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Elections: CCD reopens disability support centre




The Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) a Non-Governmental Organisation, has reopened its Election Support Centre for monitoring and reporting on participation of Persons with Disability (PWDs).

Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of CCD, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the centre had on Feb. 15 launched its PWDs  support centre before the elections were postponed  by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Anyaele said with the rescheduling of the general elections, PWDs remain resolute in not only participating in the elections but also  monitoring the electoral process.

This, he said, was with a view  to ensuring  that PWDs were not marginalised.

“Following the reassurances from the Chairman of  INEC, Prof. Mahmood  Yakubu,  that the Presidential and National Assembly elections would now hold on Feb. 23, CCD through its campaign for Equal Voting Access (EVA) for PWDs has officially reopened its election day support centre for PWDs.

“From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday,  Feb. 23, the support centre located at Transcorp Hilton Hotel would be opened and accessible to all.

“This is part of the efforts of CCD to observe the 2019 general elections to ensure that no one is left behind by reason of disability,’’ he said.

Anyaele said the centre would  ensure on-the-spot support for PWDs who would go out to vote and provide real time data collection from the field on their participation in the elections.

He posited that for over 12 years, the centre had sought a redefinition of the participation of PWDs  in the Nigerian electoral process.

“The CCD is accredited as a local observer for the 2019 general elections,  so we would be participating actively.

“We have trained and retrained, and deployed  both female and male PWDs as election observers in Abuja, Abia, Kano, Lagos, Plateau, Gombe, Enugu and Rivers States.

“It is our intention to follow up on the outcome of the election observation which would be rigorously documented, with the view to monitor and evaluate the level of provisions and participations of PWDs in the electoral process.

“We shall also make necessary recommendations to ensure full implementation of the National Disability Act and INEC Framework on persons with disabilities by all stakeholders.

“The resultant report would be strategically disseminated among stakeholders working within the broad area of elections and PWDs in Nigeria and to INEC in particular,’’  he said. (NNN)
(Edited by Gregory Mmaduakolam/Mufutau Ojo)


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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)

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Enugu Chief Imam urges Muslims to pray for an end to COVID-19 pandemic



Sheikh Adam Idoko, the Chief Imam of University of Nigeria Central Mosque has urged Muslims all over the world to use the Eid-el-fitr celebration to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Idoko who is also the Vice-President General,  Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs  (NSCIA), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Nsukka on Sunday.

“If the whole world will unite and pray to God in spirit and in truth, Coronavirus pandemic will come to an abrupt end.

“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.

“As I have already told you, the NSCIA directed that this year Eid prayer should be observed at home with our family members because of Coronavirus pandemic.

“This is in compliance to Federal Government lockdown directive that closed mosques and churches as well as  banned social gatherings across the country.

“Coronavirus pandemic is not only in Nigeria but all over the world.

“All the mosques in Mecca in Saudi Arabia the headquarters of Islam have remain closed because of COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

“Government has shared food items and other palliatives worth billions of naira to vulnerable people across the country to cushion the effect of lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

“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)

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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.

Dakas said that the foundation was concerned with how the beneficiaries were surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to support them.

“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

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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.

”In the stories that create division, there are news items that do not care about fact.

”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)




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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

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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)



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Group urges Tiv people in Nasarawa to remain law abiding



Mr Boniface Ifer, President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA), Nasarawa chapter has tasked Tiv people in the state to be law abiding and desist from taking laws into their hands.

Ifer made the call on Sunday in  Agyaragu, Obi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state shortly after meeting with LGA officials of the association.

The TIDA president said, he had consistently cautioned Tiv people in the state to be calm and law abiding despite provocations and unwarranted attacks on their communities.

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 said that TIDA had notified the relevant authorities about the situation with a view addressing it.

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.

Similarly, Dominic Kunya, TIDA Chairman Obi LGA, who spoke on behalf of others officials, passed a vote of confidence on the state president of the association.

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)

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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.

