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Atiku not a saint – Obasanjo

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Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said his ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was not a saint but would make a better leader than incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

In an interview with BBC Pidgin, published on Tuesday, the former president further slammed President Buhari, saying he was undeserving of re-election.

Obasanjo had accused Atiku of being corrupt. However, the former president has since gone back on his word and publicly endorsed Atiku’s candidacy.

When asked during the interview why he forgave Atiku, Obasanjo said his former deputy expressed remorse over his past actions and asked for his forgiveness.

Speaking further, he said even though Atiku is not a saint, he would do better as Nigeria’s president than the man who currently steers the nation’s affairs.

He said Buhari’s performance during his first term in office has shown that he cannot be trusted with a second term.

He said, “Atiku is not a messiah, he’s not a saint; and fortunately, he’s not claimed to be. He’s not claimed a fake sanctimoniousness. He came here, acknowledged and showed remorse.

“He acknowledged his past misdeed and showed remorse and all the things I’ve said about him still remains. I said them and nobody has come to controvert them but I am a believer and a Christian as such, and the teaching of God in my own religion is forgive so that you can be forgiven.

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“The choice that we have for the immediate Nigerian situation today is between the candidate of APC and PDP.

“From what I know of Buhari and what he has done and shown – his utter incompetence, nepotism and condonation of evil and misconduct, including corruption, the weakness of the body, mind and totality of Buhari compared with Atiku, I believe Atiku will perform two times better than Buhari.”

Obasanjo also poured scorn on the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration, noting that it’s more about propaganda than actual honest work by anti-graft agencies which he said are being used to hunt down political opponents and critics.”

“You can steal the whole of Nigeria, and if you belong to APC, you’re safe; but you can steal N10, if you criticise Buhari and his government, even when you stole that N10 15 years ago, they’ll come and ask for the N10.

“All these institutions that are meant for the running of good governance, of making Nigeria wholesome, are being abused and misused just to perpetuate Buhari in government. That cannot be the way to go,” he said.

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Nigeria: Undisrupted financial services during COVID-19 lockdown

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It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had issued a directive restricting the movement of people – excluding those on essential service – with effect from 11pm on Monday, March 30, 2020, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States, as a response to the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Subsequently, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained Presidential approval to permit critical financial services to function during this period.

Consequently, relevant security agencies have been requested to grant passage to critical staff of these institutions to enable essential and strategic financial transactions to go undisrupted during the period of the lockdown. These institutions include:

i. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN);

ii. Deposit Money Banks (DMBs);

iii. The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc;

iv. Switching companies,

v. Mobile money operators,

vi. Payment solution service providers.

In view of the ongoing restrictions and in order to check further spread of the corona virus disease, the CBN hereby urges the general public to limit their use of cash and avail themselves of the use of alternative payment channels such as mobile banking, Internet banking, Mobile money, Point of Sale, and USSD. The public is therefore assured that financial institutions will remain operational during this period and therefore should guard against panic withdrawals from their banks.

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We also urge all Nigerians to adhere strictly to the movement restrictions and follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.

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Oyo: My COVID-19 confirmation test result is positive – Makinde reveals

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Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-isolation. 

Governor Makinde disclosed this on Monday through  his verified Twitter handle, adding  that he is asymptomatic.

“I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result,” he tweeted. “It is POSITIVE. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate”, he tweeted.

The governor also directed the former Chief Medical Director of the University College, Ibadan, Prof Temitope Alonge, to be the Head of COVID-19 Task Force as he recovers.

“I have designated Prof Temitope Alonge, former Chief Medical Director of the University College, Ibadan, as the Head of COVID-19 Task Force while I recover fully.”

Governor Makinde further urged the people of Oyo State to comply with instructions from the COVID-19 Task Force.

“Stay home, stay safe,” he urged Oyo residents.

He is the third governor in the country to test positive for coronavirus.

 

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Curfew: Respect journalists as essential service providers, Oyo NUJ cautions security

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Oyo State Council on Monday cautioned security agencies in the state to respect journalists as essential service providers as the dusk to dawn curfew declared by State Government began.

In a release jointly signed its Chairman, Mr Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Mr Sola Oladapo in Ibadan, the Union maintained that journalists are major stakeholders in the efforts to curtail the spread of corona virus(COVID-19).

The NUJ also  called on heads of security agencies in the state to caution their officers from harassing journalists in the discharge of their duties during the period of the curfew.

It  further called on media organisations to provide kits and sanitisers to their crews and ensure only experienced reporters are made to handle critical report at the period.

The NUJ urged members to maintain social distancing at their live interview programmes, while handwashing basins and sanitisers be provided at every important corridor.

The union also called on media managers to allow colleagues work from home except where it was absolutely necessary to come to office or studio.

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