of fraud involving some former governors and senators, as well as non-declaration of assets and possession of foreign accounts cases.”

SERAP therefore urged President Buhari to instruct Mr Malami to:

  1. Explain why after several years these high-profile corruption cases have not been expeditiously, diligently, effectively and satisfactorily prosecuted to logical conclusion;

  2. Take immediate and concrete steps to prosecute the cases in close cooperation and collaboration with appropriate anti-corruption agencies;

  3. Publish details of the whereabouts of the allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile individuals suspected of corruption, including the status of prosecution of the cases, as well as those of the 103 cases reportedly sent to Mr Malami;

  4. Invite civil society groups and international community to monitor the prosecution of high-profile corruption cases, and to periodically report to Nigerians the status of their prosecution

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of the whereabouts of allegedly missing 15 case files of high-profile individuals suspected of grand corruption, and the status of prosecution of the cases, as well as those of the 103 cases reportedly sent to Mr Malami.”

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Press Release

“Nigeria is collapsing forward” Femi Adesina tackles Obasanjo

*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

In the past one week, those who think they own Nigeria, and their cohorts, have been making magisterial pronouncements on the state of the nation. What they couldn’t get through the ballot box in 2019, they are attempting to achieve through misinformation, disinformation, malevolence, false narrative, and outright malediction.

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wants us to believe that the country is collapsing, and is now a basket case, with the economy and unity in tatters.

Fine. Nigeria has a lot of challenges. Insecurity. Insularity. Fallen economic fortunes. Rising costs. Huge unemployment. And many more. But are those the only things happening in the country? Not at all. It would be disingenuous, even deceitful to say so. And only the unwary, the undiscerning, would be fooled. And well, including those who choose deliberately to be fooled.

To the applause of ‘sour grapers’ in groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Northern Elders Forum, PANDEF, and some others, Chief Obasanjo spoke, and called his country and its leadership all sorts of names. But am I impressed? No. These were people in the same boat before the 2019 presidential elections. They wanted President Muhammadu Buhari out of office for different personal reasons. But what did they get? A shellacking. Bloody noses, and they went away with their tails between their feet, like a beaten dog. Their boat capsized.

I remember that infamous letter of early 2018, a year before elections, from the professional letter writer. He directed the horse rider (read, President) to dismount, and allow another person to mount. The landlord of the country had spoken, and his word was law.

No sir! President Buhari politely told his former boss in the military. We went to the polls, and the people spoke in a loud voice. The landlord was ejected, thrown out into the cold.

That is why anything Chief Obasanjo says about this government cannot carry weight. It is not a case of accepting the message, and ignoring the messenger, as some people canvass. The jaundice of the messenger can taint and corrode the message, and render it unreliable.

And for the cheerleaders, the different groups Obasanjo spoke to, and who egged him on, they are no better. They all took positions before last year’s elections. They threw in their lots with Buhari’s closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar. They all got beaten together, black and blue. And for all of them, they don’t seem to realize that the elections have been won and lost. Till 2023. They remain in pre-election mode, forgetting that the train had long left the station.

Their strategy is simple. Say so much evil about Buhari and his government, paint him black, confuse and discourage Nigerians, paint the picture of a bleak future, till the people become forlorn and disconsolate. What they lost at the polls, they want to get through some other means, as if Nigerians were fools, incapable of independent reasoning.

The former President says the country is collapsing. I agree. Nigeria is collapsing forward. In diverse ways, under President Muhammadu Buhari, the collapse is in a forward trajectory, despite all the odds.

I love what Temitope Ajayi, a public affairs commentator, posted on Facebook earlier in the week. Under the title ‘When Nigeria Was Not A Failed State,’ he listed atrocious developments that occurred between 1999 and 2007, when Obasanjo was President. His Attorney General and Chief Law Officer of the country, Bola Ige, was murdered in cold blood. A serving Governor, Dr Chris Ngige, of Anambra State, was abducted, and thugs unleashed mayhem on Awka, the state capital, burning and looting for many days. Yet, not a word from the President. Nor any action to restore sanity.

Zaki Biam, in Benue State, and Odi, in Bayelsa, were leveled by soldiers on reprisal missions. Scores were murdered. In Plateau State, which had become killing fields, he called the state chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) a fool, a compound fool, adding, “CAN, my foot!” Today, that same man, Rev Yakubu Pam, has been appointed Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission by Buhari, a Muslim bigot, as they claim.

And more. In his eight years in office, roads collapsed, rail became history, Supreme Court judgments were subject to his personal interpretations, Governors were wantonly removed without due process, yet, Nigeria was not collapsing then.

Temitope Ajayi summed it up this way: “Under the man that is turning Nigeria to a failed state, as at today, work is going on at a frenetic pace on Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Alausa Toll Gate road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Express, Ikorodu-Sagamu, among others.

“A rail line from Lagos-Ibadan is at final stage of completion. Now that Nigeria is failing, it should be noted that all these projects are in South-West, the same place where the ‘savior’ who couldn’t save himself came from.

“I still struggle to understand the logic of this so-called failed country narrative under the leadership of a man who is doing what his predecessors failed to do, across the entire country, under the most challenging circumstances of low revenue since he took office.”

Thanks Temitope Ajayi, for being so succinct. You nailed it.

And Kurtis Adigba, lawyer, and another good Nigerian, who loves his country dearly, drove the nail further in. Also on Facebook, he posted this week: “For some people, Nigeria is good and doing well only when they are in control of things. They go about sowing seeds of discord and division, and turn round to talk about unity as if unity happens through division and not by coming together.”

Very profound.

Chief Obasanjo talked about the mismanagement of our diversity, saying it is leading to collapse. True? False. Nigeria, since 1914, had been an uneasy Federation. There is hate, mistrust, unkind thoughts, ill will, among the Federating units. If you meet him, kill him. If you can’t catch up with him, poison his footsteps. That had always been the relationship. One government after the other had always done its best to promote cohesion and amity, but hateful things Obasanjo and his collaborators have been saying for months and years divide the country further. They can’t sow the wind, and not expect to reap the whirlwind. When things suddenly go bust, and there’s murder and mayhem all over the place, they are often results of evil seeds of division and hate already sown.

I have concluded that unless Nigerians want this country to work, we would just continue to labor and labor. Government after government would do their bit, but as long as divisive, vitriolic comments continue, there would be no nation in the true sense of the word. Not even after President Buhari leaves office.

Adigba puts it this way: “The next President of Nigeria will face the same problem as President Buhari, if we don’t choose to do things differently and treat the country better. Right now, we see Nigeria as an opportunity, not a country to be nourished.”

Home truth. Nigerians are the greatest problem of Nigeria. We continue to harp on the negative, deliberately closing our eyes to positives. Nigeria is collapsing. Yes it is collapsing forward. Revolution in infrastructure. Roads, rail, bridges, airports, and many others. Corruption is being fought, with verifiable results, insurgency and criminality tackled robustly. The economy is being diversified, agriculture is working, we can feed ourselves. But for the enemies, the country is collapsing. Yes, collapsing forward.

Those who claim to love this country, and pretend to be the landlords, actually may love just themselves, and not the country. Otherwise, they would mind their language, knowing that things they say build up tension and animosity, which eventually boil over, leading to sorrow, tears and blood (dem regular trademark).

We must test and examine our ways, and decide whether we want our country to work or not. There are challenges, stiff ones. But they will be overcome, if we all team up, and eschew evil thoughts and words. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122, verse 6).

May they prosper that love Nigeria, our own dear native land.

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Business & Economy Press Release

Nigerian steel giant KAM aquires steel plant as FG cuts raw material importation

KAM Steel Integrated Company, a subsidiary of KAM Holding has acquired the Steel Plant Assets owned by the Standard Metallurgical Company, (SMC) in Sagamu, Ogun State, as part of efforts towards boosting its capacities for the Iron and Steel production.

The Nigeria’s steel giant, however promised to create about 10,000 jobs to Nigerians and urged the federal government to expedite actions towards supporting indigenous manufacturers in local capacity building for the Steel Industry in the country.

Speaking on Monday at the official handing over ceremony of the assets, the Chairperson of KAM Holding, Dr. Iyadunni Bolanle Yusuf, stressed that, “If Nigeria must come out of the wilderness of poverty, unemployment and insecurity among other social vices, therefore, the Federal Government must deploy its machineries to support local manufacturers in their bids to survive and grow.”

According to her, “The Steel Industry being a very important integral part of the nation’s economy necessary for speedy economic growth and socio-infrastructural development, there is need for government to focus more on the sector, recognize and declare Iron and Steel as national products to boots our foreign exchange earnings in the face of dwindling price of Oil in the global market.

“In 2016, His Excellency, Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria performed the foundation laying of our integrated steel plant with rolling mills in Jimba-Oja, Kwara State and by the last quarter of 2019, the project was completed ready to contribute to the local steel market.

“Today, KAM Steel has acquired the steel plant formerly owned by SMC and we believe that with this milestone, our capacities would increase tremendously and will reposition Nigeria as a self-sufficient nation and we hope that the Federal Government shall continue to provide the enabling environment and support for continuing the actualization of the vision of the highly committed Nigerian behind this project.”

“It is our target to create about 10,000 jobs to promising Nigerians in the next coming months as a way of complementing government’s efforts in tackling youths’ restiveness, boost Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), as well as promoting our Corporate Social Responsibilities in the society.”


In his remarks, the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, the Nigeria economy with a GDP of about USD 440billion is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa without the production of liquid steel.

He added that, “Nigeria has over 30 steel manufacturers, it can only produce 2.2million tons per annum using scraps and billets imported mainly from china. It is on record that Nigeria spends an Average of about USD 3.3 billion importing metals annually.”

Representated by the Senior Special Assistant (Technical), Mr. Olu Adedayo, the Minister maintained that, “The decline in GDP as a result of the fluctuating oil prices compelled the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to commit itself to the diversification of Nigeria economy, thereby prioritizing the development of the minerals and metal and agricultural sectors.

“The Management of the Ministry has been working assiduously towards the enactment of the Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill in order to have an enabling law for effective regulation of the Metal Sector in Nigeria. The Ministry Solicits the support of all stakeholders’ especially metal sector operators in order to realize this.

“The Ministry is also working hard towards fast tracking the operationalization of ASCL and NIOMCO. The Government is encouraging Metal sector operators, especially local producers of metallurgical Mineral raw materials and steel metal products to synergize with miners towards ensuring local beneficiation of raw materials in Nigeria.

“This would put an end to the dig it and ship it syndrome and boost down stream activities in the metal sector for jobs and wealth creation, the FGN is also encouraging all metal sector operators to comply with set standard for the production of all metal products in order to ensure that our local products compete favorably in the international market. In order to do so, metal operators, artisans and other skilled operators in the metal sector are encouraged to sharpen their skills via the metallurgical training centers in Nigeria.

The FGN is working towards eradicating the import of metallurgical raw materials and products that can be produced locally and support the development of home-grown technologies in line with local content.

“It is therefore with immeasurable joy that I congratulate, MD/CEO, Dr. Kamorudeen and his team for achieving this great Milestone in the history of indigenous effort at steel making in Nigeria. Prior to the take over of standard Metallurgical Company (SMC) by KAM Industries, my metallurgical field officers had reported following their inspectorate duties

“The acceleration of industrial development lies primarily on the private sector while the Government provides the enabling environment. On this note, I want to once again congratulate KAM industry and thank stakeholders’ and everyone present here today. I wish you success in your future endeavors, thank you and God bless.”

Also speaking, the General Controller of Standard Metallurgical Company, (SMC) Mr. Hussein Nourdein, disclosed that the acquisition process was highly competitive stressing that, “At last, the powerful and giant finally have. We are delighted that KAM Steel Integrated Company acquired our steel plant assets and we promise them our continuous working and business relationship.

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Press Release

Lawmakers warned on dangers of forced vaccination bill

…Says It’s Time National Assembly Members Got a Dose of the People’s Wrath

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has strongly lashed out at Nigerian legislators who it accused of working to impose a forced vaccination law on the country, warning that “it’s about time for the National Assembly got a dose of the Nigerian people’s wrath”.

The CNPP in a statement issued by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, accused the lawmakers of hiding under the lockdown measures to engage in impunity.

The umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in country also accused Nigerian legislators of taking bribe from vaccine producers.

“We have watched with uttermost dismay the speed with which the lawmakers are working on a bill to use Nigerians as guinea pigs for the forced testing of Coronavirus disease vaccines and endanger the lives of over 200 million citizens.

“If the lawmakers want to truly justify the bribe they have taken from foreign producers of COVID-19 vaccines, they should make a law that will provide for compulsory vaccination of all the legislators in the country as a way of proving their patriotism to the Nigerian federation. Let them volunteer to be the guinea pigs.

Read also: COVID-19: CAN kicks as House of Reps pass bill for compulsory vaccination

“It is even more shocking that the Nigerian legislators have not thought of a law to force electricity distribution companies in the country to compulsorily install prepaid meters in households across the country but can force citizens to be vaccinated.

“We recall that Bill for the unbundling of the NNPC, the cash cow of the nation and Bill to end gas flaring in the country are there laying fallow in the achieves of history, yet, because of insatiable appetite for wealth propelled by uncommon greed for mundane things of life, the lawmakers want to turn Nigerian citizens into testing animals for vaccines producers now and in the future.

