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Most Nigerians Have Given Up On The Country – Utomi

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A renowned economist, Professor Pat Utomi,has said that most citizens have lost hope and given up on Nigeria.
He called for an urgent national dialogue on the political future of Nigeria and on the security challenges.
The former presidential candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) spoke over the weekend in Abuja at a citizens’ conversation on the state of the nation.
Utomi noted that it was high time concerted efforts were made to fix the numerous problems in the country.
He said: “As I go around Nigeria, I have found out that most Nigerians are in despair; they have even given up on their country and that is a very dangerous thing to happen to any people.
“The question, therefore, is: why are Nigerians so distrust? why are they so unhappy? why are our leaders trading abuses and insults every day on one another?”
Utomi lamented that Nigerians were not having a national public conversation which should focus on the common good of the populace.
“Some think the Nigerian state is hijacked and privatised; there is a sense in which people think elections are meaningless in Nigeria and there is a sense in which there is a level of distrust.
“We need to engage all critical stakeholders’ and groups, but we are starting from the group I like to refer to as complacent middle,” Utomi said.

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Bauchi Declares 14-Day Lockdown, Closes Borders

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The Bauchi State government has ordered a 14-day lockdown and closure of all the state borders with effect from 6 pm. on April 2, as part of efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mohammad Baba, and made available to newsmen in Bauchi yesterday.
“In an effort to control the
spread of COVID-19, the Bauchi State government has imposed a lockdown throughout the state for a period of 14 days, with effect from 6 pm. on April 2.
“Consequently, all borders to Bauchi State will be closed.
“Governor Bala Mohammed appreciates the sacrifice of members of the public in these agonising times.
“He has subsequently to secure food items, movement will be allowed between 10 am. and 4 pm. on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” he said.
directed that in order for the public to secure food items, movement will be allowed between 10 am. and 4 pm. on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” he said.
Baba, however, added that the ban would not affect essential services.

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Fayemi Names Committee For COVID-19 Support Account

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Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, yesterday, named an eight-man management committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic Support Account recently set up by the state government.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, said this was part of the efforts at curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
He said that the account was opened specifically to receive donations from corporate bodies, philanthropists and well-meaning members of the society, who were willing to support government’s efforts at combating COVID-19.
According to him, the funds will be targeted at providing palliatives for the vulnerable persons in the state.
Oyebode added that the committee was set up in line with the governor’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
He listed members of the committee to include the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, who would serve as the Chairman, with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Partnerships, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo as Secretary.
Other members were the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayoola Owolabi, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Femi Ajayi, Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr Moji Yaya-Kolade, as well as Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu.
The committee also has Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Special Adviser/Director-General, Office of Transformation and Strategic Development and Dr Hakeem Bakare, Director, Directorate of Inter-Communication Technology as members.

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Coronavirus: UN, AU, Others Must Do More – Obasanjo, Ex-Presidents

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 11 other former leaders have appealed to governments in Africa to do more in the fight against coronavirus.
They also advised international organisations to draw up a concrete, effective and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 outbreak in the continent.
The ex-Presidents/Prime Ministers warned that “with porous borders all over Africa, national efforts will not be enough but regional and continental were required”.
Their position was contained in a joint statement yesterday titled: “Appeal for preparation for Africa to confront the onslaught of COVID-19”.
It reads: “We have seen the mitigation effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus.
“The results have been related to seriousness of preparation and preventive measures taken including the level of healthcare measures and delivery. The epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case is yet to occur in Africa.
“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation, and the communal living of our people particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster.
“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.”
The statesmen urged the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and G-20, to urgently come up with a plan to alleviate social and economic effects of the disease.
The call for action was co-signed by Obasanjo, Festus Mogae (Botswana), Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia), John Kufour (Ghana), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Joyce Banda (Malawi) and Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique).
Others are Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa) Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) and Mohamed Marzouki (Tunisia).

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