According to the Newcastle Chronicle newspaper published on Monday, they had been contacted by the Sheikh’s representatives, who sent them a statement regarding reports of a possible sale.
“We can confirm that representatives of His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team, about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club,” read the statement.
“We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.
“We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”
The newspaper said Newcastle United Football Club had confirmed to them that the discussions were genuine.
British media reports have also said the sale price could be around 350 million pounds.
Newcastle United and Sheikh Khaled did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.
Ashley, who bought a controlling stake in the Premier League club in 2007, has in the past tried to sell the club.
The owner of British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc said last October that he had not received any acceptable offers for Newcastle United.
This was a year after he officially put the club up for sale.
But he had said in December that talks on a deal had made promising progress.
Any potential buyer of the club must be able to provide transfer funds, he had said at the time.
Sheikh Khaled, the cousin of Manchester City FC owner and Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, previously failed in his bid to buy Liverpool Football Club.
He had wanted to buy the club at two billion pounds last year, the Daily Mail has previously reported.
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
Foreign ministers recommit to German-Russian cultural cooperation
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday recommitted their countries to closer cultural cooperation at the opening of an annual conference held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a welcome speech read out online to mark the start of the 23rd Potsdam Meeting, a German-Russian discussion forum, Maas said he hoped the pandemic would help the two countries pursue a positive agenda.
“We should not draw back from our joint responsibility at this point.
“The coronavirus pandemic will, in the immediate future, be one of the most important factors in developing joint approaches in foreign policy in the global economy to boost cooperation between countries,’’ Lavrov said.
He added that Germany and Russia would focus on the leading role of their countries in a rapidly changing world.
The Potsdam Meetings, set up by the German-Russian Forum in 1999, run parallel to the Petersburg Dialogue, established in 2001.
Report says the forums aim to promote understanding between German and Russian civil societies.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye (NAN)
COVID-19: Ignorance, denial can escalate infection – Prof. Adeyemo
Living ignorantly and in denial of the prevalence of the coronavirus could increase the number of infections in Oyo, an official said on Monday.
The Chairperson, Oyo State Decontamination project, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday, added that such ignorance and denial could make the coronavirus difficult to contain.
Adeyemo was speaking against the backdrop of the conspiracy theory of the nonexistence of the virus, being circulated among the public.
The theory is believed to be having an impact on the public’s level of compliance with safety protocols put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is a bit of ignorance on the part of the people, who do not know as much as they should – those that may be uneducated and a bit of denial.
“We can be educated but illiterate at the same time.
“For me, this COVID-19 has shown that it is not going to school that makes you educated.
“This is because the kind of conspiracy theory that is flying around makes it even a bit difficult to separate the educated from the uneducated.
“If you hear what the educated are saying it is actually tedious.
“For the uneducated, if you have somebody that is educated around you, you will prefer to look up to them to guide you.
“But most people around now – even the educated ones – are buying into the conspiracy theory.
“They say, ‘Oh COVID-19 is a scam in Nigeria’, ‘the government is just using it to make money’,” she said.
She decried a situation where Nigerians made jokes of everything and the negative effect that kind of attitude could have on efforts at containing the spread of the virus.
She, therefore, urged those at the helm of affairs at isolation centres across the states to be circumspect in disseminating some kind of information that could jeopardise the fight against COVID-19.
“There was one that I saw recently, pictures in which they showed a man that was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the UK and then they showed another one in an isolation centre in Nigeria where somebody was cooking.
“And they said how come the isolation centres in the UK somebody is in a coma and in the Nigerian isolation centres they are busy dancing and eating.
“On the part of those in the isolation centres, putting out such a thing is a bit irresponsible.
“I think preventing such will also help.
“When you say you have an isolation centre, it should not be a theatre arts or cinema.
“We do a lot of things carelessly in Nigeria.
“Isolation centres should not be places where pictures should be coming out from and people begin to say all sorts of things.
“I think those kinds of things are also discouraging people who are not so well educated.
