Thank You Edo People – Osagie Ize-Iyamu

The address read by the candidate of the All Progressive Party APC, after his election as the flag bearer of the party.

First and foremost, I give thanks to God Almighty for the successful conduct of the primaries and the safety of all our members, including officials of all agencies, who took part across the state.

I thank the leader of our party, the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly disposition and democratic stance that set the stage for a free and transparent contestation devoid of institutional bias, favoritism, or imposition of any kind.

I am also grateful to the national leadership of the APC for the courage displayed and the commitment to democratic ideals that have distinguished our party and made it appealing to millions of Nigerians across the country. The bold insistence on adherence to the constitution of the party, even amid immense pressure, was a great show of leadership that served as a reminder to all that the APC is a party founded on sacred values central to its growth and survival.

My grateful thanks also go to the Edo State Traditional Council led by Our great King, Omo’ N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpo, The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II for the fatherly counsel and important interventions. I wish to reiterate my deep respect and undying loyalty to the institution.

To the election committee chaired by His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma for organizing a primary election that allowed the members of our party in the state to elect a candidate in a responsible, safe, fair, and transparent process, I convey my deepest gratitude.

From the start, with the adoption of the direct mode of primary, our party showed its recognition of the peculiarity of the times we are in and its commitment to complying with all regulations and guidelines in place to ensure that our people are protected from danger, specifically the coronavirus disease.

Today, because of the hard work of the committee, the cooperation of INEC, observers, and all security agencies, that desire got full expression as members of our party, whose conduct was admirable and responsible, participated in a primary that will form a point of reference to all on how to practice democracy without compromising safety procedures in the fight against a viral disease.

I am grateful to everyone for their support, most especially my fellow aspirants who shunned the politics of bitter opposition and displayed the level of maturity and sportsmanship never before seen in the history of this country.

Against an incumbent government that tested the resolve and unity of our party using morally bankrupt tactics without any regard for the rule of law, we were able to prevail because Dr. Pius Odubu, Hon. Osaro Obazee, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, General Charles Airhavbere (rtd), Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, Hon. Saturday Uwuilekwe and Professor Ebegue Amadasun showed great leadership and fought a good fight premised on the shared understanding that we are all on the same side, confronting and seeking to undo the many failures of an administration that betrayed our people and the values of our party.

I am very grateful to them and I look forward to working with them as we return to the streets and homes of our people, to restore and strengthen their hope and faith in the party, the All Progressives Congress, and return Edo state back on the path of development and growth.

Today’s victory is not for me alone. It is a victory for democracy, for the rule of law, and for our party, the All Progressives Congress. To everyone who played a part in making it possible; to my family, my campaign team, support groups at home and in the diaspora, members of our party, and all Edo people, I say thank you.

Receiving your endorsement and nomination to represent our party in the Governorship election is one of the greatest honors of my life. I find myself joyous but as well aware of the faith reposed in me by you all. Most importantly, I feel the weight of that trust and the great need not to disappoint all of you who deemed me worthy of the honor to fly the banner of our great party and be your representative at the polls.

The agenda remains SIMPLE in the literal sense of those alphabets as I renew my pledge to devote myself to moving this state forward by bringing new ways and innovative methods in: Security and Social Welfare, Infrastructural Development and Urban Renewal, Manpower Development and Training, Public-Private Partnership, Leadership by Example, and Employment Creation and Social Empowerment Scheme.

This time, we must get it right. And the work to make this a reality must continue with revitalized passion and zeal. Our victory today is only the beginning. We must now all come together, renew our loyalty to the party, and march with sturdy strides on this new path that beckons.

Fellow party members, thank you once again for your confidence in me and support. I assure you, and the people of our state, that you will not be disappointed.

May God bless you all.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu APC Governorship Candidate

Just In: Court Restrains Obaseki From Participating In PDP Primaries

 Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

A federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt has restrained Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki from participating in the PDP governorship primary election.

The suit was instituted by an aspirant in the election, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihiama asking the court to stop Obaseki from participating in the election.

