COVID-19: Cross River Dismisses Bauchi Governor’s Claim, Insists State Is Virus-Free

The Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, debunks claim by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed on the COVID-19 cases in the state.


The Cross River State Government has debunked claims from the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Speaking to Channels Television on Friday, the Commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu, insisted that Cross River State is free from the coronavirus disease.

Edu noted that contrary to Governor Mohammed’s claim that 15 of the 69 confirmed cases in Bauchi were returnees from Cross River, it is impossible for the people to travel out of the state following the closure of its borders.

“I will only be wondering what 15 people will pack themselves from Calabar and travel to Bauchi for, a convention or what exactly will they be going to Bauchi for?

“However, we want to say that we understand the pressure on him. Of course, we understand what he is going through. It is not easy to have the highest number of confirmed cases in the whole northeast of Nigeria.

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“It is not easy to be able to cope with a population that is probably not following preventive measures that have been laid out just as he (Governor Mohammed) said in his interview.

“We understand the pressure; we understand where he is coming from. We want to say that Cross River at this point will stand by him,” she said.

The Commissioner explained that Governor Ben Ayade’s administration will not want to join issues with anyone, stressing that Cross River is determined to supplying free face masks to Bauchi to curbing the virus.

Edu’s reaction comes two days after the Bauchi Governor cast aspersions on Cross River state’s COVID-19-free status.

Governor Mohammed said 15 COVID-19 cases in Bauchi were people travelling from Calabar.

Centenary City: House Seeks Prosecution Of Anyim, Bala Mohammed

Centenary City Project: House Seeks Prosecution Of Pius Anyim, Bala MohammedThe House of Representatives has called for the prosecution of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Anyim, for his role in the Centenary City Project.

The lawmakers also sought for the prosecution of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed.

The call was one of the recommendations adopted by the House on Thursday, after considering the report of its Committee which investigated the matter.

The lawmakers also approved the recommendation that the Code of Conduct Bureau, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should investigate the roles played by both former public officers in the project.

FG To Compensate Bauchi Market Blast Victims

bauchi blastThe Federal Government has promised to compensate victims of the Bauchi central market explosions.

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, announced the plan when he visited victims of the blast in some hospitals in Bauchi State.

The FCT Minister led a presidential delegation that included the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mohammed Sidi, on a visit to injured victims of the explosion.

According to the delegation, the visit was to show the Federal Government’s solidarity with the victims and provide the much needed succour.

The Minister, who made a donation of 20million naira for the victims, also announced the rebuilding of the market so that the traders could return to their normal businesses.

Some of the victims, who spoke to Channels Television, recounted their experiences and urged the Federal Government to make good its promise as they have been paying their medical bills from their pockets.

The explosion which rocked the Bauchi central market on December 22, 2014, claimed several lives and injured many others.

Insecurity: Abuja Hotels To Submit List Of Guests To Security Agencies Daily

bala_1The Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed has directed all hotels in the Federal Capital Territory to forward the list of their guests to the FCT Directorate of State Security Services (SSS) and the FCT Police Command on a daily basis, a statement by the Special Adviser to the FCT Minister on Media, Nosike Ogbuenyi said.

The statement also noted that “hotels are equally required to install their individual security cameras within their vicinity and ensure thorough check of all vehicles entering the hotel and within their surroundings.

The Minister has also directed all residents and resident associations in various parts of the territory to embark on “Operation Know Your Neighbor” campaign.

“The measure is to ensure that all criminally-minded elements are detected easily within the FCT. The security department of FCTA is to liaise with the various security agencies in the FCT on the modalities for implementing the ministerial directive”, he said.

The Minister also directed “all traditional rulers in the FCT to start conducting periodic meetings with various communities within their domains to take stock of strange faces living with them, as well as report all new comers within 48 hours to the local DPO and SSS office”.

He enjoined all FCT residents to be vigilant and cautious of strange objects or movements of persons, moving and stationery vehicles around them, urging them to report such to the nearest security agencies.

The Minister further directed that all trailer/lorry operators bringing goods to the city shall no longer be allowed to offload their contents at night.

“All offloading shall henceforth be done in the day time under supervision in designated places”, he added, insisting that “owners of uncompleted and abandoned buildings and structures without security guards will be sanctioned by the FCT Administration.

