The Rivers State
Government in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), recently organised a two-day Zonal Nutrition Summit for South South States of Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Delta, with the theme, “Leveraging In-Country Resources for Better Nutrition Outcomes-Key to Sustainable Development”.
This is even as the wife of Rivers State Governor, Justice (Mrs.) Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike has commended UNICEF for its collaborative efforts in tackling malnutrition and other nutrition related diseases in the South South.
Speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the summit in a keynote address in Port Harcourt, Mrs Wike lauded UNICEF for establishing a head office in the South-South and for playing a leading role in championship the cause of addressing the issue of malnutrition and providing the platform for concerted collaborations with stakeholders in the zone.
“I appreciate all the efforts of our development partners especially UNICEF who work over-time to ensure that Rivers women and children thrive and develop to their full potentials”, she said.
She said the Nutrition Summit was aimed at raising the awareness of critical stakeholders on the need to prioritise nutrition and appreciate care for women and children in the four South-South States, adding that the summit is timely, given that malnutrition and related diseases continue to be problems of great public health importance in Nigeria and globally, with escalating records of stunted growth in children especially and micronutrient deficiencies in women.
Mrs. Wike regretted that Nigeria has the highest number of stunted children under the age of 5 years in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second highest in the world with 37% of Nigerian children classified as stunted and 18% wasted.
She expressed delight that the Rivers State Government has in the past one year successfully controlled Lassa Fever and Cholera outbreaks and continues to prioritise public health issues in the state, emphasising that the ongoing construction of four zonal hospitals in Bori, Degema, Ahoada and Etche towns and the development of the framework for the Universal Health Insurance Scheme will grant more Rivers people and residents access to quality healthcare services and protect lives especially at the rural areas.
She promised to include the issue of malnutrition and other related issues as topical points on “RivETHNICS on Radio”, a public education and character building radio programme initiated by her office, which is aired on five radio stations every Saturday in the state.
In his remarks, the UNICEF Chief of Rivers Field Office, Mr. Wilbroad Ngambi thanked the Rivers State Government for working with UNICEF to organise the summit, a gesture which he said reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring that the nutrition of Nigerian children is improved upon.
He said the theme of the summit is timely, as it is in line with the global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, which clearly stated that “by 2030, end of all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons”.
Ngambi said UNICEF is committed to working and supporting the State in the South South and indeed the whole of Nigeria to achieve this agenda, and hinted that 11 million children representing almost 37% of Nigerian children are ravaged by malnutrition and other nutrition-related ailments.
The UNICEF Chief, therefore, threw this poser, among others for the participants to ponder on: “can there be any greater inequality than children deprived of the rights to live and learn fully, so that they may reach their full potential?”
On her part, the Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Onimim Jack said the Ministry of Agriculture is giving priority attention to ensuring food security in the State and promoting good nutrition among Rivers people and residents.
She said instead of concentrating on producing particular food crops, “we ensure that farmers produce a little of everything and to make sure we have our own”. Mrs. Onimim disclosed that the state is prepared to mark the World Food Day and the World Food Day Fair slated for 24th October, 2016 and 27th October, 2016 respectively.
RSG Warns Owner Of Proudest Hotel To Stop Blackmailing NCDC
Our attention has been drawn to a recent misleading petition, signed by one Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari, Owner, Prodest Hotel and dated 24th May 2020,
to the effect that the convicted Manager of Prodest Hotel, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 disease amongst 27 others, in a result released by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, may have allegedly been infected on the instructions of the Rivers State Government.
Much as we had restrained ourselves from responding to previous similar publications by this same person, since the subject matter was still before a court of competent jurisdiction, we are now compelled to reply this obviously spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative petition with a proper response, to set the records straight and caution the sponsors of this action from further pedlling such falsehoods in the public space.
For the avoidance of doubt and for the information of the general public, let us state categorically here that the FACTS of this matter are very clear, viz:
1. A Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court on May 18th, 2020 CONVICTED Mr. Bariledum Azoro, Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme and sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 for contravening paragraphs 3 and 4 of Executive Order RVSG 07 2020 on closure of hotels, guest houses and related outfits and provision of manifests in the state.
2. The Senior Magistrates’ Court also ordered that th convict,Mr. Azoroh should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.
3. That while in the Court Ordered Quarantine, competent health officials carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the centre, including Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, to ascertain their Covid-19 status.
It is important to state here that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organization, (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.
4. That prior to the publication of the test results, the owner of PRODEST Hotel Eleme, Mr. Gogorobari Needam had published one of his misleading petitions in an attempt to preempt the outcome of the test and the question we want to ask is: ‘Why did the hotel owner try to preempt the outcome of the test. Was he trying to cover up something?
5. That on Sunday, 24th May, 2020, the NCDC announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases including Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, from tests carried out in the state.
6. That following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of his Manager’s Covid-19 positive status, the PRODEST Hotel owner has once again released another statement and this time is now calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State because his manager tested positive for Covid-19.
7. Rivers people will recall that on May 19, 2020, we raised an alarm intimating the world of a clandestine plot by some Abuja politicians hiding under the cover of Covid-19 to instigate a State of Emergency in the state. Today, a hotel owner in Eleme, who lives in Lagos is also now calling for a State of Emergency. Is there any wonder therefore as to who is beating the drum for him?
8. Indeed there seems to be more to this than meets the ordinary eye and we are calling on all well-meaning people to see the need to interrogate this man and know that he is acting out a script. Infact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copy book of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far.
9. We even recall vividly that Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari had, in an interview published in the Punch Newspaper of May 15, 2020 titled: “No ill feeling towards Wike for demolishing my hotel – Gogorobari”, actually stated categorically that he holds no grudge against Governor Wike for demolishing the hotel. His words: “Who am I not to forgive him? I don’t hold any grudge against him. I just feel that God wanted it to happen that way”. So what happened to make him change his mind? Is it not obvious that the agents of evil and those who do not mean well for Rivers State have reached him and are now beating this drum of dissent for him?
10. Again, We want to state categorically here that Government doesn’t conduct Covid-19 tests. Trained Health professionals follow the relevant medical protocols set down by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, to conduct these tests.
11. The claim therefore that the PRODEST Hotel manager, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, was infected while in detention is not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari and those sponsoring him about the deadly nature of the Covid-19 disease. How does one even carry such a deadly virus around and infect people with it?
12. Rather than commend the Rivers State Government for stemming the tide of infection that would have arisen if the Hotel used for clandestine parties was not demolished and the Manager arrested, the owner is crying wolf where there is none.
13. We also want to caution Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari to be very mindful of his claims that his hotel Manager “has been framed up by an unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by Governor Wike with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government”.
This is a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC.
14 We also want to call the attention of Mr. Needam Gogorobari that we take exception to his description of the Isolation Centre in Port Harcourt, as an “illegal detention facility in Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt” and to inform him and his sponsors that the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a team from the World Health Organization, were in Rivers State on a working visit in April this year and not only praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his leadership and handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. but also applauded his medical health team and all the facilities put in place in response to the Coronavirus.
We will therefore be keen to know how the NCDC will react, when they read your description of a facility they approved, as ‘a detention centre’.
15. Finally, we want to assure the good people of the state that the Rivers State Government remains resolute in its fight to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state and we will not be deterred by cheap blackmail and misleading propaganda.
16 Governor Wike is determined to employ and deploy appropriate strategies to keep Rivers State safe.
17. We call on all residents to work together with the Governor to defeat Covid-19 in Rivers State and by the Grace of God we will be victorious.
Commissioner for Information and Communications
May 26, 2020
Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.
In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.
Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.
The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.
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