NEWS AND STORIES
Rwandan Hutu rebels on Tuesday denied accusations they were behind the killing of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and instead blamed the armies of the DRC and Rwanda, as further details emerged about the attack.
Luca Attanasio, 43, died on Monday after a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy was ambushed in a dangerous part of eastern DRC.
The envoy’s Italian bodyguard, Vittorio Iacovacci, and a Congolese driver who has not been identified also died on the field trip.
The DRC’s interior ministry on Monday blamed the killings on “members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)” — a Rwandan Hutu rebel group that has plagued the region for more than a quarter of a century.
But the FDLR rejected the allegation, blaming the Rwandan army and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) for the attack in a statement received by AFP Tuesday.
It said the ambassador’s convoy was attacked near the Rwandan border, “not far from a position of the FARDC”.
“The responsibility for this despicable killing is to be found in the ranks of these two armies and their sponsors who have forged an unnatural alliance to perpetuate the pillaging of eastern DRC,” it said.
The FDLR called on Kinshasa and UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO to “shed light” on the killings “instead of resorting to hasty accusations”.
The DRC and Rwanda authorities have not reported the presence of any regular Rwandan troops in the DRC.
But an expert at the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a US monitor, told AFP the Hutu rebel group has a known presence in the region.
“The FDLR are near the place where the attack took place. It’s in the realm of possibility that the Rwandan rebels are responsible for this attack,” the expert said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Scores of militias roam the DRC’s four eastern provinces, many of them a legacy of wars in the 1990s that sucked in countries around central-southern Africa and claimed millions of lives.
Some of the FDLR’s founders were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide during which the Hutu majority slaughtered 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis but also Hutu moderates.
The group is opposed to the current Rwandan government but has not launched any large-scale attacks in Rwanda since 2001.
Monday’s attack occurred north of the North Kivu capital of Goma on National Highway 2 — a road that runs through thickly forested, mountainous terrain next to the porous border with Rwanda.
The world-renowned Virunga National Park, a UNESCO-listed wildlife reserve that is a haven for critically-endangered mountain gorillas, straddles the area.
DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s office said Attanasio had arrived in Goma on Friday morning aboard a MONUSCO plane.
He left on Monday morning in a two-vehicle WFP convoy heading for Kiwanja, in the Rutshuru area, accompanied by his bodyguard and WFP workers, it said.
The convoy was ambushed three kilometres (1.8 miles) from their destination by six assailants, armed with five AK-47 assault rifles and a machete.
“They proceeded by firing warning shots before forcing the people in the vehicles to get out and follow them into the depths of the (Virunga) park, which they did by shooting dead one of the drivers to create panic,” the president’s office said.
Park rangers and army troops nearby heard the noise and pursued the attackers.
“Five hundred metres (from the site of the ambush), the kidnappers fired point-blank at the bodyguard, who died on the spot, and at the ambassador, hitting him in the abdomen,” the presidency said.
After the Italian government expressed shock and outrage at the attack, newspapers in Rome on Tuesday raised questions about security preparations for the trip.
The DRC interior ministry, in a statement on Monday, said the security services and provincial authorities had not been given advance warning of the trip.
“(They) were unable to provide special security for the convoy or come to its aid because of a lack of information about their presence in this part of the country, despite its reputation for instability,” it said.
But the WFP, in a statement, said the attack “occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts”.
A UN humanitarian official in the DRC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that this meant the convoy had to be a minimum of two vehicles.
By Ariwodola Idowu/Ado Ekiti/ PM NEWS
The Chinese expatriate, kidnapped in Ekiti state last week, has been released, with the payment of a record N100m ransom, about $220,000.
The expatriate, identified simply as Wang, works for the company engaged by the Ekiti State government to build the new Ado Ekiti-Iyin Ekiti road.
He was abducted last Friday at the site by gunmen, who also killed one of the policemen attached to the company.
A source close to the company said the abductee was released by his captors around 11pm on Tuesday after the payment of N100 million ransom.
