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News Headlines for the 17th of April 2021.

News Headlines for the 17th of April 2021.

Pressure mounts on Buhari to sack communications minister

  • Nigerians on the social media have called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to sack Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his alleged link with terrorist groups, Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
  • The Nigerian Twitter community also said the minister could not be trusted with the data of Nigerians, especially with the ongoing National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module integration exercise under his watch.
  • In a viral video recorded many years ago which was later confirmed by his lawyer, Michael Numa, the minister was seen engaging the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in a public debate.
  • Pantami, an Islamic scholar, according to Peoples Gazette, also once declared that he was always happy when infidels were massacred.
  • Peoples Gazette said Pantami’s comments were contained in three audio recordings of his teachings in the 2000s, when he took extreme positions in support of the brutal exploits of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world.
  • Peoples Gazette also said Pantami did not return a request seeking comments on whether or not he has changed his violent Salafist views.
  • The hashtag #PantamiResign has since been trending online having over 30,000 retweets. 

Kaduna, Cross River, Yobe top 8,439 nationwide COVID-19 side effects’ list

Mysterious mass deaths in Nigeria related to COVID-19 | Daily Sabah
  • The Federal Government, on Friday, said 8,439 persons had suffered mild adverse events following immunization, out of the over one million persons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
  • The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made this known during a joint press conference with the World Health Organisation, noted that out of this figure, 52 persons displayed moderate-to-severe adverse events at inoculation.
  • According to him, while the mild reactions included body pains, nausea, and swelling, the moderate-to-severe adverse events presented were fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.
  • He said Kaduna State recorded the highest rate of AEFI with 970 cases, followed by Cross River State with 859 cases; Yobe, 541 cases; and Kebbi, 511 cases, while Lagos recorded 448 cases of adverse events.
  • Shuaib, however, insisted that so far, there had been no case of death or blood clot recorded from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country, adding that the rollout in the country had been marked by safety, efficiency, best practices, and speed.

Nine govs stealing LG funds through cronies –NULGE

  • The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees on Friday raised the alarm that about nine governors were diverting local government funds, in violation of the guideline issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit in May 2019.
  • The union said the actions of the governors were depriving the people of the benefits that they should ordinarily have access to, as it threatened to shut down the 774 councils in the country if their demands were not met within 30 days.
  • The union also called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to sign an executive order preventing any state that failed to conduct LG poll from accessing local government allocations.
  • It was reported that Ogun, Katsina  Anambra, Kwara, Osun and Zamfara states had not conducted local government elections despite the expiration of elected officers’ tenures.
  • Also, Imo and Oyo state governments sacked elected officers, whose tenures had not ended and replaced them with caretaker committees like the seven states mentioned earlier. Although Edo State has no local government caretaker committees, the local governments are being administered by heads of administration.
  • Meanwhile, giving the ultimatum in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, the National President of NULGE, Hakeem Ambali, stressed that members of the union would storm the National Assembly and the state assemblies to express their dissatisfaction with the way the governors were running the third tier of government.

 FG records 200% increase in Warri-Itakpe railway passenger traffic

FIRST TIME ON NIGERIA'S SGR TRAIN AND THIS IS ALL I SAW! - YouTube
  • The Federal Government on Friday announced that it had recorded over 200 per cent increase in passenger volume on the Warri-Itakpe rail service in the past few months.
  • Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced this at the official flag-off ceremony of freight service between Warri and Itakpe on standard guage railway line.
  • In September 2020, the President, Muhammadu Buhari officially inaugurated passenger service on the Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail line.
  • For about eight months, passengers have been using the train service that moves across through three states.
  • In his speech at the event on Friday, the transportation minister stated that passenger traffic on the line since its inauguration had increased by over 200 per cent.
  • Amaechi said the rail line would boost the Gross Domestic Product and equally enhance the socioeconomic development of the communities living along the route.
  • He said the freight service was a partnership between Nigerian Railway Corporation and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to move materials for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipe project.
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