“Why is the lawmakers opting to work against the interest of those who elected them? Why will Nigerian legislators chose to fulfill the desires of those who cultured and infected the world with Coronavirus disease for economic gains? Are the national assembly members telling us that they are not aware that COVID-19 virus ravaging the world is not natural?

“Why not a Bill for an Act to compel Federal Government of Nigeria to fund research for local production of infectious disease drugs and vaccines? Are we lacking experts in any field as a country?

“Many Nigerians have long claimed to have developed cure for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, where are the inputs of the National Assembly members towards ensuring that every Nigerian with a claim to a cure of any infectious disease gets his or her claims verified by relevant authorities and certified rather than selling the country wholesale to western nation and their multi-million dollar corporations? They won’t because such local inventors cannot afford millions of US dollars with which to grease the filthy palms of most lawmakers.

“The Republic of Madagascar recently dared the World Health Organization (WHO) and their collaborators by developing locally made COVID Organics (CVO) for cure of Coronavirus. Right now, the use is expanding to other countries after Madagascar had only 149 cases of COVID-19 with zero death record.

“In addition to the COVID Organics (CVO), already being marketed in the form of herbal tea in Madagascar, a new injectable solution of the same product is under clinical trials in the lying off the country southeastern coast of Africa with a population of just 27 million people.

“It then beats the imagination of any sane person that the Nigerian legislators will be this greedy for material acquisition, even at the expense of the Nigerian people who elected them.

“All Nigerians, the media, and all civil society organisations with good conscience should immediately stand up against this evil legislation in the works because everyone will become their guinea pigs and a tool for testing vaccines for deadly all ailments, now and forever if the bill is passed.

“May be Nigerians have forgotten so soon how a secret trial of a pharmaceutical drug in Northern Nigeria killed several children. The company involved, Pfizer, was sued after 11 children died in the clinical trial when the northern state of Kano was hit by meningitis epidemic in 1996. But Pfizer only paid compensation after 15-year legal battle for illegal clinical trials.

“The intolerable Bill for an Act by the Nigerian legislators to make such killing of citizens a legal act must be resisted now or we will all die in like manner someday soon”, the CNPP warned.

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Press Release

COVID-19: SERAP asks Buhari to use confiscated stolen assets as isolation centres

Sacking service chiefs is threat to national unity — Presidency

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an urgent appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to “urgently instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN to work with appropriate ministries and agencies to identify, publish and use confiscated stolen assets as isolation centres.”

SERAP said: “Using confiscated assets as isolation centres would provide safe and enabling environments for the treatment and care of people, improve the authorities’ ability to respond to COVID-19, reduce the risks to Nigerians and to public health.”

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire had last week reportedly begged Nigerians to donate and temporarily make their buildings available as isolation centres. According to him, more buildings would be needed, as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) aims to test two million people in the next three months.

In the urgent appeal dated 2 May, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “While it is important to ramp-up testing for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres would be counter-productive, as it would put them at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Read also: China publishes new animation mocking the US’ response to Coronavirus pandemic

SERAP also said: “Rather than begging Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres, the authorities should identify, publish and use confiscated assets as isolation centres, as a temporary measure. Using confiscated assets as isolation centres would be proportionate, necessary, and serve a legitimate objective, namely to protect public health and public order (ordre public).”

According to SERAP, “The proposed measure would be lawful, and more effective, as it would be in the public interest. Using the confiscated assets as proposed would neither violate the accused’s right to property nor entail a duty to compensate. The proposal by the Minister of Health would pose unnecessary risks to public health.”

The urgent appeal, read in part: “SERAP urges you to ask Mr Malami to urgently work out the details and modalities for implementing these recommendations with the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).”

“SERAP urges you to ask the Minister of Health to drop the idea of begging Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres, and to move swiftly to focus on implementing these recommendations as a step towards effectively reducing the spread of COVID-19, treating and caring for people, and fulfilling the right to health, in line with Nigeria’s human rights obligations and the sustainable development goals.”

“Our recommendations, apart from being entirely compatible with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations including the UN Convention against Corruption, which has been ratified, would also enhance the ability of the authorities to effectively and satisfactorily respond to COVID-19.”

“Reducing health risks associated with Nigerians donating their buildings as isolation centres would complement the authorities’ objectives of ending COVID-19.”

“As the right to health is closely related to and dependent upon the realization of other human rights, including the right to private and family life, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres may also violate this fundamental human right.”

“The recommendations would also enhance the ability of the authorities to effectively implement the country’s international human rights obligations particularly regarding to take effective steps to prevent, treat, and combat epidemic, endemic and other diseases, such as COVID-19.”

“SERAP’s request is also in line with the repeated public commitment by your government to provide details and locations of all recovered stolen public funds.”

“Publishing confiscated assets would also be entirely consistent with the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which ordered your government to tell Nigerians about the stolen assets it allegedly recovered.”

“The judgment was delivered in July 2017 following a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016 brought by SERAP. Your government has refused to obey the judgment, despite Mr Malami publicly promising to do so.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in acting to ensure enabling environments as isolation centres to treat and care for Nigerians, as the NCDC takes steps to ramp up testing for COVID-19.”

Copied in the urgent appeal are: Mr Abukabar Malami; Dr Osagie Ehanire; Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, ICPC; and Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC.

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Press Release

President Buhari’s address to Nigerians (FULL TEXT)

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE CUMULATIVE LOCKDOWN ORDER OF LAGOS AND OGUN STATES AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ON COVID- 19 PANDEMIC
AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA
MONDAY, 27th APRIL, 2020

  1. Fellow Nigerians

  2. I will start by commending you all for the resilience and patriotism that you have shown in our collective fight against the biggest health challenge of our generation.

  3. As at yesterday, 26th April 2020, some three million confirmed cases of COVID nineteen have been recorded globally with about nine hundred thousand recoveries. Unfortunately, some two hundred thousand people have also diedpassed away as a result of this pandemic.

  4. The health systems and economies of many nations continue to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  5. Nigeria continues to adopt and adapt to these new global realities on a daily basis. This evening, I will present the facts as they are and explain our plans for the coming month knowing fullyfully aware that some key variables and assumptions may change in the coming days or weeks.

  6. Exactly two weeks ago, there were three hundred and twenty three confirmed cases in 20 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

  7. As at this morning, Nigeria has recorded one thousand two hundred and seventy-three cases across 32 States and the FCT. Unfortunately, these casesthis includes 40 deathsfatalities.

  8. I will useam using this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of all Nigerians that have lost their lives loved ones as a result of the COVID nineteen Pandemic. This is our collective loss and we share in your grief.

  9. Initial models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated two thousand confirmed cases in the first month after the index case.

  10. This means that despite the drastic increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place thus far have yielded positive outcomes against the projections.

  11. The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19% of new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results. . These are mostly fellow Nigerians returning through our land borders. We will continue to enforce land border arrival protocols as part of the containment strategy.

  12. Today, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country.

  13. Based on your feedback, Lagos the State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC is hasve established several sample collection centers in Lagos and the FCT. They are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.

  14. Several new fully equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about three thousand. At this point, I will commend the State Governors for the activation of State-level Emergency Operation Centres, establishment of new treatment centres and the delivery of aggressive risk communication strategies.

  15. Over ten thousand healthcare workers have been trained. For their protection, additional personal protective equipment have been distributed to all the states. Although we have experienced logistical challenges, we remain committed to establish a solid supply chain process to ensure these heroic professionals are can work safely and are properly equipped.

  16. In keeping with our Government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers, we have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances and other incentives with key health sector professional associations. We have also procured insurance cover for five thousand frontline health workers. At this point, I must commend the insurance sector for their support in achieving this within a short period of time.

  17. Nigeria has also continued to receive support from the international community, multilateral agencies, the private sector and public-spirited individuals. This support has ensured that critical lifesaving equipment and materials, which have become scarce globally, are available for Nigeria through original equipment manufacturers and government-to-government processes.

  18. The distribution and expansion of palliatives which I directed in my earlier broadcast is still on going in a transparent manner. I am mindful of the seeming frustration being faced by expectant citizens. I urge all potential beneficiaries to exercise patience as we continue to fine tune our logistical and distribution processes working with the State Governments.

18.19. I have directed the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to make further plans and provisions for financial stimulus packages for small and medium scale enterprises. We recognise the critical role that they play in Nigeria’s economy.

19.20. Our Security Agencies continue to rise to the challenge posed by this unusual situation. While we feel deeply concerned about isolated security incidents involving hoodlums and miscreants, I want to assure all Nigerians that your safety and security remains our primary concern especially in these exceedingly difficult and uncertain times. As we focus on protecting lives and properties, we will not tolerate any human rights abuses by our security agencies. The few reported incidences are regrettableregrettable, and I want to assure you that the culprits will be brought to justice.

  1. I urge all Nigerians to continue to cooperate and show understanding whenever they encounter security agents. Furthermore, for their protection, I have instructed the personnel of the security agencies be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment for their own protection.

21.22. As we continue to streamline our response in the epicenters of Lagos and the FCT, I remain am concerned about the unfortunate developments in Kano in recent days. Although an in-depth investigation is still ongoing, we have decided to deploy additional Federal Government human, material and technical resources to strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts. We will commence implementation immediately.

22.23. In Kano, and indeed many of other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission.

23.24. Drawing from these, I implore all Nigerians to continue to adhere strictly to the advisories published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. These include rRegular hand washing, social physical distancing, wearing of face masks/coverings in public, avoidance of non-essential movement and travels and avoidance of large gatherings remain paramount.

24.25. Fellow Nigerians, for the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under either Federal Government or State Government lockdowns. As I mentioned earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing down the spread of COVID nineteen in Nigeria.

25.26. However, such lock downs have also coame at a very heavy economic cost. Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihoods. Many businesses have also shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines or cures.

26.27. In my last address, I mentioned the Federal Government will develop strategies and policies that will protect lives while preserving livelihoods.

27.28. In these two weeks, the Federal and State Governments have jointly and collaboratively worked hard on thishow to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practice while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.

28.29. We looked atassessed how our factories, markets, traders and transporters can continue to function while at the same time respecting adhering to the NCDC guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.

29.30. We assessed how our children can continue to learn without compromising their health.

30.31. We reviewed how our farmers can safely plant and harvest in this rainy season to ensure our food security is not compromised. Furthermore, we also discussed how to safely transport food items from rural production areas to industrial processing zones and ultimately, to the key consumption centers.

31.32. Our goal was to develop implementable policies that will ensure our economy continues to function with while still maintaining our aggressive response to the COVID nineteen pandemic. These same difficult decisions are being faced by leaders around the world.

32.33. Based on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID nineteen, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved for a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from May 4th, 2020 at 9am.

33.34. However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors.

34.35. The highlights of the new nationwide measures are as follows;
a. Selected businesses and offices can open from 9am to 6pm;
b. There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements are will be prohibited during this period except essential services;
c. There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice;
d. There will be Ppartial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed to allowfor the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers; and
e. We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene. Furthermore, the restrictions of on social and religious gathers shall remain in place. State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

35.36. For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos & Ogun States shall subsist remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Saturday, 2nd May 2020 at 9am.

36.37. The Presidential Task Force shall provide sector specific details and timing guidelines to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and institutions.
37. The above are guidelines. State Governors may choose to amend adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued aboveon public health and hygiene.
38.
38.39. These revised guidelines do will not apply for to Kano State. The total lockdown recently announced by the State Government shall remain enforced be enforced for the full duration. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic.

39.40. I wish to once again commend the frontline workers across the country who, on a daily basis, risk everything to ensure we win this fight. For those who got infected in the line of duty, be rest assured that Government will do all it takes to support you and your families during this exceedingly difficult period. I will also take this opportunity to assure you all that your safety, wellbeing and welfare remains paramount to our Government.

40.41. I will also recognize recognise the support we have received from our traditional rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and other prominent religious and community leaders. Your cooperation and support has significantly contributed to the successes we have recorded to date. I will urge you all to please continue to create awareness on the seriousness of coronavirus among your worshippers and communities while appealing that they strictly comply with public health advisories.

41.42. I will also thank the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Presidential Task Force for all their hard work to date. Through this collaboration, I remain confident that success is achievable.

42.43. I also wish to thank corporate organisations, philanthropists, the UN family, the European Union, friendly nations, the media and other partners that have taken up the responsibility of supporting our response.

43.44. And finally, I will thank all Nigerians again for your patience and cooperation during this difficult and challenging period. I assure you that government shall continue to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and livelihoods our citizens and residents.
39. I thank you for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Press Release

Nigerians will continue to remember Abba Kyari — Alaafin of Oyo


The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff, Abba Kiyari.

In a statement made available today by Bode Durojaiye, the Monarch’s Chief Press Officer, Oba Adeyemi III described the deceased as a detribalised, dedicated, hardworking and committed top government functionary whose love for the country is worthy of emulation.

He said Nigerians would continue to remember the late Chief of Staff for his steadfastness, uprightness and unity of purpose.

Read also: Buhari’s minister reveals 130,455 out of 428,941 who received cash in 24 states are from Katsina

The Paramount Ruler who used the occasion to appeal to Nigerians to eschew vortex of cynism on the global pandemic, COVID-19, adding that the virus is real and no respecter of age, creed, religion or ethnicity.