According to the source, the ransom was collected in Kwara state, and the expatriate was released around Ilawe-Igede road in Ekiti state. According to the source, the ransom was collected in Kwara state, and the expatriate was released around Ilawe-Igede road in Ekiti state.
“The N100 million was taken to a bush in Kwara state where the kidnappers collected and confirmed it before the man was released at a very difficult location along Igede-Ilawe road in Ekiti state.
Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ekiti state, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the release, but declined to comment on the ransom.
He claimed the release was made possible after a serious manhunt for the kidnappers was launched by a combined team of security operatives.
“Yes, he was released after a serious manhunt and pressure from the security operatives around Ilawe-Igede at about 11:30 pm on Tuesday,” he said.
By Muhaimin Olowoporoku/ PM NEWS
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has given undergraduates seven pieces of advice on how to spend their time because of the union’s indefinite strike.
The union in a Twitter post advised the students seize the strike opportunity to get a skill and add value to their lives.
“This strike is an opportunity for any undergraduate to get a skill.
Students should always seize opportunities to add value to their life. At no time will conditions be favourable. Successful people only seize opportunities.
“Here are 7 ways you can make the most of this period.
1 Intern or get a small-time job
This may be a great time to draft your CV and pitch yourself to employers. Already, there are a couple opportunities since the announcement of this strike.
2.Join the family business
Some of us have ‘family businesses’. This the business our parents have been doing for some time. It can be a big-time company or a small supermart. Whichever one it is, it’s not a bad idea spending holiday working here. It’s one way to give back and also add to your professional experience.
3. Learn a new skill
I have an engineer friend who makes a living today from graphics design. He learnt it while we were in school. There’s almost no limit to the skills you can learn during holidays. If anything, start with learning basic and intermediate computer operations(if you don’t know that by now). Code schools are also popping up
everywhere so you can join one. You can also join the growing community of Nigerian freelancers and hone your skills.
4. Be active in church or mosque, other groups
Refuse to be an onlooker anywhere you find yourself. Be a part of people who make things work. Join a group in church, your community, and be active in it. These experiences also contribute shaping the person you’ll be in the future.
There’s no harm in travelling if you can afford it. Travelling is also a form of learning. If you happen to have relations scattered around Nigeria and abroad, consider travelling. Life’s too short to not explore more places.
6. Read books
We don’t mean only course-related books. Take up a novel, read a book on investment, study Nigerian history, look up spiritual books. Read far and wide.
7. Have fun
Well, you still have to catch some fun. Plus, it’s perfectly okay to spoil yourself a little. You can binge watch your favourite TV series, play football, go to more events etc etc.
An activist, Kenechukwu Okeke has filed a criminal complaint before a Chief Magistrate’s court in Abuja against Fifty (50) #EndSARS promoters.
In the complaint sighted by The Nation, prominent personalities mostly entertainers and social influencers were listed. The case was instituted on Monday in pursuant to sections 88, 109(a), 110(1)(c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
The defendants include; Aisha Yesufu, Oseyi Etomi, Sam Adeyemi, Yemi Alade, Rinu Oduala, Peter Okoye, Paul Okoye, Kanu Nwankwo, Deji Adeyanju, Dr. Joe Abah, Banky W, Kiki Mordi, Modupe Odele, Burna Boy.
Others are Uche Jombo, Tiwa Savage, Ayodeji Makun, Folarin Falana, Apaokagi Mayram, Ayo Sogunro, David Adeleke, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japheth Omojuwa, Micheal Collins, Chinedu Okoli, Yul Edochie, Innocent Idibia, Debo Adebayo, Feyikemi Abudu.
Okeke, who alleged that during the protest, his properties were destroyed, states that the defendants who promoted the #EndSARS protests must be brought to Justice.
He said, “I shall instigate a private criminal prosecution against all the alleged perpetrators and coordinators of the #EndSARS riots on Twitter. The nation bled, lives lost, and properties worth billions destroyed as a result of the sheer recklessness of some persons.
