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Arrest people behind interim government plot, APC, PDP tell DSS

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The presidential campaign councils of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party have challenged the Department of State Services to get tough with plotters of the interim national government.

The councils, on Wednesday in Abuja, said the push for the ING was unconstitutional, adding that the plotters should be arrested.

They spoke against the backdrop of a statement issued by the security agency that some people were plotting the ING.

The DSS had earlier on Wednesday raised the alarm over a plot by some Nigerians to thwart the May 29 inauguration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The DSS, in a statement in Abuja by its Spokesman, Dr Peter Afunanya, alleged that those behind the plot planned to undermine civil rule and foist an interim government on the country.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on March 1 declared Tinubu the winner of the February 25 presidential election.

The APC presidential candidate polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who got 6,984,520 votes and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi that had 6,101,533 votes.

A day after the result was declared, Atiku and Obi at separate press conferences on March 2 rejected the outcome on the grounds that the election was rigged.

Also, a former Anambra State Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, stated that Tinubu would not be sworn in as President.

Speaking on Channels Television on March 23, the vice-presidential candidate of the LP, Datti Baba-Ahmed, said the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, must not swear in Tinubu on May 29.

Some protesters under the aegis of the Free Nigeria Movement on Tuesday last week, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to annul the February 25 presidential election and set up an interim government.

But hundreds of pro-Tinubu protesters, under the aegis of ‘The Natives’, stormed the streets of Abuja on Monday, warning against the imposition of an ING.

However, in the statement it issued on Wednesday, the DSS said it had identified some key players in the plot for an ING.

It stated, “The service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis. The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace-loving Nigerians.’’

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The security agency alleged that the plot was taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.

It added, “The planners, in their many meetings, have weighed various options, which include, among others, to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of State of Emergency. Another is to obtain frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive administrations and legislative houses at the federal and state levels.

“The DSS supports the President and Commander-in-Chief in his avowed commitment to a hitch-free handover and will assiduously work in this direction. It also supports the Presidential Transition Council and other related bodies in the states.’’

The DSS added that it would collaborate with PTC and other law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless inaugurations in May.

Consequently, the Service strongly warns those organising to thwart democracy in the country to retract from their devious schemes and orchestrations.

“Stakeholders, notably judicial authorities, media and the Civil Society, are enjoined to be watchful and cautious to avoid being used as instruments to subvert peace and stability of the nation.

“While its monitoring continues, the DSS will not hesitate to take decisive and necessary legal steps against these misguided elements to frustrate their obnoxious intentions,’’ it further warned.

Commenting on the plot, the Director of Strategic Communications for the APC PCC, Idris Mohammed, said the DSS should arrest the plotters.

Mohammed warned that the APC PCC would go all out to ensure nothing hinders a smooth swearing-in of Tinubu.

He said, “The APC PCC is aligned with the position of the DSS, which we believe is doing its job. If this statement is coming directly from the DSS itself, it means that it is not an empty allegation. In any case, we believe the security agencies are also there to deal with this kind of situation. That is why they are there. Their duty is to thwart any threat against the Nigerian nation. They should react to it and go the extra mile to pin down those also responsible.

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“We are seeing a pattern which we believe the DSS is also seeing. Otherwise, you cannot as far as call for a coup d’etat and pretend to still believe in democracy.”

His position was shared by the Chief Spokesman for the PCC, Festus Keyamo, who noted the statement released by the DSS was not different from an earlier alarm that he raised on potential incitement and subversive plot of some interim government proponents last week.

“The DSS is the super spy of the nation and has a duty to do their work. As you can see, their statement confirmed the alarm I raised earlier about incitement and treasonable felony. This is just to confirm what the APC PCC brought to the notice of the public last week.

“Therefore, it is good that the DSS is even the one raising the alarm about the subversive activities of these people so that when they arrest anybody, no one should start screaming ‘persecution.’ These are people who are too young to know what we passed through at the hands of a military regime. They will see the very thing they think they are fighting against in a military regime. The constitution will be suspended. Fundamental human rights would be non-existent. These kids really don’t understand the gravity of what they are trying to do,” he stated.

Also, the PDP called on the DS to immediately pick up for questioning, the elements pushing for an ING.

The party, through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, expressed worry that the security outfit had yet to arrest such persons for “treason” against the backdrop of the unconstitutionality of an interim government.

