Malam Alhassan Yaya, Chairman of the coalition,gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Gombe on Thursday.
He said allocating substantial part of the budget to health sector was the only way to address the lingering challenges related to health issues like malnutrition, maternal and neonatal mortality, among others.
In April 2001, the African Union countries met and pledged to allocate at least, 15 per cent of their annual budget to health sector.
“We want to urge Gov. Yahaya to allocate 15 per cent of Gombe state budget to health sector.
“This is the only way to address the lingering problems in health sector like malnutrition, Maternal and child mortality.
“Seventy per cent of the budget should be domicile under the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, the agency is more concerned with preventive measures,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for increasing the 2020 budget to N46 billion to the health sector as against N35 billion in 2019.
Yaya, who expressed optimism that the increase would go a long way in reducing the problems associated with the sector, called on other state Governors to follow suit.(NAN)
Edited by Zainab Garba/Dada Ahmed
NiMet predicts sunny thundery weather, May 25 to May 27
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorms across the country from Monday to Wednesday.
NiMet weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted cloudy conditions with intervals of sunshine over the northern region on Monday to Wednesday.
It also predicted chances of a few thunderstorms over Taraba, Southern Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna and Adamawa axis later in the day.
According to the agency, there are chances of morning thunderstorms over central cities like Abuja, Kogi and Nassarawa.
NiMet forecasts prospects of thunderstorms over central cities in the afternoon/evening hours with cloudy mornings over southern areas with chances of a few thunderstorms over Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Port Harcourt axis.
It further forecasts better prospects of thunderstorms over the southern region during the afternoon/evening period.
“On Tuesday, cloudy conditions are likely over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Gombe, southern Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zaria in the afternoon/evening period.
“Cloudy conditions with prospects of thunderstorms over Abuja, Nassarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Niger and Kwara during the afternoon/evening period are expected.
“The southern region should be cloudy in the morning hours with the exception of Enugu, Ondo and a few cities on the coast that has chances of thunderstorms.
“More prospect of thunderstorms is expected over the region in the afternoon/evening period.’’
NiMet predicted patches of clouds with intervals of sunshine and light thunderstorms on Wednesday over the north eastern axis in the morning hours.
The agency envisaged cloudy conditions with prospects of a few thunderstorms over Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba in the afternoon/evening hours.
According to the agency, the central cities should be cloudy with possibilities of thunderstorms over Kogi, Benue and Nassarawa in the morning hours.
NiMet, however, forecast chances of thunderstorms over Nassarawa and Abuja in the afternoon/evening period with the southern region to be cloudy with prospects of thunderstorms over south east inland and coastal cities in the morning.
“In the afternoon/evening hours, thunderstorms are anticipated over most parts of the region.’’
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Eid-el-fitr: Gombe records low turnout at prayer grounds
Gombe State on Sunday, recorded low turnout of Muslim Faithful at the Eid prayer grounds across the state, as most of them opted for private prayers in line with the stay at home directive, occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the fanfare that usually accompanied Eid el Fitr celebration, to mark the end of Ramadan fast, was absent.
NAN also reports that some Eid prayers were held under heavy rain as some Muslim devotees still came out to observe the prayers.
There was however, no prayer at the central Eid ground, where the Emir, Governor and other top dignitaries in the state normally hold the prayers.
They however, prayed to God to bring an end to the calamity.
Alhaji Shehu Aliyu, said that in spite of the pandemic, he attended the Eid prayer at Federal Low Cost Mosque, though the turnout of people was low.
Malam Yunusa Mohammed, said he performed the Eid prayer with his family members at home due to the fear of contracting the virus.
“This is because performing the prayer at home with my family members, is as good as doing it at the Eid praying ground,” he said.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
Eid-el-fitr: Gov. Yahaya urges compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures in Gombe
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on Saturday, felicitated with Muslims in the state as they joined other faithful across the world in celebrating the Eid-el-fitr.
In his Sallah message made available to newsmen in Gombe by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Ismaila Uba-Misilli, the governor urged Muslims in the state to comply with recommended measures on how to prevent contracting oronaviris.
He admonished Muslims to show love to one another and promote harmony and peaceful coexistence, while sustaining the lessons of the holy month of Ramadan in their daily lives for the good of the society.
” Eid el-fitr festival connotes sacrifice, selflessness, love and obedience to the tenets of Islam. I therefore enjoin us to draw enduring lessons from the Ramadan.
“The same way we all remembered the less privileged and those afflicted by poverty and disease during Ramadan, I implore us to carry over these attributes beyond Ramadan,” he said.
While commending Muslims and the entire people of the state for their steadfastness in the midst of challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor urged them to remain prayerful in efforts to contain the disease.
“I also enjoin you to continue to complement effort of government in confronting the dreaded COVID-19, by observing all the preventive protocols and complying with restriction orders.
