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Obasanjo urges Nigerians to learn from late Shagari’s forgiveness spirit, lifestyle

By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto, Dec. 31, 2018 (NNN) Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerians to imbibe the good habits of forgiveness, simplicity and integrity of late former President Shehu Shagari.



Obasanjo urges Nigerians to learn from late Shagari’s forgiveness spirit, lifestyle

By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto, Dec. 31, 2018 (NNN) Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerians to imbibe the good habits of forgiveness, simplicity and integrity of late former President Shehu Shagari.

He made the call on Monday when he condoled with the family of late President Shagari who died at the age of 93 on Dec. 28 at the National Hospital Abuja.

Obasanjo, who arrived Shagari’s resident in Sokoto at about 9:50 a.m and was received by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, described the deceased as an epitome of integrity with deep commitment to Nigeria.

He recalled that they both served as Federal Commissioners during Yakubu Gowon regime, noting that the deceased was honest and transparent.

“Late Shagari should not be mourned, but be celebrated as a true, honest and sincere leader who was a nationalist to the core. Nigerians has lost a gem.”

Obasanjo added: “Shagari is a true friend not fair weather friend, his life is embodiment of truths to celebrate.

“If we learn lessons from his habits of forgiveness which he taught us, Nigeria will be a good country .”

Responding on behalf of the family, the late president eldest son, Bala Shagari appreciated  Obasanjo for the visit and recalled that Obasanjo assisted his father to own a house in Abuja.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Jema’a in Kaduna State, Muhammadu Isa, and the Chief Medical Director Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Dr Anas Sabir have also also condoled with the Shagari family on Monday. (NNN)

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AfDB: Obasanjo, Jonathan, 13 other African leaders rally support for Adesina



Former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and other African leaders on Friday, threw their support behind the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Adewunmi Adesina.

The African leaders rallied support for Adesina through a statement they jointly signed, a copy of which was made available to News Agency of Nigeria by Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, the media aide to Obasanjo.

Some whistleblowers recently alleged that Adesina had violated the Bank’s Code of Ethics, but he had since firmly and consistently declared his innocence of the allegations.

The United States is insisting on a further probe in spite of the fact that Adesina had been exonerated by the Board of Directors of the Bank following an earlier probe.

The African leaders, however, insisted that the Bank had fully followed its rules, procedures and governing systems, which had served it well since it was established by African countries in 1964.

The Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, a legal oversight body of the Bank, made up of representatives of shareholders, cleared Dr. Adesina of all 16 allegations, declaring them as baseless and unsubstantiated and exonerated him completely.

The Chairman of the Board of Governors, based on the report of the Ethics Committee, declared Dr. Adesina exonerated.

“Governance is all about respecting and abiding by rules, laws and established governing systems of organisations.

In the case of the AfDB, while differences may exist among parties, the best way to address them is to first respect the rules, procedures and governance structures of the Bank.

“To do otherwise will be tantamount to undermining the Bank and its long and hard earned reputation, and that of its President,” they said.

The leaders cautioned that the continent should not allow itself to be distracted, particularly when it is battling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The ex-presidents, who took time to roll out the achievements of the AFDB noted that the bank had performed remarkably well under the leadership of Adesina.

The Bank is a pride for all of Africa and its President, Dr. Adesina, has taken it to enviable heights.

“At this critical time that Africa is battling with COVID-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted.

Signatories to the statement are:

H.E Olusegun Obasanjo (President of Nigeria; 1999-2007)
H.E Boni Yayi (President of Benin; 2006-2016)
H.E Hailemariam Desalegn (Prime Minister of Ethiopia; 2012 – 2018)
H.E John Kufour (President of Ghana; 2001 – 2009)
H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia; 2006 – 2018)
H.E Joyce Banda (President of Malawi; 2012 – 2014)
H.E Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique; 1986 – 2005)
H.E Tandja Mamadou (President of Niger; 1999 – 2010)
H.E Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria; 2010-2015)
H.E Mohamed Marzouki (President of Tunisia; 2011 – 2014)
H.E Benjamin Mkapa (President of Tanzania; 1995 – 2005)
H.E Ameenah Gurib-Fakin (President of Mauritius; 2015 – 2018)
H.E Rupiah Banda (President of Zambia; 2008 – 2011)
H.E Kgalema Motlanthe (President of South Africa; 2008-2009)
H.E Jakaya Kikwete (President of Tanzania; 2005 – 2015)

