Governors Honour Fallen Heroes On 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day

A picture combination of Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

 

The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day was on Friday celebrated across the country, with state governors honouring fallen heroes for paying the supreme price in ensuring that the country remains peaceful.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day,  which is usually marked on January 15 of every year, honours members of the military who fought and are still fighting in various theatres of conflict within Nigeria and across the world.

Katsina State

In Katsina State, the government reiterated its commitment to supporting all security agencies to ensure that the state regains its past glory.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari

Representing the State Governor was the Deputy, Mannir Yakubu, who acknowledged the contribution of the Armed forces during the rescue of 344 school children of the Ƙankara Government Science Secondary School kidnapped by armed bandits on December 11th, 2020.

He appreciated the gallant troops of the Nigerian army and that of the Air Force for their untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of citizens in the state.

Oyo State

The Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde also joined millions of Nigerians across the country to celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

Governor Seyi Makinde

He called for more support for security agents and promised that his government would continue to support security agencies to achieve a safe and secured state.

Rivers State 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State asked other stakeholders to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to change the Service Chiefs to end insurgency, banditry, and other violent crimes in the country.

Governor Wike stated this during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at Government House, Port Harcourt, after the traditional parade at the Isaac Boro park.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Holds Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration

The governor said the federal government must end the killings in the country in the shortest possible time, stressing that changing the service chiefs will allow for the introduction of new strategies to fight the insurgents and bandits.

Cross River State 

In Cross River State, South-South Nigeria, the state governor, Ben Ayade announced a donation of a brand new bus to ease the logistics of the servicemen.

He used the occasion to extoll the sacrifices of ex-servicemen whom he said risked their lives to keep Nigeria one.

Speaking at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day parade held at the Millennium Park, Calabar, Ayade, flanked by his Deputy, Professor Iwara Esu, and other top government functionaries, lamented the pitiable condition of them saying Nigeria has the responsibility to take care and protect them.

Ebonyi State

The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony held across Nigeria was also observed in Ebonyi State.

The ceremony which took place at the Unity Square in Abakaliki the state capital on Friday was held in remembrance of Nigeria’s fallen heroes.

Also, the deputy governor of the state Eric Igwe, who represented the state governor David Umahi, performed the wreath-laying at the ceremony.

As part of the occasion, 36 pigeons representing the 36 states of the federation were released to symbolise the peace our fallen heroes laid down their lives for.

Imo State 

In Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their resilience and patriotism in protecting the territorial integrity of the country even in the face of daunting insecurity challenges.

The governor disclosed this at the Heroes Square in Owerri the Imo state capital the venue for this year’s armed forces day celebration.

Governor Uzodinma promised that his government will continue to support the military as well as families of retired and late military officers who fought for unity and peace in the country.

Below are some of the pictures from the Armed Forces Remembrance Day:

 

SERAP Asks Buhari, Governors To Disclose Security Votes For 2021

SERAP Asks Buhari To Probe Bribery Allegation Against Ganduje

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to disclose the security votes for their states in 2021.

SERAP in a statement issued on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, called for measures to be put in place to prevent the misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes.

“Disclose details of proposed ‘security votes’ spending in your 2021 appropriation bills to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians, and to explain the measures your governments are putting in place to prevent the misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes,” the statement partly read.

“In the wake of the abduction of over 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, and ongoing security challenges in several parts of the country, the time has come to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds meant to secure people’s lives and property.”

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Village Head In Niger One Week After Abduction

The group noted that while the authorities may keep certain matters of operational secrets from the people in the name of national security, there is no constitutional or legal basis to hide basic information on public spending from the people.

According to Oluwadare, Nigerian leaders should be honest to the citizens amid the numerous security challenges in the country.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

Insecurity: Disclose security votes spending for 2021, SERAP tells Buhari, 36 governors

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent Freedom of Information requests to President Muhammadu Buhari and 36 state governors urging them to “disclose details of proposed ‘security votes’ spending in your 2021 appropriation bills to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians, and to explain the measures your governments are putting in place to prevent the misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes.”

SERAP said: “In the wake of the abduction of over 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, and ongoing security challenges in several parts of the country, the time has come to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds meant to secure people’s lives and property.”

In the FoI requests dated 26 December, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Disclosing details of spending as security votes for 2021 would serve to engage the Nigerian people in an honest conversation about the security challenges confronting the country, and what the federal and state governments are doing to respond to them. This is a legitimate public interest matter.”

SERAP also said: “While SERAP understands that authorities may keep certain matters of operational secrets from the people in the name of national security, there is no constitutional or legal basis to hide basic information on public spending from the people.”

