Tag Archives: State

Nigeria govt end inter-state movement of COVID-19 patients.

The Federal Government has banned inter-state movement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in the country.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), briefing on COVID-19.

Ehanire said that all persons diagnosed with the virus would henceforth be treated in the state where their diagnosis was made to avoid further spread of infection.

He stated that Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and Pharmacists should refrain from attempting to treat COVID-19 patients, otherwise their operating licences would be revoked.

He noted that Federal Ministry of Health has deployed the Chief Consultant Epidemiologist, Public Health Department of Kano state and 16 staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kano state to carry out investigations on recent number of deaths in the state as well identify the peculiarities.

The minister stated that private hospitals desiring to manage COVID-19 patients should apply to their State Ministries of Health for permit, meet the Infection Prevention and Control standards and get accredited by the state accreditation team in line with FMOH guidelines.

Ehanire stressed that those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, TB, HIV, cancer; should take special care and also obey the instructions on taking special care.

“Government is interested in remedies that are being proposed. The Ministry of Health has a department for ‘Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine’, so anything that is thought to have efficacy should be brought forward.

“Now we are in the community transmission phase and we have passed that era when people think that COVID-19 was something for big men and women who came from abroad.

“Now that it is in the grassroots, the role of the Primary Healthcare now comes to play and it is very important for them to do the surveillance to raise the index of suspicion,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman on COVID-19 said that the government has introduced the door-to-door testing in some communities in Lagos and Abuja.

Mustapha said the PTF noted that the number of cases have risen generally.

He noted that this was attributable to expansion of the testing capacity and activities as well as evidence that community spread was taking place.

“Considering the dynamic nature of the response plan, the strategy for testing has been modified and door-to-door testing is now taking place in some communities in Lagos and Abuja.

“Testing, detection, isolation, care and case management remain central to our success in this fight.

“The situation in Kano continues to be of concern and the PTF is working in close contact with the state government to arrest the situation. The PTF will update you as soon as there are new developments,” he stated.

The SGF reminded Nigerians that the pandemic is real and its spreading like wildfire.

“We must all arise to fight this potent and invisible common enemy by adhering to the guidelines and protocols for COVID-19, which includes personal hygiene, social distancing, wear of masks in public places, obeying the stay-at-home order and reporting unusual illness to the authorities for investigation,” he advised.

“It is anticipated that by April 24, Ramadan will begin. I want to use this medium to thank His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for endorsing the recommendations of the Emergency Fatwah Committee by issuing a statement guiding the conduct of the Ummah during the Ramadan.

“The statement has directed the Ummah on the suspension of obligatory religious activities such as Jumaat, congregational and other sessions during the month of Ramadan to prevent the spread of COVID 19,” he said.

He encouraged scholars and organisations to use all other means of communication and broadcast to disseminate information and conduct programmes.

NobleReporters as at April 22, report that 782 people in 24 states and the FCT have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

The 117 new cases represent the highest daily increase in new cases so far and is an indication of more efficient testing and increasing community transmission.

The most affected States are: Lagos 59, FCT 29, Kano 14, Borno six, Ogun three, Katsina four, and one each in Bauchi and Rivers. 25 deaths have sadly been recorded in total, and 197 people successfully treated for Covid-19 and discharged.


All 36 States in Nigeria to participate in House-to-House test.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Medical Officer for COVID_19 Case Management Team, Dr Sandra Mba, disclosed this in a tweet chat with The Guardian on Wednesday.

“Currently @NCDCgov has expanded the testing capacity to 12 labs in Nigeria. The platform being used for testing currently is RT-PCR,” Mba said.

“However, NCDC also has a plan to expand the testing capacity to all 36 states & FCT using other validated methods and working closely with partners,” she added.

She, however, did not mention any of the partners the NCDC is working with or the timeline for the project.

Nigeria has recorded 373 cases coronavirus since its index case was announced late February. But many medical critics believe the country is not testing enough people.

According to www.worldometers.info, as of 10pm on Sunday, Nigeria had tested 5,000 people, while 37,954 persons were tested in Ghana. On the other hand, South Africa had tested 80,085 people.

Lagos State Government on Tuesday, however, announced that it has tested over 118, 000 persons.

The World Health Organisation last week said there was an urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing in Africa. It advised that testing must go beyond cities.

On Sunday, a coalition of medical groups, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said it was not enough for the federal and state governments to impose lockdown on citizens without ensuring that those who had been infected with the virus were fished out and tested.


PETAN donate items to 3 states in Nigeria.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavours, and in its efforts to alleviate the anguish of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) is partnering with the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to donate ambulances, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment to Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State governments respectively.

This was made known by the newly elected Chairman of the Association, Mr. Nik Odinuwe, in Port Harcourt. He said the association is aware of the immense strain COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the healthcare system in Nigeria, and that, with PETAN’s donation, he hopes a substantial fight against this virus will be won, in the three states and the entire country.

