Tag Archives: Governor

COVID-19: Ondo confirms 2 new cases. [Nigeria]

>>> University Professor Dies In Kano <<<


Professor Balarabe Maikaba of the Mass communication Department of Bayero University has died.

A senior staff of the department Dr Gambo Nababa confirmed Maikaba’s death to The Guardian on telephone on Sunday.

Maikaba, a former head of department and member of the Senate, Bayero University, died at home after a brief illness.


Although the cause of death was not disclosed, NobleReporters learnt that the professor of communication research suffered high fever for four days before his death.

The main of Professor Maikaba is expected to be buried today according to Islamic rites.


>>> 2 new COVID-19 cases in Ondo <<<


Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has confirmed two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Akeredolu disclosed this through his verified Twitter handle on Sunday in Akure.

He said: “we have confirmed two other cases in Ondo state, one of the cases involves one of the recently arraigned suspects in the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, Pa Fasoranti’s Daughter.

“The Commissioner of Police has been duly informed and the line tracing of Police officers and others in the SARs facility where he was kept has started and their specimens are being collected.


“The suspect has been isolated from others and will be moved to the IDH for treatment. The Commissioner of Police has assured the state that there will be adequate security around the IDH premises to prevent his escape and while on treatment, he will be manacled to the bed.

“I will expatiate on all cases in my weekly press briefing on Monday, April 27,2020,” Akeredolu said.


>>> Strippers, travellers arrested over lockdown violation in Lagos State <<<


Nigerian Police Force has said its men arrested 620 violators of lockdown order including about 39 suspects arrested in a hotel for clubbing and striptease.

Bala Elkana, the Lagos police spokesman, said out of the 620 violators arrested during the week, about 288 of them were arrested during the weekend.

Elkana said 39 clubbers were arrested on Friday night in total violation of the lockdown order and social distancing regulations.

Also on Friday, Suleiman Abubakar, the Imam of Sheik Central Mosque, Mile 12 Ketu was arrested for holding evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha prayers – Muslim evening and night-time prayer) in the mosque with a large number of worshippers in violation of the social distancing regulations.


But earlier during the week, Elkana said 95 inter states travellers and drivers of seven commercial buses were intercepted and arrested at Bhojson area of Ebute Metta on Tuesday.

He said the buses were impounded, while the drivers and passengers were charged to mobile court and sentenced accordingly.

He said about 211 other violators were also arrested in different parts of the state and also charged to court on Tuesday.


Also, 10 persons on Thursday were arrested for organising a party at Lekki Garden. Police said the suspects were arraigned in court on three-count charges and were found guilty as charged.

“They were sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and community service, to run concurrently,” Elkana said.

Similarly, on Thursday another 121 violators of lockdown order were arrested in different parts of the sate and charged to Court. They were awarded fines ranging from #5000 and #10,000 and two hours of community services.


The state, being the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, has been on lockdown since March 30. Although, the lockdown order expires on Monday, 27 April, it is unclear if the government will relax the lockdown as the state has continued to record more cases by the day.

As of April 25, Lagos has 689 cases of Nigeria’s 1,182 confirmed cases so far.



Akeredolu feud as COVID-19 patient sneaks into Ondo amid border closure. [Nigeria]


Ondo State has recorded its fourth confirmed case of COVID-19 otherwise known as coronavirus.

The fourth case, which was discovered in the state on Saturday, was said to be a police officer, who sneaked into the state after discovering his status in Lagos State.

Disclosing the confirmed case on his verified twitter handle, the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that the patient was already being attended to at the state’s Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Igbatoro road, Akure, the state capital.

The governor, who was furious over the development, berated the security personnel stationed at the entry point of the state considering that he had earlier ordered the closure of borders across the state in a bid to contain the spread of deadly virus.


The governor’s tweet read, “Earlier today, I got news of another positive case of COVID19 admitted to our facility in Akure. The case of this individual who is a police officer is unique. He was tested in Lagos but came to Ondo state while awaiting his results.

“Upon receiving a positive result, he claimed to have returned back to Lagos. According to him, he waited a few days in Lagos to be picked up. When this failed, he panicked and rushed back to Akure for treatment.

“While we appreciate the confidence reposed in our facilities, We do find it most reckless on the part of the officer of the Law to risk the lives of others. I am most disappointed in the level of porosity of the entry points to the state. The police officer should know better.


“I have contacted the commissioner of police to double up on securing our entry points.”

Recall that the index case was recorded in the state on April 3, 2020 following the arrival of a military officer in the state from official duty in India.


May 01: Wear Face Mask Or Get Arrested – Ogun Governor. [Nigeria]

From May 1, anybody who goes out without wearing a face mask will be arrested by the government of Ogun State, Gov Dapo Abiodun has said.

Gov Abiodun said the violators will be quarantined for 14 days and be made to undergo compulsory community services for attempting to spread Coronavirus in the State.

This was disclosed on Friday, by Governor Dapo Abiodun, during a press conference at his Iperu residence.

Abiodun said his government had always encouraged the use of face mask, stressing that with the reality facing Ogun, “the use of face mask in public by all individuals in Ogun is now compulsory as from Friday, 1st May, 2020.”

According to him, the state will start the distribution of face masks to millions of residents, who may not have the financial strength to afford same.

This, he said, was in addition to other materials to vulnerable groups across the State.

He said that efforts of the government towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to a stand-still was achieving desired results, and the State cannot relent.


COVID-19: Nigerian Governors give Buhari conditions for relaxing lockdown come Monday.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to scale down the total lockdown imposed in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

This was contained in a letter dated April 24, 2020 and signed by NGF chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

The letter was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.

The Governors have asked Buhari to allow free movement in all the states, but with restrictions on large gatherings.

