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Buhari gets booster shot, FG assures Nigerians on safety

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Deborah Tolu-Kolawole and Stephen Angbulu

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has received his third dose (booster shot) of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

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The booster shot was administered by his personal physician, Dr. Suhayb Rafindadi on Tuesday.

The President had received his first jab of the vaccine on March 6 and the second jab on May 29.

Speaking to State House Correspondents, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the President was leading by example.

He also assured Nigerians that the booster dose of the Pfizer Biotech vaccine is safe and efficacious.

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He said, “The significance of the shot this morning is that the father of the nation is leading by example. As usual, he is among the first people that have taken the booster dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

“Again, to show clearly to all Nigerians that it is safe, it is efficacious, and now that over eight million Nigerians have been vaccinated, here is another proof that this vaccine is safe and it is a clarion call to all Nigerians to make themselves available to get the vaccine.”

The NPHCDA boss urged all those hesitating to take the vaccine to ignore conspiracy theories as the vaccine is safe for humans.

Meanwhile, analysis of the epidemiological reports on COVID-19 as of Tuesday has revealed that active cases in Nigeria have surpassed 10,000 amid concerns raised by the World Health Organisation over the high infection rate of the Omicron variant.

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had on Monday announced a fourth wave of the virus in the country.

The centre had cited that the Delta and Omicron variants were spreading fast.

According to the NCDC, the country currently has 10,610 active cases.

State governments like those of Lagos and Plateau among others have increased vaccination drive. Though no restrictions have been announced by the Federal Government, the WHO on Tuesday said “difficult decisions must be made”.

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According to the WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, delaying or cancellation of events was the best thing to do.

He said, “There is now ‘consistent evidence’ that the Omicron variant is outpacing Delta, as COVID-19 continues to account for around 50,000 deaths worldwide every week.

“There can be no doubt that increased social mixing over the holiday period in many countries will lead to increased cases, overwhelm health systems and more deaths.

“All of us are sick of this pandemic. All of us want to spend time with friends and family. All of us want to get back to normal.

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“The fastest way to do that is for all of us – leaders and individuals – to make the difficult decisions that must be made to protect ourselves and others. An event cancelled is better than a life cancelled. It is better to cancel now and celebrate later, than to celebrate now and grieve later.”

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Osun education review now attracts over N2 billion alumni fund, Oyetola boasts

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From Lateef Dada, Osogbo

Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has boasted that alumni associations have contributed over N2 billion to the education sector as a result of the review of education policy by his administration.

Speaking at the 60th anniversary of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife, organised by the Old Students Association, Saturday, he said many old students association are now relating with government and also investing hugely in infrastructure provision in their alma mater.

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Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Folorunso Oladoyin, Oyetola commended the SJOBA for setting the pace for other schools alumni to follow, saying his administration’s vision is to deliver a 21st century education and gradually tackle the rot that has taken over education, especially in public schools.

He said, “Since the reform of education policy that we carried out, we have attracted over N2 billion intervention fund from old students across the state.

“We thank you for your quick intervention in the structural renewal of your school infrastructures, we are immensely grateful that you heeded our call for a partnership between the government and all stakeholders in the education sector to move education to the next level. Infact, your own student association set the pace and since your massive intervention old students of other schools have followed suit.

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“I remember you injected close to N150 million last year or the year before and since your intervention, other old students have followed suit, Ilesha Grammar School inject almost N150 million, St Lawrence injected about N65 million, among many others.

In his benediction, Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Catholic Church, Lord Bishop John Oyejola said the government must do more to revamp public education for the sake of the common man since politicians no longer send their children to public schools.

“Many of you are in politics, or friends to those in government, talk to them, let’s have good education for our children. We went to public school and we had quality education. Today, those in government do not send their children to public schools, but missionary or private schools.

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“It is unfortunate that the Europeans came and plan a good future for us, but we cannot replicate the same for our children. We must rise for the youths. The building built by the government is already dilapidated while those built by missionaries still stand. We must learn to begin to do the right thing for the benefit of the youth,” he added.

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Only a credible primary will make APC retain power in Ekiti – Ojudu

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From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti

The Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, has appealed to members and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State to ensure a peaceful primary that is devoid of violence and bloodshed, stressing that it is the only way the party can help itself to retain power in the state.

Ojudu also called on the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led National Caretaker executive to conduct a free, fair, credible primary that can produce the right candidate that will be able to confront candidates from other parties and win the June 18 governorship poll.

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Ojudu made the appeal on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti, when he was interacting with newsmen on the APC primary to hold on January 27.

“I want to appeal to party men to be civil and peaceful. The only glory we can record in our party is to be peaceful and for our leaders from Abuja to conduct a primary we can all be proud of. Don’t let us be violent just because of the internal election.

“Primary of any party should be a day of celebration of democracy and not a day of bloodshed. We should be able to do this election without rancour. I am of the belief that politicians who want to use money to hire thugs to win elections should rather use such money for the development of our unemployed youths.

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“Our party officials should be fair and transparent. They should also be efficient with the process.

“I commend Governor Buni-led executive for allowing direct primary for this election, so that every member of the party, either rich or poor, high or low can participate. This will enable us to produce a candidate that can face the candidates of other parties.

“If by any means we impose someone or throw up someone who uses money to induce the people, or relying on federal might, we will have a candidate that cannot win or that wouldn’t be acceptable to the party people.

“Let me clarify that this government of President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t believe in using federal might to win elections, you have to go through the people to get votes.”

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On the aspirant he is supporting in the party for the primary, Ojudu said: “For now, I am not in support of anybody. I want to remain neutral so that I will be able to call all aspirants together and settle their differences after the primary.

“Losing an election is hurting, so we need an arbiter to be able to hold the party together and that is the role I intend to play.

“President Muhammadu Buhari lost election three times. Nobody thought he would ever be President again, but when the time God assigned to him came, he won and it was glorious for him. There is no point bringing guns to win elections.”

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The presidential aide warned aspirants against the use of thugs to beat anyone, saying everyone in the party is useful in winning the June poll.

“The aspirants shouldn’t bring thugs to bash and beat the people. Whoever is causing trouble should be exposed, because Ekiti must be in peace. All of us in APC must be able to come together and work to win in June. This is one election that we can’t afford to lose.”

Ojudu told aspirants to shun vote-buying saying leaders who emerge through such means care less about the people.

“When any leader buys votes to win elections, such leader wouldn’t care about the people, because he would have the impression that he had paid for the votes cast for him by the electorate.”

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He also urged security agencies to be neutral and not work for any of the aspirants.

“The security agencies should also be neutral. They must not work for any aspirant. They should owe their allegiance to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and their code of conduct as officers of the law. Through this, whoever wins will be that democracy has won.”

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