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COVlD-19: Kwara govt begins distribution of palliative to vulnerable households

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The Kwara government on Sunday begun distribution of various food items to vulnerable residents in all 193 council  wards to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that the distribution  had already been concluded in all the 17 wards of Asa local government area of the state.

 

Each of the beneficiaries had received 5kg of Semovita, 10kg of rice, vegetable oil, spageti, sugar and other assorted items.

 

Alhaji Bola Olojoku, the President of the Mekunnu forum agenda in Kwara and member of the state Committee in charge of distribution told NAN that no cash was earmarked in the gesture.

 

 

According to Olojoku, the  target beneficiaries of the palliative are widows, the aged, physically challenged, artisans among others.

 

 

He assured that the items were  enough to go round the target beneficiaries in all the 195 wards of the state.

 

“The committee had completed the distribution in all the 17 wards of the Asa local government area and will move to the llorin West local government area for the continuation of its assignment,”he said.

 

Meanwhile, Olojoku said Imams and pastors and community leaders in Ilorin had submitted lists of their followers and subjects also expected to benefit from of the state government palliative.

 

The lmam of Onilu mosque Okoerin road llorin, Uztaz Yusuf lsmaeel, told NAN in an interview that he had already submitted the list of his followers to Alagua Okoerin.

 

Also, Malam Amosa Uthman, a youth leader in Okoerin ward of  llorin West local government area said all names of  the youth eligible to benefit from the relief materials had  been submitted.

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Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq and Isaac Ukpoju
(NAN)

Beki Abdulfatai: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Economy

COVlD-19: Analyst urges FG to diversify economy

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Mr John Fashikun, a public affairs analyst, has urged the Federal Government to learn from the COVID-19 outbreak by diversifing the nation’s economy to promote more development.

Fashikun gave the advice while speaking with newsmen on Friday in llorin.

According to him, over-dependence on oil has remained the bane of development in the country, especially at a time of pandemic.

Fashikun said the economy would record more remarkable progress through proper planning and diversification.

“If the country had  planned for the rainy day, things would have been better for Nigerians during this pandemic affecting the whole world,” he said.

He urged the well to do in the society to be their brothers’ keeper by assisting the less privileged in the society.

The analyst added  that no government, no matter how benevolent, ccould solve all the problems of its citizens.

(
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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COVlD-19: lmam admonishes Muslims to use Ramadan for special prayers

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Alhaji Abdullahi AbdulHameed, the Chief lmam of llorin, has urged Muslims to use the last 10 days of Ramadan fast to offer special prayers for elimination of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the world.

The cleric gave the task in llorin on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

According to him, the outbreak of coronavirus should not be attributed to any country in the continent but to God, the Omni-presence, who will listen and accept our prayers for its total elimination.

He described the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan as a period when God normally accept prayers, since it involves night of Majesty.

The lmale of llorin also described as sad the situation the country found itself as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which he said had disrupted religious, social and economic lives of the people.

“The last 10 days of Ramadan is for acceptance of prayers, Muslims must utilise the opportunities in the month to chase away the coronavirus pandemic in our midst.

“Each family should organise prayers in their houses within the remaining days of Ramadan fast to wipe out the coronavirus pandemic,’’ AbdulHameed urged.

The lmam noted that the lockdown was telling on the well-being of several Nigerians due to their inability to engage in robust socio-economic activities.

He advised Nigerians to continue to respect all government directives and experts advice towards curbing further spread of the scourge in the country.

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Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: Kwara inaugurates technical c’ttees in LGs

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As part of efforts to combat further spread of the COVID-19 in Kwara, the state government on Wednesday inaugurated technical committees in local governments.

The committees, which had health professionals and technocrats as members, were inaugurated for all the 16 local government areas of the state.

Inaugurating the committee, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hajia Aisha Ahman-Pategi, reiterated the importance of setting up the committees at the local government level.

