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I’m not sleeping on duty, Buhari replies Catholic Bishop

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The Presidency on Monday disagreed with the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt Rev Fr Stephen Mamza, over claims that President Muhammadu Buhari was “sleeping on duty as the Commander-in-Chief.” 

The cleric had, during an Easter homily he delivered in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on Sunday, criticised the Buhari administration for allegedly failing to halt insecurity in the country, especially escalating kidanappings, banditry and other violent crimes.

Speaking specifically on the latest killings in Zamfara, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba and Southern Kaduna, the bishop said,
“We are really in a dilemma. We (Nigerians) are feeling that we don’t have protection. From all indications, there is nothing being done. There have been calls from all over the country. Look at what is happening in Zamfara State; look at what is happening in Benue periodically, in Nasarawa State and now in Adamawa (Southern Adamawa).

“If there is a government in place, then the government should listen to the people and address the security challenges. We have mass burials from time to time and there is no sign the government cares about what is happening.”

But the Presidency on Monday disagreed with the bishop, denying that Buhari had been sleeping on duty.

It accused Mamza of not “staying above politics” and also not making “a fair comment” about Buhari.

The Presidency went on to recount what Buhari had done to restore security since he assumed duty in 2015, especially in the war against insurgency.

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It argued that but for Buhari’s efforts, Yola and other towns in Adamawa and the rest of the North-East would still be under the control of Boko Haram.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, who gave the Presidency’s position, stated,

“There is so much that has changed in the past three to four years in and around Yola, and the Catholic Church in particular that a true assessment would show that, but for the change administration of President Buhari, things would have continued the way they were, or even get worse. These could not have happened if a Commander-in- Chief was asleep.

“Bishop Mamza was, and is still a strong member of the Adamawa Peace Initiative, API, composed of religious and community leaders, which did the lovely work housing and feeding 400,000 displaced people from Northern Adamawa and Borno states in 2015. The API also did the extraordinary work of easing tensions between Muslims and Christians during that period and ensured that both groups did not turn on one another based on suspicion.

“As widely reported by the local and international press, in the premises of St. Theresa’s Cathedral where Rev Mamza ministered, there were more than 1,500 IDPs, mostly women and children on whom the church administered food rations and issued bags of maize, cooking oil and seasoning. We are truly touched and very grateful for the work that the Bishop and the others had done in that difficult period.

“Now that Boko Haram has been degraded, the more than 400,000 displaced people absorbed by the Adamawa community have all gone back to Borno State and to those council areas in northern Adamawa.”

“In addition to the capital, Yola, the towns of Michika, Madagali and Mubi, which had been occupied by Boko Haram during their military advances, have since been retaken by the Nigerian military, whose personnel are also clearing litters of Boko Haram’s carnage and are, through the support of the administration as well as local and international partners, rebuilding roads and bridges, power lines, burnt schools, markets, destroyed churches and mosques.”

Claiming further credits, the Presidency said the North-East fared better under Buhari in terms of security of lives and property.

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It added,

“Without an iota of doubt, the North-East is better off with President Buhari than it was under the previous administration. That should explain the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the President for a second term of four years.

“Sadly, one of the realities of today’s Nigeria is that it is easy to blame President Buhari for the violence all around us. Community leaders are too scared to blame the warlords and the sponsors of killings we live with because they fear for their own lives.”

On the recent inter-communal and religious clashes in parts of the country, the Presidency noted that the leaders in such communities were to blame by failing to expose the perpetrators.

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It explained,

“What is happening in several communities racked by inter-ethnic and religious violence is arising from the refusal of community leaders to point at known criminals in their midst for the law enforcement agencies to act against them. They rather blame President Buhari for their woes.

“It is indeed an irony that in the week that Bishop Mamza was speaking, another Bishop with a known commitment to peace, and results to show for his work in neighbouring Plateau State, is being dispatched to go to Taraba, Adamawa and Benue states to work in collaboration with security agencies in mending broken inter-communal relationships.

“This senseless violence can never be condoned by the administration and we sympathise with the families of those who lost loved ones as well as those injured. The administration’s intense security efforts and peace building will not only continue, but will expand in response to such explosions of violence in the country.”

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JUST IN: Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases now 8344

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Nigeria on Tuesday recorded 276 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total active cases to 8344.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on its official twitter handle, said that as of May 26, 2020, 14 deaths were recorded in the country.

The health agency said no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.

“276 new cases of #COVID19; Lagos-161 Rivers-36 Edo-27 Kaduna-19 Nasarawa-10 Oyo-6 Kano-4 Delta-3 Ebonyi-3 Gombe-2 Ogun-1 Ondo-1 Borno-1 Abia-1 Bauchi-1

“8344 cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria

“Discharged: 2385 Deaths: 249”

Global Report:

Since 31 December 2019 and as of 26 May 2020, 5 459 528 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 345 994 deaths.