On COVID-19, the governors urged Igbos nationwide to stay safe and obey all directives to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to him, the forum have directed all Igbos living outside Igbo land to obey all existing COVID-19 orders, Presidential directive on inter-state movement, World Health Organisation (WHO).

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)

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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.

“The administration has achieved a lot in the last one year. We have achieved a lot in the areas of education, health, security and infrastructure. We have also maintained regular payment of salaries

“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.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Olaniyan said that the government was doing everything humanly possible to stop further spread of the virus.

“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)

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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.

“Today, Ebonyi State is home to a Federal Teaching Hospital, a Regional Virology Centre and a state-of-the-art Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH) approaching completion.

“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)


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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.

The National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Kaduna.

“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.

“We are grateful that even though with COVID-19 is novel, the Muslim community has broadly cooperated with the government in observing the anti COVID-19 protocols,” he said.

Yawe said the forum is also aware that this year’s Eid-el-Fitr is a unique event because it has come at a time when the whole country, indeed the whole world is ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

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)

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EId-el-Fitr: El-Rufa’i commends Muslim faithfuls for obeying COVID-19 orders



Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i on Sunday commended the patience and understanding displayed by Muslim faithfuls in observing the Ramadan fasting under conditions of quarantine this year.

El-Rufa’i made this commendation in an Eid-el-Fitr message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna.

The governor prayed that Almighty Allah would amply reward and bless these efforts.

He also praised the spirit of sacrifice and resilience displayed by the community during the fasting period and called for continued adherence to public health guidelines to protect citizens from COVID-19.

El-Rufa’i said that the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had created limited the traditions associated with fasting and the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr this year.

”I thanked the Muslim community for abiding with the public health guidelines and avoiding congregational worship and communal gatherings to break the fast.

”I acknowledged that these public health guidelines also make it impossible to permit the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr with congregational prayers, and l thanked the Muslim community for understanding this.

”l commend the Imams especially and welcome this as another example of the spirit of sacrifice and discipline required to protect the community during dangerous periods.

”I appeal to the Muslim community to keep hope alive, to continue to practice compliance with health guidelines and not to relent in prayers for an end to the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” he said.

El-Rufa’i appealed also to all communities in the state to uphold peace and harmony.

 He added that all residents must observe social distancing, practice regular hand washing with soap and water, and avoid large gatherings to protect everyone from COVID-19.

The governor said that all residents must continue to comply with the terms of the quarantine orders that are enforce in the state.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Yobe celebrates peaceful Eid-el-Fitr



The Eid-el-Fitr Sallah was celebrated on Sunday in Yobe peacefully with Muslim faithful attending various prayer grounds.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there is no restriction of vehicular movement as was done in the past due to security challenges.

Some of the residents who spoke to NAN commended Gov. Mai Mala Buni for allowing prayers to be conducted on Eid grounds.

Alhaji Ali Usman, a Damaturu resident, said “this is the best Sallah we had in recent times because there is no restriction of movements as was done in the past.

“Vehicles were allowed to move, giving us the opportunity to transport our families to the prayer grounds,” Ali said.

Mr Bukar Mohammed, another resident, noted that Buni’s administration has been up and responsive to the needs of the people.

Malam Bala Audu, a resident of Sabon pegi in Damaturu, said some people used the Ramadan period to pray for the success of this people oriented government, because they listen to the yearnings of the people.

Buni had in a Sallah broadcast to the people urged them to pray for peace, unity and prosperity of the state and Nigeria at large.

He said his administration would continue to execute people oriented programmes and projects to improve the lives of the citizenry.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Eid-El Fitri: Oyo NUJ urges Muslims to sustain perseverance, sacrifice, love



