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Tiv Area Traditional Council hails Akume’s appointment



The Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) has congratulated Sen. George Akume on his appointment and inauguration as the Minister Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr Freddie Adamgbe, the Media Assistant to the TATC’s Chairman, Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Makurdi.

Akume served as the governor of the state for eight years as well as Senator representing Benue North West at the National Assembly for 12 years.

Adamgbe said that the council prayed God to give him the wisdom to discharge his duties creditably and wished him many years of fruitful service to his father land.

He said that the council further commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment as well as immortalising late Joseph Sarwuan Tarka by renaming  the hitherto Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi after him.

Adamgbe said that the council which described the President’s action as an honour to the entire Tiv nation, further called on him to give more appointments to the Tiv people.

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Ali Baba-Inuwa


Physician advocates legalising abortion, use of contraceptives to stem unwanted pregnancy



A resident doctor, Dr Obinna Aniagboso, says effective family planning methods would help reduce unwanted pregnancies and risks associated with unsafe abortions.

Aniagboso, an Obstetrics and Gynaecology expert at the Chukwuemeka Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Thursday.

He also said that legalising abortion would help drastically reduce mortality, morbidity and infertility amongst women.

According to him, while awareness about family planning is about 80 per cent, its acceptance among the people is still as low as 20 per cent.

The gynaecologist blamed the poor embrace of contraceptives, which he said was the most effective planning method, on religious belief systems, ignorance and fear of side effects.

He said that withdrawal method and other natural method used by many people often failed and was contributing immensely to unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortion and population surge.

“Awareness on family planning is close to 80 per cent but acceptance is less than 20 per cent.

“Most patients shy away for religious reasons, ignorance and fear of side effects, including weight gain and irregular spotting.

“The use of contraceptives is very unpopular; only a few educated women do family planning, and funnily, lots of husbands advise their wives against it.

“We advocate the use of contraceptive as the most reliable method of spacing families and avoiding unplanned pregnancies.

“Some couples use withdrawal and natural methods that involve avoiding intercourse during the wife’s fertile period, but these methods are prone to mistakes,’’ he said.

Aniagboso told NAN that the issue of unwanted pregnancies had increased the demand for abortion by the sexually active female population.

He regretted that the stringent abortion law in Nigeria had denied these people expert services and left them at the mercy of quacks with its attendant danger that includes post-abortion sepsis, which could eventually cause infertility.

The medical practitioner said that in spite of the legal limitation and societal disapproval for abortion in Nigeria, people still sought and accessed the services.

He, therefore, advocated that the practice (abortion) be liberalised to help meet the prevailing social health challenges.

He said there was a high level of hypocrisy around abortion as most people, who opposed it in the open, access it behind the scene for their wives or mistresses.

According to him, people get abortion services because it is available and when it is done professionally, the rate of complications like infertility will reduce.

“The legality or illegality of abortion is a controversial issue and the subject of heated debate, court cases and torrid campaigns globally.

“Some medical professionals, and even some quacks that include chemists and pharmacists, offer abortion behind the scene.

“This is because the demand for abortion is high among young sexually active women.

“Many medical doctors avoid abortion mostly because of their personal principles and religious beliefs.’’

He said, however, that the prevailing opinion amongst public health professionals, especially in developed countries, was that abortion should be legalised so that girls and women could easily access these services from professionals instead of being left to die in the hands of quacks.

Legalising abortion will help drastically reduce the mortality and morbidity (including infertility) amongst our women who patronise quack abortionists, Aniagboso said.

He observed that it was difficult in Nigeria because of the strong influence of religion in our lives and politics.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Enugu Govt announces 9 new positive COVID-19 cases



The Enugu State Government says it has recorded nine positive COVID-19 new cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 27.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, announced this in a statement issued on Thursday in Enugu.

Obi, who corrected the misinformation from the last update, said that the last announcement that gave the total of 19 was in error.

The Enugu State Ministry of Health wishes to correct the misinformation from its last update.

“It was announced that the total number of cases in Enugu State was 19, with six active cases and 13 discharged.

“However, an error from the reference laboratory was quickly detected and a case that was reported positive, on further investigation, was reconciled and confirmed negative,” he said.

According to him, the update on COVID-19 cases in the state is that there are three newly confirmed positive cases in the state, the previous day, and six newly confirmed cases late evening of Wednesday (June 3).

He added that another previously positive case has responded to treatment, tested negative and discharged.

