FG Declares Friday, Monday Public Holidays For Easter Celebrations

FG Declares Public Holidays For Christmas, New Year
File photo

 

The Federal Government has declared Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2, 2018, as Public holidays to mark the Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Tuesday, made the announcement on behalf of the Federal Government.

He called on all Christian faithful and everyone in general to employ the spiritual ethos of Easter, which includes love, peace, and sacrifice, in contributing to the unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

According to him, Nigerians should remain supportive of the Buhari-led administration in his efforts towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous nation.

He also implored all to use the occasion to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

Governor Bello Joins Nigerians To Welcome President Buhari

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello said the successful return of President Muhammadu Buhari from medical vacation has shocked mischief makers and death wishers.

The Governor expressed gratitude to God Almighty for answering the collective prayers of all Nigerians by returning the President back home in good health.

Bello said that the President’s return on Friday has laid to rest various concern and speculations surrounding his health condition, assuring that he would continue to lead the country.

While commending religious bodies and political organizations for their prayers, outpouring love and solidarity during the President’s medical trip to London, Governor Bello urged all Nigerians to always be positive and pray for their leaders.

“Positive thoughts and prayers are a fundamental instrument necessary to overcome challenges facing the nation, I am particularly excited at the level of solidarity shown to the President by Nigerians” the governor said.

He prayed that Allah will continue to grant Mr. President sound health, greater strength, wisdom and courage to continue with the good governance of this country.

Trump Gains On Clinton, Poll Shows ‘Rigged’ Message Resonates

donald-trumpThe Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among American voters this week, cutting her lead nearly in half, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday.

The polling data showed Trump’s argument that the Nov. 8 election is “rigged” against him has resonated with members of his party.

“Remember folks, it’s a rigged system,” Trump told a Pennsylvania rally on Friday. “That’s why you’ve got to get out and vote, you’ve got to watch. Because this system is totally rigged.”

Clinton led Trump 44 percent to 40 percent, according to the Oct. 14-20 Reuters/Ipsos poll, a 4-point lead. That compared with 44 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Trump in the Oct. 7-13 poll released last week.

An average of national opinion polls by RealClearPolitics shows Clinton 6.2 percentage points ahead at 48.1 percent support to Trump’s 41.9 percent.

Trump is slated to give a speech Saturday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, best known as the site of a decisive Civil War battle and cemetery, and the place where Republican President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous address.

Aides told reporters on Friday night that Trump would make his closing argument to voters in his speech, and preview what he would do in his first 100 days in the White House.

“I think this site is fitting in terms of understanding a positive vision for the Republican party,” an aide said.

Trump’s campaign was thrown into crisis after a 2005 video released this month showed him bragging about groping and kissing women. He has since faced accusations – which he has said are “absolutely false” – that he made improper sexual advances to women over decades.

 

 

Three Missing, Eighty-Seven Rescued After South Africa Mine Collapse

south african2Almost 90 miners were rescued and three were still missing after a cave-in at a gold mine in northeastern South Africa on Friday, the firm that owns the mine said.

The collapse at the mine’s main entrance trapped 87 workers underground, all of whom were rescued, Vantage Goldfields (VTGFF.PK) said in a statement. However, three others who had been working on the surface at the time of the collapse could not be accounted for.

No fatalities were reported. However, there was confusion regarding the number of workers involved.

“As we speak they might already all be out. Most have been evacuated,” Mike McChesney, chief executive of the small gold producer told Reuters by telephone from the mine in Barbeton town in Mpumalanga province about 360 kilometers (225 miles) east of Johannesburg.

McChesney and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union initially said 115 workers had been trapped.

South Africa’s mines are the deepest and among the most dangerous in the world. Fatalities in the industry have been falling due to both improved safety practices and a reduction in the labor force as production declines.

Vantage Goldfields is an Australia-based company mining gold at Barberton, a town that traces its origin in the country’s 19th century gold rush. Vantage was delisted from the Australian bourse in January 2015.

The mine workers union later said 78 workers had been rescued and three workers were missing. The reason for the discrepancy between the union’s figures and the company’s was not immediately clear.

