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Olalekan Adetayo, state house correspondent of the PUNCH newspaper who was expelled from Aso Villa on Monday, says Bashir Abubakar, the chief security officer (CSO), told him the president could rule Nigeria for eight years.

Abubakar had summoned Adetayo on Monday over two reports – ‘Seat of power’s event centres going into extinction’ and ‘Fresh anxiety in Aso Rock over Buhari’s poor health’ – published by the newspaper.

After questioning him, the CSO directed that his accreditation tag be withdrawn and that he should be escorted out of the villa.

Adetayo said the CSO had insisted that the stories had political motives, and that they were about the next election year.

He narrated how he had alerted Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, of the CSO’s invitation.

“Adesina advised that I honour the invitation and update him on developments,” Adetayo said.

“On getting to the CSO’s office, he was initially polite. He offered me a seat and asked how I was doing and I replied I was fine. He then first confronted me with my column, Aso Rock Lens, published on Saturday, April 22, 2017. He was angry with one of the items in the column titled ‘Seat of power’s event centers going into extinction’.

“In that piece, I highlighted some places in the Presidential Villa that hitherto had hosted high-profile events. I wrote that lately, events had not been held inside the halls. He said I was insinuating that government had collapsed in Nigeria.

“The CSO then brought out a copy of April 23, 2017, edition of SUNDAY PUNCH. He was visibly angry about the lead story titled ‘Fresh anxiety in Aso Rock over Buhari’s poor health’. That story was about how the President had not been seen in public in the last two weeks except when he made brief appearances at the mosque inside the Presidential Villa for Juma’at services last Friday and penultimate Friday. That story included the reaction of Adesina, who said the President was recuperating and that the prayer of all was that he recovered fully soon.

“He told me that the president was free to rule the country from wherever he liked. He said the stories were meant to portray the president as incapacitated and that it had to do with the politics of 2019… He said if God had sanctioned it, Buhari would rule the country for eight years, no man could stop him.”

Adetayo said on his way out of the villa, a policeman snapped his photograph and he protested immediately.

“I caught one of them, a policeman, snapping my photograph with his telephone handset and I protested. I told him I am not a criminal and he has no right to snap me,” he said.

“He was apologetic and attempted to show me the handset to prove that he had deleted the picture but I told him I was not interested in his claim.

“I was driven in the same security van to where I parked my car and I drove out of the presidential villa from there.”

PUNCH has already demanded an apology over the incident that it described as “unwarranted, unjustified and condemnable”.

BIG STORY

Aare Abisoye Fagade Joyously Celebrates The Coronation Of The 43rd Olubadan Of Ibadan, Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin

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In a momentous celebration that echoes through the vibrant streets of Ibadan, Aare Abisoye Fagade extends his exuberant congratulations to Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin on his enthronement as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan. This landmark coronation ushers in a new era of leadership, heritage, and progress for the illustrious city of Ibadan.

With a heartfelt connection that spans decades, Aare Fagade has cherished the guidance and wisdom of Oba Olamilehin, whom he has revered not only as an esteemed uncle but also as a distinguished entrepreneur and an astute politician, a legacy passed down through his father, the late Elder David Oladokun Fagade. The bond between their families is woven into the very fabric of Ibadan’s history, making this occasion deeply personal and profoundly significant.

“Today, we celebrate not just a coronation but the dawn of a new chapter in the storied history of Ibadan,” proclaimed Aare Abisoye Fagade. “Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin embodies the virtues of wisdom, integrity, and visionary leadership. His ascent to the throne heralds a future filled with promise and prosperity for our beloved city.”

Aare Fagade’s jubilant praise for the new Olubadan is accompanied by fervent prayers for his reign. “May the reign of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olamilehin be showered with divine blessings, peace, and unprecedented growth. May his leadership unite us and inspire us to reach new heights of excellence and harmony.

The coronation of Oba Olakulehin is not merely a ceremonial event but a rallying cry for all Ibadan indigenes to come together in support of their new monarch. Aare Fagade calls upon every son and daughter of Ibadan to embrace this momentous occasion with unity and enthusiasm, pledging their support to a reign that promises to uphold the grandeur and legacy of Ibadan.

As the city of Ibadan rejoices in this historic event, the air is filled with anticipation and hope for a future sculpted by the vision and guidance of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olamilehin. Aare Abisoye Fagade stands proudly with his fellow Ibadan natives, celebrating the dawn of a new era.

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JUST IN: President Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has renamed the national theatre in Lagos after Wole Soyinka.

Tinubu made the pronouncement in a birthday message to the Nobel laureate who turns 90 on July 13.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us,” Tinubu said.

“I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.

“We do not only celebrate Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.”

 

More to come…

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BIG STORY

HEALTH: FG Inaugurates Committee To End Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV

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The federal government has established a multidisciplinary committee to eliminate the transmission of HIV from mothers to children in Nigeria.

Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa, launched the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Pediatric HIV Programme Committee in Abuja on Thursday.

Alausa highlighted that Nigeria accounts for 25% of global mother-to-child HIV transmission and emphasized the ministry’s commitment to collaborating with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCP) to ensure that no child is born with HIV, thereby eradicating vertical transmission.

“As you are aware, Nigeria contributes 25% of the global burden of HIV transmission between mothers and their children,” Alausa said.

“Despite testing approximately 4 million pregnant women in 2023, our PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) and pediatric HIV coverage remain at about 35%, falling significantly short of the 95% target.

“Through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCP), we will provide effective governance for this programme.

“Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensuring care for all persons living with HIV, especially our children, aligns with the renewed hope agenda of Mr President.”

Also speaking, Temitope Ilori, the director-general of NACA, expressed concern over the low coverage of PMTCT and pediatric HIV in Nigeria.

Ilori said about 140,000 children below 14 years old are living with HIV as of 2023, with 22,000 new infections and 15,000 AIDS-related deaths occurring among underage people.

The NACA DG noted that the newly constituted committee will drive the implementation of the initiative, in line with the sector-wide approach to health care in Nigeria.

“Nigeria faces a critical challenge in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and ensuring access to care for children living with HIV,” Ilori said.

“The objective of today’s meeting is to formally inaugurate the acceleration plan committee to provide oversight to the PMTCT and pediatric HIV programme implementation in line with the three-one principle of one coordinating agency, one strategic framework, and one M&E system.”

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