He said “I urge all and sundry not to disregard and disobey all rules and regulations laid down by both State and the Federal Governments, but to strictly abide by them. Corona virus is real, though not a death sentence, but timely detection and cure saves lives”.

The royal father also sympathised with the deceased family, the Kanuri tribe and the people of Borno State and all who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic as he prayed Allah, God, Olodunare to grant the souls of the departed including late Chief of Staff eternal res

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Abba Kyari’s death national loss — Emir of Ilorin mourns Buhari’s Chief of Staff


The paramount traditional ruler and Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has sent his condolence over the death of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kyari died Friday night of COVID-19 at the age of 81.

In a condolence message by his spokesperson, Abdulazeez Arowona, the Emir of Ilorin described demise of Kyari as a national loss, noting his contributions to growth and development of Nigeria.

The statement reads:

The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Traditional Council, Mai-Martaba Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has condoled with the federal government over the demise of the Chief of Staff in the presidency, Abba Kyari, who died on Friday night.

He noted that “late Abba Kyari’s contributions to the national growth and development as a trusted hand and confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be over emphasized in the space of time.”

According to him, “the deceased was an experienced administrator and nationalists who demonstrated his worths through his discharge of unqualifiable supports for the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in a bid to giving Nigerians quality leadership and governance.

“He led the federal government delegations to the ancient palace of Ilorin to commiserate with us during the demise of our beloved mother, Hajia Aishat Nma Sulu-Gambari, as a sign of love and honour for the Ilorin Emirate and Kwara State at large.”

Read also: 10 facts to know about Abba kyari

The monarch however condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari, government and people of Borno state, immediate and extended families of late Abba Kyari over the great loss adding that Nigerians would not forget him so soon. He prayed Allah to forgive his shortcomings, accept his good deeds and admit him into al-janatul firdaos.

Alhaji Sulu-Gambari therefore appealed to the people of Ilorin emirate and beyond to support government in its efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state by strictly adhering to the movement restrictions, social distancing and stay at home orders

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Press Release

Covid-19: President Buhari addresses Nigerians for the second time (full text)

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC MONDAY, 13TH APRIL 2020

Published 28 mins ago on April 13, 2020By editor
1. Fellow Nigerians

  1. In my address on Sunday, 29h March, 2020, I asked the residents of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory to stay at home for an initial period of fourteen days starting from the Monday, 30 March 2020

  2. Many State Governments also introduced similar restrictions

  3. As your democratically elected leaders, we made this very difficult Decision knowing fully well it will Severely disrupt your livelihoods and bring undue hardship to you, your loved ones and your communities.

  4. However, such sacrifices are needed to limit the spread of COVID nineteen in our country. They were necessary to save lives.

6 Our objective was, and still remains, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide space, time and resources for an aggressive and collective action.

  1. The level of compliance to the CoVID nineteen guidelines issued has been generally good across the country. I wish to thank you all most sincerely for the great sacrifice you are making for each other at this critical time.

  2. I will take this opportunity to recognise the massive support from our traditional rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) during this pandemic

  3. I also acknowledge the support and contributions received from public spirited individuals, the business community and our international partners and friends

  4. I must also thank the media houses, celebrities and other public figures for the great work they are doing in sensitizing our citizens on hygienic practices, social distancing and issues associated with social gatherings

  5. As a result of the overwhelming support and cooperation received. We were able to achieve a lot during these 14 days of initial lockdown

  6. We implemented comprehensive public health measures that intensified our case identification testing isolation and contact tracing capabilities.

  7. To date, we have identified 92% of all identified contacts while doubling the number of testing laboratories in the country and raising our testing capacity to 1,500 tests per day

  8. We also trained over 7,000 Healthcare workers on infection prevention and control while deploying NCDC teams to 19 states of the federation

  9. Lagos and Abuja today have the capacity to admit some 1,000 patients each across several treatment centres

  10. Many State Governments have also made provisions for isolation wards and treatment centres. We will also build similar centers near our airports and land borders

  11. Using our resources, and those provided through donations we will adequately equip and man these centres in the coming weeks. Already health care workers across all the treatment centers have been provided with the personal protective equipment that they need to safely carry out the care they provide.

  12. Our hope and prayers are that we do not have to use all these centres. But we will be ready for all eventualities.

19 At this point, I must recognise the incredible work being done by our healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory

  1. You are our heroes and as a nation, we will forever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult time. More measures to motivate our health care workers are being introduced which we will announce in the coming weeks.

  2. As a nation, we are on the right track to win the fight against COVID nineteen.

  3. However, remain concerned about the increase in number of confirmed cases and deaths being reported across the world and in Nigeria specifically.

  4. On 30th March 2020, when we started our lockdown in conforming with medical and scientific advice, the total number of confirmed cases across the world was over seven hundred and eighty thousand.

  5. Yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID nineteen cases globally was over one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand. This figure is more than double in two weeks!

  6. In the last fourteen days alone, over seventy thousand people have died due to this disease.

  7. In the same period, we have seen the health system of even the most developed nations being overwhelmed by this virus.

  8. Here in Nigeria, we had 131 confirmed cases of COVID nineteen in twelve States on 30th March 2020. We had two fatalities then.

  9. This morning, Nigeria had 323 confirmed cases in twenty States. Unfortunately we now have ten fatalities. Lagos State remains the center and accounts for 54% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria. When combined with the FCT, the two locations represent over 71% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria.

  10. Most of our efforts will continue to focus in these two locations.

  11. Majority of the confirmed cases in Lagos and the FCT are individuals with recent international travel history or those that came into contact with returnees from international trips.

  12. By closing our airports and land borders and putting strict conditions for seaport activities, we have reduced the impact of external factors on our country. However, the increase in the number of States with positive cases is alarming

32 The National Centre for Disease Control has informed me that, a large proportion of new infections are now occurring in our communities through person-to-person contacts. So we must pay attention to the danger of close contact between person to person.

33 At this point, I will remind all Nigerians to continue to take responsibility for the recommended measures to prevent transmission, including maintaining physical distancing, good personal hygiene and staying at home.
34. In addition, I have signed the Quarantine Order in this regard and additional regulations to provide clarity in respect of the control measures for the COVID nineteen pandemic which will be released soon.
35. The public health response to COVID nineteen is built on our ability to detect, test and admit cases as well as trace all their contacts. While note some appreciable progress, we can achieve a lot more.
36. Today, the cessation of movement, physical distancing measures and the prohibition of mass gatherings remain the most efficient and effective way of reducing the transmission of the virus. By sustaining these measures, combined with extensive testing and contact tracing, we can take control and limit the spread of the disease.
37. Our approach to the virus remains in 2 steps – First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners.
38. With this in mind and having carefully considered the briefings and Report from the Presidential Task Force and the various options offered, it has become necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT for another fourteen days effective from 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020. I am therefore once again asking you all to work with Government in this fight.

  1. This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. Mosques in Makkah and Madina have been closed. The Pope celebrated Mass on an empty St. Peter’s Square. The famous Notre Dome cathedral in Paris held Easter Mass with less than 10 people. India, Italy and France are in complete lockdown. Other countries are in the process of following suit. We cannot be lax
  2. The previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain.
  3. This is a difficult decision to take, but I am convinced that this is the right decision. The evidence is clear.
  4. The repercussions of any premature end to the lockdown action is unimaginable.
  5. We must not lose the gains achieved thus far. We must not allow rapid increase in community transmission. We must endure a little longer.
  6. I will therefore take this opportunity to urge you all to notify the relevant authorities if you or your loved ones develop any symptoms. I will also ask our health care professionals to redouble their efforts to identify all suspect cases, bring them into care and prevent transmission to others.
  7. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained restriction of movement on its economy. I am fully aware of the great difficulties experienced especially by those who earn a daily wage such as traders, dayworkers, artisans and manual workers.
  8. For this group, their sustenance depends on their ability to go out. Their livelihoods depend on them mingling with others and about seeking work. But despite these realities we must not change the restrictions.
  9. In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.
  10. I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks. This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs. A technical committee is working on this and will submit a report to me by the end of this week.
  11. The Security Agencies have risen to the challenges posed by this unprecedented situation with gallantry and I commend them. I urge them to continue to maintain utmost vigilance, firmness as well as restraint in enforcing the restriction orders while not neglecting statutory security responsibilities.
  12. Fellow Nigerians, follow the instructions on social distancing. The irresponsibility of the few can lead to the death of the many. Your freedom ends where other people’s rights begin.
  13. The response of our State Governors has been particularly impressive, especially in aligning their policies and actions to those of the Federal Government.
  14. In the coming weeks, I want to assure you that the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force, will do whatever it takes to support you in this very difficult period. I have no doubt that working together and carefully following the rules, we shall get over this pandemic.
  15. I must also thank the Legislative arm of Government for all their Support and donations in this very difficult period. This collaboration is critical tone short and long-term success of all the measures that we have instituted in response to the pandemic
  16. As a result of this pandemic, the world as we know it has changed. The way we interact with each other, conduct our businesses and trade, travel, educate our children and earn our livelihoods will be different.
  17. To ensure our economy adapts to this new reality, I am directing the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment and Education to Jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a “Nigerian economy functioning with COVID nineteen”

  18. The Ministers will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and Economic Sustainability Committee in executing this mandate.

  19. I am also directing the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID nineteen to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimized.
  20. Finally, I want to thank the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID nineteen for all their hard work so far. Indeed, the patriotism shown in your work Is exemplary and highly commendable
  21. Fellow Nigerians, I have no doubt that by working together and carefully following the rules, we shall get over this pandemic and emerge stronger in the end.
  22. I thank you all for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
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Kwara Govt totally locks down Offa to contain Covid-19 (full statement)

Following the confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 in Offa, the government is compelled to effect a total shutdown of the ancient town to contain community transmission and save people’s lives. This shutdown will become effective at 6pm local time on Wednesday April 8th.

This directive is pursuant to the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.

The shutdown means total restriction on every vehicular movement into or from Offa. The exceptions to this directive are those contained in the recent address of Mr President which granted access to vehicles transporting foodstuffs, poultry and pharmaceutical products. Any other movement, private or commercial is hereby banned for the next 14 days or until such a time the government is satisfied that our people are no longer at risk of mass infections arising from the two cases that have been traced to the town.

Any violators are liable to punishments outlined in the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020. Various security agencies, including the police and the Nigerian Navy, have been drafted to enforce this directive while His Royal Highness the Olofa of Offa has been fully briefed.

We urge our people to please bear with us in this tough period. The human community is certain to come out of this pandemic stronger and better. The government calls for timely report of any suspicious case of COVID-19. Anyone with travel history to frontline states, the America or European countries and others in the last three weeks should please contact the Kwara State Technical Committee for relevant advisory.

Arrangements have been made to distribute palliatives to the poorest of the poor to assist them in this trying time. This will happen before the week runs out. The categories of the people to receive the palliatives are strictly the aged, the physically challenged, widows/widowers, poor artisans, and any other needy group that the ward-based committee on palliatives deem qualified for the food stuffs. This committees comprise traditional rulers, religious leaders and local Community Based Organisations whose duty is to monitor the exercise. We want to clarify that this palliative cannot go round. It is targeted strictly at the poorest of the poor in the belief that they are the most affected at this time.

We pray for all of those infected to get well soon. We assure them of getting the best care possible. Rest assured that you have committed no crime. To all our healthcare specialists, we are grateful to you. We cannot thank you enough. Kwara people are grateful to you and would always have your back now and always.

Finally, Kwarans, this is no time to panic. Please stay calm. The Government will do everything to keep you safe. But we also need you to play your own role. Stay at home. Keep social distancing. Avoid crowd. Prioritise personal hygiene. And please do not spread unverified news. Claims that one of the two suspected COVID-19 cases has died is FALSE. They both remain stable and asymptomatic at this time.

Thank you.

Kayode Alabi
Deputy Governor/Chairman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19

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Gov Abdulrazaq’s address on confirmed coronavirus cases (Full text)

Kwara State Governor Abdulraman Abdulrazaq on Tuesday addressed residents over the two cases of coronavirus pandemic, allaying fears that there should be calm and situation was under control.

The statement reads:

Yesterday evening , April 6, 2020, we received the official report from the NCDC of samples earlier taken to the Ibadan test centre. The test confirmed that Kwara State now has two cases of COVID-19. The first is the wife of a man who recently returned from UK.

The second case is a diabetic patient who also had a travel history to the UK. He came into the country on March 18. He has since gone into self isolation with his wife. Following reasonable suspicion, sample was taken from him and he has now been confirmed positive.

Our job is cut out for us and we are definitely not dropping the ball. Contact tracing by the Rapid Response Team of the medical advisory committee has so far netted 75 persons who have had contacts with the cases and the suspected case at UITH.

Fellow Kwarans, this is a trying moment for the whole of mankind. But we are definitely not helpless or without reasonable preparation in Kwara State. We are also blessed with committed professionals who are up to the task and willing to stand up and be counted at this time — while also taking all precautions.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Contracting it is neither a death sentence nor or an indication of guilt. We urge Kwarans to avoid crowded space, isolate themselves, and call our helplines if they have just returned from places of interest in the last three weeks. The government is extending the ongoing fumigation exercise to these places of interest, including the relevant locations in Offa and Ilorin, where contamination may have occurred as a result of this infectious disease. Notwithstanding our preparation, we are not ashamed to say that Kwara State will be glad to get all the help it can receive at this moment. We commend everyone who has been doing so much in this regard and we call for more.

