The Presidency was shocked by the judgment of the Supreme Court which sacked the Governor-elect, Mr. David Lyon that it abruptly cancelled a scheduled press conference on Thursday in Yenagoa as the news of the decision on Bayelsa State governorship poll shook the nation.
This came as The PUNCH gathered that the President Muhammadu Buhari had also put off his scheduled visit to Bayelsa on Friday (today).
He was billed to inaugurate some petroleum industry projects. The presidential media team had earlier in the day fixed 3pm to address the State House Press Corps.
Findings indicated that the agenda was to address sundry issues, including adequate reaction to the booing of the President by Maiduguri residents on Wednesday and the need to have regular engagements with reporters on the activities of the regime.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, were to conduct the exercise.
But word suddenly came from their offices that the press conference had been cancelled, just as the apex court delivered its judgment.
The spokespersons gave no official explanations, but The PUNCH learnt that the cancellation was an immediate reaction to the court’s decision to avoid being put under pressure to comment on the development.
The PUNCH’s effort to get Shehu to comment on whether Buhari would still travel to Bayelsa today got no response.
The President’s advance party had since left Abuja ahead of him before the latest political development in Bayelsa happened on Thursday.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyeama, Recovers from COVID-19
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has recovered from COVID-19, The PUNCH has learnt.
The minister had announced on July 19 that his fourth Covid-19 test returned positive after he felt a slight irritation in his throat.
Onyeama, a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and one of those driving the fight against the pandemic, especially regarding the repatriation of stranded citizens abroad, had gone into quarantine immediately.
But announcing via his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday, the minister wrote, “By the very special grace of God, my latest COVID-19 test result came back negative after three weeks isolation.
“I am eternally grateful to my family, the C-in-C and VP, the medical team, relations, friends, colleagues, religious leaders and numerous well-wishers, who through their care, prayers, fasting, messages of support and encouragement never let me walk alone.”
Also, in a video clip obtained by our correspondent from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Abuja, Onyeama was seen resuming duty on Wednesday morning, to the cheering welcome of staff of the ministry.
By the very special grace of God my latest #COVID19 test result came back NEGATIVE after three weeks isolation.
I am eternally grateful to my family, the C-in-C and VP, the medical team, relations, friends, colleagues, religious leaders and..
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) August 12, 2020
Death Sentence on Kano Musician Repulsive, CSOs Kick
Civil rights groups and activists on Tuesday reacted angrily to the decision of an Upper Sharia Court in Kano State, which sentenced a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.
The Convener, Free Nigeria Coalition, Raphael Adebayo, described the development as an assault on state power which he said threatened the legitimacy of Nigeria’s union as a democratic republic.
He said, “Since when did it become okay to murder ordinary people in this country simply because of what they utter or write? It would seem that there is one law for the rich and another one for the poor.
“It is simply unacceptable and this barbarism presents an opportunity for the incumbent government at the federal level to redeem its soul by demonstrating its value for the average Nigerian life, and the supremacy of the Nigerian constitution, above all else.”
Another group, Concerned Nigerians, opposed the judgment, describing it as repulsive to natural justice and abhorrent to equity, good conscience and a gross violation of the convict’s rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and expression.
The group in a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Theophilus Agada, stated, “We condemn in strong terms, the death sentence by hanging on a Kano-based artiste, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu.”
It further argued that the death penalty was a violation of the rights to freedom of thoughts and expression of the citizen, pointing out that the injustices faced by both religious and non-religious people alike must stop.
“The arrest and detention of Yahaya is a breach of Section 38 of our constitution which states that ‘every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance,” it stated.
Oshiomhole Takes Edo Election As ‘Do-or-Die’ Matter, Says Wike
The Chairman of the National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Nyesom Wike, has said for the sacked national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, the upcoming Edo State governorship election was a matter of life and death.
Wike, who is also the governor of Rivers State, said this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, on Monday.
Wike said, “The best he (Oshiomhole) could do is to lay low and let Ize-Iyamu campaign. You can see that if Ize-Iyamu talks for two minutes, Oshiomhole will talk for 20 minutes because he knows this election will determine whether he will remain in politics or not.
“So, he takes it as a do-or-die matter. He knows that losing this election, he is completely out. He has been decimated in the APC national leadership. So, the only thing now is to hold Edo to see that anyhow they treat him in Abuja, he has where to fall back to.
“Now Obaseki is winning, Abuja does not want him, Edo does not want him. So, he has nowhere to go to. This third term agenda is trying to run and Edo people must resist him.”