Tag Archives: politics

U.S senator quit Presidential race.


United States Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, has quit the presidential race, making former Vice President, Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee to face Republican President, Donald Trump, in November.

His decision comes as the country grapples with the Coronavirus outbreak that has affected the nominating schedule, with some primaries postponed, and others up in the air.

Sanders, 78, called it a “difficult and painful decision” but said he would stay on the ballot in future primaries and continue to gather delegates in order to push the Democratic platform toward his populist anti-corporate agenda, including a government-run healthcare system and tax hikes for the rich.


#Newsworthy…

Oyo gov, Makinde reveal what he ate to fight COVID-19.


Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde last Monday revealed that he fought coronavirus with carrots, vitamin C and black seed oil with honey while in isolation.

The governor revealed this in Ibadan in a telephone interview with an FM radio station. He had last week announced that he was tested positive for the disease and went into isolation.


But two days ago, he announced that he had become negative after series of tests. The governor said he only made efforts to boost his immunity and used his time in isolation to regularly exercise on the treadmill.

Makinde said in boosting his immunity to fight coronavirus, he consumed vitamin C, carrots and black seed oil mixed with honey.


He said: “My very good friend and brother, Dr Muyideen Olatunji is the one in charge of the primary healthcare for Oyo State. He came to me and said, look, I am going to send to you this black seed oil, it boosts immunity. So, I mixed it with honey and took one teaspoon in the morning and one in the evening.

“So, there are local solutions to boost immunity. Our people should not fret. Just as I’ve been able to get the virus out off my system, so will it be for majority of our people.


“I’ve lost a little bit of weight which I think is good. When you’re in isolation, the tendency is just to watch television and eat, I was eating amala. But I was also using the treadmill. It has also been a period to reflect and look at the programmes, policies and the things we want to do for the people of Oyo state and also reflect on how the COVID-19 is going to affect us socially and economically.”

He faulted the Federal Government’s palliative measures in the state, saying


“Two days ago in the task force meeting, the Head of Service told me that the conditional cash transfer from the Federal Government would be N20, 000 to people in 10 local government areas of Oyo State and I said, it’s good, but this programme predates this administration and I’ve never been impressed for one day about the way they identified the poorest and the impact.

“They’ve been making noise in the newspapers that they have some items for us. So, I sent the people at the liaison office.

First day at the Nigerian Governors’ Forums’ meeting, I was told those items were taken to liaison offices. So, I called the liaison office in Abuja and asked, did you receive anything, but they said no.”


#Newsworthy…

Ondo’20: I will spend one term – PDP governorship candidate. (Nigeria)


A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, has declared that he would serve only one term in office if elected governor.

This, he explained, was because he would be completing the tenure of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, as both of them hail from Owo, Ondo North senatorial district.


Dr. Ayorinde said he opted to work closely with Governor Akeredolu to move the state forward but all his intentions were repelled.

Ayorinde stated that he was chased out of the All Progressives Congress by Akeredolu despite his several pleas to him to be magnanimous in victory and tolerant of all of them that contested against him at the party primaries.


He said all efforts to make Akeredolu realised he is the Governor of all in Ondo State rather than Governor of Aketi Team failed.

The PDP governorship hopeful noted that the present realities in the state and emerging facts have rekindled his genuine concern that achieving a great and prosperous Ondo State is a task that must be accomplished.


Read Also; COVID-19: Lawmaker seeks N5billion presidential intervention
According to him, “People had equally asked me whether an Owo man can succeed Aketi as Governor. My answer has been emphatic no but that it is only fair and just for an Owo man to complete the expected tenure of office.

“Therefore, my honest intention is to complete the term due to Owo through the mandate of the good people of Ondo State and I am prepared to give our Leaders in PDP, a written undertaking to that effect.


“Ondo State, the 5th amongst the nine oil producing States in the Federation deserves better leadership. Given the opportunity to serve, my mission is to industrialise Ondo State, create wealth and provide gainful employment for our teeming citizens.

“That has been my concern, my consistent sermon and my mission in government. So, 1st on my priority list is Industrialisation, 2nd is Industrialisation, and the 3rd is Industrialisation.


