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Nigeria now sufficiently safe and secure, says Buhari

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Muhammadu-Buhari

Despite the security challenges being witnessed in parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said Nigeria under his watch was now sufficiently safe and secure.

He said since the first thing tourists all over the world looked out for was security, Nigeria was now open for tourism.

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According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said this while receiving the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari said the security situation in the country before the inception of his administration would have made it inconceivable to host an international tourism conference in Abuja like it was being done now.

The 61st UNWTO Commission for Africa conference is holding in Abuja.

The President said, “I am pleased that the country is now sufficiently safe and secure, and the message should go out to the world for all tourists and business travellers.

“The first thing tourists look out for is security and I am happy we have it now.

“Minister Lai Mohammed has been trying to convince the world that Nigeria is safe and has great potential for tourism and investment.

“I am glad that you and your team have come here to see things for yourself.”

Highlighting the nexus between tourism and sustainable development, the President said Nigeria would not be left behind in ensuring that communities and businesses benefit from tourism development.

In his remarks, Pololikashvili commended Nigeria for the successful hosting of the conference which brings together African Ministers of Tourism, principal executives of the global tourism body and other stakeholders in the tourism sector.

The UN tourism chief told Buhari that Nigeria had huge potential to develop the tourism sector considering its large economy.

“We can do it in Nigeria, we can create, convert Nigeria to the main tourist destination in Africa. There is a huge potential here. Culture, nature, food, you have everything here.

“You are investing in agriculture, improving seamless travel through visa-on-arrival programme, reforming the economy and doing so much on security. Nigeria is safe,” Pololikashvili said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said 166 delegates, including 26 tourism ministers from Africa were attending the UN tourism conference, holding from June 4 to June 6 in Abuja.

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Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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