She said the inauguration of the committees at the grassroots was in line with the vision of Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to pioneer creative ideas and innovation by prioritising the welfare of the citizens of the state.

The move, she added, would bring awareness and coordination to local communities.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razak, on his part, described the inauguration as ” historic.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that each committee will work within the local government area and submit reports to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

(
Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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General news

COVlD-19: Edo Govt. records 29 confirmed cases, 3 deaths – Commissioner

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Edo Government says the state has recorded 29 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) with three deaths.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Benin on Tuesday.

According to him, since the first outbreak of Coronavirus in the state, a total of 254 suspected cases has been tested as at yesterday,  the 27th of April.

“And in all of these, we have a total of 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19,  194 of these suspected cases has been confirmed negative.

“We have a case fatality rate of 10.3 per cent of the 29 confirmed cases we have with three deaths.

“So far, we have discharged eight persons. The total active cases that are currently under treatment in Edo is 18 and these are distributed as follows.

“We have nine of these cases in Stella Obasanjo hospital,  three in University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

“While three are also receiving treatment in Irrua Specialist Teaching hospital, all our active cases are stable and they are responding to treatment.

“We want to also let you know that about 31 samples has been sent and results are still pending.

On his part, the state Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, who doubles as the Chairman of  the Coronavirus Response Committee, said that Gov. Godwin Obaseki was consulting with medical experts and other stakeholders in the state to reach a decision on new orders regarding the curfew.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Health

COVlD-19: Forum urges Kwara Govt to make face masks wearing mandatory

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The Kwara Nurses Elders Forum has called on the state government to make the wearing of face masks mandatory for residents to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The Chairman of the forum, Prince Suleiman Ayo-Fagbemi, made the call on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on preventive measures to curb further spread of Covid-19

Ayo-Fagbrmi, a retired Permanent Secretary in the state, said that compulsory use of the masks was one of the preventive mechanism to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, any type of fabric can be used for the production of the face masks provided it can prevent passage of micro organism through the nose.

He urged the Kwara state government to urgently make masks available and affordable for all residents of the state.

“The state government should be proactive towards the production of the face masks, make it available and affordable with minimal cost of N50 or N30,” he said.

Data from the NCDC shows that 11 cases of novel coronavirus has so far been recorded in the state.
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Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: Academic tasks Kwara Govt on preventive measures

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Alhaji Mahmud AbdulRaheem, a senior lecturer with the Department of Mass Communication, University of llorin, has urged Kwara Government to be more proactive on its effort to further curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

AbdulRaheem, a veteran journalist and former General Manager of  Kwara broadcasting corporation (Radio Kwara) and Kwara Television Authority (KWTV), llorin, made the call on Wednesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nogeria in Ilorin.

Reacting to the month-long COVID-19 lockdown in the state, the academic noted that no meaningful development had taken place on combatting the scourge in view of the number of cases recorded in the state.

The former media executive who lauded the state government efforts at combatting the disease, however called for more pragmatic approach through practical and rigorous sensitisation of residents.

AbdulRaheem advised the state government to adopt the use of public address vans to patrol all the 193 wards in the 16 local government areas of the state with enlightenment audio-visual messages, fliers and posters in various native languages on coronavirus.

“Residents of the state should see the state government be more proactive by reinvigorating the sensitisation programme to allow the lockdown has desired effect.

“The lockdown alone in the state cannot solve the problem on ground, we cannot get something out of nothing,” he added.

Besides, the veteran journalist urged the state government to engage the services of more adhoc staff, traditional rulers, opinion and community leaders to wipe out COVID-19 from the state.

The lectirer also advised the state government to set up a factory for the production of nose masts and hand gloves to make them accessible and affordable to the people

AbdulRaheem frowned at what he described as lackadaisical attitude of some residents who defy government directive on how to curb further spread of the disease.

The state has so far recorded nine cases of coronavirus with one death.