As part of our efforts to flatten the curve of transmission, I have signed the newly prepared Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020 on Monday April 6th to provide legal backings for the local management of the global health situation. This is an emergency and the regulation, built around some enabling laws like the Quarantine Act of 2004, empowers us to invoke various drastic measures in the days ahead, if occasion calls for it.

Highlights of the regulation include sanctions for anyone caught endangering public safety in whatever form or seeking to unfairly profit from our collective vulnerability and need for essential commodities at this time.

The government is doubling down in the ongoing sensitisation of the public across all media platforms on the danger of this virus. We need everyone to join this public advocacy in their various localities without exposing themselves or others to danger.

  1. The government is utterly disappointed at the breach of trust that played out in the UITH case. Without prejudice to the internal investigation by UITH, we demand immediate suspension of Professor Alakija Kazeem Salami and every other official of UITH whose professional misconducts brought us down this path pending the outcome of the ongoing probe.

  2. Finally, Kwarans, this is no time to panic. Please stay calm. We will do everything to keep you safe. But we also need everyone to play their own role. Stay at home. Keep social distancing. Avoid crowd. Prioritise personal hygiene. And please do not spread unverified news.

Thank you.

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Coronavirus: CAN calls for a 24 hours prayer chain

In view of the spreading of the dreaded pandemic coronavirus otherwise called COVID-19 in the country, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on churches to participate in a TWENTY FOUR (24) HOURS PRAYER CHAIN where we Christians shall together lift up our voices in unison to God who has the healing powers to heal our land and restore peace so that refreshing time will come from the Lord again.

In a Memo issued on Thursday, 2 April, 2020 and personally signed by the President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle to all Heads of Blocs that make up the Association, all National Officers, all Zonal Chairmen, all State Chairmen and every Christian family in the country, the prayer Chain will take place from 6 to 7 April, 2020.

THE TWENTY FOUR (24) HOURS PRAYER CHAIN is expected to hold from 6am on Monday 6th to 6am of Tuesday 7th April 2020 (24hours). It is expected that each church should divide all the congregating families into groups. Prayers are to be led by each family for a maximum period of Thirty (30) Minutes each.

The prayer points in line with 2 Chronicles 7:14 are:

  1. Forgiveness of Sin – That God in his infinite mercy should forgive our transgressions and have mercy upon us as a nation.

  2. National Healing – That God should heal our land and cleanse the country from this Coronavirus Pandemic and other Sicknesses/Diseases lurking around.

  3. Individual Healing – That God should heal those affected, known and unknown with the pandemic, and that He should cleanse them and restore their health.

4.That the leadership of our local churches and our government would be caring enough in making palliative provision available for those who may find provision of food difficult for their families because of restriction of movements or shutdown.

5.That the faith of God’s people might not fail.

6.That the Lord would turn this global affliction into revival of faith in the Lord and soul winning of many that have not known the Lord.

It is our prayer that at the end of this global pandemic, none of your members and family shall be missing for the Scripture assures us that we shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD (Psalms 118:17).

2 April, 2020
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle

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President Buhari’s speech on Coronavirus (Full text)

Read below the full text of President Buhari’s speech on the fight against Coronavirus today March 29th.

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020

  1. Fellow Nigerians,

  2. From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

  3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.

  4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.

  5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.

  6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.

  7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.

  8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.

  9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

  10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.

  11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.

  12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

  13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.

  14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.

  15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.

  16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.

  17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.

  18. Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.

  19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.

  20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.

  21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.

  22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

  23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.

  24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.

  25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.

  26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

  27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

  28. This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

  29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

  30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.

  31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.

  32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.

  33. We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

  34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

  35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

  36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

  37. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

  38. This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

  39. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;
    a. food processing, distribution and retail companies;
    b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,
    c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
    d. private security companies are also exempted.

  40. Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

  41. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

  42. All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

  43. Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.

  44. Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.

  45. Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

  46. We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

  47. However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

  48. As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.

  49. For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

  50. Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.

  51. Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

  52. I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

  53. For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.

  54. For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.

  55. We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

  56. As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.

  57. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.

  58. My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

  59. We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

  60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

  61. I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

  62. Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

  63. I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.

  64. I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.

  65. I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

President Muhammadu Buhari
29th March 2020

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Press Release

Fidelity Bank sends message as staff tests positive for coronavirus

A Fidelity Bank staff who recently returned from a trip to the United Kingdom has tested positive for COVID-19 as confirmed in a statement released by the bank.

Though the Fidelity Bank staff who tested positive for coronavirus has not been at the bank’s facility as he has been self-isolating since he returned to the country, he however brought some consignments for two of his colleagues which were delivered to them individually.

The bank staff who received consignments from the coronavirus patient, have been made to self-isolate and the office where they work has been temporarily closed. No customer was identified in the contact tracing that was carried out.

A statement released by the bank’s divisional head for brand and communications, Charles Aigbe reads

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Press Release

Coronavirus: Buhari applauds states, agencies…allays fears on restriction of food, medication

Nigerians are wrong thinking lawmakers are "overly paid for doing a little job'-- Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari commends unity of purpose in fighting spread of COVID-19 in the country, particularly the willingness for self-isolation, social distancing, and contributions of public spirited individuals and institutions who consistently mobilize resources to supplement efforts of Federal and State governments.

The President extols State Governments, religious bodies, health workers, Federal Government agencies, including security outfits, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria for rising to the occasion to protect the country and its citizens, assuring that the government will remain steadfast in deploying more resources to lessen the burden of the pandemic.

While calling for more compliance with regulations and restrictions on movement and gatherings for the safety of all citizens, President Buhari further reassures that government directives will not affect production and distribution of food, medications, medical equipment and other essentials as the nation wades through the global health challenge, which already portends dire economic strains.

The President directs all relevant agencies and regulators to provide enabling environment for industries to sustain their operations by ensuring reasonable access to industrial supplies and inputs like water, fuel, gas and essential infrastructure and relaxing of stringent laws, commending the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks for the interventions to make forex and credit more accessible to those on the manufacturing line.

In giving assurances of firm support for the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria by proactively addressing the potential impact of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the President requests that all necessary measures be put in place to protect and promote the health and safety of industrial workers.

President Buhari calls on all leaders across the country, including religious and traditional leaders, to further support the Federal and State governments in the ongoing sensitization programmes on the need to stay at home and keep a safe distance in the public, and to dissuade citizens from panic buying and rumour mongering.

The President affirms that the collective effort of all Nigerians will make a historic difference in checking the spread of COVID-19, rehabilitating those already affected and keeping citizens alive and.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
March 26, 2020

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Press Release

President Buhari sends messages to Nigerians on coronavirus, with approval of N5bn intervention fund and another N10bn request

Sacking service chiefs is threat to national unity — Presidency
COVID 19: STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE ON THURSDAY, 26TH MARCH, 2020

With developing news around the world and in Nigeria on the Coronavirus pandemic, President Buhari issues the following statement:

“I advise all Nigerians to follow to the letter the health guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Health and our State Governments.

“Wash your hands thoroughly many times throughout the day. Observe ‘social distancing’ of a minimum of two metres. Do not make unnecessary journeys outside of your homes. Do not attend public meetings or public gatherings – including religious events – which is where, through social contact, the virus can easily be transmitted.

“The Federal Ministry of Health will continue to issue daily updates on all developments. Please refer to public announcements by the Ministry on radio, television, www.health.gov.ng and @Fmohnigeria.’’

With regard to the request by the government of Lagos State for financial support to combat and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Lagos and Nigeria, the President has already approved the sum of N10 billion which release was effected within two days of the request.

The President has also approved and ensured the prompt release of N5 billion special intervention requested by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip and expand their facilities and laboratories.

In the same vein, the President has given approval to NCDC’s request for an aircraft from the Presidential Air Fleet for emergency situations. He has furthermore authorized the evacuation of three critical members of the NCDC team who are stuck in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo where they went for a training organsied by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

These measures are in addition to the ones approved and announced by the Presidential Task Force, PTF including the closure of land borders to human traffic for four weeks; the conversion of all Hajj transit camps to be utilized as COVID-19 isolation centers; the directive that all non-essential government employees to work from home and for a daily briefing of the nation through the PTF

Other approved measures already put into place include the ban of flights from and into the country, suspension of the Federal Executive Council and National Council of State meetings and a directive for engagements, at the highest levels between the Federal Government and the state governments.

President Buhari has also directed for the escalation of the nation’s capacity for testing and detection with the acquisition of testing kits and establishment of additional test centers; acquisition of Personnel Protection Equipment and the mobilization of experts and trained staff serving and recall of some of those retired.

The closure of schools and tertiary institutions and the suspension of religious and other gatherings above the fifty prescribed number are also parts of the measures approved and are in place.

The President is keeping a close eye on international developments on the spread of COVID-19 and will intensify or introduce new measures if they become necessary to protect Nigerians.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

March 26, 2020

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Breaking news Press Release

Coronavirus: Ekiti shuts down markets

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has directed that all markets in the state that do not sell essential commodities such as foodstuff, medicine, medical equipment and water be closed down effective 5.00 pm Thursday, March 26th, 2020.

This is in a bid to curtail the spread of the dreaded coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state by ensuring that citizens observe the social distancing practice, among other measures.

The Governor’s directive was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday.

The statement directs all medicine stores that are open to the public to make sure they do not sell or display any other items whatsoever, while those selling food stuffs should not display or sell anything outside food stuffs.

Similarly, the Governor has appealed to commercial drivers and the leadership of NURTW and RTEAN in the state to reduce the outrageous fares being charged commuters. mainly students who have been returning home in their numbers following the closure of schools in the state.

Pharmacy stores are also urged not to hike the prices of essential drugs.
Meanwhile members of the public are reminded of the ban on gatherings that are above 20 persons either for social, communal or religious purposes as a monitoring and enforcement taskforce has been dispatched across the state.
The Governor urged all citizens in the state to join hands with the government and its agencies in the collective war against the coronavirus.

Signed
Yinka Oyebode Chief Press Secretary to the Governor 25-03-2020

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Press Release

Union Bank shuts down, asks staff to work from home


The Union Bank of Nigeria has shut down its daily operations over the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In a statement, the bank directed its staff to work from home effective from Monday in a bid to tackle the scourge.

The Union Bank also gave safety tips for its staff while they work at home.

READ ALSO: Afghanistan reports first coronavirus death
The statement read:: “Important

“Starting from Monday, March 23rd, Union Bank is activating remote work for all its employees except critical functions in our operations and service teams.

“Please read.

“Stay safe during this period. #Covid19

#Info #WHO #UnionBank #UnionCares #SelfIsolation#YourSimplerSmarterBank

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Press Release

Coronavirus: Kwara State govt civil servants to work from home, gathering restricted to 25

Kwara gov abdul
Statement by His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State on COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Kwarans:

The welfare, security and well-being of all Kwarans are of utmost importance to our administration and, as such, we have embarked on a robust healthcare transformation agenda to give every Kwaran access to better quality and affordable healthcare.

At this moment, however, the world is faced with a viral pandemic caused by coronavirus. Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus to infect humans. It was first detected in China and has now spread around the world, including Nigeria.

Currently, we have no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kwara State. However, as a proactive government, and consistent with our determination to upgrade healthcare infrastructure in Kwara state, I have since approved funding for the construction of an isolation centre at the onset of our administration. Now, the number of cases in Nigeria is increasing, there are a total of 27 confirmed cases. The federal government of Nigeria is leading the fight against coronavirus by taking bold and decisive decisions that will save lives. In Kwara State, we are following the lead of the Federal government by mobilising all resources available to us to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kwara.

Even so, basic preventive measures by individuals and communities remain the most powerful tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As individuals, we are all responsible for the general well-being of fellow Kwarans and should work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

1) washing our hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as much as possible daily;
2) avoiding touching our eyes, mouths, and noses;
3) covering our mouths and noses with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze;
4) staying more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick and coughing, and wearing a mask if you are ill (especially if coughing) or looking after someone who is ill and coughing;
5) abstaining from handshaking until the threat of this COVID-19 is zero; and
6) avoiding crowded area and minimising any gathering to a maximum of 25.

As a community, we must do everything possible to prevent any transmission of COVID-19 by embracing the concept of social distancing and self-isolation. These measures are to prevent anyone that may be infected with COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others. An exponential spread of COVID-19 in our community might be catastrophic because we could have thousands of our citizens sick at the same time.

Given the aforementioned and the global health emergency situation, our administration has taken the following difficult but important decisions to protect Kwarans:

1) Closure of all public and private nurseries, primary, secondary and state-owned Tertiary institutions.
2) Aside from Ministry of health and essential workers, all civil servants are to work from home.
3) All gatherings of more than 25 people are hereby discouraged until further notice.

We need to encourage all Kwarans to get involved in this fight against COVID-19. We believe we will achieve desired results only if and when our people are properly sensitised on how to protect our communities from the virus.

We are determined to continue to make the necessary investments in healthcare to safeguard the lives of our people. A 20-bed high-quality isolation centre has been completed and equipped at Sobi Specialist Hospital and plans are underway to build additional and well-equipped 12-bed intensive care unit at the General Hospital, Ilorin.

We have put in place a “COVID-19 Technical Committee” comprising healthcare professionals and officials whose primary responsibility is to assist our administration in combating COVID-19 in Kwara State. This committee is headed by the Deputy Governor.