SERAP expressed “concerns that the intense secrecy and lack of meaningful oversight of the government’s spending of security votes have for many years contributed to mismanagement and large-scale corruption in the sector, as well as limited the ability of the people to hold high-ranking public officials to account for their constitutional responsibility to ensure the security and welfare of the people.”

According to SERAP: “Your government’s responsibility to guarantee and ensure the security and welfare of the Nigerian people is closely interlinked with your responsibility under Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of office. This imposes a fundamental obligation to promote transparency and accountability in security votes spending, and to remove opportunities for corruption.”

The FoI requests, read in part: “Nigerians have the right to know what the government is doing in their name. The framers of the Nigerian Constitution never contemplated opaque spending of public funds as security votes. Transparency and accountability would ensure that the policies and action that the government will pursue to guarantee the security of Nigerians are truly relevant and effective in keeping them safe.”

“We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal action under the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to compel you to comply with our request.”

“Successive governments have failed to effectively discharge their primary and constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. This is patently contrary to Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution, which provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’”

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution, the country’s international human rights obligations including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Nigeria has ratified both human rights treaties.”

“By the combined reading of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act 2011, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, applicable throughout Nigeria, there are transparency obligations imposed on your government to disclose information to the public concerning your proposed security votes spending for 2021.”

“The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the human rights treaties rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.”

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

27/12/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Insecurity: Buhari Meets Governors, Says More Equipment Are Being Procured

President Muhammadu Buhari meets with members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on December 8, 2020.

 

The Nigerian government is procuring more equipment in its bid to overcome the security challenges in various parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

President Buhari disclosed this to members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at a security meeting held on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

His special adviser on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, gave an update on what was discussed at the meeting during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

READ ALSO: Senate Proposes State-Of-The-Art Weapons, Equipment, Others To Defeat Insurgents

“The promise the President made was that in terms of equipping, more equipment were being procured – some had come and there was the need to train our forces to use them and more will come,” he said.

President Buhari also appealed to the governors to work with the traditional and local authorities in their various territories to tackle the security challenges across the country.

He stressed the need for a smooth relationship between the state authorities and the grassroots leaders to boost intelligence gathering.

 

Preventing Sabotage

The President, who stated that intelligence gathering was key to the nation’s security, stressed that people must be discouraged from sabotaging the efforts of the security forces.

“He (Buhari) also encouraged the governors to work in close contact with the traditional authorities and the local community because intelligence is a big part of the thing and he encouraged them that they should work together with the traditional authorities and the local communities so that those who sabotage efforts of the military, particularly through giving information to the other side, can be encouraged to give adequate information to the military so that the security situation can be tackled,” Adesina said during the political show.

 

Asked if the issue of engaging mercenaries and recruiting young Nigerians from the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) into the Nigerian Army came up at the meeting, the presidential aide responded, “No, not specifically; that did not come up.”

He added, “But I know one governor from the North East mentioned it in person, but it was not something the meeting dwelt on.”

The governors, led by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, met with President Buhari a week after the forum held a virtual meeting.

They had resolved to meet with the President over the killing of over 40 farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents, and the disturbing security situation of the nation.

Members of the Senate, who were also worried about the Borno massacre, had asked the President to replace the service chiefs with new ones with fresh ideas.

They also recommended among others, the provision of state-of-the-art equipment for the military and recruitment of over 10,000 youths from the Civilian JTF into the army to defeat the insurgents in the North East.

Governors To Meet Buhari Over Security Challenges, Back Police Reform

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have agreed to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari as soon as possible to address the security challenges in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached at a meeting held on Wednesday, which deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly on the issue of national security and the recent killings of over 43 rice farmers in Borno State.

They decried that the police and other internal security operatives have not been functioning to full capacity since the #EndSARS protests in parts of the country, noting the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the people.

As a result, the governors agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and others fully back to work.

The governors also resolved to support the necessary reforms that would result in a police force that works for all.

On the aftermath of the protests, they noted that the judicial commissions of inquiry instituted in all 36 states to probe petitions of brutality by law enforcement agents were in progress.

Away from security matters, the governors maintained their position that stamp duties belong primarily to states and the various collection platforms were channels of payment to the states while aligning with the guidance provided by their lawyers and experts.

A file photo of policemen.

 

The governors resolved to direct the Attorney-Generals across all states to review the Water Resources Bill and send their input to the NGF Secretariat as quickly as possible.

They also called on the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to speed up the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions to allow schools to reopen.

Read the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 22ND NGF MEETING (HYBRID) OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 2ND DECEMBER 2020

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held on 2nd December 2020, deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly on the issue of national security and the recent killings of over forty-three (43) rice farmers in Borno State.

