Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the delayed closure of the country’s borders, seaport, and airports, including the failure of returnees to self-isolate, caused the spread of COVID-19.
He said this during an Instalive interview with CNN on Wednesday.
According to the governor, Lagos was prepared to curb the spread of COVID-19 but had to wait for the Federal Government to shut airport, seaport and land borders.
Nigeria recorded its first COVID-19 death on February 27, but President Muhammadu Buhari officially shut the country’s airports, seaports, and borders on March 29.
As of March 29 when president shut the country’s airports, seaports, and borders, Nigeria had recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death.
When asked about the state’s preparedness, Sanwo-Olu said, “Given the population that we have, we are a bit ahead in terms of preparation, as a state, but we are sub-national. We couldn’t give directives as to when Nigeria should close the airport, seaport, or in-land border.
“We don’t have control over that. We were just wrapping up our own facilities and the training officials, and that was why we were able to track the index case over two months now.
“In the country, 33 or 34 states have had one case or the other. For us, it is a double X thing. The population is huge, so we will be a fool of ourselves to just think that it is going to be a spike and we will be out of it. Because we did not close all of the importations early and people were not also doing full isolation when they came, it was really difficult for us to do contact tracing before it got to the community – which is where we are now.”
The governor also reiterated that Lagos may be recording large cases “soon”, adding that over 7000 samples had been tested in the state.
Again, Bandits Invade Zamfara Secondary School, Abduct 300 Girls
Armed bandits have attacked a girls secondary school in Zamfara State, kidnapping many female students, the BBC is reporting.
The attack reportedly occurred at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State Friday morning.
A teacher in the school confirmed the attack to BBC Hausa with the number of kidnapped students said to be close to 300.
PREMIUM TIMES will provide more details of the incident in subsequent reports. The state government and the police were yet to speak on the incident at the time of this report.
Zamfara in Northwest Nigeria is one of the states most affected by bandits’ attacks. The attacks have continued despite negotiations initiated by the state government with the bandits.
The latest attack on the Zamara school occurs about two weeks after over 20 students were abducted by armed bandits from a school in Niger State. The students in Niger were yet to be released at the time of this report.
Tears As Victims of Air Force Plane Crash Are Buried in Abuja
The remains of the seven Nigerian Air Force officers, who died in Sunday’s plane crash, were committed to mother earth at the National Cemetery, Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja, on Thursday amid outpour of emotions and uncontrolled tears.
The personnel died in the Beechcraft King Air B350i aircraft, which crashed a short distance from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting engine failure.
The deceased are the Captain, Fl. Lt. Haruna Gadzama; Fl. Lt. Henry Piyo (co-pilot); Flying Officer Michael Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist); Fl. Sgt. Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist); Sgt. Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist); and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (onboard technician).
At the funeral service were the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Salihi Magashi (retd.); the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen Lucky Irabor; the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, and the family members of the deceased as well as members of the National Assembly.
The CAS, who got emotional and broke down several times during his address, described the deceased as some of the finest officers in the service and prayed God to console their immediate families.
He said, “I must confess that even at this moment, the Nigerian Air Force is still in palpable shock and grieving very deeply upon this loss of our gallant and courageous heroes, in whom we had so much confidence, with our expectations now suddenly and painfully cut short.”
Amao saluted the supreme sacrifice of the young men, whom he said gave their lives in the defence of the peace “which we all enjoy and often take for granted.”
He explained that the airmen flew their quota of ongoing surveillance missions in the North-East, North-West and more recently in the North-Central over Niger State and its environs in connection with the efforts to secure the release of the staff and students abducted from the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.
Olawunmi was recalled from leave – Sister
Mrs Sola Oluwasola, the elder sister of Airman Olawunmi, said the deceased was on leave when he was recalled by his superiors for an operation.
She said the victim left behind three children, including a one-year-old son.
According to Oluwasola, the deceased had been taking care of the entire family members, particularly their aged mother.
She recalled that only two persons were shortlisted by the Nigerian Air Force in the entire Ekiti State when Olawunmi joined the military in 2001.
The Person Who Gave Us This Business is There Among You, Say Kagara Abductors, Threaten to Starve Students to Death
Abductors of the 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, have threatened to starve them to death if the ransom they are demanding is not paid on time.
One of the abductors stated this in an audio recording made available to one of our correspondents on Wednesday by a prominent Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.
In the audio recording, the abductor, who spoke in Hausa, was heard conversing with a negotiator, identified by Gumi as a top official of the school.
He rejected N2.7m offered him as ransom for the 27 abductees.
The bandit stated, “I don’t have food for them. If anybody dies among them, we will tell you where to go and pick the corpse.
“You know these children are hungry. I don’t have food to give them, only water if they are going to die, let them die.”
The negotiator said it would be difficult for him to get the phone numbers of all the parents as requested by the bandits.
The bandit responded that he was aware that many security agents and vehicles had been deployed in Kagara, vowing they would not succeed in rescuing the abductees.
He asked, “You think I don’t know what you people are doing? I can tell you how many security vehicles are in Kagara as we speak.
“It is with the help of the people of the city that intruders can overrun the city. Don’t you know that? The person who gave us this business is there among you. He is there with you. Wherever you go, he is watching you. If you want to do this deal, go ahead. From God we come and to him we will return.
“Even if you put together the entire security forces of Nigeria in Kagara, I have eyes all over Kagara. Whichever step you take in Nigeria, I swear, I will know. You people are saying they should not pay us, that if they pay us, we will use to money to buy weapons. With whose money did we buy our weapons? If we don’t have weapons, you will just send security agents to kill us and take the children.”
Appealing to the bandit, the negotiator stated, “They (parents) have agreed to pay N2.7m. Each parent will pay N100,000.”
But the abductor rejected the offer threatening to unleash terror on Kagara.
The abductor stated, “If I want Kagara to be in peace, it will be in peace. If it is not going to be in peace, it will go in pieces from here until Ilorin. If I die in this process, I have children that I have instructed that if I die that I don’t want Kagara to be peaceful if you don’t do as I say. Even if I die, nobody will come into Kagara.”
He also berated governors, who said they should not be paid ransom.
He added, “Governors are saying we should not be given money because we are going to use it to buy guns; guns that Allah provides and you are boasting about.