Edited By: Benson/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Obasanjo congratulates Ibrahim over PhD honours



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has congratulated business mogul, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, over his first-class (PhD) honours in Management Science at the University of Cambridge, England.

Obasanjo said that he was indeed happy for Ibrahim’s taste for knowledge, which had finally earned him the PhD honour.

This is contained in a letter he personally signed on Tuesday and made available to newsmen in Okitipupa, Ondo State.

He said it was not a surprise to him, because of Ibrahim’s brilliance, thirst for knowledge and appetite for knowledge scholarship.

While saluting his resourcefulness, Obasanjo said he was optimistic that Ibrahim would continue to break new grounds of knowledge for the service of humanity.

“I receive the good news of your Easter term 2020 progress rating which is Excellent from the Cambridge University.

“This has not come as a surprise to me, given your brilliance, thirst for knowledge and a large appetite for scholarship.

“It is a remarkable feat, a source of immense happiness for me and I believe it is so for many of your friends

“I salute your resourcefulness, resilience, grits and genius.

“I am optimistic that you will continue to break more grounds In your committed quest for new vistas of knowledge in the service of humanity and keep the flag of scholarship and literary productivity flying,” Obasanjo said.

Meanwhile, Mr Abayomi Adesanya, the Caretaker Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area, where Ibrahim hailed from, had also congratulated him on the honour.

Adesanya, who described Ibrahim as a goal-getter also said that he has worked hard for the success, which has been his hallmark in all facet of his life.

“As a worthy son of Ikaleland, a good representative of Ondo State and good ambassador of Nigeria, on behalf of the good people of Ikaleland and the state at large, I congratulate your well-deserved honour,” Adesanya said.

Ibrahim, while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria said that he felt so happy and honoured by the congratulatory letter of Obasanjo.

NAN recalled that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu sometimes in March laid the foundation of University of Fortunes owned by Ibrahim in his hometown in Igbotako, Okitipupa LGA.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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COVID-19: Obasanjo joins world leaders in call for ‘people’s vaccine’



Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is among 140 current and former world leaders calling for “a people’s vaccine” against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The call is contained in a petition they signed on Thursday in which they are urging all governments to push for a free COVID-19 vaccine for all when developed.

The petition was initiated by the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating the virus.

Obasanjo, who led Nigeria as a civilian Head of State between 1999 and 2007, is a member of the Champion for an AIDS– Free Generation.

In the petition, the leaders are demanding that when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, it should be made available free of charge to all.

President of South Africa and Chairman of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa; his Senegalese and Ghanaian counterparts, Macky Sall and Nana Akufo-Addo, respectively, are among the signatories.

According to UNAIDS, the demand is the most ambitious position yet by world leaders “on what has become the most urgent quest in modern science”.

The petition came ahead of a virtual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the world’s highest health policy making body comprising health ministers from UN member states, holding on May 18.

“We are calling on Health Ministers at the World Health Assembly to rally behind a people’s vaccine against this disease urgently.

“Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge.

“The same applies for all treatments, diagnostics, and other technologies for COVID-19,” they said.

The petitioners noted that the world would be safer only when everyone could benefit from the science and access a vaccine, “and that is a political challenge”.

“We must heed the warning that ‘those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

“We must learn the painful lessons from a history of unequal access in dealing with disease such as HIV and Ebola.

“But we must also remember the ground-breaking victories of health movements, including AIDS activists and advocates who fought for access to affordable medicines for all,” they said.