The other things the governors want incorporated into President Buhari’s impending pronouncement on the lockdown are: “Inter-state lockdown, excluding movement of essential supplies- food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical, petroleum supplies and agricultural products; internal free movement but with restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies; overnight curfews; lockdown of flights; and compulsory use of face masks/coverings in the public.”

Fayemi said NGF’s position was a follow up to a teleconference meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on April 22, 2020.

“Recall at the meeting it was agreed that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) articulates the issues that it would want to be included in the next Presidential Pronouncement on COVID-19 so as to have a Uniform and coordinated Policy on COVID-19 at both the national and sub-national levels,” he added.

Nigeria currently has 1095 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 208 discharged and 32 deaths.

Buhari is expected to make a new announcement on Monday, April 27, when the second 14-day lockdown elapses.


[Nigeria] Osun Governor appoint PCRC Chairman as DG, Amotekun Corps.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has appointed the Chairman of Police Community Relations Committee(PCRC), Comrade Amitolu Shittu, as the Director-General (DG) of the newly established Amotekun Corps.

Also, he announced the Director-General (DG) of the Bureau of Social Services (BOSS), Richard Tinubu, who is a trainer and Management Consultant.

The governor in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ismail Omipidan explained that BOSS was established by the State government to leverage premium human resources and technological innovation in driving effective monitoring and evaluation of Social Service delivery to ensure public value and fiscal discipline.

He noted that both appointments took effect immediately adding that the appointments were in line with the commitment of Governor Oyetola to the security and welfare of the people of the State.

Oyetola said, “Shittu, 55, an activist committed to truth, the people, and good governance, is expected to bring his wealth of experience garnered over the decades to bear in the discharge of his new responsibility with absolute loyalty and dedication.

“Tinubu, also 55, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Lagos and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (International Business) from Lagos State University.

“After spending a decade working for multi-nationals, he joined Capital Express Insurance as Head, Business Development and Marketing before joining politics.

“As a professional in politics, the Igbajo-born Development Consultant believes in serving mankind, helping people in need and giving succour to those in distress, while empowering the people for self-development, with a view to mobilising them to contribute to good governance at all levels.”

“As the new DG of BOSS, Tinubu is expected to bring his several years of experience as a management consultant to bear in the discharge of his new assignment. “


Lockdown: FG Should Expect disobedience from Nigerians soon.

A professor of Psychology at the University of Lagos, Oni Fagbohungbe, has called on the Nigerian Government to change its approach in containing the spread of Coronavirus in the country, stressing that there was likely to be a breakdown of law and order if hunger persists in the land.

Fagbohungbe was reacting to government’s palliative measures, which has been largely characterised by corruption and inefficiencies just as the lockdown continues across the country.

Speaking in an interview with SaharaReporters on Thursday, the psychologist said the “Nigerian mentality” in the distribution of foods should be jettisoned.

He said, “There will be a fear of breakdown of law and order. When you have a goal and the realisation towards that goal is blocked, what happens is that you would become frustrated and the frustration manifests into aggression.

“The aggression can be self-directed, if it is self-directed, you find people talking about suicide but in most cases it is usually socially-directed, you direct it against the society that you perceive is depriving you of your needs.

“So, there is likely to a breakdown of law and order, people will not obey it (lockdown) because what will make them survive is not available.

“The Nigerian mentality is a situation whereby you find officials filling their homes with what the government has provided, then after Coronavirus is no more, their wives become sellers of the food. In any situation policy and programme, most people think of what they will gain from the situation.

“How can you say you want to distribute food to those who are hungry and then you go to an open field or a school, it would be disrupted. Federal and state governments, as well as individuals are releasing foods but does it reach the people?”

Fagbohungbe cited the case of other countries where food distribution was done efficiently, urging the government to emulate those societies.

On what government should do next, he said, “People must be given reassurance and it must be in practical terms.

“Get the addresses of people and ask them to stay in their homes, you know the LGA and street, have a time table and tell them you’ll be coming. If those who are in another street see that you are close to their street, they will stay at home because they know you are practicalising what you have organised.

“If not, hunger would push people out. That is why you have people say that there is another virus that is more devastating than Coronavirus and that is hunger virus. It’s a physiological need and our survival is tied around it.”

>>> COVID-19: Nigeria Governors agree on 2 weeks national lockdown <<<

The 36 state governors in Nigeria have recommended a national lockdown over the next two weeks to further curb the spread of Coronavirus.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the governors on Wednesday.

Chairman of the forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, in a statement said the inter-state lockdown had become necessary following a continued rise of in number of infected persons and fatalities recorded.

Fayemi said the governors also resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level to be headed by health commissioners.

The governors also expressed concern over the rising infection among health workers in the country.

>>> COVID-19: Group reject Nigerian Governor’s 2 weeks national lockdown decision, give threat to defy orders <<<

A group, Oodua Youth Coalition, has condemned the decision of the 36 state governors across Nigeria to institute a further two-week national lockdown in the country in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.

The group said any attempt to force the people to remain indoors without adequate preparation for their welfare and well-being shall be resisted.

The 36 state governors had on Wednesday recommended a national lockdown for another two weeks in addition to the almost elapsing four-week lockdown in Lagos, Federal Capital Territory and Ogun State to deal with the pandemic.

According to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who made the announcement, the inter-state lockdown became necessary following the continued rise in the number of infected persons and fatalities in the country.

In a statement by its President, Oluyi Akintade Tayo, and Publicity Secretary, Ajongbolo Oluwagbenga, the OYC said it was disheartening that the governors could agree to lockdown in their respective states without recourse to how the people had been living in hunger since the partial lockdown.

The statement reads, “Save for Ondo and Oyo states, the remaining four states in Yoruba land have been on total lockdown for weeks now and the resultant effects are clear to the blind.

“In Lagos and Ogun, criminals are having field and free days terrorising the people and looting their properties.

