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Coronavirus Foreign Government News

Coronavirus: President Buhari might stop lockdown sooner than expected.

The lockdown ordered by the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari on during his public address to the nation which will took effect in some states in Nigeria is actually the first of its kind in this recent time following the spread of the novel Corona Virus in the country.

Nigeria Shuts Down Lagos and Abuja to Control Coronavirus Spread ...

After some cases of the Corona Virus code-named COVID-19 were recorded in some states in the country, the federal and state governments came up with strategies on how to prevent the spread of the deadly virus so as to save more lives. Since more case of the virus were recorded in Lagos State, The Federal Capital Territory- Abuja and the need to protect its spread to Ogun State which is very close to Lagos; the federal government therefore declared lockdown in those states.

Lagos and Abuja on Lockdown to Stop Coronavirus in Nigeria ...

Although, a few cases have been recorded in Ekiti State, Akwa Ibom State, Ondo State and a few others, there is the more pressing need to start the containment process from the most affected ones which are Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun. Apart from the lockdown, the federal and state governments also encourage the citizens to practice social distancing, good hygiene, wash their hands always with soap and use sanitizers to clean their hands always a ways of staying safe.

AMA to governors: Stay-at-home orders help limit COVID-19 spread ...

The 14 days lockdown in has lasted for barely five days, but many residents of the affected states and Abuja are lamenting that it has taken a serious toll on them since their means of livelihood are affected. Even their ways of life are also affected as they do not live life as before. Most importantly, most of them are already begging the federal government to end the lockdown so that they can go about their businesses to fend for themselves and their families and live life as before.

However, the federal government has warned of consequences if people do not comply with the lockdown and other directives given to them to abide by in order to contain further spread of the virus. The federal government assured that the lockdown would be ended soon if the people behave themselves well and do what they were directed to do as well as observe the lockdown order.

Corpses Of Persons Killed By Coronavirus Can't Be Claimed For ...

Speaking on what Nigerians should do for the government to end the lockdown, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who is also a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 advised the people to obey government’s directives on social distancing, practise good hygiene and avoid gatherings. Mohammed assured that if Nigerians do these and obey other directives of the federal government aimed containing the spread of the virus, then after the two weeks, Nigerians would resume their normal life.

Health and Prevention - Coronavirus Information - News and Events ...

He went on to warn of the consequences of Nigerians not obeying the order of the government to stay at home and observe the preventives measures given to them. According to him, the federal government could extend the 14 days lockdown if Nigerians living in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja do not obey the directives. He warned them not to take it for a joke but to treat it with all the seriousness it deserves.

With Travel Restricted, Nigeria's Elite Face Coronavirus at Home ...

President Buhari on the evening of Sunday 29th March, 2020 ordered the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja. Apart from Ogun that did not start on Monday 30th March after getting approval for extension till Friday, the lockdown has entered day 5 in Lagos and Abuja. So, if the residents comply, then in 9 days from today, the lockdown will end and life will go normal except if there is compelling need to extend it again or if the residents refuse to fully comply with the directives.

Nigeria's COVID-19 cases hit 210 with 4 deaths recorded, 25 discharged

As at Friday night, there were a total of 210 cases in Nigeria and four deaths. The cooperation of Nigerians is needed to contain the spread of the deadly virus. So, they need to obey the government directives to stay safe and save more lives.

What are your thoughts on this article? Feel free to drop your comments.

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Coronavirus News

Full text of President Buhari’s speech on Coronavirus

Full text of President Buhari

Read below the full text of President Buhari’s speech on the fight against Coronavirus today March 29th.

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020

1. Fellow Nigerians,

2. From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.

4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.

5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.

6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.

7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.

8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.

9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.

11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.

12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.

14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.

15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.

16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.

17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.

18. Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.

19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.

20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.

21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.

22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.

24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.

25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.

26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

28. This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.

31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.

32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.

33. We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

37. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

38. This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

39. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;
a. food processing, distribution and retail companies;
b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,
c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
d. private security companies are also exempted.

40. Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

41. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

42. All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

43. Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.

44. Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.

45. Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

46. We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

47. However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

48. As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.

49. For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

50. Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.

51. Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

52. I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

53. For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.

54. For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.

55. We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

56. As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.

57. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.

58. My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

59. We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

61. I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

62. Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

63. I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.

64. I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.

65. I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

President Muhammadu Buhari
29th March 2020.

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Government News

Call for Buhari resignation Nigerians react

It is no more news that in the last twenty four hours, the media has been agog with calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign his position as the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Although the campaign under the hash tag BuhariResign was birthed by a non Nigerian popularly referred to as Imam of Peace, many Nigerians seem to be in support of the call on the president’s resignation.

Imam of Peace had started by describing the state of insecurity in Nigeria as exemplified by the massive killing of the Nigerian soldiers while the president seems to be no where in sight.