“So anybody that is not taking care of himself or herself is posing danger to himself/herself and anybody around him/her because we don’t know who is going to have the serious one.
“And even if that is not the case, you have loved ones that may contract the serious strain of the virus and it leads to death,” she said.
Adeyemo described the efforts being made to contain the speed of the virus as war-like.
“People use the analogy of a war. This is like a war situation, where nobody is talking about anything other than survival,” she said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Some corps members serving in Ekiti to get certificate after lockdown – Coordinator
Some corps members serving in Ekiti will have to wait until the inter-state travel restriction is eased before they can get their Certificate of National Service (CNS), an official of the corps said.
The coordinator added that those that would be affected by the directive were corps members serving in the state, but had travelled out of the state.
He said the decision was taken because the affected corp members might not be able to attend the passing-out ceremony of 2019 Batch ‘B, Stream 1 slated for Thursday, May 28 because of the lockdown.
Okpongete was quoted as saying that the corps members would be issued their certificates without the usual fanfare due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the various 16 Local Government Areas of the state and discharged accordingly.
“The 2019 Batch ‘B, Stream 1 Passing-out ceremony will hold on Thursday, May 28 across the federation.
“Issuance of certificates in Ekiti will take place at corps members’ various Local Government Areas of service.
“Corps members presently not in the state will be issued their CNS whenever the ‘inter-state lockdown’ is eased,” the coordinator was quoted as saying.
The state coordinator, however, solicited the cooperation of all employers across Ekiti, urging them to issue ‘Letters of Release’ to corps members that served in their organisations.
Okpongete also solicited the cooperation of stakeholders such as the road transport unions to ensure the safety of corps members as many of them travelled from Ekiti to their various states of origin from May 30.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
COVID-19: Kwara Govt extends palliatives to Unilorin
According to the institution’s bulletin issued on Monday, no fewer than 643 Departmental Staff have received food items donated by the state government as palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.
The university said that the food items, which included 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar, were distributed to the workers.
It noted that the Deputy Registrar, General Services, Mrs Maymunat Zakariyya, was charged with the distribution.
Zakariyya noted that the letter requested the state government to kindly extend the distribution of the Federal Government palliatives to its low cadre staff to ease their economic situation in this period of the lockdown.
“The state government responded by presenting 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar to the university administration.
“She added that the university administration, however, identified 643 staff on CONTISS 1 and 2, and departmental staff of the university as the most vulnerable, and the Vice-Chancellor graciously directed that the food items be shared to this category of staff,” it stated.
According to the bulletin, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Ajadi Suleiman, who spoke on behalf of others, commended the Kwara government and Unilorin management for the support.
Suleiman however advised the beneficiaries to accept whatever they got with joy and happiness.
“What the government has done is a good thing. We should all receive whatever gets to us with joy and happiness as it will do us a lot of good,” he said.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Gov. Oyetola mourns New Telegraph editor, says death huge blow to journalism
Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has described the death of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Saturday Editor of The New Telegraph Newspapers, as “a devastating blow and a great loss to his immediate family and journalism in Nigeria”.
Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Monday in Osogbo, commiserated with Bakare’s family, friends, colleagues, the Journalists’ Hangout family and the management of The New Telegraph Newspapers over the loss.
The governor described Bakare as a hardworking, talented, cerebral and an accomplished journalist that would be sorely missed by all.
“I received with great shock the passing of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Editor, Saturday New Telegraph.
“His death is not only a loss to his family, but also to the journalism profession.
“As people who believe in God, we should take it in good faith and give gratitude to God that the late journalist ran a good race and gave a good account of himself as a newsroom leader and gatekeeper.
“As a professional and a devout Muslim, Bakare showed class in the discharge of his responsibilities.
“My deep condolences go to the entire family, the New Telegraph management as well as all journalists in Nigeria. He will be sorely missed.
“I pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljanah Firdaus. I also pray Allah to comfort his bereaved family and loved ones,” Oyetola added.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bakare died on Sunday after a brief illness.