The NGF Chairman provided updates on the following:

A delegation of members of the Forum paid a commiseration visit to the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, in Maiduguri on 1st December 2020, over the killing of over forty (40) rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday, November 28, 2020, by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

On the aftermath of the EndSARS protests, the judicial commissions of inquiry instituted by Governors across the thirty-six (36) States of the federation to probe petitions of brutality by law enforcement agents were in progress.

Following Mr. President’s approval of the request of Governors for change in the financing model of the Universal Basic Education from the current counterpart funding requirement to a Program-for-Result performance-driven model, the NGF Secretariat was following up with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to complete work on drafting the Executive Order to guide Mr. President’s directive.

There were further updates on Stamp Duty Collections and the controversial Water Resources Bill. On the former, the position of the law is that stamp duty belongs primarily to the States and the various platforms were collection channels for payment to the States.

The Forum is currently reviewing options open to the States. On the latter, the Secretariat is tracking feedback from States on the Water Resources Bill in order to coordinate the Forum’s response to the Ministry.

The Forum is currently intervening in resolving the lingering ASUU strike and has secured certain concessions from the Federal Government with the hope that the strike action will be called off shortly.

Finally, on the delayed release of Saving One Million Lives (SOML) funding, the Chairman acknowledged concerns from members and explained that the delay was due to observations made by the World Bank on the technical quality of the SMART Survey which makes it difficult to use the result for fund disbursement.

Also, the total amount won by the States was more than the funds remaining in the funding envelope. He proposed the option of using a prorated approach to disburse the fund and urged the Honourable Minister of Health to convene a meeting of the SOML Steering Committee to resolve the issue.

The Forum also received the following presentations:

Governor Nasir El Rufai, Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Adhoc Committee on Leveraging Portion of Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in NSIA, briefed the Forum on a proposed National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) under the auspices of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) such that a total sum of N2 Trillion Naira at 9% interest can be accessed through the NSIA. The NGF Chairman noted that the CBN Governor had a similar proposal to access N15 Trillion Naira for national infrastructure funding through INFRACREDIT at a lower interest rate of 5%.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid19 Dr Sani Aliyu addressed the Forum on the increasing cases of severe illness among Covid19 patients in the country, especially in Abuja. Dr Aliyu made a plea to Governors to remain very vigilant and keep their treatment Centers open.

He expressed concerns of the PTF on the low testing rates in most of the States and communicated PTF plans to launch a “COVID19 Testing Week” in which 450 tests would be conducted in each of the 774 LGAs over a 2-week period.

He solicited for the cooperation of the Governors especially for the funding of the exercise, which is expected to be funded from the COVID19 fund disbursed to the States by the Federal Government.

On COVID-19 vaccines, the Forum was informed that about 44 million Nigerians would immediately qualify for the vaccines, which includes medical personnel and the most vulnerable group among which are those over 50 years of age.

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU), National Programme Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Okon and the World Bank Task Team Leader, Yue Man Lee, both provided updates to the Forum on the progress recorded by States on the programme.

They highlighted as noteworthy the improved performance of States in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) for which 32 States are eligible for disbursement before the end of 2020, compared to 2018 APA where only 24 States met the Eligibility Criteria of publishing their approved budget and audited financial statement online.

Already, 36 States are on track to meet the 2020 SFTAS Eligibility Criteria (EC) having published online IPSAS-compliant 2019 audited financial statements by 31st August 2020.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Asue Ighodalo as well as the Chief Executive Officer, Laoye Jaiyeola, briefed members on the resolutions of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja from November 23-24, 2020; and that the outcomes and recommendations will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in a detailed report, for consideration, adoption, and implementation.

Thereafter, members of the Forum resolved to:

Meet with Mr. President as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country particularly in the light of the carnage in Borno State;

Support the necessary reforms that will result in a police force that works for all. As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and other internal security operatives fully back to work as they have not been functioning to full capacity since the EndSARS protests with the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the ordinary citizens;

Maintain its stance that stamp duties belong primarily to States and the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the States; while aligning with the guidance provided by its lawyers and experts.

Direct State Attorney Generals to review the Water Resources Bill and send their input to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat as quickly as possible;

Endorse the two proposals that canvassed for infrastructure development by both the Governor Nasir el Rufai Committee and the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, noting that both were not mutually exclusive and could be adopted simultaneously with one streaming into the other;

Agree to keep active and operational the State COVID -19 Task Force Teams and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in addition to ensuring the prompt release of funds as outlined in the state Incidence Action Plans (IAP), keeping temporary treatment centers open, ramping up COVID-19 testing across the country, and support the planned “COVID-19 Testing Week’ to be launched by the PTF;

Commit to achieving the second Eligibility Criteria (EC) requirement of publishing online their approved FY21 Annual State Budget, prepared under the National Chart of Accounts, by 31st January 2021. Governors also restated their commitment to implement reforms associated with the programme including the deployment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to support effective land administration and an efficient property tax system;

Inaugurate the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee, whose technical committee is to commence the implementation of the strategic plan; which includes but not limited to the national mapping of subnational endowments; global mapping of sub-national entities for global competitiveness, and development of competitiveness toolkits;

Finally, encourage the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to hasten the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions so as to allow schools to reopen immediately.