In addition to the above measures, including the emergency telephone lines already given by the Ministry of Health, you will be receiving regular briefings and bulletins from us on the development.

Finally, l wish to reassure all Kwarans of the determination of our administration to prevent, contain, and limit the impact of the pandemic on our people.

God bless Kwara State! God bless Nigeria.

AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Governor, Kwara State

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Press Release

Sin, arrogance and disobedience to God are responsible for the coronavirus– CAN President

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle on Sunday said arrogance of humans against God and constituted authority, sin and all sorts of wickedness are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that defies human solution but God has provisions for its cure.

The cleric made this assertion in his Special sermon on a cable television, New Frontier TV, titled “Looking unto Jesus: I Shall Fear no Evil” taking from the book of the Numbers 21: 4-9 where he called for a change of heart with a view to seeing the solution to the pandemic.

Other factors he identified are, Ungratefulness or ingratitude, and the imminent Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

“As in the case of the children of Israel in this passage, the arrogance of man against God and lawfully constituted authority led to God’s anger and judgement over the people.

“People say anything today against God and against the word of God. The Holy Scriptures injunctions which are God’s commands no longer matter before us. We query the validity today of the word of God and equally deliberately act against it. All practices that would make us worship God we reject or abandon under the guise of fundamental human right.

“In some advanced nations, anything about God must not be mentioned in any public event neither can people worship God nor share the gospel with their neighbours. Doing so is an offense. This pride and arrogance against God came because of advancement in technology. We feel we can do many things without God and thus become ‘god’ to ourselves. Technological advancement should make us to reference God the more because he is the revealer of knowledge,” he said.

Speaking on the sin factor, he said, “Sinfulness is an extension of my first point of arrogance against God. In Nigeria, violence has become a daily occurrence. Beginning from the wickedness of armed robbers to religious terrorists such as Al Qaida, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Isis, etc. We equally have the violence of banditry and Fulani Herdsmen attacks everywhere in the nation.

“People are slaughtered or kidnapped to be slaughtered or for ransom. Time will not permit me to talk about the wickedness of ritual killing for money making and fraudulent practices all over our world especially our nation Nigeria. People including believers walk about half naked like insane people and even dress like that to houses of worship to pollute many. Promiscuity is everywhere. We have sinned against God and he has sent to our midst a fiery serpent!”

He compared the world to the people of Israel who cried unto God and He raised up Moses to deliver them from the bondage in Egypt and at the Red Sea but instead of appreciating God, they always cried out and murmured against Him and Moses, His prophet, whom He had chosen to lead them to the Promised Land.

“Beloved, are we not provoking God daily for not being able to appreciate his goodness. Don’t we easily forget all the good things he has done for us before when another small problem arises? How grateful are we to God when we have experienced his goodness? We need to stop complaining and murmuring. We need to begin to appreciate him the way we speak and act. It is of the mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed”.

Ayokunle also reminded the people that the End of the Age will be preceded by all manners of wars, diseases and plagues and charged the Church to be prepared to welcome the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

According to him, “The second coming of the Lord to take his people home and judge the world of sin is drawing closer than ever before. What is happening now more happen because our Lord Jesus Christ’s predictions about the signs of the end must come to pass. (Matthew‬ ‭24:7-8‬)‬. All these things are calling our attention to a focus on Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith so that when he comes we would not be found wanting.”

On what to be done to overcome the coronavirus attacks and other similar diseases, the cleric who also doubled as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention assured those who are godly to nurse no fear of any pandemic. He reminded them of how God used the blood of the lamb to protect His people in Goshen when the angels of destruction were killing the first born of the Egyptians.
Said he, “The Blood of Jesus. When the plague was ravaging Egypt, it did not get to where the children of Israel were staying though it happened within the same city. This is because of the differences in the God both believed. The only God that can save told his own people to put the blood of the lamb of Passover in front of their houses so that when destruction gets to the doorpost where there is blood, it will spare such household and that was what happened (Exodus 12: 12-13).

He also identified the Faith in Jesus as another shield against any pandemic. “Believe today and escape from the pandemic ravaging the world. There is healing balm in Gilead. It is Jesus the Christ.

“For the children of Israel, it was by looking at the serpent on the tree that was hung that they were spared. Those who refused to obey by looking at the hung serpent definitely must have died though they were fellow Israelites like those that looked and were saved.

“Similarly, Jesus Christ our Lord has been hung on the cross where he shed his blood for us so that if we look unto him by faith at this time, call him into our lives and make him the object of our faith, even, if anyone has contacted the virus, in the name of the Lord, that person would be healed. Do you believe in Jesus?,” he said.
Ayokunle also called for prayers against the pandemic.

According to him, “If our prayers would be answered, we need to first repent of our sins of arrogance against God, disobedience to his commands, our wickedness and our ingratitude. God will not only forgive us if we genuinely repent from our sins, he would equally stop the pandemic. After the Israelites repented, Moses sought the face of God for them and God healed those that were beaten by simply telling them to look at the brazen serpent.

“The Lord enjoins us to call upon him in the day of trouble and that he would hear us and show us great and mighty things which we have never seen before in life. I urge all believers and those who know God to call upon him day and night. The church must cry to God for mercy and Coronavirus will be a thing of the past in the name of Jesus. I prophesy healing to all those that were already infected in the name of Jesus. I command the pandemic to stop by the authority of the risen Christ in Jesus’ name. You and I will not be consumed in the name of Jesus.”

Signed
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle.
22 March, 2020

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Press Release

Coronavirus: CAN declares 22 & 22 March as days of prayers

…Gives Guidelines, Precaution Steps to Churches

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has directed churches in Nigeria to observe Sunday 22 and 29 March, 2020 as days of prayers against the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and globally.

According to a Press Statement issued by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson O. Ayokunle and signed on his behalf by his Media Assistant, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, churches are advised to strictly follow the guidelines for combating COVID-19 in all their gatherings as we are trusting God for victory over the plague.

CAN calls on all churches in the country to set aside Sunday 22nd and 29th March 2020 apart to pray for an end to Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria and all over the world.
Our prayers should be as follows:
(a) That God should stop the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria and all over the world;
(b) That God should protect Nigerians from this disease and
(c) That God should heal those who have been infected already.

We also advised churches to follow these guidelines and precautions in all their gatherings:
GUIDELINES FOR COMBATING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

A. WORSHIP SERVICE
(i) Ban on the presence of more than 50 people in a gathering have been placed by most state government; therefore, use:
a. House cell based service or
b. Online service
c. Where possible, particularly for churches who do not have online system, services can be broken into shifts of not more than 50 members in each shift.

B. PRECAUTIONS
(i) Each branch/assembly should provide alcohol-based hand rub (sanitizer) for use.
(ii) Regular washing of hands with soap and water; use of same towel is not allowed.
(iii) Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
(iv) Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
(v) Drink hot water regularly.
(vi) Practice respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose the used tissue immediately.
(vii) If you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, then seek medical care early
(viii) Do not panic. Always pray with Psalm 91 and have faith in God.
It is our hope that very soon, coronavirus will become history all over the world in Jesus Name.

Thank You

Signed
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle.
19 March, 2020

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Press Release

CAN hails Sanwo-Olu on steps taken on Amuwo-Odofin’s oil pipeline explosion

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev (Dr) Samson Ayokunle, has expressed satisfaction with the steps taken so far by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the explosion of oil pipeline on Sunday at Abule Ado in Amuwo Odofin Local government area of Lagos State.

It is our position that both the Federal and the Lagos State governments should investigate the disaster with a view to discovering the remote and immediate causes of the incident in order to prevent a future reoccurrence of the disaster anywhere in the country.

The outcome of the investigation will, as well, allow necessary disciplinary action to be taken, that is, if it is found that the avoidable disaster has any connection with official act of negligence, complicity or criminality. The lives of every citizen of this country are too precious to be wasted in this way.

CAN equally commiserates with the people and the government of Lagos State over the explosion which reportedly led to the painful death of not fewer than 16 people, including the Principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Rev Sister Henrietta Alokha, who reportedly died in the process of trying to rescue the students. Many houses in the area were reportedly blown off or partly pulled down as a result of the huge impact of the explosion.

Our hearts go to all the bereaved families and we pray to God to console and comfort them all. We at the same time pray for the quick recovery of those who are currently recuperating in the hospitals.

CAN commends Governor Sanwo-Olu for immediate setting up of a N2billion relief fund to cushion the effects of the disaster on all the victims. We call on the Federal Government to support the laudable action. Necessary intervention of corporate bodies is equally crucial at this moment so as to compliment the Lagos State Government’s efforts.

We pray that never again will any part of the country experience such a disaster in Jesus Name.

Thank You

Signed

Rev Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President.

17 March, 2020

Categories
Press Release

Please save Nigerians from Buhari, Boko Haram – Pastor Giwa begs Trump

Please save Nigerians from Buhari, Boko Haram – Pastor Giwa begs Trump

Senior Pastor of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa has submitted a three-page letter to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, asking him to save Nigeria from President Muhammadu Buhari and Boko Haram.

Describing Trump as a God-fearing politician, Giwa thanked the President for fulfilling his promise of protecting American people.

The senior pastor told Trump in the letter that Boko Haram has been enriched by the millions of dollars paid to it by the Nigerian government in the form of ransom, adding that it is no longer news that terrorism has become a lucrative business under the leadership of Buhari.

The Pastor also told Trump that Buhari government is releasing some of the members of the terrorist group earlier arrested by security personnel.

“These terrorist members are being tagged” Repentant Boko Haram Members”, and the Federal Government is now treating them like kings,” he said.

“I want to first commend Mr. President for fulfilling the promises he made to the great people of America. I could recall that Your Excellency promised to protect the citizens of this country during the election campaigns, and you are doing just that. Not only this, the economy of this great nation under your leadership has improved tremendously.

“I had served both the United States Department and United Nations as a foreign journalist, and I can boldly describe President Trump as a God-fearing politician. It is important to add my voice to the security challenges currently facing Nigeria, the most populous among African nations.

“Having said this, the good people of Nigeria, especially Christians have continued to pray for God’s intervention against terrorism in Nigeria, but it seems that the more we pray the more the activities of the deadly group, known as Boko Haram persist due to inability of the government under President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful.

“Sir, Nigeria has been ravaged by terrorist activities which has made the country unsafe for Nigerians and foreigners. Founded by late Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the terrorist group was later hijacked by one Abubakar Shekau in 2009. When the group first formed, its actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to purify Islam in Northern Nigeria.

“In 2015, the group aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq. Boko Haram has since killed thousands of people in Nigeria, and the group continues to kill on a daily basis. Instead of President Buhari to use proactive measures to defeat the deadly group, rather, his administration continues to negotiate with Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram is enriching itself via the millions of dollars thus far paid to it by the Nigerian government in the form of ransom payments. It is no longer news that terrorism has become a lucrative business under the leadership of Mr. Buhari. The approach of the Nigerian government in handling the issue of Boko Haram with levity has further given the group power to continue with its nefarious activities,” Giwa’s letter made available on Tuesday read.

He said that Nigerians were now living in fear of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups like ISIS, the Taliban, AI- Qaeda and Miyetti Allah, known as ‘Herdsmen’.

“Presently, the Nigerian Senate under the leadership of President Buhari’s Political Party, APC, is proposing to establish an agency that could further take good care of them. A few weeks into the new year, precisely on January 19, the Islamic group released a video of a child who looked to be around 10 years old executing a Christian man in Borno, Nigeria. As if it was not enough, a few days later, on January 22, a Nigerian Pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was beheaded by Boko Haram Militants.

“Boko Haram has split into two main factions. One faction remains aligned with Abubakar Shekau and appears to be centered in the Sambisa forest near Maiduguri, Borno State’s regional capitol, and extends into Cameroon.

“The other, often referred to as the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, was until recently commanded by Mohammed Yusuf’s son, Abu Musab al-Barnawi and officially sanctioned by the Islamic State.

“ISWAP reportedly commands up to 5,000 fighters, three times that of Shekau’s faction, and its operations are centered around Lake Chad. The evidence suggests that Boko Haram has recently focused more of its attacks on state targets. In 2015, three quarters of Boko Haram attacks targeted civilians, according to data from the Nigeria Security Tracker.

“Today, Boko Haram appears to be on the rise again as it continues to kill the innocent Nigerians consistently. The group’s resilience, in particular the effectiveness of its attacks against security forces, has taken a toll on morale and rattled the Nigerian government. In 2018, Boko Haram killed 459 members of Nigeria’s state security forces, exceeding its previous total of 450 in 2014. Through November 2019, it caused more than 750 state casualties.

“Between January and February 23 this year, Boko Haram has killed more than 200 people in the Northeast of Nigeria. In the past five years, more than five thousand Nigerian Christians have been killed for their faith. There is another extremist group operating across the states in Nigeria that is just as deadly as Boko Haram. Everyday, hundreds of Nigerian Christians are being assaulted, tortured and killed by Fulani extremists.

“One could have thought that President Buhari, being a former General in the army could be able to defeat these groups, but all he keeps promising Nigeria is to exercise patience while Boko Haram continues to kill the people of Nigeria. February 19 this year makes Leah Sharibu two years in Boko Haram captivity. The 16-year old girl was abducted, along with 109 others by Boko Haram in February 2018.