“Having initiated criminal proceedings against the #EndSARS riots promoters at exactly 1052hrs WAT, 09/11/2020, we shall ensure that same is diligently prosecuted in the interest of defence, public safety and public order. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is country of laws.”
Four years after he began trial for allegedly stealing N156.4million, a former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro, faced re-arraignment yesterday for the same offence.
Jauro, Dr Dauda Bawa and a firm, Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd, were again brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the Federal High Court (FHC) in Lagos.
According to the EFCC, sum was stolen from NIMASA, on or about January 6, 2014, in Lagos, contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
Each defendant pleaded not guilty to a 19-count charge before Justice Chuka Obiozor.
EFCC counsel, Mr. Usman Buhari, applied for a date for commencement of trial and to make an order remanding the defendants in correctional custody.
But defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), opposed him.
Ojo prayed the court to allow the defendants continue on the N5million bail granted them four years ago.
In a ruling, Justice Obiozor granted Ojo’s bail request and adjourned till March 17, 2021 for commencement of trial.
The defendants were first arraigned for the alleged offence on April 12, 2016, but before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, also of the FHC.
They pleaded not guilty, were granted N5m bail and trial commenced with the EFCC calling 16 witnesses.
But proceedings were halted not long after the court fixed a date for the adoption of final addresses, when Justice Olatoregun retired in November 2019.
The case was then re-assigned to Justice Obiozor.
Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Hushpuppi arrested in Dubai was arrested neither by America’s FBI or Interpol
as widely reported in Nigeria.
On the contrary his arrest on 10 June was executed by Dubai Police.
UAE’s online newspaper, The National reported Wednesday that he was arrested on multiple fraud charges, along with 12 other accomplices.
The paper also revealed his real name as Raymond Abbas and his real age as 38 years.
His case has been referred to the Dubai public prosecution and is currently being questioned by prosecutors at the Bur Dubai section, the paper reported.
“The prosecutors have charged him for “obtaining money from others through fraudulent means.”
According to UAE National, security officers in the emirate arrested Mr Abbas and 12 others for online fraud that targets companies and individuals.
“They would send out letters from email addresses almost identical to those of legitimate companies, targeting customers of these companies, with the purpose of diverting payments to themselves,” said a senior prosecutor, quoted by the paper.
“Initial information includes that he was part of this gang which fraudulently obtained cash and cars from people.
“His statement was taken by prosecution but this is just the beginning of prosecution investigations.”
The paper also reported that Raymond Abbas is wanted for fraud crimes in Europe, the United States and Nigeria.
Mr Abbas has over two million followers on Instagram. He is known for his display of wealth on social media.
He often posts pictures with his luxury cars like Ferrari and Rolls Royce and a private jet.
Victor Giadom, the deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress, who seized control of the party today, has cancelled the screening for the Edo State governorship primary.
His action may have put the party’s plans for a 22 June direct primary asunder.
The party’s screening notably disqualified the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki from participating.
Obaseki on Tuesday announced his resignation from APC as he was set to join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
He indicated he may reverse himself, now that Giadom appears to have given him a lifeline.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, he said he has not left the APC.
He added that his main focus is to control the spread of COVID-19 ravaging the country and not the governorship election slated for September in his state.
He said: “I have not moved to a new platform yet to seek re-election.
“My focus now is to control the spread of the coronavirus (#COVID19) pandemic, which is ravaging our country and threatening our healthcare system.”
Giadom explained that he has taken over the party based on a previous court order empowering him to do so.
According to him, he has the backing of the members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The APC had announced ailing Abiola Ajimobi, the national deputy chairman, as acting chairman, based on the party’s constitution.
But the snag was that Ajimobi is not available to flex any muscle, as he is bedridden.
Ajimobi is hospitalised in Lagos for a serious COVID-19 illness.
Giadom’s lawyer Wole Afolabi, said Giadom becomes the acting national chairman, following the upholding of an earlier High Court order by the Appeal Court on Tuesday.
The order cited was not the one given by Justice Danlami Senchi on 4 March, but a consequent one given by Justice S.U. Bature on 10 March.
Bature specifically ruled that “Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the National Chairman.”