Governor John Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

Insurgency: North East Governors Back Call To Engage Mercenaries

Members of the North East Governors Forum pay a condolence visit to Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on December 1, 2020.

 

The North East governors have backed the call on the Federal Government to engage mercenaries in the fight against insurgents in the region.

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, stated this on Tuesday on behalf of his colleagues during a visit to Borno State to condole with the government and the people over the recent killing of farmers in the state.

According to him, the governors are in support of the recommendations made by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on how to win the war against Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents terrorising the region.

“Our dear brother, we are here to condole you over the killing of farmers by Boko Haram insurgents; we are indeed saddened and traumatised,” Governor Ishaku said.

He added, “I will key into your request, which you said that the Federal Government should invite some mercenaries to come and help us out of this problem because what you cannot do, what you cannot solve, I think we should invite who can solve it for us.”

READ ALSO: Senate Calls For Removal Of Service Chiefs Following Insurgent Attack On Farmers

The visit was in the wake of Boko Haram’s beheading of 43 farmers from Zabarmari community who were attacked on Saturday last week at Koshobe, a village in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno.

Apart from engaging mercenaries, Governor Zulum proposed the immediate recruitment of youths into the military to boost its strength, as well as the provision of mine resistance armoured personnel carriers and other equipment for the military, police, and other security agencies involved in the insurgency fight.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum with counterparts from Taraba and Gombe States, Darius Ishaku and Inuwa Yahaya, at the Government House in Maiduguri on December 1, 2020.

 

During Tuesday’s visit, Governor Ishaku said, “We cannot continuously be mourning, there has to be a time to stop the mourning.

“All of us in the North East Governors Forum, we are pleading with the Federal Government to find a solution to the issue of Boko Haram.”

The Taraba governor also appealed to the Federal Government to look into the infrastructural deficit in the region and give it the needed attention.

According to him, it is embarrassing that the North East has an allocation of 0.35 per cent in the nation’s budget despite the problems of insurgency and others in the region.

“This is very unfair; I will once again call on the Federal Government that the issue of Mambila hydropower project should be looked at as matter of urgency.

“Without this power, we will not indeed have any meaningful development,” Governor Ishaku Stated.

Governor Zulum, in his response, extended his appreciation to the delegation for the visit.

Other governors on the visit included Ahmadu Fitiri of Adamawa, Bala Mohammed from Bauchi, and Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State.

Insecurity: Governors Are Frustrated, Almost Helpless, Says El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is unhappy with the security challenges in the country and dissatisfied with the roles of the state governors, as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution.

Governor El-Rufai, who is in Dubai, suggested the way to go to ensure the nation surmounts its various security challenges such as insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping among others during an interview with Channels Television on Monday.

He stressed that the recent #EndSARS protest by youths against police brutality in parts of the country has exposed the inability of the governors despite being called the Chief Security Officers of their states.

“We are all frustrated. I am frustrated in my state, many governors are frustrated in their states; we are called chief security officers only in name, we have no control over cohesive instruments of the state,” the governor said on Politics Today.

He added, “We are almost helpless. The #EndSARS protest clearly showed the limit to the control of governors over the police and the military.

“Some of us have more influence than others, but to a large extent, you ask the commissioner of police to do something and he has to clear with the Inspector-General of Police; this is the reality.

“We are not in control of the police, I don’t determine who gets posted to my state as CP and if I give him directives, he can decide to flout the directives. So, we are all frustrated.”

 

Amend The Constitution

Governor El-Rufai believes decentralising the police force will go a long way in addressing the security problems bedevilling the nation.

According to him, Nigeria is the only country in the world that is a federation that has only one police force.

The governor stated that the governors had engaged in arguments that states should be allowed to have their own police, while local governments should be allowed to have community police.

He noted that most state governments were responsible for the running cost of the police such as vehicles, fuel, communication, while the Federal Government was only responsible for the payment of the salaries of policemen.

Governor El-Rufal, therefore, stressed the need to recruit more personnel into the police force and ensure they were rightly deployed into designated areas of duty.