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Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: Forum urges Kwara Govt to provide protective kits for nurses

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The Kwara Nurses Elders Forum has called on the state government to provide protective kits for nurses taking care of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients to guard them against infection.

The Chairman of the forum, Prince Suleiman Ayo-Fagbemi made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Ilorin while reacting to the discovery of four cases of coronavirus in Kwara,

Ayo-Fagbemi, who is a retired Permanent Sectary in the state, said urgent provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had become imperative to further curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

According to the forum Chairman, nurses are the closest personnel to patients who are expected to carry out all medical doctors prescriptions on patients.

“Nurses are crucial in the health sector since they are with patients for 24 hours; provision of PPE or protective kits like hand glove, coat, nose covers and others are essential,” he said.

He described allegations of proposed protest by nurses in the state as unfounded, rumour, false and calculated attempt to tarnish the image of nurses in the state.

Ayo- Fagbemi commended the efforts of the state government in improving the health sector to further curb the spread of the disease in the state.

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Edited By: Janefrances Oraka/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Health

COVlD-19: Emir of Ilorin tasks traditional rulers on sensitisation

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The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has called on members of the council to further sensitise their subjects on how to complement government effort to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The first  class traditional ruler gave the task in a statement he signed in Ilorin on Sunday.

According to him, continuous sensitisation of residents is necessary because of the rate at which the disease spread in some parts of the country.

The monarch said this was necessary in the interest of public health and safety of Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnic or social background.

The statement noted that the shutdow, would obviously cause a lot of discomfort particularly to the poor and vulnerable group in the society,

The monarch however commended the government and other philanthropists who are already taking steps to reduce hardship and support those affected or likely to be affected.

He urged all traditional rulers of all classes and grades in the state to work hard and support government efforts to protect citizens in this trying time.

Sulu-Gàmbàri also advised residents of the state to abide by all government orders in order to minimise the effect of the ongoing pandemic.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: Kwara Govt begins distribution of palliatives

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The Kwara Government on Sunday began the distribution of various food items to vulnerable residents in all the 193 wards in the state to cushion the effect of lockdown policy to curb the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the distribution of various food items had been concluded in all the 17 wards of ASA Local Government Area of the state.

Each of the beneficiaries got food items like five kilogrammes of Semovita, 10 kilogrammes of rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti, sugar and other assorted edibles.

Alhaji Bola Olojoku, the President of the Mekunnu Forum Agenda in Kwara and member of the State Committee in charge of distribution of palliatives, told NAN that cash is not among items being distributed now.

According to Olojoku, the target beneficiaries of the palliatives are widows, aged, physically challenged and artisans, among others.

He assured that the items were enough to go round the target beneficiaries in all the 195 wards of the state.

“The committee had completed the distribution in all the 17 wards of the ASA local government area and will move to the llorin West Local Government Area for the continuation of its assignment,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Imams who lead the five daily obligatory prayers in llorin, the Pastors of churches and various community leaders have begun the compilation of names of their followers expected to benefit from the palliatives.

The list of the proposed beneficiaries from lmams and Pastors were submitted to the ALANGUA (High Chiefs) for presentation to the state committee in charge of the distribution of palliatives.

The lmam of Onilu Mosque at Okoerin road, Ilorin, Uztaz Yusuf Ismael, told NAN that he had already submitted the list of his followers to Alagua Okoerin.

Mallam Amosa Uthman, a Youth Leader in Okoerin ward of llorin West Local Government Area who spoke in similar vein, also said all names of eligible youths had been compiled.

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Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: League of Imams, clerics canvass more allocation to health sector

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The League of Imams and Alfas in South-West Nigeria has urged both the federal and state governments to allocate more to the health sector to enhance efficient health care delivery in the country.

The call was contained in a statement issued by the Rector of Markad, Sheikh Habibullahi Abdullahi-Ellory on Friday in Ilorin.