“Every night, hungry and angry Nigerians, who should be sleeping soundly in their homes, have turned emergency vigilantes while the ones indoors only sleep with one eye closed.

“Unfortunately, there are reports of unreasonable and unnecessary attacks on innocent citizens by security men stationed on major roadblocks in towns and highways.

“It was also reported that the Nigerian Security Forces have killed more person than the Coronavirus itself.”

The OYC observed that the palliatives being shared around by political office holders and government officials were ridiculous and cannot sustain the people.

According to the group, a further lockdown could lead to chaos in the country that government may not be able to curtail.

#Newsworthy. …

[Nigeria] Benue Governor, Ortom calls for 30 days fasting over Herders attack

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has called for 30 days of fasting and intense prayers by the Benue people to seek God’s favour in combating the renewed herdsmen attack in some parts of the state.

Ortom made this call on Thursday in Makurdi while interacting with newsmen on the occasion of his 59th birthday.

The governor, who regretted the renewed onslaught on his people by the herdsmen, said he had resorted to prayers for divine intervention.

He appreciated God for granting him 59 years of age and described the journey so far as “tough”.

He said some of his school mates were not as lucky and assured that he would continue to work hard to deliver good governance to the people for their acts of uncommon love to him.

“You voted for me in 2015 and again you returned me in 2019. I owe you a great deal, I will continue to work hard to provide good governance”.

He called for patience during the COVID-19 lockdown, saying, the stay-at-home order was for the overall good of the people.

Ortom said Benue was signatory to the 14 days proposed lockdown of the economy and described it as the right thing to do in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The highpoint of the interaction was the presentation of the governor’s life portrait to him by members of the Correspondent Chapel, led by their Acting Chairman, Mr Attah Ede of the Punch Newspapers.

Ede had extolled the virtues of the governor in exemplary leadership, stressing that the chapel was proud of his achievements.


Kano govt seek financial help as COVID-19 cases surge. [Nigeria]

Kano state continued to witness a steady upsurge of positive cases of COVID-19 pandemic with the latest figure standing at 73, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Overwhelmed by the rising cases of the virus and burden of curtailing its spread, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has solicited Federal Government financial support.

The governor made the call when he received the director-general of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu at Government House.

The NCDC boss was in Kano as part of a national tour to access the level of preparedness in the fight against the disease.

Ganduje said based on population size, Kano state requires more support at this point than Lagos state, stressing already dispensed resources to curtail the burden.

While describing how much the state has done so far, he mentioned the basic challenge was lack of sufficient funds and called on the federal government to assist Kano.

Meanwhile, a senior medical doctor who is working under the taskforce regretted that health workers are more exposed to the virus. Other doctors lamented inadequate provision of basic amenities and facility to efficiently manage the pandemic.

Already the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Kano chapter has directed doctors in the state to consider their safety first while attempting to render clinical services.


[Nigeria] Court of Appeal return Wada as Kogi PDP governorship candidate

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Tuesday returned Musa Wada as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election held in Kogi State.

Delivering judgment in the suit between Musa Wada and Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim Idris and others, the court held that “it is crooked colt of discretion for a court to raise an issue suo motu (raising issues that were not raised by any of the parties in the litigation) and determine same without hearing parties.”

The three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa and comprising Justices Joseph E. Ekanen and Yasir Nimpar also set aside every order made by the trial court to the effect that there was no primary election by PDP in the state and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election.

“Every order made by the trial court that there was no primary election and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election is hereby set aside,” the court held.

Abubakar Idris, also of the PDP had on September 27, 2019, approached Kogi State High Court to challenge the outcome of the primary election conducted on September 3 and 4, 2019 in the state in which Musa Wada won, on the ground that he, Abubakar Idris won the primary instead.

The trial court presiding Judge, Justice R O Olorunfemi, dismissed the claim and held that he did not substantiate his claim.

The trial judge proceeded to hold that the PDP did not have a candidate in the last election in Kogi State.

Aggrieved by the decision of the court, Wada filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal through his lawyer, Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), challenging the judgment on the ground that the trial judge did not have jurisprudence to grant reliefs not sought before him.

The court, however, allowed the appeal which sought to prove that PDP presented a candidate in the last election in the state in the person of Wada.


Kano records tens unusual death in 3 days

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Monday directed investigation to ascertain the cause of the records tens of “unusual” deaths in the state.

No fewer than 40 corpses were reportedly buried since the declaration of the lockdown at Dandolo cemetery in Dala local government area of the metropolis, against the unusual three and at most five corpses daily, NobleReporters gathered.

At Kofar Mozuga Cemetery also in the metropolis, the number corpses brought for burial on daily basis hit 10, a development begging for serious concern, Aminu Abubakar said.

Reacting to the development however, Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba who acknowledged the reported strange death told journalists that government has swing into action to examine the matter.

Although, Garba disagreed that the sudden rise in the case of death in Kano is related to COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that Governor Ganduje has directed the state ministry of health to investigate.

Also reacting to the development, director, Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Bayero University, Kano, Professor Isa Abubakar Sadiq said research has not confirmed the development has anything to do with COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public health Consultant stressed that information so far obtained from on the development indicated death of aged persons who might have suffered from severe age induced illness.

” What we have seen so far is more or less false and rumour because there is no scientific research to prove that the purported mass death was due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“While investigation as directed by the government is still on, we stand to say the reports are false and it is meant to cause panic in the city. I did not subscript to the fact that there is unusual record of death. There are so many interest around and people are ready to generate unfounded stories”. Professor Isa noted.

>>> Sokoto records first COVID-19 case <<<

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has announced the recording of a first confirmed case of Coronavirus in the state.

In a special broadcast on Monday, Tambuwal said, “it is with a very heavy heart and sadness that I break this news to my fellow citizens today of a case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) here in Sokoto.