“Similarly, owners plots of land left fallow for a long period of time and not used for any economic or gainful purpose but taken over by criminals would now face appropriate sanctions”, he said.

The Minister reminded residents that the ban on smoking of Indian hemp and other narcotic substances is still in force in the territory adding that the Administration has resolved to clamp down on violators.

President Goodluck Jonathan Unveils Centenary City

jonathan-5-599x300President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, unveiled the Centenary City, which is the last of the activities lined up to mark Nigeria’s 100 years of existence.

President Jonathan said that the Centenary City would be used to attract foreign investors and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria to the International Community.

He commended the confidence displayed by the developers and promised that his administration would do all it could to provide the enabling environment needed to complete the project in ten years.

President Jonathan, whose dream is to build a Nigeria that posterity would cherish, expressed happiness that it had become a reality.

For him, the outcome would be a representative of Nigeria’s unity and strength such that would galvanise investors from across the world.

The FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, described the vision as evidence of good leadership and inspiration from the President, while Secretary to the Government of the Federation,  Anyim Pius Anyim, said that this was the legacy the President wants to bequeath to posterity.

An inspection of the architectural design  showed that there would be residential houses comprising of 260 luxury villas and 256 apartment buildings, 5 star hotels and residences, including the Abuja commercial center with 139 office buildings.

The ground breaking and unveiling ceremony attracted captains of industries from Nigeria and overseas,Government officials including State Governors, members of the Federal Executive Council, friends and well-wishers of Nigeria and members of the diplomatic corp.






National Assembly To Be Shut For Next 12 Months

The National Assembly will be holding plenary in committee rooms for 12 months while the  chambers is closed due to renovations for the period in view.

This was made known to journalists by the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, who was giving a brief after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

HE revealed that the FEC has approved the sum of N40.2 billion for the third phase of the National Assembly complex renovation, to create a more comfortable environment for the law makers.

Senator Mohammed, who said that the contract is in the plan of the FCT, added that it will contain a library, budget office, banquet hall and radio facilities.

He said there will also be “a complete rehabilitation of the council chambers which will lead to the closing of the National Assembly chambers for 12 months”.

“During the period, committee rooms will be used for law making” he said.

Also approved is a proposal by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Allison-Madueke, for the establishment of a national laboratory for the testing of petroleum products.

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who briefed state house correspondents, said the test centre, to be located in Owerri, the Imo state capital, is to ensure that products imported in the country meet the best standards.

Maku noted that the federal government rejects a situation where huge sums of money is spent abroad to carry out tests on petroleum products.

Jonathan To Visit Nigerian Contingent In ECOWAS Mission To Guinea-Bissau

President Goodluck Jonathan will embark on a two-day diplomatic shuttle to Guinea-Bissau and Gambia tomorrow, Friday, November 8, 2013, a statement by the presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati said on Thursday.

The statement noted that “President Jonathan will, in continuation of his duties as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau, first fly to the country to meet with leaders of the Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau and visit the Nigerian contingent in the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau at Camp Bras, Bissau”.

It further stated that “The President is also scheduled to participate in a programme at the National Peoples’ Assembly and meet Nigerians resident in Guinea-Bissau before leaving the country on Friday evening for Banjul, Gambia where he will confer with President Yahya Jammeh on bilateral and multilateral issues”.

President Jonathan, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed, will return to Abuja on Saturday.

Sullivan Chime Fails To Show Up At The Villa

Despite the reports that the much awaited Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, has returned to the country and the confirmation by his aides, Mr. Chime failed to show up at the Presidential Villa where he was expected to pay a courtesy call on the Vice President on Thursday.

The Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime

State House correspondents waited for hours in anticipation of the visit which was not to be.

There were speculations that he was to visit the Villa at 10am but the time was shifted to 2pm. While normal activities and meetings in the Villa went on, the Enugu State governor was not seen anywhere near the State House.

The governor, who had been away from the country for over four months was reported to have returned to the country on Thursday.

The Enugu State Commissioner of Information, Chuks Ugwoke, confirmed the governor’s return to Channels TV but declined to reveal his whereabouts.

