The recently sacked Minister of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman, was aware of the fate awaiting him 24 hours before he was fired, The Nation gathered on Friday.
President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have personally informed Mamman of his imminent sack on Tuesday after inviting him to the Presidential Villa.
Buhari, according to Mamman’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Aaron Artimas, even gave the ex-minister the option attending the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday where news of the sack was broken.
Mamman, however, chose to stay away from the meeting.
Artimas said there was a mutual relationship between the President and the ex-minister which made Buhari personally pick him without lobbying from anyone and which also led to the President telling him why he had to be dropped.
Artimas was said to have been dropped to pave the way for the strengthening of the cabinet and alleged tension in the ministry.
Asked to confirm whether the ex-minister collapsed as reported in some newspapers (not The Nation), Artimas dismissed the reports as fake.
He noted that his principal had over stressed himself on his return from Chad and did not sleep for up to eight hours.
Mamman’s blood pressure, according to his aide, rose and he became a bit ill but never collapsed.
His words: “It is the wicked fake news as usual because Nigerians are becoming vindictive and making conditions extreme for people we don’t like having issues with.
“The true story is that on Tuesday evening, the President himself called the minister to the Villa and informed him personally of his intention to make changes and that he (Mamman) would be affected by the changes for the reasons they discussed between them.
“And the minister accepted in good faith and thanked the President for giving him the opportunity.
“And the President told him that he was doing it because he wanted to strengthen the government and reduce some tension within the ministry.
“The President had singlehandedly appointed him because nobody lobbied for Sale to become minister.
“So, he felt that as his own son, if there is anything, he can have a mutual discussion.
“When he got home, he was tensed because when he went to Chad and he came back, he had been ailing a little bit, he had not rested.
“So, he took drugs and went to bed.
“When he woke up, his body was ailing. His sugar level had gone up. Maybe it had been long he had eight hours sleep.
“And the doctor yesterday had to bring down the sugar level.
“So, if you go to his house now in Maitama, you will see him there.
“Yesterday, I insisted he should grant interview, he granted Hausa service interview.
“So there was nothing like collapse. He heard about his removal before everyone else. At least, the President honoured him with that prior information.
“The President even gave him the option whether he would attend the Federal Executive Council meeting that day or not so that he would make the announcement after the meeting. He said he would not attend. These are the facts.”
FG declares public holiday to mark Eid-ul-Mawlud
The Federal Government has declared October 19 as a public holiday in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, on Friday.
The statement stated that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.
Aregbesola congratulated all Nigerian Muslim faithful, both at home and in the diaspora, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Mawlud.
He admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which were the virtues of the Holy Prophet, as doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.
The minister enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality.
“As the indisputable leader of our race, we (Nigerians) must show responsible leadership in Africa,” he said.
Aregbesola called on Nigerians to refrain from all divisive tendencies capable of causing crisis in the country.
He also urged Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans.
“Irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity I urge you to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of,” he said.
FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC
The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.
“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”
Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.
He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered. Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”
Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.
According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.
The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.
“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.
“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.
He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.
Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.
Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.
Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation
Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.
He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.
The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.
“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.
“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?
“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”
The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.
“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.
“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”
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