President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sent a team to Kano State as part of efforts to contain COVID-19 cases in the state.
The team met with state Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, on the directive of Buhari.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abba Anwar, in a statement, said the team was led by Dr Sani Gwarzo and that they met with Ganduje at the Africa House, Government House, Kano.
Besides Gwarzo, others in the committee are a former Director General of the NCDC, Prof Abdussalam Nasidi, and the Head of the Department of Health Services at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Bimpe Adebiyi.
According to the statement by Anwar, Gwarzo said the team members were in Kano to find out what the state needed to contain COVID-19.
He added, “President Buhari directed us to do everything possible to support, reinforce and mobilise support even beyond the nation.
“Your Excellency in the special committee sent to Kano to work with the state government are experts in public health and other areas.
“In the special committee there are people like Prof Abdussalam Nasidi, the pioneer Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Contre, who is a professor of infectious diseases.
“There is also Dr Bimpe Adebiyi, who heads the Department of Health Services at the Federal Ministry of Health.”
In his remarks, Ganduje thanked Buhari for coming to the aid of the state . He restated his earlier call for more testing centres in the state, saying, “a testing centre is the nucleus of the fight against COVID-19.”
Nasidi, on his part, said the team was in Kano to reinforce already existing structures in the state.
In a related development, the unusual deaths, especially among the elite and prominent people in Kano, continued on Tuesday.
Those who died included, Alhaji Uba Adamu, the father of the Vice Chancellor of the National Open University, Prof Abdullah Adamu. He died in the early hours of Tuesday.
Also, a spiritual leader of the Murtala Mohammed Central Mosque in Kano, Sheik Tijjani Yola, has also died.
A family source told The PUNCH in Kano on Tuesday that the renowned cleric died in the early hours of the day.
The source said, “He passed away at his residence in the Gwale area in Kano in the early hours of today and was laid to rest around 9am.”
According to the source, the death of Sheik Yola has left a big vacuum as he was managing one of the largest mosques in the city.
A former Speaker of the Jigawa state House of Assembly, Adamu Sarawa, died on Monday of undisclosed ailment.
Also, a former chairperson of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, Kano State chapter, Hajiya Halima Shittu, also lost her life.
Shittu was said to have died at her residence at the NNDC Quarters on Tuesday morning and had since been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.
A lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil, Dr Ghali Umar, died three days ago.
The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mallam Abdullahi Abdullahi confirmed the death of lecturer to The PUNCH in Kano on Tuesday.
He said the deceased had since been buried in accordance with the Islamic rites.
Residents have continued to entertain fears as the unusual deaths continue amidst the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
As of Tuesday, Kano has recorded 77 cases of COVID-19.
The NCDC testing centre at the Aminu Kano Testing Hospital which was closed down about a week ago, has resumed operation.
A top government official, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the development to The PUNCH in Kano on Tuesday.
“The centre resumes operation today (Tuesday) but don’t quote me because we have been directed to stop talking to the press. We should allow the task force to talk to press.”
According to the official, the centre which resumed testing would go a long way in reducing the trouble of taking samples to Abuja for testing.
APC’s Loss in Edo is Still a Mystery to Me – El-Rufai
Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said that he was optimistic up to three weeks ago that his party, the All Progressives Congress, would win the Edo State governorship election.
El-Rufai on Monday expressed shock at the election result because, according to him, opinion polls before the election indicated a win for the APC and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The governor, who spoke on Monday morning while featuring on Channels Television, said the election was “reasonably decent”.
He said, “We (APC) would have loved to win and quite frankly, I was optimistic up to three weeks ago; the polls indicated that we were going to win. I don’t know what happened in the last three weeks of the campaign.
“As you know, a large number of voters make up their minds in the last two weeks of the election. Many voters decide no matter what happens, this is how I am voting but most people want to wait and make up their minds in the last two weeks.
“Three weeks ago, the polls clearly showed that APC was going to win but the result came out differently from what we expected. Obaseki has won, that’s it. You can’t go into an election without the possibility of losing.
“The election was reasonably decent. We were all worried about violence but there was very little violence or none at all.”
Edo 2020: There’s No More APC, Okorocha Laments
A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Sunday congratulated the people of Edo State for fighting against alleged injustice in the just-concluded election won by Governor Godwin Obaseki on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Okorocha, a founding member of the All Progressives Congress, who represents Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, described the loss suffered by the party as a “revolution of the masses against injustice”.
He added that respect for the President Muhamamadu Buhari was all the party had left.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, ahead of his 58th birthday on Tuesday, Okorocha noted that “there is no more APC, what we have is the respect for President Muhammadu Buhari”.
During the event, Okorocha’s in-law and 2019 former governorship candidate in Imo State, Uche Nwosu, blamed the former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, for the party’s defeat, saying “all he did was to try to muzzle people to accept a candidate they never wanted”.
“This is not what APC was built on, we expect things to be done the right way but the former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, believes that anything can come from anywhere without going through the due process,” he said.
Jubilant Edo Residents, Melaye Mock Oshiomhole As Obaseki Wins
Jubilant residents of Benin City on Sunday trooped out to celebrate the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party over the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the Saturday poll.
Some of the residents mocked a former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, who was the major promoter of Ize-Iyamu.
This was as a former member of the National Assembly from Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, also mocked Oshiomhole and the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Obaseki polled a total number of 307,955 votes to emerge winner of the poll while Ize-Iyamu scored 223,619 votes.
Obaseki had contested on the platform of the APC in 2016 governorship election against Ize-Iyamu who was then the candidate of the PDP and Obaseki won.
However, Obaseki and Oshiomhole, who is also a former National Chairman of the APC, fell apart and the crisis cost Obaseki the APC governorship ticket. Ize-Iyamu, who had defected to the APC ahead of the APC governorship primary election, was given the ticket.
While celebrating Obaseki’s victory on Sunday, Melaye said Oshiomhole had been reduced.
“Fellow countrymen and women, I salute you once again. I am reaching you directly from Edo. What we used to have as Osho Baba has now been reduced, downgraded and degraded to Osho pikin. Nobody should call Osho Baba again, never! The only thing you now have is Osho pikin…..
“How can you expect that a man with the umbrella will not win during the rainy season? Definitely, the PDP won. APC, how market? Oshiomhole, how market?” Melaye said before bursting into a song to mock Oshiomhole and Tinubu, who had released a video ahead of the election, urging the people of Edo to reject Obaseki.
“The dollars brought in a bullion van to Edo have gone down the drain,” Melaye added.
Also, some of Obaseki’s supporters said Oshiomhole should relocate to Lagos to join Tinubu to help him cope with the shame of the defeat.
Obaseki’s supporters called Oshiomhole many unprintable names, saying he became too arrogant after the people of Edo State compensated him to win the 2007 governorship in the state.
While dancing and singing, some of the youths said, “He (Oshiomhole) should relocate to be living with his godfather in Lagos.”
A driver, who identified himself as Lucky Godwin, said, “Edo no be Lagos; we told Oshio and his father that they will be humiliated and that has happened.”
A Lady among the supporters, who identified herself simply as Rose, said “This victory is sweet; e dey pepper Oshioo.”