“Government will spare no effort in working for the safety, wellbeing and prosperity of the state,’’ Yahaya assured.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria hits 7,261 infections with 245 new cases Friday
NCDC confirmed the new figures in its verified tweeter handle.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 131 of the new cases came from Lagos, 16 from Jigawa, 13 from Ogun, 12 from Borno and nine each from Kaduna, Oyo, Rivers and Ebonyi.
Other states with new cases include Kwara with seven, Katsina with five, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto with three each as well as Bauchi and Yobe with two each.
Anambra, Gombe, Niger, Ondo, Plateau, the FCT and Bayelsa, all recorded one new case each.
NCDC stated that the total number of recovered patients stands at 2,007, while 221 deaths have been recorded.
It noted that no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The health agency said that until date, 7,261 cases have been confirmed; 5,033 active cases, 2,007 discharged and 221 deaths in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Every day, we deploy supplies to states across the country, using indicators such as number of new cases to determine quantity and prevent stockout,” it stated.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery activities Saturday to Monday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery weather activities across the country from May 23 to May 25.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Friday in Abuja forecast cloudy conditions over northern region in the morning hours of Saturday with prospects of overnight into early morning light thunderstorms over Yobe and southern Borno axis.
According to the forecast, during the afternoon/evening period, there are chances of increased cloudiness with slim chances of thunderstorms over parts of Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, northern Borno, Gombe and Taraba axis.
It further forecast other parts of the north to be mostly cloudy with intervals of sunshine.
“The central cities are likely to be cloudy during the morning hours.
“However, parts of Niger, Lokoja, southern Nasarawa, and Benue are expected to experience overnight into early morning thunderstorms with little rains.
“ The afternoon and evening hours hold better prospects of weather activities as isolated thunderstorms are expected over Abuja, Benue, Kogi, Niger and Kwara axis.
“The inland areas of the south and coastal belts should be predominately cloudy with few isolated thunderstorms over Ado Ekiti, Abeokuta and Ondo, Calabar, Lagos, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt and Ijebu-Ode axis during the morning period.
“Isolated thunderstorms are expected over most places in the inland and coastal areas in the afternoon/evening hours.’’
NiMet predicted Cloudy conditions with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Biu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina in the northern region during the morning hours of Sunday.
The agency also predicted isolated thunderstorms over the north to affect parts of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Katsina axis and environs during the afternoon/evening period.
It envisaged increased cloudiness over the central region with chances of early morning thunderstorms over parts of Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa and Jos axis.
According to NiMet, there are prospects of isolated thunderstorms over the high ground areas to affect Jos, Abuja, Kogi, Niger and Makurdi areas in the afternoon and evening period.
It further envisaged cloudy conditions over the inland cities with prospect of few thunderstorms during the afternoon/evening hours.
NiMet predicted light thunderstorms over Lagos, Ijebu-Ode, Benin and Port Harcourt in the coastal region during the morning hours with isolated thunderstorm over most places in the coastal region later in the day.
“For Monday, cloudy skies with spells of sunshine are expected over the northern region in the morning hours.
“During the afternoon and evening period, cloudiness with spells of few thunderstorms are expected over Yelwa, Zaria, Potiskum, Nguru, Dutse, Kebbi, Jalingo and Yola.
“ The rest of the cities over this region are likely to remain cloudy with intervals of sunshine. The central region is expected to be mostly cloudy.
“ However, we anticipate isolated thunderstorms to affect parts of Abuja, Jos, Kogi and Kwara axis during the afternoon/evening period.
“ Increased cloudiness is expected over the inland and the coastal areas of the south during the morning hours with prospects of thunderstorms over the region in the afternoon and evening hours,’’ it said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Group urges FG to establish College of Education in Osogbo
The Osogbo Development Action Group (ODAG) has appealed to the Federal Government to establish the proposed Federal College of Education for Osun in Osogbo, the state capital, to enable the community feel the federal presence.
The Secretary of the Group, Mr Oladejo Shuaib, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the federal government recently approved the establishment of six Federal Colleges of Education in the six geo-political zones.
The newly approved institutions would be situated in Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Osun and Sokoto states.
Shuaib commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for approving the new colleges for immediate take-off, in a bid to increase the number of quality teachers in the country.
He said that the establishment was another landmark achievement of the President’s administration in the education sector.
“On behalf of the Ataoja of Osogboland, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, Larooye II, the good people of Osogbo commend the incorruptible, fearless and objectivity of the President.
“We have no doubt in your efforts toward moving Nigeria to enviable heights in the comity of nations, especially in the Africa continent.
“We pray that the Almighty God, will continue to enrich you with strength and wisdom in your relentless strives to move Nigeria to its next level,’’ the group prayed.