According the statement, more budgetary allocations to the health sector in the country generally will tackle the various health challenges being faced by the citizens.

”We want to urge the federal and state governments to ensure that there is notable improvement in the health sector.

”We should find wisdom in the axiom: ‘health is wealth’. After education, the health sector should be next in terms of budgetary allocation”, the statement added.

It attributed the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus in the country to inadequate attention to the health sector as well as lack of proper preventive measures.

The statement emphasised the need for all public hospitals in the country to be well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that could make them compete favourably with the rest of the world.

The statement further suggested that officials of the federal Ministry of Science and Technology, universities and research institutions should be encouraged through regular funds to carry out scientific researches that could be useful in times like this.

It, however, commended governments at all levels for the efforts being made so far to curtail the pandemic since its outbreak and spread in some parts of the country.

The statement also lauded the courage of the medical personnel, who have been working tirelessly to manage the cases in the country and ensure that the right things were done to avert further spread.

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Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

COVlD-19: Kwara Deputy Speaker, Finance Commissioner donate palliatives to Oke-ero, Ekiti resifents

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The Deputy Speaker, Kwara House of Assembly, Mr Raphael Olanrewaju, and the Commissioner for Finance and Planning, Mrs Olasunbo Oyeyemi, on Wednesday distributed palliatives to residents of Oke-Ero and Ekiti Local Government Areas of the state.

Olanrewaju told newsmen at Oke-Ero that the relief materials would reduce pains that people were likely to face following the self isolation and social distancing to check contracting COVID-19.

“There is no doubt that the stay-at-home order will impact negatively on our people who are mostly farmers and artisans who eke daily living.

”It, therefore, behoves on us as elected representatives to asauge the pains that come with the partial lockdown as a result of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The deputy speaker added that the gesture was to complement the efforts of the state government in bringing succour to the people of the state.

On extension of the relief materials, Olanrewaju described the people of Oke-Ero and Ekiti constituencies are kith and kin with same heritage.

He also noted that the extension of the relief materials was in support of the representative of the constituency, Mr Ganiyu Abolarin.

The deputy speaker commended the Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the anti COVID-19 measures put in place in the state.

He distributed 43 bags of rice to the residents of Oke-Ero and Ekiti local government areas of the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the gesture was to cater for economic losses recorded during the stay-at-home policy of the state government to guard against outbreak of Coronavirus.

Eleven of the 43 bags of rice were from the state commissioner for finance and planning.

NAN also reports that the deputy speaker had earlier distributed over 2,000 bottles of hand sanitisers and same quantity of hand wash liquid soap to promote culture of regular hand washing to stave off pandemic.

In a related development, monetary relief packages were extended to 40 APC party leaders, youths and women in the two benefitting local government areas of the state.

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Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Health

COVlD 19: Kwara House Leader distributes food, relief items to Ilorin residents

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The House Leader, Kwara House of Assembly, Alhaji Olawoyin Abubakar-Magaji, has distributed food and other relief materials to 1,500 residents in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state to beat Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The assemblyman distributed the materials in five wards that constitute Magaji-Ngeri Ward of his constituency on Sunday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that each beneficiary received a bag of Semovita and sanitisers beach as a palliative measure to assist them during the current stay at home policy of the state government.

NAN recalls that the Kwara Government on Friday direct all residents of the state  including commercial vehicle operators and civil servants, to stay indoor indefinitely as part of measures to guard against outbreak of Coronavirus in the state.

The House Leader, who did not disclose the amount of the items, said he embarked on the programme to assist residents in his constituency live a normal life during the stay at home period.

Abubakar-Magaji added that the gesture was also aimed at complementing the state government preventive measures against the outbreak of COVID-19 in all parts of the state.

The legislator however advised people of the state to abide with all government directives on prevention of the scourge and maintain personal hygiene at all times.

He said the two items were distributed to some indigent people in Magaji-Ngeri ward regardless of political parties affiliation or background.

