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COVID-19: Fears of surge over Christmas, New Year rush

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With new Covid-19 cases rising to a record 1,584 on Friday, the highest across the country in 10 months, there are now fears of a possible surge arising from unrestrained interactions during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

Activities are on the rise at markets and shopping malls, according to our correspondents, while traffic is also increasing on the highways as a result of people travelling to their hometowns for the festivals.

Although the federal government has repeatedly said it has no immediate plan to impose restrictions because of the rising cases of Covid-19, some foreign countries are not ruling out new measures to stop the surge.

Scientists say the Omicron variant spreads quickly everywhere it lands.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advised people to exercise caution during the holiday season, especially during the Christmas season, and warned that the Omicron coronavirus variant has already been reported in 89 countries.

It said the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission.

Vehicular movement from other parts of the country to the South-East has been particularly heavy in the last one week despite the security challenge in the area.

One of our correspondents who monitored buying and selling at the popular Oshodi market in Lagos yesterday observed that only about one person out of 10 wore a face mask.

Social distancing appeared to mean nothing to the people, many of whom came for Christmas and New Year shopping.

The various markets in the commercial city of Aba, Abia State have also been recording large turnout of buyers ahead of Christmas and New Year.

Major roads such as Port Harcourt Road off Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Faulks off Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Tonimas Junction off Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Chima Nwafor/MCCJjunction off Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Osisioma Junction off Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, Ikot Ekpene and Azumini leading into the heart of the economic town have also been busy despite their deplorable  conditions.

Social gatherings, including parties, are no different and there are fears that nothing is likely to change in this regard during the coming festivities.

Notwithstanding, the federal government has urged Nigerians who are yet to take the COVID-19 booster doses to do so to enable them  have extra-protection against COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant.

The administration of booster doses started on December 10, 2021 but  only those from  18 years and above, and those who must have received their second dose of AstraZeneca, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech or Moderna at least 6 months ago are qualified for it.

However, for Johnson & Johnson booster doses, a time interval of two months or more is required.

It however stressed that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not to be used as a booster for individuals who have taken AstraZeneca vaccine as first and second doses. Only Pfizer can be used as a booster for those that have taken AstraZeneca vaccine as first and second doses.

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Candlelight vigil held at Nigeria House, London to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house

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Scores of Yoruba Nation agitators on Friday held a vigil in London to mark the one-year anniversary of the July 1, 2021 attack on the Ibadan residence of the embattled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho. 

Dozens of candles shined on the Nigeria House, London on Friday evening as the agitators, gathered for a candlelight vigil to reflect on the attack of July 1, 2021 and demanded self determination for the Yorubas.

Recall that the Department of State Services (DSS) had on July 1, 2021 raided the residence of the activist in Ibadan, Oyo state.

The DSS raided the residence, killing two people and arresting 12 aides but Igboho escaped.

The agency alleged that Igboho was stockpiling weapons, and subsequently declared him wanted.

Igboho was, however, arrested by the Benin Republic police on July 19 at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou while trying to fly from the country to Germany.

See photos from the vigil

Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house
Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house
Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house

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‘Be ready to face God’s wrath if you blaspheme against Jesus’- Adeboye 

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The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, has warned that any individual that blasphemes Jesus will taste the wrath of God.

Adeboye, who spoke to his congregation at the RCCG monthly Holy Ghost Service for the month of July, which was held late Friday/early Saturday, made the comment as he reacted to the recent attacks and killings targeting churches and worshippers in some parts of the country.

Religion Nigeria reported that no fewer than 40 Catholics were killed by unknown gunmen in June at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.

Two weeks after the Owo attack. bandits killed three persons during separate attacks on the Baptist Church and the St. Moses Catholic Church, all in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He also took time to respond to a comment allegedly made by controversial On-Air Personality, Daddy Freeze, who alleged that some women turned to Ogun (god of thunder) to rain curses on the terrorists who massacred worshippers in Owo because “Bros J” (a nickname for Jesus which is common amongst Nigerians) did not answer them.

Freeze had written last month, “When dem call bros J and he nor answer dem nko? We abandoned African paganism to adopt European pagan ideologies. Until we start telling ourselves the truth and take our security issues more seriously this won’t end. Christ’s message is love and that’s the first thing so glaringly missing in Nigeria.”

Reacting, Adeboye said, “I understand that one funny fellow said that some people were calling on Ogun because Jesus didn’t answer them.

“Well, the one who said that there’s a Yoruba proverb, it said, the mouth that the snail uses to blasphemy God, that mouth would kiss the ground. From now on, anybody who dares blaspheme Jesus Christ, they will taste the fire of the Almighty God.”

Speaking further, the revered clergyman stated that, “Safety is of the Lord and nobody dies until their time comes.

“I don’t want to say much, because I know whatever I say, some people may want to twist it. But I’ve searched the Bible from cover to cover and there is nowhere in the Bible where God said a child of God cannot defend himself.

“If you find the place, let me know. He said, if they slap you on the right cheek, turn the left. If they now slap the left, what did he say? When God is silent, do you know the meaning of that, it simply means, over to you.

“Every enemy of the church, as long as my Father is still on the throne, as long as Jesus lives, as long as His name is the consuming fire, if they don’t repent, the fire of God will consume them. I’m not talking to everybody o, I’m only talking to my children.”

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Alaafin’s wife dies weeks after monarch’s death

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Weeks after the death of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, one of his wives, Olori Kafayat, has also died.

Olori Kafayat, who was the mother of Prince Adebayo Adeyemi, popularly known as D’Guv, died on Friday night.

Details of her death were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, but the Director of Media and Publicity at the Alaafin Palace, Mr Bode Durojaye, confirmed it to our correspondent on Saturday morning.

He said, “She died in the United States of America. I will give details later.”

Oba Adeyemi had died on Friday April 22 at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, after a brief illness at the age of 83.

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