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Ondo govt. gives condition to hold Easter service in churches

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The Ondo State Government has approved the request of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) in the state to observe the   Easter Sunday worship in various churches across the state based on precautionary measures and guidelines earlier put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Christians would celebrate the Easter on Sunday to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Donald Ojogo, said in a statement in Akure that  government had allowed a special relief for Christian faithful to mark the occasion.

“Government acknowledges concerns expressed in many quarters in respect of the above subject matter.

” This is especially in relation to the last government statement on the sustenance of the anti-COVID 19 measures put in place vis- a -viz the public statement issued by the Christian Association of Nigeria.

“The position of CAN and the government statement should be seen as mutually inclusive.

“CAN’s statement is explicit enough that government had graciously granted a special relief to enable Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, being one of the most important annual celebrations of the church

“That is the true position ,more so that the word ‘restriction’ advisedly applied to provide the caveat for this special concession in line with crowd control regulations.

“The State Government has already communicated to the Ondo State Police Command this concession granted CAN to, as it were, temporise and allow the celebration of Easter Sunday in churches.

“This is, however, without prejudice to all precautionary measures and guidelines earlier put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic as enunciated in Government’s earlier statements and as agreed to by the leadership of CAN.

“For emphasis, there will be no Easter Retreat (Good Friday Programmes) or the Jumat service gatherings on Friday or ‘Gallilee’ on Monday.

“The ban on all social, political and religious gatherings continues afterwards until further notice,” the statement said.

(
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

Oluwafemi Ojo: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

S/W APC hails Otetubi for withdrawing suits against Ondo party exco

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) South West Zonal Caucus, has commended Mr Idowu Otetubi for withdrawing the lawsuit instituted against the Ondo State executive committee of the party.

The commendation is contained in a statement signed by the Zonal Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Oladapo Karounwi, and made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Monday.

Otetubi had earlier instituted a lawsuit against Mr Ade Adetimehin, the chairman of APC in Ondo state.

The party leadership described Otetubi’s decision as being patriotic and a step is taken to unify the party.

The party assured him that his loyalty and commitment to the party “will not go unnoticed’’.

Karounwi stated that the APC places a high premium on elevating the collective interests of the party above individual interests.

The party admonished similar factions in APC, wherever they exist in other states of the South West, to follow a good example of Otetubi in the overall interest of the party.

“There are consequences for good behaviour as well as bad behaviour,’’ the party stated.

It advised other members of APC who have an axe to grind with the party in Ondo state to reconcile in the overall interest of the party.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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General news

Buhari condoles with media industry over Waheed Bakare’s death

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President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the media industry, particularly Nigeria Union of Journalists and Nigeria Guild of Editors, over the passing of the Saturday Editor of New Telegraph, Waheed Bakare.

The President’s condolence message was released by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Monday.

President Buhari also sent condolences to family of the deceased and management of New Telegraph Newspapers.

The president described the editor’s death as a collective loss to the media and the nation that he served passionately with his talent.

He prayed that God would receive the soul of the departed, and comfort all that mourned him.

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Politics

Data: Ondo Gov.’s wife to unveil website on widows 

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Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has concluded plans to unveil a website to avail government of the data needed to help improve the lives of widows in the state.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu, in a statement issued by her Media Aide, Oluwatobi Fademi, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Akure, gave the website as https://ondowidows.com.
According to her, the availability of data will enable the government impact meaningfully on the lives of the widows, particularly as they are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the society.
She added that through the data, government would be able to reach them easily for palliatives and further capture them in its policies and programmes.
While emphasising the importance of data gathering and record keeping in policy planning and formulation, the governor’s wife stated that it would enable government know and understand their areas of needs, agitations and desires.
She stressed that through the data uploaded on the website, government would have access to information about the widows for further processing, research and evaluation.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu said that the present government in the state remained committed to the provision of projects that would impact positively on the lives of the people and be emulated by other states.
She appealed to widows in the state to take advantage of the opportunity by logging on to the web page and registering as soon as possible.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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General news

