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News This Evening, October 24, 2020

1. No ‘hoarded’ palliatives in FCT – Aliyu

Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has assured residents of the territory that there are no hoarded palliatives in the various warehouses across the territory.

The minister made the disclosure in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Austin Elemue.

According to her, items meant for flood victims in the territory are safe and secure, as security agents have been deployed to man the strategic reserves.

Men of the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force had foiled an attempt by some youths to break into a warehouse at the Arts and Culture building in Area 10, Garki.

The youths, numbering over 40 had invaded the area on Saturday morning and made attempts to gain entry into the building to evacuate palliatives warehoused in the place by the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA.

However, Aliyu who explained that warehouses are supposed to stock supplies for emergency response including the recurrence of COVID-19 pandemic, warning that “unsuspecting members of the public should therefore not be lured into criminality under the guise of ‘hoarded’ palliative food items in the territory”.

The minister, also stated that the FCT Administration had in the past months distributed all items procured and also distributed donated items to the Area Councils, Community Associations, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Professional bodies/associations, stressing that the administration has continued to receive donations that are distributed on a continuous basis and in a transparent manner.

She affirmed that details of such distributions are in the public domain, reaching more than a million households and individuals across the territory, adding that the Administration did ensure that CSOs and the ICPC participated in the distribution exercise to ensure transparency.

2. Access Bank announces N50 billion interest-free loan for businesses

Access Bank has announced N50 billion in support of Nigerians through interest-free loans and grants to support communities, the youths as well as micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

The bank disclosed this through its official LinkedIn page.

It said the move was to support businesses following the crippling COVID-19 lockdown as well as the looting and arson that trailed the #ENDSARS protests.

According to the bank; “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively.

” In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with N50billion interest-free loans and grants. Watch this space for more information.”

The support by Access Bank is expected to help business owners and entreprenuers alleviate and stimulate economic activities, as well as produce many positive multiplier effects on the economy.

“As a way of supporting SMEs and the working class of the country following the recent damage of properties and livelihoods experienced across the nation, @myaccessbank has rolled out interest free loans of up to N50bn.

“The fund is expected to serve as a kickstart to these affected communities, people and businesses. #AccessCares #All4One,” the bank added.

3. Okowa eases curfew in Delta

Delta Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa , has reviewed the curfew imposed on the state.

Okowa said the curfew will now only be observed between the hours of 6pm to 8am daily.

Earlier, Gov Okowa had imposed a 48 hour curfew across the State that was due to lapse today (Saturday) at 6.00 p.m.

With this development, residents can now resume and go about their lawful duties beginning from Today (Saturday) from 8am to 6pm.

Okowa made this known while inspecting the Event Centre, in Asaba, the state capital, where palliatives donated by Coalition Against COVID (CA-COVID) to the state government were earlier kept for distribution.

CA-COVID-19 palliatives is a private sector initiative supporting the fight against the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

Okowa said the state had already distributed the palliatives to indigent Deltans long before the #EndSARS protest across the state.

He warned youths in the state to desist from destroying private and public property in the name of the protest.

He directed security agencies in the state to deal with anyone trying to attack public and private property across the state as criminal.

4. Osun re-imposes 24-hour curfew indefinitely

Osun State Government has re-imposed the 24-hour curfew earlier suspended on the state indefinitely.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, during a statewide broadcast Today afternoon expressed disappointment with the manner the suspension of the curfew, which was imposed to curtail violence and social disorder, was abused.

He regretted that criminals took advantage of government’s suspension of the curfew to embarked on wanton looting of government and private property across the state.

He adds, “It is with a high sense of responsibility that I address you this afternoon in respect of the unfortunate situation in our Dear State.

“Government notes with huge disappointment, the abuse of the suspension, a day ago, of the 24-hour curfew earlier declared in the State to forestall the breakdown of law and order and protect the lives and property of citizens and residents.

“It is unfortunate that hoodlums and criminals have taken advantage of government’s action to wantonly loot government and private property, including private business premises and homes in several parts of the State this morning. This is unacceptable and it stands condemned.

“After an Emergency Security Meeting this afternoon, where the whole situation was reviewed and assessed, we came to the inevitable conclusion to declare a curfew. Consequently, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew across the whole State with immediate effect.

“This inevitable conclusion was reached to avert the continuation of this irresponsible act, especially now that the genuine protesters have suspended their protest earlier today.

“My fellow citizens, the declaration of a 24-hour curfew, which will be indefinite until further notice, is to prevent the current state of anarchy from degenerating into large-scale breakdown of law and order.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there shall be no vehicular (including Okada) or human movement during this period. Only those on essential duties will be permitted to move around. These persons too must carry with them proper identification to allow access.

“Violators of the curfew rules shall be prosecuted in line with the extant laws of the State.

“I enjoin all our citizens and residents to return home and remain in their homes until further notice.

“I assure them of their safety during this period, as always, as security operatives have been deployed in all the parts of the State to restore and maintain law and order within the precinct of the law”.

5. Looting: Plateau denies hoarding COVID-19 palliatives

The Plateau state government Today swiftly denied hoarding palliatives meant for the citizens to cushion effect of COVID-19.

In a statement by the state commissioner for Information and communication, Dan Manjang, said, “following the vandalization and looting of palliatives from some warehouses in Jos and Bukuru on 24th October 2020, it has become expedient for the Plateau State Government to condemn the action and further make some clarifications about the items to clear the erroneous impression that they were being hoarded.

According to him, “the items at the warehouses were delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management for distribution to beneficiaries in Plateau State.

Manjang explained that the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk was in Jos together with the Minister of Women Affairs Dame Paullen Tallen on the 16th October 2020 to deliver the items and had indeed brought in the personel of the Ministry to carry out the distribution in conjunction with State officials. However as they were preparing to begin the process, the #ENDSARS protests began which put the process on hold.

“Unfortunately while the team from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management alongside the state representatives were waiting for the coast to clear to commence the distribution, the stores were breached and the items carted away.

“The Plateau State Government therefore wishes to state categorically that it did not hoard any palliatives meant for the citizens of the State at any time.

” All the palliatives purchased by the State and those donated by private individuals were distributed equitably by the State Palliative Committee headed by His Excellency Prof. Sonni Tyoden, Deputy Governor of Plateau State.”

He said, with this explanation, it would be wrong and mischievous for anyone to suggest that the State Government was hoarding food items meant for indigent citizens.

“The Rescue Administration of Governor Simon Lalong will never tolerate that,” he said.

The statement further said Government wishes to once again appeal to the citizens particularly the youths to continue to conduct themselves peacefully and avoid any action that could cause the breakdown of law and order.

The Commissioner said directive for the ban on protests and procession is still in force and security agencies still have the mandate to arrest and prosecute those who violate the order.

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Austin Elemue FCT Command Federal Capital Territory Nigeria Police Force Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu


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