The APC Women Leader in the ward, Hajia Bukola Yusuf, and the APC Chairman, Warah Ward, Alhaji lbtahim Amuda, commended the gesture, urging other politicians and philanthropists to emulate the lawmaker.

They said the two items were distributed to indigent residents in the constituency to assist them during the stay at home period.

Two of the beneficiaries, Mrs Rashidat lsiaq and Mallam Abdulkareem Galadima, thanked the House Leader for the support.

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Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Health

COVlD-19: Union sensitises llorin residents

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The llorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (lEDPU) on Saturday embarked on sensitisation programme against the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in llorin Emirate of Kwara.

The sensitisation programme, which was led by the National President of the Union, Alhaji Otta Aliyu-Uthman, with some members of the National Executive Council of the union, began at the Palace of the Emir of llorin, Alhaji lbrahim Sulu-Gambari.

The union also took the sensitisation to residents of the four High Chiefs in llorin; namely the Balogus of Alanamu, Ajikobi, Gambari and Fulani as well as Alhaji Abdulkareem Atebise, the Magaji Adaara compound, Agbaji quarters, Ilorin.

The national president of the union presented some packets of sanitisers and other preventive materials in all the places visited during the sensitisation exercise.

Aliyu-Uthman in his remarks at the palace of the Emir of llorin said the union embarked on the sensitisation programme to complement government effort toward further outbreak and spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are here to allow all the world know that the lEDPU supports all measures taken by the Federal and Kwara Governments against further outbreak and spread of the disease,”  he said.

He said Kwara has zero record for the outbreak of deadly virus and advised residents of the state to continue to respect all government directives on prevention and maintain proper hygiene to guard against outbreak of the disease.

A member of the national executive council of the union and a Professor of Medicine with the University of llorin, Prof. Aliyu Ajibola-Akanbi2, said Coronavirus was real and advised the people to keep off from crowded areas.

Ajibola-Akanbi2 urged Nigerians to avoid taking cold water and obey the stay at home order of the government to enable the country get rid of the disease within the shortest time.

The Emir of Illorin, represented by Alhaji Shuaib Aremu, Magaji Are of llorin, who is also a a High Chief in llorin, commended the union for embarking on the programme.

He prayed God for total elimination of Coronavirus in all parts of the country and world at large.

The national president of the union later presented some packets of sanitisers and other preventive materials to the representative of the first class traditional ruler.

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Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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COVlD-19: Ilorin Muslim worshipers comply with restriction order

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Muslim worshipers in five Local Government Areas of Kwara on Friday complied with government order on closure of worship places and restriction of movement.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the faithful deserted their various mosques where they normally observe the two raka’at superogatory Juma’at prayer as they obeyed the order passed down by the Ilorin Emirate Council.

The Emir  of llorin and Chairman of Kwara Traditional Council, Alhaji lbrahim Sulu-Gambari, had on Tuesday ordered the indefinite suspension of Friday Juma’at prayers in all parts of the emirate in compliance government policy.

The policy was introduced to two prevent the spread of Coronavirus to the state.

A NAN correspondent who monitored the situation in Ilorin metropolis reports that all the mosques that normally recorded large turnout of worshipers were empty.

Also affected were Juma’at mosques in various schools and tertiary institutions in all parts of the llorin Emirate and beyond.

All the Muslim faithful remained indoors where they observed the four raka’at Zuhur prayer which replaced the Friday Juma’at congregational prayer.

Uztaz Nurudeen Oganija, a teacher and Islamic scholar, told NAN that the Juma’at service did not take place in any part of the Emirate.

The Chief lmam of llorin, Alhaji Abdullahi AbdulHameed, who spoke in similar vein, confirmed that Juma’at service did not hold in any part of llorin Emirate.

He said all Muslims in the emirate complied with the directive of the Emir of llorin whom he said had consulted the high ranking Islamic clerics in the emirate.