Echoing some of the sentiments of the Chairman, Dr. Lucky Akhiwu, the Publicity Secretary of the Association, said the whole country is working tirelessly to slowdown the spread of Coronavirus and that PETAN will be proud to help on a continuous basis.

According to him, PETAN member companies are presently reaching out to their host communities, to provide them with palliative materials to help ease their struggles in this time of need. In his final remark, Odinuwe thanked the health care personnel for their selflessness in the fight against the virus, and urged members of the public to stay in their homes, wash their hands regularly, and comply with the stipulated social distance gap.

PETAN, as a reputable association, continuously takes care of the well being of her staff, and now is working in close association with her members host communities, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


APA sues INEC over deregistration

The African Peoples Alliance (APA) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court for deregistering the party ahead of the February 29 local government elections in Enugu state.

Joined as defendants in the suit no. FHC/EN/CS/21/2020 filed on Friday at the Federal High Court in Enugu by counsel for APA, Mr Chukwunonso Ogbe, are the Attorney General of the Federation and his Enugu State counterpart.

Also joined in the suit brought through originating summons is the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC).

Ogbe said that the process was brought in pursuant to the provisions of Sections 221 and 225A of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Order 3 Rule 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rule 2019.

The counsel said that the suit sought to determine the propriety of deregistering the party at a time it had nominated candidates for the upcoming council polls in the state to be conducted by ENSIEC.

He said that the party would pray for other reliefs, if the court so hold that INEC could not deregister a political party that had validly nominated candidates for elective positions.

“One of the reliefs is for the court to declare that the action of the first respondent amounted to a violation of the rights of the plaintiff to exist as a political association.

“We are also praying the court to declare as null, void and of no effect, the purported act of deregistration of the plaintiff.

“We are also seeking for an order restraining ENSIEC and Attorney General of Enugu State from disqualifying the candidates of the plaintiff from vying for elective posts on February 29,” he said.

Ogbe said that the plaintiff also sought for N1 million general damages against INEC for deregistering the party after nominating candidates for a council election.

NobleReporters learnt that the defendants have 30 days after service of the summons to enter appearance.

It will be recalled that INEC on February 6 announced the deregistration of some political parties in the country, with the inclusion of APA.

Meanwhile, the deregistration of the party came at a time it had nominated candidates and started campaigns for the February 29 polls in Enugu State.


Kebbi: Gov. Atiku appoints 100 SSAs, 40 SAs ..

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has approved the appointment of 40 Special Advisers (SAs) and 100 Senior Special Assistants (SSAs).

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Yauri, made the disclosure at a news conference in Birnin Kebbi yesterday.

“After the maiden meeting of the state executive council held at the council chambers today, all the executive council members have resolved to work together to support Bagudu in achieving the desired result for the development of the state,” he said.

Yauri said that Bagudu has also assigned portfolios to the newly appointed commissioners in the state, adding that the posting and appointments were with immediate effect.

Some of the Commissioners are Hajiya Ramatu Gulma, Ministry of Justice; Alhaji Ibrahim Augie, Ministry of Finance; Alhaji Kangiwa, Ministry of Water Resources; Alhaji Kaliel Gidado, Ministry of Youth and Sports; Hajiya Rakiya Ayuba, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; and Alhaji Mamuda Warra, Ministry of Information and Culture.


Warring Benue communes should cease action – Ortom ..

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has called on perpetrators of the communal crisis in Tyo-Mu community of Makurdi Local Government Area to cease hostilities and give peace a chance.

The governor, in a statement signed his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) and made available to our correspondent described the crisis as unacceptable especially with the attendant violence which has led to the burning of many houses and displacement of hundreds of people.

While noting that no individual or group has the right to claim ownership of land as all lands belong to government, the governor stressed that his administration will not allow enemies of peace to get away with their anti-development actions.

Governor Ortom asked security operatives to identify and arrest any individual or group of persons suspected to be fuelling the crisis.

“He (Ortom) wonders why the people of Tyo-Mu who have lived together for decades have suddenly allowed selfish individuals to plant seeds of discord among them.

“The governor charges all stakeholders in the Tyo-Mu crisis to embrace dialogue initiated by the Benue State Security Council which delegation is led by Secretary to State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN, to end the conflict,” the statement read in part.

#Newsworthy ..

NAHCO chairman’s mother abducted in Ondo ..

Suspected gunmen have abducted the mother of a popular businessman and Chairman of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, Mr Sehinde Fadeni, in Ondo State.

Madam Alice Fadeni was kidnapped on Tuesday evening at her residence in Ode Aye town in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.

NobleReporters learnt that the hoodlums numbering about four stormed the town around 5:30pm before seizing Madam Fadeni at her home.

A source, who confirmed the abduction, told our correspondent that the woman was driven out her compound in a Sienna vehicle.

