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    Governors have endorsed a two-week inter-state lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus.

    The states’ helmsmen said the movement of people across states contributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

    This is in spite of the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by President Muhammadu Buhari since March 30, and the close of territories by states.

    After their sixth COVID-19 teleconference meeting on Wednesday, the governors “unanimously agreed to the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state.”

    However, they added: “Only essential services will be permitted,” according to the communiqué made available by Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) spokesman Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.

    The governors were briefed by their colleagues Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Bala Mohammaed (Bauchi) on their experience while undergoing treatment for the virus pandemic. Both tested positive and were isolated, treated and discharged.

    They were also briefed by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun who shared their experience in managing coronavirus cases in their states.

    Lagos is the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria with 430 cases out of the national tally of 782 as at Tuesday. One hundred and six cases have been discharged in the state.

    Because of the evidence that community transmission of the virus has led to its spread to 25 out of the 36 states, governors called for the decentralisation of the COVID-19 response and the setting up of COVID-19 committees at the regional level to strengthen coordinated implementation of necessary public health recommendations.

    They proposed that the regional committees be headed by commissioners of Health while the committees will continue to interface with the State Task Force panel on COVID-19.

    They also expressed “serious concern” about the rising spread of the virus among health workers and resolved to work with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that health workers are adequately provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are constantly trained on the use of protective gears.

    They rejoiced with Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai who was on Wednesday discharged after “nearly four weeks of testing positive and observing very strict medical regime but has now received two consecutive negative test results to the coronavirus”.

    They also condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari from COVID-19 complications.

    But Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade warned that any further extension of lockdown of the country in response to the ravaging pandemic will spell doom..

    According to him, it would give rise to uncontrollable youth restiveness.

    Ayade, who spoke yesterday at the Industrial Park in Calabar, said he was recruiting 8000 youths to avoid social tension in view of the harsh economic impact created by COVID 19.

    Ayade said: “With prices of oil falling, locking out is far better than locking down because another two weeks of lockdown will find this country under siege by young people. There is no way you can hold down these young energies for too long.

    “It is demographic, it is statistics. 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 and the virus itself does not have penetrative force in such a demography and that is what we have to recognise as a country”

    The governor said the difference in climate conditions between the Western World and Africa is the reason the pandemic is ravaging that part of the world.

    “Our demography is different from the West. Our climatic conditions are different. If you take the wind speed, the wind direction, sun intensity, radiation and the factors that govern the movement of a virus, ours is a situation that makes it difficult to spread with the speed it is spreading in the Western world.

    “So, our response strategy should reflect our environmental sensitivity. Maybe what COVID-19 will eventually do is to sharpen the consciousness of young people to come together. That will be very dangerous and so, to nip that in the bud, we have to find jobs for them because sincerely, that is the provision in the constitution. Section 14 sub section 2 says the welfare and security of the people are the primary essence of government

    “I have to get the young people off the streets, I need to get them engaged. I need to get them to survive and that is the essence of government.”

    The governor advocated channeling of donations to the COVID-19 campaign to job creation. “If you have international support of N21 billion, you have to find how to use it to create jobs and not how to use it on COVID-19 campaign because it will end one day”, he said

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    The Rivers State Task Force enforcing lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has killed an unidentified policewoman in the state.

    It was gathered that a trigger-happy policeman attached to the taskforce pulled the killed his colleague, who was not a member of the force.

    The incident was said to have happened at Eneka Town, Obio-Akpo Local Government Area, at about 5pm.

    Sources said the tragedy occurred when members of the taskforce arrived the area and began to destroy goods belonging to defiant street traders.

    The new Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, who confirmed the development, said the policeman attached to the taskforce misused his weapon.

    He said: “A policeman attached to the taskforce did the shooting.

    “He was shooting anyhow and in the process killed another policewoman. The policewoman was hit by a stray bullet”.

    Mukan, who spoke at about 8:20pm, said the policeman was immediately arrested, disarmed and subjected to orderly room trial.

    “As I am talking to you, the orderly room trial is ongoing. If we conclude it this night, we will arraign him tomorrow”, he said.

    He insisted that there was no justification for the killing adding that the law must take its course.

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    ECOWAS leaders have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari Champion of the COVID-19 response.

    The appointment was made Thursday at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing under the Chairmanship of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

    During the teleconference, President Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID -19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in Member States:

    “In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities. Our region must therefore seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept”

    ECOWAS appoints Buhari COVID-19 champion

    Thursday, April 23, 2020 3:32 pm | Daily News Headlines | 1 Comment(s)

    Buhari: appointed ECOWAS COVID-19 champion
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    ECOWAS leaders have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari Champion of the COVID-19 response.