“The directive of the Emir was in order which aimed at avoiding crowd to protect our lives and we all complied to save us from destruction and calamity,” the Chief Imam said.

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Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Economy

COVlD-19: Commercial vehicle operators count loses in llorin

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Commercial vehicle operators in Ilorin on Friday described the stay at home order by the State Government as an economic loss.

Some of the drivers, who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency at Sawmill and Geri Alimi Parks, said the non-availability of

passengers at motor parks was a serious economic set back for them and their families.

Malam Aliyu Mohammed and Alhaji Mustapha Busari that ply Lagos and Ibadan routes on daily basis from Sawmill Park said the stay at home order was hitting harder on them.

“We depend on daily income for our survival, we do not know how to cope with the present situation,” Mohammed lamented.

Buhari also told NAN that he does not know how to provide for his family if government has no palliative plan for masses.

NAN reports that Sawmill and Geri Alimi Parks that normally record

large turnout of travelers to Lagos and Ibadan were virtually empty on Friday.

Few drivers seen at the parks flayed the restriction of movement policy without alternative succor for citizens.

They These urge government to relax the ban on commercial vehicles from the roads.

They called for urgent solution to curb the spread of Coronavirus so

the nation can record more economic prosperity.

The drivers said government and Road Safety Corps can enforce two

passengers per seat and one in front to provide enough distant from the passengers, thereby allowing them to earn their daily income.

Several major roads in the state capital were also deserted with exemption of few private vehicles on essential services.

Some law enforcement agents were seen at various locations to maintain law and order.

NAN also reports that major roads were deserted as people complied with the stay home order.

NAN correspondents who monitored the early morning movement at

Gaa-Akanbi-Agbabiaka route observed that no commercial vehicle was seen on the roads, while few private cars were seen moving.

Few people were also seen walking the streets as most shops and stalls were under lock and key.

However, NAN observed that few commercial bike riders were seen doing business under disguise because they were without uniforms.

Mrs Bimpe Olatunde, a resident who obliged NAN, said: “I just got down from a bike, you cannot get a taxi, but some ‘Okada’ are working without uniform.”

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Economy

COVID-19: CBN to fund Nigerian researchers, institutions that develop vaccine

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is developing a framework under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop COVID-19 Vaccine.

The Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed this at the unveiling of the THISDAY Dome Testing, Tracing and Treatment Centre, Abuja on Tuesday.

Emefiele said if Nigeria was to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, it would be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for the teeming population.

“The CBN today challenges Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine.

“Once validated by the Health Authorities, the CBN will step in and do the needful for the sake of over 200 million Nigerians now confronted by COVID-19.

“Our inability to accurately predict the extent to which the coronavirus could spread, and how long it would last, requires that we build sufficient capacity within our health system in order to contain the spread of the virus, state by state, city by city and preserve the lives of vulnerable Nigerians.

“This requires that we all come together to support the work of the Presidential Task Force in its determination to save lives and stem the pandemic,” he said.

He, however, commended the Nigerian private sector, who had come together under the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to support the government, by raising funds to provide needed Isolation Centres, medical equipment among others.

He disclosed that so far, the CA-COVlD-19 had raised up to N27 Billion to fund these initiatives, adding that these donations were being used to build well equipped isolation centres across the 36 states of the federation.

According to him, the Testing, Tracing and Treatment Centre being inaugurated represents a part of the support being provided by the CACOVID alliance.

He noted that these measures would result in the addition to over 4,000 hospital beds across the country and would also serve as a significant boost towards the efforts at containing the spread of COVlD-19.

Emefiele said CACOVID had so far equipped and handed over Isolation Centres in Rivers, Enugu, Kwara, Ondo, and Borno States.

He said it was expected that all other isolation centres would be handed over in other states of the country by May 23, 2020. 