According to the source, the whereabouts of Mrs Fadeni was not yet known as the case had already been reported to the police.

“She was kidnapped yesterday (Tuesday) evening at her house and we have reported the case to the police immediately but we still don’t know her locations,” the source said.

Also, Mr Nicholas Tofowomo, lawmaker representing Ondo South Senatorial discrict at the National Assembly, confirmed the abduction, describing it as “evil”.

He said, “We urge security agencies to secure her unconditional release and bring the perpetrators to book.”

Spokesperson for the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, confirmed the abduction on Wednesday when contacted. NobleReporters confirmed

He said the police had already begun investigation into the case and would ensure the aged woman was rescued alive.


Herdsmen almost kill me with AK49 – Benue gov ..

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Monday revealed that some Fulani herdsmen who invaded his farm in Makurdi shot at him and some livestock guards.

Ortom who stated this on a program, “issue of the moment” he featured in on the state radio aka Radio Benue said he had to invite troops of Operations Whirl Stroke before the marauding herdsmen left.

The governor who decried the influx of Fulani herdsmen into the state said that they were armed with sophisticated weapons.

“I was on my farm within Makurdi town last week when some herdsmen shot at me and shot the livestock guards who were on the farm.

“I have to inform the Operation Whirl Stroke before the herdsmen ran away.

The governor expressed deep concern that the herdsmen carry more sophisticated weapons than the security men.

“Many of these herdsmen carry AK47 and even AK49, you know that the latter is superior to the former and this is what some of the herdsmen are carrying.


PDP chairman in imo resign ..

Imo State PDP chairman Charles Ezekwem has resigned.

In a letter addressed to the party’s national chairman, Ezekwem said his decision to quit is based on the “prevailing circumstances” in the state chapter of the party.

The letter reads:

“In view of the prevailing circumstances within my party vis-a-vis my present standing as the State Chairman of the PDP Imo State and after due consultation with my family, and with the approval of my supporters,

“I hereby tender my resignation as PDP Chairman Imo State; also as a member of the party in the ward of Okigwe LGA which has been duly communicated to the Ward Chairman,”

“I thank the teaming population of PDP Imo State who thoughtfully elected me as their State Chairman, i sincerely regret all the inconveniences the party faced. I thank the party for the support they gave me and the opportunity to serve in that capacity.”

Ezekwem’s resignation comes about two weeks after Nigeria’s apex court sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the party as governor of the state and affirmed All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hope Uzodinma, as the winner of the 2019 governorship election.

A week after the Supreme Court judgment, nine lawmakers of the state house of assembly defected to the APC.


I have been having sleepless night – Bauchi governor..

…over poor security

Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed has said that security is one area that has given him sleepless nights since he assumed office. In this interview with a select group of journalists, he also spoke on his recent victory at the Supreme Court among other issues.

After the Supreme Court verdict, you invited ex-governor Mohammed Abubakar to come and move Bauchi State forward. But has he congratulated you after the Supreme Court judgment? If no, it means he may turn down your invitation.

You saw what happened even during the court process, we greeted each other. We always have respect for each other and because I am younger, the onus is on me to go and greet him. I greeted him when we were seated in the Supreme Court and after the verdict, I went and greeted him and said well this is over, and he said yes. So, to me, we are still good compatriots. We are still good friends and there is nothing to show that he will not welcome the opportunity of working together unless he chooses because sometimes we politicians, our own lieutenants are the ones putting things into our ears because if there is peaceful co-existence, they won’t be able to get what they are getting. But I will advise him to take the olive leaf so that we can be our own brothers’ keepers and we can be co-compatriots.

How would you describe the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment in Imo State that sacked Emeka Ihedioha of your party?

The Supreme Court judgment is a manifestation of the judicial process. I know it was a very painful outcome for me as a PDP member and for me as a friend of the former governor who was affected; also for me who knows what Emeka stands for democracy and the roadmap he has established in terms of trying to rescue Imo from the vagaries of that state. So, it was very painful and it was something very unexpected and definitely my state of mind was such that I was even out of the country and I felt very bad because I knew what happened to him could happen to anybody. The Hausa say the outcome of any judgment is normally diametrically opposed to rational thinking. So, it is not about rationality. It is about the outcome that affected us which was diametrically opposed to what we expected or what we want. When the Supreme Court gave us Zamfara, we were very happy but when it went against us, we were very unhappy and that’s why you saw us demonstrating. That is democracy. But certainly, it has given me some hiccups, some fears for the first time thinking that the confidence expressed by my competitor has something to do with some assurance in some quarters and somewhere but I still had faith in God. The court processes are definitely big distractions. To me, they were uncalled for because I was coming from the opposition and nobody gave me a chance of winning and Mohammed Abubakar knew that I didn’t rig that election and I know he knew I won the election. I would not have manufactured any resources to come and dislodge him if not because of the will of God and the mandate given to me by the people.

