Here are some of the news that you should not miss today (July 18, 2020)
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1. I will apologise to anybody I have offended, says Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu
Akeredolu made the gesture yesterday at the Governors Office, Akure, while receiving the Ondo APC Reconciliation Committee for the election led by the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello.
He noted that it was imperative for all party leaders and members to sheathe their swords for the benefit of the party, especially in view of the October 10, 2020, governorship election in the state.
“We must allow for peace. Let us get all of us the aspirants to sign that whoever wins, others will support him. Anybody I have offended I will apologise to the person. We must allow for peace,” he said.
The committee was set up by the APC National Caretaker Committee to meet with leaders and members of the party in the state for reconciliation before the polls.
Chairman of the committee, Bello, said the main objective of the committee was to reconcile all APC faithful in the state. However, many of the aspirants including the pioneer state chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke; Olusola Oke and Olayide Adelami, were conspicuously absent at the meeting convened by the committee.
Those that were present included Sola Iji, Bukola Adetula, Jimi Odimayo and Ife Oyedele, while others were said to have sent representatives to the meeting held yesterday at Heritage Hotel, Akure.
However, Oke arrived the venue shortly after Akeredolu had departed, describing the reconciliation meeting as a wasted effort. He excused his lateness on the fact that he got the notice of the meeting late.
According to him, there was nothing new in the meeting.The two-term governorship candidate in the state, however, declared he would not boycott the election.
“I don’t boycott any election. It is not in my character and it is not advisable. Under the electoral law, if you boycott or you don’t participate, you cannot challenge,” he said. Eleven out of the 12 governorship aspirants of the party had rejected indirect primary, clamouring for direct primary option ahead of the election.
2. The Federal Government to review decision on school resumption, says Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba
The Federal Government has given schools owners July 29, this year to meet the safety protocols recommended by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards the reopening of schools at a date to be announced in due course.
Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who stated this yesterday in his office in Abuja, disclosed that the federal government has agreed with four West African countries on a new date for the suspended West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
He noted that the ministry, having consulted widely, has, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC and Education in Emergencies Working Group, developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools and charged school owners to prepare and comply with the guidelines.
Nwajiuba said schools are to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to state ministries of Education not later than July 29, this year, adding: “Thereafter, consultations with relevant stakeholders will be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise.
“Having taken the painful, but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Federal Ministry of Education has continued consultations with stakeholders and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance shall be put in place.”
He stated that since Tuesday last week, “we have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including commissioners for Education in all the states of the federation; Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON); National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS); Provosts of Colleges of Education; Rectors of polytechnics; Vice Chancellors of universities; some state governors and development partners.
“We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter. Parents should be rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount, as we work assiduously towards speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations.
3. Pandemic: Plateau State Government threatens lockdown over violations
Plateau state government says it will not hesitate to totally lockdown the state if citizens do not change their attitude and adhere to laid-down COVID-19 guidelines.
According to the government, COVID-19 cases are rising daily while residents refuse to use facemasks outside. Besides, the government was equally irked by the wanton disregard of the national curfew, from 10.00pm to 4.00am.
A statement yesterday by the Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, warned that failure to observe the guidelines would end in regret for anyone caught. Manjang added wearing of facemasks is mandatory and should be strictly enforced by security agents. He also warned those that go jogging with total disregard to social distancing, saying they would be dealt with.
Speaker, State House of Assembly, Abok Nuhu Ayuba, has indicated his willingness to work with any group which aim is to complement government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic in the state. Ayuba stated this when officials of the Civil Society Emergency Intervention Group on COVID-19 visited him at the assembly complex in Jos.
State coordinator of the group, Ahmed Adaru, said the group was a coalition of different civil society organisations across the country with the sole aim of creating awareness on the pandemic.
4. Goveernor Kayode Fayemi postpones reopening of churches, mosques to August 14
The Ekiti State government has backtracked from its earlier decision to reopen worship centres yesterday, shifting the date to August 14.In a statement by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, the government said the action was taken in view of the unpreparedness of the leaders of churches and mosques to comply with conditions stipulated for reopening of the religious centres.
“The latest communiqué of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is indicative of the fact that worship centres are not yet ready to comply with conditions stipulated by the government for reopening of worship centres.
“In view of the foregoing, the state government has shifted the date for the reopening of worship centres to August 14, 2020, to give the worship centres enough time to meet the prescribed conditions,” he said.
The Commissioner said in as much as fumigation of religious centres remains a prerequisite for reopening, such should not be done in contravention of the Ekiti State Environmental Health and Sanitation Law.
She stated that those within the ages of one to 12 and 65 and above were exempted from attending any congregational programme in any religious centre because of their vulnerability.
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