1 dies as 2 accidents occur on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
One person was confirmed dead and several others injured in two separate accidents on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Sunday.
Mr Clement Oladele, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incidents in a statement on Monday in Abeokuta.
According to the FRSC boss, the accident involved two male adults and one female adult.
He said that the driver drove under the influence of alcohol in excessive speed, which led to loss of control.
Oladele said that two injured victims were rescued and taken to Victory Hospital, Ogere for medical attention.
He said that the second crash occurred at about 11:50am on Sunday, around Fidiwo, near Ogunmakin on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He said that eight people were involved in the accident when the bus hit the barrier after it lost control.
“Five male adults, one female adult and one male child sustained injuries, while one male adult died in the accident,” he said.
According to him, five injured victims were rescued and taken to Victory Hospital, Ogere and two others to Idera Hospital, Sagamu.
He said that the deceased was deposited at Idera Hospital morgue.
Oladele cautioned motorists to drive cautiously as vehicular movement was increasing due to gradual easing of the lockdown orders.
He urged motorists to exercise restraint when travelling, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan and Sagamu-Ijebuode expressways, around the portions where traffic was diverted.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Eid-el-Fitri: Kwara youths urge Muslims to pray for Nigeria’s peace, unity
The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Shafi Ismail Alada urged the Muslims to use the festival period for sober reflections.
It also congratulated Muslim faithful on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
The Forum commended them for their commitment and steadfastness in completing the 30 days of Ramadan fast.
KYUFI further enjoined Muslims to ensure that the teachings and lessons of the Holy month of Ramadan always manifest in their daily lives.
It described the sacrifices and supplications, during the period, as necessary ingredients for the peace, unity and development of Nigeria.
“We have to make every effort to continue to be in close relationship with Allah during and beyond the Ramadan period.
“The regular prayers and recitation, and above all, understanding and acting on the injunctions of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) must be sustained,’’ it added.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Eid el-Fitr: NOA urges Nigerians to observe precautionary measures against COVID-19
As Nigerians join other Muslims worldwide to mark the 2020 Eid-el-Fitr amid the coronavirus pandemic, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged citizens to observe all precautionary measures against the disease.
The Director General of NOA, Mr Garba Abari, made the call in a Sallah message to the Muslim faithful in Nigeria, a statement by the agency’s Head of Press Unit, Mr Paul Odenyi, said.
Abari also urged them to imbibe the lessons of Ramadan, some of which are discipline, selflessness, and piety.
According to the director general, the month of Ramadan is a period that Muslims should take advantage of to strengthen their faith and stay safe from the ravaging coronavirus by adhering strictly to the precautionary measures put in place.
He said leaders at the local level should take responsibility for enforcing movement restriction orders, inspiring compliance with all advisories by government in line with the spirit of Sallah.
“We must be cautious (so as) not to facilitate community transmission of COVID19.
“They can do this by ensuring that prescribed social distancing, use of face masks, regular hand washing, and sanitisation are observed in our communities,” he said
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Osun discharges 2 COVID-19 patients, records 2 new cases
The Osun government says it has discharged two more coronavirus patients from its isolation and treatment centre.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, who made this known in a statement on Monday in Osogbo, said the patients were discharged after testing negative for the virus twice as required by treatment protocol.
Isamotu, however, confirmed the detection of two new COVID-19 cases in the state.
“Today, two COVID-19 patients were discharged from our isolation and treatment centre to join their families after they tested negative for the virus.
“Sadly, we also recorded two new cases in the state.
“Thankfully, they are all stable and responding to treatment.
“In total, 34 patients have been successfully treated and discharged from our isolation centres across the state out of the 44 confirmed cases in the state,” he said.
Isamotu urged residents to continue to abide by the safety measures put in place by the state government to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Eid-el Fitr: Gov. Ganduje frees 294 correctional centre inmates
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has granted freedom to 294 inmates of correctional centres in the state, a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, said on Sunday.