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Politics

Senate decry breach of presidential order on inter-state movement

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The Senate on Tuesday at plenary condemned in strongest terms the “barefaced breach” of the presidential order on interstate movements to curb further spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Senate resolution was hinged on a motion on the “Need to Enforce Presidential Order Banning Interstate Movements.”

The motion was sponsored by Sen. Ike Ekweremadu (PDP-Enugu).

Ekweremadu in his lead debate said there was an alarm at the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

He said reports indicates currently that COVID-19 infection stood at 4,641 cases and 150 deaths.

Ekweremadu said confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) was now in hundreds.

He said that President Muhammadu  Buhari, in his wisdom and relying on advice by relevant authorities and powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004 issued proclamation order on general management of COVlD-19.

Ekweremadu said the president had banned non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice to contain the deadly novel Coronavirus.

“Also aware of the presidential order declaring dusk to dawn curfew all over the country.

“Seriously worried by the numerous reports and trending videos on the flagrant breach of the curfew and interstate travel.

“Aware that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has raised alarm over what it described as ‘increased level of interstate movement, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in foods carrying vehicles.

“Further aware that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has equally raised serious concerns over the way Nigerians crisscross the country in their numbers in spite of the subsisting order to the contrary.

“Conscious of the very grave implications of the brazen breach of the presidential order restricting interstate movements.

“Conscious of the fact that the nation’s security agencies, particularly the police, have the responsibility to enforce law and order, including the presidential ban on interstate movement,” Ekweremadu said.

He expressed concern over reports of alleged complicity in the said breaches by those who are supposed to enforce compliance with the directives of the President.

Following Ekweremadu’s presentation, Senate in its other resolutions
enjoin Nigerians to strictly comply with the orders for their own safety and to quicken Nigerian’s victory over COVID-19 pandemic.

It further urged the Inspectors-General of Police, Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Heads of all security agencies charged with enforcing the ban on interstate travel to investigate the alleged complicity of their officers in the breach of the curfew and ban non-essential interstate travels.

The Senate also called for arrest and prosecution of anyone found wanting.

It urged the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to fully enforce presidential orders on curfew and ban on nonessential interstate travel.

It urged the security chiefs to ensure that their various commands cooperate with respective state authorities in enforcing the presidential orders and other protocols aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Red Cross supports Borno health authorities in setting up isolation centre

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released on Wednesday in Abuja.

It stated that ICRC would continue to respond to the humanitarian needs of ongoing armed conflicts and other situations of violence, while adapting its activities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

“Moreover, the ICRC joins the efforts of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) the authorities and other humanitarian actors to curb the spread of the virus.

ICRC surgical team,  continues to treat Weapon-wounded patients in Maiduguri,  with additional measures put in place to identify potential COVID-19 cases and minimise the risk of  spread of the infection.

ICRC installed a triage tent at the entrance of the Maiduguri specialist hospital and increased the space between the beds at its surgical ward, to ensure sufficient physical distance between patients,’’ it stated.

It further stated that the ICRC setup a “fever clinic” at the hospital  to facilitate the triage of COVID-19 patients at the entrance of the hospital.

It said women and young children from violence affected areas, continued to represent the vast majority of the patients at the 18 primary healthcare facilities supported by ICRC with human resource incentives, drug supplies and prevention initiatives.

“Internally displaced people and local communities have received accurate information on COVID-19 through radio programmes, posters and social media content, developed with the NRCS in Shuwa Arab, Kanuri, Hausa and English.

“The ICRC continues to improve access to shelter, hygiene facilities and clean water for displaced people.

“Improving living conditions and ensuring proper hygiene and access to clean water is one of the key strategies to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

NRCS volunteers have been spreading the information on COVID-19,  using public speakers in 37 IDP camps with ICRC support,’’ it further said.

According to the document, over 12,500 households in IDP camps received soaps in the period.

ICRC continues to support livelihoods for the most vulnerable communities through cash grants, seeds and tools distribution, at the time when these communities suffer the economic consequences of the pandemic.

