By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja, July 9, 2020 (NAN) The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) says it is distributing over 68,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to its state councils across the country.
The National President of the union, Mr Josiah Biobelemoye, said this during the commencement of distribution of the PPEs to members on Thursday in Abuja.
Biobelemoye said that the move was to protec its members from contracting Coronavirus ( COVID-19).
According to him, the PPEs include facemasks, hand sanitisers, disinfectants and hand wash.
“What prompted us to take this discussion is that after joining others to see how we can protect the citizenry in our little way, this time we decided that we should provide the PPEs for our own members.
“The reason is because we have realised that between the time we got our index case till now, as of three days ago, we have had over 400 of our members that have been infected and it is still counting.
“So as at the time we got over 150, we decided that we also need to support our members while carrying out their duties.
“We came up with the plan of providing 50,000 face masks, 15,200 hand sanitisers, 2,500 disinfectants and 1,200 hand wash,’’ he said.
Biobelemoye further said that all the PPEs would be distributed to the councils, noting that the situation called for drastic solutions.
He said that the hand sanitisers were produced in such a way that it had both 100ml and 200ml for personal use for its members while carrying out their duties.
He assured of the union’s commitment to always protect its members, praying that the pandemic does not last longer than necessary.
Mr Abdullahi Mashi, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, commended the supportive gesture of the union toward the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Mashi, who was represented Alhaji Aliyu Monhammed, the Director, Human Resources in the ministry, noted that the pandemic had affected the world and the ways things were done.
He noted that the health systems in developed countries were overwhelmed, likewise developing countries, such as Nigeria.
“Therefore, any organisation or individual that intervene the way the medical and health workers union is doing today, that organisation has to be applauded.
“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the union for this very important intervention. As you are aware, the COVID-19 has affected the Nigerian economy drastically.
“Therefore, the government much as it wants to provide everything that is needed in our health system, that is why interventions like this is very important and should be commended.
“The media and health workers are in the frontline in the fight against the pandemic and I want to say that Nigerians are ever grateful to you,’’ Mashi said.
He, however, called for understanding, more interventions to improve the healthcare delivery system in the country.
Mashi also assured the union of government’s efforts in improving the healthcare delivery system in the country.
Similarly, Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, the General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that health workers deserved commendation, being the first set of people to raise awareness on COVID-19 and its preventive measures.
He said when many Nigerians saw health workers putting on facemasks, they became aware of the seriousness of the virus and the need to stay safe.
“Medical and health workers union were the first set of people that produced facemasks and other PPEs and started distributing same to Nigerians,’’ he noted. (NAN)
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Unilorin Law student wins International Bar Association contest
A 300 Level student of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Miss Famuyiwa Olushola, has won the maiden edition of the International Bar Association (IBA) Vlogging Competition.
According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, Olushola award letter, written by Anna Toth, the Divisions Administrative Assistant at IBA headquarters in London, United Kingdom, informed her of being selected as the winner of the IBA Vlogging Competition in the law student category.
“It received many impressive videos from all over the world which were all assessed based on topic, quality and professionalism”.
The award letter, dated July 28, 2020, outlined the details of the award to include two years’ free student membership with the IBA, waived registration for either the Law Student Conference or a Young Lawyer Training Day, taking place in 2021.
Others include round trip economy airfare to attend the selected event and accommodation at conference hotel for the selected event.
In her reaction, Famuyiwa, expressed happiness over the award, describing it as a great impetus for her to work harder towards making a great career in the legal profession after her graduation and call to Bar.
Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
COVID-19: Virologist urges scientific proof for discoveries
He said that the current spate of controversies and conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus were either manufactured or circulated by people who were not core medical scientists.
He decried the way some medical scientists neglected the proper culture of scientific communication and adopted other means of forcing their claims on the public.
“Scientist should endeavour to present clear scientific data to appropriate approving authorities to verify their claims and to pass an objective verdict.
“Appropriate scientific communication is done through scientific publications, which may either be full length research papers, case reports or even short communication.
“Evidences or claims should be presented in a documented manner through scientifically approved journals or editorials, and the scientific community must read and perform systematic reviews or meta-analysis of the data generated,” he said.