I didn’t even have the wherewithal to do that. That is why I considered it very painful. But painful as it was, I am ready to forgive because that is the expression of democracy. He has the right to go further and make sure he exercises his universal suffrage, his right as a human being to go to court and we have gone the whole hog.

We wasted so much time and we were not able to plan very well. We would not be able to plan like Emeka planned in Imo and at the end of the day, all this has come to naught. Definitely, it was a big distraction.

You started with former Governor Isa Yuguda against all odds and became a success; you defeated a sitting governor to become a senator, moved the doctrine of necessity and became FCT minister for six years. What makes you thick?

We started with Yuguda during the ANPP and we did so much for Bauchi and no sooner the same kind of political situation emerged. I was a senator so I decided to do my senatorial work and that was what brought us to the Doctrine of Necessity before I became a minister. I didn’t go to Abuja to become a minister and that is why I am telling people that they should believe in God. They should have the courage to say things that are difficult to say when it is their responsibility to say it. It doesn’t matter who that person is. I have never had anything in common with Jonathan. We were not even in the same party and he gave me a state and structure, that is the Federal capital city to run. That is why today, I am completely detribalised. I don’t have any feeling of differences in terms of human relations because to me, it depends on what anybody can do for you. Even at the moment, I have some SAs that are from the South because they can do a lot to add value. What I believe in is opening new frontiers in doing things that are difficult to do, in making sure that we bring to active thinking, inventing, creativity. That is why I invoked the Doctrine of Necessity; that is why I got the Land Swap where we were to do things to centralise the private sector to bring in one point two trillion and at the end of the day, the EFCC said that one trillion was in my account. It’s because they didn’t understand the scientifically based template that we came up with in terms of doing it with the Dangotes and the rest. So, we will do it but we will be careful with the GDP and the economic level of Bauchi so that we don’t exercise our discretion and put the common man in jeopardy. Bauchi is a place where there is no development control. You will see so many developments on the road corridor but we are exercising patience.

Somebody like me from Abuja, we don’t tolerate that but today I have to tolerate it because I must provide alternative before I remove those shanties on the road. If you just do it, you will make so many people jobless and already, there is joblessness. Already all the Suya spots, they are all on the road corridors but if you remove them, many people will lose their jobs so you have to do something to make sure you don’t cause pain and loss to the people in trying to make the city neat. So, I am a person who believes in doing things and a person who takes everybody along. I want to give everybody opportunity especially those brilliant people, more brilliant than me to be able to work and do things for the people, and leave legacies and landmarks the way we built the Airport road, the Outer Express way Kubwa; people were thinking it was done by the Federal Ministry of Works. It was I who did it. We built the World Trade Centre, so we want to do something in Bauchi. One thing I must say, out of our former leaders, my former boss Yuguda has left legacies and landmarks. He built an airport, a hospital and he built a university. Nobody has done that. So, whatever you call him, he has done something and that is what leadership is all about and I will leave legacies and landmarks.

Considering the mammoth crowd of supporters that welcomed you to Bauchi after the Supreme Court verdict, how will you manage the high expectations of the people against the backdrop of the lean resources of the state and the promises made to them?

You can only manage expectations by being transparent and telling people the truth. I know people have highest expectations especially my mammoth supporters Everybody is looking up to me. I know almost everybody. I grew up in the neighborhood where everybody knows me.

Everybody knows my parent. I am from a very large family, a royal family. I have so many constituencies, a politician who knows almost all the political operators, a journalist who knew almost all the reporters, a civil servant who knows almost all the civil servants in the federal civil service. So, you can see even the expectations of my three constituencies is enough to coerce me and most especially as somebody who has gone to the nook and crannies, calling people to vote for him without giving them money; they sweated, they cried, they delivered and so their expectations are high. But I believe in my fidelity, in my sincerity and fear of God. Don’t live anything anymore. I have achieved so much. There is nothing people have not done to bring me down; they have not brought me down. What I need to do is to leave legacies and landmarks and to do something that will benefit people collectively, not necessarily individuals. Where they will benefit individually, I will be very happy to do it. You have seen what we are doing on water. We took a World Bank loan for four years but they only started when I came on board. Six months ago and we are exiting in June this year. We are fighting with WB because their resources must be freed and taken to another state. We’re doing it. We will make sure we finish all the connections, the reticulation and the metering by the grace of God. If we are not able to do it, then we look for resources because WB will not wait for us.

Are you going to investigate your predecessor?

It is not what I have come to do. I have always drawn a line but in the course of governance if I find out that there is anywhere the= government of the people of Bauchi State are shortchanged, I am not going to let it go because nobody spared me when I left FCT. I was the most investigated person in Nigeria and I dare anybody to tell me any account where I kept money which warranted that investigation. But I took it as an expression of accountability. I don’t think MA should be afraid of being investigated if he has no skeleton in his cupboard. It is not a priority to investigate him only that if in the course of what my ministries and departments are doing, you have cause to do that, then definitely we are not going to spare him because doing that will shortchanged the people of Bauchi and will make them unhappy.