“Detainees received hygiene items from the ICRC in the stated period.

“Personal and collective hygiene items such as soaps and washing powder have been distributed to five places of detention, for a total of 7,500 detainees.

“2,000 COVID-19 information posters in English, Hausa and Kanuri, were delivered and 16 handwashing stands installed in various detention facilities.

“Furthermore, the detaining authorities have been supported by the ICRC to enhance preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, with guidelines and best practices, ’’ it stated.

In addition, it stated that various tools were developed to support the Nigerian authorities preparing for  and responding to  the COVID-19 outbreak.

“In particular, general guidelines on preparedness and response to COVlD-19 in places of detention,  providing practical information on measures to be taken by detaining authorities,  were sent to the Nigerian Army, Police as well as Correctional Service.

“Also, as restrictive measures are enforced by the authorities (such as lockdown and states boundary closure) general guidelines were sent to the Nigerian Army and Police, to remind them of their obligations to comply with relevant international rules and standards,” it added. 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

 

 

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CAN cautions on passage of proposed infectious bill

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the proposed bill on Infectious Disease Control will deny Nigerians their Fundamental Human Rights (FHR) if passed into law.

In a statement on Tuesday, CAN General Secretary, Mr  Joseph Daramola, said it would destroy the citizens’  civil rights.

“It has come to our notice, the intention to allow the above named bill, which seeks to prohibit and control infectious diseases to be passed by the Federal House of Representatives.

CAN and other well meaning citizens of this country have critically looked into this bill and cannot but observe that it will destroy the civil and human rights of Nigerians.

“The proposed bill prevents Nigerians from having a say in their own affairs through the hasty and speedy way by which the house is trying to make it a Law.

“Among this denial of the FHR are: right to life. personal liberty, freedom from degrading and inhuman treatment, privacy, freedom of religion and so on,” he said.

He said that these rights are held sacred and invaluable except on clearly defined occasions as provided for by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian courts on numerous occasions have struck out Acts of Parliaments and Legislation including Executive Orders of Governments, which do violence to any of the FHR provided for in the constitution.

“With this, CAN hereby appeals to the leadership and members of the house, to allow the spirit of God to prevail over their intentions to pass the bill into law.

“This bill is not what is currently being expected from the house of representatives but rather the development of the Vaccines that will stop this COVlD-l9 Pandemic from further killing citizens.

“The question in the hearts of many people is why the rush for infections disease bill, when the vaccine is not available yet,” he said.

He said in the bill, too much powers had been ceded to the Minister of Health and the Director General (DG) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“This is almost to the exclusion of the Judiciary in mediation, where the orders of the minister of health and the DG of NCDC appear to violate the FHR, as enshrined in the constitution.

“Sequel to the above, we urge the house to discontinue discussion on this bill forthwith in the overall interest of  Nigerian citizens.

However, should you insist that there is merit in the bill, we insist that the bill should pass through public hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila said on Tuesday that the infectious disease would go public.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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General news

Workers Day: Borno Govt. urges workers to stay safe from COVID-19

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The Borno Head of Service, Mr Simon Malgwi, has urged civil servants in the state to stay safe from COVlD-19 pandemic by observing all safety rules and regulations.

Malgwi made the call on Friday in a statement in Maiduguri to mark this year’s Workers Day.

“I urge civil servants to stay and keep safe from the COVID-19 not only by observing all the safety rules and regulations but by being in the forefront and vanguard of promoting such rules and regulations.

“By so doing, we shall not only overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, but we shall conquer hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and defeat insecurity.

“We shall surely come out stronger and celebrate better,” Malgwi said.

The governor also used the occasion to console workers over the recent deaths of prominent personalities from the state such as former Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari and Emir of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Umar

”Also, former governor of Borno, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, and Galadima of Dikwa, Alhaji Modu Sheriff who lost his father, among others. (NAN)

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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