Obaseki, who just decamped to the party from the APC was screened last week by the PDP Screening Committee.

Gov Obaseki

An order of interim injunction restrained defendants in the suit including; National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, Emmanuel Ogidi, Kingsley Chinda, Debekeme Boyleyefa, James Manager, Ajibola Muraina, the PDP, Obaseki himself, INEC and the INEC Commissioner.


The court said the time slated for obtaining nomination form and participating in screening had lapsed when Obaseki came into the picture.

Recall that the PDP had twice postponed the date of its primary election to accommodate the screening of the Edo State Governor.

The PDP primaries is slated for the 25th of June.

COVID-19: PTF To Decide On Second Phase Of Lockdown By June Ending – SGF

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 will continue to monitor developments nationwide in order to take informed decisions by the end of June on the second phase of  the lockdown.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the chairman of PTF on COVID-19 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said this at the daily press briefing on Monday in Abuja.

Early June, the PTF announced a one-month period for the implementation of the second phase of the easing of lockdown.

Mustapha said that while pursuing that line of action, the PTF would like to re-echo the World Health Organisation (WHO), advisory to countries and their citizens not to equate any slow-down in numbers accompanied by loosening of restrictive measures to translate to a reduction in the dangers faced by humanity.

“Yesterday, June  21, 2020, Nigeria crossed the threshold of 20,000, with our total number rising to 20,244 confirmed cases.

“This signified to the PTF that more testing has been carried out in recent weeks.

“However, we are not deluded that we are getting enough samples to test. I wish to remind all our citizens that the best strategy remains to test, detect, isolate and treat.

“That has accounted for the massive expansion in the laboratory network and testing centers,” he stated.

The SGF said that the PTF has also continued to watch developments from other jurisdictions, “especially those that have similar climatic and demographics with us”.

“Here, Brazil is of particular interest. You would have observed that the number of confirmed cases in Brazil have risen to 1,084,833 thus becoming the second highest in the whole world and reporting over 50,000 deaths.

“In Africa, WHO has reported that South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana have proportionately been the most affected countries on the continent of Africa.

“All these combined represent a serious wake up call for us all to be responsive and to take full responsibility.

“Our failure to take responsibility threatens the gains we have recorded which is not good for our large population.

“Let me give you a vivid picture of how this virus has spread across our nation by timelines:

“April 16 2020: 442 cases, May 16, 2020: 5,621 cases, June 16, 2020: 17,148 cases

“We really have a choice to make and there is an urgency of yesterday,” he explained.

According to him, as part of the collaboration with states, the PTF team made up of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the WHO Representative visited Plateau, Edo, Lagos and Akwa Ibom to assess the state of preparedness and control.

The PTF chairman said that the visit further gives Nigerians confidence that sub-national levels of governments were also taking the necessary actions to ensure that this fight was speedily won.

Meanwhile, he announced that on June 20 2020, the PTF received the first batch of equipment supplies under the One-UN Basket fund and the European Union.

“These supplies included Personal Protection Equipment, testing kits and laboratory equipment.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the partners of the One UN Basket and look forward to receiving the second batch of these supplies.

“Their commitment greatly shows that partnership is the most important ingredient needed to overcome this pandemic globally.

“I similarly wish to thank WHO for the donation of Oxygen concentrators, which has become very vital for case management,” he said.

He added that over the weekend, the Rotary Cub International District 9125, a long standing partner in the fight against polio disease, made a donation of essential materials worth over N10 million to support the fight against COVID-19.

Mustapha said that the gesture was also very much appreciated.

He, however, said that PTF was pleased to express its appreciation to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), for demonstrating the spirit of patriotism and understanding by calling off the industrial action its members embarked upon.

“Abiding by The Hippocratic Oath further gives us comfort that we would win this fight.

“On the part of government, we would continue to ensure the welfare and safety of all workers will never be neglected,” he said.

The SGF said that as the nation pursues the Community engagement and Risk Communication Strategy, PTF had identified lack of information about case definition protocols, location of testing centres, inability to reach call centres, as obstacles to getting needed help.