“Consequently, the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Enugu State at the moment is 27 (13 active and 14 discharged, no death),” the commissioner explained.

Obi said the patient remained in quarantine for the period of clarification of the result.

“The quickly repeated test helped to avoid, for the individual, the experience of being wrongly admitted into an isolation and treatment centre,” Obi said.

He added that prior to this update, the state had recorded 18 cases, including five active and 13 discharged.

The commissioner further explained that case Number 19 was a 55-year-old male, from Enugu East Local Government Area, with no positive travel history.

According to him, Case 20 is a 17-year-old male from Udi Local Government Area, who had been exposed to an individual that had returned to Enugu briefly for a burial ceremony and had returned to Delta State where he tested positive for COVID-19.

Case 21 is a 23-year-old female also from Udi LGA who had also been exposed to this same burial attendee as above that travelled to Enugu from Delta State, who returned and tested positive.

Case 22 is a 25-year-old male from Enugu East, with no travel history.

Case 23 is a male from 9th Mile in Ngwo, Enugu North LGA, who came into Enugu from Imo State a week ago.

Case 24 is a female from Enugu North LGA.

“Case 25 is a 45-year-old male contact of case 19, with a history of international travel to an undisclosed country.

Case 26 is a 66-year-old male from Enugu South LGA and a recent returnee, a few days ago, from Onitsha, Anambra State.

“Case 27 is a 55-year-old female university lecturer with a history of exposure to someone with symptoms of COVID-19,” Obi said.

The commissioner said that it was pertinent to inform the public at this stage that community transmission was gradually being established in the State.

“The Enugu State Government continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the State Ministry of Health also continues to treat its existing cases, respond to alerts, carrying out contact tracing and following up on suspects and probable cases.

“As the social directives of the Federal Government and the Enugu State Government gradually ease, the public health advisories of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Enugu State Ministry of Health, essentially remain and should be adhered to,” he advised.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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2,000 Lagosians benefit from ”Eko Cares” initiative — Official



The Lagos State Government said that a total of 2,000 vulnerable residents have benefited from its ”Eko Cares” initiative.

Aderemi Adebowale, Special Adviser to the governor on Civic Engagement, disclosed this on Wednesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first year in office.

Adebowale said that the initiative was part of the social inclusion programme of the Sanwo-Olu led administration.

She said that the office of Civic Engagement introduced and organised a financial assistance programme with business component tagged, ”Eko Cares”, with the theme – ”Go Forward, Grow Lagos”.

”The programme, aimed at empowering the vulnerable ones in the state, involves provision of financial assistance, up to N20,000 per beneficiary.

”This money is to be disbursed partly in cash and partly in the form of micro-investment.

”In the first phase of the programme, some Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies were on hand to provide instant investment in micro-distributive trade by supplying their goods to the 2,000 beneficiaries.

”The essence of this is to have a populace that can feed themselves, contribute to the development of the state and promote a stable and secured society,” the special adviser said.

On efforts at stemming the spread of COVID-19, she said the governor had approved the production and distribution of 100 units of handwashing stations at markets, bus-stops, hospitals and other high traffic public places within the state.

Adebowale said that these handwashing stations were innovatively made by local fabricators with regular supply of dispensable soap and reticulated water supply (hand free).

According to her, the deployment of these handwashing stations is aimed at fostering the culture and practice of promoting good hygiene among the citizenry, toward curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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COVID-19: Oyo activates 3 community testing sites



The Oyo State Task Force  on COVID-19 on Wednesday activated three sites for COVID-19 samples collection in different communities in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigera reports that the community testing initiative was intended to accommodate  about 10,000 samples.

The community testing drive which was supervised by Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, began at the Alegongo Primary School, Lagelu West Local Council Development Area, Ibadan.

Olatubosun said that the community testing was free, and encouraged Oyo people to get tested when the team would reach their communities.

Gov. Seyi Makinde’s administration believes that the health of the citizenry is paramount and that government would pursue with vigour, its commitment to the sound health of the citizenry.

“We are treating this as an emergency; no amount spent by government on this is a waste.

”We believe the citizenry will contribute meaningfully to the productivity  of the state and, invariably, increase the gross domestic product of the state when they are healthy; by so doing, it will improve the economy of the state further.

“That is the reason we are doing everything possible to make sure that the people have access to medical care, most especially against anything that has to do with COVID-19,” he said.