“The number of policemen we have in Nigeria is inadequate, it is less than half of what we need and a large percentage of them are engaged in non-police duties like carrying handbags of the wives of important people.

“We need to have a greater footprint of police in Nigeria and the only way to achieve that in a fast track manner is to amend the Constitution and put policing on the concurrent list, as recommended by the APC True Federalism Committee so that we have more policemen.”

South-South Leaders Demand Restructuring Of Nigeria, True Federalism

South-South leaders and a delegation from the presidency attend a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on November 24, 2020.

 

Governors and people of the South-South geopolitical zone have demanded the restructuring of Nigeria, in line with the principle of true federalism to guarantee peace, security, and stability of the nation.

The South-South leaders believe the country is not at peace with itself and not working as it should, particularly for the people of the region.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who is the Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, stated this on Tuesday as the position of the zone during the regional stakeholders meeting with a presidential delegation.

This followed an initial meeting which failed to hold as a result of an emergency National Security meeting.

The delegation, led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, met with the governors and other leaders of the region at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

READ ALSO: PIB, Electoral Act Amendment Bill Scale Second Reading In House

Governor Okowa informed the delegation that the people of the South-South were committed to the restructuring of the country in a way that would guarantee true federalism and devolution of powers to the states to create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.

He called for true federalism guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing, and control of resources by each state of the Federation as it was the case in the first republic.

 

Environmental Degradation

According to the governor, the kind of federation the South-South desires is one where federating units are constitutionally empowered to create their own structures like local government areas, manage their elections, and control their judiciary.

“We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country; as such, it is imperative to stress that with a little bit of efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the Federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse.

“This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country,” he said.

Some traditional rulers attend a meeting held at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on November 24, 2020.

 

Governor Okowa added, “What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-South region of the country especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters.

“As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country”.

On behalf of the region, he reiterated the call for the relocation of the headquarters of major oil companies from Lagos and Abuja to the South-South.

 

Privatise Them Now

The governor also requested the immediate implementation of the consent judgment entered in the Supreme Court Suit No: SC/964/2016 to enable the South-South region get its share of the $55billion shortfall of collection on deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts.

He called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, in order to enhance the economic development of the region.

In addition, Governor Okowa demanded that the two refineries in Port Harcourt and one in Warri should be privatised.

“Enough is enough. Let us now privatise them and in doing so, however, allow the states and the region among others, considerable equity in the name of fairness and justice,” he said.

The governor observed that one of the major failures of the intervention agency – Niger Delta Development Commission (NCDC) – was its refusal to forge and foster synergy, consultation, and cooperation with the state governments, especially on project location, development, and execution.

He stated, “We have resolved and we, as the state governments, will no longer allow NDDC to execute any project(s) in any state of the region without it consulting state governments.

“Frankly, enough is enough and we have a court judgment to back our position.”

In his remark, Professor Gambari explained that the stakeholders meeting was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, to the delegation comprising all the ministers from the region to visit and consult with representatives of the people regarding the recent #EndSARS protest.

He noted that reports indicated that there were instances where the breakdown of law and order was recorded in various locations in the South-South states.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, speaks at a meeting held at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on November 24, 2020.

 

Decades Of Mishandling

The presidential aide lauded the governors for their quick response and actions in addressing the crisis in the region.

Beyond the issue of #EndSARS, he said the President acknowledged that the people in the region have been dealing with other concerns that were particular to them, such as the degradation of the environment due to decades of mishandling and adherence to environmental standards.

Professor Gambari promised to convey the demands of the governors and leaders of the region to the President.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, on his part, urged the leaders of the region to avail themselves of the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly, since most of the issues raised were constitutional matters.

Present at the meeting were Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Governor Ben Ayade (Cross River), Governor Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Governor Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Ministers present included Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta), Timipre Sylva (State for Petroleum), Goddy Agba (State for Power), Festus Keyamo (State for Labour and Employment), Osagie Ehanire (Health), and Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture).

While the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was absent, the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha, among others were present.

Like Lagos, Kwara Govt To Scrap Pension For Ex-Governors, Deputies

A file photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, on Friday announced plans by the state government to abolish the payment of pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors in the state.

The announcement comes three days after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State informed lawmakers in the State House of Assembly about his administration’s effort to stop the pension of former governors and deputies in the south-western state.

In a statement issued in Ilorin, Governor Abdulrazaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, confirmed that the governor would send a bill to the State House of Assembly next week, requesting the lawmakers to immediately repeal the law awarding pension packages to former governors and deputies in Kwara.

He explained that the governor’s decision was in line with his campaign mantra and proof that he recognised himself as a product of democracy.

READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu Plans To Scrap Pension For Ex-Lagos Governors, Deputies

“The governor has listened to voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governors and deputy governors.