“At this point, it’s unclear what caused the disaster,” Manzini Zungu, a spokesman for the union said.

Last year, 77 workers were killed in mining accidents, the lowest number on record, compared with 84 in 2014.

Dozens Feared Exposed As Sierra Leone Confirms New Ebola Death

ebolaA woman who died of Ebola this week in Sierra Leone potentially exposed dozens of other people to the disease, according to an aid agency report on Friday, raising the risk of more cases just as the deadliest outbreak on record appeared to be ending.

A day earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared that “all known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa” after Liberia joined Sierra Leone and Guinea in going six weeks with no reported new cases. The three countries had borne the brunt of a two-year epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people.

The WHO warned of the potential for more flare-ups, as survivors can carry the virus for months. But the new case in Sierra Leone is especially disquieting because authorities failed to follow basic health protocols, according to the report seen by Reuters.

Compiled by a humanitarian agency that asked not to be named, the document said the victim, Mariatu Jalloh, had come into contact with at least 27 people, including 22 in the house where she died and five who were involved in washing her corpse. But its account suggested others could also be at risk.

Jalloh, 22, began showing symptoms at the beginning of the year, though the exact date is unknown, the report states. A student in Port Loko, the largest town in Sierra Leone’s Northern Province, she traveled to Bamoi Luma near the border with Guinea in late December.

Sierra Leone’s northern border area, a maze of waterways, was one of the country’s last Ebola hot spots before it was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7, and contact tracing was sometimes bedeviled by access problems.

By the time she traveled back to her parents’ home in Tonkolili district, east of the capital Freetown, using three different taxis, Jalloh had diarrhea and was vomiting, the report said.

She sought treatment at the local Magburaka Government Hospital on Jan. 8 where a health worker, who did not wear protective clothing, took a blood sample. It was not immediately clear whether the sample was tested for Ebola.

She was treated as an outpatient and returned home, where she died on Jan. 12. Health workers took a swab test of Jalloh’s body following her death, which tested positive for Ebola.

“The sample was tested for the first time on Thursday morning – around the same time as the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak over”, said Tim Brooks of Public Health England, the British agency that tested the sample at its lab in Sierra Leone.

PUBLIC ANGER

The missed diagnosis has led to anger in some quarters. Dozens of young people gathered outside the hospital on Friday in a noisy demonstration, some holding placards accusing the health department of negligence.

“We are demonstrating because we want the authorities to explain to us why the woman was discharged and allowed to go home, where she died, and her corpse was given to her family to bury. We are now concerned that some family members may have been infected,” said local youth leader Mahmud Tarawally.

Asked about apparent errors in handling the case, Sierra Leone health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis said that the patient had been tested for the virus and had received treatment in a government hospital. He did not give further details.

Information campaigns calling upon residents of Ebola-affected countries to respect government health directives have been largely credited with turning the tide of the epidemic. However, safety measures, particularly a ban on traditional burial ceremonies, have faced stiff resistance at times.

The report stated that five people who were not part of Jalloh’s parents’ household were involved in washing her corpse, a practice that is considered one of the chief modes of Ebola transmission.

Almost all the victims of the regional epidemic, which originated in the forests of Guinea in 2013, were in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

As of Thursday’s WHO announcement that Liberia had gone 42 days with no new cases, all three nations were apparently Ebola-free.

But Liberia had twice been given the all-clear last year, only for a fresh cluster of cases to emerge. And the case in Sierra Leone adds further uncertainty.

“It is really important that people don’t understand this 42-day announcement as the sign that we should all just pack up and go home,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Friday. “We should stay there and be ready to respond to these possible cases.”

Ben Neuman, an Ebola expert and lecturer in virology at Britain’s University of Reading, said: “A hospital in Sierra Leone completely misdiagnosing a case of Ebola, apparently without sending a sample to one of the many testing labs that are being kept open for just this reason is ridiculous – completely unacceptable.”

He said Ebola was hard to distinguish from many other diseases that cause pain, fever, diarrhea and vomiting.

