- Finally, FG Transfers Presidential Lodge to Lagos Govt
The federal government has formally transferred the Presidential Lodge in Marina, once the State House in the First Republic, to the Lagos State Government, a development that has elicited jubilation among the state’s eminent indigenes.
The transfer of the Presidential Lodge was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter from his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, to the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, last week.
Buhari’s approval followed Ambode’s request to release the presidential lodge to the Lagos State Government in its bid to transform the Marina-Onikan axis into a world-class arts and tourism hub.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said yesterday that Ambode commended the president for approving the transfer of the Presidential Lodge in Marina to the state government.
He said Buhari’s large heart demonstrated his “keen admiration for Lagos State as the centre of excellence that is well suited to becoming Africa’s foremost hub for arts, entertainment and tourism”.
With the presidential approval, Ambode said the Presidential Lodge would be redeveloped “to The Heritage Centre for Leadership, which would subsequently be redesigned and equipped as a landmark research and tourist arena that will be open to local and international visitors”.
He said: “On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his kind handover of the Presidential Lodge in Marina to the Lagos State Government.
“This, in my opinion, demonstrates the president’s special interest in Lagos State, which is in line with the promise he made in Lagos during the electioneering that the interest of Lagosians will always be paramount in his heart.
“Buhari’s approval has come at a time that the old Lagos State House in Marina, which is next door to the Presidential Lodge, is also being prepared for transformation to The Lagos History Centre, as a mark of honour to and celebration of all former governors of Lagos State, as well as for the benefit of humankind as a whole.
“The State Executive Council has already approved the Lagos House Marina to be turned into Lagos History Centre for tourism purposes. With the handover of the Presidential Lodge to Lagos State, the state government will begin the process that will transform the whole area into a cultural zone in the next two to three years that every Lagosian will be proud of.
“These two buildings will be nurtured as world-class monuments by the Lagos State Government to complement the ongoing larger plan that aims to transform the Marina-Onikan axis into a multi-sectorial culture zone.”
He also unveiled the state’s plan for Marina-Onikan cultural zone, including a skywalk that would connect Marina all the way to the Freedom Park on Broad Street in order to offer the ultimate view of the “culture arcade” that will emerge between Marina and Broad Street and the entire zone to tourists and local visitors.
Ambode said the axis would also accommodate a Tourist Welcome Centre, which he said would comprise a multi-layer car park, mall, Lagos aquarium centre and other tourists’ facilities
President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.
The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.
According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.
The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
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