It said that Ganduje witnessed the release of the inmates from the correctional centre at Goron Dutse on Sunday, and quoted him as declaring that the gesture was in the spirit of Eid-El Fitr.
“The governor also said that the gesture was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to further reduce congestion in the nation’s correctional centres.
“Ganduje also recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed governors to decongest correctional centres to help observe COVID-19’s social distancing protocol.
“It is based on that directive that in the last two months the state has released 603 inmates. The goal is to decongest Correctional Centres. We hope that they will be of good character henceforth,” the statement said.
It said that the governor also gave each of the freed inmates N5,000 as transport fare to their destinations.
The statement quoted the Comptroller of Prisons, Abdullahi Magaji, as commending Ganduje for donating 30 hectares of land to the Federal Government for the construction of a modern Correctional Centre.
Magaji also advised the freed inmates to be of good character and stay off crimes to avoid going back to prison.
The statement indicated that the governor was accompanied to the centre by his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, and the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero. (NAN)
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Enugu Chief Imam urges Muslims to pray for an end to COVID-19 pandemic
“God has rescued humanity from many deadly viruses and diseases in the past. He can do it again if all countries of the world will humble themselves and seek the face of God,” he said.
The Imam congratulated Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and urged them to regard the stoppage of congregational Eid prayer as a sacrifice to curb the spread of COVID-19 deadly virus.
“This is in compliance to Federal Government lockdown directive that closed mosques and churches as well as banned social gatherings across the country.
“Ensure, you always wash your hands regularly, wear your face mask, maintain social distance and other instructions by government to curb the spread of the deadly virus,” he said.
Idoko commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the measures put in place since the index case of coronavirus was recorded in Nigeria, to ensure the protection of citizens.
“Mr President has shown dedication and serious commitment to control the spread of the deadly virus since the coronavirus index case was recorded in the country on Feb. 27.
“I also commend Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for complimenting the efforts of Federal Government in controlling the spread of the deadly virus.
“To win this war against COVID-19, the enemy of humanity, all hands must be on deck.
“I wish all Muslims in Nigeria happy Eid-el-Fitr.”
Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Foundation donates food items to IDPs, orphanage, others
Prof. Dakas CJ Dakas Foundation on Sunday donated bags of maize, beans, sugar, garri to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), orphans, widows and persons living with disabilities in Jos.
Mrs Beatrice Dakas, who presented the food items to the IDPs living in an uncompleted building in Rayfield, said that the gesture was to alleviate the plight of the beneficiaries.
“The news on social media of the IDPs occupying an uncompleted building attracted the foundation’s attention to the unbearable conditions the people were living in.
“The place the people are living in, to say the least, is not habitable.
“And that is why we are here to identify with them and give them some hope that God will bring them out of the situation. We do hope that other spirited individuals will follow the same path,” she said.
Mr Chung Yakubu, who thanked the foundation on behalf of the IDPs appealed to other spirited individuals to emulate the foundation in supporting the needy.
Dakas, who also visited Our Lady of Apostle Orphanage, Zawan, commended the management for taking good care of the children in the way of the Lord.
She said apart from the donated items, the foundation would continue to pray for the orphanage.
Rev. Sister Patricia Iwunze, in charge of the orphanage, thanked the foundation for the donation and show of love.
Mr. Seth Attah, Leader of Joint Association of Persons Living With Disabilities (JONAPWD), received the donations on behalf of persons living with disabilities in the state.
Edited /Felix Ajide
Catholic Archbishop urges media practitioners to be agents of evangelisation
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most. Rev. Adewale Martins, on Sunday urged media practitioners to be agents of evangelisation through their news reporting.
The Archbishop made the call in his homily at a virtual Mass celebrated at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, to commemorate the 54th Anniversary of the World Communucation Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this year’s theme of the World Communication Sunday by His Holiness, Pope Francis is: “The Value of Storytelling and its Importance in Shaping Lives’’.
