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Presidency To Obasanjo: Your Atiku Will Be Defeated Comprehensively

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal Government says though it is the constitutional right of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support a candidate for an election, his endorsement does not guarantee victory.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the government on Monday in Abuja, said Obasanjo’s candidate for the presidential election, Atiku Abubakar “will be defeated roundly and comprehensively’’.

“With due respect to former President Obasanjo, it is his constitutional right to support any candidate of his choice and we urge him to go out and campaign vigorously for any candidate he wants to support.

“He has not hidden his preference for the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we wish him very best of luck.

“However, I want to assure you that his candidate will be defeated roundly and comprehensively. It is not about endorsement, endorsement does not win election,’’ he said.

The minister also responded to a statement credited to the former President that, “only a fool will sit on the fence when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption lack of focus, insecurity nepotism and brazen impunity’’.

Mohammed said he held Obasanjo in high esteem and probably he was not properly briefed on the development in the country to have made such conclusions,.

“The facts are all there that this government has done more than any other governments in three and half years.

On corruption, the minister said that the government had put in place institutional reforms which had confirmed its sincerity and commitment to fighting the menace.

“It is not about putting people in Jail but what are the things put in place to address this endemic problem.

“Take the example of Treasury Single Account TSA, which was not initiated by this government. It is only the Buhari administration that has the political will to implement it.

“Before we came in, there were over 22,000 government accounts in various banks.

“Since we came, we reduced it to one account and from 2015 to date N8.9 trillion has passed through the TSA which is as a result of transparency and accountability,’’ he said.

The minister said that even with lean resources, the Buhari administration had spent more on infrastructure than the 16 years of the PDP administration.

He said there was no state in the country without one or two infrastructure development being embarked upon by the federal government.

The minister said the Administration had commissioned the Abuja to Kaduna standard rail gauge while the 156 km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge would be ready for commissioning in March next year.

He said the government had made fund available for five critical infrastructure projects including the Mambilla power project, the East-West Road, the second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano and Abuja-Lokoja-Okenne highways.

Mohammed said the efforts of the administration in diversifying the economy away from oil had yielded fruits with achievement recorded in agriculture, particularly in rice production and solid mineral sectors.

On power supply, the minister said the administration had improved on generation, transmission and distribution than it met them in 2015, while Nigerians are benefiting from its numerous social investment programmes. (NAN)

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Fayose Canvasses ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ To Save Lives Amidst Lockdown, Says Hunger Kills Faster Than COVID-19

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The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose, on Monday called on governments at all levels, religious bodies, corporate organizations and well-meaning individuals to focus on strategic implementation of “stomach infrastructure.”

Fayose, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti through his Media Aide, Mr Lere Olayinka, said that his advice should be taken seriously.

According to him, hunger can kill faster than Coronavirus.

The former governor, who added that the human and economic losses, occasioned by the pandemic, would be mind-boggling, stressing “in the face of all these, leaders should remain as leaders and stand up for their people.”

He hailed the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his pro-activeness and unrelenting efforts in the management of these challenges as well as his transparency and interface with the people.

Fayose particularly called on the Federal Government to emulate the Lagos State government and do more in the area of prompt information dissemination to stem the tide of misinformation in the country.

The statement read in part; “Regrettably, we all did not plan or ever imagined this level of attack, occasioned by COVID-19.

“Same has humbled the World Powers, not to talk of Third World countries like our country, Nigeria.

“The human and economic losses seem endless and in the face of all these, leaders must remain leader and stand up for their people.

“We all know the sit-at-home is inevitable; governors and council chairmen, as well as churches and mosques that have received allocations and offerings, must forget projects and embark on full-scale strategic implementation of ‘stomach infrastructure’.

“It is time to give back to the people, as nothing else will matter now. Yam, cassava, garri, and others can be bought locally and distributed, while bakers will be glad to be patronized to bake for people for free daily, while it lasts.

“This will help to enforce the government’s stay-at-home order effortlessly. The Federal Government will be making billionaires if the so-called palliatives and physical cash is managed by the wrong hands.

“I appeal to the general public to show understanding, knowing that our challenges outweigh our income as at today.

“Today, I am sure what is on the minds of ordinary Nigerians is: ‘on stomach infrastructure we stand’. This, if well implemented, will no doubt help to enforce the stay-at-home order effortlessly.”

NAN recalls that Fayose was an apostle of stomach infrastructure while in office as governor for the second term and made it the hallmark of his administration, despite the huge criticism that greeted the idea.

 

(NAN)

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COVID-19: I Never Said There’s No Hunger In Nigeria – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has debunked some reports recently attributed to the federal government, describing them as fake news.

The Minister, while speaking on Monday at the daily press briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, lamented some elements were bent on distracting the federal government’s efforts at fighting the pandemic.

It the same vein, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, also described the belief within a section of the population that COVID-19 is an elite disease as grossly erroneous.

Mohammed decried the fact that those behind fake news were bent on distracting the work of the committee

The Minister denied ever saying there was no hunger in the country in response to complaints by a large section of the population in reaction to the restriction order and other stringent measures put in place to fight to the pandemic.

“Those who are bent on distracting the Federal Government through fake news from its focused fight against COVID-19 have not relented.

“The latest in this is the claim that I said there is no hunger in the land and that the federal government has made available N100 billion to Nigerians. It is fake. There was no time I said it nor anybody in the Taskforce said so.

“Two, they are also carrying fake news that members of the Taskforce have agreed on the sharing formula of the money that is coming into the Taskforce. Once again, it is false.

“These people are bent on distracting the government from its focus fight against COVID-19. One of the reasons we have this daily press conference is to give you updates on COVID-19.

“Any other news not emanating from either the ministers or this press conference related to COVID-19 cannot be attributed to us.

“The NCDC has a website and you can get an update on COVID-19. Some websites are notorious for this fake news and one of them is reporterspressng.com. I will advise Nigerians not to go there,” he said.

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JUST IN: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Moved To Intensive Care After Condition Worsens

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care in hospital after his coronavirus symptoms “worsened”, Downing Street has said.

Mr Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize “where necessary”, a spokesman added.

The prime minister, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London with “persistent symptoms” on Sunday.

The spokesman said he was moved on the advice of his medical team and is receiving “excellent care”.

A statement read: “Since Sunday evening, the prime minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital.”

It continued: “The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks to all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

Mr Johnson was initially taken to hospital for routine tests after testing positive for coronavirus 10 days ago.

His symptoms included a high temperature and a cough.

Earlier on Monday, he tweeted that he was in “good spirits”.

Last month, the prime minister’s spokesman said if Mr Johnson was unwell and unable to work, Mr Raab, as the first secretary of state, would stand-in.

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