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council, has called on Muslims to sustain the principles of perseverance, sacrifice, love, kindness, compassion and peaceful coexistence, which they exhibited during Ramadan.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the state NUJ Chairman, Mr Ademola Babalola, and the Secretary, Mr Olusola Oladapo, on Sunday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Muslims across the world on Sunday celebrated the 1441A.H. Eid-El Fitri amidst the coronavirus global pandemic.
It also urged members to pray fervently and work very hard towards halting the further spread of the virus.
According to the union, members should remain steadfast in prayers and uphold professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities.
It further urged them to extend all the Islamic principles beyond Ramadan, praying Allah to accept their supplications and reward them abundantly.
The union, however, called on government to put more efforts in the fight against the pandemic, considering its effects on the country’s economy.
“As we felicitate Muslims on the successful completion of Ramadan 1441 A.H., we are not unmindful of the economic effect of the pandemic on our members as frontline workers.
“Part of the effect of the pandemic was the sack of some of our members. Those who are not sacked have been sent on compulsory leave, while many have had their salaries cut.
“This is indeed a trying time that calls for fervent prayers and concerted efforts on the part of the authorities,” NUJ said.
It called on media owners to have a rethink, particularly on the arbitrary sack of journalists.
The union also appealed to government to support media organisations with stimulus packages to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
It promised to continue to exhibit strong commitment to members’ welfare and encourage professionalism at all times.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Eid-el-Fitr: D-G urges renewal of faith by Nigerians



As Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-el-Fitr, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, has called for renewal of faith by Nigerians.

Sulaiman, a former Minister of National Planing, made the appeal in llorin on Sunday in a statement commemorating 2020 Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

According to him, the renewal of faith will assist in eliminating COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges militating against the development of the country.

He advised Nigerians to utilise the prayers, piety, sacrifice and spiritual rejuvenation achieved during the holy month to pray for the country to overcome all its challenges.

“Eid marks a new beginning for each individual, and in spite of the COVID-19 crisis being experienced at this time, we should still hope for the blessings of renewed faith that come with it,” he said.

Sulaiman prayed Almighty Allah to continue to grant Nigeria His guidance, safeguard the nation’s faith, and make the world a prosperous and peaceful place.

The former minister praised the foresight of President Muhammadu Buhari; the President of the Senate, Sen.Ahmad Lawan; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila,
for their unique leadership effort at curbing further spread of  COVID-19.

While wishing Nigerians a prosperous celebration, he also advised them to continue to abide with all government directives and experts advice aimed at containing the scourge. (NAN


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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COVID-19: Kebbi Muslims observe Eid prayer inside Juma’at Mosques



For the first time, some Muslims in Kebbi, on Sunday observed the Eid-el-Fitr prayers inside the Emir’s Palace Juma’at Mosque in Birnin Kebbi.

This is in compliance with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking shortly after the prayer, Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar-Iliyasu, urged Muslims to sustain the lessons learnt during the Ramadan period by refraining from sinful acts.

Bashar-Iliyasu, who is also the Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, advised his subjects to abide by government guidelines on ways of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The monarch also charged the people to massively engage in agricultural activities as the rainy season had set in, so as to ensure bumper harvest.

In his Sallah message, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Umar-Yauri, felicitated with Muslims on successful completion of Ramadan fast.

The SSG, said shortly after the Eid prayer in Yauri that Muslims should use the occasion to pray for Allah’s intervention to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic, and for peace and stability in the country.

Umar-Yauri admonished the people to maintain all the COVID-19 precautionary measures outlined by the health professionals and government, including personal hygiene, physical distancing, use of face mask and hand-washing, especially at public gatherings.

Also, the members representing Arewa/Dandi federal constituency, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi-Kamba joined other notable leaders to congratulate Nigerians, especially the Muslims on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and the celebration of the Eid-el-fitr.

He enjoined Muslims to sustain the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan and live with the virtues in order to reap the full reward of their worship.

Abdullahi-Kamba urged people of the constituency to continue promoting peace, love and stability, and shun any divisive tendency that would threaten the oneness of the country.

He admonished them to adhere strictly to the established guidelines on social distancing, cleanliness and other measures put in place to avert Coronavirus as they celebrate the Eid with their family.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitr: Gov. Zulum calls for  prayers to end  COVID-19 pandemic



Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno  on Sunday called for more prayers among Nigerians  to promote peace in the country as well as to end  COVID-19 pandemic.