He said that the task force started with selective testing and later engaged in Drive-Through/Walk-Through Testing at Adamasingba, where it advised the  people to drive in and  get tested.

“But we are reaching a stage where we have to go to the community, and that is why we are decentralising testing, which we call community testing.

“We are now moving to communities, local government areas. where we have encouraged people from all the communities to come out and get  tested.

“The essence of this is that we cannot sit down somewhere and be assessing people.

In figures, Oyo State is rated fourth  or fifth but we have tested far more than many states.

“We are doing this to have adequate and exact data to work with and arrest the spread of the virus from the community level,” the commissioner said.

The Incident Manager of the state’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Dr Taiwo Ladipo, said that the community testing drive was the response of the State COVID-19 Task Force to the rising number of cases in the state.

We have 10 facilities across 10 local government areas and are targeting 10,000 people, but we are starting with three LGAs today.

These  are Ibadan South East, Ibadan Oluyole and Lagelu,” Ladipo said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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Rivers may demolish markets for flouting COVID-19 directives, says Commissioner



The Rivers Government warned on Wednesday that some markets in the state might be demolished for flouting the order of the government that trading should stop at the markets because of COVID-19.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, gave the warning in a statement issued in Port Harcourt.

He lamented that traders had continued to flout government’s directives that markets should be shut, due to rising cases of the coronavirus in the state.

Nsirim said that five markets in the state might be shut down permanently for flouting the directives. He did not elaborate.

The Rivers Government wishes to draw the attention of the general public that Mbiama Market has been closed down.

“Any attempt to continue trading activities at Mbiama Market will lead to complete demolition of the market.

The commissioner named Oginigba Market and two others as markets notorious for disobeying Gov. Nyesom Wike that the markets should be closed.

“The government warns that anybody who goes to Oginigba Market for any form of business will face the full wrath of the law.

Similarly, Oil Mill Market has been closed and as such all those using Igbo-Etche Road as an alternative market are warned to desist forthwith or risk destruction of their goods.

“Government has not approved any goat market at the Eleme/Ahoada stretch of the East-West road in the state.”

Nsirim directed authorities of Emohua and Ahoada-East Councils to shut down the goat market in the area immediately.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Ebenezer Obey describes late Majek Fashek as humble, creative musician



Legendary Juju Musician, Ebenezer Obey on Wednesday said that the late Reggae musical icon, Majekodunmi Fasheke popularly known as “Majek Fashek” was a humble and creative musician.

Obey told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the reggae maestro’s death was a painful one, leaving behind a huge vacuum to be filled in the entertainment industry.

Majek Fashek died in New York on June 1, at 57.

Obey said that Fashek was always fond of removing his cap and genuflecting to greet him, which exemplified a humble man.

” I commiserate with the family of Majek Fashek, and pray that the Lord will take care of the family he left behind.

” Nigeria has lost a very talented musician; the reggae musical world has lost one of its greatest musicians.

” I know him to be a very creative and humble man who always genuflect to greet me whenever he sees me, he is always calling me ‘Baba’.

” There is nothing we can do because death is inevitable, I pray that the Lord will be with the family and console them: may his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Obey urged the Federal Government to ensure Fashek’s works and times were properly documented in order to ensure he is recognised in the history of Nigeria.

He said the late reggae musician deserved to be honoured because he had contributed to the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Fashek, a Nigerian singer, songwriter and guitarist, was best known for his 1988 album ” Prisoner of Conscience” which includes the multiple award-winning single “Send Down the Rain”.

He was also known as ‘The Rainmaker’ and worked with various notable artistes worldwide.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)



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Artiste hosts maiden virtual drama festival to sensitise on virtues of African culture



Anthony Oluwabiyi, Chief Executive Officer, Theatre Centrik, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to imbibe strong African  moral values that are capable of making the  continent great.

Oluwabiyi made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said  that the promotion of African culture and theatrical performances would spur hidden talents to display their creativity.

He told NAN that he would be presenting a virtual drama festival that wouod educate Nigerians, as part of his efforts to enlighten citizens on the essence of embracing African cultural values.

According to him, the maiden virtual drama festival would  hold  on June 17 in commemoration of the 2020 edition of Green African Arts Festival (GAAF2020).

He said that the festival tagged:  “Dance from Dusk to Dawn” would  bring to the public the fantasy of stage performance and the beauty of African Theatre.

” The play will  centre on the theme of love; the intrigue and passion of love, the purpose and value of love and the true essence of love.