    The appointment was made Thursday at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing under the Chairmanship of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

    During the teleconference, President Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID -19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in Member States:

    “In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities. Our region must therefore seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept”

    While calling on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from “this deadly pandemic through sharing our experiences and best practices,” President Buhari outlined some measures taken by his government in response to the pandemic. These are:

    • The reduction of interest rates on all applicable Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) interventions from 9 to 5 percent and introduction of a one- year moratorium on CBN intervention facilities;

    *The inauguration of Presidential Task Force to coordinate national efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in line with the Nigerian Action Plan on Health Security;

    *The provision of relief materials including medical and food supplies as well as conditional cash transfers of N20, 000 each for poor and vulnerable households and ;

    *The establishment of more isolation centers and testing facilities to contain the spread of the virus.

    The Nigerian leader also said that unprecedented economic uncertainties, including severe fiscal and foreign exchange constraints, amid a slowdown in global economic growth that most nations are grappling with, have made it imperative for “our sub-region to refocus on accelerating the implementation of our popular vision of ‘ECOWAS of the people’ by adopting dynamic regional policies aimed at providing relief to our citizens.”

    “Despite declining revenues, government continues to spend massively on the containment of the virus, medical care for those infected and minimizing impact of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable. This situation puts severe pressure on our finances by increasing our expenditures amid dwindling revenues. This invariably has led to a restructuring and reduction of our budget,” he added.

    President Buhari used the occasion to rally other leaders to embrace agriculture, technology and innovation in order to emerge stronger.

    “It is imperative that while addressing short term challenges, we should also explore opportunities to promote strong and dynamic agricultural policies that will guarantee food security for our people, creating jobs and reducing poverty in the region. We must innovate and use technology to boost the digital economy and do things differently, but better,” he said.

    The Nigerian President affirmed Nigeria’s solidarity with other member states as they battle the virus:

    “At a time of global uncertainty such as this, caused by the devastating impact of the COVID-19, let me convey Nigeria’s solidarity with all the Member States as we collectively battle to defeat the pandemic. I am greatly saddened by loss of numerous lives and extend my heartfelt condolences to families of those who have lost loved ones throughout the region. I also wish infected victims speedy and full recovery.”

    He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the well-being and safety of the people in the sub-region and restated support for any initiatives that would curb the spread of the pandemic arising from the Summit.

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    The Lebanese government has arrested a national for advertising a Nigerian girl for sale on his facebook.

    The Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon had drew the attention of the country on the advertisement of a Nigerian girl for sale.

    The culprit, Mr, Wael Jerro had been on the run as the Lebanese government declared him wanted for such action.

    According to Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, “The Lebanese Govt just announced the arrest of Mr. WAEL JERRO for onward prosecution against criminal sales of a human, a young Nigerian girl.

    “A big thanks to the Nigerian mission in Lebanon for swinging into immediate action.”

    Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, had on Tuesday said the Nigerian mission in Lebanon had since reported to the host authorities on the dastard act and that a man hunt was on for the man and all out search for the young girl.

    According to Dabiri-Erewa, on Wednesday, the Lebanese Ministry of Labour issued a circular condemning the action of Jerro as completely unethical, in contravention of Lebanese Laws and against the Principles of Human Rights.

    “The circular further stated that legal action will be constituted against him for human trafficking before the competent judicial authority by the Ministry, in line with its statutory responsibility.

    “The Nigerian mission in Lebanon has also demanded an immediate hand over of the victim to the mission unconditionally and, in good health. NIDCOM will continue to follow up on the matter,” she said.

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    The deadly Coronavirus pandemic has killed two more people in Lagos, the epicentre of the disease.

    Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this on Thursday on his twitter handle.

    According to Abayomi, 74 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Lagos on Wednesday, with the total confirmed cases put at 512.

    “Lagos recorded 2 more COVID-19 related deaths. Total COVID-19 death in Lagos is now 18,” he said.

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    The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said the origin of 223 of the confirmed 873 cases is unknown.

    The figure was revealed in the latest COVID-19 Situation report released by the agency on Thursday.

    Previously, the number of cases classified as ‘unknown origin’ was 203.

    According to the report covering 26 states, cases with travel history totalled 210, while cases with contacts were 317.

    There was ‘incomplete’ information on 123 cases.

    The NCDC reported that the virus has a gender bias, as it affects men more than women.

    According to the report 617 men have so far been diagnosed with the virus.

    This represents 70 per cent of the total and contrasts with 257 women affected, representing 30 per cent.

    The agency disclosed that it has special interest in 9,257 people.

    What should get Nigerians worried is that despite the two-week lockdown, only 9,522 tests have so far been done, with 588 done on Wednesday.

    NCDC-Report

    References:

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    Sahara Reporters Reports
    Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, may soon be announced as new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

    If appointed, Adamu will replace Abba Kyari, who was announced dead on Friday.

    Kyari, who had a history of diabetes and was in his 70s, died at a private hospital in Lagos on owing to complications from Coronavirus.

    A top government source, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the President would have wanted Babagana Kingibe but was prevailed upon to drop him.

    Recall that SaharaReporters had fews hours after Kyari’s death, disclosed that Kingibe was scheming to become Buhari’s Chief of Staff.

    The source however, said, “The President actually wanted Kingibe but a lot of people prevailed upon him to drop the idea as Kingibe was not trustworthy as he betrayed and abandoned both his previous principals Abiola and Yaradua in their hours of need.”