“As representatives of the people, the lawmakers would exercise their discretion to call a public hearing on the topic to further harvest wider opinions on the topic,” Ajakaye said.

He added, “However, the governor feels it is time for the law as it is to give way. He would rather the state commits the scarce public funds to tackling the question of poverty and youth unemployment.”

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaks during a budget presentation ceremony held at the legislative chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly on November 10, 2020.

 

On Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu told the Lagos lawmakers that the government would send a draft executive bill to the House for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), but no specific date was given.

The law provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies.

The Lagos governor had explained that the move was part of innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.

He added that the decision became necessary amid the dwindling revenues and the appurtenant inflationary growth rates in the state.

South-East Leaders To Implement Demands Of MASSOB, Youths In Region

Some governors and ministers from the South-East at the Government House in Enugu State on October 30, 2020.

 

South-east governors and other leaders in the region have agreed to implement the 10-point demands of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and youth organisations to foster lasting peace and development of the region.

The decision was taken at a meeting between various leaders and youth groups which held on Friday at the Government House in Enugu State.

Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, addressed reporters at the end of the meeting.

“Today, we interacted with a number of youth organisations in the South East. The communique of MASSOB in our meeting with them is quite informing and I am happy that our leaders at the federal level are here,” he said.

The governor added, “The ones our federal leaders will address immediately, they will and the ones the governors will address, we will immediately.

“And I am sure sometimes in December, working with all the committees we are going to set up to work on these demands, Mr President-General (of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo) will be able to lead select youths and some leaders to meet with Mr President.”

Political leaders from the South-East attend a meeting at the Government House in Enugu State on October 30, 2020.

 

According to Governor Umahi, all the issues raised in the communique of MASSOB are valid and important to ensure lasting peace in the South East and the nation in general.

Some of the demands presented to the meeting by the MASSOB leader, Uche Madu, included the emergence of a president in 2023 from the region, disarming of killer herdsmen, and creation of a new state in the South East.

They also asked the leaders to set up a youth rehabilitation and empowerment fund to address unemployment in the region and take up the alleged imbalance in the federal civil service, among other demands.

Those present at the meeting included ministers and members of the National Assembly from the South East, as well as religious and traditional leaders in the region.

Youths from the South-East attend a meeting at the Government House in Enugu State on October 30, 2020.

What Buhari, Governors, Others Discussed At Security Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari with the service chiefs at the State House in Abuja on August 11, 2020. Inset: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some governors.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Security Council and others over the security challenges in the country.

The meeting ended with calls for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.

It also agreed that field commanders should take measures to protect civilian communities, as a confidence-building mechanism between the military and those communities.

According to a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, it is hoped that when the trust that has been lost between both parties is re-established, there will be improved cooperation in intelligence-gathering and sharing.

The meeting also agreed that poverty and youth unemployment are at the root of the security challenges in the country, and need to be addressed with greater vigour by all tiers of government.

It also focused on Nigeria’s security policies and approaches in tackling the internal security challenges with a charge that intelligence-gathering and sharing must be optimised for the nation to secure itself.

Security, Intelligence Chiefs Queried

President Buhari presided over the three-hour meeting attended by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the heads of defence, security, and intelligence agencies.

President Muhammadu Buhari with the service chiefs at the meeting on August 11, 2020.

 

Members of the Security Committee of the NGF, represented by a governor from each of the six geo-political zones, joined the meeting virtually.

In his remarks, the President used the opportunity to dismiss the assumptions that the terrorists in the North East had far more weapons and money than the government.

He stressed that what was left of them were “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.”

President Buhari was also worried that in spite of the fact that borders with neighbouring countries had been shut, bandits and terrorists continued to have access to small weapons.

“These terrorists are in the localities. How is it that they are not short of small arms?” he was quoted as querying the security and intelligence chiefs.

The President stated, “We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there are better synergy and cooperation which are very important.

“I have directed the service chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings. The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved.”

He also informed the governors of the imminent shipment of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China, and the United States.

Bailout For Security

President Buhari, however, called for patience on the part of the people, saying it was important that trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training man the new weapons and aircraft.

He commended the level of support from neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism in the troubled North East.

Some governors at the meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs on August 11, 2020.

 

“They are cooperating with us. On Boko Haram, we are making progress with Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon,” he said while restating that intelligence-gathering must improve to be able to track small arms in the Northwest, North Central and Northeast States.

The President was also satisfied with the level of naval activity in the Gulf of Guinea, using newly-acquired equipment.

But he demanded that hard-to-reach areas of Lake Chad, where Boko Haram terrorists have found new havens, as well as the forests now inhabited by bandits, must be accessed and rid of nefarious elements.