Speaking, Abdullahi said, “They should immediately go after such persons because it is the right thing to do. What are they still waiting for? The interim national government is alien to our constitution and there is no basis for anybody no matter how highly placed to contemplate it.

“Elections have been successfully held both nationally and sub-nationally. Those that are being disputed are already before the courts. So why should anyone come up with this at this material time? The DSS owes Nigerians a duty to act and the time to do so now.

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“They should be arrested for treason because that is what it is. Arresting those concerned will act as a deterrent to those with a negative and dangerous mindset for our country.”

LP kicks
But the Chief Spokesman for the Labour Party PCC, Yunusa Tanko, said Nigerians would not be intimidated by the threat of the DSS.

He wondered why it took the security agency this long to start taking proactive measures to prevent chaos when the entire country was seized by ballot snatchers and thugs at the just concluded general elections.

“If truth be told, the LP and Nigerians cannot be intimidated. When the DSS was supposed to have issued a caution, it didn’t do it. It failed to do it and that was what gave impetus to those who wanted to derail the democratic system and run away with it.

“Let me give you an example. When the LP members and supporters were being intimidated in Lagos and denied the right to vote, where was the DSS statement? Our members were maimed and also killed during the campaign period, and the DSS issued no warning. When people were being ethnically profiled at a particular point, where was the DSS? When ballot boxes and the mandate of the people were stolen, they were nowhere to be found.

He challenged the security agency to arrest people behind the plot if it had verifiable facts.

He asked, “Is it after all these heinous crimes have been committed against the people that the DSS is coming out to roar like a lion? It is either the DSS has been compromised or it is just not interested in defending the state. It is also bad enough that the people who make up the state are completely been ignored.

“For us, this particular statement from the security agency is more or less like a threat to the sovereignty of the people. But if it has verifiable facts and evidence as regards those who are planning to subvert the will of democracy, they should not hesitate to bring them out as quickly as possible. But not to intimidate the people when they are trying to fight for their rights,” he said.

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Cholera outbreak: Death toll rises to 24 in Lagos, suspected cases now 417

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The death toll resulting from the outbreak of cholera in Lagos State has risen to 24 from 21 earlier reported.

 

An update by the Lagos State Government on Friday indicated that a total of 24 persons have lost their lives to the disease as of June 19, 2024.

 

The report also said while a total of 417 suspected cases have been recorded only 35 cases have been confirmed so far across the 20 local government council areas in the state.

 

As of Thursday, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Kemi Ogunyemi, said that the number of recorded fatalities rose to 21 from 15. She also reported 350 suspected cases.

 

According to her, Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recorded the highest numbers.

 

Ogunyemi, while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) attributed the rise in cases to the Ileya festivities during which large gatherings occurred.

 

She, however, noted that suspected cases were subsiding across LGAs particularly in previously affected LGAs due to state government interventions and surveillance efforts.

 

The special adviser stated that the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Health and other sister agencies, was maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programs and activities to curb the spread.

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“The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), continues to collect samples of water sources, food, and beverages to identify the source of contamination. We have also intensified our surveillance activities in communities, particularly in affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

 

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education to ensure all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and scholars as they return. Residents must, however, remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene, and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera,” the Special Adviser stated.

 

She advised that citizens seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever, stressing that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities.

 

While noting that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu remains committed to ensuring that residents of Lagos receive quality and affordable health care, the special adviser extended the gratitude of the state government to local, national, and international partners—including UNICEF, WHO, NCDC, NIMR, Red Cross, and others —for their support in combating the outbreak.

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“Appreciation is also extended to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists, environmental health officers, Water Corporation officers, surveillance officers, heads of agencies, members of PHEOC, and volunteers who are working around the clock to combat the disease and keep Lagos safe,” Ogunyemi said.

 

The Ogun State Government has also confirmed the outbreak of the disease which has claimed the life of a 62-year-old woman, and five persons hospitalised, according to the state’s Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker.

 

Global Death Toll
Sadly, the World Health Organization (WHO) also confirmed a cumulative death of 194, 897 deaths and 1,932 cases globally as a result of a cholera outbreak.

 

A statement by the health organisation’s Eastern Mediterranean Region said the outbreaks were recorded from the 1st of January, 2024 to the 26th of May, 2024.

 

The cases were reported from 24 countries across five WHO regions with the Eastern Mediterranean Region recording the highest numbers followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the South-East Asia Region, and the European Region.

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No outbreaks were reported in the Western Pacific Region during this time.

