Thursday Update: Matawalle’s Quest, Sadiq Daba & Nigerians’ Appetite For Covid Vaccine

Solomon Elusoji  
Updated March 4, 2021

Good morning,

We are leading with Governor Bello Matawalle’s quest for peace in Zamfara, the death of a beloved actor, and Nigeria’s burgeoning COVID-19 vaccination program.

Matawalle’s Thirst For Peace In Zamfara

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has said he is ready to resign if it will lead to peace in Zamfara. Nigerian politicians rarely leave public office voluntarily, so while his resignation is not expected, the comment is a metaphor for how seriously he wants to be taken on his desire to secure Zamfara.

The Governor, who appeared on Wednesday as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, also approved of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘no-fly-zone’ if it will end insecurity in the region, although he was displeased that he had not been consulted before the directive was issued.

Also, the Governor has been at the forefront of negotiating with bandits, an approach that the Federal Government has frowned on for its tendency to burnish the ragged reputation of criminals. But his approach, which Matawalle has described as both ‘kinetic and non-kinetic’ helped to free hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped in Jangebe on Friday.

Jangebe Reunion: Security officials shot at an angry crowd as the recently released 279 schoolgirls were being reunited with their families in a remote part of Zamfara.

Babagana Zulum: To end insecurity in the North-East, the Borno State Governor has urged the Federal Government to seek support from neigbouring countries.

Sadiq Daba Goes Home

Veteran Nigerian broacaster and actor Sadiq Daba has died.

His death was confirmed by filmmaker Kunle Afolayan to Channels Television. Mr. Daba had worked with Afolayan on his 2020 movie, Citation.

According to Mr. Afolayan, the ace broadcaster died on Wednesday from his protracted battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer.

Afolayan said the news was confirmed to him by Mr. Daba’s wife and son.

He further shared that at the time he worked with Mr. Daba on Citation in 2020, he was hale and hearty, although he always had his oxygen supply around him.

Apart from being an ace broadcaster, Sadiq Daba was renowned for acting in the classic ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ and ‘October 1st’.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials against the COVID-19 coronavirus are seen at the Klerksdorp Hospital as South Africa proceeds with its inoculation campaign on February 18, 2021. Phill Magakoe / AFP
Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials against the COVID-19 coronavirus are seen at the Klerksdorp Hospital as South Africa proceeds with its inoculation campaign on February 18, 2021.
Phill Magakoe / AFP

Nigerians Show Appetite For COVID-19 Vaccine

Almost four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and Nigerians are showing massive interest in the remedy.

In less than 24 hours of a government registration portal going live, more than two million Nigerians signed up to receive the vaccine, according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

It had been feared that many Nigerians would reject the vaccine. While such fears remain a major concern for public health officials and policymakers, the ‘early rush’ is an encouraging sign.

The first batch of vaccines is expected to be administered to frontline workers and strategic leaders, but Nigeria is also expecting an additional 41 million doses of vaccine from the African Union.

Although health experts have warned that relying solely on vaccines will not solve the pandemic crisis, it can be a very potent weapon.

What else is happening?

Food Blockage: The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria said it has lifted its ban on the transportation of food items to the southern part of the country.

NIN: The Federal Government has approved the establishment of dedicated Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) swap centres in each of the 774 local government areas in the country.

Niger State: Less than three weeks after 40 passengers were kidnapped, gunmen have again abducted over 50 passengers along the Tegina-Minna road in Rafi Local Government Area.

Apapa Cleanup: Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, has warned that the state will not spare anyone who flouts the electronic call-up system introduced in Apapa to ease gridlock in the area.

Winifred Oyo-Ita: A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered a stay of proceedings in the ongoing trial of the former Head of Service of the Federation and others.

ICPC: The anti-corruption agency said Nigeria is losing about $10 billion from multinationals who evade taxes.

United States: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would not quit over sexual harassment allegations made against him by three women.

And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

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