“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security.

“We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation in view of the climate situation,” President Buhari said.

In their submissions anchored by the NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, the governors highlighted the problems of poverty, unemployment, trust deficit between the military and civilian populations, and the inflow of small arms into the country.

They also noted the problem of coordination among military and security chiefs and played up their own security roles which included the $1 billion they allowed the President to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account for weapons procurement two years ago.

The governors, therefore, urged the President to consider a “bailout” for security for the states in view of the enormity of the resources they now expend in support of the military and the police.

COVID-19: Governors Meet Over Reopening Of Economy, Other Issues

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) met on Wednesday to discuss issues affecting the country, including the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Nigerians and the economy.

At the meeting which held virtually and was presided by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors resolved to approve the work of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, to consolidate measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the chairman of the committee, had briefed the Forum on steps taken to provide a coordinated strategy between the Federal and state governments to ease the lockdown and open the economy.

His counterpart in Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, also provided an update on the implementation of the final report of the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 “Containing the Outbreak and Responding to the Adverse Economic Effects,” which was presented to the Vice President and Chairman of the Committee, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in March.

Governor El-Rufai, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee on COVID-19, informed his colleagues that the recommendations of the report have been integrated into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

He also outlined the cross-cutting imperatives for a post-COVID economic recovery, including a unique identity system for Nigeria, broadband connectivity, and investment in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical generics.

Others are research and development, as well as institutional reforms for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) along the lines of PENCOM.

 

In their resolution, the governors endorsed the work of the sub-committee and resolved to engage with the Vice President to facilitate states’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

They also called for the revitalisation of the Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s housing programme, as well as the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

Concerned about the rate of the community spread of COVID-19 cases with mild or no symptoms, the NGF urged the state governments to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus.

Read the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 12th COVID-19 TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 8th JULY 2020

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday, 8th July 2020 deliberated on issues affecting the country including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NGF Chairman provided an update on:

The World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) programme which is a US$100 million COVID-19 support from the federal government to fund health mitigation measures across states.

The Fund comes at a critical time as the impact of COVID-19 prolongs and when State governments prepare for the reopening of the economy, and it will support broader mitigation measures required to ensure seamless easing of the lockdown across States.

The COVID19 pandemic and the new strategy being rolled out by the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) to address the spread of the pandemic.

LGAs with a high burden of diseases (hotspot) have been identified and targeted with interventions such as increased testing, and promotion of non-pharmaceutical intervention including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, mandatory masking in public, and partial or total lockdown restricting movement.

The PTF will reach out and work with the Governors of the respective States to implement the strategy.

Other matters of concern including deductions from the federation account to fund the North East Development Commission (NEDC); stamp duty collection; ownership of the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG); as well as the contentious Executive Order 10.

The Forum also received updates and presentations from:

The Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to provide a coordinated strategy between the Federal and State governments to ease the lockdown and open the economy.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee on COVID-19 who provided an update on the implementation of the Final Report of the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 “Containing the Outbreak and Responding to the Adverse Economic Effects” which was presented to the Vice President and Chairman of the Committee, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in March 2020.

The Governor noted that the recommendations of the report have been integrated into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

He also highlighted cross-cutting imperatives for a post-COVID economic recovery, including a unique identity system for Nigeria; broadband connectivity; investment in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical generics; research and development; as well as institutional reforms for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) along the lines of PENCOM.

Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) who made a presentation on FERMA’s Road Maintenance Programme and Challenges.

Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria and Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) presented findings of the second Corruption Survey in Nigeria, which showed that the incidence of bribery has decreased since 2016 when the survey was first conducted, from 32.3% to 30.2%.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva also addressed the Forum on the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) which is designed as a catalyst to adding value to the vast natural gas reserves in Nigeria.

The plan will also spur revitalisation across gas-based industries in fertilizer, methanol, textiles, and feedstock for industries.

Thereafter, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum resolved as follows to:

Endorse the work of Governor Okowa’s Committee to consolidate measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Endorse the work of the El-Rufai Committee and resolved to engage with the Vice President and Chairman of the National Economic Council, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate States’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

Members also advocated for the need to revitalise Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s ambitious housing programme, and the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and FERMA to ensure the implementation of the 5% user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria.

Although the second corruption survey focused on federal government agencies, members resolved to collaborate with UNODC to strengthen public complaints mechanisms across State MDAs given that state institutions, businesses, and households are affected by bribe seeking among public sector officials.

Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme through a state-wide adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); easing gas pipeline right of way applications; and encouraging the micro stove assembly for small businesses, including facilitating training for gas operators.

