A Bill for an Act to establish the South West Development Commission sailed through second reading in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Olufemi Fakeye (APC-Osun) seeks to advance infrastructural development in the region.
Leading the debate, Fakeye said that the South West Development Commission, when established, would receive and manage funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including donations and gift.
He said that the commission would be charged with the responsibility of reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region.
He also said that there was need to tackle the ecological problem and any other related
environmental or developmental challenges in the South West.
Supporting the motion, Rep. Nasir Ahmed (APC-Kano) called on members to support the bill as people of all tribes and religions in the country could be found in the region.
He said that the house had passed similar bill for North East and South West, saying that “what is good for goose is good for the gander.”
Also, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen (APC-Kaduna) said that each Zone in the country had one challenge or the other and needed support to address them.
Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) said that for the economy of Nigeria to develop, there was need to develop infrastructure in the South West.
Edited By: Kayode Olaitan/Abiemwense Moru
Curfew lifted in Los Angeles County as peaceful protests continue across Southern California
A countywide curfew will not be enforced Thursday night in Los Angeles County of the United States, as largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American man, in police custody continue across the area.
“Based upon current situational awareness and the recent pattern of peaceful actions by protesters, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will no longer enforce a curfew,” tweeted Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Thursday morning, adding that other jurisdictions are free to make their own decisions.
A countywide curfew has been in effect for four nights in a row in the most populous U.S. county, with a population of over 10 million, since Sunday after days of protests which sometimes descended into chaos.
“I agree with this decision — it gives the peaceful protesters more time to speak out on our streets without fear of arrest,” tweeted Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Hahn reminded local residents that cities may impose their own curfews.
Thousands of peaceful protesters packed streets in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday as smaller demonstrations spread across the area. Multiple protests over the death of Floyd are taking place or expected to be held in cities across Southern California on Thursday, including one in Diamond Bar, a city with a huge Chinese American community.
South Sudan denies offering Egyptian military base bordering Ethiopia
“The ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation hereby denies in the strongest terms possible, the information which has been circulated in the social media that the government of South Sudan has agreed to Egyptian request to build a military base in Pagak,” it said in a statement issued in Juba.
This came in the wake of media reports on Tuesday alleging that Juba will host the Egyptian military in Pagak area, which used to be the headquarters of the then rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) led by Riek Machar, who is now First Vice President in the transitional unity government.
“There is nothing of that kind, no agreement has been reached whatsoever to allocate a piece of land for Egyptian military base in the territory of the Republic of South Sudan,”
Egypt and Ethiopia are in dispute over Addis Ababa’s construction of the 6,000-MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Cairo fears that the GERD’s construction on the Blue Nile in northern Ethiopian highlands will disrupt Egypt’s share of the Nile‘s water.
Heavy rains, floods leave 10 killed in southeastern Yemen: official
At least 10 people were killed and several others injured during heavy seasonal rains and floods that hit Yemen’s southeastern province during the past 24 hours, a government official told Xinhua on Thursday.
According to the local government official who preferred to remain anonymous, “the heavy seasonal rain began late Wednesday and caused flash floodings that killed at least seven people in Hadramout and three others in the neighboring province of Shabwa.”
“Dozens of houses and civilian vehicles were flooded and livestock were washed away during the heavy seasonal rains continued throughout Thursday morning,” the source said.
He pointed out that “military helicopters of the government forces intervened to rescue several families trapped in their villages by the flooding.”
Yemen’s National Meteorological Center issued a statement on Wednesday expecting the continuation of heavy seasonal rains and thunderstorms during the upcoming hours and warned citizens to stay away from flood ducts.
The center also asked the Yemeni citizens living in mud houses in Hadramout to take necessary precautions in order to ensure their safety.
South, Southeast Asia on high alert as countries continue to witness spikes of COVID-19 cases
The spread of the coronavirus has been accelerating in South and Southeast Asia on Thursday as India reported 9,304 more positive cases and a peak could still be weeks away in the world‘s second-most populous country, while Malaysia recorded its biggest daily jump of 277 new infections.
India’s health ministry Thursday morning announced 260 new deaths and 9,304 new positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 6,075 and total cases to 216,919.
Malaysia reported 277 new cases, the highest daily number to date, pushing the national total to 8,247.
Health ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said at a press briefing that 270 of the new cases are foreign nationals detained at an immigration detention center on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Of the remaining 1,573 active cases, six are currently being held in intensive care and two of those are in need of assisted breathing. No new deaths have been reported, leaving the total deaths at 115.