You expressed a hand of fellowship to the former governor to join your administration to move the state forward. How do you intend to do this collaboration?

It is about the issue of continuity. I am continuing with his programmes which he might have taken over from others. Dynamism in governance is what is called collaboration. I am not going to set aside my own and give him to operate as a governor but definitely, if he gives me opinion, because he has been there as a governor, we are going to take it and use it . The only thing is that I have expressed that I am ready to work with him. It is now left to him to accept.

Definitely, we are not dependent on him but certainly we recognise his position as a former governor and because, me too one day I hope I live long, one day I will become a former governor and somebody will look for my opinion.

In your quest to take Bauchi to the New Level, how do you plan to involve indigenes of the state residing outside the state?

I have always told journalists that my success or failure is your own because you don’t have many journalists as governors and I own whatever I become to your constituency because I was a reporter for many years. Journalists have helped me and I have the burden of making sure I reciprocate what you did to me. I am the most vilified person, most misunderstood person. Maybe because of my background and attitude because I can make some leaders hate me by virtue of my pronouncement or what have you. My astronomical rise is a source of discomfort to so many people and so I am someone that is put on the spot. I must confess that since I left office in 2015 and I faced challenges you have been with me. They wanted me in prison but you stood by me.

You have frequently talked about saboteurs in your government… when are you planning to tackle the issues?

It is not about the beggar. It is a double edge sword. Yes we are peaceful, we are tolerant, we are accommodating, we are forgiving butn we should not be dared. Nobody should dare us. If you see our accommodating attitude as an expression of weakness, then you are mistaken. We are just doing it because that is leadership. Leadership is about accommodating all the differences. Not all the things will be palatable to you but you must accommodate them. At the same time, if somebody is going to throw the carpet under your feet, you will not just look and look until you fall and at the end of the day, you take the blame. There are areas that you can be sabotaged in governance. I have been an administrative officer from Grade Level 8 to 17 at the federal level and I know administration that you don’t want to be sincere on your opinions on this and that. That even goes to the bureaucracy. If you think your loyalty is to the last administration we are not going to tolerate it. Or you are leaking our secrets and so on and so forth, we are not going to tolerate it. We will punish you. If you sabotage us or do things that are inimical to the progress and peace of the state, we are not going to tolerate that.

What is your take on youth restiveness which has become a hydra-headed monster in the state? Because most of these restive youth are your supporters.

Youth restiveness was not caused by me. We inherited it from the administrations of the past and we will tackle it. We will open so many windows, show many ways and means. As you said, they are our supporters and we are not doing it on party lines. We will do it as a government. Whether they are APC youth, they are PDP youth, we are going to make sure that we give them something to do and definitely by the next two or three months, you will see us visiting all the 20 local governments, doing things that will provide some palliatives before we do something on a permanent basis.


Lassa Fever: 4 cases recorded in Rivers..

Four suspected cases of Lassa fever has been recorded in Rivers State as confirmed by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of health, Dr. Chinwe Atata.

While the four main cases have received prompt and adequate medical attention, 57 persons have also been placed on surveillance after a speculated physical contact with the affected individuals.

The permanent secretary also said that they have sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs for therapeutic and preventive interventions.

She said;

“We are working assiduously to ensure public health safety to exposed substance especially among public health personnel as first respondents.

“We are working in partnership with state and federal agencies and al stakeholders in the interest public health security and therefore, there is no cause for alarm.

“The situation we have recorded is firmly under control. In addition, we have enough self-sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs.”


Lassa Fever: Patient quarantined in Kaduna

…keep our state safe

Kaduna State government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Chikun local government area of the state.

It disclosed that the patient is being treated at the designated Infectious Disease Control Centre in Kaduna.

A statement signed by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni on Saturday said that tests have confirmed that the patient is a 36-year-old male.

The commissioner however assured that “the Ministry of Health has supplied the infectious diseases control centre with the necessary commodities and our health personnel are ready to manage any cases that may arise.”

‘’The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on alert for prompt referral of suspected cases.’’ Dr Mohammed-Baloni further assured.

The commissioner also reiterated the ministry’s earlier appeal to the public ‘’to maintain the highest standard of individual hygiene and to report any suspected case promptly to the nearest health facility.’’

“We wish to appeal to members of the public to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, keep food in proper storage and to remain vigilant to report suspected cases to the relevant authorities.

“Suspected cases should be reported to the State Epidemiology unit on 08036045755 or 08027396344 or contact the nearest Local Government Health Authority official.” Dr Mohammed-Baloni added.

The statement further said that all Kaduna State Government health facilities are on alert to look out for cases of the disease.

