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Churches, Mosques in Ogun to Reopen Aug 14

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The Ogun State Government has announced the tentative resumption of religious and academic activities, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Dapo Abiodun, in his address on Wednesday evening, said Risk Assessment Forms have been made available to public and private schools to evaluate the readiness for the adoption of the federal government’s declaration to allow SS3 students resume on August 4 to prepare for Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) which is to begin on August 17.

“A mandatory virtual training is also being organised for school staff on decontamination, medical equipment, toilet facilities, flexibility of closing times, and special requirements for boarding schools,” he said.

He announced that worship centres will tentatively reopen on August 14 on the condition that they adhere to the guidelines.

The guidelines include: the use of facemasks and hand sanitizers, social distancing, and the provision of medical, toilet and hygiene facilities.

Others are: Muslims should perform ablution at home and go to mosque with personal praying mats; certified medical personnel to check worshippers’ temperature before admittance to venues; handshakes, hugs and air conditioners to be avoided in all centres; provision of isolation rooms, as well as digital cameras to record services, in each centre.

He noted that duration of services should not be more than an hour and a half, while intervals in the case of multiples should be of the same duration.

“Large worship centres (with more than 200 worshippers in a given service) to further pursue concurrence with the State Government Committee, towards ensuring ventilation and effective entry and exit management procedure and the avoidance of item sharing during Holy Communion,” he added.

Speaking on the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebration, he said congregational prayers and partying are prohibited owing to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Abiodun explained that all current measures and restrictions will remain in place for the general public.

As of the time of filing this report, the state has recorded a total 1,326 confirmed cases; out of which 1,068 have been discharged and 23 have died.

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Yobe Governor, Buni Marries Abacha’s Divorced Daughter, Gumsu

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Yobe Governor Mai Mala Buni on Wednesday married Gumsu Sani Abacha in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The marriage was held at the Abuja residence of the new wife’s brother, Mohammed Abacha.

Buni is the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker National Chairman; Gumsu is a daughter of former Head of State, Sani Abacha.

Notable personalities and government officials, including the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Hameed Ali attended.

In 2019, shortly after he assumed office, Buni tied the knot with Ummy, a daughter of his predecessor and incumbent Yobe East Senator Ibrahim Gaidam.

Gumsu, 45, is the governor’s fourth wife. Her marriage to Cameroonian multi-billionaire, Bayero Mohamadou crashed in 2020.

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Wike Locks Down Rivers for LGA Elections

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered restriction of movement ahead of the local government election in the state.

The election is slated for Saturday, April 17 across 4,442 polling units, 319 wards and 23 local government areas.

In a broadcast on Thursday, Wike said the restriction from Friday night to Saturday is needed to ensure the smooth conduct of the election by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RVSIEC).

The governor assured residents that security agencies will provide adequate protection at all the polling units and collation centres.

“Consequently, vehicular and human movements, within and out of the state and the local government areas is hereby totally restricted from the midnight of Friday, 16th April, 2021, until the end of polling at 5pm on Saturday, 17th April, 2021, except for persons and vehicles strictly on essential duties with genuine and valid identifications,” Wike said.

“The security agencies have been directed to strictly enforce the restriction on human and vehicular movements and arrest and prosecute any person who dares to violate this ban. I have been briefed and received assurances from the RVSIEC that it is fully prepared and ready not only to conduct, but also to ensure that polling is hitch-free, fair and credible.

“Furthermore, the security agencies have clear directives to arrest and deal decisively with any person or group of persons, no matter how highly placed, who attempts to prevent the peaceful and orderly conduct of the election or compromise its integrity in any way.

“We call on community leaders and the general public to be vigilant and promptly report every suspicious movement and or illegal activity around polling units and collation centres in their localities to the security agencies for immediate action.”

Wike added that his administration will always ensure the promotion of democratic principles, including the election of officials at local government levels across the state.

“As a government that believes in the practice and consolidation of democracy, and in fulfilment of our constitutional duty to ensure the sustenance of democratically-elected local government councils in the state, we have since decided never to run our local government system with caretaker committees, except in inevitably justifiable circumstances,” he said.

“It is against this background that this election has been fixed to once again give our people the opportunity to effectively participate in the process of electing and constituting the next set of chairmen and councillors to administer the 23 local government councils.”

The governor urged voters to conduct themselves peacefully and refrain from any act of violence, adding that the election is not a do-or-die affair.

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EFCC Frees Okorocha after Two Days Detention

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Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo state, has been released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), two days after he was invited for questioning.

Okorocha, who is currently representing Imo west at the senate, was grilled at the EFCC office in Abuja on Tuesday, over issues bothering on alleged corruption.

The former governor, who was in charge of Imo from 2011 to 2019, had been accused by the state government of various corrupt practices including diversion of public funds — although Okorocha has denied any wrongdoing.

Documents obtained by TheCable showed how the former governor awarded 12 contracts worth N20 billion in violation of the public procurement act.

TheCable had also reported how a government committee uncovered N112.8 billion “dubious debts”, which various banks owed the state during Okorocha’s tenure.

Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha’s media adviser, confirmed that Okorocha left the custody of the anti-graft agency on Thursday.

“With gratitude to God Almighty, we are delighted to inform the general public that the former governor of lmo state, and by the grace of God, the Senator representing lmo west senatorial district, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is out of the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and he is now in his house,” the statement reads.

“He left the Commission’s office on the afternoon of Thursday, April 15, 2021.”

Onwuemeodo, who described Okorocha’s invitation to the EFCC’s office as a “trip” said the former governor had earlier given the assurance that he will cooperate fully with the agency.

“We didn’t bother about whether he spent 24 hours or 48 hours at the Commission’s office. We were only keen in his having the needed opportunity to address the allegations contained in the avalanche of petitions written by the lmo State Government, against the former governor,” the spokesman said.

“Remember also that we had alluded that EFCC was not a slaughter house, but a responsible institution, established for the good of the nation and her people. And Okorocha being in his house today, only confirmed our hypothesis that, indeed, the Commission’s office is not an abattoir.”

TheCable

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