Giving credence to its request to have the institution located in Osogbo, the group said the town was made the capital of Osun, which was created on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 1991.
The state was created alongside Abia, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Kebbi, Taraba, Kogi and Yobe states, in the same year.
“Among all the state capitals in Nigeria, Osogbo is the most deprived and neglected state capital in all ramifications, especially in term of federal presence.
“Since the president’s approval for the establishment of a Federal College of Education in Osun became known to the public, our hope was rekindled that our dream to host a federal institution has finally become a reality.
“Osogbo people are sincerely thankful to you and we are glad to inform you that Osogbo has reserved a site for immediate take-off of the institution.’’
The group, therefore, appeal to the President to consider locating the college in Osogbo.
It pointed out that six cities – Lafia, Gombe, Gusau, Ado-Ekiti, Yenagoa and Abakaliki that are five years younger than Osogbo as state capitals enjoy the presence of federal institutions located there.
“Bayelsa has its Federal Polytechnic and FMC in Yenogoa, Ebonyi has its Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki while Ado-Ekiti had already been blessed with Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti even before the state came into being in October 1996,’’ the group stated.
It added that the federal intuitions in Nigeria were located in the state capitals, while some state capitals had three or more federal tertiary institutions such as Owerri with FUTO, Federal Polytechnic and Federal College of Education all in Owerri; Ibadan with UI, UCH, Federal office of statistics all in Ibadan.
Other states had at least two tertiary intuitions such as Akure with FUTA and College of Agriculture; Abeokuta hosts the Federal University of Agriculture and a Federal College of Education.
“We, however, pleaded with President Buhari, being an advocate of fairness, equity and justice to allow the natural law of equity and fairness take its cause in his choice of location of the Federal College of Education in Osogbo.
“The people of Osogbo would forever be grateful to Buhari’s administration if their hope is restored as they await the declaration of citing of college in Osogbo.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
COVID-19: NCDC confirms 339 new cases, total infections now 7,016
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that nine new patients have been confirmed dead to the virus, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 211.
NCDC said that the 339 new cases were confirmed in 18 states, while nine deaths were recorded in Nigeria as at May 21.
The 339 new cases were reported from Lagos(139), Kano(28), Oyo(28), Edo(25), Katsina(22), Kaduna(18), Jigawa (14), Yobe(13), Plateau (13), FCT(11), Gombe(8), Ogun(5), Bauchi(4), Nasarawa(4), Delta(3), Ondo(2), Rivers(1), Adamawa(1).
The NCDC however noted that no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The health agency said that till date 7,016 cases have been confirmed, with 4,898 Active Cases, while 1,907 cases have been discharged and 211 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We are grateful to the Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering for supporting national COVID19 response with face masks and hand sanitisers.
“We continue to work with professional bodies in the whole-of-society response to COVID19,” it said.
The health agency emphasised that regular handwashing was very important to reduce the risk of spread of COVID19.
“An important moment to wash your hands is after handling money, especially if you are handling or eating food,” it advised.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
COVID-19: Gombe Govt. inaugurates palliative distribution to 66, 000 households
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state has inaugurated the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable persons to cushion the effect of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Speaking at the occasion which which took place in Boh community of Shongom Local Government Area, Yahaya, represented by his deputy, Manasseh Jatau the welfare package was aimed at meeting the needs of the vulnerable.
He said the exercise would take place in the 2,218 polling units across the 11 Local Government Areas of the state.
“Sequel to the suffering created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government, through the North East Development Commission,and the Gombe State Government brought these items to the people who are worst hit,” he said.
The governor said arrangement had been made for equitable distribution of the items to reach the most vulnerable persons that were targeted.
He said 30 vulnerable persons, comprising orphans, widows and the physically-challenged, among others, had been targeted in each of the 2,218 polling units across the state.
He appealed to the beneficiaries to be magnanimous to their neighbours by cultivating the attitude of sharing with one another, no matter how small.
Yahaya debunked insinuations that the palliatives were meant for only members of the ruling party, adding that the use of “polling units” for distribution of the materials was just for the purpose of convenience.
Shehu-Abubakar said the items would be given to the targeted people to ensure that the aim of the gesture by the government was achieved.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items distributed include rice, millet, spaghetti, macaroni, sugar and cooking oil.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh (NAN)
NGO urges FG to do environmental audit of Nigeria coal mining sites
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), on Thursday urged the Federal Government to carry out environmental audit of coal mining sites in the country.
Its Executive Director, Mr David Michael, gave this advice in a statement to newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, coal mining in some communities has led to extensive environmental degradation such as contamination of air, water and soil which continue to negatively affect the health of local communities.
He mentioned that Coal mining was currently being done in Maigaga community in Ako local government area of Gombe, Awo Apkali and Onupi communities in Ankpa LGA of Kogi.