He said that PTF has, therefore, directed that more awareness be created on the location of test centres and how to get tested especially when you fit the case definition.

“The call centres are also being re-energised for responsiveness. Our messaging on risk communication and compliance by the public will also receive very strong attention.

“We must develop a national wave of awareness creation to drive home our objectives,” he said.

Mustapha called on Nigerians to make use of these facilities and get tested.

“Similarly, I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test.

“Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test, especially when symptoms are evident, could lead to death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full blown,” he said.

The SGF said that the death of any Nigerian was not only painful, but most avoidable provided they seek help early.

He said that PTF was also not unmindful of the possibility of imports, especially through the land borders.

“For this reason, our men and women of the Nigerian Immigration Service remain vigilant.

“This has resulted in the apprehension of two foreigners who tried to enter the country illegally over the week-end. This commendable effort is appreciated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SGF said that the declaration of Nigeria as Polio free nation last week was a welcome development and congratulate all those that participated in the long-drawn battle to rid Nigeria of the disease.

“This declaration is a signal that overcoming COVID-19 and indeed any other infectious disease is possible and shall be achieved.

“We use this opportunity to renew our call to the medical practitioners and hospitals not to neglect other diseases and ailments because of COVID-19,” he said.

Mustapha reminded Nigerians that wearing their mask properly, observing social distancing, washing their hands and avoiding large gatherings were critical to saving lives, including Nigerians.

“Observe them religiously,” the SGF said.

D’Banj’s Ex Manager Writes Kemi Olunloyo Over ‘Baseless Defamatory Attacks’; Demands Public Apology, N200m Compensation Within 72hrs

Franklin Amudo, a former manager to embattled Nigerian hip-hop star D’banj who has been accused of rape, has written through his lawyers to caution a self-acclaimed investigative journalist Kemi Olunloyo to desist from the defamation of his character and constant media attacks.

In a pre-litigation letter signed by his lawyer, Barrister Adetunji Adegboyega Esq, the artiste manager asked Olunloyo to make a payment of N200m within 72 hours or face legal action.

In the letter which was addressed to Ms. Kemi Olunloyo by Amudo’s lawyers, Adetunji Shoyoye & Associates, dated June 22, 2020, Frank stated in clear terms that he remains a law-abiding citizen of the country who engages in the management of artistes including but not limited to their public image and other related matters; and as such would not entertain any unwarranted, baseless and defamatory attacks from Olunloyo.

The letter read in part, “In the circumstance, our client will not stand by and allow this misconduct to persist without corresponding resistance. We hereby demand that you:

  1. Immediately cease and desist in publishing defamatory statements about our client, whether the statements are made by you or via third parties you have initially disseminated these statements to.

2. Cause a public retraction and apology to be published by you on your Instagram and Twitter social media platforms and also two (2) widely read and circulating newspapers within our jurisdiction stating that your statements are inherently and utterly unjustified and baseless.

3. Compensate our client in the sum of Two hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000)only, through our law firm to alleviate his assaulted and battered image and the psychological trauma your statements have consequently brought upon him.

Osinowo’s Death: Ambode, 5 Others Jostle For Lagos East Senatorial Seat.

Following the death of Senator Bayo Sikiru Osinowo, who was representing Lagos East Senatorial District before his death on Monday 15th June, 2020, it has been revealed that no fewer than six popular politicians including the immediate past governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode are jostling for the vacant seat.
The news of his sudden death hit Lagos State APC like a shock as early mourners at his residence at Ogudu GRA, Ogudu have continuously reiterated the huge gap created by the demise of the lawmaker.

APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has described his death as sudden. In his words “He was more than a close friend and political associate. Over the years he became like a family member and brother in so many ways.

The jostle for the replacement of the senatorial seat hitherto occupied by late Senator Bayo Osinowo has earnestly begun. He represented Lagos East Senatorial District under the All Progressives Congress (APC). As at the time of filing this report, sources said no fewer than six names from the Lagos East Senatorial District have been mentioned. This has spurred political machineries into quick calculations. Several unofficial meetings allegedly held across the district were not unconnected to the replacement of the deceased senator.

