For Easter, Buhari stresses on coronavirus prevention for Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his goodwill message to christians in celebration of Easter, says this is the period for Nigerians to remain faithful and hopeful in God.
The President said although this year’s Easter comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an opportunity for all be hopeful that with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the nation will triumph. He also enjoined all christians to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecutions and displayed endurance.
I rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the celebration of this year’s Easter.
This year’s commemoration of Easter comes amid the grip with which Covid-19 has held the entire world. Unprecedented in living memory, majority of Christians have found themselves marking Easter in a subdued manner, away from the usual congregation in churches. This is unusual and very unfortunate.
However, I wish to enjoin our Christian compatriots to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecution, sufferings and displayed endurance, steadfastness and above all piety. Jesus Christ represented man’s ability to withstand temporary pains in the hope of everlasting glory.
I urge you to imbibe and live the values of humility, discipline, perseverance, sacrifice and obedience which Jesus Christ demonstrated during His stay on earth. There is no better opportunity than now for all Christians in particular, and Nigerians in general, to remain faithful and hopeful that with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the nation shall pull through this most difficult trial.
I have no doubt that if all stakeholders – individuals and groups – play their part to the fullest as advised by our scientists and medical experts in confronting Covid-19, the inherent resilience and determination of our people will enable us to pull through.
As I stated in my national broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020, since there is currently no known vaccine against the virus, “the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygiene and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.” May I use this opportunity to commend the encouraging containment and ameliorating strategies put in place by members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
I am very much aware of the personal and collective inconveniences suffered by our people due to measures such as restriction of movements and closure of business premises. Being “a matter of life and death,” these sacrifices are in everybody’s interest to save our country from calamity.
Nigeria decongests prisons nationwide
As part of efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian government on Thursday decongested prisons across the country. President Muhammadu Buhari granted presidential pardon to 2,600 inmates nationwide.
This Presidential Amnesty is in line with the Administration’s goal of decongesting Nigeria’s Custodial Centers, a task now given urgency by the outbreak & continued spread of #COVID19.
Other decongestion measures approved by the President have been announced by @MinOfInteriorNG
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) April 9, 2020
“These [2,600 beneficiaries of the Amnesty] include 885 convicts who could not pay their fines totalling N21.4 million which @NigeriaGov will pay on their behalf to enable them get their freedom.” — Minister of @MinOfInteriorNG, @raufaregbesola
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) April 9, 2020
Facebook inaugurates coronavirus information centre in Nigeria
Facebook is expanding its coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria and 16 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The information centres, according to a statement from Facebook, is part of its effort to help the global fight against COVID-19.
According to Premium Times, Facebook users can now opt in to follow the centre to get notifications and see updates in their News Feed from official government health authorities. It provides people with the latest news and information from trusted health authorities as well as helpful articles, videos and posts and tips to stay healthy and support their families and communities.
The centre, which was initially launched in South Africa, would now be available in Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo.
Zambia revokes TV station’s licence for refusing COVID-19 ads
Zambia’s broadcasting body on Thursday revoked the licence of a private TV station after it refused to air public messages about coronavirus.
Prime Television, a popular pro-opposition channel, told authorities last month that it would not air information about COVID-19 unless it was paid for government-commissioned campaign messages during elections in 2015 and 2016.
The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) cancelled its licence with “immediate effect” on Thursday, citing “the interest of public safety, security, peace and welfare”.
Coronavirus lockdown extended by two weeks in South Africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday prolonged by a further 14 days a three-week national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, as infections notched up to 1,934.
“After careful consideration of the available evidence, the national coronavirus command council has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown by a further two weeks beyond the initial 21 days,” Ramaphosa announced in a televised address to the nation.
The president added that while it was too early to make a “definitive analysis” of the outbreak in South Africa, there was evidence to suggest the measures had been effective. In the two weeks before the lockdown, the average daily increase in new cases was around 42 percent. Since the start of the lockdown, the average daily increase has been around four percent.
South Africa is the worst-affected country on the continent, followed by Algeria with 1,666 cases confirmed so far.
— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 9, 2020
TikTok pledges $250m for COVID-19 relief
Mobile video app Tik Tok has pledged to contribute $250 million to coronavirus relief efforts around the world. The Chinese-based firm said the funds would be for “front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis.”
TikTok’s move follows similar announcements from technology firms including Google, Facebook and Netflix as well as from leaders of Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter.
TikTok president Alex Zhu said in a statement:
We are committed to playing our part in that global outpouring of mutual support and giving. We want to magnify all we are seeing across our community and translate it into concrete relief for those most affected by this crisis.
Pope guides locked-down world through virtual Easter
Church doors will be shut and the Vatican sealed off when Pope Francis leads 1.3 billion Catholics on Easter Sunday celebrations held under a worldwide coronavirus lockdown.
The coronavirus pandemic whose toll has unrelentingly climbed towards 100,000 is reshaping society and transforming the way religion is observed. Even the important tradition of the pope’s messages to the faithful on Saint Peter’s Square is being replaced by live-streamed prayers that the Pope will record from the seclusion of his private library.
NBA players to receive full April 15 paychecks
NBA players will receive their full paychecks on April 15, US media reported Thursday, but salaries could be reduced as the league remains shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to ESPN, The league and the National Basketball Players Association have been negotiating a salary-reduction percentage for upcoming pay periods, and on Tuesday the players association reiterated to agents that owners could withhold 25 percent of players’ remaining salaries if the season is cancelled.