Michael said also that the Federal Government should investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in the country.
He said Federal Government needed to wade into the human rights violations in coal mining communities as Nigeria was one of the countries that made commitments against climate change.
“We would like to urge the Federal Ministry of Environment to immediately carry out an environmental audit of all the coal mining sites in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, we would like to urge the Federal Government to immediately investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in Nigeria
“(This is) particularly in some communities such as Maigaga, Itobe, Onupi, Awo Akplokuta, Awo Ojuwo, Awo Ate, Ajobe Afeanyaka and Utala communities in Kogi, Benue and Gombe states,” he said.
Michael said that all mining operations especially those undertaken by multinational companies should adhere to the UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights.
“What has been witnessed in Kogi and Gombe states is that fossil fuel companies and large corporations when in need of natural resources, initiate talks with the local communities and consequently enter into agreements whose benefits are heavily skewed against the local people.
“These companies are benefiting greatly from the goodwill of the local communities and are not honouring the agreements entered into.
“There is an urgent need to review the Community Development Agreements signed between the coal mining communities and the companies,” he said.
Michael said Federal Government made commitments under the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which were reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“This was where all countries that signed the UNFCCC were asked to publish their commitments to fight climate change.
“In order to reduce carbon emissions, Nigeria should therefore ensure the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions starting with the phasing out of coal-fired plants.
“Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa should be a beacon for other African states by accelerating its national plans that would see a rapid, just transition towards 100 per cent renewable energy for all Nigerians,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery activities Thursday to Saturday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery activities from Thursday to Saturday.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Wednesday in Abuja, predicted cloudy conditions in the morning on Thursday over the northern region, with prospects of overnight thunderstorms over Katsina, Kano, Dutse and Mambilla plateau environs.
It further predicted pockets of thunderstorms over parts of southern Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe and southern Kaduna during the afternoon, with other parts of the north expected to have patches of clouds.
The agency reported prospects of early morning thunderstorms to affect the high ground areas, places like Abuja, Lafia, Minna and their environs over the central part of the country.
According to NiMet, pockets of thunderstorms are expected to affect parts of Ilorin, Lokoja, Lafia, Jos and Abuja environs in the afternoon and evening period.
It envisaged a few thunderstorms over the south west inland areas, especially over Ondo, Akure and Ibadan, while the Southeast inland was expected to be cloudy in the morning hours.
The agency predicted a better prospect of isolated thunderstorms over the inland areas in the afternoon.
It forecast isolated thunderstorms over the coastal cities to affect places like Calabar, Eket, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Ijebu-Ode with prospect of thunderstorms over the coastal belt.
“ On Friday, an overnight system is expected over most places in the northern region to affect places like southern Borno, Potiskum, Dutse, Bauchi, Kaduna, Gusau and Katsina during the morning hours.
“ Pockets of thunderstorms are envisaged over the northern region, especially over parts of Gusau, Yelwa, Gombe and Yola environs during the afternoon/evening hours. Cloudy skies are envisaged over the central cities in the morning hours.
“Later in the afternoon and evening hours, isolated thunderstorms are expected over the high ground areas to affect Abuja, Minna, Lokoja and Ilorin environs,“ it said.
NiMet forecast isolated thunderstorms over parts of southwest inland areas, especially over Abeokuta, Iseyin and Benin with parts of the southwest and southeast inland to be cloudy during the morning hours.
According to the agency, the afternoon and evening period hold a better prospect of isolated thunderstorms over the inland areas of the south especially residents in Shaki, Iseyin, Akure and Osogbo.
It envisaged the coastal cities of Calabar, Uyo, Eket, Port Harcourt, Warri and Yenegoa were to experience light thunderstorms during the morning hours with possibilities of thunderstorms over the entire region in the afternoon/evening hours.
“On Saturday, the morning hours over the north is likely to experience increased cloudiness with few thunderstorms anticipated over parts of Kebbi. Pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over the region during the afternoon/evening hours.
“The central region should expect cloudy atmosphere with possibilities of isolated thunderstorms over the high ground areas in the morning, however, later in the day, there are chances of thunderstorms over most places in the region.
“ Southern parts of the country will be mostly cloudy in the morning, with prospects of thunderstorms over southeast coast. Later in the afternoon, widespread thunderstorms are anticipated across inland and its coastal areas, “ it said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Onu not marginalising any Ebonyi zone in federal appointments – TOPO
The Onu Political Organisation (TOPO), has faulted claims by a group, Hope Ambassadors which alleged marginalisation of Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments as well as in siting of federal institutions in Ebonyi.
Hope Ambassadors in a social media publication by one Mr Jeremiah Onyibe, accused Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology of deliberately marginalising the Abakaliki bloc in federal appointments and sitting of institutions in favour of his zone.