 

“The global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) was depleted until early March but exceeded the emergency target of 5 million doses in early June for the first time in 2024. As of 10 June 2024, the stockpile has 6.2 million doses. However, demand for the vaccine continues to outpace supply. Since January 2023, 92 million OCV doses were requested by 16 countries, nearly double the 49 million doses produced during this period,” it said.

 

By March, the UN health agency said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV). Still, it was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024”.

 

WHO reported that 16 countries requested 92 million doses of OCV since January last year – almost double the 49 million produced during that time.

 

It said it was working with other partners such as the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and others, to use resources to find long-term solutions for cholera.

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Cholera outbreak: Lagos LGA suspends school food vendors

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The Agege LGA in Lagos has suspended food vendors in schools under the council as part of measures to curb the spread of the cholera outbreak in the state.

 

On June 11, Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said five people died while about 60 residents were hospitalised as a result of a suspected cholera outbreak in some parts of the city.

 

On June 15, the commissioner confirmed the cholera outbreak, noting that there have been 350 suspected cases, out of which 17 have been confirmed cases, with 15 fatalities.

 

As of Thursday, the number of cholera-related deaths in the state had risen to 24.

 

Ganiyu Egunjobi, chairman of Agege LGA, said the council has embarked on rigorous sensitisation to prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Egunjobi noted that market stakeholders and schools have also been sensitised over the radio on precautionary measures to ensure the disease is prevented in the community.

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“We have suspended all school food vendors to ensure the safety of the pupils and students,” he said.

 

“We have informed both the pupils and students on radio stations to come with their foods to ensure their safety from the cholera disease.

 

“This development will allow us to detect and prevent outbreaks in our community. We are working tirelessly to prevent the menace of cholera outbreaks in our community.

 

“We are using various means to talk to our people, through landlord associations and others, to caution them on ensuring hygiene in preparing foods and drinks.

 

“We urge residents to acquaint themselves with precautionary measures against the deadly cholera disease outbreak.”

 

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Good Morning! Here Are Some Major News Headlines In The Newspapers Today: Constables’ Recruitment: Police Intimidating Us, PSC Cries Out

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1. The authorities of the Police Service Commission, PSC, on Friday, raised the alarm that the police high command is intimidating the agency over the ongoing issues regarding the recruitment of police constables.

 

2. Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has removed Chidi Awuse as Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers. Awuse, an ally of the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, was replaced with the traditional ruler of Apara Kingdom, Eze Chike Worlu Wodo.

 

3. Amid persistent high cost of goods and services, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso assured yesterday that inflation will subside in the months ahead. At a meeting with leaders of the organised private sector, the CBN governor said there were positive developments in the fight against the economic challenges.

 

4. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, on Friday announced the approval of N21 billion for 11 electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, to provide meters for end-use customers. This was contained in its ORDER NO: NERC/2024/072 on The Operationalization of “Tranche A” of the Presidential Metering Initiative Under the Framework of Meter Acquisition Fund.

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5. Chairman of the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Tola Alabere, has said that the loss of the November governorship election would end the existence of the party in the state. Alabere stated that the majority of members might not remain in the party if the ruling All Progressives Congress emerged victorious.

 

6. An officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, was on Friday injured by a driver along Osogbo/Gbongan Road, near Osun Government Secretariat in Abere. The driver was said to be driving at top speed when FRSC officers at a roadblock near the Osun Sector Headquarters located along the expressway, waved him to stop.

 

7. There was palpable tension in Ojurowo, Folumo in the Isale Eko area of Lagos Island, Lagos State, on Friday after members of the public caught an unidentified woman for kidnapping and selling children. It was learnt that the woman had kidnapped the children from the Ijora area of the state and brought them to Isale Eko to sell them.

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8. The Bauchi State Police Command on Friday urged for calm following the lynching of a man alleged to be an advocate of a religious movement. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Auwal Musa, confirmed that the incident happened on Wednesday.

 

9. The death toll from the cholera outbreak in Lagos State has risen to 24 with 35 confirmed cases, even as 417 suspected cases have been confirmed in 20 local government areas of the state. The State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who confirmed the development on his X handle on Friday, said the update was from the Lagos State Cholera Outbreak Situation Report.

 

10. Italian football legend, Roberto Baggio has been hospitalised after being attacked by armed robbers who stormed his home. The intruders locked his family up while they watched last night’s Euro 2024 match between Italy and Spain.

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