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BUHARI EXTENDS LOCKDOWN FOR 14 MORE DAYS IN FCT, LAGOS AND OGUN STATES ……Hails Health Workers

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Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday announced an extension of the ongoing lockdown the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States for a further fourteen days.

This is even as he has described as heroes, health workers who have been part of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The President who said this during a broadcast to the nation on the current state of the pandemic in the country, assured that measures to motivate the health workers to do more, will be introduced soon.

“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.

“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,” he said.

He also announced the extension of the lockdown by another 14 days and that more isolation centres will be built near the nation’s airports and land borders as part of measures to combat the disease.

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

The president’s comments is in contrast to Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, who, at a meeting with the leadership of the national assembly on last week, said he was not aware if health workers are being paid hazard allowance for the work they are doing.

He had added that whether during a pandemic or not, handling emergencies is a “standard job they (health workers) do every day.”

The number of confirmed cases in the country, according to the President, has been on the increase. As at 9 p.m. on Sunday, the NCDC announced a total of 323 confirmed cases, including 10 deaths.
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ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE EXTENSION OF COVID- 19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA
MONDAY, 13TH APRIL, 2020

1. Fellow Nigerians

2. In my address on Sunday, 29th 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 Monday, 30th March 2020.

3. Many State Governments also introduced similar restrictions.

4. 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.

5. However, such sacrifices are needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 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.

7. The level of compliance to the COVID-19 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.

8. 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.

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

10. 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.

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

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

13. 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.

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

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

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

20. 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.

21. As a nation, we are on the right track to win the fight against COVID-19.

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

23. 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 780,000.

24. Yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally was over one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand. This figure is more than double in two weeks!

25. In the last fourteen days alone, over 70,000 people have died due to this disease.

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

27. Here in Nigeria, we had 131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 12 States on 30th March 2020. We had two fatalities then.

28. 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.

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

30. 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.

31. 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-19 pandemic which will be released soon.

35. The public health response to COVID-19 is built on our ability to detect, test and admit cases as well as trace all their contacts. While I 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 14 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.

39. 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 Dame 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 can not be lax.

40. The previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain.

41. This is a difficult decision to take, but I am convinced that this is the right decision. The evidence is clear.

42. The repercussions of any premature end to the lockdown action are unimaginable.

43. We must not lose the gains achieved thus far. We must not allow a rapid increase in community transmission. We must endure a little longer.

44. 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 suspected cases, bring them into care and prevent transmission to others.

45. 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.

46. 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.

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. The response of our State Governors has been particularly impressive, especially in aligning their policies and actions to those of the Federal Government.

52. 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, by working together and carefully following the rules, we shall get over this pandemic.

53. I must also thank the Legislative arm of Government for all its support and donations in this very difficult period. This collaboration is critical to the short and long-term success of all the measures that we have instituted in response to the pandemic.

54. 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.

55. 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-19”.

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

57. 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 Fertiliser Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimized.

58. Finally, I want to thank the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for all their hard work so far. Indeed, the patriotism shown in your work is exemplary and highly commendable.

59. 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.

60. I thank you all for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Electoral Ammendment Bill : NASS Succumbs To Buhari

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Removes Direct Primaries Clause

Nigeria Senate on Wednesday removed the clause that makes direct primary mandatory for the election of candidates in political parties from the electoral amendment act.

The Senate in late 2021 passed a version of the bill and transmitted it to President Muhammadu Buhari who declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Buhari said that the mandatory use of direct primaries for all political parties in the country will be too expensive to execute, saying that it will put a financial burden on Nigeria’s slim resources.

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Labour Of Our Heroes Won’t Go In Vain,’ Govs Celebrate Armed Forces Remembrance Day

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Governors across states of the Federation have joined in the celebration of 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

The Federal Government had earlier ordered the closure of parts of the roads accessing the arcade of the federal secretariat complexes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to mark the event in the Federal Capital Territory.

In the South-West, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde at the event held on Saturday at the Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, promised to keep encouraging and working closely with members of the armed forces and the survivors of the fallen heroes

He commended the officers and men of the security agencies for their efforts in battling insecurity in the state, urging them to continue to do their best to ensure that peace reigns in the state and the country at large.

Governor Seyi Makinde

“For Nigerians, some people made sacrifices for us to be where we are right now and also paid the ultimate price.

“So, I believe we should not allow their toil to go in vain,” the governor said.


In Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, it was a solemn moment as the state governor, Dapo Abiodun joined other dignitaries which include the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers to lay the wreath in remembrance of the Nation’s fallen heroes at the arcade ground in the state capital.