“Leah Sharibu was attending class with her colleagues at the Government Girls Science and Technical School in Dapchi, Yobe State, Nigeria when the Islamic terrorists stormed the place and whisked them away. In the process, five of the girls died. 105 students were taken away, including Leah. After paying them ransom, the group released 104 students while Leah remains captive. She is being held captive for refusing to renounce her Christian faith in exchange for freedom.

“The Scripture says in Proverbs 17:13 that,” Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house,”. President Buhari’s government is rewarding evil for good and the group continues to kill innocent Nigerians.

“Mr. President, it is now glaring that Nigeria’s situation has gone beyond prayers, but all we need now is to cry out for help since our government has failed us. It is evident that Boko Haram has overpowered Buhari and his security personnel. We can no longer fold our arms and watch our people being killed. The deadly group has grown wings under the administration of Mr. Buhari.

“The citizens of Nigeria can no longer sleep with their eyes closed. This development has informed some regions in Nigeria to establish their security outfits, yet the situation is getting out of hand.

“Sir, I write to beg you on behalf of the good people of Nigeria to save us from these terrorist groups. America remains a great nation to solicit help from in this difficult situation that we are experiencing in Nigeria. I hope that Your Excellency will do everything possible to rescue the good citizens of Nigeria from Boko Haram and other terrorist groups that have taken over Nigeria,” he wrote.

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Press Release

‘Inmates of Merci Orphanage in Kano are being forcefully converted’

Prof Solomon Tarfa has spent 2 months now in police detention since December last year including the Christmas season, for being a good Samaritan. He is yet to be released in spite of the injustices and lies of the Kano State Police Command.

In addition, the children of the Orphanage forcefully removed from the orphanage and transferred to a government orphanage called Nasarawa Children’s home in Kano are being maltreated, maligned and coerced to convert to Islam.

The situation and condition of the Kids of Du Merci Children Dev. Ministry taken to Nassarawa Children’s Home Kano, is becoming alarming.

Besides the fact that their health, physical state and psyche is deteriorating, psychologically and Spiritually (negatively impacting their Faith as Christians ), they are not safe. School aged Children who were previously in school are being denied education.

Reports got to us that most of the children are being put under pressure to convert to Islam. With enticing and inviting offers. There are voice recording to prove this fact.
For the past 4 days there’s been this feud between the kids from Du Merci and that of the Government orphanage in Nassarawa. Threatening words like, “You do not belong here, We, Muslims and you Christians cannot live together as it is an abomination.” are addressed to the children by inmates of the Government Orphanage.

These continued till yesterday evening at about 4pm when their mother got a call that there was a fist fight between some of the children and theirs. What happened….. One of the girls that has been abusing and threatening Du Merci kids fell into a well and one of the boys laughed. The girl picked offense and struck him on his head with a mop stick. Paul, the boy she hit started crying and Blessing one of the older girls from Du Merci Orphanage came to his rescue challenging the right she has to touch her younger brother. The other girl got angry raining insults on Blessing, that the Du Merci children’s prayers are affecting them and accused them of witchcraft . The staff at Nassarawa home separated them, informed the director and commissioner of women affairs. She “the commissioner” said she’ll be with them in the morning.

At about 12:30pm on Saturday 22nd February 2020, it was reported that the commissioner was around and wanted to see the older ones among the Du Merci children. She invited them for a talk.

At about 2:13pm one of the children who is 16 years old called to report that Micheal, one of the Du Merci Orphanage children forcefully taken to the government owned orphanage was being beaten by the officers and the Commissioner was physically present when this physical abuse was taking place.

At about 3.15 pm another caller reported that the children have been taken back to Nasarawa home and their phones were confiscated.

So, we asked for a break down of what happened and Micheal gave his testimony of all that transpired.

He said the Commissioner asked him if he was to be set free where would he go? He replied home. She asked where is his home and he said Du Merci.

She asked which of the Du Merci homes? Kaduna or Kano? He said Kano.
She told him Du Merci is illegal.

Michael replied her and said No, the case is in court so Du Merci is not Illegal.
One of the officers challenged his answer, asking if he means the commissioner is lying he said probably. As they all do not like this place where they are being kept “ we want to go back home. How can you claim to rescue us yet we do not have our freedom. Not one of the children have been to school. The place is unhygienic. So we hate this place and I know my right”. That statement got her angry, he said she almost wanted to inflict more damage on him , then the officers held him and started slapping and hitting him.

Then, his phone was collected and all audio records he made was deleted and wiped out . He was forced to unlock his phone which he did. Shortly after, the phone locked and they asked him to unlock again he insisted no he wouldn’t. The officer threatened to format/ flash the phone. Michael replied the phone is his personal property the officer has no right to tamper with anything on it.

This happened on 22nd February 2020

Evidently it is clear that their agenda is to forcefully convert the Children to Islam.
We are calling on well meaning Nigerians and Government to put an end to the abuse of these children by the Kano State Police Command and the Government of Kano State.
This is contrary to our constitution which enshrined Freedom of association and freedom of choice of faith.
Thank You.

Signed
23 February, 2020

Prof Charles Adeyinka Adisa MD
National President, Nigeria Christian Graduate fellowship.

Barrister Offiong Effiong Bassey Offiong, SAN
Du Merci Orphanage Attorney and Board of Trustee Member

Categories
Press Release

LEAH SHARIBU AND CHIBOCK GIRLS: PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU SHOULD FULFILL HIS PROMISE – CAN

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari was widely reported in the media reiterating his resolve and promise to secure the release of all persons abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists, especially Miss Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls. The President made this same promise as part of his campaign promises before the 2015 presidential election. When will he do as he has promised repeatedly?

It is two years now since that young Christian girl and unarguably, the face of the Church in the country, Miss Leah Sharibu, was captured by Boko Haram along with other colleagues but she is the only one still languishing in the den of her captors as a captive of faith simply because against the pressure from the terrorists, she would not convert to Islam. It is disheartening and painful that the government that freed her colleagues has not deemed it fit to secure her freedom, despite the fact that those in government have children or grandchildren of her age coupled with the fact that her father is a serving Police officer. The same fate is the sad narrative of the Chibok girls’ mass abduction since 2014 after initial freedom of few of them. We commended the government then for securing the freedom of some but since then, the rest have remained in captivity.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is deeply saddened by the puzzle of kidnapping, ransom payment and the non-release of Leah, her reported present condition as well as other victims. The unsuccessful efforts to free the prisoner of faith by the Federal Government is highly disturbing, disappointing, depressing and unacceptable. More so that some abductees and persons kidnapped by the terrorists have had their ransoms paid and freed through the efforts of the Federal Government, relevant security agencies and some international Non-Governmental Organisations.

The recent sad narrative about Miss Leah Sharibu’s maternal condition is worrisome. Also, the setting free of so-called ex-Boko Haram terrorists under de-radicalization, rehabilitation, empowerment of the arrested terrorists by the Federal Government is rather troubling and suspicious. What is the guarantee that the freed ex-terrorists would not return to Sambisa forest and pick up their arms against innocent Nigerians? Media reports have it that a kingpin of the terrorists who was released has found his way back to the bush!
We are equally disappointed and disturbed by the failure of the Federal Government to react to the footage going round that the Turkish government is allegedly funding the terrorists. We call on the government to please stop releasing those who are responsible for the horrendous killings in the country. It is like urinating on the graves of those they killed as well as a dirty slap on the faces of the bereaved and a way of weakening the morale of security agents in the battle field. Where on earth have they released the captured rebellious soldiers while the war is still raging? Was any armed robber ever released after being caught by the security agents?

While we commiserate with the people and the governments of Adamawa, Borno, Katsina and Zamfara states over very recent attacks on them, we wonder why the presidency would issue warning to armless Katsina communities not to fight back invading murderous bandits who killed and wounded dozens of armless citizens? How does that justify the genuineness of the acclaimed fight against insurgency and banditry? When has self defence become an offence in the country?

CAN and indeed well-meaning Nigerians have repeatedly called for the overhaul of the security apparatus of the nation but to no avail. Instead, the Presidency has been consistently hailing them as if they are impressed with the poor performance of the security agencies under their watch. It is very sad that while the Federal Government on one hand is trying to convince Nigerians to believe they are on top of the situation, the terrorists are further emboldened to speak and act in negation of their claims.

As we mourn the lost of loved ones through unabated killings, continuous incarceration of the prisoners of faith, Leah Sharibu and many other victims in terrorists’ captivity, we will continuously call on the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari leadership to accept fully that Nigeria is in a precarious situation needing expertise counsel, urgent decisive local and international community’s intervention.

CAN and its leadership should not be seen as enemies of this government for calling on them to make Nigeria safer and free the captives. No attempt should be made to silence the church and its leaders by whatever means. The government should discountenance the praises heaped upon them by sycophants and political jobbers on this unacceptable-security situation and panic in the nation. Rather, they should give us no cause to cry for a violence-free society again by restoring peace to all regions of our nation.

We call on Christians and all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to pray and speak against the continuous killing of Nigerians and the unfounded excuses always given by those in government to explain away the absurd situation. We should not cease praying for the release of all the captives in the bondage of the terrorists, bandits and kidnappers that are believed to be running to several thousands. It is our hope that very soon, the siege over the country will be lifted and all of them will be released to unite with their families in Jesus Name.

Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel Vondip,
Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN.

19th February, 2020

Categories
Press Release

Presidency debunks claim of Buhari’s tour to UK, Saudi Arabia

President Muhammadu Buhari is not scheduled to travel to either United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia or Australia as portrayed by “fake news merchant”, Presidency warned.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, not only are the fake news makers limiting their activities about the first family but also to other government officials.

The statement reads:

BEWARE, MERCHANTS OF FAKE NEWS ON THE PROWL – PRESIDENCY

Purveyors of fake and concocted Information are currently on overdrive, and Nigerians are urged to be careful what they consume as news, and also share with others, particularly from the social media.

An unfounded information has been making the rounds that President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to travel to the United Kingdom for 20 days, and from there proceed to Saudi Arabia, and then Austria. Fake. It is nothing but falsehood from mischievous minds.

Members of the First Family, Ministers, top government officials, the military, and other key institutions, are equally objects of this orchestrated falsehood, coming from enemies of national cohesion.

We urge Nigerians to be discriminatory about what they accept as credible information, and restrain themselves from sharing what they have not authenticated as genuine. That is how we can all collectively beat the malevolent minds at their pernicious games.

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Press Release

We warned Nigerians Buhari will fail – Northern Elders Forum

Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has declared the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari a total failure.

The group said it had warned Nigerians that Buhari has nothing to offer to them, adding that the President has failed to tackle insecurity and improve the economy.

NEF said the Buhari-led government appeared helpless in finding solutions to the numerous challenges the country is faced with.

NEF’s position was made public by the Forum’s Director, Advocacy and Engagement, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmad shortly after a meeting convened by the chairman of the forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi.

Those that attended the meeting were: Abdullahi, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alamin Daggash (retd); Secretary of the Coalition of Northern Groups, Abdullahi Usman and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande; Deputy National Chairman of NEF, Alhaji Bello Kirfi (Wazirin Bauchi), DIG Labaran Wurno, Alhaji Yakubu Shehu and former MD, defunct Bank of the North, Hajiya Amina Yahaya, among others.

Baba-Ahmed said, “Northern Elders Forum has refrained from comments on major developments relating to management of national security and governance because it is convinced that these are times which require the highest levels of responsibility and circumspection in the manner elders and leaders in the nation contribute to the search for solutions to the multiple problems which face the nation.

“It has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public, the position of the Forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address.

“The Forum regrets that by any standard of judgement, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration. The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution.

“It gives the Forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections.

“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.

“With this type of mind set, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation. Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organize through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security.

“The Forum demands a thorough overhaul of the leadership of our security and public safety agencies, and the injection of higher levels of competence, integrity and accountability in the manner our troops and the police and security agencies deal with security challenges. We appeal to our religious leaders and fellow citizens not to fall into the trap of insurgents to set us up against each other.

“We condemn the tactic of targeting Christians and publicising their executions by an insurgency seeking to exploit our different faiths.

“We also condemn the murder of thousands of Muslims and Christians in communities which the insurgency has made permanent targets in the last decade. These are times when we must unite and resist a common enemy as well as demand that our leaders protect us all as Nigerians.

“In principle, the Forum supports the idea of improving the policing capacities of the nation. It is important to emphasise, however, that all initiatives to improve public safety must find accommodation within our laws, and must not be designed to threaten or harass particular groups or interests. We recommend the adoption of a more vigorous and inclusive process which will result in the creation of acceptable frameworks and higher levels of confidence among all communities with respect to policing strategies.

“This Forum extends its hand at any group or interest willing to discuss this important matter, and will utilize its entire assets to collaborate with other groups to achieve an understanding on the way forward. We advise all governments to exercise higher levels of restraint and responsibility in the manner they respond to the challenges of improving our security and safety.

“In this regard, the Forum notes that the comments of the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), in response to the opinions of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar do not conform with the culture of respect and reverence for leaders which Northerners are noted for.

“The Forum demands that the Chairman of BOT of Coalition of Northern Groups should apologise to His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto without reservations. The Forum notes that His Eminence has many avenues for relating with the Coalition, and urges him to continue with his close relations with the Coalition and utilize his position to extract the maximum benefits which could accrue to the Northern community in his relations with the Coalition.