However, TOPO in a briefing on Wednesday in Abakaliki, dismissed the allegations as figment of imagination of the group.
Chima, a former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi, said that Onu remained an acclaimed detribalised Nigerian whose political ideology which spanned nearly four decades was founded on equity, fairness and justice for the oppressed and marginalised.
He condemned the publication, noting that it was capable of engendering political distrust and disunity in the state.
The publication captioned: ‘Wake up Oh Abakaliki People’ read in part:
“Let the strong leaders of Abakaliki bloc arise now, we can’t keep quite again, while your keeping calm the position given to our son, late Chief Tobias Okwuru was taken from us to old Ohaozara.
” Instead of sourcing immediate replacement from his immediate family or even community, the position was taken away.”
Chima said that the divisive utterances by individuals or groups was despicable, noting that the nomination of late Okwuru as member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was not done on senatorial sentiment.
“There have been so much misunderstanding and rumours on the appointment of a man from outside Ezza to replace the late Okwuru who died before he was inaugurated.
“The limited understanding is that the slot should have been given to his wife, member of the family or any person from his zone.
“The limited understanding of such people is that the position was meant for Tobe Okwuru; or that it is meant for the family or for community he came from.
“This is politically untrue. The position is for Ebonyi and the one chosen to replace Okwuru is eminently qualified and a retired federal permanent secretary.
“His choice was made to eliminate anything that can disqualify Ebonyi from assuming the position after the demise of Okwuru.
“The area the position went to is not out of place in the political allocations of Ebonyi,” Chima said
He said that Abakaliki bloc has had fair representation in both federal political appointments and sitting of institutions.
“Ambassador Jonah Mkpuruka is a serving ambassador covering Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil and he is from Ikwo, Ebonyi Central, Sen. Julius Ucha is a member of National Assembly Service Commission, from Ishielu, Ebonyi Central.
“Chief Enyi Enyi from Ezza in Ebonyi Central is Chairman, Federal University Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Governing Council, Chief Austin Edeze, from Ebonyi North, is Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado- Ekiti in Ekiti .
“Chief Elias Mbam from Izzi in Ebonyi North zone is the Chairman Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, while Mr Patrick Mgbebu, is a member representing Ebonyi in the Commission, among others.
“All the above mentioned appointees are from the Abakaliki bloc.
“No man from Ebonyi South zone is heading any commission, board or agency and we wonder where or how the cry of marginalisation of Abakaliki bloc by the group is coming from.
He noted that Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo and the newly established Federal Science College, Ameka in Ezza South were all sited in Ebonyi Central.
“Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu and Federal Government College, Okposi were institutions established long before the advent of the current democratic dispensation.
Ebonyi is made up of two major political bloc-the Abakaliki bloc comprising Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central senatorial zones.
The Ebonyi North zone is made up of Izzi, Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Ohaukwu local government areas, while Ebonyi Central senatorial zone comprises, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ezza South, and Ezza North local government areas.
The Afikpo bloc comprises Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo local government areas.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
COVID-19: Gombe discharges 91 persons from isolation centres
Gombe State Taskforce on COVID-19 says it has discharged a total number of 91 persons from its isolation centres after testing negative twice.
The Chairman of the taskforce, Prof. Idris Mohammed, stated this in Gombe on Wednesday while updating newsmen on the situation of the pandemic in the state.
According to him, the state only has 11 active cases on admission at its isolation centres, while there are 31 other positive cases spread across its communities, yet to be identified and evacuated.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the 31 people were among those intercepted at the state entry points, whose samples were taken for tests after being isolated.
However, by the time their results came out, which tested positive, they had found their ways back into their communities, refusing to be evacuated to the isolation centres.
Mohammed, however, appealed to them to cooperate with the taskforce team by submitting themselves willingly to curtail community transmission.
He said the taskforce would rather persuade the people to cooperate with them than to use force.
According to him, the public should understand that COVID-19 is not a death sentence and that it is advisable to start treatment as soon as it is detected.
Edited By: Moses Solanke/Felix Ajide (NAN)
COVID-19: NCDC records 226 new cases, total infections now 6401
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that one new patients have been confirmed dead to the virus in the country, bringing the total number of deaths to 192.
It advised Nigerians to trust the health authorities and take responsibility to control the spread of the outbreak.
According to it, call your state hotline if you notice known COVID-19 symptoms.
The health agency said that the 226 new cases were confirmed in 16 states, one death was recorded in Nigeria by May 19.