“The only way to know for sure is by testing whether pieces of the Ebola virus are present in the blood,” Neuman added.

“People still make better doctors and nurses than computers, but people will always make mistakes. Unfortunately this mistake is a big one.”

Ebola is passed on through blood and bodily fluids, and kills about 40 percent of those who contract the virus.

While the WHO has said that another major outbreak is unlikely, it says the risk of flare-ups remains because of the way the virus can persist in those who survive it. Research on survivors has located it in semen, breast milk, vaginal secretions, spinal fluid and fluids around the eyes.

Kachikwu Replaces Diezani At OPEC Conference In Vienna

nnpcAs the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to meet in Vienna on Friday, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, and head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has been named as the new conference President of the Organisation.

Dr. Kachikwu replaces Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke who was named the first female President of OPEC in November last year.

The minister is calling for a delay in Iran’s intended oversupply of crude oil in order to control pricing that has dropped near 20 percent in 2015.

Ahead of Friday’s meeting, US crude oil price climbed 1.40 percent early today trading at 40 Dollars 23 cents per barrel, Brent was up 48 cents at 42 Dollars 97 cents per barrel.

Ahead of Fridy’s meeting analysts expect OPEC whose 12 member nations from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America pump out about one third of the world’s oil, to leave its daily oil output target at 30 million barrels.

Akwa Ibom Governor Commissions Residential Quarters For Medical Staff

Akwa IbomAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, on Friday, commissioned a residential accommodation complex for medical staff of the new Ibom Specialist Hospital.

Located in Shelter Afrique Estate in Uyo, the facility has 40 apartments, with a total of 146 rooms. The complex has a central water treatment plant, fire protection, supermarkets, recreation facilities, among others.

Governor Emmanuel said that the commissioning symbolised a major milestone in the march towards the realization of excellent healthcare for the people. He lauded the immediate past administration in the state for initiating the project.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, who described the good accommodation and security as key components that boost the performance of health workers, said that the commissioning of the residential quarters marked a turning point in healthcare delivery in Akwa Ibom State.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Yemi Johnson, announced that the hospital would commence operations in the next week.

The event was attended by medical professionals and members of the executive council.

Governor El-Rufai Reinstates Kaduna North Chairman

KadunaGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has reinstated the interim chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council, Ahmed Kurfi, who was suspended from office more than a month ago. 

The Kaduna North Chairman was suspended for his alleged unauthorised involvement in the ongoing land recovery exercise within the state capital, without the approval of the Governor.

A letter of recall, dated November 13, 2015, signed by Secretary to the State Government, Mr Balarabe Abbas Lawal, said that the suspended Chairman was reinstated following the conclusion of investigation about his alleged disregard to government’s directive on the state’s Land Recovery Policy.

The statement said that government was satisfied with the Chairman’s explanation on his role in the ongoing land recovery exercise, but noted that the administrative lapses that occurred in the implementation of the action were unfortunate.

The statement further explained that the panel of investigation cleared the Chairman of any wrongdoing, commended his courage and initiative, and therefore decided to lift the suspension and recall him to office.

The statement admonished the Chairman to always abide by laid down administrative procedures. The government further said it expects full compliance with regulations by all public officials.

Police Say Planned Pro-Biafra One-Million Man March Is Illegal

MASSOB-IPOB-Demonstrate-for-BiafraThe Nigeria Police Force seems to be spurring for a final showdown with youths calling for the recognition of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as it has issued a warning that a “planned one-million march is illegal”.

In a strongly-worded statement on Friday, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said that the protesters, from the south-eastern region, would be provoking the law if they do not stop such protests or call.

Attempt To Test The Law

He particularly made reference to the planned ‘one-million march’ for the actualisation of Biafra, which he said was illegal and asked everyone not to participate.

“Information available to the Nigeria police indicates plans by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to embark on ill-advised protests, using dangerous weapons across some south eastern states.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this is unlawful and no one should attempt to test the law,” the police warned in the statement.

He reminded the youths that the law prohibiting the unlawful possession of firearms was still in force.

