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RIGHT OF REPLY: Law Mefor’s Treachery To Truth

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A few hours ago, Mr. Law Mefor penned an opinion piece on the decision of the former Governor of Ogun State and erstwhile Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) to quit politics and in the process erroneously equate that decision to joining the All Progressive Congress, alongside other unchecked assertions that ended up eroding the safe delivery of whatever message that piece could have contained.

As a self acclaimed teacher nay lecturer, Mr. Law Mefor could have perhaps spent a few minutes on something called “Google” before blatantly embarking on a voyage of falsehood.

His first error was the insinuation that OGD was unhappy with the appointment of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki as the Director General of the PDP campaign organization. For reason of information, OGD gracefully supported the appointment of Dr. Saraki and was part of the several meetings that were held before the entire Campaign Council was formed. He maintains over a decade relationship with Dr. Bukola Saraki and the entire Saraki family in general. There was no reason whatsoever to have resentment over a position that was freely given out by him.

Another outright fabrication was the insinuation that Otunba Gbenga Daniel was against the emergence of Dr. Peter Obi (PO) as the Vice Presidential candidate when obvious facts show that OGD was the one who independently issued the statement announcing the candidacy of PO even when other members of the campaign organization were foot dragging; this he won over more enemies for.

For the avoidance of doubt and as a correctional statement, Otunba Gbenga Daniel delivered his polling units, ward, constituency and district to Alhaji Atiku Abuabakar. A bit of online research could have guided Mr. Law Mefor from making such error.

While one would have expected Mr. Law Mefor to stick more to analysis and informed dissection of the outcome of the election, his decision to embark on emotion laden rhetorics and wild conjunction is a betrayal of the intellectual community which Mr. Law Mefor parades to belong to.

After the presidential primary and the appointment of Dr. Bukola Saraki, Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s work was done and all decisions, strategy and plan for the election was done solely by the Campaign Council in required isolation. How then does one divulge an information one is not privy to?

At moments like this, emotion runs deep and many, including Otunba Gbenga Daniel who first believed in the Atiku Project before most Nigerians did and made great sacrifice to ensuing it comes to reality will feel a sense of sharp pain and disappointment. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why he has lost interest in partisan politics and decide to hang his boot.

To create an impression of betrayal to a cause for a man who went round the country and did all within his power to land Atiku the presidential ticket yet still ensured that the Southwest vote counts greatly in spite of the region’s party challenges is in itself a betrayal of the cause the campaign stood for.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel has sacrificed greatly for the Peoples Democratic Party for the past 20 years and like every human, he is tired of the entire stress of partisan politics and even made commitment to support the ongoing legal battle in anyway required while still remaining dutifully loyal to Atiku Abubakar. Should we then deny him the right to private life?

I hope Mr. Law Mefor attend the next Contrition in Church. He has sinned before man and God. Otunba Gbenga Daniel has forgiven him, I am sure God will do the same should he ask truthfully. But will his conscience forgive him? That’s a burden he may have to carry for the rest of his life.

Ayo Giwa is the media aide to Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

BIG STORY

New COVID Variant Of ‘Serious Concern’ Detected In South Africa

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A new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in South Africa.

The variant, B.1.1.529, is said to have a high number of mutations, which may be a source of concern in relation to immunity and transmissibility.

Confirming the discovery in a statement on Thursday, the NICD said 22 positive cases of the new variant have so far been detected in the country.

“The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, confirms that through collaborative efforts with private laboratories and the NGS-SA members, a new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa,” the statement reads.

“Twenty-two positive cases of variant B.1.1.529 have been recorded in the country following genomic sequencing collaborations between the NICD and private laboratories. In addition, other NGS-SA laboratories are confirming more cases as sequencing results come out.”

According to the statement, Adrian Puren, NICD acting executive director, said it is “not surprising” that a new variant has been detected in South Africa.

“Although the data are limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be. Developments are occurring at a rapid pace and the public has our assurance that we will keep them up to date,” Puren said.

The institute said Joe Phaahla, the country’s health minister, confirmed that the new variant has also been detected in Botswana and in Hong Kong.

He said the variant was of “serious concern” and behind an “exponential” increase in reported cases, making it “a major threat”.

Michelle Groome, head of the division of public health surveillance and response at the NICD, also said provincial health authorities remain on high alert and are prioritizing the sequencing of COVID-19 positive samples.

“This means that individuals should get vaccinated, wear masks, practice healthy hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, and gather in well-ventilated spaces. Individual compliance to preventative measures can have a great collective impact in limiting the spread of the new variant,” she added.

As of September 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified five COVID variants — Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Mu.

While it is not unexpected that there will be more variants of the coronavirus, prior to the detection of the B.1.1. 529, the Delta variant had been linked to a high infection rate.

The Delta COVID variant was confirmed in Nigeria in July 2021, and is currently the most dominant strain in the country.

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BIG STORY

Reps Order Probe Of FG’s Abandoned N97bn Cancer Centre

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the National Cancer Control Plan established by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, to determine why fewer Nigerians with cancer cannot access treatment at the special centers.

The House particularly mandated its committees on Health Institutions and Health Care Services to “investigate the Federal Government’s implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan 2018-2022 to ensure its implementation.”

The committees are also to “ascertain the status of all radiotherapy cancer treatment centers in the country to come up with a workable plan to subsidize treatment for cancer patients.”

These resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved at the plenary on Wednesday, which was titled, ‘Call for Federal Government’s Intervention in Cancer Treatment in Nigeria’.

A member of the House, Olusegun Odebunmi, while moving the motion, recalled that the President had on December 29, 2017, signed the bill for the establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment of Cancer Patients in Nigeria.

Odebunmi also recalled that in 2018, the Federal Government launched the National Cancer Control Plan, which was to be implemented between January 2018 and December 2022, and with a proposed budget estimate of N97,321,725,422.53.

The lawmaker noted that both the federal and state governments were required to provide 75 percent of the funding to implement the plan, while donors and development partners would bridge the gap with 25 percent.

He said, “The House is worried that in 2018 alone, Nigeria recorded an estimated 116,000 new cancer cases with 41,000 mortalities and since then, the mortality rate keeps increasing, with breast and cervical cancer being the major causes of the mortality cases.

“The House is also worried that despite the increasing rate of new cases, only four out of the eight treatment centers in the country are functional.

“The House is concerned that Nigerians barely have access to cancer specialists for proper diagnosis and adequate treatment.

“The House is also concerned that for a cancer patient to go through a complete session of radiotherapy, an approximated amount of N750,000 is needed, an amount Nigerians suffering from the ailment cannot afford.”

 

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: EFCC Places Anambra Governor Willie Obiano On Watchlist

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has placed Willie Obiano, governor of Anambra, on its watchlist.

The development comes months before Obiano is expected to leave office as governor.

According to a letter dated November 15 and addressed to the comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the anti-graft agency asked to be informed whenever Obiano is seen attempting to travel out of the country.

It is not clear why the EFCC placed Obiano on its watchlist.

However, according to sources, the Anambra governor is being investigated by the commission.

More to follow…

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