“The index person is receiving treatment at the Usman Danfodio Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, at the moment.

”Now that the case has been confirmed, the patient shall be transferred to the Sokoto state established isolation center at Amanawa.

“I appeal to our citizens to continue to obey and respect all the measures laid out by all the health experts for us to continue to contain the spread of the scourge of this virus, which is a reality.

“We have heard about it before, but it is nowhere with us. We must, therefore, redouble our efforts as a government and as citizens to curtail the spread.

“I, therefore, appeal once again, that all measures put in place should continue to be respected. And, if need be, for the safety of the generality of the people of Sokoto State, we may take further necessary measures,” he said.

The governor further appealed for support and cooperation, in the best interest of all.

“We pray that God Almighty shall Grant him a speedy recovery and that God Almighty shall help us to curtail the spread of this pandemic,” Tambuwal added.


[Nigeria] Enugu gov’s phone hacked by frausters.

Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s phone was allegedly hacked by suspected fraudsters as revealed in a statement released by the State Government on Thursday April 16.

According to the state’s information commissioner, Chidi Aroh, the Governor’s phone was hacked and used to call members of the public including Government Officials.

The State’s Government who expressed regret over the development, stated that Security Agencies and the Telecom Service Providers have been duly notified and are working round the clock to apprehend the culprits.

The statement reads;

“It has come to the knowledge of Enugu State Government that the MTN Cell Phone Line of His Excellency, the Governor of Enugu State was hacked by unknown fraudsters today, and has been used to call members of the public including Government Officials.

“Enugu State Government hereby informs the members of the public of this unfortunate incident and urges them to disregard any call or message emanating from the said Phone Line.

“The Security Agencies and the Telecom Service Providers have been duly notified and are working round the clock to apprehend the culprits.

“We most sincerely regret any embarrassment or inconvenience that these fraudsters may have caused unsuspecting members of the public.


[Nigeria] Edo govt ban street trading.

Edo State government on Thursday announced the ban on street trading across the state as it continues to restrict movement and enforce social distancing in the state.

This is coming as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state, which unfortunately is among the worst hit in the country with 15 confirmed cases so far.

The state deputy governor and Chairman, the technical committee of Edo State’s COVID-19 taskforce, Philip Shaibu who made the announcement while briefing journalists, said the state government will continue to take decisions in the best interest of the people.

“As part of these measures, we hereby announce a ban on street trading to restrict contacts among people and enforce social distancing. This is in the light of the fact that markets have been moved to public school premises to facilitate trading in essential commodities such as foodstuffs and medicine,” he said.

The Health Commissioner, Patrick Okundia also at the event announced that the state government will commence screening for residents starting with 10 dedicated centres in Oredo Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, the state government has set up screening centres across Oredo including six primary healthcare centres and four private hospitals to actualise plans to screen 500,000 persons with the ultimate goal of testing 5,000


[Nigeria] I am still COVID-19 positive, I am not cleared yet – El Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says he has not recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease that he came down with.

The governor stated this after chairing the Kaduna State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

Taking to Twitter, El-Rufai warned against being misled about his coronavirus status, saying he intended to make an announcement whenever he recovers from the virus.

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He said, “Earlier Wednesday 10 am-2 pm, I took a few hours during isolation to chair a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council.

“I haven’t been cleared of COVID-19 yet and (I) will personally announce when confirmed negative. Ignore all fake news even if you like it.”

El-Rufai, who tested positive for the virus on March 28, says he remained positive after spending more than two weeks in isolation.

Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the deputy governor, has piloted the affairs of the state in his stead.


[Nigeria] Lockdown extension, essential – Peter Obi backs Buhari

Former Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi, has backed President Muhammadu’s extension of the lockdown order aimed at curtailing COVID-19 in the country.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, he also commended efforts made by the Federal Government and respective state governments as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for their various efforts.

“For me the extension of two weeks is necessary and important. It is necessary and important because we don’t have the resources to fight the pandemic if it escalates and spreads.

“The only thing we 1 now is containment. But in doing so, it is critical we look at ways we can manage this process effectively,” he said.

According to him, the Federal Government should create more testing centres that will help the NCDC detect more COVID-19 cases in the country.


Lockdown extension: People will die of hunger if care isn’t taken – Obaseki’s wife. [Nigeria]

The wife of the Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, has warned that diverting relief materials meant for the vulnerable in the society will further compound the current difficulties being experienced over the coronavirus pandemic.

According to her, hunger could be an even bigger threat to life than the virus.

Mrs Obaseki said this while handing over some relief materials from the state government to representatives of various groups in Benin City, the state capital.

She urged them to resist any temptation to be greedy and hoard the items for personal use or even give them out to those who can afford it.

“These relief materials are meant only for the vulnerable in the society, it is not meant for those who can afford full lockdown in their homes. If we are careful coronavirus will not kill too many people in this country, but if we are not careful it is hunger that will kill people. That is why the government is taking these steps to do what they have to do,” she said.

The items distributed include bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, noodles, oil, puree, millet, seasoning, soaps and detergent.

According to the State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender, Maria Edekor, the beneficiaries of the relief packages are the elderly, returnees, people living with disabilities, prison inmates, children in correctional centres, rehabilitation centres and orphanage homes.

Meanwhile, the governor’s wife urged residents who are well-to-do, to emulate the gesture of the government and also lend a helping hand to the vulnerable around them


COVID-19 tragedy, opportunity for better Nigeria – CBN Governor.

As many people are now aware, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in China rapidly permeated and profoundly changed the world.

While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of over 123,600 people worldwide, and counting, the economic damages are unprecedented on several fronts: Crude oil prices declined dramatically to as low as US$17 per barrel by the end of March, even before applying the discounts many oil exporters are offering; Stock valuations for the NSE-ASI, Nikkei, Dow Jones and FTSE-100 declined by an average of 23.8 percent between January and March 2020; Global airlines have lost about US$252 billion in revenues and across the broad range of industries from hospitality to services, the pain is growing.