“Let us all work together to keep our state safe and make early reports to enable prompt treatment for patients who contact this highly infectious disease.”


Ondo: APC set to adopt indirect primary..


…APC would be transparent in choosing its aspirants

As the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) fixed election in the 18 local government councils to April 18, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it will adopt indirect primary system to select its chairmanship and councillorship candidates for the polls.

Its State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin said contrary to insinuations in some quarters that there were anointed candidates, APC would give every aspirant the opportunity to face delegates in the primary election.

The party began screening its chairmanship and councillorship from the 18 local government areas on Saturday at three different centres in Owo for Ondo North, Akure for Ondo central and Ore for Ondo South Senatorial District.

The APC Chairman pointed out that any of the political appointees who wish to contest the council poll must resign as required by the electoral act and ODIEC guidelines.

He maintained that the APC would provide level playfield for all aspirants during the party’s primaries.

Adetimehin, said the party would be transparent in picking all its aspirants for the election.

Besides, he assured the aspirants that all the process of selecting candidates of the party for the local government election would be transparent and credible.

Adetimehin noted that the election would serve as a litmus test for the party on its ability to handle issues ahead of the next governorship election in the state.

He said “the APC in the state is not oblivious of the fact that 2020 is a crucial year that the party’s cohesion must not be toyed with.

“Therefore, we feel it is expedient to be fair and transparent in all we do, to avoid misgivings and ill-feelings among our members.

Read Also: Re-run polls: Gunmen abduct election officials with materials in C’River
“We will do what is fair, what is just and what will further unite us as a family that believes in the cohesion of the party”

The APC Chairman also assured that the party would not promote or condone any act of thuggery and violence during the election, expressing confidence that the party will perform well in the election.

He said “the APC -led government has done tremendously well for the good people of Ondo State in the last three years to earn trust and votes.

“From the industrial revolution, infrastructural development, huge investment in agriculture, health, education and other sectors, it has been a rebirth for Ondo state.

“Therefore, we have no doubt that our party will do well in any election without intimidating or influencing the electorate”

He said the party would continue to embark on measures that would further unite the party and eliminate any semblance of wrangling or friction from the fold.

According to him, “it is not unusual for people to disagree, but resolving issues through effective internal mechanism must be explored at all times”.


Update: 3 Lassa Fever Cases Recorded in Bauchi

The Bauchi State government has confirmed three new cases of Lassa fever in the state.

The Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, confirmed the cases during a press briefing in Bauchi on Friday.

According to him, the state is on high surveillance and medical personnel are frightened due to the recent development in Kano that claimed the lives of some health workers.

Mohammed said, “This year, we have 15 suspected cases of Lassa fever – three confirmed cases out of the suspected … One thing that is giving us concern is no vaccine for it, we have only treatment of the contact and prophylaxis for the contact and then treatment of cases.

“So, doctors are afraid, and the nurses are also afraid but there is what we call universal safety precaution.

“Unless you touch this patient, unless you touch the secretion; so you have to wear your gloves, you have to make sure that you protect yourself from contact with the secretion,” he added.

The agency boss explained that the secretion was infectious and urged health workers to be careful when treating infected patients.

He disclosed that the disease was prevalent in three local government areas of Bauchi, Toro, and Tafawa Balewa.

“So far, no death has been recorded this year,” Mohammed stated.


Akanu Ibiam airport to soon ready – Enugu minister

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said the Federal Government was on course to ensure rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, is complete and reopened for flight operations before Easter.

On his official Twitter handle, he said they were almost done with the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and are on course to open the airport before the Easter celebrations.

“We are almost done with the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) at Enugu Airport. We are on course to reopen the Airport before Easter, God willing,” he said.

The Akanu Ibiam Airport was closed on August 24 last year for the rehabilitation of its runway and provision of airfield lighting. In furtherance of its commitment to the timely and successful completion of the rehabilitation of the airport, Enugu government has demolished buildings and structures that encroached on the airport land.

Addressing newsmen during the demolition executed by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), led by its Executive Chairman, Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh, Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, said the exercise was in response to the safety concerns raised by the Federal Government about the airport.

FG had raised concerns over illegal structures encroaching on the land of the Airport, radio mast of the state broadcasting service, and Free Trade Zone, requesting the state government to address the challenges for safety and security of the people and the airport. Following the swift interventions of the state government, FG through the Ministry of Aviation and FAAN had expressed satisfaction with compliance to the directives, which paved way for the ongoing rehabilitation of the airport.

Aroh said the demolition exercise was in continuation of the state government’s efforts to ensure that the airport reopens as scheduled by the federal government for effective operations.

He pointed out that the State Executive Council (EXCO) in its first meeting in 2020, approved the request made by FAAN for the issuance of a composite Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) and full acquisition of the airport land, disclosing that the demolition exercise was part of the processes being carried out in the overriding public interest.