“I must acknowledge the fact that many of the aspirants from Ondo Central and Ondo South are eminently qualified to govern the state. However, they must be appealed to, to allow us finish our two terms in Ondo North.

It is expected, reasonably too, that when power shifts to their districts, they would be allowed to complete their terms. Very logical and desirable to so think and act.

“This decision was reached after a very wide consultation coupled with strong conviction that I can make a positive difference. After 44 years of its creation, Ondo State must stop crawling. It must stand right and be counted amongst self sufficient states in Nigeria.

“As I present myself for genuine service with the fear of God, I appeal to all indigenes and residents of Ondo State to stand by me towards rebuilding our dear sunshine state.”


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Orji Uzor Kalu preaches in prison.

pray over COVID-19


The convicted Senator representing Abia-North Senatorial Zone, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has asked Nigerians not to give up in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world.

He made this known in a press release by his Media Aide, Maduka Okoro, on Tuesday morning. Orji expressed his ultimate and abiding faith in God, saying that COVID-19 will eventually be a thing of the past.


He asked that this difficult and challenging period does not call only for solemn reflections, but for all well-meaning Abia-North sons and daughters, despite the socio-political differences, to collectively work together to fight the scary scourge that is very devastating.

Kalu said, “We must come together as a nation and people to seek the face of the Almighty God, so that His GRACE and Mercy will shine upon us all. I am constantly praying for the people of my constituency and will continue to work tirelessly, bearing the cross in these trying times.

“I urge you all not to relent but to keep hope alive, for soon and very soon the light of Hope will shine at the end of the tunnel by God’s infinite Grace”.

“May God continue to bless Ndi-Abia North and our dear Country Nigeria,” the ex-Abia governor added.


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria: President Buhari Sign COVID-19 Regulations 2020


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared COVID-19 a dangerous infectious disease.

This according to Femi Adesina the special adviser to the President, is in line with the exercising of the powers conferred on Buhari by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf.

In his statement on Monday, the presidential spokesman noted that the regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

He added that to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Reps urges FG to suspend utility bills payment for 2 months, in Nigeria.


As the country contends with the effects of COVID-19, a member of the House of Representatives, Shehu Koko, has charged the Federal Government to waive the payment of electricity and water bills for two months as part of palliatives for citizens.

Koko, who represents Aiyama/Koko/Besse Federal Constituency (APC) Kebbi State, stated this in a statement in Abuja, on Monday.


The lawmaker, while urging Nigerians to obey the stay at home order by the government, said the suspension of the payment of utility bills by Nigerians in the next two months, will help to cushion the effects of dwindling economic resources in the wake of the outbreak of COVID 19 in the country.

According to him, ” our country is going through trying times just like the international communities. While we continue to pray for God to come to our rescue, I urge the Federal government to provide basic amenities like water and electricity at no cost especially those at the grassroot level without interruption.


“This I believe will go a long way to assist the federal government’s decision to provide relief materials to citizens this period.

“Though these amenities are private sector driven, we urge the government to intervene and ameliorate the sufferings of the people.”

Koko, who is also the chairman, House Committee on Air force, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring a two-week lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

He equally thanked President Buhari for the three months moratorium granted to beneficiaries of Tradermoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.


#Newsworthy…

PDP senators hail Buhari over speech.

disagree with party leaders.


The Minority Caucus of the Senate, yesterday, disagreed with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the caucus commended the Federal Government’s approach to combat the ravaging COVID-19 as contained in President Buhari’s Sunday evening national broadcast to Nigerians.


In a statement released in Abuja by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the caucus said though they had expected the presidency to engage the National Assembly more in some of the policy areas that are statutory, they have to recognise the fact that these are unusual times that may require quick policy responses.

“These are perilous times in the world and indeed an unusual situation for our dear country, so the PDP caucus described as a step in the right direction the President’s broadcast and policy measures, which we believe while being short on prioritizing the poor and vulnerable in our society , nevertheless if properly implemented will keep our people safe from this deadly virus,” he said.