The 226 new cases were reported from 16 states- Lagos (131), Ogun (25), Plateau (15), Edo (11), Kaduna (7), Oyo (6), FCT (5), Adamawa (5), Jigawa (4), Ebonyi (4), Borno (4), Nasarawa (3), Bauchi (2), Gombe (2), Enugu (1), Bayelsa (1)
The NCDC noted that no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The health agency said that till date, 6401 cases have been confirmed, 4475 Active Cases, 1734 cases have been discharged and 192 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Health works should ensure early triage, recognition and source control at the entry point of the facility: Ensure the availability of a triage station at the entrance of the facility with trained personnel.
“Request information on recent travel history and pre-existing disease profile of the patient to determine the patient’s risk level: Evaluate clinical symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure early recognition and
The health agency said that at the application of standard precautions for all patients at the entry point of the facility, none of the IPC protocols should be bypassed under any circumstances to reduce the likelihood of viral transmission to healthcare workers and other patients within the healthcare setting.
The NCDC noted that these protocols include the following, hand and respiratory hygiene for healthcare workers and patients, visibility of IEC materials that communicate the symptoms of COVID-19 and prevention measures, clearly stating that some cases may be asymptomatic.
It also advised the appropriate use of PPE, safe waste disposal practices, sterilisation of medical equipment and surfaces.
“Confirmed cases of COVID-19 should be housed together with enough ventilation. The physical distancing between all patients should be adhered to in all facilities with at least 1-meter distance.
“Where equipment must be re-used, such equipment should be properly disinfected. Otherwise, single-use/disposable equipment should be utilised.
“Appropriate PPE such as eye protection such as a facemask, long sleeve/water-proof gowns should be utilised,” it explained.
The agency said that all procedures should be performed in rooms with sufficient ventilation for aerosol-generating procedures, by limiting the number of people present.
The NCDC said that in implementing administrative controls, healthcare settings require infrastructure to address COVID-19 cases such as adequate PPE, sensitisation materials for patients and health care workers, adequate health care worker training, designated waiting for areas for asymptomatic patients, isolation facilities for confirmed cases amongst others.
It said that for ventilation, a natural ventilation may be utilised. For artificial ventilation, it was appropriate to use a filters for air conditioning and in a spatial separation, at least one meter of physical distancing should be observed between patients.
“Cleaning: Thorough cleaning and disinfection of surfaces as well as laundry protocols and frequent monitoring of the adherence to necessary standards for the above.
“The choice and combination of PPE ensemble to be worn in dealing with COVID-19 patients should be based on a careful risk assessment that considers the risk of exposure and extent of contact anticipated with respiratory droplets, blood, body fluids, and/ or open skin.
“Where possible, it may also be advisable to bundle similar services to reduce inefficient use of PPE however the quest to minimise inefficient use of PPE should not come at the expense of standard protocols and precaution,” it stated.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Health Assembly ends with global commitment to COVID-19 response
The World Health Assembly is the forum through which the World Health Organisation (WHO) is governed by its 194 member states.
WHO in a statement posted on its website, said the resolution was co-sponsored by more than 130 countries and was adopted by consensus.
“It also calls for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance.
“As WHO convened ministers of health from almost every country in the world, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak.
“The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, and a roadmap for controlling the outbreak.’’
According to the statement, 14 heads of state participated in the opening and closing sessions.
“Its robbed us of lives and livelihoods; its shaken the foundations of our world, it threatens to tear the fabric of international cooperation.
“But its also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race and we are stronger together.”
The World Health Assembly (WHA) will reconvene later in the year.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
World Health Assembly applauds nurses in fight against COVID-19
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, said this at the ongoing two-day World Health Assembly in Geneva.
This is the first time when the assembly, WHO’s main governing body, will convene virtually.
“Many have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of humanity.
“But it also provides a roadmap for governments to invest in nursing, to fill that gap and progress toward universal health coverage; Health for all.
According to him, 2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
“This Assembly was intended to be a moment of recognition for the incredible contribution that nurses and midwives make every day, in every country.
“We come in grief for those we have lost; we come with concern for those still fighting for their lives; we come with determination to triumph over this common threat.
“This is a dangerous enemy, with a dangerous combination of features: this virus is efficient, fast, and fatal.
“It can operate in the dark, spread silently if we’re not paying attention, then suddenly explode if we aren’t ready. And moves like a bushfire.
“We have seen the same pattern repeated in cities and countries the world over; we must treat this virus with the respect and attention it deserves.”
“But numbers don’t even begin to tell the story of this pandemic; each loss of life leaves a scar for families, communities and nations.
“The disruption to health systems threatens to unwind decades of progress against maternal and child mortality, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, noncommunicable diseases, mental health, polio and many other of the most urgent health threats.
“And yet this is so much more than a health crisis. Lives and livelihoods have been lost or upended. Hundreds of millions of people have lost their jobs. Fear and uncertainty abound.
“Fortitude and fear; solidarity and suspicion; rapport and recrimination. This contagion exposes the fault lines, inequalities, injustices and contradictions of our modern world,” he said.