These outcomes have expectedly thrown the global economy into a recession, the depth and duration of which is currently difficult to fathom. In fact, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the global economy would decline by 3 percent this year.

Around the world, countries have moved away from multilateralism and responded by fighting for themselves with several measures to protect their own people and economies, regardless of the spillover effects on the rest of the world.

According to the World Customs Organization, a total of 32 countries and territories, adopted stringent and immediate export restrictions on critical medical supplies and drugs that were specifically meant to respond to COVID-19. As of 10 April 2020, an updated count of total export restrictions by the Global Trade Alert Team at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland suggest a total of 102 restrictions by 75 countries.

On 4 March 2020, Germany announced an export ban that applied to all sorts of medical protection gear including breathing masks, medical gloves and protective suits.

Around the same time, President Macron announced that France will requisition all face masks produced in the country, a de facto export ban.

Between 8 February 2020 and 6 April 2020, India released eight (8) different export notifications banning several drugs and medical supplies including hydroxychloroquine, ventilators, personal protections masks, oxygen therapy apparatus, and breathing devices.

On 3 April 2020, the Trump Administration invoked the war-era US Defense Production Act to stop major US mask manufacturer, 3M, from exporting N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America.

Fears of a long global recession have also led to worries about unprecedented global food insecurity, with concerns that agricultural production may be dislocated by containment measures that constrain workers from planting, managing and harvesting critical crops.

Rather than seek cooperative and global solutions, several countries have resorted to export restrictions of critical agricultural produce. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), about 37 countries have enacted various forms of food export restrictions in response to COVID-19, even in countries where average production exceeds domestic consumption.

For example, Vietnam, the world’s third largest exporter of rice, suspended granting rice export certificates until the country “reviews domestic inventories”. Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, announced a ten-day ban on the export of buckwheat and rice due to concerns over panic buying in local supermarkets.

What if these restrictions become the new normal? What if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in a second wave or another pandemic occurs in which all borders are shut and food imports are significantly restricted? What if we cannot seek medical care outside Nigeria and must rely on local hospitals and medical professionals? For how long shall we continue to rely on the world for anything and everything at every time?

What if these restrictions become the new normal? What if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in a second wave or another pandemic occurs in which all borders are shut and food imports are significantly restricted? What if we cannot seek medical care outside Nigeria and must rely on local hospitals and medical professionals? For how long shall we continue to rely on the world for anything and everything at every time?

Although these developments are troubling, they present a clear opportunity to re-echo a persistent message the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been sending for a long time, and at this time even more urgently so: We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare, and cutting-edge education for our people. For a country of over 200 million people, and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally. The security and well-being of our nation is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy.

When I became Governor of the Central Bank in June 2014, imports of rice, fish, wheat and sugar alone consumed about N1.3 trillion worth of foreign exchange from the Bank. My immediate question was: can we not produce these ourselves? After all, only a few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of many agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts. Today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, whilst Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 percent of global demand. In 2017, Indonesia earned US$12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but US$18.4 billion from palm oil. I believe that this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest it is now more critical than ever that we take back control; not just control over our economy, but also of our destiny and our future.

Although these developments are troubling, they present a clear opportunity to re-echo a persistent message the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been sending for a long time, and at this time even more urgently so: We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare, and cutting-edge education for our people. For a country of over 200 million people, and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally. The security and well-being of our nation is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy.

In line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN has indeed created several lending programmes and provided hundreds of billions to smallholder farmers and industrial processors in several key agricultural produce. These policies are aimed at positioning Nigeria to become a self-sufficient food producer, creating millions of jobs, supplying key markets across the country and dampening the effects of exchange rate movements on local prices.

This philosophy has been a consistent theme of the CBN’s policies over the last few years. At the 2016 Annual Bankers’ Dinner, I challenged the bankers that we needed to take decisive actions to fundamentally transform the structure of our economy. Throughout that speech, I talked about the damaging effects of Nigeria’s unsustainable propensity to import, and opined that it was high time we looked inwards and stopped using hard-earned foreign exchange (FX) to import items that we should produce locally. This determination, therefore, formed the bedrock of the Bank’s policy, which restricts access to FX for importers of many items. These sentiments were re-echoed at the 2017 edition of the same Bankers’ Dinner with specific examples of several companies that have benefited significantly from this policy of self-sufficiency. With President Buhari’s full support, we have continued to refine this policy to ensure that the best interest of Nigeria is served.

Many times, the Bank has been accused of promoting protectionist policies. My answer has always been that leaders are first and foremost accountable to their own citizens. If the vagaries of international trade threaten their wellbeing, leaders have to react by compelling some change in patterns of trade to the greater good of their citizens.

That is why in response to COVID-19, we are strengthening the Nigerian economy by providing a combined stimulus package of about N3.5 trillion in targeted measures to households, businesses, manufacturers and healthcare providers. These measures are deliberately designed to both support the Federal Government’s immediate fight against COVID-19, but also to build a more resilient, more self-reliant Nigerian economy.

Only a few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of many agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts. Today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, whilst Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 percent of global demand. In 2017, Indonesia earned US$12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but US$18.4 billion from palm oil. I believe that this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest it is now more critical than ever that we take back control; not just control over our economy, but also of our destiny and our future.

We do not know what the world will look like after this pandemic. Countries may continue to look inwards and globalization as we know it today may be dead for a generation. Therefore, as a nation, we cannot afford to continue relying on the world for our food, education and healthcare. The time has come to fully transform Nigeria into a modern, sophisticated and inclusive economy that is self-sufficient, rewards the hardworking, protects the poor and vulnerable, and can compete internationally across a range of strategic sectors.