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Cases have been reported from:

Africa: 115 868 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are South Africa (23 615), Egypt (17 967), Algeria (8 503), Nigeria (8 068), and Morocco (7 532).

Asia: 971 938 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Turkey (157 814), India (145 380), Iran (137 724), China (84 102), and Saudi Arabia (74 795).

America: 2 518 852 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are United States (1 662 302), Brazil (374 898), Peru (123 979), Canada (85 700), and Chile (73 997).

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Europe: 1 843 581 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Russia (353 427), United Kingdom (261 184), Spain (235 400), Italy (230 158), and Germany (179 002).

Oceania: 8 593 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Australia (7 118), New Zealand (1 154), Guam (166), French Polynesia (89), and Northern Mariana Islands (22).

Other: 696 cases have been reported from an international conveyance in Japan.

Deaths have been reported from:

Africa: 3 478 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are Egypt (783), Algeria (609), South Africa (481), Nigeria (233), and Morocco (200).

Asia: 27 680 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are Iran (7 451), China (4 638), Turkey (4 369), India (4 167), and Indonesia (1 391).

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America: 146 391 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are United States (98 220), Brazil (23 473), Mexico (7 633), Canada (6 545), and Peru (3 629).

Europe: 168 308 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are United Kingdom (36 914), Italy (32 877), France (28 432), Spain (26 834), and Belgium (9 312).

Oceania: 130 deaths; the four countries reporting deaths are Australia (102), New Zealand (21), Guam (5), and Northern Mariana Islands (2).

Other: 7 deaths have been reported from an international conveyance in Japan.

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Kaduna extends lockdown for another two weeks

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According to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who made the announcement in a broadcast to residents, the two weeks lockdown would start as from June 1st, 2020,

The two-day windows remained Wednesdays and Thursdays for now.

However, as from the June 1st, 2020, the relaxation windows would be extended from two days to three days.

She said the three days window took effect Monday, June 1st 2020, saying that instead of Wednesdays and Thursdays, the three days window, would start from Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The government had imposed its quarantine orders on the state for one month beginning March 26 and extended it from April 26, to May 26, 2020.

The Deputy Governor who is also the Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force in the state, said the period of extension, required that citizen would adhere to safety guidelines which included greater compliance in wearing of face masks, washing of hands with water and soaps and avoidance of large gathering.

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She said a violation of these guidelines would now force the government to re-imposed the restriction order.

She added that the compliance of residents helps in no small way to reduce the number of infected persons and kept fatalities to a minimum.

According to Balarabe, during the additional two weeks lockdown, the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remains, adding that government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.

“In addition, the nighttime curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am,” added.

Moreover, the Deputy Governor continued that “schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders.”

The Deputy Governor said,

“After 60 days, the state government has reviewed the Quarantine Orders. The Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has approved the recommendation to extend the partial lockdown regulations for two weeks, with adjustments to permit the reopening of certain sectors.

“These measures are intended to preserve the state’s ability to protect citizens, empower citizens to lead the fight against Covid-19 and make necessary adjustments to the partial lockdown to permit the safe resumption of the pursuit of livelihoods in more sectors.

“The Kaduna State Government is conscious of the sacrifices that citizens have made and the many challenges that remain in keeping them safe from Covid-

“This is why the state government has adjusted and extended the Quarantine Orders, by two weeks to empower citizens to more steadfastly carry forward, the against fight Covid-19.

“Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of facemasks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular handwashing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings.

“Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions. A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions.

She added,

“This week, the relaxation of movement will be effected on Wednesday and Thursday.

“From Monday, 1st June 2020, the revised regulations will come into effect. They give citizens a three-day window every week to shop for food and other essentials. Until otherwise stated, the lockdown-free days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“Temporary neighbourhood markets will continue to operate from 10am to 4pm on these three days, but citizens can move from 6am to 6pm on these lockdown-free days.

“Informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop.

“The adjusted orders also expand the ability of citizens to resume the pursuit of livelihoods, in permitted sectors subject to compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing.

“Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This window also allows vulcanisers, welders, mechanics and providers of similar services to operate on the same days.”

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France reports more than 28,500 coronavirus deaths

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France’s cumulative death toll from coronavirus infection rose by 73 or 0.3 per cent to 28,530 on Tuesday.

This is a similar rate of increase as the day before despite health authorities having resumed taking into account nursing home data after a four-day interruption.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the number of fatalities was up 83 in hospitals, to 18,195.

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But the death toll in nursing homes has been revised to 10,335, 10 fewer than the last time it was published.

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