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I’ve Experienced Most Turbulent Times In Office But God Has Been Faithful — Dapo Abiodun

Peter Okunoren

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun on Monday said God has continued to show his divine powers in his life and led him to triumphs in his trying times.

The governor said he had experienced one of the most turbulent times since he became governor in May.

He said his victory in the March 9 governorship election had been contested in many courts, adding that the Saturday validation of his victory at the tribunal was a further affirmation that with God, nothing is impossible.

Abiodun poured out his heart to reporters after the opening ceremony of the second plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the Sacred Heart College, Okelewo, Abeokuta, the state capital.

The conference was attended by some politicians, including Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi; Women Affairs Minister Mrs Pauline Tallen; Osun State Deputy Governor Gboyega Alabi; Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong; popular economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, and former Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Mr Jimi Agbaje – all practising Catholics.

Abiodun, who was reacting to his victory at the tribunal, stressed that he had experienced one of the most turbulent periods as governor.

The governor said he went through nine pre-election cases besides going to the tribunal.

He said: “My first reaction is to give glory to Almighty God and to say that this is a further affirmation that indeed with God, nothing shall be impossible. This victory is for Ogun State people who have entrusted me with this mandate. It has been contested in so many courts.

“I have gone through probably one of the most turbulent periods any governor could have gone through. I went through several pre-election cases, about eight or nine, and this tribunal.

“God has continued to remain God. This mandate is a divine mandate and I believe that is obvious to all. This is a decision of the people of Ogun State and that was further ratified by the people yesterday (Saturday).

“Unfortunately, I was away in Burkina Faso yesterday. But I was being informed about what was going back home and I was told it was a detailed judgment.

“I am thankful to the Judiciary, the people of Ogun State and my team of lawyers, who are very learned. I am thankful to my party, which has stood by me during this period. They are very disciplined, very resilient, supportive. I could not have opted to be in another party apart from APC.

“It is not because I am the best in the state, but I am special. God has just given me the assignment to lead Ogun State at this point in time. I have pledged I will do so with all that God has given me.”

Abiodun urged religious bodies and other organisations in the state to join his administration in its quest to make life meaningful for its people.

The governor thanked the church for its contribution to the socio-economic economic development of the state, saying the Catholic Church had played an important role in the health delivery and education of the residents.

He added that his administration was glad that the Catholic Church held its plenary at the early stage of the present administration in the state.

According to him, the session was an affirmation that God was present and the decision of the election tribunal in his favour showed God’s manifest powers.

BIG STORY

2,191 COVID-19 Patients Yet To Report For Treatment —– Lagos Govt

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The Lagos State Government has said that 2,191 COVID-19 patients who are located across communities have yet to submit themselves for treatment at the state care centres.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this on Friday, added that residents of the state must continue to take the responsibility of wearing face masks in public in addition to regular handwashing and physical distancing.

Abayomi said on his Twitter handle that the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state stood at 45,490.

He said, “The new cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Lagos to 11,537 as of Wednesday. Also, 2,191 active cases in communities have yet to turn up for admission in COVID-19 Lagos care centres. For a greater Lagos, we take responsibility by wearing our face masks when in public spaces in addition to regular handwashing and physical distancing.

“Stopping the community spread of COVID-19 begins with you. Staying alive and safe together begins with us. 1,753 of the confirmed cases have since been discharged from COVID-19 care centres following full recovery while 7,059 of the confirmed cases are being monitored in communities by the COVID-19 Lagos response team.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, has said the state government will on Monday come out with its reaction to the cancellation of the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations by the Federal Government.

Adefisayo, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said the state was still reviewing the Federal Government’s decision and would soon make its stance known.

She said, “We are still reviewing the situation and will let you know our decision on Monday. I don’t want to say more than that; give us time. It is something we can’t respond to now. There is not enough clarity; so it’s better to speak when I do.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control said on Friday that the country recorded 575 new COVID-19 cases nationwide to bring the total cases to 31,323. The NCDC noted that 12,795 patients had been discharged while 709 deaths had occurred.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, during the press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, announced that the 2020 WASSCE conducted by WAEC would hold between August 4 and September 5.

But Adamu said on Wednesday that all federal schools would remain closed until it was safe to reopen them.

He also urged state governments that have announced school’s resumption plans to rescind such.

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COVID-19: Emirates Airline To Cut Up To 9,000 Jobs

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The scale of Covid-19’s impact on Emirates Airlines has been revealed for the first time with the carrier’s president saying they will “probably” have to cut up to 9,000 jobs.

Emirates, according to the report, had 60,000 staff prior to the crisis and announced on May 31 it had axed roles but did not reveal how many jobs were cut.

Sir Tim Clark told the BBC that the carrier had removed a tenth of its staff, which would leave 54,000 jobs after 6,000 were removed.

However, Sir Tim added: “We will probably have to let go of a few more, probably up to 15%.”

Prior to the cuts announced in May, Emirates was the sole holdout among the Gulf’s three major East-West carriers on retaining staff.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways axed staff as countries shut down their airspace as the virus spread.

Sir Tim acknowledged to the BBC the carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, was “not as badly off as others” and was “heading for one of our best years ever” prior to the pandemic.

Announcing the cuts in March, the company said it would treat its staff “with fairness and respect”.

Its statement added: “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is … but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”

The number of total losses expected at Emirates comes the day after the British Airlines Pilots’ Association slammed proposals by carrier easyJet to use sick days as a factor when deciding which pilots to axe as part of its wave of redundancies as “unnecessary and wrong”.

Job losses have stretched far beyond the travel sector and throughout the entire UK economy.

A day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out his “plan for jobs” it was found that almost 10,000 posts are at risk at household-name firms on the high street as a result of the pandemic.

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BIG STORY

APC In Ondo, Who Do We Send? —- Moyo Odunlami

Peter Okunoren

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In the last couple of weeks, the race for who would win the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket has been on in earnest and many wonders who would emerge at the primaries scheduled to hold July 20.

Asides needing a creditable candidate, Ondo APC is in dire need of rescue and ultimate restoration. Presently, the word on many lips is that among the list of 12 candidates, one man that distinctly ticks all the right boxes is Olusola Oke; he is marketable, beloved, and honorable.

Not a man new to the intrigues of politics, Olusola Oke, in many quarters has been known to be a bridge-builder, a party man, and an excellent patriot.

Having previously run against the last two governors of the state and graciously accepted defeat, his reemergence is like that of a phoenix ready shine from the embers of the political turmoil in which APC has been embroiled in over the last few months.

Asides being a well-loved, quality scion of Ondo, Oke’s right to candidacy does not only stem from his political know-how, but he has also built key friendships and partnerships that would bring unimaginable goodwill, both to APC and Ondo as a whole.

No doubt, the emergence of such a man as the APC gubernatorial candidate would do much to repair the reputation of the party as a beacon for good governance in Ondo State.

Oke as APC gubernatorial candidate would also recall lost party members who had previously decamped. He would be the rallying point for all, including those who are certain to decamp from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo.

Ondo APC is a party in dire need of a facelift and the reality is that Olusola Oke is the man, the only man that can restore it to its old glory, breathe new life into it, and ensure that the party retains its supremacy in the Sunshine State come October 10.

Moyo odunlami writes from Alagbaka Akure

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