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APC Plans to Visit Tinubu, Begs Members in New Reconciliation Moves

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The Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress Caretaker Committee and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee will before the end of this week visit the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, The PUNCH has learnt.

It was gathered that this was part of the decisions taken during the inaugural meeting of the committee held at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, on Monday. The meeting, which started at  1.02pm ended at 3.16pm.

It was learnt that the visit, which had been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, was meant to reassure the APC national leader that the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee was not targeted at him.

The APC National Executive Committee had, at its meeting attended by the President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sacked the party’s NWC loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose suspension was upheld by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on June 16.

Following Oshiomhole’s suspension on June 16, the APC was divided into two factions with one led by its suspended Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, and the other consisting of 18 NWC members, who were loyal to the national chairman.

Buhari declared support for Giadom and attended the Thursday meeting, which he convened.

Many analysts had interpreted Buhari’s support for Giadom and the sack of the NWC loyal to Oshiomhole, as the President’s deft move against Tinubu ahead of the 2023 presidential poll.

But the Presidency, in a statement on Saturday dismissed reports that Buhari and  Tinubu had fallen apart following the dissolution of the  NWC.

Also, Tinubu, in a statement on Saturday,  supported the dissolution of the NWC at the instance of the President during the NEC meeting. Buhari, Tinubu said, acted like a true father to save the party from disintegration.

An APC chieftain, who confided in our correspondent, said at their meeting on Monday, the party caretaker committee members agreed to visit Tinubu to seek his support.

The source said, “It was agreed that the committee should go and meet our national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, to pacify and assure him that the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of our great party was not targeted at him. He is one of our most revered leaders. We recognise and appreciate his enormous contributions to this party.  We plan to visit him tomorrow (Tuesday). If the visit does not take place tomorrow, it will take place before the end of the week.”

The chairman also appealed to all party members to heed the appeal by the President to aggrieved members, who had cases in courts. He urged them to withdraw the cases in the interest of the party.

Buni said, “I urge all party members to heed to the appeal by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his call to all aggrieved members who have instituted various cases in the courts to please withdraw such cases in the interest of our great party.”

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Buhari Approves Suspension of Ex-EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the boss of the country’s anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu days after he appeared at an investigative panel.

The Nigerian Government said Magu’s suspension is to “allow for unhindered inquiry” by the panel investigating allegations of corruption against the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, should take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regards,” Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement on Friday.

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COVID-19: Fresh Lockdown Likely After Two Weeks – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday lamented the increasing rate of COVID-19 cases among people in government, saying it was directly impacting on governance and security in the country.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who stated this at the task force press briefing in Abuja, also said the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus could not be ruled out.

The SGF, who advised prominent Nigerians to take COVID-19 protocols seriously, said the virus does not respect status.

Mustapha’s warning came amid rising cases of COVID-19 among state governors and other prominent Nigerians.  Recently state governors, including David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and their Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi  Akeredolu, contracted the virus.

Warning people in authority, the SGF said,  “Of recent, we have witnessed a high rate of positive cases especially among people in authority. This has a direct impact on governance and security of our nation. We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians, irrespective of status. This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitisation messaging.”

When asked if the task force would be considering a fresh lockdown in the face of what it observed as disregard for guidelines, Mustapha said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action.

He said, “We will not speculate on what will happen in future but we will protect the lives of Nigerians.

“To achieve that, if it means to lock down again, we will not shy away from that responsibility. We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two three weeks will determine what we will do.”

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Cross River Finally Joins the Fray As Nigeria Records 575 New COVID-19 Cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 575 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 29,286.

Nine deaths were recorded from the virus on Monday bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 654.

There was an increase in the number of confirmed cases reported Monday compared to what was reported on Sunday (544).

The health agency in a tweet Monday night said the 575 new cases were reported in 20 states including Lagos, Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Delta, Edo, Ogun, Katsina, Bayelsa, Rivers, Borno, Plateau, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, Enugu, Nasarawa, Abia, Cross River, Kaduna and Ekiti.

All the reporting states already had at least a case of the virus.

As of the time of reporting, all 36 states and the FCT have recorded at least a case of the disease.

NCDC has officially recorded the confirmed cases reported in Cross River, after days of controversies on the cases.

Lagos remains the epicentre for the disease in the country while Zamfara has not reported any new confirmed case in the past 48 days.

“Till date, 29, 286 cases have been confirmed, 11, 828 cases have been discharged and 654 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.

The 575 new cases were reported from 20 states: Lagos – 123, FCT – 100, Delta – 58, Edo – 52, Ogun – 42, Katsina – 24, Bayelsa – 23, Rivers – 22, Borno – 19, Plateau – 18, Ondo – 18, Oyo – 17, Kwara – 15, Osun – 13, Enugu – 9, Nasarawa – 7, Abia – 6, Cross River – 5, Kaduna – 3 and Ekiti – 1.

Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Nigeria in February, NCDC said, 152,952 samples have been tested.

As of the time of reporting, there are 16,804 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, while 11,828 have recovered and have been discharged.

A breakdown of the 29,286 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 11, 367 cases, followed by FCT – 2,281, Oyo – 1,530, Edo – 1,435, Delta – 1,285, Kano – 1,268, Rivers – 1,205, Ogun – 1,047, Kaduna – 868, Katsina – 628, Borno – 574, Gombe – 520, Bauchi – 518, Ebonyi – 503, Ondo – 474, Plateau – 454, Abia – 391, Enugu – 381, Imo – 352, Jigawa – 318, Kwara – 284, Bayelsa – 268, Nasarawa – 232, Osun – 178, Sokoto – 153, Niger – 122, Akwa Ibom – 112, Adamawa – 99, Benue – 97, Kebbi – 84, Zamfara – 76, Anambra – 73, Yobe – 61, Ekiti – 45, Taraba- 22, Kogi – 5, and Cross River – 5.

While confirmed cases of the virus have continued to increase in the country, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the government is trying to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection, by preparing all public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection hospitals sites.

This, he said will require working with state governments to identify the facilities and the space within them, to conduct training for the personnel selected and supply both PPEs and sample collection kits, as well as the logistics to go around to recover test samples.

“If logistics around sample collection and delivery to test sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved.

“However, the more we test, the more confirmed cases we shall find, of which the vulnerable will have to be prioritised for admission to treatment centres, even if they are not yet showing symptoms,” he added.

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