“In moments of tension and stress, Nigerians tend to find easy solutions or scapegoats. This Forum is concerned that the apparent resurgence of certain types of conflicts such as ethnic and farmers/herders clashes will have multiplier effects and cause damaging setbacks to the successes made in improving community relations. We appeal to governments and communities to commit further to living together in peace and earning a living within the ample resources we are blessed with.

“With due respect to the rights of the Lagos State Government to take decisions that improve the environment and public safety, we are constrained to draw attention to the impact of its policy on banning Okada and Keke in parts of the State on the poor and operators, many of them from the North, who earn honest living through this trade.

“We urge restraint in the responses of those who are immediately affected by this policy, while we urge Northern State Governments to mobilize and support the people who will be compelled to relocate back to the North with other sources of legitimate living.

“The Forum had engaged a broad spectrum of opinion on the stress in relations between the palace of Sarkin Kano and the Government of Kano State. The Forum is looking forward to engaging with His Excellency, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on this matter.

“We commend the maturity and restraint of all parties on this matter, and we join others in prayers that Allah will help us all to find a way out of this issue. We are aware of the outpouring of advise and contributions towards resolving these stresses, and we urge the Governor and Sarkin Kano, the two people Allah Has entrusted with huge leadership responsibilities today, to find a fair and lasting solution to this seeming problem.

“The Forum has observed that political manoeuvres around the 2023 elections are targeting the North as a region available for exploitation. We want to make it clear that people of the North will be very careful in committing to persons seeking their support on the basis of their region or wealth.

“The North knows its interests, and will stand together to elect only persons who meet the standards and interests of the people of the North. No politician should assume that they are entitled to our support unless they show a clear understanding and a commitment to deal with our problems and meet our aspirations.”

Categories
Press Release

President Buhari to attend African Union summit in Addis Ababa

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Friday to attend the Thirty-third (33rd) Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Buhari will join leaders from the 55-member countries of the African Union to participate in the Summit with the theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

The President will attend the 29th Forum of Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the 27th Session of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (AUDA-NEPAD). The meetings will precede the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly.

In Nigeria’s capacity as a member of the AU Peace and Security Council, President Buhari will participate in the High Level meeting of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in the Sahel and Libya, and High Level Ad-Hoc Committee on South Sudan.

On the margins of the Summit, the President will deliver a keynote address at a High Level Side Event on “Stop the War on Children: Dividend of Silencing the Guns.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Governments of Nigeria, Uganda and Norway, and Save the Children International.

President Buhari and the Nigerian delegation will also participate in other High Level Side Events in furtherance of Nigeria’s national, regional and international goals, priorities and aspirations namely, peace and security, countering terrorism and violent extremism, economic development, asset recovery and fight against corruption.

The President will also hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders on the margins of the Summit.

At the end of the AU Summit on February 10, the Nigerian President will commence a State Visit to Ethiopia on February 11, at the invitation of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed.

The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Nigeria and Ethiopia and reinforcing cooperation in key areas of mutual interest between the two countries.

Before returning to Abuja, President Buhari will also interact with the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia.

The President will be accompanied by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State; Senator Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Hon. Yusuf Baba, Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Others are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Defence, Major-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd); Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and Princess Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria.

Also on the President’s entourage are, the National Security Adviser, Major-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd), and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
President Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 6, 2020

Categories
Press Release

Nigeria stands by China in this difficult moment– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari extends his good wishes to President Xi Jinping and citizens of the People’s Republic of China during this trying time. China’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have been exemplary, as well as the country’s collaboration with international agencies and other countries on the matter.

President Buhari notes that China has been exceptionally supportive of Nigeria and Africa, and even more so in recent years; therefore, it is important to let China know that Nigeria and her citizens are also standing by them during this outbreak. With all the efforts being put in, we know that it is only a matter of time before this nightmare passes.

President Buhari uses this opportunity to thank Nigerians for their hospitality towards the Chinese nationals in our midst, and for not letting the coronavirus outbreak create any disturbance or disrupt the peaceful coexistence between us and them.

He prays that God will comfort the Chinese and others who have already lost family members and loved ones to the disease.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

February 2, 2020

Categories
News Press Release

SERAP wins round one in battle to get details of payment of jumbo pensions to former governors

There is prospect Nigerians keen on knowing details of payment of life pensions to former governors across the 36 states in the country, and the names and number of ex-governors and other officials collecting pensions, may soon have some answers, as Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has won the latest round in the legal battle to compel 36 state governors to disclose these details.

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court, Abuja last week granted leave clearing the way for SERAP to advance its case to compel the 36 state governors in Nigeria to disclose details of payment of billions of naira of tax-payers’ money as life pensions to former governors and other ex-officials under their respective State pension laws between 1999 and 2019.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo, in granting leave, stated: “After going through the Application filed by SERAP supported by 18 paragraphs Affidavit, with supporting exhibits, statement of facts, and verifying affidavits and written address in support, leave is hereby granted for SERAP to pursue its suit.”

Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa granted the order following the argument in court on an exparte motion by SERAP’s counsel Kolawole Oluwadare. The suit is adjourned to Monday, 10th March, 2020 for hearing of the substantive suit.

SERAP had in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/19/2020 filed last month sought: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel the 36 state governors to publish names and number of former governors and other officials that have received pensions and the total amounts received between 1999 and 2019 and have at the same time served and/or serving as members of the National Assembly.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 9th December, 2019 to the governors, expressing concern that: “granting pension for life to ex-governors and other officials represents the use of public office to advance private interests, suggests the misuse of legitimate discretion for improper reasons, and has created a more cynical public view of politics and politicians.”

According to SERAP, only two governors—Delta state governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa and Kwara state governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq—responded to its FoI requests. Although Mr Okowa directed his Head of Service to send the details requested, no information was received as at the time of filing the suit.

SERAP also said: “governor Abdulrazaq provided a copy of the pension law and list of former governors and ex-officials receiving pensions in Kwara State under the state’s Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law, 2010, naming Cornelius O. Adebayo; Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi; Sayomi Simon Adediji; Bukola Saraki; and Ogundeji Joel Afolabi as recipients of life pensions in the state. However, the governor did not state the amounts that have so far been collected, and whether the state would pursue recovery of the pensions paid.”

According to the Kwara state pension law (as amended), governors and deputy governors “from the year 1967 shall be entitled to pension for life at the rate equivalent to the annual basic salary of the incumbent and other benefits as provided by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission. The pension shall include: furnished 5-bedroom duplex, 300% for furniture replaceable every 4 years; free medical treatment for governor and deputy governor and their immediate families; car maintenance; drivers [pensionable]; house maintenance; and two cars for the governor in addition to 1 pilot car to be replaced every 3 years.”

The Kwara state pension law also provides that: “governor and deputy governor shall be entitled to domestic staff including cook, steward, gardener and two other domestic staff who shall be pensionable. Governor shall be entitled to 2 SSS detail and 1 female officer, in addition to 8 policemen. Deputy governor shall be entitled to 1 SSS detail in addition to 2 policemen.”

According to SERAP: “both governor Okowa and governor Abdulrazaq did not in their responses make any commitment to repeal the pension laws in their states and to seek refund of the pensions already collected by former governors and other ex-officials.”

SERAP’s suit is coming on the heels of the landmark judgment delivered last year by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos ordering the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.

The judgment followed the invalidated pension law for former governors and other ex-public officers in Zamfara State, which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually. The state has produced three former governors since 1999.

SERAP is also seeking “a declaration that the failure of the 36 state governors to provide SERAP with the requested information on Pension Law in their respective states as requested constitutes a breach of SERAP’s right under the FoI Act, 2011, and for such further order(s) the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”

The suit read in part: “There is a statutory obligation on the 36 state governors, being public officials, to proactively keep, organize and maintain all information or records about its operations, personnel, activities and other relevant or related information or records such as payment of pensions to former governors, in a manner that facilitates public access to such information or record.”

“The public interest in the disclosure of details of payment of pensions to former governors and names of the recipients of such pensions sought by SERAP outweighs any private interest the 36 state governors may be protecting.”

“The suit is in the national interest, public welfare, public interest, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability. There is no justifiable reason for the governors to refuse to provide SERAP with the details of payment of pensions and other related information requested.”

“Public officials should not encourage, sustain, or implement jumbo pension laws that show an appearance of conflict of interest, impropriety or create situation of personal enrichment. The pension law negates the duty to act honestly and to represent the needs and concerns of the people, and to refrain from activities, which interfere with the proper discharge of public functions.”

“Those who manage the resources of the state ought to protect the interest of the people in their states. Public officials while entrusted with duties and discretions are not to act in their own best interest, but to discharge those duties and exercise those powers in the interests of the public.

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Press Release

President Buhari felicitates with professor Layi Ogunkoya on 85th birthday

Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari joins family, friends and professional colleagues of Prof. Layi Ogunkoya in celebrating his 85th birthday, 7th November, 2019, congratulating him for a life dedicated to the search and promotion of knowledge, advancement of human skills, and contribution to national development.

The President felicitates with the scholar, who identified his strength early in research, turning a professor in 1979, spending more than 35 years in the service of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and working as Interim Vice Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University, where he restored normalcy to the institution.

President Buhari urges Prof. Ogunkoya to take pride in the wisdom he has imparted to many over the years, especially in his field of Chemistry, the immeasurable, multiplier effect it has had on the nation and the world, affirming that the foundation of every society is laid on dedicated scholars like the former Vice Chancellor.

The President salutes Prof. Ogunkoya for setting up a foundation that would further strengthen and propagate his philosophy of building society through good and quality education.

President Buhari prays that the almighty God will bless the renowned scholar with longer life, and sustain his fountain of wisdom to keep inspiring upcoming students and researchers.

Categories
Nigeria entertainment Press Release

Five Things You Missed At Laffmattazz – Ilorin Edition


Last weekend, Gbenga Adeyinka and his friends took the Laffmattazz train to Ilorin to celebrate Ileya, and bring happiness to the people of Ilorin. The show which sold out Arca Santa Arena gave fans eight hours of entertainment from top music acts and some of Nigeria’s funniest people.

The ace comedian, has for six years with Maltina’s support, spread laughter across cities in Western Nigeria, and with the “Loud in Ilorin” show, it got even better.

Here are six things you missed:

Non-Stop Comedy

All through the event, there were zero dull moments as each comedy performance seemed to match or surpass the one before it. MC Lively, who created the Barrister Mike persona on Instagram was the first comedy act of the day and set the tone for what fans were to expect from the rest of the comedians that followed. There were solid jokes and brilliant stage gimmicks from the likes of Helen Paul, Baba Ijesha, Princess, Omo Baba and more.

The Maltina Beauty Pageant & StandUp Contest

Just like the last time LaffMattazz came to Akure, Maltina gave fans a chance to partake in various activities for a chance to win prizes. There was a Maltina beauty pageant and the winner of the pageant went home with N30,000. There was also an opportunity for some members of the audience to try out stand-up comedy. The grand winner of the stand up contest went home with N150,000.

Terry G, Eedris, And Jams From The Past

When Terry G got on stage, everyone was so excited to see him. Given the number of hit songs he has had over the years, he decided to take things a little backward, starting off with Akpako Master, much to the delight of the crowd who sang word for word. This seemed the theme for the night as Eedris Abdul Kareem had done the same with “Jaga Jaga”, even inviting a fan to share the stage with him.

Gbenga Adeyinka’s Grand Entry

Performers in Nigeria are getting more innovative with their stage entrances and show headliner – Gbenga Adeyinka didn’t fail to give fans something to talk about. He made a royal entrance much to the admiration of the audience, who were chanting all through his performance.

More Happiness With Maltina

Everyone at the show got a taste of the Maltina goodness and enjoyed some of the other engagement opportunities the brand provided all through the event. The Maltina dart game spot, laughter box, and photo booth were beehives as fans played for free drinks, exciting prizes and fun memories.

With top VIPs in attendance and a fully sold-out venue, Gbenga Adeyinka’s Laffmattazz with Maltina was a complete success.

The train moves to Ekiti in October for yet another exciting edition.

Categories
movies Press Release

MTV Shuga Naija Unveils Nigeria’s Biggest Stars for Brand New Season!

Richard Mofe-Damijo, Tobi Bakre, Funsho Adeolu, Osas Ighodaro join all-Star Cast!

Rahama Sadau, Timini Egbuson, Yakubu Mohammed, Bukola Oladipupo, all returning for Season 4.

MTV Shuga Naija’s highly anticipated fourth season has unveiled new and returning actors who will feature on this season of MTV Shuga Naija.

Nigeria’s biggest Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD is joining the new cast of MTV Shuga Naija, alongside Nollywood Veteran, Funsho Adeolu,top actor and show host, Osas Ighodaro, Big Brother 2018 finalist, Tobi Bakre, Omowunmi Dada and Belinda Yanga among many others. This year’s cast will feature a mixture of both old and new faces – including three budding stars, who beat off the challenge of over 1,000 other hopefuls at April’s public auditions, to land a role in the award winning TV series.

Returning cast also include Funlola Raimi Aofiyebi, Timini Egbuson, Rahama Sadau, Yakubu Mohammed, Bukola Oladipupo, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Amal Umar, Alvin Abayomi, Helena Nelson and Ruby Akabueze among others.