He also warned against any attempt to unleash mayhem on innocent and law-abiding Nigerians.

He said that anyone arrested in connection with the planned march would be appropriately dealt with.

Before the warning of the Inspector General of Police, hundreds of youths took to the street in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, blocking the major express way leading to the east.

At Summit Junction in Asaba, the group chanted war songs, calling for the restoration of Biafra and demanding the release of a certain Nnamdi Kalu who they claimed was in detention at the Department of State Security office.

The group began the protest at about 4:00pm local time on Friday.

They stopped motorists travelling to either the eastern part of Nigeria or to Benin City in Edo State.

According to Channels Television’s reporter in Delta State, Vivian Oramadike, the protesters refused to leave Summit Junction even when it was beginning to get dark.

Their presence has caused traffic jam, forcing motorists to abandon their vehicles on the express.

El-Rufai Suspends Kaduna North LG Chairman

KadunaKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has suspended the interim Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council, Alhaji Ahmed Kurfi, for his alleged unauthorised involvement in the ongoing land recovery exercise within the state capital, without the approval of the Governor.

The suspension was contained in a letter addressed to the embattled Chairman and signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Balarabe Lawal, on Friday.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, explained that the suspension of the Chairman was taken, to enable the government to thoroughly investigate his involvement in the unauthorized demolition of private buildings within the state capital, aimed at recovering lands belonging to the state government.

The statement also said that “when the government decided to recover lands belonging to schools, hospitals and other public institutions, it set out clear guidelines which were issued to all relevant agencies and the general public.

“These guidelines made mandatory the written approval of the Governor before any action for land recovery is initiated, aside from clearly stating that local government councils have no role in the land recovery process beyond gathering and forwarding information to the appropriate agencies.

“But recent actions undertaken within Kaduna North Local Government Council, under the direction of the interim Chairman, did not comply with the guidelines for the land recovery exercise.

“Therefore, the state government has directed the immediate suspension of the interim Chairman. Investigations will be conducted to establish the full extent of culpability of Kaduna North Local Government officials in the matter,” the statement read.

Policeman Kills Two Inspectors, Self In Yobe

policeA Police Constable, Ibrahim Musa, on Friday, fatally shot two Police Inspectors before shooting himself at the Nangere Division in Yobe State, north east Nigeria.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television through its Yobe State Correspondent, Jonathan Gopep on phone, the State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mohammed Zanah Ibramim said that “the Police Constable who was being booked for insubordination, seized a rifle at the counter and shot the two Inspectors at close range, before shooting himself”.

The CP said that the Constable first shot Inspector Muhammed Musa, before firing Inspector Ishaku Allen, who was making the entry in the defaulter’s registry, after which he shot himself.

The subject, he revealed, who was taken to the Potiskum General Hospital, later died while receiving treatment.

During the press briefing, the CP said he had in company of the Emir of Nangere, Alhaji Muhammed Ibn Abubakar Grema, attended the burial of the two Inspectors, as well as paid condolence visits to the bereaved families on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The CP also revealed that while the case is currently being investigated, the subject will be tried posthumously as machinery are being put in place to prevent future occurrence.

Nangere is 118 kilometres north of Potiskum, the commercial nerve centre of Yobe State and west of Damaturu, the state capital.

One Of Two Escaped US Prisoners Killed By Police

us prisonersOne of the two prisoners who escaped from a New York state prison three weeks ago, has been killed by Police.

A 49-year-old Richard Matt, was shot dead in Woodlands, near the town of Malone, about 30 miles from the prison.

David Sweat, another convicted murderer, remains at large as Police continue to search the area.

The pair escaped through the prison sewer system after using power tools to break out of their cell on June 6.

On Friday, Police were called to an area south of Malone where a camper van had been attacked, where they found evidence left behind by the pair in a nearby hunting cabin.

Police said that Matt was later found in woodland, armed with a shotgun, adding that he refused to surrender when officers shot him dead.

Prisoner worker, Joyce Mitchell, has been charged with aiding the inmates in their escape.

Recently, a US prison guard, Gene Palmer, was arrested and detained over the jail break.