The implication of the Appeal Court judgment on Tuesday, according lawyers, is that all the actions taken by Oshiomhole after March became a nullity.
And this would include the emergence of Ajimobi, as deputy chairman and Waziri Bulama, as acting national secretary.
Both filled vacant positions.
Ajimobi replaced Adeniyi Adebayo, who is now minister of industries.
Bulama replaced Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, who is now governor of Yobe.
A statement issued by Afolabi, justifying Giadom as acting national chairman read:
“COURT RECOGNIZES VICTOR GIADOM AS ACTING NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF APC
Our attention has been drawn to a Statement purportedly issued by the Publicity Secretary of the APC to the effect that Senator Abiola Ajumobi is to act as the National Chairman of APC following the suspension from office of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal.
We wish to state that the statement must have been issued in complete ignorance of the order of the FCT High Court issued on 16th of March, 2020, by Hon. Justice S.U Bature in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 to the effect that Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the National Chairman of the party due to the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
The order was given the same day that the Court of Appeal earlier gave Oshiomhole a temporary respite by staying the execution of the said order suspending Oshiomhole. Now that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the order of suspension, it is only proper that the Order recognizing Chief Victor Giadom is implemented.
Consequently, we have written to all law-enforcement agencies to implement the said order and any one who attempts to parade himself/herself other than Chief Victor Giadom as the Acting Chairman of the APC would be facing contempt of court proceedings.
Colonel Dangiwa Umar has fired an open letter, dated 30 May, 2020, to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose administration was five years old on 29 May, asking him to preserve his name in history by putting right the skewed appointments (which favour the North ) that have characterised his tenure. This, according to Umar, “is more glaring in the leadership cadre of our security services.”
He asked Buhari to learn from the great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.
He cited an example: “In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbos, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.”
But what does Nigeria have under Buhari? Umar lamented: “Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.
“At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration…Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risks sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.”
Umar added: “Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.”
Below is Col Umar’s open letter
OPEN LETTER FROM COL. DANGIWA UMAR (RTD) TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday 30th May 2020
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dear Mr. President,
“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a Kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favor to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near” Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio.
I have been prompted to write you this open letter, Mr. President, by the loud sounds of drums, singing and dancing that erupted within many groups in the last few days on the grounds that you attained the 5th year in office as President of Nigeria. It comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for the celebration is not shared equally by segments of the public. While your admirers and supporters believe you have performed well, many others believe the five years you have been in office as our President has not met the yearnings, expectations and change promised Nigerians.
Mr. President, you know me well enough and my position on issues to realize that I can be neither a rabid supporter nor a fanatical opponent of yours. I believe being a responsible citizen is enough reason to wish you well and to work for your success. As we have seen all too clearly these past few years, your success is ours as is your failure. We swim or sink with you!
You might wish to recall that after the results of the 23rd of February 2019 presidential elections were announced, giving you victory, I addressed a press conference during which I urged the runner-up, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, to concede defeat. The reason was clear: tensions were running high and little missteps by the leaders might ignite violence, as often happened after major elections. Some supporters of Abubakar Atiku disagreed with me and told me off. As it happened, Alhaji Atiku went ahead to mount a legal challenge to the outcome of the elections up to the Supreme Court. Mercifully, his actions did not result in an outbreak of violence as we feared.
At the same occasion, I counselled the declared winner, your good self, to use the opportunity of your second term to redeem your pledge of being a leader and president of all Nigerians.
On the occasion of the first-year anniversary into your second four-year term, I feel there is an urgent need to revisit this subject matter.
Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.
And truth be told, Mr. President, there are quite a lot of things that speak to your remarkable accomplishments, not least of which is that for the first time in our democratic history, a sitting President was defeated. That feat was achieved by Muhammadu Buhari. The reason was the public belief of you as a man of integrity.
The corollary to this is that at the expiration of your 8-year tenure in 2023, your achievements will not be measured solely by the physical infrastructure your administration built. An enduring legacy would be based on those intangible things like how much you uplifted the spirit and moral tone of the nation. How well have you secured the nation from ourselves and from external enemies?
