- Gambia Talks Fail As President Refuses To Step Down
Nigeria’s president flew to Banjul to try to broker a deal but Mr Jammeh would not relinquish power.
Mr Barrow is now heading to Mali, where he will meet West African leaders attending a summit there.
The former estate agent wants to resolve the transitional deadlock so he can be sworn in next week.
President Jammeh’s term ends on Thursday.
The African Union has said it will no longer recognise Mr Jammeh’s rule beyond this point.
Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari had flown to The Gambia’s capital, Banjul, to try to broker a deal, as the region fears the consequences of a non-peaceful transition.
Ecowas, a 15-nation bloc of West African states that organised the delegation, has it said it would consider removing Mr Jammeh using military force if he refuses to step aside.
Mr Barrow is travelling to Mali with the Ecowas delegation for further discussions this weekend.
Mr Jammeh had initially admitted defeat after the December election. But shortly afterwards he called for the result to be annulled.
The 51-year-old leader seized power in the country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.
A lawyer for Mr Jammeh filed a request with the Supreme Court on Thursday, asking for an injunction to block Mr Barrow’s swearing-in.
The Supreme Court is unable to hear the challenge until May because of a shortage of judges, and Mr Jammeh says he will not step down until then.
There are growing fears that the uncertainty could cause a refugee exodus.
Thousands of Gambians, mostly women and children, have already crossed the border into neighbouring Senegal and further afield to Guinea-Bissau, where they do not require a visa, officials say.
Mr Barrow won 43.3% of the vote in December’s election, compared with Mr Jammeh’s 39.6%. A third candidate, Mama Kandeh, got 17.1%.
President Buhari Has Officially Suspends Magu, Says Attorney General’s Office
Buhari Officially Suspends Magu, Says Attorney General’s Office
Nigeria has suspended its anti-corruption chief pending the conclusion of investigations, the attorney general’s office said on Friday, without elaborating.
Ibrahim Magu has been appearing before a presidential panel reviewing activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency said on Monday.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate suspension of Ibrahim Magu as Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.
The president put EFCC operations director Mohammed Umar in charge pending the outcome of Magu’s case.
Buhari has made tackling corruption a priority since taking office in 2015. Endemic graft among the political elite dating back decades has left most Nigerians mired in poverty, despite the country being Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer.
FG Puts School Resumption Plan on Hold as COVID-19 Cases Hit 30,000
FG Drops School Resumption Plan as COVID-19 Cases Cross 30,000
The Federal Government has dropped plans for certain students to return to school following the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 30,249 on Wednesday.
“Till date, 30249 cases have been confirmed, 12373 cases have been discharged and 684 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.
The report forced the Federal Government to drop plans for certain students to return to school.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We will not open soon for examinations, or for any reason, unless it is safe for our children,” Adamu after a cabinet meeting.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidence of the infection is going up in the nation.”
Complete Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by State
|States Affected||No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)||No. of Cases (on admission)||No. Discharged||No. of Deaths|
FG Approves N109bn Contracts for Four Roads, Hostel
FG to Spend N109bn On Four Roads, Hostel
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved different contracts on roads and others totalling N109.187bn.
The approvals for the contracts were parts of the decision reached at a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The contracts were approved based on the requests of the Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Ministry of Education.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that his ministry submitted two memoranda for projects estimated to cost a total of N108.44bn.
He disclosed that the council approved an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn for the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
He said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda. The first one was to aid the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt highway. It was an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn; the council approved that augmentation.
“The second memorandum was the award of three different roads. The first is Dikwa-Marte-Mungunu road for N60. 273bn and the Numan Road linking Borno and Adamawa for N15.527bn and the third is for Gombi-Biu linking Adamawa and Borno also for N7.643 bn.”
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the FEC approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of student hostels.
The contract, which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744.26m is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain and Transfer arrangement.
He said, “It will take one year to construct the hostels, after which the contractor will run it for 15 years within which they will recover what they have sunk into the project.
“There are 18 blocks of hostels and each room in a block will house four students. The total number of students to be housed will be 4,032.”
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