” It intends to re-enact in us the power of love as a veritable tool for self-discovery and fulfilment in Africa Arts  and Culture.

”  it will expise the strong hope that love brings and the unity it creates in the family, community, nation and the world at large.

Theatre Centrik has the vision to nurture and utilise poetry lines along with dance and drums to entertain, educate and create awareness through stage performances on virtual screens,”he said.

Oluwabiyi said it was of paramount importance to still promote African culture even while the COVID-19 ravaged the would as culture had huge role to play in successfully combating the virus.

He said that Agnes Olayemi and Kingsley Bassey would be the supporting Directors while Halimath Alabi would be  the Dance Director with other renowned actors and dancers .

He noted that the festival would be like the ancient exhibition of theatrical beauty of the Greco-Roman world.

” I believe that the  stage in a drama  itself is like the pulpit where the true message of unity and development can be spread abroad and my works are centered on positive change through theatre.

” I urge every art lover to link up with us on Theatre Centrik Facebook page on June 17, from 12 p.m. to 3p.m., it promises to be enlightening,” he said.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Peter Dada (NAN)



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German car industry maintains negative business assessment: ifo




Germany’s automotive industry continued to assess the current business situation as worse than the financial crisis in 2009, according to a business survey published by ifo Institute on Wednesday.

The index for current business recovered slightly and stood at minus 84.4 points in May, according to ifo. During the financial crisis in 2009, the index had only fallen to minus 82.9 points.

However, business expectations of Germany’s automotive industry lightened up and were “no longer quite so pessimistic” as the expectation index rose from minus 44.4 points to minus 13.4 points, according to ifo.

“The industry is down in a dark cellar, and although it has managed to climb back up a few steps, there is still no sign of light,” said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of surveys at ifo.

The production index recorded a positive value of 22.7 points in May after falling to minus 41.5 points in April. “This means more companies reported that they wanted to expand their currently very low production,” ifo noted.

Germany’s largest car manufacturers Volkswagen as well as Daimler and BMW have already started to gradually ramp up production after a five-week shutdown in March and April due to COVID-19.

For the past two days, the German government has been discussing a comprehensive economic stimulus package, including purchase premiums for cars, to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Two weeks ago, the German Council of Economic Experts advised that the government should not be led, under the influence of individual sectors, to introduce a large number of sector-specific measures, such as a purchase premium for vehicles.


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COVID-19: 3 year-old tests positive in Imo



A three-year-old child has tested positive to COVID-19 in Imo, the Chairman of the State Task Force Team on COVID-19, Prof. Maurice Iwu, said on Wednesday in Owerri.


Briefing newsmen, Iwu said that seven active cases were isolated at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.



He said that a family of six that comprised the father and three of his children that included the three year-old tested positive for coronavirus pandemics while one of the children tested negative.


He said  that  the child, regarded by the team as a ‘VIP kid’ would be preferentially isolated.


Iwu said that  the team had last month tested 96 travellers intercepted by the security agents with 42 of them testing positive.


He said that 25 of the 42 cases were not residents of the state and had since gone their ways.


He said the taskforce, in synergy with other stakeholders, had continued on its mandate of communicating, educating and protecting people of the state on the coronavirus pandemic.


The COVID-19 taskforce chairman expressed gratitude to the members of the public whom he said had been providing the team with information about suspected cases who are being tested accordingly.


“It is important to stress that the coronavirus is real but not a death sentence.


“The team has started getting calls from people, informing us of those who are sick, which information is usually scrutinised.


“The task force is here to serve. We are trying to curtail the spread of coronavirus.


“We urge people to continue to observe all the COVID-19 protocols, such as constant washing of hands under running water, use of alcohol-based sanitiser, social distancing and wearing of face masks,” he said.


He said that churches were also expected to observe the Federal Government’s directive of maintaining coronavirus protocols and strictly adhering to the one- hour-church-service time.


On strangers sneaking into the state, Iwu said that  the development was a security breach which calls for local intelligence.


He said that the team had started engaging the services of traditional rulers and community vigilance groups to check such movements and report same to the team.


Iwu added that the state now had four protected isolation centres in Orlu, Okigwe, Mbaise and Owerri .


He added that the recently inaugurated WODDI Isolation Centre would commence full operation on Thursday.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Iwu had earlier commended the media for their prompt dissemination of information on what members of the public were expected to do in order not to contract the pandemic.


Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Peter Dada (NAN)




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