In order to achieve this goal, we must begin immediately to support the Federal Government to:
1) Build a base of high quality infrastructure, including reliable power that can engender industrial activity;
2) Support both smallholder and large scale agriculture production in select staple and cash crops;
3) Create an ecosystem of factories, storages, and logistics companies that move raw materials for value-added production, and finished goods to markets;
4) Use our fiscal priorities to create a robust educational system that enables critical thinking and creativity, which would better prepare our children for the world of tomorrow;
5) Develop a healthcare system that is trusted to keep all Nigerians healthy, irrespective of social class;
6) Facilitate access to cheap and long-term credit for Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates;
7) Develop and strengthen pro-poor policies that bring financial services and security to the poor and the vulnerable; and
8) Expedite the development of venture capitalists for nurturing new ideas and engendering Nigerian businesses to compete globally.

India is in a position to ban exports because it is producing critical drugs and medical supplies that the rest of the world needs. It also has companies that are global champions, and even merging with or acquiring peers in advanced nations. Why should this be out of our reach? We have the companies and the manpower. Some of the best brains in the world from the Americas to Europe and from Asia to Africa are Nigerians; driving global innovations in all fields. Nigerians are successful everywhere, and are already one of the most sought after immigrant groups in the United States. Now is the time to seize this opportunity and create an environment that empowers our people to thrive within our own shores.

To this end, the Central Bank has developed a Policy Response Timeline to guide our crises management and the orderly reboot of the Nigerian economy.

Immediate-Term Policies (0-3 Months)

In light of the fact that this crisis is an exogenous one thrust upon us without much warning, this phase reflects the government’s efforts at containment and mitigation. Although global cases are heading towards two million with over 123, 600 deaths as of 14 April 2020, we now have 343 cases, of which there have been 91 recoveries and sadly 10 deaths. With President Buhari’s continuing strong leadership, Nigeria can now test 1,500 persons per day in twelve (12) Molecular Test Laboratories.

We believe that his strong leadership to impose early travel restrictions, lockdown, social distancing, and other measures have been greatly effective in curbing the spread of the disease.

More so, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have helped the country stay ahead of the curve with increased testing capacity, provision of better-equipped isolation centres, and effective contact tracing.

Within this milieu, the CBN has responded in several ways, first by supporting hospitals and pharmaceutical industry with low interest loans to immediately deal with the public health crises; then by working with the private sector Coalition Against COVID (CACOVID) to support the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 across its response, while mobilizing palliatives for the poor and vulnerable.

Under this Immediate-Term Response, we have activated the following:

1) Ensure financial system stability by granting regulatory forbearance to banks to restructure terms of facilities in affected sectors;

2) Trigger banks and other financial institutions to roll-out business continuity processes to ensure that banking services are delivered in a safe social-distance regime for all customers and bankers;

3) Grant additional moratorium of 1 year on CBN intervention facilities;

4) Reduce interest rates on intervention facilities from 9 percent to 5 percent;

5) Create N50 billion targeted credit facility for affected households and SMEs;

6) Strengthen the Loan-Deposit Ratio (LDR) policy, which is encouraging significant extra lending from banks;

7) Improve FX supply to the CBN by directing all oil companies (international and domestic) and all related companies (oil service) to sell FX to CBN and no longer to the NNPC;

8) Provide additional N100b intervention in healthcare loans to pharmaceutical companies, healthcare practitioners intending to expand/build capacity;

9) Provide N1 trillion in loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors;

10) Engender financial inclusion by ensuring the poor and vulnerable are able, by all means necessary, through banks, microfinance, community and non-bank financial institutions, to access financial services to meet their basic needs.

Short-Term Policy Priorities (0 – 12 months)

As soon as President Muhammadu Buhari and the Health authorities determine our Coronavirus Transmission Curve is flattening and many of the ongoing restrictions are eased, this will be the phase for repositioning the Nigerian economic space.

As part of the lessons from the current pandemic, we must ensure that that our value-added sector, the manufacturing industry is strengthened. Accordingly, the CBN will pursue the following policies in this phase:

1) Reinvigorate our financial support for the manufacturing sector by expanding the intervention all through its value-chain. In most cases, we will ensure that primary products sourced locally provide essential raw material for the manufacturing sector except where they are only available overseas;

2) With the support of the Federal Government, the CBN will embark on a project to get banks and private equity firms to finance homegrown and sustainable healthcare services that will help to reverse medical tourism out of Nigeria. By offering long-term financing for the entire healthcare value-chain (including medicine, pharmaceuticals, and critical care), banks will work with healthcare providers to consolidate on the current efforts to rebuild our medical facilities in order to ensure Nigeria has world class affordable hospitals for the people of Nigeria and those wishing to visit Nigeria for treatment;

3) The CBN will promote the establishment of InfraCo PLC, a world class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, and managed by an independent infrastructure fund manager. This fund will be utilized to support the Federal Government in building the transport infrastructure required to move agriculture products to processors, raw materials to factories, and finished goods to markets, as envisaged at the CBN Going for Growth Roundtable in March 2020; and

4) Continue to prioritize the provision of FX for the importation of machinery and critical raw materials needed to drive a self-sufficient Nigerian economy.

COVID-19 may have plunged us into a crisis of unprecedented proportions. But, as Winston Churchill once admonished, we must never let a crisis go to waste.

Medium-Term Policy Priorities (0 -3 Years)

Once the world returns to some new normal having tamed COVID-19 by a combination of vaccines and social distancing, and the Nigerian economy reopens fully for business, we will act quickly to enable faster recovery of the economy by targeted measures towards particular sectors that are able to support mass employment and wealth creation in the country.

We will do so by focusing on four main areas, namely, light manufacturing, affordable housing, renewable energy, and cutting-edge research.