Okunomo, Ondo PDP governorship aspirant, felicitate Muslims on Eld-El Fitri

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Mr Banji Okunomo, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, has congratulated Muslim faithful on this year’s Eid-El-Fitri celebrations.
Okunomo, in his congratulatory message made available to newsmen on Sunday in Okitipupa, said that the Ramadan period as a difficult time, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
While urging the Muslims to keep hope alive, he said that their prayers against the pandemic had been answered, assuring that the difficult time would soon be a thing of the past.
Okunomo, also a former Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, urged Muslims to give thanks to God for the grace of witnessing and celebrating the Eid-El Fitri amid the pandemic.
“I felicitate Muslims in our dear state, as they join the rest of the world in celebrating the Eld-El-Fitr amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is indeed a difficult time but your prayers have been answered. So keep hope alive, because the difficult time will soon be over,” the aspirant said.
Okunomo, who sought for the cooperation of Muslims in the state, promised that their marginalisation would be over, if given the mandate as the PDP flag bearer and he eventually became governor of the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Defence/Security

Eid-el-Fitri: NSCDC deploys 1,585 personnel in Ondo State

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has deployed no fewer than 1,585 personnel to ensure a hitch-free Eid-el-Fitri celebration in the state.

Mr Philip Ayuba, State Commandant of NSCDC, made this known in Akure on Sunday.

Ayuba said that the personnel had been strategically deployed for intelligence gathering, enforcement of interstate border restrictions, crime detection, safeguarding of critical national assets and infrastructure and maintenance of peace and order.

The commandant warned perpetrators of nefarious activities to desist from unscrupulous behaviour or face the wrath of the law.

He frowned at the attitude of commercial bus drivers and heavy duty vehicles hauling in travellers, thereby, violating government’s interstate movement restriction.

He charged the NSCDC officers and men deployed to the 18 local government areas to be civil and professional in their line of duty.

”The personnel should desist from any form of compromise or violation of human rights.

 “You are fully aware that these are very crucial times; hence as disciplined and trained officers, you must be observant, tactful and courteous by your implicit adherence to the rules of engagement,” Ayuba said in a statement.

The commandant, however, wishes all Muslim faithful happy Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

He urged the faithful to embrace the tenets of Islam and continually pray for peace and extinction of COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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General news

Eld-el-Fitr: Ondo senator urges Muslims to remember indigent persons

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Sen. Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, has urged Muslim faithful across the country to remember the poor as they celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr.

Tofowomo in a statement signed by his Media aide, Mr Olumide Akinrinlola in Okitipupa on Sunday, described Eid-el-Fitr as a time to present gifts to loved ones after the fasting period.

He said that this year’s celebration coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic which had resulted into unprecedented economic hardship for the masses.

“Eid-el-Fitr is a festival after the long fasting and prayers; a festival of love when gifts are shared among loved ones to celebrate the answers to their prayers.

“This year’s celebration coincided with COVID-19 which have caused economic hardship for the masses. Muslim faithful should remember the poor and assist them with gifts to cushion the effect of the pandemic,” Tofowomo said.

While wishing Muslim faithful happy celebrations, he, however, urged them to abide by all government precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 for them to stay safe and live.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

 

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Judiciary

Abe condoles NJC, family over death of Justice Karibi-Whyte

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Sen. Magnus Abe has condoled Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) and the family of Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte over the death of the legal icon.

Abe, who represented Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the 6th National Assembly, gave the condolence on Saturday in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, in Port Harcourt.

The senator described the late justice, who died on Friday at the age of 88, as one of Africa’s foremost international jurist and legal luminary during his time in service.

Abe stated that the death of Karibi-Whyte is a great loss of wisdom, wealth of experience and calm fatherly disposition which would have been invaluable to judiciary and the country at this time.

He also described the late legal icon as an accomplished lawyer, teacher, a man of character and proven integrity whose immense contribution to the development of the judiciary in Nigeria cn never be forgotten.

“Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte meant different things to different people, to me, he was a father, a friend and a counselor. I was mesmerized by his passion and commitment to justice.

“Although, the final chapter in the life and times of this great jurist is now closed, but there are many  gifts and life changing lessons that his life of service has bequeathed to humanity.

“We join his family and admirers across Nigeria to mourn the passing of a great man.