Zulum,who made the call  in his Sallah message in Maiduguri,  congratulated Muslims for their successful completion of the Ramadan fasting.


The governor,  in the message presented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Babagana Wakil,  to newsmen also  prayed to God to reward their fasting and prayers.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Zulum alongside  other dignitaries including Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai, wore face masks.


They also observed social distancing during the Eid prayers at Ramat Square prayer ground.


The prayer was led by Imam Shetima Mamman ,who in a  short sermon, also called for unity in the country and prayers to end COVID-19.


He also urged muslims to always  imbibe and live by  the teachings learnt in the holy month of Ramadan.


Edited By: Victor Asije/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitri: Lawmaker urges Muslims to practice Ramadan lessons



Rep. Tunji Ajuloopin (APC-Kwara) has called on Muslims to imbibe and practice the lessons derived from the just concluded Ramadan fast.

The federal lawmaker also urged Muslims in his constituency to contribute their quota to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Ajuloopin, representing Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara, made the call in a message to commemorate the Eid-el-Fitr in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.

He described Ramadan season as a sacred period that teaches good morals, showing kindness to fellow humans, noting that such exceptional attitude should be the guiding principles of every Muslim even after the Ramadan period.

The federal legislator charged the faithful to use the Sallah celebration as a sober reflection in finding workable solutions to the nation’s numerous challenges, particularly the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t need to go back to those ungodly attitude we have jettisoned during the holy month of Ramadan as good and responsible citizens.

“Those positive lessons we have learnt and derived through our sacrifices while the Ramadan lasted should be our guidance and with prayers we can intercede for solutions to those challenges confronting us a nation.

“Ramadan fasting, as well as the Sallah celebration that follows, are such sacred period when prayers of devoted Muslims were promptly answered by Allah without hesitation.

“The act of building a virile society or nationhood is a collective responsibility of every stakeholder, irrespective of ethno-religious, tribal, cultural, political or geographic background to achieve the desired result.

“As we joined other Muslims across the globe in celebrating the Sallah, we should also reflect in our minds and attitude, as a mark of patriotism, to remember our country in prayers,” he urged.

Ajuloopin maintained that the nation’s socio-economic, security and other domestic challenges were surmountable through stakeholders’ collective efforts and prayers.

He said the country was in dire need of prayers to stem the tide of insurgency, killings, rituals, road accidents, armed robbery as well as the global COVID-19 pandemic that had deprived the citizens of freedom of association and social gatherings.

Ajuloopin said nothing could be accomplished without God’s assistance and permission.

“Therefore, fervent prayers, spiritual stability, magnanimous acts and love are needed in this festive period.

“This is the path towards ensuring growth, financial stability, peaceful co-existence among individuals and the larger society.

“In this period of Sallah celebration we must seek the face of God, especially for our constituency, state and the country in general.

“We desire God to grant every category of leaders, the knowledge, understanding and wisdom for the desired good governance.

“Prayer for this great nation called Nigeria is our collective responsibility, especially in this Sallah season,’’ he said.

He appealed to the nation’s religious leaders to be at the vanguard of campaigning and promoting a corrupt free and decent society, especially among the youths regarded as the potential leaders of tomorrow.

The legislator also called on parents to be alive to their responsibilities of inculcating decent and good moral upbringing in their children.

Besides, he urged the political class to imbibe moral standards, integrity and tolerance to command the confidence of the electorate who freely gave them their mandates.

“Definitely, our children are the leaders of tomorrow, we should do our best as religious leaders, political leaders and even parents to actualise their dreams and aspirations.

“What we desire most are continuous prayers, then the desired transformation envisioned for our constituency, the council, the state and the country will be a reality,’’ he said.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitri: Egbeyemi urges Muslims to uphold Ramadan lessons



The Deputy Governor of Ekiti, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has congratulated Muslims in the state on the successful completion of the Ramadan fasting.


Egbeyemi also  advised  Muslims in the state to uphold the  lessons learnt during the 30-day fasting and continue to draw closer to Allah in their daily activities.