Abaribe assured that the caucus is ready to work and engage in a bipartisan manner with the presidency and is even ready to reconvene should the need arise to insure that the country ward off the Covid-19 virus, which has kept the entire world on it’s toes.

However, the caucus asked for a proper monitoring of the disbursement of the palliative measures to ensure that it gets to the people they’re meant for and also urged humane approach by the relevant security agencies while strictly implementing the measures that has to do with the restrictions of movement of our people.


“The security agencies should bear in mind that these are unusual times and first of it’s kind that Nigerians will be asked to stay mostly at home and maintain social distance. As such the approach should be more of humane engagement rather than the application of force,” Abaribe added.

Nonetheless, the PDP caucus according to Abaribe, advised Nigerians to adhere strictly to the federal government directives and other containment measures rolled out by the National Center for Desease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) adding that doing so, would certainly put the ravaging virus at bay.

“It could be tough, but the measures are necessary now if we must survive this deadly scourge and emerge stronger after,“ Abaribe added.


#Newsworthy…

NGF congratulate Tinubu as he turns 68.


The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has joined families, friends, well wishers and political associates of National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, to congratulate him as he turns 68.

The chairman of the Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, described the former Senator and two-term Governor of Lagos State as one of Nigeria’s finest politician.


Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Saturday in Jos, described Tinubu as a personality worthy of note.

He said he is a man who understood the best way to connect with the people and canvass for their interests.


“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a leader who serves with diligence, courage and compassion in such a manner that he clearly articulates and canvasses for issues that directly affect the people.

“He has remained consistent in advocating for matters that unite Nigerians and also promote the economic development of the country,” he said.


The chairman acknowledged the contributions of the celebrant as the national Leader of the APC and one of its founding fathers, saying he continued to provide exemplary leadership for the ruling party.

He noted that the politician, ensured he maintained harmony among members of the party.


Lalong urged the APC leader not to relent in upholding the path of cooperation and collaboration among different segments of the Nigerian society.

“This will enable the nation overcome the challenges of insecurity, religious intolerance, corruption and economic sabotage,” he said.

The NGF chairman prayed for more years of good health and prosperity for the APC leader.

NobleReporters gathered that Mr Bola Tinubu was born on 29th March 1952.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Ministers donate 50% of March salary to fight pandemic – FG.


Nigeria’s 43 cabinet ministers have donated 50 percent of their March salaries towards the federal government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said on Saturday.

According to Mohammed, the donation was coordinated by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.


In a statement issued by Mohammed’s office on Saturday in Abuja. Saraki was quoted as saying it (the donation) was a gesture of solidarity and support for the federal government’s efforts to tackle the disease.

”This global virus outbreak will require nations, continents and
smaller communities to pull together to contribute their resources and
support one another. This will facilitate an early resolution of the
problem,” Saraki was quoted as saying.


The Ministers also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his
leadership role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Nigeria now has 81 confirmed cases of the coronavirus after 11 new cases were confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) late Friday.

Italy on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive.


#Newsworthy…

Adesua Etomi celebrate Banky W at 39.

says, God curse whoever curse my husband


Adesua Etomi, wife of Banky W, Nigerian entertainer and politician, has celebrated her husband as he turns 39.

In a lengthy post on her social media page, the talented actress expressed her joy at having Banky W as husband, explaining that she has learnt a lot from him.


“It’s my baby’s birthday. @bankywellington. Olubankole, what a man? What a mighty good man,” she wrote on Instagram.

“This is the 4th birthday we are sharing as a couple and I have seen you blossom and flourish and become all God has called you to be.


“You are many things my love…Incredibly talented, unbelievably intelligent, wise beyond your years, generous, compassionate, hardworking, patient, loving, kind, loyal, and so much more.

Etomi also offered prayers for the showbiz mogul as he continues to pursue his dreams in life. She however, went on to rain curses on those plotting evil against her husband.

“The lord shield you…remember, he didn’t say the weapons won’t be formed…he said they won’t prosper. May you continue to dwell in the secret place of the most high,” she added.


“Anyone that blesses you will be blessed, whomever curses you will be cursed, anyone that digs a pit for you will fall into it. Nations shall rise and call you blessed, kings will not sit till you walk into the room.

