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Resident doctors demand improved healthcare infrastructure in S/East



The Southeast Caucus of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have called for improved healthcare infrastructure in the South-East region.

They decried the deplorable condition of state-owned hospitals in the region and its degenerative effect on healthcare delivery.

Dr Chikezie Obasi, the Leader of the caucus, made this known at a news conference at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, on Sunday.

Obasi said that the decline in the quality of healthcare services rendered by state-owned university teaching hospitals with the poor welfare of healthcare workers was a cause for concern.

According to him, the current situation has led to the continued resignation of many doctors and health workers, as well as jeopardising the vital training of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors.

He said that adequate infrastructure, staff strength and prompt payment of salaries were vital in ensuring that a health institution would function efficiently.

Obasi said that the inability of the state governments in the region to tackle the problem of poor infrastructure and welfare of health workers was detrimental to achievement of efficient and quality healthcare services.

He said that the provision of healthcare should not be viewed as a profit making venture, but as the right of the citizens and the fundamental duty of the state governments.

“We request that Abia Government effect immediate payment of the outstanding 13 months salary owed our members and ensure timely payment of salaries.

“And necessary renovation as well as upgrade of facilities at ABSUTH Aba to bring back the lost glory of the institution.

“We support ongoing industrial action at IMSUTH and urge Imo Government to quickly implement the agreement reached with our members to restore normalcy.

“We urge the Anambra Government to urgently implement the promises made to our members in Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital to avert industrial action,” Obasi said.

He called for the complete implementation of full consolidated medical salary structure for resident doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital.

Obasi also urged the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, to commence full regularisation and proper remuneration of recently reinstated resident doctors in the hospital.

Besides, he appealed to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to initiate and actively implement programmes that would boost the provision of good quality healthcare services in the 36 states of the federation.

Obasi expressed dismay over the numerous cases of kidnap of doctors, and called on relevant agencies to expedite action in promoting security and safety of doctors.
edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola


COVID 19: Abia to begin massive testing of residents



Gov. Okezie  Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday announced that the state government would commence massive testing for COVID-19 as part of efforts to curb its  spread.

Ikpeazu, who  made the announcement  in a statement in Umuahia, said that the new phase of the fight against COVID-19 in Abia would  require the testing.

The governor said that massive testing would  enable the state to achieve, at least,  10 per cent coverage of the population at the initial stage of the exercise.

“The state epidemiologist has been directed to work out modalities for case searches, using sample population size of between 30 and 250 people in some densely populated LGAs.

“Leading this battle from the front as your governor, I and all members of the first family, subjected ourselves to COVID-19 test on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and the results came out negative today.

“Unfortunately, results of two of my aides, who also subjected themselves to the  COVID-19 test, were positive while others turned in negative results,” Ikpeazu said.

Ikpeazu said  that the patients had been admitted at the state’s isolation facility.

He expressed  confidence that the patients would  be  successfully treated.

He urged Abia residents to desist from stigmatising COVID-19 patients and those who had recovered from the disease,

The governor said that collective responsibility was the best weapon against the pandemic.

”If any person contracts COVID-19, it will be saddening,  but it is neither criminal nor necessarily the person’s fault.

“Let me put it on record that statistics shows that many more people recover from the virus than those who pass away from it.”

The governor directed the Transition Committee Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Councils in Abia and  their deputies to present themselves for COVID-19 test and isolate themselves pending the release of the results.

Ikpeazu urged the people of Abia to get involved in the battle against the disease by supporting government efforts against the pandemic.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina



President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The President made his position known at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, when he hosted Adesina, who was on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, quoted the President saying:

In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.

“I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support.

“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.’’

The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.

Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

He added that the Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.

“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.

“The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations.

“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched.

“I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,’’ Adesina said.

While stressing that the motive was to soil his name, and that of the bank, the AfDB President said he was proud to be Nigerian, and thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support.

“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he declared.

He commiserated with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.

Adesina also described the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adesina, who arrived the State House at about 2.55p.m, was escorted to President Buhari’s office by protocol officials of the State House.

NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Adesina was unknown as at the time of filing this report.

President Buhari had on May 7,commended Adesina over the clean bill of health given to him by the financial institution’s Board of Directors.

Buhari noted that a report dated May 5, 2020, signed by Niale  Kaba, Chairman of the Bureau of the Board of Governors, indicated that Dr Adesina had been exonerated of allegations against him by whistleblowers.

The allegations were thoroughly investigated by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, and a recommendation made to Governors of the African Development Bank, and African Development Fund.

“On the basis of the results contained in the report of the committee, I am of the view that we should adopt its conclusions by declaring that the President is totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him,’’ the report by Kaba indicated.

However, the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had called for an independent probe into the allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had, in May, written a letter to some former leaders on the African continent to rally their support for Adesina, who has come under severe pressure mounted by the US government as he seeks a second term at the helm of affairs of the bank.

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Senate president advocates stiffer penalty for rape



President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, has advocated for stiffer penalties for rape in Nigeria.

Lawan made the call on Tuesday in his concluding remarks on a motion over increasing rape cases and brutality against the girl child in the country.

According to him, having  stiffer penalties in Nigeria’s criminal and penal code will serve as deterrent to perpetrators of the act.

“We stand together, shoulder to shoulder on this, and I think we need to make the penalties for rape stiffer to be sufficient deterrent for those who are involved in this or who even desires to be involved.

“We have to save our future, and these girls and women are the future of this nation,” the senate president said.

Earlier, sponsor of the motion on “increasing cases of rape and brutality against the girl child in Nigeria”, Sen. Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central), noted that on May 26, a 16-year-old girl, Tina Ezekwe, was hit by a bullet when a policeman opened fire on a bus in Lagos.

