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Trump returns to White House after COVID treatment

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President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after being treated for COVID-19 for three days at the hospital, and removed his mask to pose for photos on a balcony before walking into the residence.

Trump didn’t speak to reporters at the White House and only said “thank you very much” to those gathered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before boarding the presidential helicopter. Back at the White House, he walked up the South Portico stairs to the balcony, where he removed his mask, flashed thumbs-up with both hands and saluted for several seconds.

He did not appear to put his mask back on before walking into the residence. The show of defiance toward both the virus and public health measures to combat its spread was in keeping with the president’s tone earlier when he announced he would leave the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital.

In a video released shortly afterward, Trump said of the virus: “Don’t let it dominate you.”

“I knew there’s danger to it. But I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. I know there’s a risk. I know there’s a danger. But that’s O.K. And now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune, I don’t know,” he said.

“Get out there, be careful,” Trump added. “The vaccines are coming momentarily.”

The president has received medical care unavailable to most people, including three powerful medicines and an airlift to and from the hospital. The virus has infected more than 7.4 million Americans and has killed more than 210,000 since February, including 475 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The president’s aides hope to keep him at the White House residence and away from the Oval Office but are uncertain how long that will last, according to people familiar with the matter.“We’ll be back on the campaign trail soon!!!” Trump tweeted before leaving the hospital.

“Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He’s met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria,” White House physician Sean Conley said at a briefing after Trump’s announcement.

Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods” but the rest of his care can safely be performed at the White House, Conley said.

The race to determine who would be the next US president is well underway. Here’s a look at the developments along the way that lead to the election day on November 3, 2020.

The president received a fourth dose of an antiviral drug, Remdesivir, at Walter Reed before he was discharged and will get a fifth dose at the White House, his medical team said.

“He’s returning to a facility, the White House medical unit, that’s staffed 24-7,” Conley said, adding, “Every day a patient stays in the hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves.”

Conley said coronavirus patients could stop shedding the virus in as few as five days after diagnosis, and that Trump would be monitored to determine when he is no longer infectious. The White House plans for Trump to stay in the residence for a few days before returning to normal, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The White House is creating additional room for Trump to work in the residence, and avoid heading into the Oval Office, by converting the Map Room and Diplomatic Reception Room into office space, according to a person familiar with the matter.

All aides who will see Trump over the next few days will be required to be in full personal protective equipment and maintain physical distance from the president, that person said, asking not to be identified discussing internal preparations.

Conley conceded that the course of Trump’s illness could still take a turn. “We all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” he said.

“We’re looking to this weekend,” Conley added. “If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”

Trump has received doses of two other medicines, including an experimental “antibody cocktail” and a steroid, dexamethasone, usually used to combat inflammation in people with more severe cases of Covid-19.

During the news conference, one of Trump’s doctors read off a list of the president’s vital signs as of this morning, including his temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood-oxygen saturation level. His medical team has not previously released that data to the public.

But Conley declined to discuss the results of scans of Trump’s lungs, citing federal health privacy law.

Trump went to the hospital Friday evening, after announcing early that morning he’d tested positive for the virus. He was briefly administered supplemental oxygen at the White House before traveling to Walter Reed, Conley said Sunday.

The White House did not provide any update on Trump’s health in more than 24 hours between Sunday and Monday. Before he suddenly announced he would leave the hospital, he had not said anything about his condition on Twitter since shortly after 5 pm Sunday.

With less than a month until Election Day, Trump’s hospitalization has jolted the presidential campaign, forcing him to scrap rallies and other events as polls show him trailing Joe Biden nationally and in swing states. His campaign has launched “Operation MAGA,” referring to his Make America Great Again slogan, to flood the campaign trail with top surrogates like Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s family and others.

Among the aides who were with the president Monday evening as he was preparing to leave Max Miller, the deputy campaign manager for presidential operations, and Bobby Peede, the White House director of advance. They arrived at the hospital just before 3pm, heading to presidential suite.

Peede had the coronavirus earlier this year, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Trump’s release comes after a weekend of mixed signals from Conley, who on Sunday disclosed for the first time that the president had been given supplemental oxygen and received a medication that’s typically used in more severe Covid-19 patients.

Asked why he didn’t disclose during Saturday’s briefing that Trump had received oxygen despite repeated questions about it, Conley said, “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude” of the team and the president.

Trump was diagnosed with the disease late Thursday, after a close aide, Hope Hicks, also tested positive for the virus.

The president first tested positive after he returned from a fundraiser at his New Jersey golf resort on Thursday, McEnany told reporters on Sunday evening. Trump made an appearance on Fox News on Thursday night before disclosing on Twitter shortly after midnight on Friday that he had tested positive.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday criticized Trump’s travel to the fundraiser at his Bedminster golf resort in the state, saying it ought to have been canceled. The president went to the event despite knowing Hicks had tested positive.

“I hope it’s a lesson that now we’ve all learned,” Murphy said on CBS’s “This Morning.”

Biden, speaking in Miami, wished Trump and the first lady well and said he hoped the president would take mask-wearing seriously.

“I was glad to see the president speaking and recording videos over the weekend,” Biden said. “Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists, support masks.”

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Kano anti-corruption agency slams fresh charges against Ganduje

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Abdullahi Ganduje

Kano anti-corruption agency slams fresh charges against Ganduje

The Kano State Anti-Corruption and Public Complaints Commission has filed a fresh corruption charges against former Governor of Kano Abdullahi Ganduje.