Adewale said that stories had influence on people’s behaviour, adding that there was the need to find truth in the stories being disseminated.
According to him, there are stories that build people together and there are also stories that create division.
”It is in this face that the Holy Father calls us to isolate the truth that we hear and let it guide us.
”This truth also challenges media men and women to speak the truth that comes to them.
”So what we hear or watch in music, movies and news, influences our actions and inactions,” he said.
According to him, media practitioners should also be conscious of the influence their stories have on the role model people choose.
He said that media practitioners’ stories should direct people to the right model, just like the miracles of Jesus was designed to teach his followers to take care of the needs of people.
Adewale, however, charged journalists to see themselves as those the Lord had called upon to be agents of evangelisation, bringing people closer to God.
”Let it challenge us to bring new disposition of God to people.”
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
COVID-19: Curfew now 8p.m. to 5a.m. in Oyo — State task force
The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force said it has relaxed the existing curfew imposed on the state to between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Mr Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Seyi Makinde, said in a statement that the decision was reached at the COVID-19 task force meeting presided over by the governor on Sunday in Ibadan.
According to Adisa, the new directive on curfew between 8p.m. and 5a.m. replaces the initial order which pegged the curfew at between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.
He said the state COVID-19 task force had advised farmers in the state to take advantage of the curfew relaxation to enhance their farming activities.
He said that report from the task force showed that the state had so far recorded 233 COVID-19 positive cases, while 171 of them are active ones.
The media aide further said that some measures were approved for implementation by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which coordinated the operations of the thematic segments of the containment drives.
“One of such is the approval of a facility in Ibadan for use as observation and isolation centre for category of patients after thorough reviews.
“Agreement has been reached with the management of a facility in Ibadan to provide bed spaces for some positive cases whose status have been considered by the experts.
“The state government is also wrapping up further renovation and face-lifting activities at its isolation centres located at Agbami, Jericho, Ibadan, Igbo-Ora, Ogbomoso, Saki and Aawe, near Oyo town,” he said.
Adisa also said that the planned community testing, which could not be kickstarted at the weekend owing to the festivities and public holidays, would commence by the end of the week.
He added that training of health workers that would participate in community testing exercise would commence in 10 locations after the holidays.
Editedby Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi
Gov. Okowa salutes Clark at 93
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Sunday congratulated the Ijaw national leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, as he clocks 93, on Monday, May 25.
The governor’s felicitation is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika on Sunday in Asaba.
Okowa described the nonagenarian as “a fearless and patriotic leader’’, who cares for the interests of his people and the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
He said that Clark had worked so hard to place his name in the annals of history, as a great fighter of the Niger Delta course.
The governor noted that the elder statesman’s voice on national issues and his unrelenting service to the nation had made him stood out as a “great, patriot and fearless leader”.
He said that the nonagenarian’s wise regular counseling and leadership acumen, contributed immensely to the stability, growth and development of the Niger Delta region in particular and the entire country in general.
”On this occasion of your 93rd birth anniversary, I heartily rejoice with you and your family, on behalf of the government and people of Delta.
”In the past 93 years of a life of outstanding accomplishments and great personal fulfillment, you have not only served our nation at different levels, but with an uncommon sense of patriotism and unwavering dedication, to its peace and unity.
”Till date, you have continued to give yourself in the service of our fatherland, through your wise counsels and comments on national issues.
“As an enviable and notable voice in the call for the restructuring of the nation, you have made indelible footprints through your remarkable contributions to the Niger Delta struggle and we owe you a great deal of appreciation,” Okowa said.
The governor joined Chief Clark’s family, friends and well wishers to thank Almighty God for Clark.
He also prayed that the Lord continue to bless Clark with robust health and imbue him with His continued guidance, protection and enduring provision in the years ahead. .
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Group urges Tiv people in Nasarawa to remain law abiding
Ifer said that Tiv communities in Obi, Keana and Awe Local Government Areas of the state have recently witnessed series of attack allegedly over land.