“We are committed to the welfare of our people and one of the most fundamental processes we need to undergo, to continue to grow the economy of Enugu State and the entire South East geo-political zone and beyond, is to ensure that this international airport, which is the only international airport South East of the Niger is fully functional.” The commissioner said demolition of the encroached structures will allow for installation of night landing lights at the airport.


RoW: Governors resolve penetration

The State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum resolved to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.

The resolution followed a presentation made by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, during the meeting of the Governors’ Forum held on the 22nd of January, 2020.

He was accompanied to the meeting by Prof Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and Funke Opeke, Chairperson of the Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).

Dr Pantami discussed the many benefits that an increase in broadband access can have on the economy of the various States. He noted that one of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration. He then urged the State Governors to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.

In response, the Governors acknowledged the benefits of broadband penetration and the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, His Excellency, Dr. Fayemi, stated that the Honourable Minister should consider the matter resolved. There will no longer be any need to appeal to the Governors on the issue of RoW.

In addition to the discussion on the RoW, the Honourable Minister also discussed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which was unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 28th of November 2019. Dr Pantami urged the State Governors to key into the Policy and Strategy. He also informed them of the plan of the Federal Government to help the States with a Digital Economy Strategy, through Policy, Digital Skills and other areas of intervention.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy would like to sincerely thank the Chairman and members of the Governors Forum for their support in resolving the RoW challenge.


IPOB feud as Ijaw youths oppose Bayelsa meeting

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, on Tuesday, faulted the Ijaw Youth Council’s position that IPOB should not hold its planned meeting in Bayelsa State.

The IYC, Central Zone, led by Olorogun Kennedy, had, on Monday, asked members of IPOB to steer clear of the state, and looked elsewhere for their planned national meeting or attract the wrath of the IYC.

But reacting on Tuesday, a statement from the Director of Media and Publicity of the secessionist group quoted the Bayelsa State coordinator of IPOB, Igrubia Gbalam, as saying that it was either that the chairman of the IYC, Central Zone, had forgotten his origin or was acting the scripts of his, “Fulani masters.’

The statement read, “Unknown to Mr Olorogun Kennedy, whose first name points to his true origin, Bayelsa State and Ijawland is the birth place of Biafra. Mr Olorogun Kennedy is a DSS informant craving the attention of his Fulani masters by making attention-grabbing comments on the pages of newspapers to attract more financial reward from those that have rendered Niger Delta desolate.

“This is so shameful because it is obvious that those leading IYC central zone knows nothing about Ijaw people, history, struggle, survival and enemies. Yes, it is obvious they don’t know the enemies of Ijaw people because if they had known, they wouldn’t have ignored the Ijaw community, Bilabiri, burnt down by the Nigerian military to come and be threatening IPOB, who are the only voice speaking against such evil in Ijawland. Mr Olorogun is pretending he was not aware of previous and ongoing dialogue between IPOB leadership and prominent Ijaw people in the Disapora.

“The whole world knows that IPOB is the only organisation bold enough to confront the excesses of the terrorist government of Nigeria and if the IYC central zone is standing against IPOB but mute against the evil meted to Ijaw people by the oppressive Nigerian military, then it means that their loyalty is no longer towards the Ijaw people but to those who oppress us.”


Nassarawa: Owners of land taken by FG protest justice

The residents of Akurba Village in Nasarawa State have staged a peaceful protest over purported inadequate compensation for their lands taken by the state government for the on 330 KVA Step Down Electricity Substation Project.

Speaking to newsmen on Sunday in Lafia, Mr Yasir Arafat, spokesperson of more than 300 protesters, noted that they were not against the project on their lands but the compensation paid to them was grossly inadequate.

He said that though the project would help them and the state at large, but wondered why some of them were given as low as N8,000 for their land that was taken over.

“Farming is our only source of livelihood and now that our source of livelihood is taken over, we need something reasonable to enable us start-up another business.

“What can N8, 000 do for us to provide for the needs of the family amidst the present economic condition,” Arafat added.

He, therefore, called on the Federal and State Governments to come to their aid to prevent them from being exposed to hardship.

Similarly, Baba Badamasi, a community leader in the area, appealed to Gov. Abdullahi Sule to intervene in the matter to ensure justice.

He explained that some of them are making up to N1 million every year from their economic trees, but were given an amount that cannot sustain them and their families as compensation.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to look into the issue again with the view to addressing it in the interest of the overall development of the state.

When contacted, Mr Salihu Alizaga, Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, said that the assessment for the payments of the compensation was done during the last administration in the state.

“The assessment was done by the last administration before we came into office, so we paid the compensation base on the records of the assessment that was carried out,” the Commissioner added.

Alizaga, therefore, urged people whose lands were affected by the electricity protect to remain calm and not to take the laws into their hands.

The ongoing 330 KVA Step down Electricity Substation Project is being executed by the federal government with the state government providing the land which covers over sixty hectares.


