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Ihedioha: PDP Told To Apologise To CJN



Tanko Muhammad - Tanko Mohammed

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has asked the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to tender an unreserved apology to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Supreme Court and Nigerians over its behaviour on the outcome of the Imo State governorship election petition.

The pro-Buhari group also said that the 2.9 per cent economic growth projection by the Federal Government for the year 2020 was feasible despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) downward projections.

While the World Bank is projecting a 2.1 percent growth for Nigeria in 2020, the IMF on Monday projected a 2.5 percent growth for the Nigerian economy.

The pro Buhari group said allegations raised against the Jurists during their recent protest against the judgement of the Supreme Court declaring Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor of the state, were puerile and childish.

Chairman and Secretary of the group, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke described the PDP protest as an insult to Nigeria’s judiciary and showed the contempt PDP has for the nation’s institutions.

“Holding a protest to denounce the verdict of the Supreme Court, and further making unfounded allegations of wrongdoing against the Justices of the country’s apex court, is offensive to the country, and democratic principles which the country operates.

“The protests and comments made by the PDP were also outrightly reprehensible. For persons who had been privileged to enjoy the management of the nation’s affairs for 16 years – albeit in the worst manner – and its democratic institutions, the least expected from them is respect for these institutions.

“More surprising is that the so-called opposition figures demanded that the Supreme Court reverse itself, aside from demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Tanko Muhammed,” it added

BMO noted that PDP leaders acted like entitled spoilt brats who did not know how to react to losing, saying “PDP is led by cry-babies, spoilt with unpunished bad behaviour, hence their irresponsible and ridiculous protest against the Supreme Court. Whenever the party is awarded a victory by this same Supreme Court, PDP praises the Judiciary but whenever the same court delivers a judgment that does not favour the opposition, these people wail like spoilt brats.

“Only a few months ago, the same Supreme Court ruled against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and favoured PDP on Zamfara and Rivers States. The Apex Court was lauded and hailed by the PDP. Similarly, in the judgments of the court in the most recent election petition matters, the Supreme Court decided in favour of PDP in Bauchi, Sokoto, Adamawa and Benue States. To PDP, this is justice because it favoured them. That is the height of irresponsibility.

“To these spoilt brats, whenever the Supreme Court does not go its way, the court has no integrity, but when it does, it is indeed a court of justice. They lack shame. The PDP is simply afraid of the verdict the court would give in the coming days of judgments that are less likely going to favour it.”

BMO expressed hope that PDP leaders would act like responsible politicians and stop over-reacting when court rulings do not go their party’s way.

However, BMO said efforts by the Federal Government to improve the predictability of economic policies have been largely successful over the past few years and has shown that a lot has been happening on the economic front.

The group said “While respecting the international institutions on their projections, we want to make it clear that they cannot have access to our primary sources of information and data, no agencies or organisations can stay outside our territory and make conjectures from secondary data and information.

“The Federal Government had taken a global look at all indicators with the economic environment and it is better able to project the 2.9 percent for the year 2020, taking into account several policy deployments that lifted us out of recession. From -1.3 percent GDP we were able to move to 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent, moving by 1.1 percent growth within a space of one year and also from 1.9 percent to 2.3. This shows we are strongly moving”.

They argued that Nigeria has shown progress, saying “considering the current policy deployments by the Federal Government, our GDP growth rate would increase and improve our GDP to population growth ratio.

“Nigeria has seen a progressive increase in GDP since we exited recession, our economy has shown a capacity for growth. Growth might appear slow now, but the economy has shown capacity for continuous growth; from 0.8% in 2017 to 1.9% in 2018 and an average of 2.0 to 2.3 in 2019. We are sure that in the year 2020, with all the policies being set out by Federal Government, our GDP growth will be at 2.9 to 3%”.

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COVID-19: FG Seeks National Assembly Approval For N500 BILLION Intervention Fund



Zainab Ahmed

In a bid to conquer the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Federal government has approached the leadership of the National Assembly for approval for the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

The Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab, met with the lawmakers today April 4th at the National Assembly complex. At the meeting, Ahmed said the proposed fund would be dedicated to upgrading of existing health facilities in states across the federation. She added that the fund if approved by the lawmakers, would also be deployed to take care of special Public Work Programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“What we are proposing is an establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. This fund that we are proposing, that should be created, will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government, as well as the Federation, have, to be able to pull this N500 billion. Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified” she said.

On how the fund would be pooled, the Minister said the fund would be drawn from various special accounts, grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, appreciated the Federal government for the palliatives being handed to Nigerians following the Coronavirus outbreak but called for more interventions asides doling of cash.

“I think the time has come for us to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme, probably going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go. It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient. The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states.

We know that there will be a need for the parliament to agree and approve the taking of loans from these special accounts and we will be coming back with a proposed bill in that regard that will define what the fund will be used for” he said

Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the Senate said the meeting, the second time since President Buhari made the pronouncement on lockdown to combat the deadly scourge, was necessary to fast track the process of legislative approval for the Executive request.

“Just like we told Nigerians when there is need for us to meet or to take legislative action in support of ensuring that the government responds appropriately to developments issues and challenges in the country, we will do so. This meeting, the second in the series after we shut down the National Assembly for two weeks, is a clear testimony of what we have said. Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can also play our constitutional role in ensuring that Nigerians continue to benefit from governance and how we are able to weather the storm created by COVID-19. Going forward, we need to interact more because very fundamental decisions will need to be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of authority for the executive to implement and execute.

“I think coming to us for those loans is critical because we are in an emergency and time is of the essence. So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request before the National Assembly.” Lawan said

In attendance at the meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker, Honourable Idris Wase and some other principal officers from both Chambers.

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French Doctor Apologizes After Asking For New COVID-19 Drug To Be Tested In Africa



Jean Paul Mira, the French doctor who alongside his colleague Camille Locht asked for a new Coronavirus drug to be tested in Africa, has apologized after their statement triggered a worldwide outrage.

It was reported earlier that Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht who spoke on a live TV interview, insisted that Africa is the best place to conduct such test as they recalled how an experimental treatment for AIDS was carried out in Africa.

The dcotors were discussing about a “repurposed” tuberculosis vaccine as a COVID-19 beater during an expert chat on television, when the suggestion was made. The drug is currently being trialled in several European countries and Australia.

Mira, who is the intensive care unit (ICU) head at the Cochin hospital in Paris has now apologized over his comment which incited an outcry.

In a statement released on Friday April 3, Mira’s employer, the Paris network of hospitals quoted him saying:

“I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks that I clumsily expressed on LCI this week.”

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No License Has Been Issued For 5G In Nigeria, Its Study Is Still Ongoing — Minister Of Communication, Isa Pantami



The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has disclosed that no licence has been issued for 5G in Nigeria.

In a statement released on Saturday April 4 to counter rumors circulating on social media that 5G technology causes Coronavirus, Pantami stated that the Buhari-led administration will never seek technological advancement at the expense of the health and welfare of its citizens

He revealed that a three-month study trial had commenced on November 25 “in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria”. Pantami who disclosed that the trial has been concluded, added that the reporting process is currently ongoing.

The statement reads in parts;

“The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G.

“As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial.

“Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.

“I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.”

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