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Buhari Sends Strong Warning To New Ministers

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Any of the seven newly appointed ministers who are “found in corrupt practices” will “meet the full wrath of the law,” President Muhammadu Buhari warned on Wednesday.

This occurred as he pushed them to abstain from corruption and insisted that public officials must act honestly.

The warning was given by the President at the swearing-in ceremony, which took place before the virtual Federal Executive Council meeting in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, according to a statement signed on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The newly appointed ministers and their portfolios are: Ikechukwu Ikoh (Minister of State, Science and Technology); Umana Umana (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs); Udi Odum (Minister of State, Environment); Ademola Adegoroye (Minister of State, Transportation); Umar El-Yakub (Minister of State, Works and Housing); Goodluck Opiah (Minister of State, Education) and Nkama Ekumankama (Minister of State, Health.)

Speaking to the new cabinet members, Buhari called for collaboration with their older colleagues and announced the reassignment of portfolios in his cabinet, saying the new redeployment is aimed at reinvigorating certain sectors where the government desires to accomplish improved results.

He said, ‘‘I begin this address by welcoming on board, all newly sworn-in members of the Federal Executive Council. I also congratulate you because the process that you all passed through to reach this stage has been rigorous and meticulous.

‘‘I, therefore, urge you to consider your emergence out of millions of equally qualified Nigerians within the purview of selection from your State, as a call to duty that imposes the obligation to serve the nation diligently and presents to you the unique opportunity to work hard in service to the Government and the country.

‘‘This administration has been in the saddle since 2015 and is now on the home stretch of its second term, as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections. All through, it has vigorously pursued the three main electoral objectives namely: Securing the nation; Diversifying & growing the economy as well as fighting corruption.

‘‘You must resist bad counsel, resist temptation and be circumspect in your utterances and conduct. You must totally eschew corruption and be above board because if caught there will be no sacred cows.”

He further asked the newly appointed ministers to await further communication on their appropriate Ministerial Mandates from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

‘‘You are all coming on-board at this time with new energy, ideas, experiences and vigour, to join the existing team so that the implementation of policies, programs and projects associated with these electoral objectives would be escalated and accelerated.

‘‘There is still so much to be done for our country in the areas of infrastructure development, energy, access to finance, access to justice, technology and innovation, trade, agriculture, education and security. The list is inexhaustible,’’ he said.

The President also urged the new ministers to study their sectors, take wise counsel, reach out to key stakeholders, consult and collaborate with older cabinet colleagues and focus on driving key programs already initiated by the regime. He charged them to “be loyal to your President and your country.’’

At the meeting, Buhari re-assigned at least four ministers to new portfolios.

They include: Senator Adeleke Mamora, Minister of Science and Technology (formerly Minister of State, Health); Mu’azu Sambo, Minister of Transportation (formerly Minister of State, Works and Housing); Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Niger Delta (formerly Minister of State, Environment) and Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development (formerly Minister of State, Transportation).

Prior to the commencement of the FEC meeting and swearing-in ceremony, the Council observed a minute of silence in honour of the Secretary-General of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Mohammed Barkindo, who died on Tuesday in Abuja.

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Brazilian King Of Soccer: Pele Dies At 82

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The Brazillian King of soccer, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele who was hospitalized in Sao Paulo last Tuesday has died this morning.

Fidel Info reports that Pele, the greatest player to ever play the game and a three-time World Cup champion, allegedly received a respiratory illness diagnosis and was admitted to the hospital right away.

A medical report issued on Friday stated that Pele had a good response to antibiotic therapy and was stable with “general improvement in health status.”

He underwent colon tumor removal in September 2021 and has been routinely receiving hospital care.

According to reports, chemotherapy had been stopped and Pele was just receiving palliative care, which focused on treating symptoms including pain and breathing difficulties.

When he was admitted to the hospital earlier this week, he was also said to have experienced widespread edema and cardiac problems.

Pele had said in an Instagram post on Thursday that he was at the hospital for a “monthly visit” and thanked his supporters for the positive messages he had received.

The former Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos striker’s face was projected on a building in Qatar with the message, “Get well soon”.

A sign with the same message was displayed by Brazilian fans at the Lusail Stadium last Friday ahead of the national team’s 1-0 defeat against Cameroon.

