Some athletics coaches and sports enthusiasts have commended the Federal Government for lifting ban on non-contact outdoor sports.
They consequently urge reopening of sports centres.
In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, they said that lifting ban on some sports without reopening sports centres would frustrate sports men and women as well as sports enthusiasts.
NAN reports that the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, on Thursday in Abuja, said that Federal Government had decided to ease restriction on outdoor non-contact sports.
The sports include tennis, table tennis, squash, badminton, cycling, athletics, golf, polo, para-athletics and cricket.
A para-athletics coach, Alli Abdulazeez, said that he received the news with mixed feelings, claiming it was not explicit enough.
He said that with ongoing renovation of stadiums, sports activities might not hold yet.
“What that means is that we will have no facility to train in. As at today, no sports centre has opened,” he said.
An athletics coach, Tunde Suleiman, said: “All that needs to be done after releasing non-contact sports is to open training venues (stadium for the use of track) and empower the coaches financially.
“Many coaches are not employed and they are using their little resources to keep athletes going. If sports centres are opened, we would have better places to train.”
A sports enthusiast, Donatus Agu-Ejidike, however, said that though sport was a veritable tool to shape lives of Nigerian youths, it would be imperative to take precautionary measures to curb COVID-19 pandemic.
Agu-Ejidike noted that the pandemic was still ravaging.
“The Federal Government and, indeed, the Minister of Youth and Sports should be commended; however, the government should help to ensure strict adherence to protocols.
“By that, all participants, including coaches, should be screened before coming into the arena. This must be a continuous practice.
“Coaches should ensure that athletes are under their watch during the period,” he said.
He urged that thermometers, hands sanitisers, face masks and other necessities be provided.
He said that compliance of coaches and athletes with COVID-19 prevention guidelines might encourage the government to relax restrictions on other games.
The Federal Government had in March restricted sporting activities following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/non-contact-sports-coaches-sports-enthusiasts-want-sports-centres-reopened/
COVID-19: Lagos govt reopens cinemas, gyms
The Lagos State Government on Saturday permitted the reopening of cinemas and gyms, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the 18th update on the management of coronavirus in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that in October, the state government would announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy.
”Dear Lagosians, henceforth, cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of 33 per cent occupancy.
”This means that there must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day.
”Next month, October, we will announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy: night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and so on.
”For now, these will continue to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October 2020,” he said.
Accordings to him, places of worship are also permitted, while the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; the churches are permitted to resume their mid-week services.
”We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.
”All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was committed to continuing the maintenance of a balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.
He said that the state would continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activities must never be taken as an excuse to let down the guard against the pandemic.
According to him, some parts of the world are seeing a resurgence of infections, and rising possibilities of the kind of hard lockdowns being experienced a few months ago.
”Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable.
”The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitisers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi
Edo Poll: PDP alleges move to replace election results in Edo North
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Saturday alerted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of State Services (DSS) on the allegation.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP urged its members to remain vigilant and follow their results to all the collation centers.
He also said that it cautioned the security agencies against being used to replace results already being declared at the respective polling units.
“Already, we are aware that results are being manufactured in Kogi state to be used as replacements for already declared results, particularly in Edo North.
“We draw the attention of INEC to such results being bandied by the APC, including the fake result claimed to have emanated from Etsako West, where a vote of 914 was allocated to the APC, as against the genuine declaration at the polling units.
“Whereas polling unit results are identified as Form EC8A, the results being paraded by the APC carry a fake identification number of Form EC60E.
He said that the PDP was alarmed by the report that the development had led to avoidable post-election violence, including reported killing of innocent Edo citizens.
He alleged that the victims had come out to perform their civic responsibilities as the police allegedly withdrew their men in certain collation centres.
Ologbondiyan called on the Inspector-General of Police to protect innocent Nigerians from the violent act.
“We charge the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to ensure that his officials are not compromised to replace results.
“The people of Edo state have spoken loud and clear with their votes in their respective units, and they are already aware of the authentic results,” Ologbondiyan said.
Reacting to the statement, Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria , that INEC was committed to following through its processes and procedures for a successful and credible election.
Okoye said that INEC officers were uploading the results on the commission’s Result Viewing Portal.
“The Commission is irrevocably committed to following through its processes and procedures.
“As at 18.49p.m. 702 results have been uploaded in the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
“Our Presiding Officers are uploading Form EC8A which is the Polling Unit Result.
“Presiding Officers must complete Form EC 60E (The People’s Result Sheet), and paste at the polling unit.
“We understand the challenges posed by poor network in some of our communities and our Registration Area Technical Assistants are working hard at overcoming the challenges.
“The Commission is focused on completing the process. The Commission is not interested in the outcome but focused on the processes and procedures,” Okoye said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Akaeze-Ukwu tragedy: Buhari condoles with govt, people of Ebonyi
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his condolences to the government and people of Ebonyi State over the Akaeze-Ukwu tragedy that claimed several lives.
The president’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday.
“We are saddened and aggrieved at this colossal loss of human lives,” he said.
According to the president, the thoughts and prayers of the government and people of Nigeria are with the families of the victims of the accident.
He commended the Ebonyi government for spearheading the rescue and also hailed efforts by neighbouring state governments in that regard.https://nnn.ng/akaeze-ukwu-tragedy-buhari-condoles-with-govt-people-of-ebonyi/
Sultan turbans 15 District Heads in Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Saturday turbaned 15 new District Heads in Sokoto State.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ceremony followed the demise of the District Heads of the respective areas.
Abubakar congratulated the newly turbaned Heads and urged them to ensure the best representation for their communities in the Sultanate Council.
“Your turbanning is an added responsibility and opportunity to serve the society, as such I urge all of you to remain focused in ensuring sustainable development to the people.
“You are all aspected to continue to work closely with your community in ensuring sustainable peace and unity in the state,” he said.
The Sultan further prayed for the new district heads and for peace and prosperity in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) reports that those turbaned include the district head of Kware, Alhaji Muhammadu Dan’iya, father of the Sokoto State Deputy Governor and Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, as District Head of Tsamiya, among others.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/ Maharazu Ahmed