“We pray that God in His infinite mercy will give strength to his wife and family to bear this tragic loss,”Abe said. NAN

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

Eid-El Fitri: Ondo lawmaker distributes food items, cash to Muslim constituents

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Mr Toluwani Borokini, a member of the Ondo House of Assembly, representing Akure South Constituency I, on Saturday, distributed food items and cash to Muslims in his constituency, in commemoration of this year’s Eid-El Fitri.
Borokini congratulated the Muslims on the successful completion of Ramadan fast, in spite of the biting effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that the gesture was in accordance with his tradition of reaching out to, and identifying with, religious groups in his constituency during religious festivities, irrespective of their ethnic affiliations.
The lawmaker, while commending their steadfastness and endurance throughout the fasting period, expressed appreciation to them for their prayers and support since his assumption of office about a year ago.
Borokini urged party members in his constituency to unite in order to ensure that the re-election of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu became a reality.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Titilayo Ajisafe, commended the Borokini for striving continually to meet the demands of his constituents in his little capacity.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Borokini, the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, is also the Chief Whip of the Assembly.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Pakistan conveys condolences to India, Bangladesh over cyclone losses

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Pakistan on Saturday extended condolences to India and Bangladesh over the human losses and destruction after severe cyclonic storm Amphan killed dozens in both countries and displaced thousands in recent days.

“The Government and people of Pakistan are saddened over the deaths and widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in Bangladesh and India,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We extend sympathies and condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and pray for speedy recovery of the affected regions,” it said.

On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed condolences to Pakistan over a passenger plane crash in Karachi.

Modi said in a twitter post that “deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured.”

Tensions heightened between Pakistan and India after India scrapped special status to the Indian-controlled Kashmir in August 2019.

Pakistan rejected the Indian government’s decision as illegal and violation of the United Nations resolutions.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Buhari condoles with Sen. Gaya over wife’s death

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President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with Sen. Kabiru Gaya over the death of his wife, Hajiya Halima Gaya.
President Buhari, in a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, described the late Hajiya Gaya as a “remarkable woman, who dedicated herself to promoting education.’’
The president commended her investments in the establishment of private schools, adding: “it is a laudable initiative, which should be emulated by others.
“Education is the tool for modern development and no country can afford to ignore its vital role in our lives.
“My heart goes out to Sen. Gaya and the people of Kano State. May Allah grant them the fortitude to bear this great loss,’’ he said.
The president also prayed God to accept the soul of the departed and reward her good deeds with paradise.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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General news

COVID-19: NYSC distributes 2000 face masks in Ondo

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ondo State on Friday distributed over 2,000 face masks to residents across the state to celebrate 47 years of the scheme.

The News Agency Nigeria reports that NYSC was created on May 22, 1973 by a former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ” Deepening the Impact of National Service Through Innovations.”

The State Coordinator of NYSC in Ondo State, Mrs Grace Akpabio, while addressing journalists on Friday in Akure, said palliatives would also be distributed to orphanages apart from facemasks.

Akpabio said since the outbreak of the COVID-19, corps members in the country had been at the forefront of the campaign with the Skills Acquisition Section producing facemasks, hand sanitisers and hand washing machines among others.

She advised the people to continue to obey  all the laid down rules aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

“If you have been watching the trend since the COVID-19 pandemic, corps members have taken the advantage of the skills acquisition programme to provide facemasks and hand sanitisers for the populace.

“Some corps members in Akwa Ibom produced disinfecting machine that disinfects people as they are entering the office. We are sensitising the local community on COVID-19 because it is real.

“We are celebrating this year focusing on innovations made by corps members across the country and that’s why today we are celebrating by distributing face masks and sensitising the local community,” she said.

NAN reports that a road walk was held while palliatives were distributed to orphanages.

(
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Foreign

Indian PM Modi expresses condolences on Pakistan plane crash

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his condolences at the loss of human lives in the plane crash in Pakistan on Friday.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured,” tweeted Modi a short while ago.

(XINHUA)

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General news

PDP chieftain urges party to pick gov candidate from Ondo South

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Mr Marcus Adeuti, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo Central District has urged leaders of the party to pick its governorship candidate from Ondo South.

Adeuti, a former Permanent Secretary in the state, said in Okitipupa on Friday that the choice would enable the party to win the Oct. 10 Governorship election in the state.

He said that the leadership of the PDP should look beyond individual’s aspirations but toward winning the election.

He added that the electorate constituted more than 80 per cent of the voting strength and not members of any political party.

Adeuti, also a former Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, said that the Ondo electorate were culturally poised to give power to Ondo South and any party that fielded its candidate from the zone.

