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FG Converts Patience Jonathan’s Hotel To COVID-19 Isolation Centre

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The former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has struck a deal to release her 200-bed hotel as COVID-19 Isolation and treatment centre.
The Abuja hotel, which is believed to be worth about N2billion, is under interim forfeiture secured by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the court on April 30, 2018.
The former First Lady, it was learnt, struck the deal with First Lady, Aisha Buhari, which led to her release of the hotel, under litigation, for use by the government at the critical time.
The First Lady, through her pet project, the Future Assured Programme, entered into separate agreements with Mrs. Jonathan and the Ministry of Health to convert the hotel into a COVID-19 treatment centre.
Mrs. Buhari made an offer to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to equip it as a treatment centre to international standards.
Although the hotel was formally handed over to the minister, yesterday, it would be managed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) COVID-19 committee.
The Future Assured Programme is providing facilities like water, furniture, beddings, fittings and modern health equipment used to manage COVID-19 cases.
It was gathered that the “deal” between the First Lady and her predecessor was struck at a recent meeting by the duo at the Presidential Villa.
A source quoted Mrs. Jonathan as saying: “This is the time we must all come together, irrespective of political differences, to assist this nation to fight the pandemic. It is a time to shun politics.
“I will do everything to help this great country that has also given me the opportunity to serve.”
Investigation revealed that the First Lady decided to collaborate with Mrs. Jonathan to avoid the Future Assured Programme running into any legal crisis.
A highly-placed source added: “Since the dispute over the property is still in court, the First Lady opted to seek the consent of Mrs. Patience Jonathan on the temporary use of the seized hotel. This mutual understanding has removed all legal hurdles.
“After the nation has overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel will be handed over to the Federal Ministry of Health, which will in turn revert back to the EFCC. Those involved are, therefore, the Future Assured Programme, the Ministry of Health, the EFCC and ex-First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
“All the existing agreements are without prejudice to the final decision of the court on the property, which the First Lady said is owned by a separate entity, Aurora Foundation.”
About 1.15pm, last Sunday, about 30 workers were seen putting final touches to the centre.
A 20-man team of mobile policemen was on the alert to secure the sophisticated equipment already installed.
A source said: “It is a five-storey hotel which can actually be upgraded into 300 bedrooms. But so far, we have fitted the ground floor and three out of the other five floors”.
Asked to be specific on the cost being expended on the upgrading of the hotel to a medical centre for COVID-19, the source added: “Only the First Lady and the Future Assured Programme could account for such.”
The hotel is located in a valley in Mabushi part of Abuja, off the ever busy Mabushi Kado Expressway.
By the description of Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), an agency under the Federal Capital Administration, the property is located at Plot No. 1758, Cadastral Zone, B06 Mabushi, and Plot No.1350, Cadastral Zone, A00 Central Business District.
Being a reserved area, the five-storey hotel is unique with its ash colour paint.
It is easily noticed by shoppers who take the route to one of the biggest shopping complex in Abuja, the Jabi Lake Mall.
Less than two kilometres to Jabi Lake, the breeze from the lake at night provides additional ambience to the facility.

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FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others

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The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.

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Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA

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The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”

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