Today's Breaking News in Nigeria This Morning, Friday 3rd of July, 2020


1. The Federal Government (FG) says Madagascar’s Coronavirus drug same as ‘sweet annie’ used for malaria treatment

The Federal Government has said that preliminary results of the analysis of Madagascar’s herbal cure for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) revealed it as the same as Artemisia annua, also known as ‘sweet annie’, used in malaria treatment.

Artemisia annua is grown by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID). Further research into its efficacy will be conducted when the grant is approved, the government added.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on May 15, received the country’s allocation of the Madagascar anti-COVID-19 drink during which he promised to listen to scientists before allowing traditional or any new medicine to be administered on Nigerians to treat the pandemic.

At the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the specie of the plant available in the country had a very high concentration of Artemisinin, with very high yield, adding that further research would focus on the efficacy of the plant for treatment of COVID-19.

Ehanire revealed that all government hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would become COVID-19 sample collection sites, so that walk-in cases could have samples taken for testing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to him, the move is to assure users and care-givers of reduced bottlenecks and improved efficiency in the country’s response, which will be scaled up to other states.

“I strongly advise we do not embark on non-essential travel. This is particularly so for the elderly and those designated as high risk.

“Many countries made adherence to rules not only mandatory; some even imposed penalties for non-compliance. The exploding figures we see now would be considerably less if most citizens complied. The benefits of compliance are such that we should be encouraging each other and ensuring that we obey and remind others to obey, without requiring policing,” he noted.

Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the Federal Ministry of Education would consult further with stakeholders before issuing guidelines that would lead to full resumption of schools across the country.

Mustapha observed that schools had not resumed and that only critical examination classes would be allowed to resume for those who need revision before examinations.He appealed to Nigerians to continue to show understanding and ensure that their wards take full advantage of electronic platforms provided for learning.

2. All Progressives Congress (APC) caretaker, reconciliatory committee meets Chief Bisi Akande

The Caretaker and Reconciliation Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday held a closed-door meeting with the former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, in his Ila-Orangun country home, Osun State.

The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was said to have dwelled on the assignment given to the committee. Yobe State Governor and Chairman of the committee, Mai Mala Buni, led other members to the meeting.

Buni, who spoke on behalf of the committee, told Akande that the committee saw him as critical stakeholder because a reconciliatory committee earlier led by him received several petitions and complaints running into over 170.

He said the committee would require the support and elderly advice from the octogenarian politician to enable it attain its lofty objectives and success. Akande, while welcoming the committee members, urged them to handle the assignment in their hands with fairness, openness and responsibility, saying that they had the onerous task of enthroning peace and stability in the crisis-ridden party.

He said the objective and bottom-line was to resolve amicably all disenchanted parties with the aim of placing the party on a sound footing to enable it meet the immediate and future challenges.

The elder statesman also implored the committee members not to hesitate to seek advice from all stakeholders on proper things necessary to do to achieve the mandate placed in their hands. He, however, said that there was need to appeal to aggrieved members to remain united and strong for the party to continue to play its leading role in the polity.

3. Bode Akindele’s death is an irreparable loss to Nigeria, says President M. Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of philanthropist and entrepreneur, High Chief Bode Akindele, as an irreparable loss to the country. The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the late industrialist was one of the early groups of private individuals to support government intervention in the fight against the COVID-19 scourge, donating handsomely to the fund.

“Chief Akindele was a man of many parts. He was a creator of jobs who demonstrated untiring love for the down-trodden. His philanthropic gestures knew no bounds, intervening especially in critical sectors of the economy,” President Buhari said.

He condoled with the government and people of Oyo State, particularly the Olubadan-In-Council, on the loss of the Parakoyi of Ibadanland whose immeasurable contributions to development and progress of his community and country remained paramount till the very end.

Buhari also commiserated with the Organised Private Sector on the departure of a key member whose imprints in various sectors will remain indelible.He urged family members, friends and associates to take solace in the fact that Chief Akindele touched lives, wrote his name in gold, and lived a life of accomplishments. He prayed that God would grant him eternal rest.

4. Lagos State government discharges 40 Coronavirus patients from the state isolation facilities.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, disclosed that 40 of the COVID-19 patients in the state were released to join their families after testing negative.

The 40 patients, 17 females and 23 males, including two foreign nationals, were discharged from the state isolation facilities.

“The patients, 19 from Onikan, seven from Gbagada, three from Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, eight from Agidingbi and three from LUTH isolation centres were discharged after full recovery and testing negative to COVID-19,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has commended the Federal Government for heeding the plea of transport workers and lifting interstate travel ban imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The RTEAN had earlier appealed to the Federal Government to review ban on interstate travel, saying the sufferings of affected transport operators were becoming unbearable.

National Publicity Secretary of RTEAN, Alhaji Abdulrahman Amusan, who spoke yesterday in Lagos, said the gesture had shown that the government had a listening ear and felt their plights.

According to him, the interstate transport operators whose sources of livelihood had long been paralysed by the lockdown and the ban are jubilating and rejoicing with the new development.

“The entire National Executive Council (NEC) of RTEAN, led by the President, Alhaji Musa Mohammed and all State Executive Councils want to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for being human and considerate in lifting this ban. It has been really tough for our members who deal in interstate travels.

“We thank the Federal Government most sincerely for this development. We commend the government for not forgetting or abandoning the affected operators whose businesses and sources of livelihood had been paralysed.

“This review is the best thing now. Our suffering members are happy and rejoicing over this because it will end several weeks of hardship and sufferings. We are grateful.

“Again, we have lectured and admonished our members to strictly adhere to all the COVID-19 prevention guidelines and protocols because all the government efforts are for our safety,” the RTEAN spokesman said.

According to him, the union is in total support of the efforts of the government in combating the novel coronavirus and will continue to support the government in all its policies and programmes.

Amusan, who doubles as the Secretary of the union in Lagos State, said that many drivers and conductors would have food on their tables with the development. He gave the assurance that the union would obey all the guidelines and protocols as prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.