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Trump Orders Governors To Reopen ‘Essential,’ Religious Centers

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United States President Donald Trump on Friday ordered Governors to allow religious centers, declaring them as “essential”.

He announced that new Centres for Disease Control guidance will classify houses of worship as “essential.”

He told Governors to allow them to open “right now” after being closed during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues, and mosques during a short briefing at the White House.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now–for this weekend,” Trump said.

“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

“In America, we need more prayer not less,” Trump said.

“I consider them essential,” Trump said earlier Friday of houses of worship of all faiths.

On Thursday, Trump had a conference call with 1,600 pastors and faith leaders from around the country, including Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

He reassured them he wants to get churches reopened.

Trump telegraphed the decision Thursday when he announced he spoke to the CDC on finding ways to reopen houses of worship during the pandemic.

“We’ve got to get our churches open,” Trump said Thursday.

Some faith leaders have argued that social distancing rules have violated First Amendment religious freedoms.

Others have defied state and local rules and tried to reopen.

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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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COVID-19: Ex-LASIMRA Boss, Jide Odekunle, Dies At Lagos Isolation Center

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Chief Jide Odekunle, immediate past General Manager of LASIMRA during the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos State, has died.

The top socialite reportedly died of Coronavirus complications at the Onikan isolation center.

He was also the former secretary of the Ikoyi Club.

He was until his death the Bobagunwa of Egbaland.

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JUST IN: Ebonyi Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

Details later…

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