Bangladesh confirmed 35 more fatalities from the virus, bringing the country’s death toll to 781, and an addition 2,423 positive cases were reported, taking the total to 57,563.
Also during the last 24 hours, 571 more patients were released from hospitals and clinics, bringing the number of recovered patients in the country to 12,161.
The number of recoveries further climbed to 4,248 after 95 more patients have recovered, and the death toll also increased to 984 after 10 more patients have died from the virus.
The confirmed cases in Indonesia rose by 585 within one day to 28,818, and the death toll increased by 23 to 1,721.
A total of 486 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients to 8,892.
Thailand witnessed 17 new infections, bringing the total cases to 3,101.
All of the new cases were Thais staying in quarantine after returning from the Middle East.
The death toll remains at 58, and 2,968 patients have recovered.
South Korea reported 39 more cases compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Thursday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,629.
The daily caseload stayed above 30 for four straight days due to small cluster infections from religious gatherings in the metropolitan area.
New Zealand recorded no new case for 13 consecutive days, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases staying at 1,504, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said on Thursday.
South Africa eases lockdown level
A horse rider practices at a horseback riding site in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 3, 2020. South Africa imposed the lockdown on March 27 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was lowered from level five to level four on May 1, and again eased to level three on June 1. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)
WHO especially worried about Central and South America: WHO chief
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that his organization is especially worried about Central and South America, where many countries are witnessing accelerating epidemics.
“For several weeks, the number of cases reported each day in the Americas has been more than the rest of the world put together,” he said.
The United States of America remains the hardest-hit country by the virus, with a total of 1,798,330 confirmed cases and 105,008 deaths being reported to WHO. Brazil, the second on the list in terms of the confirmed cases, has so far reported 526,447 infections with 29,937 deaths.
IOM partners with South Sudan to enhance COVID-19 border surveillance
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday that it has entered into a partnership with the South Sudanese government and other United Nations agencies to ramp up surveillance at the country’s borders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The UN migration agency said a joint team led by government officials recently completed assessment on the establishment of an entry point in Wunthou, Renk, a county bordering the Blue Nile state of Sudan.
With 40 to 50 trucks moving across the border each week, Renk has proven to be an important trading hub and is vital to the humanitarian aid lifeline connecting South Sudan and Sudan, Chauzy said.
“As a first step and before establishing a fully-fledged point of entry, infection prevention and control measures such as the installation of handwashing stations must be in place as well as proper management of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19,” he said.
Chauzy said the team assessed the preparedness and capacity to carry out border management, and found that protracted disputes over demarcation between Sudan and South Sudan due to lack of shared intelligence, leaving movement across the borders uncoordinated.
Zacharia Modi, director of public health in the ministry of health, said: “It is an important step to ensure that while we keep borders open for essentials and humanitarian relief, we do so while taking precautions that protect the public from COVID-19 transmission.”
Modi noted the need to strengthen the capacities of local authorities, frontline officers and local partners in responding to the pandemic, including improving the current infrastructure that is not yet adequate to respond to the health crisis.
“We are very pleased that this joint assessment with the International Organization for Migration and other partners took place,” Modi said.
Five killed in renewed South Sudan violence
At least five people were killed in South Sudan’s capital Juba during renewed violence that erupted Wednesday morning, the presidential spokesperson said.
The presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny said four men and one woman died in the shooting incident, which broke out in the Sherikat neighborhood.
The latest violence was sparked by wrangles over a disputed piece of land.
“The killing of five people is a very serious criminal act and the perpetrators must be punished. Our sympathy to the families of the victims,” Ateny said in a statement issued in Juba
Ateny said the South Sudanese leader was saddened by the loss of lives, adding that perpetrators would be punished.
“The president condemns this in the strongest terms possible and has directed authorities to investigate the incident and press charges against the perpetrators,” Ateny said.
Relative calm has since returned to Juba after tribal and government authorities intervened to stop hundreds of rioting youth who earlier blocked roads with barricades and burning tires.
Ateny said one suspect, believed to be a distant relative of President Kiir, was arrested during the clashes.
Roadside bomb blast kills 9 civilians in southern Afghanistan
The Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 3,400 civilians were killed and over 6,900 others injured in conflict-related incidents in 2019, according to the figures released by the UN mission in the country.
Out of the total casualties, more than 880 civilians were killed and over 3,450 others wounded in suicide and non-suicide IED explosions in 2019.
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