“I bless you with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. A city set upon a hill cannot be hidden. I declare that your glory will never be hidden.

https://www.instagram.com/adesuaetomi/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_mid=EB926BA7-F186-40F8-AC4B-DEBB8AD06936

“Lies are only for a moment but truth will continue forever (proverbs 12:19- NCV) and you my darling, are the truth. I love you longtime. Truly, madly, deeply.”

In 2017, Banky W tied the knot with Adesua at a decorated white wedding in South Africa.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] God ordain your victory – Secondus tells Matawalle.


The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has felicitated with the Zamfara state Governor Alhaji Bello Matawalle on his victory at the Supreme Court on Friday.

He urged him to be a good team leader. Prince Secondus reminded the governor and the party in the state that their victory came from God, adding that the governor and his team should appreciate that fact and work hard to make a lasting mark with the mandate.


Secondus in a statement by his Media Aide, Ike Abonyi also advised the governor to unite the people and move quickly to tackle the myriad of challenges facing the state most of which steamed from bad governance witnessed in the state in the past.

“God has designed this position for you for a purpose and you must do everything humanly possibly not to disappoint both the people and the almighty who sent you there.

“Identify critical stakeholders who can help you achieve your goals and refuse to be intimidated because you have a special mandate from God,” Secondus said.


#Newsworthy…

Politicians started taking deliveries of Toyota Camry 2020 model cars. {Reactions}


The Nigerian House of Representatives has started taking the deliveries of the Toyota Camry 2020 model cars acquired for members as official cars.

In a report, some of these exotic automobiles were spotted by their correspondent at different parking lots within the National Assembly Complex, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. N.Rs learnt


Though the buildup for the delivery of the cars spans to a month and few weeks back, the delivery comes at a time when the country is battling the Coronavirus crisis and as such, Nigerians took to Twitter to blast the move.

On the 5th of February, 2020, legislators held a closed-door where they resolved to purchase 400 units of the exotic car. The House has, however, kept sealed lips on the cost of each unit.


NobleReporters observed that the House procured the V6 Limited Edition variant of the car.

Chairman of the Committee on House Services, Mr. Wale Raji, who confirmed delivery of the cars declined to respond to further enquiries.

A check on the website of Toyota revealed that each of the vehicles – depending on the variant, has a price tag of between US$25,000 to US $35,000, excluding the cost of shipping and custom duties, which is about 100 per cent of the actual cost of each unit.


#Newsworthy…

Jonathan: We beat Ebola, we will beat COVID-19.


Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to remain courageous and faithful. Jonathan who made the call on his Facebook page, yesterday, said that this is a time to show good citizenship, solidarity and patriotism.

It will be recalled the zeal and support shown by Nigerians in 2014 when his government battled Ebola virus to a standstill, Jonathan also called on the people to redisplay such enthusiasm and readiness to combat the coronavirus, assuring a complete defeat of the disease soon.


He wrote: “Today, our world faces a global crisis that threatens our peace, hope and freedoms. Across the globe is the climate of fear, havoc, and consequences of a new enemy called coronavirus disease.

“Fellow compatriot, this is not a time to fear or despair, it is a moment of responsibility, courage and faith. It is time to demonstrate good citizenship by yielding to relevant policies and guidelines put in place by government and its agencies to combat the challenge of COVID-19.

“As a country, ours is a history of many triumphs in times of global and national challenges. In 2014, through solidarity and unity of purpose, we combated the dreaded Ebola virus.

“More than ever before, now is the time for action, solidarity and patriotism. Let’s all brace up and work together to combat this new scourge, COVID- 19.”


#Newsworthy…

Being on sit, you’re not in power – Oby Ezekwesili slam Buhari.


Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, has slammed President Buhari over his ‘style of leadership’ as Nigeria battles the Coronavirus outbreak.

Ezekwesili, like many other Nigerians, have called on President Buhari to address the nation as the Coronavirus pandemic persists.


On Thursday night, the President took to his Twitter handle to announce new measures he has taken in the fight against the viral disease.

Ezekwesili was disappointed by the move and took to her twitter handle to react.