The scientist noted that unfortunately there was an upsurge in verbal, emotional, confrontational and near political crusades by some medical scientists who had either resorted to the use of social media platforms or some conventional media.
This act, he said, fell short of their expectations as scientists and weakened the scientific engagement on peer review platforms.
“I urge scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic as it would eliminate unnecessary controversies.
“Efforts should also be geared toward generating information and inventions that the world so long for to tackle the pandemic.”
The virologist noted that controversies were part of the evolution of new knowledge or paradigm shift in science.
He, however, added that new knowledge must be communicated rightly with modesty, clear and verifiable evidence to back up claims.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Monarch urges strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
Oba Mufutau Oyekanmi, the traditional ruler of Asipa (the Alasipa of Asipa) Ilufemilloye Fashina V111, near Ipetumodu in Osun State, has urged Nigerians to support the government on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to curtail the spread of Coronavirus across the country.
He made the call on Monday at Asipa in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun when he met with some journalists in his palace.
The monarch commended the efforts of the local, state and Federal Government on measures put in place to ensure safety of lives of the citizenry in tackling
Oyekanmi said “recently, government took bold steps at the right time to curtail the spread of Coronavirus by not allowing congregational prayers.
“Some people were not happy with the ban of the Muslim Eid festival prayer by the Osun State Government but it is simply because of us so we
can celebrate many more of Eid el-Kabir.
“We thank God by sparing our lives to witness this because it’s the living that celebrates.”
Sikiru Ayedun, former Osun State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said
Ayedun said that the order of the state government on no Eid prayer for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir was because of the COVID-19 “and a
test of faith.
“Whatever people are doing today is part of sacrifice, because at this point in time, our faith is being tested.”
The former commissioner assured that at the end of the tunnel, there would be a new dawn, but Nigerians should seek peace,
tranquility and live with one another in brotherliness.
Alhaji Eluyera Oyewole, former Education Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Ifetedo, Osun State, said that “everyone has
now realised that COVID-19 is real and that the pandemic is killing both the rich and the poor.
“Osun State Government did not make mistake in banning congregational prayer for the Eid el-Kabir festival, for this can increase human contact
during celebrations and that can cause more infections.
“Thank God for our government that is 100 per cent proactive, by doing the needful, else, it will have spread the virus.
“Government is doing its best; we urge for support from all by obeying the COVID-19 protocols.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, former Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended
the efforts of the state government for trying to save the lives of the citizenry against COVID-19.
Kolawole said that banning congregational prayer for this year’s festival was a welcome idea, saying this is just for a brief period as it would not last forever.
He asked everybody to co-operate with government on directives given, adding that“COVID-19 is a joint task that government alone cannot fight.
“Very soon, COVID-19 will be eradicated, whereby things will be normalised educationally, economically, socially.”
He urged all and sundry to co-operate with local, state and Federal Government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly adhering
to the use of face mask, regular washing of hands with soap and sanitizer, as well as keeping social distance, among others.”
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
`NDDC yet to pay contractors that handled road projects I facilitated’-Orji Kalu
Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Kalu, said on Monday that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had not paid contractors that handled roads he facilitated in Abia.
Kalu stated this in a statement issued by Mr Emeka Nwala of Office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria
The former governor of Abia was reacting to claims by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio that 60 per cent contracts awarded by the commission were handled by members of the National Assembly.
Akpabio mentioned ex governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori, Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Sen. Orji Kalu and others as beneficiaries of several contracts awarded by the NDDC.
“The road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions I facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before I became a senator,’’ he said.
Kalu argued that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to NDDC in 2016 pleading with the commission to rescue roads in Abia.
“I was Governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” Kalu said.
The senate chief whip also noted that the contracts were awarded by fully constituted body of NDDC with its board and not any interim management of the commission.
He said “the roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru ring road and Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze Ndi Oji Abam-Atan road.
“Others are Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende and Ozu-Amuru-Abam roads.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road, which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“I am much concerned about roads because I understand the economic importance of good roads.
“As a community leader, I do not intend to stop my interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states need good roads.
“Good roads help to drive the economy,’’ Kalu said.
He, however, urged the commission to focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs.
Edited Obike Ukoh