Opposition figures have descended on United States President Donald Trump after he admitted downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Trump reportedly told Washington Post editor, Mr Bob Woodward, that he played down the danger of the virus in spite of available evidence to the contrary.
He said his aim was to avoid public panic, which he believed would have worsened the impact of the disease.
The president defended his action at a news conference on Wednesday, insisting that it prevented panic that would have “exacerbated the oncoming pandemic”.
“I’m a cheerleader for this country. I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.
“We want to show confidence. We want to show strength. We want to show strength as a nation. And that’s what I’ve done,” he said at the White House briefing.
The virus has claimed no fewer than 186,663 American lives since its outbreak, according to the World Health Organisation.
Reacting to the president’s admittance, United States Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr Joe Biden, accused him of betraying Americans.
“If Donald Trump had acted just two weeks earlier, 54,000 lives could have been spared in March and April alone.
“Instead, he downplayed the threat and refused to take action, costing lives and sending our economy into a tailspin.
“It’s an unjustifiable dereliction of duty,” Biden said in a tweet.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Nancy Pelosi, issued a strongly worded statement condemning Trump’s action.
“The horrifying toll of Trump’s deadly disinformation and negligence in the lives of grieving families and to our economy is a historic national tragedy.
“The President’s own words spell out the devastating truth: Trump was fully aware of the catastrophic nature of the coronavirus.
“But he hid the facts and refused to take the threat seriously, leaving our entire country exposed and unprepared,” Pelosi said.
The speaker added that Trump’s refusal to tell the truth or act to protect Americans caused so much pain that could have been avoided.
In a similar reaction, Democratic vice presidential candidate, Ms Kamala Harris, knocked the president for “knowingly betraying the American people”.
“As we mourn the 190,000 Americans who have died, we must also act.
“He is unfit to be president. We must vote him out in November,” she said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Emmanuel Yashim)
Dep. speaker House of Reps mourns Zazzau Monarch
Rep Ahmed Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, says the nation has lost a paragon of virtue as a result of the demise of Emir of Zazzau, His Highness, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Wase, in a statement issued and made available to newsmen by Mr Umar Puma, his Chief Press Secretary, on Sunday in Abuja expressed regret over the passage of the emir.
He stated that the royal father passed on at a critical period in the history of the nation when his wisdom was needed most.
Wase said he was saddened by the loss of the emir, adding that he joined the people of Zazzau Emirate Council, the governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, and the entire country to mourn the late royal father.
According to him, we have lost one of the illustrious traditional rulers, a loving father, a man of peace filled with wisdom and a paragon of virtue.
“He was a stabiliser and a virtuous man who ruled with the fear of God and contributed immensely to the development of his Emirate, Kaduna state and the nation at large.”
He asked Allah to console the family he left behind, the people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna state over the unfortunate but inevitable occurrence.
“We cannot question Allah’s decision, but may Allah forgive all his wrong doings while on earth and grant his soul abode in Aljanna Firdaus,” he said.
The News Agency of Nugeria , reports that the emir died at the Military Hospital, Kaduna, on Sunday.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/Donald Ugwu
Renown Ibadan-born businessman, Adegoke joins APC officially in Oyo
He made the announcement while addressing his supporters on Sunday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adegoke, a political disciple of Sen. Rasheed Ladoja, is the Ajia-Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland.
NAN also recalled that Adegoke contested the House of Representatives seat for Ibadan South-West/North-West Federal constituency in 2015 on the platform of Accord Party (AP) and lost.
He was also part of those who worked for the emergence of the present administration of Gov. Seyi Makinde under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Adegoke, who is eyeing the Oyo South Senatorial seat, said his decision was after several consultation with his political associates, leaders and supporters across the 33 local government of the state.
Adegoke thanked his supporters for their concern on the matter, saying there was no cause for alarm.
According to him, “Few days ago there was a fake news story that I, Olooye Adegboyega Taofeek Adegoke has decided to stay back in the PDP.
Supporters expressed joy over the news coming from their political leader and benefactor.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
Petition: Unions pass vote of confidence on VC
The Joint Action Committee and Congress (JAC) of the Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara, has passed a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chacellor, Prof. Magaji Garba.
Garba recently came under attack by a group of concerned staff of the university.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Information Officer of the institution, Mr. Umar Usman and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday
Usman stated that the JAC comprised the university’s branches of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
According to him, the four bodies “dissociated themselves from a petition written on the University’s Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration and Internal Council Members representing the Senate of the University.
“The chairmen of the four unions have in a communique issued after their emergency meeting on Thursday, 17th September, 2020 affirmed the stand of the unions on the issue of a petition claimed to have been written by the concerned members of the University staff,” the statement added.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on Aug.5, a group from the institution referred to as “Concerned Persons,” had in a petition addressed to the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education, urged the National Assembly to look into their grievances in order to save the university from collapse.
The petition titled “Petition about the Systematic Corruption and Abuse of Office against the Vice Chancellor/Chief Executive, Prof. Magaji Garba of the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State,” was signed on behalf of the group by N.S.Danbala Esq.
It cited among others that the vice-chancellor had arrogated all powers of running the university to himself and needed the institution’s records to be put straight before the vice-chancellor completes his term.
The petitioners also alleged that the vice-chancellor had caused “huge loses on the university funds due to illegal award of contracts”.
“The University Council has earlier ratified recommendations of an Investigation Committee which found the VC guilty of corruption, disregard to due process bribery, financial misappropriation, illegal staff recruitment, divide and rule tactics and illegal deals,” the petitioners added.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed
PDP Reps caucus congratulates PDP, Gov. Obaseki for victory
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), caucus in the House of Representatives has congratulated the party and its candidate, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, on their victory at the just concluded governorship election in Edo.
The leader of the caucus, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers), in a statement on Sunday said Obaseki’s victory was a reflection of the people’s will.
He said that democracy was designed to enable the people to elect a credible leader that would serve the interest of the people and not a few.
Chinda congratulated the people of Edo for coming out enmass to vote and protect same in spite of hitches of voting in a few areas.
“I want to congratulate Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his victory at the poll and his conduct at the elections.
“This is a sign that Nigerians, especially the people of Edo have woken up to the fact that their votes must count and say no to god-fatherism politics in Nigeria.
“Although the election witnessed the display of security operatives laying siege on governors of the PDP, it did not deter or distract voters from voting a leader that will pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years.
“I am happy that citizens are beginning to wake up to understand that the issue of god-fatherism must be put to an end in a bid to pave room for transparent, credible and a democratic society.
“I am elated that the just concluded election has proved that Democracy, which should be government of the people, by the people and for the people, must thrive in Nigeria if we all sincerely work toward that,” he said.
He called on Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory and ensure that his victory was a victory for everybody.
He also congratulated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osage Ize-Iyamu, for adding value to democracy.
Chinda advised Ize-Iyamu to accept the result in good faith and join hands with Obaseki to provide quality service to the people of Edo.
The caucus also commended the security agencies and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for their role in ensuring a peaceful and transparent exercise in spite of some logistics hitches.
The caucus called on security operatives to always adhere to duty of protecting lives and property devoid of partisanship and make Nigerians proud.
The caucus restated the party’s commitment to providing a leadership that would stand the test of time.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Donald Ugwu