In manufacturing, for example, it is pertinent to note that Nigeria’s gross fixed capital formation is currently estimated at N24.55 trillion made up residential and non-residential properties, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, land improvement, research and development, and breeding stocks.

Of this estimated value, machinery and equipment, which are the main inputs into economic production, are currently valued at only N2.61 trillion. In order to pursue a substantial economic renewal, including replacement of at least 25 percent of the existing machinery and equipment for enhanced local production, we estimate at least N662 billion worth of investments to acquire hi-tech machinery and equipment.

Therefore, the CBN will consider an initial intervention of N500 billion over the medium term, specifically targeted at manufacturing firms to procure state-of-the-art machinery and equipment and automated manufacturing models that would fast-track local production and economic rejuvenation, as well as support increased patronage of locally processed products such as cement, steel, iron rods, and doors, amongst several other products. The recent private sector investments in cement production using enhanced technology and automated manufacturing models is a good example of the kind of economic renewal we will be pursuing in this phase. We will develop a thorough screening process and stringent criteria for equipment types that would qualify for funding under this phase.

In order to boost job creation, household incomes and economic growth, we will focus our attention on bridging the housing deficit in the country by facilitating government intervention in three critical areas: housing development, mortgage finance, and institutional capacity.

We will pursue the creation of a fund that will target housing construction for developers that provide evidence of profiled off-takers with financial capacity to repay. The current identification framework in the banking sector using the bank verification number (BVN) will be used to verify the information provided by the off-takers before the developer can access the funds.

We will consider ways to assist the Mortgage Finance sub-sector as well as build capacity at the State levels for their land administration agencies to process and issue land titles promptly, implement investment friendly foreclosure laws and reduce the cost of land documentation, as these have remained major inhibiting factors in the provision of affordable housing in the country.

Over the next 3 years, we will also support the financing of environmentally friendly energy production, as this has a tangential long-term health benefits. We will look at efforts to drive innovation and research in every sector, through our universities, research institutions, creative industry initiatives, and all other media of novelty and inventions.

In conclusion, I believe we must now envision and work toward a Nigeria with the cutting edge medical facilities to provide world class care to the sick and vulnerable, enable our universities and research institutions to provide the requisite education and training that is required to keep these ecosystems functioning sustainably and efficiently, and millions of Nigerians employed in meaningful and well-paying jobs.

This is the Nigeria that we must aspire to build.

COVID-19 may have plunged us into a crisis of unprecedented proportions. But, as Winston Churchill once admonished, we must never let a crisis go to waste.

*Godwin I. Emefiele, CON is Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria


[Nigeria] Sanwo olu set to organise feeding programme for 100,000 youths in Lagos State.

Lagos State Governor Banajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday announced a daily food kitchen programme to feed at least 100,000 youths in the state.

“In the next couple of days we will commence what we call a daily food kitchen programme, which will be an attempt to feed 100,000 youths,” Sanwo-Olu said in a press briefing.

“This we believe will meet some of the immediate challenges that we have seen in the street,” he added.


[Nigeria] We cannot sustain lockdown, we are poor – Northern Governors.

State governors in Nigeria’s Northern region have said that they cannot sustain the economic impact of the lockdown targeted at stopping the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday extended the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT by another 14 days in a bid to help stop the spread of the pandemic.

States in the North, who adopted a movement restriction strategy earlier, have now said they cannot continue with the move despite having the largest share of palliatives from the Federal Government.

Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, in a statement said the lockdown “have eaten deep into the pockets of the states”.

The statement reads, “Each state would adopt the measure suitable to its setting because total lockdown of the region will come at a very high cost since most of its citizens are farmers who need to go to farms since the rains have started.

“Another issue discussed by the Northern governors was the issue of palliatives from the Federal Government where they regretted that so far no state in the region had received a dime as special allocation despite the fact that some of them had recorded cases while others were making frantic efforts to prevent any outbreak, as well as prepare against any eventuality.

“This they observed has eaten deep into the pockets of the states as they have spent a lot of money already and may not be able to sustain this for a long time.

“Since prevention is better than cure, they canvassed that the Federal Government grant them some special funds just as it has done to other states.

“The Northern governors lamented that the region has no testing centre, which is very disturbing. They resolved to again liaise with the Federal Government to ensure that each state at least gets one testing centre while highly populated ones get two.

“The governors also discussed the economic impact of COVID-19 on the region and decided that they needed to take a holistic look at the economic prospects of the region with a view to repositioning it for less reliance on federal allocation and to prepare for the future by diversifying to areas of comparative advantage such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and human capital development.”


[Nigeria] Uzodimma fed inmates in Imo, send food items to orphanage homes.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has extended palliatives to inmates of Owerri and Okigwe Correctional Services to alleviate their difficulties at this period of economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Presenting the items, which included cooked food and drinks to the inmates at the Owerri Correctional Services on behalf of the Governor, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku said the gesture was Governor Uzodimma’s way of extending love to the inmates during Easter, and to assist the authorities of the Correctional Services meet the needs of the inmates because of the statewide lockdown.

While urging the management of the Correctional Services to ensure that the food and drinks get to all the inmates, Mr. Nwachuku further enjoined them to adhere strictly to all government directives as they concern the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

He also advised the inmates of the Correctional Services to use the period of their incarceration to reflect on how they will impact positively on the larger society when they eventually regain their freedom.

On the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Nwachuku encouraged them to be more conscious of their personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly and using sanitisers.

Responding, the Controller, Owerri Correctional Services, Mr. Chris Okoye thanked Governor Uzodimma for his magnanimity.

He expressed delight over the governor’s goodwill, noting that it will go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of the inmates in the Correctional Services across the state.

Mr. Okoye recalled that Governor Uzodimma had on Easter Sunday extended similar gesture to the Correctional Services across the state, represented by his Special Adviser (Special Duties), Nze Chinasa Nwaneri.

