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BIG STORY

Nigerian Army Begins Operation Crocodile Smile In Lagos, Ogun

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The 81 Division of Nigerian Army said it would commence Operation Crocodile Smile IV on Tuesday in Lagos and Ogun States.

Major Kamarudeen Adegoke, Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that the exercise would be conducted from November 19 to December 23.

The Army Spokesman said that the exercise was aimed at enhancing troops operational proficiency, inter-agency cooperation, and civil-military coordination.

It said that the exercise was also aimed at curbing prevalent contemporary security challenges such as kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, ritual killing and pipeline vandalism within its area of responsibility.

“There would be free medical outreach, maintenance of some selected roads and distribution of educational materials to some schools in Lagos and Ogun State,” he said.

The statement advised members of the public not to panic on sighting troops and movement of military equipment throughout the period of the exercise.

BIG STORY

COVID-19: SGF Boss Mustapha, Others Attend Church Service, Pray Against Virus

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, other government officials and Christian leaders on Sunday attended the interdenominational church prayer service against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service is the culmination of three days of fasting and prayer organised by the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had asked Christians and Muslims to resort to prayers as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the country.

An Islamic prayer was held on Friday in Abuja where special prayers were rendered against the deadly virus.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Oyo Deputy Governor Denied Access To Ajimobi’s 8th Day Fidau Prayer

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There was a mild drama on Sunday at the Oluyole, Ibadan residence of the former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, when the state deputy governor Rauf Olaniyan was denied access to the eighth-day fidau prayers holding in the compound.

The family had announced the fidau prayer as a private program, urging the public to watch through virtual channels including Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook.

Olaniyan arrived at the residence at about 11:20 am in a convoy of five vehicles. On getting to the gate of the road leading to Ajimobi’s residence, the convoy was stopped by policemen and members of other security agencies manning the gate. They insisted that only the deputy governor’s vehicle could be allowed into the street to join the prayer.

The deputy governor’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but when their argument was degenerating, a senior policeman intervened and they eventually agreed that only the deputy governor’s vehicle should go in.

But on getting to Ajimobi’s house, the gate was also locked. The deputy governor’s aides introduced their principal but they were told that the gate had been locked and that Mrs. Ajimobi was in possession of the key. Olaniyan waited, believing that the issue would be sorted in no time.

After waiting for about 15 minutes, however, without any positive development, Olaniyan left the residence.

Prayers were still ongoing at press time.

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BIG STORY

You Are Incapacitated, Hand Over To Me; Ondo Deputy Gov Tells Akeredolu

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Agboola Ajayi, deputy governor of Ondo state, has asked Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor, to hand over to him.

Akeredolu has been in isolation since Tuesday when he tested positive for COVID-19.

While announcing that he would be going into isolation, the governor appealed to the people to keep safe and observe the safety protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

However, he was silent about transmitting power to his deputy.

When the issue of handing over to the deputy governor was raised at a media briefing on Friday, Donald Ojogho, commissioner for information, said the governor will never allow Ajayi to take control of the state.

“Handing over the governance of the state to Agboola is a non-issue and we are not even considering that. I know as a matter of fact that nobody would want to do that… He (deputy governor) has created an unusual scenario upon which he wanted to climb into the next step in his political ambition and we have seen this as a misadventure. We cannot toil with what we have built over the years. We cannot risk and attempt to hand over to someone who has exhibited the widest scenario of betrayal. So, it is unthinkable,” he had said.

But in a statement on Saturday, Ajayi said he ought to be the acting governor since Akeredolu has been partially incapacitated.

He said the refusal of the governor to allow him to take charge of the state amounts to a “flagrant disregard for the country’s constitution”.

“Section 190 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is apposite in the prevailing constitutional aberration in Ondo State,” Ajayi said in a statement Allen Sowore, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“However, it should be noted, that Mr Governor is at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

“Ostensibly, the refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy, while he is temporarily incapacitated in self- isolation, underscore his absolute disregard for our nation’s supreme document, 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the tenets of rule of law.

“The Governor’s position is a spite on the Ondo State people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

“Governor Akeredolu’s deliberate mounting of obstacles to smooth running of government machinery while he’s in self-isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 privileges the hypocritical nature of Ondo State government’s war against the ravaging pandemic.”

Akeredolu and Ajayi have been having a running battle, which reached its height when the deputy governor resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor had fired all the aides attached to Ajayi’s office and his police escort was withdrawn until Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police intervened.

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