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2023 Presidency: Akpabio Decries Distraction From Channels TV, Others

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Ex-Governor of Akwa Ibom State now Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio has urged Channels Television against distracting him from the task of helping President Muhammadu Buhari achieve his set goals for the Niger Delta people.

The minister, who knocked the broadcaster for listing him among those seeking to succeed Buhari in 2023, faulted the use of his photograph on the Television station’s political programme for the same purpose.

Recall that in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, the Minister kicked that the nation’s media were not respecting his request not to be associated with ambition for the 2023 presidency.

The former Senate Minority Whip categorically requested: “that he be allowed to focus on the national assignment of assisting President Mohammadu Buhari to achieve his set goals for the people of Niger Delta Region.”

The statement read in part, “On Sunday, 17th October 2021, Channels Television’s political discussion and interview programme – Politics Today, anchored by Mr Seun Okinbaloye, listed the name of the Hon. Minister and went ahead to use his photograph as one of those purportedly eyeing the presidential seat in 2023.

“As a politician and a serving Minister of the Federal Republic, who understands the distractions such unsolicited action(s) could cause in the polity, the Hon Minister, has, therefore, for the umpteenth time, called on groups, individuals and media houses, either Newspapers, Television, Radio or Online discussion platforms, to forthwith, stop associating his name and picture whenever 2023 Presidential discussions are being held.”

Udom asserted that the Minister has neither consulted any individual or groups nor declared interest in contesting for the rumoured post in the upcoming election.

According to him, “What is topmost in the heart of the Hon. Minister is how to assist President Mohammadu Buhari to leave a lasting legacy in the Niger Delta Region and to reposition the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to deliver on its mandate.”

The statement, therefore, warned other media houses and 2023 presidential election campaigners against the use of Akpabio’s “name and photographs as one of the purported presidential aspirants in 2023, in any of their discussion platforms.”

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Omicron: FG Expresses Disappointment Over UK Govt’s Red Listing Of Nigeria

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has expressed disappointment over the United Kingdom government’s placement of Nigeria on its red list following the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“We were not very happy when six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were placed on a red list and the WHO also advised against putting each on the red list,” the minister said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, less than one day after the UK announced the move.

“From what we know about the COVID-19, there are many ways to manage it, and besides, not much is still known about the Omicron variant. We know, for example, that there have been no fatalities.

“There have also been no reports of very severe illness. Actually, the rationale for being so hasty in putting countries on the red list is not something that is very helpful.”

According to the minister, the move was ill-advised as he noted that it would have multiple impacts on commerce, and disrupt activities during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“It is going to disrupt commerce,” he added. It is going to disrupt family reunions.”
Ban List Not ‘Helpful’

He explained that while Nigeria has detected the COVID-19 virus on travellers from the UK, the cases have not been confirmed to be the Omicron variant.

While reiterating that the placement of countries on the red list will not help in the global fight against the pandemic, Ehanire said Nigeria is anticipating the fourth wave of the disease.

“If every country were going to put other countries on the ban list, very soon you would have a large number of countries on your red list,” the minister said.

“So, I do believe there are other ways of going about it. We in Nigeria do not regard banning flights and movements of people as particularly helpful and supportive.”

The UK’s move, which came a few days after Nigeria detected the new strain, followed a similar decision by the Canadian authorities.

“Foreign nationals who have transited or stayed in these 10 countries cannot enter Canada if they have been in those countries in the last two weeks,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a press conference.

Aside from Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi were the other countries recently added to Canada’s travel ban list.

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Orji Kalu Not Leaving Our Party, Says APC

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The Abia chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is not quitting the party.

The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Okey Ezeala, said Kalu realised his ambition of becoming a Senator after several futile attempts on the party’s platform.

The statement said: “To the best of our knowledge, the Senator representing Abia North on our party platform is going nowhere. This is authoritative.

“What is playing out is that Kalu and his supporters are finding it very difficult to swallow the humble pie and accept the fact that they have lost out in the 2021 congress of our great party.

“Their expectation that the state party structure will fall into their hands has become a bridge too far. They have refused to display the spirit of sportsmanship and queue behind the winners. The Abia North Senator is simply suffering from excess hubris.

“What we want the general public to know is that Senator Kalu is merely flying a kite, perhaps to attract the attention of the national leadership of our party to beg him not to leave. And if that eventually works to his plan, his primary objective would be to extract some concessions. Unfortunately for him, no winner in the congress is ready to concede his position.”
The statement urged the APC national leadership to call the bluff of Senator Kalu.

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Just In: DSS Arrests Ex-Minister, Dambazau

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A former minister of interior, General Adulrahman Dambazau has been arrested by the Department of State Security, DSS over ‘Economic Sabotage’.

Dambazzau, who is currently the Kano State Chairman of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) was picked up by the operatives over the unilateral closure of seven petroleum filling stations without following due process.

All efforts to make Gen. Dambazau open the filling stations fell in deaf ears as the move was an ‘illegal assignment’ which was beyond the powers of his office.

Citing section 48 of the Nigerian Constitution which clearly states that, any government ministry, department or agency exercising any power or function or taking any action which may have direct impact on midstream or downstream petroleum operations shall consult with the authority.

This according to the section is prior to issuing any regulations, guidelines, enforcement order or directives, which a security source emphasized that Dambazzau disregarded.

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