See her tweets below.


#Newsworthy…

COBID-19: Buhari orders quick release of N15 Billion to Lagos, NCDC.


President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate release of N15 billion to the Lagos State government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the President explained that the approval followed the extensive briefings he received recently on the state of the nation, as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.


He ordered that the sum of N10 billion grant be immediately released to Lagos State to boost the government’s capacity to control and contain the outbreak, as well as support other states with capacity-building.

The remaining N5 billion, according to the President, is to be paid as a special intervention fund to the NCDC to equip and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across Nigeria.


He revealed that the Nigerian Air Force was already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response.

President Buhari said the initial closure of the nation’s international airports and land borders for four weeks was to ensure that appropriate policies, processes, and infrastructure were in place to cope with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.


He, however, regretted the inconvenience caused by the flight and travel restrictions to Nigerians abroad willing to return home, stressing that it was for the greater good.

The President thanked all medical personnel in the country for their efforts in curbing the spread of the disease.

He also urged Nigerians to be mindful of those he said were taking advantage of the present situation to spread panic and cause confusion.


Read the President’s remarks below:

Over the last few days, I have received extensive briefings on the state of the nation as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the relevant Federal Government agencies as well as the Lagos State Government.


Accordingly, I approved the following:

The immediate release of a 10 billion Naira grant to Lagos State, which remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. This grant will enable Lagos to increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building.


The immediate release of a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.

The Nigerian Air Force is already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response across the country.


To protect our homeland from external exposure, I directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance, to enable us to put up the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases.

The inconvenience caused by these flight and travel restrictions to our fellow citizens abroad who want to return home is regrettable, but it is necessary for the greater good, and I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation.


I have also directed that only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports after the crew has been tested and confirmed disease-free by the Port Health Authorities.

This 14-day restriction, however, does not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products as by their nature, there is minimal human contact.


We have also suspended the movement of commuter trains to limit the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.

I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.


Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.

Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them to support the national response.


I commend the monetary policy authorities for their financial intervention to support our entrepreneurs and companies as we go through this difficult time.

We are also looking at fiscal measures to minimise the negative impact of this pandemic on the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.


As you are aware we have begun the process of reviewing the federal budget. We shall communicate our fiscal interventions once the budget review process is concluded.

In the meantime, I have directed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that all production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues unhindered.


We are engaging our international friends and partners to share knowledge and to seek their support in our response to the pandemic. We are grateful for the show of support thus far – we have already started receiving goods and supplies intended to help us scale up our efforts.

Let me specially thank and commend all of the hard and heroic work being done by our medical personnel, the NCDC, Port Health Authorities, Security Agencies, State Governments, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers.


I urge all Nigerians to be mindful of those among us who seek to spread panic and misinformation and sow confusion at this time.

We must all pay attention only to the relevant government agencies working day and night to make accurate and useful information available to the public.


I will also ask all of us to strictly obey all public health guidelines and instructions issued by the Federal and State health authorities, regarding personal hygiene and social distancing.

These guidelines will be updated from time to time as new information and treatments are obtained.

In the meantime, I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government remains committed to protecting all Nigerians. We seek your full support and cooperation as we go through this very difficult time. Together we will triumph over this pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

Gov. Bello fires back – says those wishing me COVID-19 will get HIV.


Against several calls from some Nigerians including the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello should go for test to ascertain his status on the current deadly coronavirus pandemic that have claimed several lives in the world, the governor has come out to state that those wishing that he contact the disease would be infected with HIV/Aids.

The governor stated this in a 28 seconds video. Gov Bello in the video claimed to be hale and hearty.


The governor challenged any body doubting to the boxing ring, assuring that he would emerge victorious.

His words” I gat no COVID. Those who wish me to have COVID will have HIV. I am good, hale and hearty. I challenge everybody to the boxing ring”.


It would be recalled that the Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had advised Alhaji Yahaya Bello to immediately subject himself to Covid-19 test having had contact with Abba kyari, the Chief of staff to President Mohammadu Buhari.

The PDP in a statement signed by the Director Research and Documentation, Achadu Dickson said the fight against the dreaded Covid-19 virus can only be won when stakeholders show responsibility beyond lips service.