At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration. All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.
Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.
Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.
I need not remind you, Mr. President, that our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.
A few examples will demonstrate this:
In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbos, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.
When on 13 February 1976, the Commander-in-Chief, General Murtala Muhammed, was assassinated in a failed Coup de tat, General Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy and the most senior officer at the time, was sworn in as his successor. The Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Danjuma, a Northern Christian, was next in line to succeed Obasanjo as the Chief of Staff, SHQ and Deputy Commander in Chief. General Danjuma however waived his right and recommended a much junior officer, Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, for the post. Shehu was promoted two steps up to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief of Staff SHQ and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. Lt. Col. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed Minister of Petroleum. This was done to placate Muslim North which was deemed to have lost one of its own, Murtala Muhammed.
Both the chief of staff, Mr. Sunday Awoniyi, and the personal physician Dr Ishaya Audu to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, a direct descendant of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, were Christians.
Barely nine years after the civil war in 1979, the NPN Presidential candidate, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, picked an Igbo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as his running mate. They enjoyed a truly brotherly relationship as President and Vice President. President Shagari’s political advisor, Dr Chuba Okadigbo and National Assembly Liaison, assistant, Dr K.O Mbadiwe, were both Igbos. His economic advisor, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien and his Chief of Personnel Staff Dr Michael Prest, were of Niger Delta extraction. Remarkably, all his military service chiefs were Christians with the exception of his last Chief Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi under whose tenure he was removed in a military coup de tat.
Mr. President, as a witness and beneficiary, it is our expectation that you would emulate these great acts of statesmanship. Which is why we have continued to engage with you.
You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim Northerner. We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the North.
May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior Judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head. I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility. She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favor of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd. In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.
Thank you for your time, Mr. President.
COL. ABUBAKAR DANGIWA UMAR (RTD)
THE rise in new cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as deaths in Kano, Nasarawa and Zamfara are heightening anxiety among residents of Abuja and the three states.
FCT’s COVID- cases rose to 266 Saturday from 178 on Friday. It is third to Lagos, the epicentre of the contagion, which had 1,068 cases as of Sunday morning..
Nasarawa State, which shares border with the FCT, lost a member of its House of Assembly at the weekend, a development that led to his colleagues and their families proceeding on a 14-day isolation.
Also, Kano, which is reeling under mass deaths, lost another academic, Prof. Isa Hashim,while Zamfara also lost the Emir of Kaura-Namoda, Mohammed Asha, on Sunday.
The Nasarawa lawmaker and the emir are believed to have died of COVID-19 complications. The cause of the former university teacher is unknown.
Amid the fears in the three states and the FCT, every discharged Coronavirus patient in Lagos has been advised to stay at home or isolate for 14 days.
In the FCT, some residents told The Nation that they are living in fear due to the spread of the pandemic on a daily basis.
“This pandemic is becoming more scary with the raise in the new cases. We need to be very careful now and obey government and medical rules especially as the lockdown is being eased from today,” said one of the residents.
FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, however enjoined them to comply strictly with the guidelines on easing of the lockdown as that was the only way to ensure that the pandemic is contained.
At the same time, he warned that “anybody who, for any reason, flouts the directives of government and is arrested, the full wrath of the law will fall on him or her.”
The Minister stated that security agencies would deploy additional personnel and resources to all the FCT entry points to ensure that the enforcement of the guidelines.
A statement by Bello’s Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, explained that ”offices in the FCT are open for specific categories of staff on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays within a specific time range of 8am and 2pm.”
In Lafia, Governor Abdullahi Sule ordered the shutdown of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly following the sudden death of a member , Adamu Sulieman, from COVID-19 complications.
He also directed the other lawmakers, their families and staff members of the House to quarantine immediately.
Sulieman was said to have taken ill last Thursday and his blood sample was taken and sent to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.
He died in the early hours of Friday and was buried immediately according to lslamic rites. His result which was returned on Sunday by the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) positive .