Timini Egbuson, who has starred in previous seasons, shared his excitement about the upcoming season: “I am so excited to be back on MTV Shuga Naija. I couldn’t be prouder to be such an integral part of this conversation, helping to educate young people on effective ways to manage pressure from society, and to make informed decisions about their sexual health.  This is my fourth series of MTV Shuga, and not only have I learnt so much from being involved, but I’m sure that our fans have grown with us too.  MTV Shuga Naija continues to make a positive change in Nigeria, and I’m thrilled to be back on set again and to meet the new cast”.

Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Georgia Arnold also shared her thoughts on the unveiling of the new cast.

“The new series of MTV Shuga Naija has so many stories to tell: we’ll see characters dealing with family planning, contraception, and gender based violence among other issues – all of which are so relevant to our audience.   The cast of the series are such an integral part of the work of MTV Shuga – they are not only (brilliant) actors, but actors and ambassadors who work so hard to ensure that our messages are reaching and positively impacting young Nigerians across the country.

Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Viacom International Media Networks Africe (VIMN Africa) adds “It is incredibly gratifying to see the rollout of the4th instalment of this powerful campaign in Nigeria that has helped change the lives of African youth for the better.  At VIMN Africa, we are proud to continue supporting this crucial campaign that originated on our MTV Base channel.”

As producer for the show’s return, Tope Oshin shared her excitement for the new season

“I’m elated to be producing the new season of MTV Shuga… We have so many issues in the world and while we entertain our audience, we also talk about serious issues raised in our communities. MTV Shuga is entertaining, witty and fun but also effects change within communities and inspires the next generation of young people to serve the world better.”

MTV Shuga has also announced a new partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the new season; the United Nations body, whose key initiatives and messaging is centered on adolescent sexual health, teen pregnancy and family planning among young mothers.

Speaking on the new collaboration with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Fatima Mamman-Daura (Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Specialist, UNFPA Nigeria) said:

“UNFPA is proud to collaborate with MTV Shuga – the undisputed leader in behaviour change communication for adolescents and young people. MTV Shuga speaks the language of young people – providing HIV education and information on sexual and reproductive health in the most entertaining and captivating manner.”

The past seasons have been broadcast in over 61 countries across the world, showing on more than 179 channels and reaching over 720 million households. MTV Shuga Naija will premiere on MTV Base and BET in September 2019.

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Press Release

Buhari signs electricity agreement with German company

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday witnessed signing of Implementation Agreement for the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap (NER) between Nigeria and Siemens AG of Germany in State House.

Full statement below:


REMARKS BY H.E PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE MEETING WITH MR JOE KAESER, CEO/PRESIDENT SIEMENS AG AT THE STATE HOUSE ON MONDAY 22ND JULY 2019

1. Thank you all for coming today and for the roles you have all played in planning what we hope will be a significant project to dramatically improve the quality of our electricity supply.

2. I recall my meeting in late August, last year, with Chancellor Merkel here in Abuja, when both our Governments committed to future cooperation to support economic growth and development in Nigeria. We were clear that fixing the power sector was a key priority for this administration.

3. It was during that event that Mr Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens AG committed to working with Nigeria to develop a feasible roadmap to modernise our electricity grid with support from the German Government.

4. We all know how critical electricity is to the development of any community or indeed any nation. And in Nigeria, whilst we are blessed to have significant natural gas, hydro and solar resources for power generation, we are still on the journey to achieving reliable, affordable and quality electricity supply necessary for economic growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation.

5. Ladies and Gentlemen, there have been many attempts at solving the electricity problem in our country. Previous Governments have explored State funded solutions through the ill prepared National Independent Power Projects. They also explored the installation of large emergency power projects. There was also the partial privatization of the power generation and distribution sectors.

6. These various interventions to solving the electricity problem have yielded an imbalance between the amount of power generated and the amount available for consumers. Despite over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers.

7. Now, we have an excellent opportunity to address this challenge.

8. This Government’s priority was to stabilise the power generation and gas supply sector through the Payment Assurance Facility, which led to a peak power supply of 5,222 MW. Nonetheless, the constraints remained at the transmission and distribution systems.

9. This is why I directed my team to ask Siemens and our Nigerian stakeholders to first focus on fixing the transmission and distribution infrastructure – especially around economic centres where jobs are created.

10. Whilst it was evident that more needed to be done to upgrade the sub-transmission and distribution system, our Government was initially reluctant to intervene as the distribution sector is already privatised.

11. I am therefore very pleased with the positive feedback from private sector owners of the distribution companies, who have all endorsed Government’s intervention to engage Siemens on this end-to-end plan to modernise the electricity grid.

12. Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the Distribution Companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Electricity Regulator is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023 – in phases 1 and 2 respectively.

13. After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek – in the third and final phase – to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.

14. With our strong commitment to the development of Mambilla Hydroelectric and the various solar projects under development across the country, the long-term power generation capacity will ensure adequate energy mix and sustainability in the appropriate balance between urban and rural electrification.

15. Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a Government-to-Government framework. No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians. We also insist that all products be manufactured to high quality German and European standards and competitively priced.

16. This project will not be the solution to ALL our problems in the power sector. However, I am confident that it has the potential to address a significant amount of the challenges we have faced for decades.

17. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is our hope that as the power situation improves, we will improve investor confidence, create jobs, reduce the cost of doing business and encourage more economic growth in Nigeria.

18. I thank you for coming today, particularly those of you who have had to come from outside Nigeria. I wish you all safe stay in Abuja and safe journeys back home.

19. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Categories
News Press Release

Buhari commends Nigerians abroad for living peacefully

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja commended Nigerians residing in foreign countries for living peacefully with their host communities.

Giving the commendation when a delegation of the Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) led by its National President, Comrade Jasper Emenike, paid a courtesy visit to the State House, the President enjoined Nigerians in the Diaspora to “bear in mind the sensitivities of their host communities” and forge harmonious relationships.

Expressing delight at the visit by members of the Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria, President Buhari also lauded their choice of name and “for flying high the green-white-green flag.”

He also commended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria Diaspora Commission for positively interfacing with the members of the Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria in particular, and Nigerians living abroad in general.

Earlier, Comrade Emenike, who described his organisation as “a Pan-Nigerian non-governmental and non-profit” group, had congratulated President Buhari on his re-election and successful inauguration.

He said his members were on a “thank you, solidarity visit” to “formally convey our heartfelt appreciation to Mr President and Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on your swift intervention leading to the reopening of over 400 Nigerian Traders’ Shops in Ghana last October by the host government, over some trade policy disputes arising from the enforcement of the Ghana Local Investment Promotion Act in clear violation of the letters and spirit of the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocols.”

According to Comrade Emenike, the President’s intervention was a “loud demonstration” of his sense of leadership, character and commitment to the principles of ECOWAS regional integration.

He also applauded the anti-corruption campaign of the current administration, while pledging his organisation’s commitment towards grassroots mobilisation and support.

Categories
Press Release

Withdrawal of petition by Coalition for Changes against Buhari’s victory, patrotic – Presidency

 

The Presidency expresses delight at the withdrawal of one of four petitions challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 election.

The Presidency commends the Coalition for Change (C4C) following the withdrawal of its case through its lawyer, at the resumed hearing before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Monday.

This is a sign of true patriotism. By accepting defeat with grace, the C4C has chosen to prioritize the stability of our country and the voice of the people.

Victory and defeat are part of elections. For some in the opposition, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is good, when they win. Where they lose, INEC is unreliable.

The challenges facing our nation are huge and we need all hands on deck.

The people of Nigeria have chosen President Buhari to lead them, and all stakeholders should deploy their energy towards supporting his efforts.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2019

Categories
Press Release

OPAN demands immediate freedom for detained journalist, Ogundipe & reiterates call for repeal of Cyber Crimes Act


The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN, has observed with grave concern the persecution and illegal detention of Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist working for the Premium Times by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Nigeria Police Force over a news story.

OPAN demands the immediate release of Ogundipe from police custody.

We find it ridiculous that the police would detain a journalist hiding under the distasteful Cyber Crimes Act and brag that he would only regain freedom after he discloses the source of his news story.

OPAN and other advocates of free press have repeatedly called for the repeal of the obnoxious Cyber Crimes Act 2015, which the police frequently cites whenever it assaults journalists and the press.

We also note that the news story for which the police is persecuting Ogundipe over, a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the recent DSS siege to the National Assembly, was widely published by dozens of other news outlets.

It is therefore shocking why Ogundipe and Premium Times are being targeted by the Ibrahim Idris-led police force that has earned a bad reputation for their unending assault on journalists and press since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.

OPAN states that Ogundipe’s continued detention via a deceptively procured order of a magistrate is desperate and disingenuous of the Police IG and the entire police command.

Samuel Ogundipe’s continued detention is in gross violation of his rights and an affront on the Nigerian constitution which protects and guarantees the freedom of the press.

OPAN therefore calls on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to protect the press at all times and direct the Police to release Mr. Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally.

Signed:
Austyn Ogannah
President.
August 16, 2018.

—— END——–

Demands Immediate Freedom For Detained Journalist, Ogundipe & Reiterates Call For Repeal of Cyber Crimes Act

The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN, has observed with grave concern the persecution and illegal detention of Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist working for the Premium Times by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Nigeria Police Force over a news story.

OPAN demands the immediate release of Ogundipe from police custody.

We find it ridiculous that the police would detain a journalist hiding under the distasteful Cyber Crimes Act and brag that he would only regain freedom after he discloses the source of his news story.

OPAN and other advocates of free press have repeatedly called for the repeal of the obnoxious Cyber Crimes Act 2015, which the police frequently cites whenever it assaults journalists and the press.

We also note that the news story for which the police is persecuting Ogundipe over, a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the recent DSS siege to the National Assembly, was widely published by dozens of other news outlets.

It is therefore shocking why Ogundipe and Premium Times are being targeted by the Ibrahim Idris-led police force that has earned a bad reputation for their unending assault on journalists and press since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.

OPAN states that Ogundipe’s continued detention via a deceptively procured order of a magistrate is desperate and disingenuous of the Police IG and the entire police command.

Samuel Ogundipe’s continued detention is in gross violation of his rights and an affront on the Nigerian constitution which protects and guarantees the freedom of the press.

OPAN therefore calls on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to protect the press at all times and direct the Police to release Mr. Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally.

Signed:
Austyn Ogannah
President.
August 16, 2018

—— END——–

Categories
News Press Release

Nigeria news online today Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hello readers! Here are some of the Nigeria news online today:

  1. The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Haruna Isah has been declared winner of Saturday’s controversial Kogi Koto-Karfe Federal Constituency bye-election held in Kogi State.

In the final results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC candidate polled 11,078 to defeat his closest rival, Engr Bashiru Abubakar of the PDP.

  1. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Katsina State has declared Alhaji Ahmed Babba Kaita of the All Progressives Congress (APC ), winner of the bye-election conducted in the Katsina North Senatorial District.

Prof Hudu Ayuba-Abdullahi, the returning officer, who announced the result at 4:42 am in Daura on Sunday said Kaita, a member of the House of Representatives scored 224,607 votes, while his elder brother and a retired customs officer, Alhaji Kabir Babba Kaita of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 59,724 votes.

  1. The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has vowed that no amount of “torment or persecution”, will make him reconsider his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a strike squad of the ruling party, alleging that the federal government had been using the anti-graft agency to “cripple governance in the state.”

  1. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has criticised Nigerian Pastors for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.

Osinbajo, who spoke at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement of Nigeria holding in Enugu, observed that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.

  1. Former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi has insisted that the level of corruption under the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration was worst than PDP’s 16 years.

The former governor of Kaduna State and a presidential aspirant said the current level of corruption will not be known until APC leaves power, claiming that the anti-graft war was weak under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration because it has been politicised.

  1. Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue state, has dragged Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to court.

The Governor is demanding N10billion as damages for comments Oshiomhole made against him after he dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

  1. The new secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has been vandalised by unknown political thugs.

The attack took place on Saturday amid brewing tension between the two factions of the party in the state led by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe, respectively.

  1. Unknown gunmen on Saturday attacked and killed a Police corporal on a stop-and-search duty with his colleagues at Kpakiama junction in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

Report says the gunmen swooped on the policemen, who were on routine duty at the junction, opened fire and killed the corporal, and beat some of his colleagues to stupor.

  1. The Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) and New African Democratic Congress (N-ADC), a splinter group from African Democratic Congress (ADC) led by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday, announced their merger.

The also unveiled their name as Advanced Republicans (AR) Party.

  1. The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, has claimed that the Presidency offered him N2 billion to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He also alleged that he was offered the state’s deputy governor’s slot ahead of the 2019 election.

Categories
Press Release

Buhari condoles over death of Katsina Chief Imam Liman Lawal

President MuhammaduBuhari


President Muhammadu Buhari sends condolences to the government and people of Katsina State over the passing of the Chief Imam of Katsina Juma’at Mosque, Malam Liman Lawal, on Sunday.

President Buhari joins the Katsina Emirate, the immediate and extended family of the cleric, his associates and all Muslims in the state in mourning the cerebral religious leader, who spent his days praying and teaching values and precepts of the Quran.

The President believes Malam Liman, who passed on at the age of 95 years, lived a pious, worthy and highly recommendable life that will be remembered by posterity, urging all Muslims in the state to immortalise him by living the virtues of love, peace and neighbourliness he lived and propagated.

President Buhari prays that Allah would grant the soul of the departed good rest, and comfort his family.

Garba Shehu
SSA to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 7, 2018