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Ex- international football star, Weah sworn in as Liberian president

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George Weah, an ex- international football idol has been sworn in as president of Liberia, the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the West African country in more than seven decades.

Weah won 61.5 percent of the votes in December’s election run-off, defeating outgoing vice president , Joseph Boakai who garnered 38.5 percent of the ballot.

According to the election commission, voter turnout, as gathered was 55.8 percent, which translates to over 1.2 million people.

The former world footballer of the year succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president. Weah, in 2002 joined active politics after retiring from football and contested for the presidency in 2005 losing to Sirleaf.

It would be recalled that the last peaceful transfer of power between two democratically elected presidents took place in Liberia in 1944, when president Edwin Barclay was replaced by William Tubman.

The swearing-in ceremony which took place at a stadium near the Liberian capital, Monrovia was well attended by several African and foreign dignitaries, including heads of state from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea.

Liberians regard the 51-year-old as a hero for his incredible rags-to-riches tale. He was born in a slum in Monrovia, but achieved fame in international football.

Also, Weah promised to eradicate corruption in the country of four million people and boost the weak economy since Liberia was described as one of the poorest countries in the world with 80 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 a day.

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Monrovia, its capital is highly dependent on exports of iron ore and rubber, which have recently dropped steeply in prices. The country is also trying to overcome the effects of the Ebola outbreak, which left more than 4,000 people dead.

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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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