Similarly, he raised eyebrows on the silence of the Nigerian president in addressing Nigerians on the state of things over the present Corona Virus pandemic ravaging the world with Nigeria inclusive.

Imam of peace in his series of tweets believes Nigerians who voted in support of President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress for the second term in office are not indeed patriotic citizens of the West African nation.

Nigerians in their various reactions wish President Buhari resign his position describing the Nation as a failed state.

A tweeter user simply identified as Ola David however expressed pessimism as to the reality of having a sitting Nigerian president or any other elected politician willingly resign from his office.

Meanwhile, it is on record that in May 2013, President Buhari who was at that time the National leader of the Congress for Progressive Change CPC asked the then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to resign over the increasing rate of insecurity in the nation as kidnapping, cultism, bombings among others continue to increase in geometric progression. Buhari asked Jonathan to “give way to competent hand to govern the country.”

It is unheard of in the history of Nigeria that any sitting president willingly resigned from office. Only time will tell if the Katsina born President Muhammadu Buhari will write his name in the history books by resigning his office.

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Government News president

Buhari picks Bashir Jamoh to replace Peterside as NIMASA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Bashir Jamoh as the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), TheCable can report.

Jamoh will replace Dakuku Peterside who was appointed in 2016 to head the maritime agency.Peterside’s tenure as NIMASA DG ends on March 10, 2020.The newly appointed DG is currently the executive director for admin and finance at NIMASA.

Jamoh, who hails from Kaduna, is also the current president of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA).The 56-year-old holds a PhD from the University of Port Harcourt, specialising in logistics and transport management.He also holds a master’s degree in management from Korea Maritime and Ocean University, a post-graduate diploma in management sciences from Bayero University, Kano and a diploma in accounting from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

TheCable also understands that he has 32 years of professional experience in the transportation and maritime sector.He is also the author of the book, Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets: Past, Present and Future.Jamoh joined NIMASA in 2003 as an assistant chief commercial officer, eastern and central zones.He served with the Kaduna state government before transferring his services to the then National Maritime Authority (NMA) in 1994.

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Government News president

El-Rufai: After 8 years of Buhari, the presidency should return to the South

El-Rufai says it only makes sense for the south to get the presidency in 2023.Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai says it’s imperative that a gentleman’s agreement among the political class that ensures the rotation of the presidency between a predominantly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south is respected.There have been feelers within the corridors of power that the north still feels shortchanged after Goodluck Jonathan contested and won the presidency following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010.The north couldn’t conclude its eight years after Yar’Adua’s death as Jonathan governed until he was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, in 2015.

Some politicians of northern extraction have insisted that they will contest the 2023 presidency after Buhari completes his constitutionally permissible eight years on the saddle, just to ensure the completion of Yar’adua’s eight years .

However, el-Rufai who headed the APC’s restructuring committee, says that will be unfair.“The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the presidency should rotate between the north and the south. It is not written but everyone understands it,” Vanguard quotes el-Rufai as saying.“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design to be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.“I can say that as distinct from the PDP, APC has no rotational presidency but candidates are selected strictly on the basis of political merit and the general acceptability of the candidate.”

The governor adds that the north will honor agreements reached, whether those agreements are written or verbal.“I want to say that those of us from Northern Nigeria honour agreements. We do not violate unwritten political agreements and I will be the last person to lead in violating that agreement. I may have a personal view but that should be the basis. I don’t care where you come from but I look for merit.“But as a group, the northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the south, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words,” he adds.Southern politicians like former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are believed to be nursing presidential ambitions ahead of the 2023 political permutations.Incumbent President Buhari has insisted that he won’t be handpicking his successor.

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Foreign News president

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dead at 91

Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for three decades
Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for three decades

Following 30 years of uninterrupted rule, Mubarak was ousted from power in 2011 amid the ‘Arab Spring’

Former Egyptian president and military strongman Hosni Mubarak reportedly died on Tuesday at the age of 91, his family said in a public statement.   

Mubarak reportedly died a day after being admitted to the ICU unit of Cairo’s Galaa military hospital, his brother-in-law General Mounir Thabet told AFP.

Thabet, a former high-ranking military official, confirmed the family was still at the hospital and said the Egyptian presidential office would organize the funeral.Play Video

Following 30 years of uninterrupted rule, Mubarak was ousted from power in 2011 amid a popular uprising across the region known as the “Arab Spring.” 

Mubarak resigned from the presidency on February 11 following 18 days of demonstrations. Play Video

Tributes poured in from leaders in the Middle East, where Mubarak, a key ally of the United States, had at times served as a mediator, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mubarak’s commitment to “peace and security” while Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he mourned the death “with great sorrow” and hailed Mubarak’s support of the Palestinian cause. 

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Government president

BREAKING: Aso Rock official Murdered In Abuja

Laetitia Dagan, assistant director of administration at the state house, has been murdered at her Abuja residence.