The 21-gun salute was also shot in memory of the fallen heroes and the supreme price they had paid for the unity and peace of the country.

Governor Dapo Abiodun

 

The governor who also inspected the parades and the colour party called on Nigerians to sustain the quest for unity, peace and progress of the country, for socio-economic development and progress.


In the Eastern region, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi led other members of the state executive council to the event held at the Unity Square in the state capital.

Security Agencies represented at the event include the Nigerian Army; the Nigeria Police Force; the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); and the Nigeria Immigration.

Governor David Umahi

The Nigerian Legion Ebonyi State chapter at the event called on both the state and Federal Government to make available enhanced welfare packages as well as provision of job opportunities to the children of servicemen and women who have paid the supreme price defending the country.


Also in Imo State, resident joined their counterparts in other parts of the country to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

The event which took place at the Ndubuisi Kanu square in Owerri, the Imo state capital, witnessed match past by the armed forces and security operatives as well as the presence of top government functionaries in Imo State.

Governor Hope Uzodimma

Delivering his speech, Governor Hope Uzodimma asked Nigerians to take the opportunity of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration to reflect more on the meaning and importance of sacrifice as it affects the interest of the Nation.

He described the military as the noblest and patriotic profession.

In the South-South, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his deputy Kingsley Otuaro led top military and para-military officers to lay wreaths at the statue of the unknown soldier.

The event was held at the cenotaph where the governor inspected the guard of honour mounted by the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce and members of the Nigerian Legion.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

 

A minute silence was observed while a 21-gun salute was taken in honour of the departed heroes.

Some widows of the fallen heroes also used the opportunity to ask the Federal and State Government to look into their plight and provide support for them to be able to fend for themselves and their families.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki in his address held in Benin, the state capital said unguarded talks about Nigeria’s unity will cost lives and the efforts of fallen heroes would have been in vain.

Governor Godwin Obaseki

 

He also disclosed plans to include wives of the fallen heroes in the state’s welfare programmes, adding that some of the legionnaires have already been integrated into the security architecture of the state.


In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue in resolving thorny issues in the country.

Governor Udom Emmanuel

 

The governor said most of the circumstances that caused bloodshed in the country’s history would have been settled peacefully if the key players embraced dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq urged Nigerians to continue to provide information to the military in order to end the insecurity in the country while also urging the country to appreciate the sacrifices being made to keep the country together.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He commended the men of Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies for protecting the lives of the people especially in dealing with insurgency and criminal elements, urging them not to relent.

The governor urged them to continue to protect the integrity of the nation, promising the support of the state government towards ending the insecurity.

“My call is on the military to remain resolute. Today is a special day where we come to remember our fallen heroes that have lost their lives in wars and in the course of their assignments”, he said.

Highlights of the event were the release of pigeons as a symbol of peace, exchange of pleasantries with the widows of the fallen heroes and members of the legions as well as the inspection of the guard of honour by the Governor.

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku in his address urged the Nigeria Army to sustain the momentum against insecurity and ensure that peace reigns across the country.

He said his administration will not relent in supporting the military and other security agencies to ensure that criminal elements are wiped out of the state, as well as avert the recurring herders, farmers clashes and communal crisis.

The governor, who was was represented by his Deputy Haruna Manu assured of prioritising the needs of ex-servicemen and fallen heroes families.

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Former Oyo State Governor, Alao-Akala Passes On

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Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State, is dead.

Details of his death are sketchy but sources close to the politician confirmed the tragic incident to SunriseNigeria.

The politician, who had been battling terminal ailment for a while, died in his Ogbomoso country home, on Wednesday morning, according to sources.

A top source in the All Progressives Congress (APC) who confirmed his death to Daily Trust on Wednesday morning, said he died in his room.

“It is true that Oga is dead. He died in the early hours of Wednesday in his room in Ogbomoso. He was full of life last night. In fact, I head he was playing with his children before he went to bed. We are in a mourning mood now,” he said.

Akala was the governor of the state between 2007 and 2011.

Born on June 3, 1950, at Ogbomoso in the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Alao-Akala had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso before proceeding to Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.

This is the third known death of a prominent Ogbomosho native in a month.

On December 12, 2021, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, the Soun of Ogbomoso, passed on.

On January 8, 2022, Prof Taibat Danmole, his daughter who was a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), also died.

The deceased, who was a professor of education was married to another university don, Prof. Hakeem Danmole, who is the Dean College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin

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