The commission’s chairman, Muhuyi Magaji disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday.

According to Magaji, investigations uncovered the diversion of N51.3 billion from local government funds to unauthorized individuals during Ganduje’s tenure.

Magaji alleged that the Ganduje administration withdrew N1 billion monthly from state coffers before its tenure ended in May 2023, purportedly for road renovation, but diverted to Bureau de Change operators instead.

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He also cited a case involving N4 billion transferred to an agricultural company from Kano’s consolidated revenue account.

“What is happening now is a tip of the iceberg. As I am talking to you, we are investigating a case whereby N51.3bn local government funds were directly taken from the government coffers (and) sent to other individuals, and we traced it to people.

“We have filed a series of cases. We have a case whereby N1bn in April last year (2023) was removed from government coffers under the allocation of renovating 30 roads in the metropolis, and it was taken away and sent to Bureau de Change.

“We have a case of N4bn whereby it was sent from the consolidated revenue account of Kano State to an agricultural company. All these cases are before the court,” he said.

Recall that the state government has said it will arraign Ganduje, alongside his wife and son, for money laundering, later this week.

Kano anti-corruption agency slams fresh charges against Ganduje

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Ooni of Ife dismisses agitators of Yoruba nation

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi

Ooni of Ife dismisses agitators of Yoruba nation

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Tuesday, urged Nigerians to ignore the Yoruba nation agitators, who invaded the Oyo State government secretariat last week, describing them as attention seekers.

He also insisted that the agitators do not represent the interest of the Yoruba race.

Speaking when he received in audience members of the Yoruba Council Worldwide, who paid him a courtesy visit at his lodge in Eko Hotels, Victoria Island in Lagos to inform him of the sixth annual Omoluwabi festival which holds on April 27- 28, 2024, in Ile Ife and the grand finale holding in Lagos at LTV 8 Blue roof on May 1, 2024, the monarch commended the president of Yoruba Council Aare Oladotun Hassan for promoting Yoruba culture and extolling the good virtues Yoruba are known for.

Oba Ogunwusi, however, advised Nigerians not to give the Yoruba nation agitators any attention.

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He said: “We should not give those people relevance, they are achieving their aims just to seek attention,we are having challenges here and there in the country, this administration is really trying her best.

“Under President Bola Tinubu, he is doing very well, he is doing exceptionally well, by trying to fix the economy,we should give him benefit of doubt and also to engage people, very important we should be engaging people to talk to others about success recorded by the government in power.

“For us, we will continue to uphold and support the government, to support the president to ensure everything he does is to our advantage not as a race, but to our advantage as a nation, irrespective of where you come from Yoruba land or anywhere.”

Speaking on the importance of organising the Omoluwabi day, the president of the organisation, Mr Hassan said the essence is to rekindle the fast dieing Yoruba morals and values and as well inculcate it into the youths.

He said: “Yoruba Council Worldwide is registered organisation with Corporate Affairs Commission with vocal point of promotion of Yoruba cradles Omoluwabi ethos, National development, ensuring due dividend of democracy.

“The organisation was established 18th March 1999,just celebrating the sixth edition of world omoluwabi day.

it is a unique day, every May 1 declared by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi and late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the late Alaafin of Oyo. We receive countless of support from all the monarcs in Yoruba land, and this to us is an engagement and conversation to rekindle that Omoluwabi ethos that is fast dying in our society.”

Ooni of Ife dismisses agitators of Yoruba nation

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Jubilation as FG begins disbursement of N200bn palliative loans

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Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister for Trade and Investment

Jubilation as FG begins disbursement of N200bn palliative loans

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says it has begun disbursement of the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme to verified applicants after an exhaustive selection process.

The government, through the Bank of Industry, had said it would be disbursing three categories of funding totalling N200bn to support manufacturers and businesses across the country.

In a progress report posted on the trade minister’s official X (formerly Twitter) handle on Tuesday, Doris Aniete stated that an unspecified number of beneficiaries have received their grants, adding that by Friday, April 19, another significant disbursement will be made to a substantial number of verified applicants.

She said, “We are pleased to inform you that the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme has officially commenced. Some beneficiaries have already received their grants, marking the beginning of our phased disbursement strategy.”

“By Friday, 19th April 2024, a significant disbursement will be made to a substantial number of verified applicants. It is essential to understand that disbursements are ongoing, and not all applicants will receive their grants on this initial date. However, rest assured that all verified applicants will eventually receive their grants in subsequent phases.”

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This is coming more than eight months after President Bola Tinubu announced the grant for manufacturers and small businesses and two weeks after applicants were directed to submit their National Identification Numbers as part of the requirements to obtain the grant earmarked to cushion the effect that recent economic reforms have had on businesses in the country.

In the address, the president said he was determined to strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand, and create good-paying jobs.

“We are going to spend N75bn between July 2023 and March 2024. Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation, and improve productivity.

‘’Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1bn credit at 9 per cent per annum with a maximum of 60 months repayment for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital,” Tinubu said.

The programme, riddled with multiple delays and a complex registration process, had received several criticisms from prospective beneficiaries.

The President of the Association of Small Business Owners, Femi Egbesola, had decried the slow pace of data collation by the supervising agencies, alleging that genuine businesses were being deliberately discouraged from accessing the loans.

Jubilation as FG begins disbursement of N200bn palliative loans

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