Meanhwile, ahead of Brazil’s last-16 tie at Stadium 974, Pele recalled memories of his World Cup debut in 1958, when the 17-year-old helped Brazil lift the Jules Rimet Trophy in Sweden.

He wrote on Twitter: “In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father. I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup.

“I’ll be watching the game from hospital and I’ll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!”

Injury affected Pele’s contribution to the 1962 and 1966 World Cup finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.

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Entertainment

Celine Dion Has Been Diagnosed With Stiff-Person Syndrome

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Celine Dion’s diagnosis with stiff-person syndrome has brought public attention to the rare neurological disorder, which affects roughly one or two out of every million people.

Fidel Info reports that Dion announced Thursday that she had postponed dates for her European tour next year due to the condition.

“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to,” the singer said in an Instagram Video.

People with stiff-person syndrome often experience rigidity in their torso and limbs, as well as severe muscle spasms that can cause them to fall down. The spasms can occur at random or be triggered by certain stimuli, including loud noises, touch and emotional distress.

Dr. Richard Nowak, an assistant neurology professor at the Yale School of Medicine, said the condition “has a range of severity, from quite mild — easily managed with a little bit of medication — to folks that are quite severe that can be, frankly, quite disabled from it.”

Stiff-person syndrome overall disrupts the normal pathways of communication between the brain and the muscles.

“There’s a massive firing that’s occurring from the central nervous system, down through the spinal cord, down through the nerves as they plug into the muscles, and it’s causing them to become rigid or go into spasm, which equals the stiffness,” Nowak said.

In most but not all cases, people with stiff-person syndrome have elevated levels of antibodies that target a particular protein involved in the process of controlling muscle function. Doctors consider these patients to have an autoimmune condition.

“In stiff persons, the pathways that are attacked are the brake pathways, so you’ve lost your brakes on your muscles,” said Dr. Simon Helfgott, a rheumatologist at Harvard Medical School. “Once your muscle starts to contract, it doesn’t have a way to stop itself from contracting.”

Helfgott estimated that about two-thirds of stiff-person patients have these antibodies, which can be picked up by a blood test. But around 30% don’t, he said, so researchers don’t fully understand what’s driving their illness.

A small minority of cancer patients may also produce antibodies that attack the nervous system and trigger stiff-person syndrome, Helfgott added.

Symptoms of the syndrome go beyond the normal muscle cramps that most people experience from time to time, Helfgott said; instead, the muscles tend to lock up. Some of his patients have had difficulty walking or required wheelchairs, he added.

“This is just such a severe diagnosis to have, especially if you’re an entertainer [on] the world-class type of stage,” Helfgott said. “It’s going to be very, very challenging to be able to continue.”

Because many symptoms of stiff-person syndrome overlap with those of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or anxiety, it often takes time to diagnose. Doctors rely on several tools to do that, including MRIs of the brain or spinal cord, blood tests or electromyography tests that use tiny needles to measure a person’s muscle and nerve responses.

Helfgott said the syndrome is harder to treat than other autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease, and there is no cure.

Muscle relaxants or Botox injections can help relieve milder symptoms like spasms, Nowak said. Patients with more severe symptoms are often prescribed intravenous immunoglobulin, an infusion that has been shown to reduce people’s stiffness and sensitivity to noise, touch and stress. 

But the symptoms and their severity levels can vary minute by minute, Helfgott said, and it’s difficult to predict whether a patient’s condition will get worse over time.

“In some cases, the condition can level off and stay the way it is. I have people who are like that — they’re no different now than they were 10 years ago,” he said. “In others, it is a slow, subtle decline.”

Source: NBC

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Economy

House Of Reps Has Ordered CBN To Suspend Latest Cash Policy

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On Thursday, the House of Representatives requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria suspend its most recent policy, which among other things places restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

Fidel Info reports that the House summoned the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to appear and explain the policy before the parliament.

This is based on a motion of urgent public significance made at the House’s plenary on Thursday by Aliyu Magaji.

The legislation, according to several senators, would harm businesses and Nigerians without access to the banking system and have catastrophic repercussions.

Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader, asserted that the proposal would reduce crime because money would now be monitored through the banking system. Although the timing could be off, the country would gain more from it, he claimed.

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