The party chieftain who hails from Idanre Local Government Area, explained that zoning was part of the culture of the PDP and remained infallible and valid at all times.

“In 1999, the electorate gave it to late Adebayo Adefarati of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) from Ondo North as against PDP that featured late Olusegun Agagu from Ondo South.

“In 2003, the electorate gave it to Agagu of PDP in Ondo South as against AD that featured Adefarati from Ondo North.

“In 2007, the electorate gave it to Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party (LP) in Ondo Central as against Agagu of PDP from Ondo South but the mandate could not be claimed by Mimiko until 2009 by a Court judgement, ’’ Adeuti said in a statement.

According to him, in 2013, the electorate gave fairly 44 per cent of their votes to the Mimiko of the LP, while the oppositions of PDP and defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) polled 56 percent.

He said: “This means that the electorate wanted power shift but for division of the oppositions on two major platforms and this development gave Ondo Central eight years uninterrupted rule by Mimiko.

“In 2016, the electorate gave their votes to Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo North against Eyitayo Jegede of PDP from Ondo Central, a development that saw PDP out of power.”

Adeuti, however, urged PDP leaders to learn from the foregoing not to be misled and do what was right by featuring its governorship candidate from Ondo South to reclaim the state from APC.

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Politics

COVID-19: INEC approves new policy framework for Edo, Ondo States

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday approved a new policy framework known as Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic.

The commission, in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman,

Information and Voter Education Committee, in Abuja said the policy document would be released on May 25.

Okoye said that the provisions would be applied to the conduct of governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for  Sept. 19 and Oct. 10, respectively, as well as other by-elections to be conducted soon in seven states.

 

“The general purpose of the Policy is to enable officials and staff of the Commission to understand and respond adequately to the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also to provide a guide for engagement with stakeholders as they prepare for elections.

“The clean copy of the policy document, which will be released on Monday, May 25, covers health and legal issues, election planning and operations, election day and post-election activities.

“It also covers voter registration, political parties, election observation, electoral security and deployment of technology.

“Conducting elections in a pandemic such as COVID-19 is yet uncharted waters. Only very few jurisdictions have any experience with this.

“That notwithstanding, the Commission is committed to conducting all elections that are due within the extant legal framework.

“However, in so doing it will put a premium on public safety and mitigation of health risks from COVID-19. Citizens must be assured that they will be safe while participating as voters, candidates and officials.

“The Commission remains committed to raising public confidence in the electoral process in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic and to regularly communicate its actions and challenges to the public,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that in view of the end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo, INEC would flag off robust engagements with its critical stakeholders to present the policy document by meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on May 30.

He said that the meeting would be followed by that of political parties on June 1, civil society groups on June 2, and the media on June 3.

Okoye noted that in addition to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the commission had received the official declaration of vacancies for four Senatorial Districts and read reports of the passing of a Senator and four members of some State Houses of Assembly.

“As of today, the Commission is planning for nine by-elections across seven States of the Federation,” he said.

The by-elections are Bayelsa Central and West Senatorial Districts, Imo North Senatorial District,  Plateau South Senatorial District and Cross River North Senatorial District.

Others are Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State; Bayo State Constituency, Borno State; Nasarawa Central State Constituency, Nasarawa State; and Bakori State Constituency, Katsina State

“The provisions of the Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic shall also apply to the conduct of these elections,” Okoye added.

He urged all Nigerians to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols issued by the health authorities.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

London mayor urges retailers to sell non-medical face masks during pandemic

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on all major retailers across the British capital to sell non-medical face coverings in all of their stores to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move came as the government has recently updated its guidance on the use of face coverings, advising the public to wear them in enclosed public spaces where it is difficult to maintain a safe distance from others, such as in shops and on public transport.

Khan has made it clear he wants everyone using London’s public transport, including underground trains and buses, to wear a non-medical face covering for the entirety of their journeys.

The mayor has written to London supermarkets and other retailers urging them to stock reusable, non-medical face coverings in all of their London stores at a price point that makes them accessible to all Londoners, according to an official statement released Wednesday.

“Londoners have shown that they want to do everything they can to slow the spread of this virus, and the wearing of non-medical face coverings will be essential as the lockdown begins to end, particularly for those who have no option but to use public transport,” said Khan.

