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From Hajj to prison, Nigerians plead Zainab’s case

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Zainab Aliyu departed her home country Nigeria in December 2018 to perform one of her religious rights, the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia with no knowledge of the fate that awaited her there.

On arrival at the airport in Saudi Arabia, she was separated from the rest of her family with the promise that she would return to them shortly. But since December 26, 2018, till date that is yet to happen, the family would later learn she had been detained on the grounds that she possessed drugs, tramadol.

However, while in detention in Saudi Arabia, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria, received a petition from her father, seeking a probe into his daughter’s ordeal.

Following the petition, the NDLEA Commander in charge of MAKIA launched an investigation, which culminated in the arrest and arraignment of seven staff of the airport.

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However, what Nigerians are yet to come to terms with is why the Nigerian government has not handed the syndicate over to the Saudi government in exchange for the release of allegedly innocent Zainab.

Nigerians have taken to various social media handles to cry out on behalf of Zainab, this not excluding her family members, the latest being her sister who in a video is seen narrating what led up to Zainabs detention.

See Nigerians’ reactions below:

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Domestic flights to resume June 21, says Sirika

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The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has announced that domestic flights, which had been suspended since March due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, will resume on June 21.

A statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Mr. James Odaudu, Director of Public Affairs in the ministry, quoted Sirika as saying this at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to Sirika, the resumption of flights will be based strictly on the implementation of the approved protocols for the safe operations of the airlines.

“ The three-week period between now and the resumption date is to enable the operators adhere to all the necessary industry regulations, without which they cannot take to the skies after being dormant for some time.

“This is because aviation, unlike other sectors, is a highly regulated one,” he said.

The minister added that consultations had been on between the ministry and the industry’s stakeholders on the best ways to operate profitably, while, at the same time, ensuring the safety of travelers upon resumption.

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Sirika cautioned owners of private aircraft, who, he said, were in the habit of asking for permits to fly within the country despite the restrictions in place, to desist, as the restrictions were still in place.

“ Except for those on essential services, which have been clearly defined,” the minister added.

He said that since approval for flights on essential services was not being paid for, it would take little or no time to grant it.

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Sirika warned against people allowing themselves to be scammed by those outside the approving authorities.
He pointed out that the sector, under his watch, had zero tolerance for corrupt practices since his assumption of office as minister.

The minister also expressed gratitude to the stakeholders in the aviation sector for their cooperation, in spite of their unquantifiable losses, occasioned by the lockdown since March.

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He assured that everything humanly possible would be done to ensure speedy recovery of the sector.

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COVID-19: Aisha Buhari renovates 15-bed capacity facility in Nasarawa

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has renovated and equipped a 15-bed capacity ward in Mararaba Gurku Medical Centre in Nasarawa State to provide a conducive atmosphere for COVID-19 patients.

Buhari also built two sanitary and administrative block in the facility.

Buhari, who was represented by Dr Haji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, said the facility was part of her effort towards supporting the state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

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She urged the management of the centre to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.

The first lady also distributed personal protective equipment (PPEs), food items and other medical equipment.

Buhari enjoined residents of the state to sustain prayers against the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In his response, the Nasarawa State deputy governor and Chairman, State Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the first lady for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.

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Akabe said the state government was making frantic efforts towards containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He said the facility would be used as one of the isolation centres to cater to the COVID-19 patients in the state.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Usman George, expressed appreciation to the first lady for the gesture.

George said that the facility was one of the sites identified by the state government to treat COVID-19 patients.

”We want to make proper use of this place to have a unilateral flow where you have donning areas where you have personal protective equipment and areas where you remove the personal protective equipment.

”We also intend to put cardiac monitors and one or two ventilators as part of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

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JUST IN: FG reviews nationwide curfew

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Motorists spend the night at Osborne Road in Ikoyi for violating curfew order

The Federal Government has reviewed the curfew dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this during a briefing in Abuja on Monday.

He said the PTF has reviewed the 8 pm-6 am curfew earlier announced by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) during his address on April 27.

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Aliyu said the curfew would now be between 10 pm and 4 am daily.

He said:

“Effective from Tuesday, June 2, the easing of the lockdown will be characterised by the following:

“The nationwide curfew will remain in place but the timing will be reduced to 10pm to 4am.

“Just to clarify, the purpose of the curfew is to limit social interaction and therefore reduce the spread of the virus.

“Persons that are on essential duty including but not limited to those involved in the provision of health services, media services and critical infrastructure are exempted.”

The national coordinator stressed that the goal of the review is to allow the full restoration of the Nigerian economy.

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