The presidency confirmed her death via a statement on Tuesday.Attah Esa, a deputy director of information at the state house, said the deceased was killed around 11pm on Monday.

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Government president

All government Transactions To Be Open Soon—President Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has given the assurance that with the various reforms by his regime, very soon, all government financial transactions will be done in the open.Buhari gave this assurance on Tuesday in Kaduna at the Passing-Out Parade of Detective Inspector Course Five of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.A State House statement by his media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying, “My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. My aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny.

“The objective of this administration is to institute a level of transparency in governance through mainly information technology platforms. Just as advanced democracies and some developing countries, I am determined that within a short period, citizens would be able to follow core government operations online,”He added, “Our government has reached an advanced stage in Fiscal Transparency. The Appropriation Bill is placed online within hours of its presentation in the National Assembly. The Budget Office of the Federation has been engaging interest groups in the budget cycle. A pilot scheme of 10 MDAs has been test running online display of their budgets and expenditure movements.”

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Government News president

Jonathan Fires Back: Why I sacked Ex-EFCC Boss-Farida Waziri

Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has branded former Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, as a liar for saying that she was fired from office because of her probe of some oil racketeers.

But the former President said Waziri was sacked based on Nigeria’s interest and global standing.

A statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, Media Adviser to Jonathan on Monday said the former president read media reports credited to Waziri, in which she claimed in her new book that she was removed from because of her probe of some oil racketeers.

We thought we had dealt with this matter, after promptly debunking similar statements she made in the past. In 2017 when she claimed that she lost her job because she “refused to back down from the probe of one of the masterminds of the fuel subsidy scam”, we quickly refuted and clarified the claim for the records, and even challenged her to name the individual or company in question.

We had expected that a book from Mrs. Farida, coming years after the claim was first made, should have towed the path of honour by telling the truth for the benefit of history. Unfortunately, that still didn’t happen. It will be recalled that after assuming office as President on May 6, 2010, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan decided to retain Mrs. Waziri, who was appointed by his predecessor, late President Umaru Yar’Adua, as the head of the elite anti-crime agency.

Despite obvious disenchantment from many Nigerians and mounting international pressure against Mrs. Waziri’s continued stay in office, the former President stood by her, in line with his conviction that every public officer should first be given the opportunity to deliver on his or her mandate.

It must be pointed out that former President Jonathan had no personal issues with Mrs. Waziri. The former President had to eventually let her go in the national interest. Her removal therefore has a lot to do with reasons relating to Nigeria’s interest and global standing which details Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is obliged to keep as state secret in our common national interest. It is very important to note that when dealing with the interest of the nation and the performance of the functions of a public office, a determined leader cannot prioritise the interest of an individual,” the statement said.

According to the statement, it therefore bore repeating here that Waziri’s removal as chairperson of EFCC had absolutely nothing to do with her purported refusal to desist from probing any oil individual, saying this claim sounded rather superficial and contradicted available evidence of the then government’s genuine efforts to combat oil subsidy racketeering.

The statement said it was noteworthy that throughout Jonathan’s tenure, he made practical efforts to combat the alleged oil cabals, including directing the stoppage of further payment of fuel subsidy claims to oil importers, and the setting up of the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led committee which had high level representation from all the intelligence agencies, including the EFCC, with a mandate to thoroughly investigate the scandals in the industry.

“The choice of Aig-Aigboje, a man widely acclaimed for his dependability, as leader of the committee, was a clear demonstration that the President had no personal interest in the matter. Those who choose to continue to rue, like Mrs. Waziri, over the loss of public positions should realise that such a position, which is a public trust, is not an entitlement.

“They are usually given to individuals to provide service to the people. Public officers should therefore see such transitions as their own personal sacrifice to the nation. It is in this light that Mrs. Farida Waziri should view her removal from office. It was nothing personal. It was everything patriotic,” the statement stated.

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News president

Why I sacked impeachment witness – Trump

President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire an army officer who gave damning evidence against him during the impeachment probe.Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted Friday out of the White House, where he worked on the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine. His lawyer called the move an act of revenge by the president, two days after he was acquitted by the Senate.Vindman was present during a now-famous July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.

House Democrats who impeached Trump on allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress argued that the call was part of a concerted effort to coerce a weak foreign ally at war with Russia into helping him cheat in November’s presidential election.Subpoenaed by Congress to testify at the House impeachment hearings, the Ukrainian-born Vindman, who received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Iraq, said Trump’s actions were “improper.”That testimony helped build the case leading to Trump becoming only the third president ever impeached by Congress.

Trump attacked Vindman in a tweet on Saturday.“Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” Trump wrote, apparently referring to news outlet MSNBC.“Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly.”

Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, said the army officer was “escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his president.”“The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,” he said. “He served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril.“And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge.”

On Friday, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and who also testified against Trump, said he was being recalled immediately.