    The announcement of Adamu’s appointment as new COS is expected to happen soon.

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    A notorious cult leader in Ugep, Cross Rivers State, popularly known as Jboy, has been killed during a clash with his gang members.

    According to SaharaReporters, a resident of the community outlined that Jboy and his gang belonged to a certain cult group known as the Vikings and have been terrorising persons living in Ugep for years.

    The source said a power tussle between the deceased and another member known as Arikpo 007 had left many in the gang dead in recent months.

    He said, “It’s an internal crisis within the Vikings also known as Baggers. Few months ago, there was power tussle between Jboy and one Arikpo 007, this led to killing of another gang member.

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    “A robbery incident that took the life the CEO of House 27 Hotel in Ugep and many other robberies in the community were all linked to the gang.

    “It got to a stage when Jboy’s father was dragged out from his house and flogged with machetes by Arikpo’s boys.

    “Following the humiliation on his father, Jboy swore never to leave cult violence until he kills Arikpo 007, a threat that kept Arikpo on the run.

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    “On April 20, 2020, another cult member, also a Viking, was shot dead by aggrieved members of the same cult as a reprisal attack after a meeting around Ijiman Street.

    “The situation led to an immediate reprisal by the other faction and it was in the process that Jboy and another gang member named Solo were killed.

    “The entire community is in chaos and everyone is afraid of what might happen next.”

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    Spokesperson for the police in the state could not be reached for comments as of the time of this report.

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    A new case of Coronavirus has been recorded in Warri, Delta State, bringing to five the total number of cases in the state including one death.

    Our correspondent reliably gathered that the new case was recorded on Tuesday but yet to be forwarded to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control for announcement.

    Speaking in confidence with our correspondent, a medical doctor, who is among health personnel managing COVID-19 cases in Warri, disclosed that the new case is a female and currently undergoing treatment at the Warri Central Hospital.

    He said, "It's possible she may have contacted the virus from Lagos where she went to visit her boyfriend.

    “She returned to Delta State just before the lockdown started here."

    Contacted at the time of filing this report, the Delta State Commissioner for Health, Mordi Ononye, did not respond to calls put across to him on the subject.

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    For he was astonished, and all that were with him – Luke 5 v 9

    From the moment you begin to walk with the Lord, your life will be full of astonishment, amazements and so many “my Lord and my God” moments (John 20:28).

    In Luke 5 v 2; the Bible tells us that some men were done fishing and were washing their nets. Disgruntled and bitter, they had not caught anything, (Luke 5 v 5) and it was in this state that the Lord entered their boats, (Luke 5 v 3) un-announced, asking that they should push the boat again into water so that he can teach some people.

    Hmmm, firstly, he entered my ship without telling me; some people will flare up and curse and refuse him, because the individual is frustrated and stressed, he hasn’t caught anything, what will he take home to his wife and kids? It’s already late. Brothers it’s not easy;  when we have toiled all day without selling anything, and the Spirit beckons us to witness or they said we should go for evangelism;  I really don’t know; but the key thing in display here in the life of this fisherman is Obedience.

    With the same energy we used to push a boat to the shore without catching anything, am been asked to push the same boat back into water, and the request wasn’t to hire for a fee, but to just use and preach; ok; that word “ok” is full of sacrifice and obedience. And so he did (Luke 5 v 3).

    After that, the Lord said again, those my nets that I have washed, I should unbundle it again and cast it into the water; the average mind would say, which kind man is this; who is this? This reflected in Peter’s initial response; “Master we had toiled all night, and have taken nothing;” this was the typical reflection of normalcy after all that had happened, but something overrode this mindset;  Obedience again.

    Obedience said “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” – Luke 5 v 5. From henceforth, was a life full of amazement.

    1. They inclosed a great multitude of fishes
    2. The nets that were been washed and tied after the day’s work has now broken
    3. Their counterparts which didn’t mind them (if we could use that word) were now been beckoned at to come and help them, not to bring their boat back to shore, but to help them on load the full net of fishes.
    4. They had to borrow the partners boats to be able to accommodate all the fishes
    5. Finally the boats started to sink because of the load of fishes they had caught

    All these happened between Luke 5 v 2 and Luke 5 v 5. Beloved, this is short of amazement and wonder. It can only happen through Obedience. Indeed Obedience is better than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22

    Verse 8 – “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus knees, saying; depart from me; for I am a sinful man O Lord”. Verse 9 – “For he was astonished…” who would not?

    I beseech you to open up to this Wonder Working Life of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ today; it is practical, amazing, miraculous and overflowing.

    Kindly say this short prayer “Lord Jesus, I am sinner, I cannot help myself, please help me; I believe you’re the Son of God; I believed you died for me; I believe you rose up on the third say; I believe you’re seated at the Right Hand of God and I believe you’ll come back again; Come into my hear, write my name in the book of Life, remove my name from the book of death, so that at the end, I’ll see you again. Thank you Lord Jesus, Amen”.

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