In a telephone interview with Channels TV, Mr. Ugwoke confirmed that the governor arrived in Abuja, Thursday morning aboard an early morning British Airways flight and went straight to the Enugu State Governor’s Lodge in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

However, a visit by Channels TV crew to the Governor’s lodge, which is situated in the Asokoro district, showed construction work was on-going in the premises and there is no activity to suggest that he is within the premises.

But the Governor’s failure to turn up at the Presidential Vila where he was eagerly awaited did not deter the day’s operations.

In one of the meetings, Vice President Namadi Sambo directed the Presidential Committee on Federal Government Intervention for Infrastructural Development of Peri-Federal Capital Territory (Peri-FCT) communities to fix a time frame for the development of the communities in the contiguous states.

He told the committee that the financial involvement of the federal government, the affected states and the local governments should be clearly stipulated, adding that time for the commencement and completion of the project should also be indicated in the recommendations.

Vice President Sambo noted that the idea of complimentary intervention of the Peri-FCT communities is not to build new towns but to develop the ghettos in the boundary communities to the FCT, urging the committee not to go beyond the communities surrounding the FCT.

In his presentation, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, noted that “a combination of factors particularly those associated with uncontrolled human population influx have created development challenges in the Peri-FCT communities of Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi States resulting in severe infrastructure gaps”.

He said the situation led the contiguous states and the FCT to appeal to the Federal Government for special intervention towards providing some relief for the affected communities.


FG To Deliver 1 Million Houses Yearly

The Federal Government on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to deliver one million houses every year as part of efforts to address the housing deficit being experienced in the nation.

Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple disclosed this at the flag-off ceremony for the development of 1,000 housing units at the Goodluck Jonathan Legacy Estate in Abuja.

Ms. Pepple added that the provision of affordable housing is an important policy intervention of the Federal Government to improve the living standards of Nigerians.

Also speaking at the occasion, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed assured residents of the Federal Capital that the administration will provide adequate land in order to address the housing needs of Nigerians in the nation’s capital.


Minister calls for reduction of UNIABUJA 11,000 hectares landmass

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed has directed that a technical committee be constituted to review the large expanse of land allocated to the University of Abuja.

Speaking in Abuja, the Minister noted that the university occupies a total land mass of over 11,000 hectares which according to him is a waste of resource and should be streamlined for other projects in the nation’s capital.

The Minister therefore emphasized that his administration is committed to ensuring effective distribution of land and provision of infrastructure to enhance development in the city.


FCTA compensates Fulani-Gwari crisis victims with N29 million

The Federal Capital Administration (FCTA) has approved N29 million to compensate and resettle victims of the Fulani-Gwari crisis which killed two people and displaced hundreds in Gwarko village in Gwagwalada area council.

The Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed who gave the approval after he received the report of the implementation committee in Abuja on Wednesday, ordered the police to speedily conclude all investigations to enable early prosecution.

According to him, the problem of grazing lands will soon be a thing of the past as a permanent grazing reserve located at Paikon-Kore has been allocated to resolve grazing land issues in the FCT.

The Minister also directed that payments be completed for compensation of land earlier earmarked for grazing at Paikon-Kore within one month.

Among other recommendations, the chairman of the implementation committee and permanent secretary of the FCT, Mr Anthony Ozodinobi also directed that the displaced persons be resettled before the 25th of January.

The Minister also ordered that all arrested culprits should be thoroughly investigated for early prosecution to serve as deterrent to other erring communities in the FCT.

For over three weeks, the displaced residents of Gwarko community in Gwagwalada area council of the nation’s capital have been sheltered and fed in this camp at the University of Abuja, pending the outcome of investigations into the communal clash which left two people dead.

FCT demolitions: Estate developers talk tough

The President of the Real Estate Developers Association, Mr Olabode Afolayan has said that they would resist further demolition of estates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country.

The demolished 500 units of Minanuel Estate allocated to the Senators

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Mr Afolayan alleged that the Minister of the FCT is insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, adding that the series of demolitions in the FCT and its environs has crippled the economy of developers who had invested in the housing sector.

He said that the association would continually obey the law but insisted that the FCT Administration should obey court processes.

The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed had earlier in the week insisted that all estates-about 31 of them-not approved in the master plan of the nation’s capital will be demolished.