According to the lawmaker, efforts to save Tina proved futile as she passed on two days later at a hospital.

Citing another incident, the lawmaker noted that “on May, 27 a first year undergraduate of University of Benin, Miss Uwailia Omozuwa was brutalised and raped at her church, where she went to study in the evening of that day.”

He added that brutality and rape cases against the girl child in Nigeria were on the rise, with some of the cases reported and several others unreported.

The lawmaker who bemoaned the lack of safety for the girl child in Nigeria, said that, “our young girls may no longer have the confidence to live their normal lives.

“The average young girl in Nigeria is obviously becoming terrified and scared to live with and trust her close male relatives and neighbours.”

Onor expressed worry that most Nigerian girls and women might have experienced one form of verbal and physical abuse or assault in their lifetime.

He stated that the negative physical, psychological and emotional effects of rape and brutality on young girls might impact on them for the rest of their lives with attendant consequences on their self esteem and general productivity.

Onor therefore said proactive measures must be taken by relevant authorities to curb the dastardly acts and bring culprits to justice.

The lawmaker stressed that unless timely action was taken against sexual assault and brutality, it would hinder national growth.

It is therefore our responsibility as leaders to rescue these young girls from the scourge of rape and brutality, he added.

Lending her voice in support of the motion, Sen. Biodun Olujimi (PDP – Ekiti South) said, “these are very ominous times for our children, especially the girl child.”

“If the authorities do not take serious action against rape, it will become a big scourge that will eat us down the line because the girls are being attacked psychologically, and that is not good for this nation,” she said.

Accordingly, the senate in its resolutions, called on State Houses of Assembly to amend the penal and criminal code to make penalties for rape and sexual assault stiffer so as to deter perpetrators.

It also condemned the killings of the young girls, and called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the unwholesome acts.

The Senate, while urging the Federal Government to stage a campaign against the increasing brutality and rape of the girl child, called on security agencies to evolve proactive measures to checkmate the unfortunate occurrences.

The senate also observed a minute silence for Tina and Uwaila and all those who lost their lives from such brutality and rape.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)


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Floyd’s death to inspire change in America: Ghanaian president




Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed his hope here late Monday that the death of George Floyd would inspire a lasting change in how America confronts head on the problems of hate and racism.

Describing Floyd‘s death as “unfortunate and tragic” on social media, Akufo-Addo said black people over the world are shocked and distraught by the killing of the unarmed black man by a white police officer in the United States.

African American Floyd died on May 25 shortly after a white police officer in Minneapolis held him down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe, which ignited violent protests in dozens of U.S. cities.

“It can’t be right that in the 21st century, the U.S., this great bastion of democracy, continues to grapple with the problem of systemic racism,” he said.

“It carried with it an all too painful familiarity and un ugly reminder,” said the president, adding that Ghanaians stand with their kith and kin in America in these difficult and trying times.


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Aftermath of fire at residential area in Manila




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Residents look for their belongings from their charred home after a fire at a residential area in Manila, the Philippines on June 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

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Kwara CP warns residents against impostors



Commissioner of Police (CP) in Kwara, Kayode Egbetokun has alerted the people of the state to the fraudulent acts of some unscrupulous elements who had allegedly created various social media accounts using his pictures.

One of such accounts, the CP said, “Is a Facebook account with the name Kpansa Terhem using the picture of the Commissioner of Police for obvious sinister motive.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Okasanmi Ajayi, made this known in a statement issued on Monday in Ilorin.

The statement read, “The Commissioner of Police does not operate any Facebook account and as such wishes to warn the general public to beware of the antics of these social media bullies/ fraudsters so as not to fall for their tricks.

The Police Command in the state therefore wishes to advise that members of the public should ignore any request or bogus claim by anybody using the name or pictures of CP Kayode Egbetokun in any social media accounts.”

He urged the residents to report any suspected fraudulent act to the Police Public Relations office, Police Command, Ilorin, through these phone numbers: 08032365122/08081763132 or to the nearest police station.


Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Mozambican president launches national independence celebration




President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi launched Monday the celebrations of the 45th anniversary of national independence, appealing for unity and strengthening efforts to defend territorial sovereignty.

The June 25, which marks the national independence of Mozambique from the Portuguese colonial rule, was the beginning of a new era where Mozambican people became owners of their own destiny, said the head of state from the presidential palace in Maputo.

“Mozambicans will never allow their country to be divided to satisfy the wishes of invaders from whichever origin and nature. They will not tolerate blackmails of cyclical wars promoted by manipulators to feed the ego of internal and external elites,” said Nyusi.

“This date reminds us of the need for us not to give in to the complexity of the challenges that we currently deal with in the construction of our nation. Our cultural mosaic and endless resources are our strength. Only if we value diversity and work as one will we build a resilient and prosperous country,” said the president.

He saluted the young members of armed forces throughout the country especially those who stationed in the central and northern regions where conflicts are reported.


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La Liga president admits match times could change in hot weather



La Liga has taken the unusual step of including temperature predictions in its fixture lists for the remainder of the Spanish football season.

Spanish players union AFE had voiced concern over players playing in extreme heat with the season now extended into the hottest months of the year in Spain.

But La Liga have taken steps to demonstrate that they will not put players’ health at risk from climatic conditions.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “We have worked with the historical (average for time of year) temperatures and with the 15-day forecast.”

Both numbers can be seen alongside each game in the fixture list on La Liga’s web page.

The kick-off time causing most concern is the 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) slot.

Tebas said: “We have seen that on the weekend of June 12 the weather is going to be cool. So, we have programmed games at 1 p.m.

“If the weather changes and the temperature rises, we will move the game to a 5 p.m. slot.

“The 1 p.m. slot is important for our partners (clients) abroad.”

Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)

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