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Nigeria’s President Buhari to Address Freed Abducted Schoolboys

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President Muhammadu Buhari plans to speak with the 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria after Juma’at Service on Friday.

The Nigerian leader who is completing a week-long visit to his country home, Daura, Katsina State, would perform Friday’s Juma’at prayer in Daura before meeting the rescued students.

The President had on Thursday night welcomed the release of the kidnapped students, describing their safe return as a big relief to their families, the entire country and to the international community.

He also expressed the nation’s appreciation for the steps taken by all those involved to make their release possible.

The 344 rescued students, who arrived in Katsina on Friday morning amidst tight security, were received by the state governor, Aminu Masari, and some government officials.

Masari, who later addressed newsmen, asked Nigerians to continue to pray until normalcy returned to the state and the country in general.

He stressed that ensuring security was a responsibility of all.

He said: “this incident happened in Kankara, but the whole state is affected; every local government has students in the school, some are even from other states.

“We are all involved; the entire state and the country are like one body. If one part of the body is sick, the whole body is sick.

“For students, this should be part of your history and part of journey to adulthood.

“I’m sure this should permanently be in your mind; some of the things that took place, you will only understand them later in life.

“As leaders, we will continue to discharge our responsibility as government in the state.

“You suffered physically, mentally and psychologically, but let me assure you that we have suffered more.

“Your parents have suffered; whatever you do, you should thank Allah and your parents and pray that this incident not only to yourselves, will never happen to anybody again,’’

Gunmen abductd the students from their school last week.

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East Africa Politics News

Kenya Asks South Sudan to Hasten Implementation of 2018 Peace Pact

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Kenya has urged South Sudan to speed up the implementation of the remaining aspects of the peace pact signed in Khartoum, Sudan in 2018.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, singled out the establishment of the legislative assembly and reforms in the security sector as some of the pending areas that require attention as the country returns to stability after years of conflict.

He said the country would leverage on its UN Security Council membership to assist her young neighbor and the region to achieve more stability.

Key signatories to the 2018 peace agreement were expected to complete key tasks such as the establishment of local governments, unification of forces and reconstitution of public institutions before the formation of a coalition government in February 2020.

However, the process has been hampered by disagreements between the former foes and lack of resources to fund the training and graduation of the joint unified force of 83,000 personnel.

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Nigeria’s President Signs New COVID-19 Law

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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has signed a law designed to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the bill, titled “COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021”, is an exercise of the powers conferred on the President by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act.

Mustapha said this on Wednesday when he handed over five ambulances donated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federal Ministry of Health on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mustapha said the regulations enforce physical distancing of at least two metres and a regulation of the number of people to be admitted in an enclosed environment

“In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf; and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, I, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hereby make the following Regulations.”

“The first part of the new regulations imposes restrictions of gatherings and enforces a physical distancing of not less than two meters between persons at all times.

“The part also provides that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.

“All persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of Part two of these Regulations.

“The provisions of these regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the PTF on COVID-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” the law reads.

“The second part of the law addresses operations of public places like open markets, malls, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks and fitness centres.

“The law provides for wearing of face masks, hands washing, and the use of hand sanitisers, amongst other regulations.

“It stipulates a penalty of a fine or a prison of six months for offenders.

“The President said that the law takes immediate effect,” he explained.

Speaking on the donation, the PTF chairman said that the NNPC donated the ambulances to the PTF as part of its support to Government-led efforts in curbing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The ambulances donated will support the country’s response to the pandemic and the Emergency Operations Centres to expand the current capacity for transportation of cases.

The SGF acknowledged the support of the NNPC in its fight against the virus, saying “We are grateful to the NNPC for the donation of ambulances to the PTF. We also thank all individuals and corporate organisations that have continued to donate to the government’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Mustapha said that If Nigerians were exposed to COVID-19, they should please quarantine and if there are still ill, they should isolate.

“Please don’t go out – to work, socialize or elsewhere – if you’ve been exposed or have symptoms.

“Travel is risky – best to avoid it if you can but if you must, take precautions including quarantine and testing.

“Remember COVID-19 can spread from people that look and feel well. Don’t let your guard down around friends or relatives just because they look healthy – they may not know they are infected but can unintentionally spread COVID-19,” he advised.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, thank the NNPC for the ambulances and noted that emergency medical situations require a prompt response and any delay could have serious consequences.

Mamora said that the ambulances would strengthen the efforts of the ministry to respond to the health needs of Nigerians, as patients would be able to receive first aid support while on route to the nearest health facility.

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West Africa Politics

Former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings, Buried

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The remains of former Ghanaian President, Jerry John Rawlings, has been buried at the military cemetery on Wednesday 0following a burial service at Ghana’s Independence Square.

In his tribute, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo described the late president as charismatic, energetic and fearless.

“It is for good reason that his well-known and often-cited ideals of probity and accountability, in which he invested a great deal of his political life, are enshrined in the fourth Republican constitution,” said Akufo-Addo.

He said these ideals, together with the “Freedom and Justice,” which form the motto of Ghana, constitute the foundational principles of social order on which Ghana shall develop.

He added that the monumental developments the country chalked “under the governance of Rawlings would linger in the hearts of many generations to come.”

“History, on balance, will be kind to him and will render a positive verdict on his contribution to the evolution of our nation and the entrenchment of its democratic institutions and culture,” the president said.

Akufo-Addo reiterated his desire to name the University of Development Studies after the late Rawlings for his role in its establishment.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the political party the late former president founded, eulogised his sterling leadership, “which culminated the long period of political stability in Ghana.”

“He hated the exploitation of ordinary people by people who are powerful and rich.

“His passion was for inclusiveness and the creation of structures to enable all persons to participate in governance.

“This led to the establishment of structures that allowed ordinary Ghanaians to participate in the administration of the country,” said the NDC.

Rawlings died in the Ghanaian capital on Nov. 12, aged 73, after a short illness.

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