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Coronavirus and that Argungu security breach

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The spread of coronavirus has forced the Nigerian government to think outside the box. Last Monday, President Buhari constituted a six-member committee to assess the impact of the global pandemic on the economy.

The panel, chaired by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed is expected to review the consequences of the global health challenge on crude oil prices, on which the country’s economy rest.

Other members of the committee are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

Meanwhile, the Villa has caught the shivers, as guests now go through thorough screening. Paramedics have been assigned to screen visitors and apply hand sanitizers at the pilot gate, the major entry point into the Villa; also at the Front Desk known as “Admin gate”.

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The President inaugurated the NDDC Advisory Committee, comprising the nine governors of the Niger Delta Region and the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs and Environment.

The dethronement and subsequent banishment of the former Emir of Kano, Mohammad Sanusi II by the Kano State government caught the Presidency struggling to exculpate itself, as former Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had alleged that Buhari ordered the sacking of the former Emir. 

A Presidency statement read thus: “The President does not have a history of intervening in the affairs of any state in the country, unless the issue at hand is of national consequence.”

Before last Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President had a closed-door session with the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule. 

The agenda of the meeting was not disclosed, but it was believed it had to do with the former Emir of Kano, who had become a guest of the Nasarawa governor. 

Sule did not speak to newsmen when he departed, but feelers were that it had to do with security situation while Sanusi’s remains there.

The video clip of how a guy dashed through security cordon to have close contact with the President in Kebbi became another subject that riled the Presidency last week.

President Buhari was in Kebbi State, Thursday, to declare open the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival.

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He had gone round the arena to inspect rice pyramids on display, and take photographs with farmers, when the young man, apparently in some frenzy made the dash. The young man was prevented, and he protested that he be allowed to greet his President.

Many interpreted the move to mean either a security breach or lunacy on the part of the young man.

But, the Presidency explained it as a photo-up stunt and dismissed insinuations that the young man had it in mind to harm Mr. President.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the man was an overzealous supporter of the President who did not know that he had crossed the red line.

Shehu said: “He is an overzealous supporter who wanted to reach the President clearly out of goodwill. He didn’t know the limits and the security implication. He didn’t know that he was crossing the line of security.”

So much for one week!

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