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Obas, Masquerades defy rain as Balogun of Ibadanland receives Omoloju Okugbaja

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The Oyo State Government on Sunday commended Obas in Ibadan for the peaceful conduct of the traditional homage by the masquerades in the city.

The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Community Relations, Alhaji Bidemi Siyanbade stated that the Masquerades’ traditional homage to the Chiefs in a peaceful and non-violent manner as preached by the state government through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and the Office of the Special Adviser on Community Relations to the Governor has upheld the traditions and norms of the celebration of the  2018 Egungun festival in the state.

Oyo charges Egungun not to renege on peaceful conduct

The government said that the resilience of the Ibadan Obas to uphold these norms and tradition of paying homage by masquerades despite the heavy rain on Wednesday and Saturday, June 20 and 23 respectively at Alli Iwo and Ita Baale Olugbode is worthy of commendation and exemplifies the commitment of the traditional institution to the preservation of our culture and tradition, assuring that it will continue to preserve the culture, norms and the traditions of the people of the state.

As this year’s egungun festival gathered momentum in Ibadan, some masquerades have continued to pay traditional homage to various Obas in the city.

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The Balogun of Ibadan land, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin received some masquerades at his Labiran Ita Baale compound amidst singing, drumming and high level festivies. The leading masquerade, Omoloju Okugbaja from Okugbaja family in Ibadan, who was accompanied by his followers, arrived at the Ita Baale compound around 2:15pm despite the heavy downpour.

In his message at the traditional rite, Oba Olakulehin called on all sons and daughters of Ibadan land to continue to live in peace and harmony irrespective of their religious and political differences, saying, “I express our appreciation to God for the peaceful conduct of the 2018 Egungun festival.  I implore our people to uphold the tradition and cultural values of the founding fathers of Ibadan land and thank them for their support.”

The Balogun of Ibadanland had company in other traditional rulers such as the Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, the Eekerin Olubadan, Oba Biodun Kola-Daisi, the Asipa Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole, the Eekarun Olubadan, Oba Amidu Ajibade, the Eekarun Balogun Olubadan, Oba Kola Adegbola who were also joined by notable Mogajis in Ibadanland led by their Chairman, Mogaji Ariori and the secretary Mogaji Isiaka Raji.

In their separate remarks, the Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun and Eekarun Olubadan, Oba Amidu Ajibade also prayed for the continued development and unity in Ibadan land as well as the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.

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We didn’t disobey Makinde’s shutdown order- Oyo Revenue boss reacts

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The Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS) on Tuesday said its attention has been drawn to reports criticising its decision that its top management staff offer skeletal services to the public during the period of government shutdown.

 

A statement by the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Bureau of Internal Revenue, Aremo John Adeleke revealed that the offer of service by the senior management is voluntary and without any coercion.

According to Aremo Adeleke, the decision was meant to ease public agony and inconveniences; especially in areas such as filing of tax returns by companies; registration of new vehicles; renewal of expired vehicle documents; remittances of monthly PAYE and other due taxes as well as any emergency requests for tax clearance certificates.

These are essential services which must be provided, remembering that unlike Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, Oyo State is not on total lockdown yet,’’ the statement read.

The statement read in part: ‘’To enable our management staff discharge this skeletal duty adequate healthcare provisions have been made in our offices and the few staff involved in the skeletal services are under strict COVID-19 health   guidelines. Which means at all times the management of the Service is mindful of keeping our staff save.

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We are aware we are in a time of a ruinous pandemic which necessitated the government shutdown in the first place.

 

Contrary to the viewpoint of detractors and mischief makers, the attempt and sacrifices by the senior management of the OYSIRS to do its bit to enhance the resource capacity of OYSG to cope with its gargantuan responsibilities connected to handling the COVID-19 emergency.

“It is obvious that the good intention of the BIR, which is aimed at helping the state cushion the effects of the COVID 19 emergency was being misinterpreted by a few

Let it be said that important organs of government,  such as OYSIRS, cannot completely shut down even in times of crisis.

 

We are not unaware of the antecedent of the opposition in the state who would prefer to grind the entire machinery of a caring government such as GSM’s to a complete halt, just to paint a picture of inaction, but our people are wiser than such petty antics.

 

“It is also true that with the support of the Ministry of Finance, we have made progress and made a difference in our attempt to re-engineer the process of revenue collection at OYSIRS. Still digital machines, IT solutions and robust applications dont operate themselves, hence we need that vital few among our management staff for difficult times like we are. And we are sure this difficult time will not last.

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We want to assure the entire citizenry of Oyo State, especially the families of our senior staff at OYSIRS, that the health and well-being of our staff is paramount to us and we will not execute any policy that will put them in harms way now or in the future.

 

We will continue to observe closely all developments regarding the present pandemic and religiously adhere to all directives of His Excellency the Governor and the COVID-19 management team in Oyo State.

 

We, however reassure all our management staff who have diligently been participating in offering the skeletal services to remain assured that their sweat will not go unnoticed.”

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Lock down order takes effect, Lagos-Ibadan expressway blocked

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The police have blocked the inbound and outbound sections of the Lagos-Ibadan express way as part of plans to effectively lock down the Lagos metropolis.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with local and global best practices for curbing the spread of COVID-19 had earlier gave this directive .

The President,  in his nationwide broadcast on Sunday, ordered that a total lock down be observed in two states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in a bid to combat the virus.

The President directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, the President also extended the restriction to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

In line with the President’s order, security operatives have taken to the streets to ensure that the curfew is obeyed.

It is expected that the containment period would be used to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases.

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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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