“I want to work with London’s retailers to now go even further — ensuring they can supply reusable, non-medical face coverings in an affordable and accessible way for all Londoners,” he said.

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), which represents thousands of businesses across Britain ranging from single retail outlets to large department stores, is also urging its members and the wider retail sector to stock up on re-usable face coverings to keep the public safe during the transition out of lockdown.

Both the mayor and Bira have reiterated that coverings for public sale should not be medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE), to prevent any risk to supplies being diverted away from health, care and other key workers on the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Ondo offshore fire: NIMASA dispatches team for investigation, cautions mariners to avoid area

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Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sent an investigative team to unravel the circumstances surrounding a recent fire incident at a wellhead offshore Ondo State.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr Philip Kyanet, NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, on Thursday in Lagos.

Jamoh pointed out that the incident involved a barge belonging to Michharry and Company Nigeria Limited, an offshore and onshore facilities provider for the oil and gas industry.

He noted that the officers from the Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard Department (MSSSD) and Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department of the Agency would conduct both on the spot assessment and detailed analysis of the incident.

“As the national agency statutorily responsible for ensuring a clean, pollution free, and friendly marine environment for safe shipping activities, NIMASA has swung into action with our standard procedures to get to the root of this fire incident.

“A team of officers from the relevant departments of the agency has been dispatched to the site. We will do a thorough analysis of the situation with a view to unraveling the cause of the fire and preventing future occurrence.

“As the maritime industry regulator, we would also not hesitate to mete out sanctions where necessary to deter abuse.

“Certainly, the Nigerian maritime industry and the economy will be the beneficiaries of the outcome of our work on this incident,” he said.

Jamoh also advised mariners and other maritime stakeholders to steer clear of the areas affected by the fire for their own safety and to aid the investigative and remediation work at the location.

He disclosed the location to be Ororo1, in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95, adding that the site was a Chevron platform sold to local investors.

The NIMASA DG said that preliminary investigation revealed that the barge, JUV Bellaton, a 300 Series SEWOP, owned by Michharry and operated by Guarantee Petroleum, had been working on the offshore oil rig, Grace 1 HWU, when it experienced leakages of gas and oil.

He noted that this was followed by a fire outbreak at the wellhead location, adding that there was no reported pollution following degenerative status of the platform due to the fire.

He pointed out that all crew were evacuated safely, and firefighters were engaged by the company to try to put out the fire.

He said that NIMASA was working with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on the incident investigation, in line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies.

“At this point, let me advise maritime stakeholders to keep away from the areas affected by the fire. This is for their own safety and to avoid anything that can jeopardise or hinder the ongoing investigation.

“Additionally, we advise operators in the country’s maritime domain to always report incidents at their locations to NIMASA in good time and shun actions capable of endangering their own safety and operations as well as those of others,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

N4.3bn: Ondo Assembly not probing anyone – Speaker

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The Ondo State House of Assembly, on Thursday in Akure, said that it was not probing anyone in respect of the controversial N4.3 billion state government funds discovered in a secret bank account.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the discovery was made public in the 2018 Audit Report of the House Committee on Public Account.
NAN also reports that the state government had said that the money was appropriated in the 2019 budget and that the state Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant-General and the Auditor-General had been invited and questioned by the Assembly.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oleyelogun, said that the lawmakers were only playing their constitutional roles.
”We are not probing anyone but carrying out our constitutional exercise, which is to audit the account of the state government and this is required from us as legislators.
“When the report was submitted to the Assembly, people involved were invited and questioned. In this case of N4.3 billion, nobody was either alleged or indicted for misappropriation.
”The issue will be pursued to a logical conclusion and the Public Account Committee will report back to Mr Speaker as soon as possible,” he said.
According to him, there is the need for the Assembly to embark on rigorous oversight functions by different committees with all seriousness.
“All the committees should ensure that all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are performing in line with the appropriation laws,” he said.
The speaker asked the lawmakers to embark on enlightenment and sensitisation in their respective constituencies, in view of the forthcoming local government and gubernatorial elections in the state.
NAN reports that the lawmakers unanimously agreed to embark on a month’s recess.
Earlier, Mr Samuel Edamisan, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, acknowledged the receipt of documents from the state Accountant-General on the controversial funds.
Edamisan promised that the committee would look into the documents thoroughly, beginning from Friday.
He said that the committee would get to the root of the hidden money, irrespective of any intimation.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Germany’s Condor eyes summer flight resumption to two thirds of destinations

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At the beginning of the summer holiday season in Germany at the end of June, flight operations at Condor would be increased to more than two thirds of original destinations, the German airline announced on Wednesday.