Other signatories include former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the demand comes as the world searches for a vaccine against the novel virus.

As of Thursday morning, the disease had infected no fewer than four million people and killed more than 290,000 others, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO).

On April 24, the WHO in collaboration with world leaders launched what they call Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

ACT Accelerator seeks to speed up the development, production and equitable distribution of COVID-18 drugs, tests kits and vaccines around the world.

The petitioners called for a mandatory worldwide sharing of all COVID-19-related knowledge, data and technologies with a pool of COVID-19 licenses freely available to all countries.

“Countries should be empowered and enabled to make full use of agreed safeguards and flexibilities in the WTO Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health to protect access to medicines for all

“We call for an agreement that establishes a global and equitable rapid manufacturing and distribution plan, that is fully-funded by rich nations, for the vaccine and all COVID-19 products and technologies that guarantee transparent ‘at true cost-prices’ and supplies according to need.

“Action must start urgently to massively build capacity worldwide to manufacture billions of vaccine doses,” they demanded.

The leaders also called for urgent steps to recruit and train millions of paid and protected health workers needed to deliver them.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Abba Kyari: Obasanjo, Jonathan, others condole with Buhari



More Nigerians have commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari on the passing of his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the President’s spokesman Garba Shehu has disclosed.

Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan condoled with the President and the Kyari family over the death of the Chief of Staff.

President Buhari also received condolence messages from Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi on behalf of the Progressive Governors Forum and Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on behalf of the Northern Governors Forum, he said.

The presidential aide stated that similar message was received by the president from Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State on behalf of the Nigeria Governors Forum as well as Gov Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman of Kawra and Sen. Umar Ibrahim Kurfi.

Late Abba Kyari, aged 67, left behind a wife and four children and was buried earlier on Saturday in Abuja according to Islamic rites.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Obasanjo writes Buhari over Kyari’s death



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has written a condolence letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the demise of his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari, which occurred on Friday.

Obasanjo, in a letter addressed to Buhari and dated April 18, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Saturday,  said he received the news with ” great sadness” on Friday night.

The elder statesman, who noted that the death must have been painful to the president, advised him to take solace in the fact that Kyari died in the service of his country.

“I received the news of the demise of Alhaji  Abba Kyari, your Chief of Staff, over Friday night, with great sadness, as he lost the battle against the dreadful  killer disease, COVID-19.

” Abba Kyari’s death must be painful to you and to his family and friends, but you can all take solace in the fact that he died in the service of his country.

“His death must be a solemn reminder to all of us that COVID-19 requires all hands on deck soberly, cooperatively, humanly, humanely, justly, equitably, fairly, consolidatedly and comprehensively to be able to fight it successfully and to get all Nigerians back to good health and healthy economy.

“God will give you and Abba Kyari’s family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” the letter stated.

NAN reports that the Presidency on Saturday morning had announced the passage of Kyari.

Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed the development in a statement in Abuja.

”The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020, ” the statement said.

Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)


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Obasanjo, regional leaders seek concerted efforts to combat coronavirus



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 11 other African leaders on Tuesday called for effective  regional cooperation and an emergency plan to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the continent.

The call was contained in a statement signed by Obasanjo and the African leaders, a copy of which was made available to the Nigeria News Agency   in Abeokuta by Mr Kehinde Akinyemi.

Akinyemi is the media aide to Obasanjo.

The statement  noted the mitigating effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus since its outbreak.

It also observed that the results  had been related to the seriousness of preparation and preventive measures taken,  including the level of healthcare measures and delivery.

According to the statement, the epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case is yet to occur in Africa.

“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation and the communal living of our people particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster,” it said.

It therefore called for serious measures to be taken for the containment and for addressing any national epidemic.

“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.

“We, however, appeal to leaders and elites at national, regional, and continental levels and to international organisations and foundations to draw up a concrete, effective and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 onslaught at its crescendo in Africa which will be soon.

“With porous borders all over Africa, national efforts will not be enough but regional and continental.

