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.
Third Mainland Bridge: FRSC Thanks Motorists, Warns Against Reckless Driving
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has appreciated the Lagos public for the maturity and patience exhibited while the closure of the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge for repairs, lasted.
In a statement signed by the Command’s Public Education Officer, Route Commander Olabisi Sonusi, and made available to PointBlank.ng, the Lagos Sector Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide advised motorists to steer clear of reckless driving and other sundry recklessness associated with road safety.
The Bridge finally opened for use Saturday February 27, 2021 at 12noon.
The statement reads in part:
“You may recall that the repair work which commenced from 24th July, 2020 expected to be completed by January 2021 was delayed because of COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSars unrest.
“We must say that the motoring public were so cooperative during the entire period the rehabilitation work lasted and this is commendable.
“It has become very imperative for us to enjoin motorists to avoid excessive speed, dangerous overtaking, disregard to lane discipline now that the most important bridge has been opened for use.
Ogungbemide urged motorists to drive defensively at all time on the bridge and other corridors within the state.
He thanked the Federal Government for the rehabilitation, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his immense support for the Command during the period.
He also expressed delight in the final opening of the bridge and also appeal that motorists should always drive safe and stay safe at all times.
Ogungbemide aldo promised that the command would not relent in its determination and commitment to reduce road traffic crashes and fatalities in the state.
He also appreciated all the FRSC officers and men as well as other sister agencies who worked assiduously during the period of the rehabilitation on the bridge.
Mailafia Accuses Those Who Wanted Jonathan Out of Sponsoring Bandits
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, says many of the bandits terrorising the country were sponsored by persons who wanted to push former President Goodluck Jonathan out of power at all cost.
Mailafia said this during an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.
He said, “During the 2015 elections they brought in thousands of foreigners into this country, armed them because it was a case of if Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t surrender, there will be war. They were ready for civil war; they were not ready for peace.
“Of course, Jonathan handed over to them and then they turned their backs on the hoodlums and the hoodlums said ‘look, you brought us here and we are still here’.”
Mailafia, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the last election, said he was also convinced that some foreign powers were behind the bandits.
“There are certain world powers that want to destroy our country. That is what I believe. There was a container load of weapons that were brought in from Turkey. Another time some were brought in from Iran. But nobody probed further and everything was swept under the carpet and that was the end of it,” he said.
The former CBN deputy governor, who was last year invited by the Department of State Services and the police for saying that an unnamed northern governor was a Boko Haram commander, said the fact that other people have come out to say far worse but have not been invited, shows that he was unfairly targeted.
The former CBN deputy governor also disagreed with the approach of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi on the issue of amnesty for bandits.
Mailafia said it was wrong to offer such hoodlums amnesty and then make no provision for the victims, adding that they have no agenda other than to destroy.
He argued that appeasing the bandits would never work even as he said the Niger Delta militancy and the banditry ravaging the country are two different things.
“I do not believe that the Niger Delta militancy can be compared to the terrorists. These people (terrorists) are not even bandits. A bandit is a common thief or a brigand. The ‘agbero’ are bandits. These people carrying sophisticated weapons and rockets are not bandits. They are terrorists.
“They have killed, they have maimed, they have raped and they have wreaked havoc,” Mailafia said.
Zamfara Confirms Abduction, Says Security Operatives, Vigilantes in Pursuit of Abductors
The Zamfara State Government has confirmed the abduction of female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the state.
The confirmation was made by the Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran in a brief interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Friday.
The abductors in their hundreds invaded the town and took away the students about 2 am.
“I can confirm to you now that we have sadly received the report on the abduction of the students of GGSS Jangebe and right now, I am on my way to the school.
“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantatè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.
A staff of the school who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said, “The gunmen in their hundreds invaded the town around 2 am on Friday, shot sporadically in the air to scare the residents before coming into the school.
“After taking away most of the students, we rounded up those that escaped or hid from the bandits and conducted a census where we counted 54 students and we are still searching to see if we can get more.”
Also, a resident who gave his name as Haliru Jangebe said the local vigilantes had tried to repel the invaders but were overpowered.
“The bandits were too many and they all seemed to be carrying heavy arms as we heard gunshots from all parts of the town and when the shots stopped, we heard that the students had been taken away.”