He urged those who had contact with the CoS to go for test. The statement appealed to the APC led government not to play politics with the health and safety of Kogites,

He, however, prayed for Gov. Bello and wished that he tests negative at the end.

“The PDP notes that it has still not seen any concrete preparation by the government to tackle the scourge in the state beyond the shut down and ban of public gatherings. We urged the Government to take a cue from what is obtained in Borno, Lagos and other states where they have shown serious commitment to fighting the scourge.

” For an issue that is presently a global phenomenon and requires political and other will to fight by leadership at all strata, we are worried by the sudden disappearance of the governor from the state for no serious reason, described it as unfortunate. The PDP however called on the state government to be civil even in the face of the enforcement of the order banning public gatherings,” the statement added.


#Newsworthy…

PDP, CSOs slam Buhari after banning some Media houses from covering activities in Aso Villa.


The Peoples Democratic Party, on Wednesday, said the banning of some media houses from covering activities in the Presidential Villa was unjustified.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had in a statement on Tuesday restricted the coverage of activities in the Villa to 13 media organisations excluding AIT, Arise TV, STV, Ben TV and others.

Also barred were reporters from The PUNCH, ThisDay, Tribune, The Guardian, Vanguard, Daily Trust and other major newspapers, while few of them were allowed to send in their photographers.

In the statement, Adesina attributed the decision to part of the measures being taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

He explained that Channels TV, NTA, TVC, News Agency of Nigeria, Sun Newspaper, Voice of Nigeria, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, and photographers of ThisDay, The Guardian, Leadership, Vanguard and Daily Trust, would remain to cover the Villa for a yet-to-be specified period.

However, in a statement issued, on Tuesday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, dismissed Adesina’s explanations.

He described the restrictions placed on media houses as a most heinous form of official victimisation executed in bad faith.

According to him, this decision by the Buhari regime is highly detestable, undemocratic and totally against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Freedom of Information Act, as well as the tenets and guiding principles of rule of law.

Ologbondiyan said, “This is therefore not the time for unnecessary pettiness, victimisation and barring of media houses, a development which has sparked suspicion in the public space as being designed to conceal certain facts from the public.

“It is indeed instructive for the Buhari Presidency to note that our nation is in dire need of hope and direction contained in timely information, especially from the government.”

He warned that clamping down on the media, which is a critical stakeholder in the effort to defeat COVID-19, was completely at variance with national interest.

Ologbondiyan further said, “What our nation needs now is for all hands on deck, with those in power shelving their pettiness, parochial interests, pointless and unreasonable ego as we collectively seek for solutions.

“The PDP, therefore, charges the Presidency to, immediately and without any further delay, lift the ban on the affected media houses and allow them to discharge their responsibility to the Nigerian people, in line with the provisions of the law and their professional requirements.

“Moreover, the PDP frowns on the Federal Government cancelling its Tuesday media briefing on the COVID-19, thereby denying Nigerians very vital information in the process. The party urges the Federal Government to exert itself and seek more concerted efforts in the fight against the pandemic.”

No justification for barring free press – CSOs

Also, the National Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association, Emmanuel Onwubiko, while speaking on the development said, “The restriction infringes on the constitutional obligations of the State to the people of Nigeria in line with section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

He challenged the regime to come clean because there is now a clear indication that it was uncomfortable with public scrutiny of its activities by the free press in Nigeria.

Onwubiko also said, “HURIWA hereby totally condemns this outrageous and grave threat to the constitutionally guaranteed media rights of citizens who are the owners of the sovereignty of Nigeria and have donated the legitimacy to government officials to exercise responsibility within the legal framework. We think the current administration is rapidly becoming a tyranny and totalitarian regime.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the Executive Director, Civil Societies Legislative and Advocacy Centre, Auwual Musa, said, “When we said there was a systematic attack on free speech and the freedom of the press supporters of this regime call us lairs and wailers now it is clear for all to see.

“This restriction which is clearly targeted at independent minded media organisations is further proof of this regime growing intolerance of alternative views. It is such a shame.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Atiku donate N50M relief fund.


Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has donated N50million as relief fund to support the Federal Government’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Atiku, in a press statement he personally signed on Wednesday, said his contribution will help “form part of the stimulus package.”


He praised the Federal and State Governments for taking precautionary measures in containing the spread of the virus in the country.

Part of these, Atiku explained, include issuing stay at home orders, and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.


Despite the measures, however, the former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked governments at all levels to “provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their own safety.”

According to him, “a large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown.”


READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

Corona Virus: Nigerians Deserve Palliative Measures


As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world, I applaud the various Nigerian state governments who have proactively taken measures, such as issuing stay at home orders, and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.

However, we must accept the fact that much of the Nigerian public have a subsistence existence. A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown.


It is, therefore, incumbent on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their own safety.

At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, the government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as a supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.


It is thus time for the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, perhaps by teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens.

I also call on all Mobile Telephony Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that the government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance. I also urge these telecommunications firms to offer each of the 100 million mobile phone lines in Nigeria free credit of at least ₦1500 per mobile line, so that Nigerians who show symptoms, or those who just want information, can call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be.

I commend all individuals and corporate organisations who have one way or the other provided some form of relief for the Nigerian people. This is what makes Nigeria great, when we help each other at such crisis times as this, irrespective of any differences. I further call on more corporations and individuals with capacity, to assist the public in these trying times.

To this end, Priam Group pledges N50 million on my behalf as my humble contribution to a relief Fund that will form part of the stimulus package.

May God bless Nigeria.

Atiku Abubakar

Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007

Abuja

25th March 2020


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Atiku tells Buhari to give each household in Nigeria N10,000.


Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to provide a stimulus package for Nigerian families as the nation battles the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus has ravaged through countries across the world for the past three months and interrupted human activities, and endangered the global economy.


The Nigerian government has already restricted all international flights into the country and closed all land borders. All public workers from Level 12 and below have also been instructed to work from home to reduce human traffic around the country.

A few state governments have announced similar measures to curb the disease, trapping many Nigerians in their homes with minimal contact with others advised for everyone.


In a statement on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Atiku, whose son, Mohammed, recently tested positive for the virus, said a large percentage of Nigerians lack the financial capacity to withstand restricted activity as is currently required.

He, therefore, called on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives for Nigerians to survive the current difficult times.


“At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, the government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as a supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.

“It is thus time for the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, perhaps by teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens,” he said.


To show his commitment to his call, Atiku, who lost the presidential election in 2019, pledged the donation of N50 million, donated on his behalf by Priam Group, as contribution to a relief fund that will form part of the stimulus package.

He also called on all mobile telephone companies in the country to develop mobile money platforms so that the government will be able to reach unbanked Nigerians with the proposed package.

“I also urge these telecommunications firms to offer each of the 100 million mobile phone lines in Nigeria free credit of at least ₦1500 per mobile line, so that Nigerians who show symptoms, or those who just want information, can call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be,” he said.

Atiku called on individuals and corporate organisations to assist the government in providing relief for the Nigerian people.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: PMB resume work after testing negative.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday resumed work after isolating himself for about 24 hours as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic that has hit some staff of State House.

President Buhari was tested of the dreaded virus on Monday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC when the news of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari of testing positive broke out, but on Tuesday, it was reported that the result of the President”s test was negative.


Before then he had self-isolated himself in compliance with the NCDC directive.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the nation’s seat of power was nearly deserted except critical staff on essential services, mostly the security operatives.

According to the Presidency source, President Buhari was in his office working but no government functionary came for the usual briefing.

Although the source did not disclose the time President Buhari resumed at work, he said the number one citizen was in the office at about 2.30 pm when the inquiry was made.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Fayemi on self-isolation after test.


He informed the test was necessitated as a result of having come into contact with persons who had proven positive to the test.

The Tweet read;

“I just took a COVID-19 test, having gone into self isolation since yesterday evening. I’m asymptomatic and feel well, but I was in meetings with two people who had since tested positive. I look forward to an all clear and have encouraged all my colleagues to take the test. JKF”


#Newsworthy…