Majority of the 23-member Assembly, friends and other associates of Suleiman attended the burial
Governor Sule also disclosed that the state had recorded nine confirmed cases of the pandemic with one death. He added that 11 of persons that had contact with the index case tested negative for the virus.
Sule said his government had evacuated about 788 Almajiris back to their home states as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
The governor was physically present at the Government Science School, Lafia to bid the Almajiris farewell in air conditioned buses to Plateau, Gombe, Kaduna, Taraba and Jigawa states
Zamfara State Publicity Secretary for the Control and Prevention of COVID-19, Alhaji Mustafa Jafaru Kaura, said that Emir Asha died on Sunday while in isolation at the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital.
He explained that Asha’s blood sample was sent to Abuja for COVID-19 test but that he died before the result could be out.
He said the remains of the Emir were still in the hospital waiting for burial by officials of the NCDC.
Hashim, a former university teacher, was until his death yesterday senior Counsellor in Kano Emirate Council and the Jarman Kano. He was 86.
A family source, Ibrahim Aliyu the heath of the traditional title holder started deteriorating following the deaths of some of his childhood friends in quick succession in the Emirate.
Hashim, a Professor of Political Science, was a senior lecturer with Bayero University Kano (BUK) for many years before his retirement.
According to the PDP, the President and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), would have no other option than to exit office at the end of this tenure.
In a statement on Wednesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described President Buhari’s new year message as completely uninspiring, tasteless, repetitive, vacuous, and that it not galvanise any form of hope for a despairing nation like Nigeria.
“The PDP holds that Mr. President should have the courage to issue a fresh new year message to show remorse for the corruption, incompetence and misrule of his administration as well as admonish his disintegrating APC against its crass insincerity, violence and divisive machinations that have brought so much pain, anguish and despondency to our nation.
“Indeed, President Buhari should stop presenting a picture as if he has the option to continue in office beyond 2023.
“The PDP holds, in total submission to the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), that it is not an issue of ‘standing down’ or not being ‘available’ for future election, but a decided and inevitable position as contained in the constitution that he must quit office after two terms, which will end in 2023.
“Mr. President, therefore, does not have any other choice before the law. Whether President Buhari likes it or not, he and his APC will exit the arena at the end of this tenure. History is replete with lessons from those who sought to stretch our nation beyond her limits.
“Moreover, President Buhari and his extinguishing APC ought to have known by now that Nigerians have moved ahead and cannot wait to see them go.
“The citizens are no longer swayed by empty promises and false performance indices as replete in Mr. President’s new year message”, the PDP said.
The party called on the President to end what it described as “showboating” by issuing a fresh new year message to demonstrate a commitment to electoral reforms by returning the 8th Assembly Electoral Act amendment bill, which he refused to sign, to the present National Assembly without any further delay.
It also called on the President to waste no time in signing the bill into law after it might have been retooled to meet current exigencies and passed by the current National Assembly.
The President was also called upon to order the immediate prosecution of his party leaders who allegedly perpetrated violence in the 2019 general election.
Specifically, the main opposition party charged the President to ensure the arrest and prosecution of persons involved in the killings that characterised the governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun, Bayelsa and Kogi States, where APC used thugs and security agents allegedly unleashed mayhem and killed innocent persons who came out to perform their civic responsibility at the polls.
“Mr. President should apologise for the violation of human rights, attacks on institutions of democracy, disobedience to court orders and constitutional violations under his administration as well as order an immediate investigation and prosecution of all those who played roles in these ugly episodes.
“Furthermore, the PDP charges President Buhari to use the opportunity of a fresh New Year Message to apologise for his administration’s failure to secure the nation and for plunging our country into a biting economic recession occasioned by the incompetence, corruption and unbridled treasury looting in his government which led to the degrading of our nation from one of the world’s fastest growing economies to world’s poverty capital with an excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure and accumulated $83 billion debt.
“Such course of humility in showing remorse, seeking help and getting competent hands to manage our economy and security system should be the legacy which Mr. President is expected to pursue without which history cannot be kind to his administration and his APC”, the party stated.