He noted that the Tiv people are peace-loving, law abiding and would not engage in acts capable of breaching the peace in the state.
Ifer, however, explained that there was no crisis among the Tiv people, especially in the association, urging the public to disregard any claims of disharmony.
He commended Governor Abdullahi Sule and the security agencies for their efforts toward securing life and property in the state.
He said that Ifer has provided leadership that has prevented a lot of crisis between Tiv and other ethnic nationalities, hence the need to support him.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
Community Policing: South East governors at loggerheads with IG over implementation
The South East Governors Forum has expressed dismay that the Inspector General of Police allegedly reneged on its agreements on practice and composition for establishment of community policing in the zone.
The Chairman of the forum and Ebonyi Governor, Chief David Umahi made the disclosure at the end of its meeting in Enugu on Sunday.
The chairman said that the recent communication from the IG, Mr Mohammed Adamu, did not conform with the initial agreement reached with him during his visit to the Zone.
‘The South East Governors and their leaders request the IGP to revert to our initial agreement reached on Community Policing at Enugu.
”The forum agrees that all South East States House of Assembly should commence the process of enacting the state security laws in line with the South East Joint Security Programme.
”In the circumstance, we cannot begin implementation of it until the programme reflects our earlier agreement,” he said.
He said they should obey the Nigeria Centre of Disease and Control (NCDC) hygiene protocols, presidential Task Force and directives of South East Governors and directives of all Governors where they live.
The governor said that the forum agreed to further engage the NCDC to scale up testing of Coronavirus in South East States.
The governors commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Works and the Governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano on the extent of work at the second Niger Bridge,” he said.
On the economy, Umahi said the forum agreed to set up committees at the various states to work with Federal Government, World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on repositioning the economy in the zone.
He said they would work in their various programmes lined up to rejig the economy, especially in areas of Agriculture, Small and Medium Enterprises and solid minerals.
The Chairman said it agreed also to hold a virtual meeting with the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the issue of linking South East State capitals with pipeline.
This, he said, should be done along with the pipeline programme of the Federal Government running from Imo to Lagos State.
Umahi disclosed that the forum agreed that Ohaneze should submit a working document in their next meeting on setting up of South East Stabilization Fund.
The forum also commended President, Minister of Aviation, the Governor of Enugu State and other governors of South East and the Committee headed by Mr Chris Okoye on the extent of work at Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
”We assure our people that with the progress of work at the site, we are hopeful that the Airport will reopen soonest subject to COVID-19 Federal Government Programme, ” Umahi said.
The governor he said that the next Executive Committee meeting of the South East Traditional Institution shall be hosted by Ebonyi State.
NAN reports that Governors of Imo, Hope Uzodinma and Enugu State attended the meeting while Gov Okezie Ikpeazu Abia was represented by his deputy, Mr Ude Oko-Chukwu and Anambra State governor, represented by his deputy, Mr Nkem Okeke.
Other notable personalities at the meeting were Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Oh Anezi President General, Nnia Nwodo and some traditional and religious leaders.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Oyo deputy governor says relationship with boss cordial, robust
Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, says his relationship with his boss, Gov. Seyi Makinde, is very robust and cordial.
Olaniyan told newsmen in Ibadan on Sunday that reports alleging a rift were “the handiwork of fifth columnists bent on destabilising the current administration in the state”.
He rejected suggestions that the Makinde-led administration had achieved nothing in the last one year.
“Those saying that this administration has not achieved anything in the last one year are mischief makers who are hell-bent on distracting and destabilising the government,” he said.
“We have set up functional isolation centres, test centres and upgraded some health facilities across the state.
“We have also identified the poor and most vulnerable, and distributed palliatives to them in a very modest way.
”We have tried to ensure that these palliatives get to the targeted people. Government will do even more,” he said.
The deputy governor assured Oyo residents that the administration would remain focused and committed to their well being, saying that the protection of lives and property was a major goal.
He said that the administration would continue to implement people-oriented policies aimed at transforming the state and uplifting it to greater heights.