Finally, given the rise in the community spread of coronavirus cases with mild or no symptoms, State governments are encouraged to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus especially amongst those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

8th July 2020

Governors To Interface With Health Ministries Over Doctors’ Demands

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to interface with the Federal and State Ministries of Health to address the concerns of resident doctors in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions of the governors at the 11th NGF COVID-19 teleconference held on Wednesday.

In a bid to review the concerns of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the governors promised to ensure that backlog of salaries was settled where such exist, and reintegrate residency training in state hospitals where they have been suspended.

They also resolved to ensure the ministries provide protective equipment and ensure sustainable pathways to uphold the welfare of doctors in an effective and efficient manner.

During the meeting, NARD President, Dr Sokomba Aliyu, had conveyed the concerns of resident doctors to the governors.

He decried the non-implementation of residency training in most states of the federation, non-payment of salaries, and the use of inappropriate salary structures in some states.

Dr Aliyu informed the meeting that a state had cut the salaries of civil servants by 25 per cent across the board, noting that the resident doctors were also affected.

According to him, there was no basis for slashing the salaries of his members who instead of staying at home are encountering even added challenges at work.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, presented a newly developed three-year Health Sector COVID-19 Response Action Plan to the governors.

He explained that the plan was aimed at repositioning the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over a medium-term outlook.

Dr Ehanire gave an assurance that about a million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were available for healthcare workers in the various facilities across the country.

Supported by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo, and the Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, the minister provided clarifications on observations raised by the states on the new guidelines on the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

Among other resolutions, the governors commended the efforts of those involved in the process of ensuring Nigeria attains its latest status on wild polio.

Read the communique issued at the end of the teleconference below:

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 11th COVID-19 TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 24th JUNE 2020

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday, June 24, 2020 deliberated on a set of issues affecting the country, especially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, not just on the citizenry but on the economy as well.

The NGF Chairman provided an update on:

The Forum’s conscious intervention in ending the strike action of the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), who had commenced a nationwide strike on Monday 15th June 2020 over unpaid salaries, improved hazard allowances, the unavailability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and those of their colleagues working in high-risk areas, non-domestication and non-implementation of Medical Residency Training Act.

The harmonisation of Right of Way (RoW) charges across States and bilateral discussions with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, geared towards promoting investments in broadband infrastructure in the country.

The Forum received further updates and presentations from:

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Chairman of the NGF State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Sub-Committee interfacing with the World Bank to facilitate the provision of Additional Financing for States to support governments’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The World Bank Task Team Leader for the SFTAS program, Yue Man Lee who provided an update on the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment and preparatory arrangements for the US$750 Additional Financing.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who presented a newly developed 3-year Health Sector COVID-19 Response Action Plan which is aimed at repositioning the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over a medium-term outlook. The Minister also assured State governments of the availability of about a million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the various facilities throughout the country.

The Honourable Minister of Health, supported by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo and the Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Faisal Shuaib also provided clarifications on observations raised by the states on the new guidelines on the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and the need to fast track its release in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, when increased health response is required and when State governments are experiencing financial strains that threaten their ability to meet counterpart obligations.

The President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Sokomba Aliyu also made a presentation conveying the concerns of resident doctors including, among others, the non-implementation of residency training in most States of the federation, non-payment of salaries and the use of inappropriate salary structures in some States. Dr. Sokomba Aliyu also told Governors about a particular state where a 25% salary cut across board also affected resident doctors most of whom continued to work, arguing that there was no basis for slashing the salaries of his members who instead of staying at home are encountering even added challenges at work.

Thereafter, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Resolved as follows, to:

Congratulate State governments since the creation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum for their contribution to the delisting of Nigeria from the global polio map as Nigeria on June 18, 2020 attained the status of being Wild Polio-Virus-Free. The Forum commended the commitment of all stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Health, the Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their strong domestic and global financing support which was instrumental to strengthening the country’s capacity for surveillance and routine immunization. The achievement is a great milestone for the public health history of the country.

Engage with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to take on the new SFTAS Additional Financing as grants to States following the momentum on fiscal accountability and sustainability generated by the current SFTAS programme and the need for sustained funding for State governments in the wake of the fiscal pressure that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommend that the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies engage with the National Assembly Health Committee and State Commissioners of Health to harmonize a workable strategy that will facilitate the speedy release of the BHCPF to fund primary health care activities at the subnational level.

Review the concerns of the Resident doctors and interface with the Federal and State Ministries of health to address the concerns of resident doctors in the country, by settling backlog of salaries where such exist, reintegrating residency training in State Hospitals where they have been suspended, providing protective equipment and ensuring sustainable pathways to uphold the welfare of doctors in an effective and efficient manner.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

24th June 2020