>>> We need prove of Nigerian prisoners released in Tanzania – Group <<<
The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has challenged the Federal Government to show 60 Nigerian prisoners freed from Tanzanian prisons, as claimed by the government.
HURIWA recalled the government said it successfully secured the release of 60 out of the 73 Nigerians imprisoned in Tanzania, even as government affirmed that these Nigerians were imprisoned on different charges, according to the Head, Media and Public Relations Unit, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Mr. Abdur-Rahman Balogun.
It said the Commission’s spokesman stated that their repatriation was made possible by the Nigerian ambassador to Tanzania.
HURIWA quoted the media, as saying that Balogun said: “The Ambassador, Dr. Sahobi Gada, was in Nigeria in January 2020, specifically for this purpose, after having successfully secured a release of 60 out of 73 Nigerians in various prisons in Tanzania. Arrangements were then being made by the Ambassador for their repatriation.
“The rights group in a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, accused Nigerian government of peddling what might turn out to be mere propaganda.
HURIWA said: “We got an intelligence report from an official of the Nigerian community in Tanzania, who has spent over 11 years and working in the East African nation, that till yesterday (Friday), there was no evidence that any of the Nigerians incarcerated in the Tanzanian prison has been freed.
“The informant drew our attention to the publications in Nigerian newspapers, claiming that the Chairman of the National Commission in charge of Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa had secured through the Ambassador of Nigeria in Tanzania about 60 of the Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania.
“The source said it was only on Thursday that the Nigerian Embassy in Tanzania asked his officials to forward the names of Nigerians serving time in the Tanzanian prison.
“The source told us that although he would not want his name in print, but he was informing us to tell Nigerians that the news of the release of the Nigerian prisoners in Tanzania was not true, as nobody has been freed since the names were compiled… “
>>> NYSC denies suspension of members April, May allowance <<<
The management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has denied news release purportedly issued by the Director-General, conveying to members that their monthly stipends for April and May, would be contributed to the fight against COVID-19.
The NYSC advised all corps members to disregard the story in its entirety, as there is no iota of truth in it.
The scheme noted that the story emanated from a fake source, adding that a similar mischievous story had earlier been bandied on the social media in February 2020.
NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, said: “It is important to note that payment of monthly stipend for the month of April shall be effected without the usual gathering for clearance, in keeping with the rule of social distancing.
“It is equally imperative to add that there shall not be clearance for May. The system shall generate automatic clearance for everyone.
“Management appreciates the contributions of corps members across the country in the fight against the pandemic.
“Special commendation goes to Corps medical personnel working tirelessly with medical teams across the country to save lives and corps engineers that fabricated pedal-operated machine dispensing sanitiser, water and soap.
“Please, remember to always abide by the safety protocols of observing good hygiene, which include among others, proper washing of hands with soap, use of hand sanitiser, social distancing; and as much as possible, staying at home.
“The battle against COVID-19 shall be won, if we all stay focused and approach it with a single mind.”
>>> COVID-19: WHO plea Nigeria, other countries to ensure uninterrupted immunization <<<
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised Nigerian and other African countries to ensure uninterrupted provision of routine immunisation services, even during a period of crisis, as part of essential health service delivery.
The global health body suggests that, to protect communities from vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks during this time, African countries must maintain routine immunisation services, using innovative approaches and with strong infection prevention control practices in health facilities.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, who gave the advice in a massage to mark African Vaccination Week in unison with World Immunisation Week, yesterday, said when COVID-19 transmission is contained, scaling-up supplementary immunisation “will be a priority to ensure we reach communities in need, particularly those most at risk.”
She observed that more than 30 million African children under the age of five fall ill and 500 000 die, due to vaccine-preventable diseases yearly, which accounts for 58 percent of global deaths from these diseases.
Moeti stressed the need to increase investment in vaccine research and development, adding that through the African Vaccines Regulatory Forum (AVAREF), safe and effective vaccines are reaching communities faster.
She said: “It took only 90 days for Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia to license the Merck Ebola vaccine after WHO prequalification in November 2019. African countries should engage in clinical trials that meet international standards, so that the resulting products are adapted to meet regional needs. Through technology transfer, vaccine production in African countries should increase, to reduce the continent’s reliance on importing these essential products…
“This year’s theme is “Vaccines work for all,” celebrating people who develop, deliver and receive vaccines as heroes, contributing to protecting everyone, everywhere. Never has this been clearer than in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
>>> Southern Kaduna residents protest herders attack amid lockdown. [Nigeria] <<<
Southern Kaduna Indigenes, under the umbrella of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) have raised alarm over alleged coordinated attacks and killings by armedi herdsmen in their communities, despite the lockdown against the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
In a statement, SOKAPU said in the past 48 hours, communities in three local councils in the southern part of Kaduna State have, again, come under coordinated attacks by armed herdsmen.
The statement issued by SOKAPU National Public Relations Officer, Luka Biniyat, said: “This, and many other savageries on our communities in recent times, affirm the fear that for our vulnerable communities, the danger posed to our existence and wellbeing by the Coronavirus pandemic is less grim than the perennial murderous acts of armed herdsmen.
“They not only kill in the most gruesome manner, they plunder, loot, carry out mass scale arson and then kidnap their victims, despite the lockdown.
Last Wednesday, April 23, 2020, around 10pm, gunshots were heard from different directions in Atang, near Gidan Waya in Godogodo Chiefdom of Jemaa Local Government. After the pandemonium, it was discovered that the invaders had kidnapped Mr. Emmanuel Iliya Atang, son of the Chief of Godogodo Chiefdom… As at yesterday, his abductors called to ask for N30m ransom…”
Listing the numerous persons that had been killed and kidnapped in different areas, the group decried the cruelty and wantonness of the herdsmen.
SOKAPU however, commended “the effort put up by our security defending Akwunakwo. We acknowledge the supreme sacrifice paid by the fallen soldier and pray for the repose of his soul.”