“We particularly call on African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO),  World Bank and the  G-20 to urgently have  a plan that will moderate the social and economic effect of the onslaught of COVID-19 on Africa,” the statement said.

The other African leaders were Festus Mogae (former President of Botswana), Hailemariam Desalegn (former Prime Minister of Ethiopia), John Kufour (former President of Ghana), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (former President of Liberia) and Joyce Banda (former President of Malawi).

Others were Joaquim Chissano (former President of Mozambique), Thabo Mbeki (former President of South Africa), Kgalema Motlanthe (former President of South Africa), Benjamin Mkapa (former President of Tanzania), Jakaya Kikwete (former President of Tanzania) and Mohamed Marzouki (former President of Tunisia)  

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo)


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COVID-19: Abiodun hails Obasanjo, Adeboye, Adeola, others over donations



Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Saturday commended private individuals, corporate organisations and religious bodies for their donations to the state government in support of its  fight against the spread of Coronavirus.


In a statement he personally signed, Abiodun named high net-worth Nigerians and organisations that had given property, as well as financial and moral support to the Ogun government in the fight against COVID-19 under the aegis of COVID-19 Pandemic Support Fund.


They include former President, Olusegun Obasanjo; General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the Chairman of BUA Group of Companies, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu; and the founder of Fate Foundation, Mr Fola Adeola.


“The good Samaritans responded promptly and selflessly to plea by the state government for help from well-meaning Nigerians and foreign development agencies to aid the fight against COVID-19,” he said.


According to Abiodun, both Obasanjo and Adeola donated their private property in Abeokuta for use by the government as isolation centres for suspected patients of COVID-19 within the state.


He said  that Adeboye donated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and ventilators for the treatment of patients, and other equipment at Redeemer’s Health Centre, Mowe.


The governor further disclosed that Rabiu donated N100 million as relief support and made a pledge of medical supplies to the government.


Abiodun promised to ensure transparent use of all the donations and urged other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate their kind gestures.


“I want to personally assure the entire citizenry of Ogun that I will ensure judicious use of these donation of funds and property towards the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.


The governor described the pandemic as a global challenge which required a collective approach to check the spread.


“This pandemic poses a collective challenge and together we must join hands in fighting it.


“We will confront it. We will slow it down and we will defeat it,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Oluwole Sogunle



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COVID-19: Obasanjo releases former residence as isolation centre



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, released his former residence, the Presidential Hilltop in Abeokuta, Ogun, to be used as isolation centre for victims of COVID-19.

A statement issued by Mr Kehinde Akinyemi, the Special Assistant (Media) to Obasanjo, said the 32-room facility had been handed over to the Ogun government for immediate take over.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Obasanjo, who moved out of the building in November 2017, presently resides in the Penthouse at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta.

“The facility located off the Presidential Boulevard, Oke-Sari in the state capital, has each of the 32 rooms en suite, with a standby generator,” he said.

Akinyemi said that the former president expressed concern over the pandemic and called on people in positions to help to offer assistance in containing the spread of the deadly virus.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: Edo govt. orders evacuation of patients from Stella Obasanjo Hospital



Edo Government on Friday ordered the evacuation of patients from Stella Obasanjo Hospital to Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin.

Philip Shaibu, the State’s Deputy Governor and Chairman, Edo COVID-19 Response Committee, made this known shortly after visiting the isolation centre at Stella Obasanjo specialist hospital.

Shaibu said: “We have visited the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to ascertain the level of preparedness.The centre is ready to attend to any case of infection in the state.

“We are also expanding the capacity. The hospital has about 156 bed spaces at the moment, no patient is admitted

“Governor Godwin Obaseki has ordered that all patients in this hospital be moved to the Edo Specialist hospital.

“The Stella Obasanjo hospital is to be sanitised and used both for testing and isolation centre for the COVID-19 cases, ,” he said.

According to the deputy governor, the state government will soon announce what he calls an economic stimulus package to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong

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