3 persons dead, properties burnt in Lagos pipeline inferno

The pipeline explosion at Ile-Epo area of Abule Egba, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has left three persons burnt to death, 11 trucks and seven houses razed in the inferno.

A massive explosion shattered the peace of the area around 7:45pm on Sunday with thick smokes and balls of fire bellowing the atmosphere.

Residents fled their homes to take shelter in safer places while thousands of onlookers were seen close to the scenes taking pictures.

Several fire trucks raced to the area, but they are finding it difficult to contain the rampaging fire as at the time of filing this report around 12:15am on Monday.

Two persons burnt to death

Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said “a raging fire from the explosion of a vandalised NNPC pipeline has caused panic among residents within Awori, and Pipeline communities in Abule Egba.

“LASEMA, Lagos fire service are responding and on top of the situation,” he said earlier.

Oke-Osanyintolu, however, confirmed that two adult male and a child were burnt to death, with 11 trucks and seven houses razed.

“Investigation reveal that the inferno was as a result of pipeline vandalism. Hence, two adult male and a child have been lost while eleven trucks laden with 40 feet containers were destroyed while, about seven buildings have so far been razed down by the inferno,” he said.

Just in: Gov. Dapo Abiodun appoint Aide

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has appointed the National Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Azeez Adeyemi, into his cabinet.

Adeyemi was appointed as the Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Students Affairs.

His appointment was announced over the weekend, with immediate effect.

Adeyemi, a graduate of Mathematics from the University of Lagos, was the Secretary-General of NANS in Ogun State from 2008 to 2010.

In 2011, he became the Ogun State NANS Chairman; a position he vacated in 2012.

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun

Adeyemi, who is currently a post-graduate student of UNILAG, said that he has the plan to unite and harmonise all students forces in the state.

With his new appointment, the students leader promised to always ensure a cordial relationship between students and the state government; while assuring that all students’ needs would be pursued and achieved at all times.


Kogi: DPR seal petrol station

The Department of petroleum Resources (DPR) in Kogi State has sealed five petrol filling stations for adjusting their pumps to dispense fuel below approved quantity.

Mr Idris Mohammad, Controller Operations, Kogi Field Office of DPR, who led a team of operatives and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) during the raid, said the filling stations were defrauding unsuspecting customers.

Mohammed said the office had realised that apart from defrauding unsuspecting customers through pump meter adjustments, most of the stations were operating illegally without operating licences.

At Ajaokuta, the team sealed off and ordered the arrest of the Manager of Binmanda Integrated Global Services filling station at Ohunene for defying the instructions of the DPR by “Refusing” to regularise his operation.

“The operator is not just operating illegally but he is also cheating the public. We asked him to go and regularise his operations but he refused and we have to seal the station”.

“Of course, we had to bring in the Civil Defence Corps to enforce compliance with the rules and regulations as provided in the Petroleum Act” he said.


Gov. Uzodinma of imo make appointments

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo has made several key appointments as his new administration settles down to work, naming the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Attorney, General, Chief of Staff and Chief press Secretary.

Chief Cosmas Iwu was appointed as the SSG while Barrister COC Akaolisa steps in as the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, designate

Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie was appointed Chief of Staff and Oguike Nwachukwu the Chief Press Secretary, CPS.

Uzodinma was sworn in on Wednesday night, about 24 hours after the Supreme Court declared him the winner of the 9 March election and sacked Emeka Ihedioha, in a stunning verdict.


Rivers govt drops N100m for fallen heroes children to study up to University level

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Nigerians must unite and motivate the Nigerian Armed Forces to defeat the insurgents in the North-East.

Governor Wike also directed the Secretary to the Rivers State Government to work out modalities for the State Government to support the Nigerian Legion and soldiers of Rivers State origin who pay the ultimate price.

The Rivers State Governor also announced that the State Government has committed the sum of N100million for the scholarship programme dedicated to the children of the fallen heroes.

He spoke on Wednesday during the Wreath Laying Ceremony in Commemoration of 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt.

He said: “The war on terror in the North-East has raged for too long, claiming too many military and civilian victims.

We must come together as a nation to do whatever that is necessary to support and motivate our soldiers to win this terrible war as quickly as possible and save the nation and our brothers, sisters and the children from the North-East from the continuing violence, abductions, and devastation by Boko haram and their affiliates.

“Apart from supporting the establishment of a trust fund, I have directed the Secretary to the State Government to work out areas of support to the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion and the families of soldiers of River State origin who pays the ultimate price in the active service of our country. In addition, the State Government will provide scholarship for their children up to university level.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

“N100million has been committed to the scholarship of the children of the fallen heroes by the Rivers State Government. We will also construct a Secretariat for the Legion, but not at Isaac Boro Park. We will develop the park into a Tourist Centre.”

Governor Wike said that the nation remembers the members of the Armed Forces for their contributions to the unity of the country.