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Foreign media, Think Tanks admit they were misinformed by ‘Obidients’ – FG

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The Nigerian government has claimed that some international media organisations and Think tanks admitted that they were misinformed about the chances of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, winning the 2023 Presidential polls.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the international organisations revealed that they were misled by the noises of Obi’s supporters known as Obidients.

Lai made the comments in London when he concluded his engagements and meetings with media houses and Policy Institutes.

The minister was in Washington and London to defend the legitimacy of the just concluded general elections and correct the imbalance in the skewed narrative which had pervaded the air on the polls.

Addressing newsmen at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, where he concluded his engagements, the minister said his mission abroad was very successful.

“We have been able to correct the imbalance in the reporting and we are leaving today with a better feeling. Most of the people we met agreed with us that they had been misinformed and they over-relied on social media hype,” he said.

The minister said not until he educated them, many were not even aware of the requirements to win the presidential election in Nigeria.

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He said he pointed out to them that, in addition to the plurality of votes, a candidate must have one-quarter of votes cast in two third of the states which translates to 25 states before being declared the winner.

“When we told many of those we met that the Labour Party scored one-third of votes in only 15 of the 36 states they were shocked.

“We also told them there is no pathway to victory for either the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or Labour Party because they did not meet the requirements to be declared winner,” he said.

Mohammed said he was also able to explain the edge the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Sen. Bola Tinubu had over the two other major contenders, Obi and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, though they all won in 12 states each.

“We explained to them that it is not enough for you to win 12 states but what you scored in other states is also very important. For instance, in addition to winning 12 states, the APC came second in 19 other states with very high scores,” he said

The minister said he also informed the media houses and think tanks that it was impossible for any party without national spread and grassroots base to win the Presidential election.

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Mohammed said he gave the instance of the Labour Party which scored only 315,000 votes in the entire North-East zone and 350,000 in the North-West because its candidate was barely known and unpopular there.

He said, whereas, in the same North-East and North West, where the APC and its candidate are popular, the vote scored in each of the zones was over two million.

Unfortunately, with all these facts on the ground, they earlier believed that Obi won the election. This was because of the wrong mindset they had before the polls based on the hyped activities of his followers on social media.

“They also developed the wrong mindset based on skewed and very unrepresentative opinion polls, especially by Bloomberg which was uncritically reported by other international media.

”However, I am leaving the U.S.A. and the UK satisfied because the wrong perceptions had been corrected and were changing,” he said.

The minister was asked whether the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, fulfilled his promise made at the Chatham House in January to deliver free, fair, credible polls and let the people’s votes count.

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Mohammed said the INEC Chairman walked his talk on the promise.

He explained that contrary to the belief out there, the INEC Chairman did not promise that he was going to transmit elections electronically.

“Our laws today say all election management system is done physically and manually. There is this misunderstanding about the INEC Result Viewing Centre (IREV).

“IREV is not about collation and transmission of the election. It is a platform for transparency to ensure that whatever is entered into Form EC8A is transmitted into IREV so that everyone can see it,” he said.

While in the U.S. the minister had engagements with international media platforms, including the Washington Post, Voice of America, Associated Press and Foreign Policy Magazine

He was also at the Council on Foreign Relations, a well-versed think tank on African affairs and foreign relations chaired by a Nigerian, Dr Ebenezer Obadare.

In London, Mohammed engaged with The Economist, The Guardian, African Confidential, The Spectator, Times Radio and Africa Report.

He also met with the Think tanks, the Royal African Society, the Royal United Service Institute and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.

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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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