With the ramp-up of operations, a total of 29 destinations in Europe would be accessible from eight German airports, with around 300 weekly connections, according to Condor.

“We can hardly wait to take off again with holidaymakers towards the sun as of the end of June,” said Condor CEO Ralf Teckentrup.

Condor was already offering flights from Frankfurt to Mallorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria as part of its effort to ensure a basic infrastructure within Europe.

After the bankruptcy of its British parent company Thomas Cook in September 2019, Condor was restructured and entered a protective shielding procedure.

The German airline had to be rescued a second time with a government bridging loan after an already agreed takeover by Poland’s PGL was canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis.

As a result of worldwide restrictions on travel due to the crisis, air traffic in Germany has almost come to a standstill. Already in March, passenger traffic at German airports fell by around 63 percent compared to the same month in 2019, according to the Federal Statistical Office Destatis.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Ondo guber poll: APC stalwart rallies support for Akeredolu

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A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Alhaji Saka Ogunleye, has urged ward chairmen of the party to unite members in the state in order to re-elect Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the forthcoming election.

Ogunleye, the Coordinator, Akeredolu Continuity Mandate Group (ACMG), at a meeting in Akure on Wednesday said the Association of Ward Chairmen in the 18 Local Government Areas must intensify efforts to ensure victory for Akeredolu.

He implored them to show their leadership qualities by displaying political maturity which members could rely upon every time.

“On behalf of our leader, Governor Akeredolu, State Chairman, Mr Adetimehin and the entire party, I implore you to make your group impenetrable.

“This is a crucial period as many would approach you to cause disaffection in our march toward a common goal. Do not listen to them.

“We must know the vision of this government is to improve the fortunes of the people through the provision of qualitative road network, conducive schools, good health care services and industrial development among others.

“For the first time, we have a flyover, roads are being built in the three senatorial districts, public schools everywhere are receiving priority attention.

‘’Ondo State has a vehicle assembly plant and also for the first time our hospitals are wearing modern looks.

“These and many more are sufficient enough to use in campaigning for the governor’s reelection. Aketi is a good product that you should be proud to showcase to the world.

‘’Hold your members together in the wards and turn deaf ears to detractors,” Ogunleye said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ogunleye is the Commissioner for Works in the state and had been in the forefront of the campaign for the re-election of Akeredolu.

He said Akeredolu’s style of governance was deliberately tailored toward making Ondo State rank among the best in terms of development.

Ogunleye expressed optimism on the readiness of the governor for the forthcoming gubernatorial poll.

He also gave an assurance that the local government poll would be held as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic pressure decreased, adding that APC was the party to beat in the election.

Mr Sunday Abioye, a ward Chairman, told NAN shortly after the meeting that he and his colleagues were in support of the governor’s re-lection because of the quality of work done so far during his first term.

(
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Politics

APC places N22.5m fee on gov. aspirants in Edo, Ondo

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) says all governorship aspirants in Edo and Ondo State will pay N22.5 million as part of the requirements for contesting in the states’ governorship elections on Sept. 19 and Oct. 10.

In a timetable released in Abuja on Wednesday, APC National Organising Secretary Emma Ibediro said that the party would begin the primaries with the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms to the governorship aspirants.

According to Ibediro, the sale of forms to Edo governorship aspirants will begin  from May 20 to June 2, while that of Ondo State will be from June 11 to July 1, 2020.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had in February, fixed the governorship election in Edo for Sept.  19, while that of Ondo State was fixed for Oct. 10.

The party’s organising scribe said that the forms for each aspirant in both states had been fixed at N22.5 million.

According to him, this includes N2.5 million for expression of interest form and N20 million for the nomination form.

“There shall be no separate charge for the deputy.

“Female aspirants and physically challenged aspirants will pay 50 per cent of the prescribed fees for each position,” he said.

Ibediro said that all payments would be made into the party’s bank account.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the party’s Edo governorship primary will hold on June 22, while that of Ondo State is to hold on July 20.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

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