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Seun Onigbinde bows to pressure, resigns as Technical Adviser to Budget minister

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Seun Onigbinde appointment

Co-founder of BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde, on Monday, announced his resignation as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba.

He made this announcement in a note he posted on his Medium page titled ‘An Update  On My Recent Appointment’, a link of which he shared on his official Twitter handle.

Onigbinde said,

“Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.”

Recall that his appointment which came to public knowledge last Friday generated a series of social media reactions with many slamming him for ‘lowering his standard’ as an advocate and critic to take up a political appointment with the government he constantly criticised.

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The criticisms became more intense when Twitter users discovered that Onigbinde had deleted his account over fears of backlashes from Nigerians.

In the Medium note he posted on Monday, Onigbinde wrote:

“Friends,

“Kindly recall that I sent out a note recently on my interest to seek new experiences and that I would be working as a Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning for a short period.

“It is clear that recent media reports about my appointment have created a complex narrative, which I believe would engender an atmosphere of mistrust, as I planned to proceed.

“Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.

“I am very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for believing in my expertise and I also thank everyone who sent his or her congratulations to me in the short period. I have also been humbled by the faith and belief that numerous persons have expressed in me.

“My sincere interest is to see a Nigeria that grows and optimises resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.

“My loyalty to the good cause of our nation, Nigeria compelled me to accept the call to provide technical skills and this experience has more than strengthened it.

“I also want to wish the Nigerian Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, well. I will always be of help to the federal government in my capacity as the Director of BudgIT, a critical fiscal transparency group, as I have been to several agencies. I would also work to ensure that BudgIT continues to build civic awareness on the right of every Nigerian to know how public resources are managed.

“Thank you all.

“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”

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COVID-19: NAF produces ventilators to support fight against pandemic

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The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has produced locally-made ventilators as its contribution to national efforts towards fighting the novel coronavirus disease.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal (AM) Sadique Abubakar, announced this during Eid-el-Fitri lunch with troops of the Air Component of “Operation Lafiya Dole” at the Airforce Base in Maiduguri on Monday.

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Abubakar said that the locally-made ventilator was a product of a research development program by the Nigerian Airforce in partnership with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He said that the ventilators would be commissioned on May 27.

He explained that as part of the measures to combat the pandemic, NAF had distributed a reusable face mask to all its personnel while PPE and ventilators were provided at the Nigerian Airforce Hospitals in Maiduguri.

“I wish to remind us of the need to maintain continues vigilance and ensure strict adherence to necessary guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19,’’ he said.

The CAS said that despite the challenges of competing resources, occasioned by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, NAF has maintained the tempo of its operations, not only in the North East, but other parts of the country.

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COVID-19: Gombe to install, inaugurate testing centre on Wednesday

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The Gombe Government is to install and inaugurate a Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing center on Wednesday, a task force official has said.

Prof. Idris Mohammed, Chairman of the state task force on the COVID-19, disclosed this at a news conference on Monday in Gombe while giving an update on the pandemic in the state.

He said that the testing machine would be arriving Gombe on Tuesday, May 26, while officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be arriving the state on Wednesday May 27, to install and inaugurate it.

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According to him, soon after the installation of the machine, testing of suspected cases will begin.

He stated that the presence of the testing center in the state would ease the difficulties of traveling with samples for tests to other states.

Mohammed noted that so far 44 out of the 64 almajiri pupils, who were quarantined in Amada, had tested negative and reunited with their families.

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The chairman said they were still awaiting the remaining 20 results of the almajiri pupils who were quarantined.

He said the state was hoping they returned negative adding that as soon as the results were out they would also be reunited with their families.

According to him, there are only 15 persons in the isolation centers, five at the Specialist Hospital, and the remaining 10 at the Kwadon Isolation Centre in Yamaltu-Deba Local Government Area of the state.

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Burundi’s ruling party candidate, Evariste Ndayishimiye, wins presidential election

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Burundi’s ruling party candidate won a presidential election held last week, securing 68.72% of the vote, the electoral commission said on Monday.

Evariste Ndayishimiye, a retired general, will take over from President Pierre Nkurunziza, after he beat the main opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa, and five others, avoiding a runoff by securing more than 50% of the vote.

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Mr. Ndayishimye defeated six challengers in the race to succeed current president, Pierre Nkurunziza. Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005, decided not to stand for a fourth term. Ndayishimiye had been dubbed as Nkurunziza’s “heir”.

The main opposition candidate, Agathon Rwasa, president of the National Council for Liberty (CNL), has already accused the government of “cheating” and “pure manipulation”, saying the results were “fanciful”. However, he also says he has no plans to protest the results at this time and would settle for an appeal to Burundi’s Constitutional Court.

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Ndayishimiye is expected to be sworn in for a seven-year term in late August when Nkurunziza’s term ends.

The May 20th election could potentially be Burundi’s first democratic transfer of power in its 58-year-history.

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