The Deputy Governor said this in a statement issued on Sunday  by his Special Assistant on media, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola.


“I congratulate Muslims on the successful completion of the 30 days’ fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, which is an important pillar of the Islamic faith.

“No doubt, they have learnt a lot of lessons during this holy month and I believe they will make good use of these lessons.

“I want to advise them to sustain the momentum of the spiritual rejuvenation and renewal after the Ramadan for the blessings to be permanent in their lives,” he said.


He said that for them to have witnessed another Eid-el-Fitri is a special priviledge for Muslims to renew their commitment to the Almighty Allah and his teachings.


He described the Eid-el-Fitri as a celebration of Allah’s mercies and devotion to an important pillar of Islam.


Egbeyemi said the festival should be celebrated with sober reflection.


The Deputy Governor admonished Muslims to allow the lessons of sacrifice, love, humility, tolerance, righteousness, sobriety, discipline, kindness and forgiveness learnt during Ramadan to be part of their daily lives.


He, however, cautioned  them against returning  to  the negative and sinful ways of life already jettisoned during Ramadan to sustain the mercies received from Allah during the month.


He also felicitated with the state Grand Imam, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello,  is also the President of the League of Imams and Alfas in the Southwest, Edo and Delta States, and other Muslim leaders for their exemplary leadership during the holy month.


Egbeyemi called on Muslims to continue to pray for peace, tranquility, progress, prosperity and development of Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria in general.


He  equally called on Muslims to continue to pray for Ekiti and Nigeria to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.


He urged them to continue to live in harmony with adherents of other religions as brothers and sisters under an atmosphere of peace. 


Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna/Peter Dada (NAN)


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Cleric charges media practitioners on stories that will promote harmony, peace



Bishop  Peter Odetoyinbo of  the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta  has advised media practitioners to focus more on writing  stories that will  promote harmony, unity and peace in the world.


Odetoyinbo gave  the advice on Sunday in Abeokuta in his message as the Catholic Church worldwide  mark the 54th World Communications Day.


He charged media practitioners to focus more on stories that build up, not tear down; stories that would help mankind to rediscover their roots and the strength they  needed to move forward together.


“Media practitioners should shun all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media, which may lead to chaos and destruction.


“”The World Communications Day is set aside to celebrate the progress and achievements of the communication media, and to focus on how it can be harnessed to promote the gospel of peace and harmony in the world,’’ the cleric said.


He said that the media should do more stories weaved around the love and the life of Jesus, the Son of God.


“We should tell more of the stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love; stories that remind us of Jesus’ life, death and the resurrection; all geared toward  saving the world.


“In every of our experiences, God always has a good story for us. One of our good stories from  the experience of COVID-19 is the opportunity given to individual families to flourish.

“Many families can now share from their rich encounters of Jesus in their own homes,” Odetoyinbo said.


The cleric appreciated media practitioners for their tireless efforts in ensuring that all are well-informed and carried along in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.


He urged that the media should portray the good sides of the Coronavirus disease’s experience, the care and concern of the government and families to the society.


Odetoyinbo noted that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, stories in the media were characterised by ingratitude and wastefulness, adding that the media exploited the earth and all its resources.


He added that previously,  the media devalued human life and made a cheap commodity of it, saying that media stories were not all good but it could be better.


The cleric encouraged media practitioners to tell stories of love that reached out to people, and stories of the need to sacrifice oneself in place of another, by so doing creating a beautiful love story.


He charged media practitioners to write reports that would inspire coming generations to also love like Christ, adding that it was the only way to understand that human stories are in a certain sense, divine stories.


“What will our stories be like at the end of the current world crisis? Will it be like Jesus’ story? Would we have re-enacted the Good Samaritan episode?


“Would we still care for the handshakes and hugs, the visits and long conversations or would love die in us?


“Would we show the earth more care and tenderness or continue to exploit her? Would we rewrite our stories for good?


“Definitely, we will re-write our story and love and care for each other better, and the earth and heavens will rejoice at humanity coming together,’’ Odetoyinbo said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Peter Dada (NAN)

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