Osinowo, Ambode

Political pundits have however started considering a qualitative representation for the district at the Red Chambers. Prominent amongst the various names gathered were;
Two term lawmaker and a third term seeker, Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

Serving Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunmibe Mamora.

Governor’s Advisory Council member, Chief Lanre Rasak.

Former House of Representative Member, Honourable Dayo Bush Alebiosu.

Former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Others are, One time aspirant,, Otunba Anifowoshe Dengel.

Serving House of Rep Member from Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Honourable Jimi Benson

Apart Otunba Anifowoshe and Chief Lanre Rasak who are both politically inclined but inexperienced in the business of law-making, political pundits have rated high the quadruple of Gbenga Ashafa, Olurunimbe Mamora, Dayo-Bush Alebiosu and Jimi Benson boast of enough experience with remarkable representation at the National Assembly from different time under the district.

However, with Mamora currently serving as the Minister of State for Health, Jimi Benson presently superintending over the House Committee on Defence and Gbenga Ashafa has had two complete terms at the Red Chambers, the arrow pointer seems to be directed towards Dayo-Bush Alebiosu, a course graduate of Strategic Leadership from Harvard University and may be perhaps Akinwunmi Ambode, whom many believes has slim chance due to how he was confrontational when he was not given second term ticket my the Party last year, 2019.

The 90 days open window is however long enough to determine who gets the nod.

Brazil Now Second In COVID-19 Deaths As WHO Warns

Brazil on Friday claimed the unenviable position of having the second-highest coronavirus death toll worldwide behind the United States, where several states have posted record daily case tallies, signaling the crisis is far from over.

Brazil’s health ministry recorded 909 deaths in the past 24 hours, putting the total at 41,828 — meaning the country of 212 million people has now surpassed Britain’s death toll.

Experts warn the actual number of cases in Latin America’s biggest economy could be many times higher than the confirmed figure of 828,810.

“Some areas are at a critical stage” in Brazil, with intensive care unit occupancy levels of more than 90 percent, World Health Organization emergencies director Mike Ryan told journalists in Geneva.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who threatened last week to quit the WHO over “ideological bias,” has dismissed the virus as a “little flu,” and berated state officials for imposing lockdowns.

Latin America is the latest epicentre in the world’s battle with the novel coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year.

The region has recorded more than 1.5 million infections and 76,000 deaths, with no signs the virus is slowing.

In the US, which has confirmed the most Covid-19 deaths — over 114,000 — more than a dozen states, including two of the most populous, Texas and Florida, reported their highest-ever daily case totals this week.

“It’s important that we remember that this situation is unprecedented. And that the pandemic has not ended,” Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a media briefing on Friday.

Nevertheless, US President Donald Trump and many local officials remain determined to get the world’s biggest economy back on track.

The virus and resulting lockdowns have caused a spike in US unemployment — 44.2 million people have filed claims for jobless benefits since mid-March.

Worldwide, the pandemic has killed more than 425,000 people and infected more than 7.6 million.

 

Europe’s reopening

Europe is pushing ahead with its exit from lockdown, with a number of countries preparing to reopen borders on a limited basis on Monday after the EU Commission urged a relaxation of restrictions.

France said it would gradually reopen its borders to non-Schengen countries from July 1.

Greece said it would welcome tourists again, though Britons remain barred — and passengers from Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands must undergo tests on arrival.

Germany said it would end land border checks on Monday.

And Italy said it would allow amateur contact sports — including team sports — from June 25.

Yet world health officials have warned that the virus is far from contained.

“The fight is not over,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

In evidence of the continued threat, eleven residential estates in the southern part of the Chinese capital were locked down due to a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases linked to a nearby meat market, officials said Saturday.

Seven cases have so far been linked to Xinfadi meat market, six of them confirmed on Saturday, officials added. Nine nearby schools and kindergartens have been closed.