Ghebreyesus said nations had come together as never before, and geopolitical divisions had been thrown into sharp relief.
“We have seen what is possible with cooperation, and what we risk without it. The pandemic is a reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet.
“Any efforts to make our world safer are doomed to fail unless they address the critical interface between people and pathogens, and the existential threat of climate change that is making our earth less habitable.
“For all the economic, military and technological might of nations, we have been humbled by this very small microbe. If this virus is teaching us anything, it’s humility. Time for humility.
“Six months ago, it would have been inconceivable to most that the world’s biggest cities would fall eerily quiet; that shops, restaurants, schools and workplaces would be closed.
“That global travel would grind to a standstill; that simply shaking hands could be life-threatening.
“Terms once used only by epidemiologists, like “reproduction number”, “physical distancing” and “contact tracing” have become common parlance,” he said.
Ghebreyesus further said in less than five months, the pandemic had encircled the globe.
“All countries have faced challenges in coming to grips with this virus, rich and poor, large and small.
“Low-income countries, small island developing states and those suffering from violence and conflict are trying to confront this threat in the most challenging of circumstances.
“How do you practice physical distancing when you live in crowded conditions?
“How do you stay at home when you have to work to feed your family? How do you practice hand hygiene when you lack clean water?
“Some countries are succeeding in preventing widespread community transmission; some have issued stay-at-home orders and imposed severe social restrictions to suppress community transmission;
“Some are still bracing for the worst; and some are now assessing how to ease the restrictions that have exacted such a heavy social and economic toll,” he said.
According to him, WHO fully understands and supports the desire of countries to get back on their feet and back to work.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Salif Atojoko (NAN)
World Health Assembly: WHO says COVID-19 risk remains high
The World Health Organisation (WHO), says the majority of the world’s population remain susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19) as the risk remained high.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said this at the ongoing World Health Assembly held in Geneva.
This is the first time the assembly which is WHO’s main governing body, will convene virtually.
Ghebreyesus, in a speech posted on WHO website, said more than four-and-a-half million cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, and more than 300,000 people had lost their lives.
“Over the past few months, we have learned an enormous amount about how to prevent infections and save lives but there is no single action that has made the difference.
“Not testing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not isolation, quarantine, hand hygiene or physical distancing alone.
“The countries that have done well have done it all.
“This is the comprehensive approach that WHO has called for consistently.
“There is no silver bullet. There is no simple solution. There is no panacea. There is no one-size-fits-all approach,’’ he said.
According to him, it takes hard work, fidelity to science, learning and adapting as you go, and difficult decisions, of course.
“But, there are many common components that must be part of every national strategy:
“A whole-of-government and whole-of-society response that engages and empowers people and communities to keep themselves and others safe.
“The commitment and capacity to find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace and quarantine every contact.
“And special attention to vulnerable groups like people living in nursing homes, refugee camps, prisons and detention centres,’’ he said.
The director-general said since day one, WHO had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with countries in these darkest of hours.
In addition, Ghebreyesus said WHO sounded the alarm early, and sounded it often.
He said WHO had notified countries, issued guidance for health workers within 10 days, and declared a global health emergency.
“Our highest level of alert — on Jan. 30. At the time, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside China; we have provided technical guidance and strategic advice, based on the latest science and experience.
“We have supported countries to adapt and implement that guidance; we have shipped diagnostics, personal protective equipment, oxygen and other medical supplies to more than 120 countries.
“We have trained more than 2.6 million health workers, in 23 languages; we have driven research and development, through the Solidarity Trial.
“We have called for equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics through the ACT Accelerator; we have informed, engaged and empowered people.
“We have fought the infodemic, combating myths with reliable information.
“And we have called consistently for the two essential ingredients for conquering this virus: national unity and global solidarity,” he said.
The director-general told the assembly that the world have lessons to learn from the pandemic, adding that every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience.
“WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement. For us, change is a constant.
“In fact, the existing independent accountability mechanisms are already in operation, since the pandemic started.
“The Independent Oversight Advisory Committee has today published its first report on the pandemic, with several recommendations for both the Secretariat and Member States.
“In that spirit, we welcome the proposed resolution before this Assembly, which calls for a step-wise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation.
“To be truly comprehensive, such an evaluation must encompass the entirety of the response by all actors, in good faith.
“So, I will initiate an independent evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment to review experience gained and lessons learned, and to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness and response,’’ he said.
The 2-day World Health Assembly is holding as WHO is struggling to stop the spread of the COVID-19 and map out easing of associate stay-at-home orders and lockdowns.
Member states are discussing a resolution on improving access to COVID-19 diagnostics, and pending treatment and vaccines, as well as calls to investigate the origin of the virus and early response to the outbreak.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
Nigeria records 216 new COVID-19 cases, total now 6,175
Nigeria has recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 6,175.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on Monday.