Olaniyan congratulated Muslims on the successful completion of the fasting period and the Eid-el-Fitri celebration, and called on them to continue to live in harmony.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Umahi is lifting Ebonyi people out of poverty — Commissioner
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State has reiterated his commitment to lift the people out of poverty.
He said this in a statement signed and released to News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja by Mr Oluchukwu Ezeali, Ebonyi Commissioner for Project Monitoring and Evaluation.
According to the statement, the governor intends to achieve the feat through massive infrastructure development.
The statement said that areas of emphasis would be in manpower development, improved health care system and building social infrastructures among others.
Ezeali had expressed concern over the recent ranking by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which rated the State as the 4th poorest state in the country.
The rating also placed the state as the first poorest in the South-east, with regard to economic development, attributed to urban migration.
He noted that the ranking did not take into consideration the attemps of the administration to bridge the gap between urban and rural poverty rates.
He noted that more young productive labour had fled the rural areas in search of opportunities in urban areas.
The commissioner said in the statement that the governor had been doing his best to ensure that Ebonyi people were lifted out of poverty since assumption of office in 2015.
“The governor embarked on an urbanisation drive across Ebonyi State not just to create an enabling environment for business and productivity, but also to make the entire State habitable.
“Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics released the poverty index of States, ranking Ebonyi State as the 4th poorest State in Nigeria.
“It came to a lot of us as a surprise, given the massive infrastructure development of governor David Umahi-led administration over the past five years.
“Ebonyi State was fast becoming an old people’s home before the emergence of Umahi as Governor.
Almost every young productive and enterprising Ebonyi person lived in the diaspora, but the story is different today,’’ he said.
Ezeali also said that the governor had created huge industrial clusters in the three senatorial zones of the State located strategically with proximity to raw materials and markets.
He added that the industrial clusters had the capacity of creating over 200,000 jobs for Ebonyi people and others and reduce the brain drain that the State had suffered over time.
According to him, poverty is eradicated through building social infrastructure, mostly by creating job opportunities.
The commissioner further observed that more Ebonyi citizens and non-indigenes were investing in the State and creating jobs.
“More young people shun the dangers of an uncertain sojourn in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Onitsha among others.
“They are taking advantage of the opportunities that the urbanisation and modernisation of the State has provided.
“The high quality roads constructed across the State by the present administration have bridged the gap between rural and urban categorisations.
“ The productive labour force in the hinterlands are growing due to the accessibility of markets for farm produce and other crafts that the State has always been known for.
“The State is now a route for commercial motorists plying Enugu/Onitsha to Cross River, Akwa Ibom and parts of Abia State and in these busy routes have emerged commercial activities to cater for the needs of commuters’’.
Ezeali said that the State had also become a busy haulage route and features prominently on the development plans of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He added that “Umahi was laying a solid foundation for economic growth and like most reform policy interventions, the gains are usually in phases and most are already manifesting’’.
He also said that schools in the State were being upgraded in infrastructure and manpower while the health sector had received a boost.
“Functional Primary Health Centres (PHC) are available across the State, catering for the healthcare needs of rural dwellers and providing training and jobs for healthcare givers, nurses and midwives.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Eid-el-Fitr: ACF urges Nigerians to share love with compatriots
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has felicitated with the Muslim Ummah the end of the Ramadan fasting period and Eid-el-Fitr Sallah celebration.
The forum urged Nigerians to share love with their compatriots.
“We use this Sallah to call on all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic affiliation or religious belief to see this as an opportunity to share their love with their compatriots, especially those who are in need, and need to be loved and cared for.
According to him, it is a trying period not only for Nigerian Muslims but for all Nigerians.
The forum also prayed that the Almighty Allah “will approve of your kind deeds and forgive all your disobedient acts and sins”.
While also praying Allah to ease the sufferings of Nigerians, ACF expressed optimism that the Almighty Allah will show Nigerians the right path and help in every step of life.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)