China has largely brought domestic infections under control, and the majority of cases in recent months have been among overseas nationals returning home.

Deaths from coronavirus in New Delhi are almost twice as high as official figures show, a city leader said.

And in Russia, officials reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, raising the country’s cumulative tally above 520,000.

With 520,129 cases, Russia has the third-highest number in the world after the United States and Brazil. Its official death toll stands at 6,829, many times lower than the figure seen in other countries with serious outbreaks.

AFP


JUST IN: Court orders Orji Kalu’s release from prison

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the release of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, from prison.

Kalu was jailed for 12 years last December following his conviction of N7.1 billion fraud.

FG Lifts Ban On Churches, Mosques

The Federal Government has lifted the ban imposed on churches, mosques and other places of religious gathering to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Monday at a at a briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19,

Mr Mustapha, who is chairman of the PTF, said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the relaxation of the ban for four weeks.

“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review

“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments,” Mustapha said.

Covid-19: Trump Announces US Breaking Up with WHO

President Trump on Friday announced that the U.S. is “terminating” its relationship with the embattled World Health Organization (WHO) over its failure to enact reforms in the face of U.S. concerns over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its pro-China bias.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump said.

It came as part of a press conference in which Trump announced a number of measures aimed primarily at China in response to its conduct on a number of fronts including trade, the coronavirus and its recent incursions into freedoms in Hong Kong.

“The world is now suffering as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government,” Trump said.

Trump froze U.S. funding to the WHO this month, and threatened to make it permanent if the organization did not enact “major substantive reforms.” The U.S. had been the top contributor to the agency to the tune of approximately $450 million a year. China meanwhile pays approximately $50 million a year — although Beijing had recently announced a $2 billion injection of funds.

The U.S. has raised concerns about WHO officials’ praise of Chinese “transparency,” its ignoring of warnings from Taiwan, and its repetition of Chinese claims that the virus could not be spread from person-to-person. Trump has also pointed to the opposition by WHO officials to Trump’s decision to place a travel ban on China in the initial days of the crisis.

“Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities,” he said. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted across the globe.”

Targeting the Chinese directly, Trump said he will issue a proclamation to secure university research and to “suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as a potential security risk.”

Trump accused China of “smothering” freedom in Hong Kong, with its recent national security law that would shut down opposition and criminalize anti-government movements such as pro-democracy demonstrations seen in the territory in recent years.

The State Department this week reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous after a number of moves by Beijing to shut down the freedoms that were agreed to as part of the 1997 handover of the territory by the British.

Trump said the move by Beijing was a “plain violation” of its treaty obligations: “China has replaced its promised formula of ‘one country two systems’ with ‘one country one system.’”

Trump announced that the U.S. will be eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment “from our extradition treaty to our export controls on dual use technologies and more with few exceptions.”

Trump also said the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong would be revised to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese. Additionally, the U.S. is revoking Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory, and taking steps to sanction officials involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy.

“The rest of the world was electrified by a sense of optimism that Hong Kong was a glimpse of China’s future, not that Hong Kong would grow into a reflection of China’s past,” he said.

AfDB: I’m Innocent Of All Charges – Adesina

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB), has maintained innocence with regards to allegations that seek to impugn his honour and the reputation of the bank.
Adesina said this in a statement he personally signed and issued on Wednesday.

The United States (U.S.) Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of allegations levelled against Adesina on corruption after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
He said in spite of unprecedented attempts to tarnish his reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, he remained unperturbed because he was not guilty of the alleged offences.

“In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world.

“I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules and procedures. I sincerely appreciate the support of the bank’s shareholders.
“At this time, I remain confident that ultimately and as one collective, the bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive.

“I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan whose lives have shown that through pain we grow.
“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the code of ethics of this extraordinary institution.

“I will continue to work with each and everyone of our shareholders to ensure that AfDB maintains its hard-earned global reputation and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced,” he said.
Adesina said he would continue to work collectively with other stakeholders to fulfil the mission of the bank’s founders to accelerate and transform Africa’s development

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