The centre said that nine patients died of coronavirus-related complications in the country, bringing the total number of fatalities to 191.
“Call your state hotline if you notice known COVID19 symptoms,” the agency said.
NCDC said that the 216 new cases were reported from 15 states- Lagos (74), Katsina (33), Oyo (19), Kano (17), Edo (13), Zamfara (10), Ogun (8), Borno (8), Gombe (8), Bauchi(7), Kwara (7), FCT (4), Kaduna (3), Enugu (3), Rivers (2).
The NCDC noted that no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The health agency said that till date, 6,175 cases have been confirmed, 4,340 Active Cases, 1,644 cases have been discharged and 191 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We‘re grateful to our colleagues working hard in treatment centres across the country to manage COVID-19 patients to recovery,” the agency said.
It said Nigerians need to keep moving forward not backwards, adding that the people should stay at home as much as possible and wear a face covering.
Also NCDC urged the people to maintain distance from others, wash hands regularly and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
WHO Director-General speaks at 73rd World Health Assembly in Geneva
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly, scheduled from May 18 to 19, was held virtually. (WHO/Handout via Xinhua)
COVID-19: C’ River deserves commendation, says Federal Ministry of Health
A seven-man team from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday commended Cross River State Government for being proactive in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr Omobolanle Olowu, Leader of the team, told journalists after visiting the 100-bed isolation centre in Adiabo, Odukpani LGA, that Cross River
was proactive to ensure safety of the state.
She said the state would have had cases if it had left its borders open when the pandemic started early in the year.
Olowu said, however, that the state still needed Federal Government’s assistance in upgrading its reference laboratory to be able to effectively test for COVID-19.
“The Obong of Calabar was particularly worried that the state does not have enough testing centres.
”We are going to take this back to the Minister of Health so that one or two laboratories would be established in the state.
“It is a concern for everybody in the nation because not much testing is carried out in the state.
”We don’t want Cross River to be a reservoir of COVID-19, when others will be getting out of it,” she said.
In her remarks, Dr Betta Edu, Chairman, Cross River COVID-19 Response Team, said the state had been carrying out effective surveillance and testing with samples sent to Irua in Edo, as well as Ebonyi and Abuja.
“We need funding to keep our borders both interstate and international shut.
”We need the Federal Government to come and set up a vaccine manufacturing and research centre in Cross River.
“We need the Federal Government to purchase face masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face shields from Cross River for the whole country.
”We need to and get other African countries to come and buy from the state instead of China,” she said.
The chairman added that the state needed its own testing centres.
“We need to upgrade the machines, softwares and catridges in the laboratory to be able to effectively test for COVID-19,” she said.
Earlier, the team paid a courtesy visit to the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu (V), who appealed to NCDC to create more testing centres in the state.
“This virus has shaken the world. It is like a war.
”This administration must start looking into effective development of its health sector,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the team visited the 100-bed isolation centre in Adiabo, Mayne Avenue Primary Healthcare Centre, and Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Infectious Disease Hospital, designated as a testing centre.
The team also visited the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Isolation Centre and the state’s garment factory which is producing face masks.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
COVID-19: FG dispatches team of experts to C/River
Mamora said the team would also access the level of preparedness by the state to fight the pandemic.
He said that the ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have developed a Sub-National Risk-Based Decision Making Matrix for risk assessments at the 36 states of the federation and Local Government Area levels.
“The NCDC has trained first aid workers in Gombe state and have also supported the screening of Almajirai coming into Jigawa,” he said.
The minister also said that a high level technical meeting on the output of the National Response COVID-19 Mid-Action Review had beenheld.
“The agreement reached at this meeting will help to strengthen our response and development strategies to reach more communities,” he stated.
He, however, said that in Kano state, the response had been restructured to be more responsive and positioned to effectively tackle the pandemic.
Mamora said that mortality in Sokoto and Kano states had significantly reduced.
He stated that Lagos, Kano and Borno accounted for 52 per cent of COVID-19 related deaths in the country.
The minister stated that Nigerians must be responsible for others by adhering to the guidelines.
“Promoting the ideas that COVID– 19 is not real is not helpful,” he said.
He said that allowances for security agents were currently being processed, but they would need to purchase Personal Protective Equipment from their budget lines.
The coordinator stated that meetings had been held with security chiefs to discuss human rights abuses.
Aliyu said security agencies needed to be mindful of respecting the rights of citizens and citizens also needed to be respectful of officers.
He noted that compliance had been very low and compliance was necessary.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as at May 17, 2020, 338 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The NCDC said no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.
Till date, the centre said 5,959 cases had been confirmed, 1, 594 have been discharged while 182 deaths were recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)