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Former Minister of Information, Alex Akinyele, dies at 81

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Alex Akinyele, the colourful former Nigerian Minister of Information is dead. He was aged 81.

His son, Constantine Kayode Akinfolarin Akinyele, announced the death in a post on Facebook. He said the Ondo high chief passed away on Thursday night after a brief illness.

“With thanksgiving for his life, I am sad to announce we lost our father and grandfather Chief Alexander Opeyemi Akinyele earlier today after a brief illness May his soul rest in peace.

“He will be missed by his children, grandchildren, family and friends”, Constantine wrote.

Akinyele, former Customs PR man was the minister for information during a phase of the Babangida administration.

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He also served as chairman of the Nigerian Sports Commission.

He was secretary-general and later president of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

Akinyele was born in Ondo town and began his primary education at All Saints School, Ondo. He had his secondary education at Gboluji Grammar School.

He then attended St Andrews College, Oyo to obtain a teacher’s training certificate.

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He taught briefly at Gboluji before going to the University of Ife to earn a degree in English.

In 1967, Akinyele joined the Department of Customs in Lagos, where he rose to be its spokesman. He worked in that position until 1978 when he joined a cosmetic company, in Lagos.

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Nigeria records 503 new COVID-19 cases, total now 29, 879

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Nigeria, on Tuesday, recorded 503 new cases of COVID-19 in 20 states, bring the total confirmed cases to 29,879, with 669 deaths.

Of the new cases reported by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Lagos which is the epicenter, leads with a total of 153 cases, followed by Ondo State with 76 confirmed cases.

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Other states are Edo-54, FCT-41, Enugu-37, Rivers-30, Benue-24,Osun-20, Kaduna-15, Kwara-13, Abia-9, Borno-8, Plateau-6, Taraba-5, Ogun-3, Kano-3, Kebbi-2, Nasarawa-2,  Bayelsa-1 and Gombe-1.

So far Nigeria has discharged a total of 12,108 and had recorded 669 deaths as of July 7.

The NCDC report also revealed that 203 cases were discharged in the last 24 hours in 11 states— Edo, 87; FCT, 33; Lagos, 23; Rivers, 19;  Akwa Ibom, 17; Ebonyi, 12; Kano, 5; Gombe, 3; Ondo, 2; Bauchi, 1 and Ogun, 1.

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Also, 11 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours in six states: Oyo -5, Rivers -2 Adamawa 1, Akwa Ibom 1, Bayelsa -1, and Gombe- 1.

503 new cases of COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-153
Ondo-76
Edo-54
FCT-41
Enugu-37
Rivers-30
Benue-24
Osun-20
Kaduna-15
Kwara-13
Abia-9
Borno-8
Plateau-6
Taraba-5
Ogun-3
Kano-3
Kebbi-2
Nasarawa-2
Bayelsa-1
Gombe-1

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29,879 confirmed
12,108 discharged
669 deaths

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Ghana reopens 600 Nigerian shops after six months

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Over Six Hundred (600) shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been reopened to business by the Ghanaian government has been under lock and key for over six months.

According to a statement signed on Tuesday by Gabriel Odu of Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) Ken Ukaoha disclosed this on Solidarity visit to the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Tuesday, in Abuja.

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Ukaoha stated that the visit to NIDCOM is to commend and appreciate the Chairman/CEO Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa for her untiring and unrelenting efforts in resolving the lockdown of Nigerian shops in Ghana for over six months.

Ukaoha believes that the ECOWAS Protocol of the Free Movement of Persons, Goods, and Services shouldn’t be observed in breach but rather be observed in the spirit of brotherhood and diplomatic reciprocity.

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In a similar development, Abike Dabiri-Erewa lauded the NANTS led by its Ukaoha for appreciating NIDCOM’s role in the reopening of Nigerian shops in Ghana, the statement said.

She also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and stated that the intervention was multi-level especially at the highest level of diplomacy and bilateral relations between Ghana and Nigeria. Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerian traders in Ghana to always obey the laws of their host country and conduct themselves with respect and dignity.

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It could be recalled that shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been on lockdown since December 2019.

The reopening of the shops may also have been connected with the effort being made by the Ghanaian Government to appease the Nigerian government in order to resolve the recent face-off with Nigeria over the demolition of a residential building within the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

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Why probing Atiku, Saraki and myself for connection with Hushpuppi is a huge joke, Timi Frank explains

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Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Tuesday, described the call for the investigation of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ex-Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Senator Dino Melaye and himself as a huge joke.

A suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi was recently arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United States of America (USA) where he is currently facing trial.

Following his arrest, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had called for the probe of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, including Atiku, Saraki, Dogara, Melaye, and Frank for appearing in certain photographs with the suspect.
However, the PDP in a statement described the call for the arrest and probe of some of its prominent members over alleged links to Hushpuppi as “reckless and irresponsible,” saying it further exposed a victimization agenda of the APC.

Atiku, Saraki, and Dogara have also in separate statements denied any business connection with the suspect.

Frank in a statement in Abuja, said the photographs under reference were taken at a public function and therefore cannot be proof that any of them had business dealings with the suspect.

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The Bayelsa-born Political Activist said:

“That Hushpuppi was privileged to be in a function where he took pictures with His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, former Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Senator Dino Melaye, and my humble self, does not prove that any of us had business dealings of any kind with him.

“Hushpuppi is a Nigerian that was in a function with Nigerians and like any other Nigerian, asked for a photo session with these Nigerian leaders which they obliged.

“I understand that this is beyond the comprehension of the APC’s regime, especially the Head of State, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, because Nigerians loathe them and run away from them whenever they come across them in foreign countries, hence they are trying to rope us into imaginary business dealings with Hushpuppi.

“Does the APC think that the USA and its security agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), make arrests before the investigation?

“Does the APC government not realize that investigation was carried out before Hushpuppi was arrested?

“America is not Nigeria where the APC’s militant wing, alias the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies, go about harassing innocent citizens even before any investigation is carried out.

“We know that the APC’s government and its sycophantic town criers are very good at weaving lies, propaganda, stealing and embezzling of public funds, supporting Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and protecting APC political Hushpuppies like the cabals in the Villa who before 2015 were in debt and extreme poverty, but have within the last five years of Buhari’s regime become multibillionaires.

“They even acquired Etisalat, now known as 9Mobile, Keystone Bank, etc. Some of these APC political hushpuppies even had bullion vans in their houses during the 2019 presidential election campaigns.

“We have seen an APC governor open a bank in his ‘Babariga’ where he openly pocketed huge amounts of dollars without personal shame or repercussions from this government.

“We have seen billions of dollars frittered away at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and other government agencies under the APC regime.

“Even the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, last week, called for the sack of the head of the EFCC over corruption allegations. The EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, is presently being quizzed by a Presidential Panel constituted by this regime.

“What can be more embarrassing to a country than for the head of its anti-graft crusade to be indicted for corruption?

“APC and this regime should bury their head in shame as this is the most corrupt democratic administration in the history of our beloved country.

“If Hushpuppi had been extradited to Nigeria, this corrupt and clueless Buhari-led APC regime would have set him free.

“The FBI does not need anybody to urge them to act or investigate any individual if they have evidence against anybody they will do the needful as they are professionals in their job.

“Finally, Buhari and the APC should stop wasting time sponsoring unnecessary protests, rather they should focus on delivering the fake promises they made to Nigerians during their electioneering campaigns and to think of how to repay all the debts they have accumulated through incessant foreign and local loans.

END

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Comrade Timi Frank
Political Activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC
Abuja.

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