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Edo To Reward, Sanction Residents, Others Over COVID-19 Compliance

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Obaseki Appoints 2 Special Advisers, Forwards List of 11 Commissioner-nominees Of Edo Assembly

The Edo State government has disclosed plans to adopt the carrot and stick approach to drive compliance with guidelines and non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain the second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the weekend in Benin City, the state capital.

Irowa said the step became necessary following expert epidemiologic projections that if people continue with their current behaviours of laxity in compliance with preventive protocols, the third wave of COVID-19 could present sooner than expected and possibly overwhelm the state’s healthcare system by the large numbers of infected persons who will need hospital care within a short space of time.

The permanent secretary said the reward would be in the form of written commendations to show good compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures, while sanctions would include warning letters, arrest, arraignment and prosecution of offenders.

According to him, “Sanctions and incentives shall be used to drive better compliance with risk mitigation strategies. Enforcement monitoring team(s) and mobile courts activities shall continue across the state to drive compliance.”

He noted that all citizens and stakeholders in Edo State, including religious and traditional institutions, health and educational organisations, industry players, the public and private sector and civil society organizations, among others need to work together in the collective fight to contain COVID-19, adding, “We did it before; we can do it again – better this time!”

Irowa further assured that the government would continue to strengthen its strategic response on COVID-19 especially with regard to surveillance activities at entry points of the state and across the 18 local councils, risk communication engagement activities with messages and enforcement measures in keeping with state guidelines and executive orders, laws and processes.

READ ALSO: Miyetti Allah Wants Cattle Herders To Leave Southern States

“We will not relent in strengthening COVID-19 vaccination uptake across stakeholder groups in the state for public health and safety. As a state, we will ensure thorough strategic engagements and existing state laws, guideline and executive orders to strongly urge and encourage all frontline workers in Edo State (health workers, security personnel, teachers among others) to get vaccinated due to strategic roles and exposure in health, learning and security enforcement.

“Individuals, groups and organizations must take responsibility to avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close contact,” Irowa charged.

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Security Operatives Crack Down On Sagamu Cultists, House of Assembly Member, Six Others In DSS Net

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Acting IGP Kayode Egbetokun

Security operatives in Ogun State on Wednesday tracked six suspected cultists, allegedly involved in the violence that erupted in Sagamu at the weekend to the official residence of a member of the state House of Assembly.

The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Hon. Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter to the fleeing cultists.

A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects on the premises of the lawmaker.

Those arrested, according to sources, include Damilare Bello Mohammed aka DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade.

They are currently undergoing interrogation at the Department of State Service (DSS).

Sources revealed that many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from the suspects.

It would be recalled that Hon. Bello was arrested by the DSS for masterminding the violent protest that took place in February this year in Sagamu over the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

During the protest, irate youths vandalised about 10 banks and other public infrastructures.

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Ogun Considers Special Court To Try Cultists

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

A Special Court is to be established by the Ogun State Government to try cult-related cases.

Also to be set up is a Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force comprising all major security outfits, with the mandate to rid the state of the menace of cultism.

The state is also proposing an amnesty programme for would-be cultists who may wish to surrender their weapons.

These decisions were arrived at after a joint security meeting, held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday.

It would be recalled that Governor Dapo Abiodun on Tuesday hinted that his administration would enact a law that would pronounce the death penalty on anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.

The governor spoke during a visit to the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, following days of cult-related clashes in Sagamu, which left many dead and others injured.

The meeting, according to Governor Abiodun, focused on providing adequate measures to eradicate cultism in the Gateway State.

Prince Abiodun said: “During the Joint Security meeting that took place today (Wednesday), we engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the implementation of measures aimed at combating cultism in Ogun State.

“Our primary focus was on establishing a special court, forming a joint operational force comprising various security agencies, and implementing a death penalty for cultism offences.

“In addition to these measures, we also deliberated on the possibility of introducing a period of amnesty. This would allow individuals who wish to surrender their weapons and renounce their affiliation with any cult-related groups and activities the opportunity to do so without fear of prosecution.

“As an administration deeply committed to fostering a peaceful and violence-free society, we are dedicated to providing the Special Court and Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force with the necessary logistics and tools to support their operations effectively.

“The overall objective of our conversation is to address the issue of cultism through a multifaceted approach. This will include legal and enforcement measures, rehabilitation efforts, and community engagement through our respected traditional leaders.

“In conclusion, we are determined to tackle the menace of cultism in our state head-on. By employing a combination of legal frameworks, law enforcement strategies, rehabilitation initiatives, and community involvement, we believe we can bring about lasting change.”

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Why We Sacked NNPP’s Abba Kabir As Kano Governor – Tribunal

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Kano State GovernorAbba Kabir

The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The tribunal declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, as the winner of the March 18 election.

Yusuf was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the poll in March.

But on Wednesday, the three-man panel, after hearing the petitions, ordered the withdrawal of the certificate of return which INEC presented to Yusuf and directed a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna.

The court deducted 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total as invalid votes, stating that the affected ballot papers were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

The ruling comes about six months after the APC candidate conceded defeat to Yusuf in the wake of INEC’s presentation of the certificate of return to the NNPP candidate.

In a two-minute audio statement on March 29, Gawuna stated that “as a good Muslim”, he was compelled to accept the outcome of the election, whether in his favour or not.

He added that although his campaign team had requested a review of the election results by INEC, upon review, the commission had found Yusuf to be the winner of the election.

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