Mr. Okoye promised that the food and drinks will be equitably distributed to the over 2,000 inmates in their custody.

In a similar development, Governor Uzodimma has reached out to the orphanages in the state with various food items to further cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering the food items on behalf of the government to the various orphanage homes in the state, the Commissioner for Gender and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs. Nkechinyere Ugwu stated that the Governor was passionate about the fate of the vulnerable in the state, especially at this period of lockdown.

Consequently, she said the Governor had mandated that all the registered orphanages in the state be given food items and relief materials as a palliative to cushion their sufferings.


[Nigeria] Benue govt to review total COVID-19 measures.

Governor Samuel Ortom has reassured the people of Benue State that he will meet with the COVID-19 Action Committee on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, to review the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the state.

The Governor said the meeting, which was to hold on Monday, April 13, has been shifted to Wednesday, as a result of the public holiday.

He appreciated Benue people for their understanding and cooperation, noting that they have significantly complemented the efforts of the State Government against the virus.

Ortom further called for sustained cooperation from the people in the face of the difficulties the dusk to dawn curfew, closure of markets and other public places might have caused them.

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom will on Tuesday attend a joint security meeting of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States scheduled to take place in Lafia.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss renewed violence in border communities of the three states such as last week’s attack on Jootar in Ukum Local Government of Benue State by armed militia.


COVID-19: Bayelsa commence total lockdown. [Nigeria]

Bayelsa State will from midnight Monday revert to its earlier order on lockdown of the state as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The government had last Thursday relaxed its lockdown directive on worship centres to enable Christians participate in the Easter celebrations.

Churches were allowed to have 50 worshippers at a time while smaller churches were permitted to have 20 worshippers for their Easter programmes.

Governor Douye Diri in a statement by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Monday said the Easter celebrations were over but the battle against COVID-19 was still on.

Governor Diri, while thanking the churches for complying with the directive during Easter, said reverting to the total lockdown of the state underscored the importance his administration placed on safety and well-being of residents.

He said,

“The directive on total lockdown of the state, which was earlier relaxed due to the Easter celebration, has now been reinstated.

“I commend the churches for their compliance level as the reports I got were encouraging.

“Let us continue with the same zeal and commitment in order to prevent the virus from entering our state. So far, we have done well.

“I equally commend the dedication of the COVID-19 Task Force, the health personnel as well as the security agencies that have been working tirelessly to keep our state safe.”


[Nigeria] Ezekwesili scold Bello El-Rufai over rape threat.

A former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has scolded Bello el-Rufai, the son of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, for threatening to rape the mother of someone who disagreed with him on social media.

The former World Bank Vice-President also asked Bello to apologise for making acerbic comments laced with tribalism.

Ezekwesili, who also served in the same federal cabinet as Bello’s father during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said this on Twitter on Sunday.

She tweeted, “Did I just see horrific tweets from your handle threatening gang-rape? What was that? Why the ethnic vitriol toward Igbos? What’s that, Bello? Too tragic!

“You need to not just immediately apologise for those vile tweets but get into an anger management program quickly.

“I have maintained that we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can object without being objectionable. Healthy debates and divergences that arise are important for democratic development of societies.”

Trouble started after Bello took to Twitter to insult United States President, Donald Trump, over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bello said, “There is nothing as radioactive as an incompetent leader during a time of crisis. The United States of America is a case in point. A few states in Nigeria too.”

However, a Twitter user named Consigliere with the handle @oewonah, said Bello should rather focus on Nigeria’s President, Maj.Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

He insisted that the American President was miles ahead of Buhari and even Bello’s father, el-Rufai, in terms of quality leadership.

Consigliere wrote, “He (Bello) can’t call Buhari out for his ineptitude yet he’s calling Trump names? Did he vote Trump?”

El-Rufai’s son, however, decided to rain expletives on the man who disagreed with him and also insulted his ethnicity.

He tweeted, “Tell your mother I’m passing her to my friends tonight. No Igbo sounds please! Tueh.

Not done, the younger el-Rufai sent a private message to Consligiere, saying it was obvious that he was attacking Buhari because he is Igbo.

Bello further stated that Buhari was completing the Second Niger Bridge in the South-East, a feat which former President Goodluck Jonathan could not attain despite being supported by Igbo.

He also insulted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

He tweeted, “Your mother is the main whore of the South-East. I can’t reply you publicly. F**k Kanu and take a picture of the Second Niger Bridge, thanks to Buhari. My mentions are mine. If a Sunday bastard makes up lies and drags my father, his mother will be games. If he doesn’t want it, he shouldn’t mention me. The crowd has never phased (sic) me…

The outburst sparked outrage on Twitter with Bello trending at number one.

The person whose tweets Bello was directed at, expressed shock at the insults, explaining that he wasn’t even Igbo.

However, the debate became more interesting when Bello’s mother, Hadiza, who is a women’s rights advocate, was tagged.

Mrs. el-Rufai, however, defended her son’s outburst saying, “Don’t @me. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. All is fair in love and war.”

As of 3am on Twitter Nigerian time, Bello was still trending, attracting nearly 60,000 tweets

He said he would not apologise for the insults, insisting that he and his family had been victims of ethnic slurs in the past.


[Nigeria] Wike change his mind on Easter celebration in Church?

Governor Nyesom Wike has reversed the permission he granted earlier for some religious activities to hold in churches and mosques in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim said the decision was taken after the Rivers State Governor held a meeting with eminent clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians, and civil society groups.

The statement released by the commissioner reads;

The Rivers State Government has cancelled the concession granted churches to hold Easter Church Services with their full congregations.

This decision was taken after due consultations with eminent clergy men, well-meaning Nigerians and civil society groups.

For the avoidance of doubt, churches should stick to the 50 persons per service to maintain social distancing