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Fayose shuns governors meeting with Buhari

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President Buhari Loses Second Nephew In 23 Days

Gov Ayodele Fayose on Friday shunned a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari had with the 36 state governors.

The meeting was held inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari participated in the Juma’at prayers.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo was also in attendance.

Before taking his seat in the Council Chamber, Buhari took his time to shake hands with all the governors present.

He even cracked a joke with the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa , calling him one of the favorites of the press.

Buhari told the governors that he was excited by the show of love towards him by Nigerians.

Buhari’s meeting with the governors follows an earlier one between him and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

At that meeting, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President appealed for unity, pointing out that the country will benefit from vibrant and responsible opposition.

He said, “Multi-party democracy is a very tried and tested form of government. Opposition does not mean hostility, enmity or antagonism. Democracy needs opposition, one which is vibrant but responsible.

“I am imploring all Nigerians to continue praying for peace and prosperity in Nigeria.”

The APC delegation at the meeting was led by party’s National Chairman, John Oyegun, while the PDP’s delegation was led by Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Speaking after the meeting, Makarfi welcomed the President back to his official duties and pledged to him the full backing of the PDP.

He said, “We believe the President of our country – regardless of what party flag he or she flies – is our President.

“We will never wish ill of anyone, not to talk of the person saddled with the responsibility of leading Nigeria.

“PDP is ready to offer legitimate, decent opposition. We will do this to keep govt in check, but ultimately for the benefit of Nigeria.

“We assure you of as much cooperation as an opposition party can give – after all the role of the opposition is to take over power.”

Oyegun also praised the President’s efforts to unify the country, saying that he has “sent out a message that he’s President of all Nigerians, regardless of party, religion and ethnicity.

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Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno

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Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.

The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.

The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.

The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.

A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.

“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.

But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.

“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”

Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.

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EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.

This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.

In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.

The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.

The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.

Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.

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Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.

The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.

“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.

According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.

On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.

At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.

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