The management of Radio Bayelsa has suspended nine workers over an attack on the station by hoodlums in protest against Supreme Court’s judgment that sacked erstwhile governor-elect, David Lyon.
The General Manager, Radio Bayelsa, Mr John Idumange, in a statement, said the nine staff were advised to proceed on a one-month compulsory leave to allow the radio station to conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident.
The state-owned FM station, christened Radio Bayelsa, was amongst facilities attacked by the protesters, who also destroyed the private residences of immediate-past governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, and his successor, Douye Diri, last Friday.
Part of the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was also burnt during the protest, which made the Bayelsa Police Command to impose a three-day dusk-to-dusk curfew in the state.
Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by its Secretary in the state, Mr Alabo Martins, had on February 14 staged a protest on the streets of Yenagoa to register their grievances ahead of the swearing-in of PDP’s Diri as governor.
The apex court had ruled that Lyon’s Deputy, Degi Ereminyo, submitted forged documents which made them ineligible to contest the state’s governorship election in the first instance.
INEC, in compliance to the judgment, last Friday issued a certificate of return to the PDP candidate, who took the oath of office amidst tight security in the car park at Government House, Yenagoa.
Also, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa Council, in a statement, condemned the attack.
The council Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Samuel Numonengi and Ojio Ipigansi, respectively, signed the statement, urging the station to refrain from victimising union leaders without investigation.
They urged security agencies to fish out the culprits, while decrying any form of political violence.
They described the incident as very unfortunate as the radio was celebrated all over the world few days ago as a powerful medium for celebrating humanity and a platform for building a virile democracy.
“Security agencies in the state should fish out the perpetrators of the act and bring them to book in order to serve as deterrent to others in the future.
“The people of Bayelsa should learn to shun violence and see one another as brothers, irrespective of party affiliations.
“The management of Radio Bayelsa should not victimise union members of the station by accusing them of the violent attack but allow the police to do their job,” the statement read in part.
Two of the suspended staff are chairmen of Radio Bayelsa chapter of NUJ, and Radio and Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU).
By: King Onunwor
Private Medical Doctors Offer Support To Check Spread Of COVID-19
Private medical doctors in Nigeria under the aiges of Association of General and Private Medcial Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN) have expressed their readiness and willingness to play their role in stemming the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The association which said this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt however,urged for incentives to support its members.
National President of the Association, Dr Ugwu Iyke Odo, who read the text for the briefing said the doctors were ready and willing to play their professional role to their nation now as ever.
“What is happening is at best a force majeure, an act of God that is beyond the calculation and expectations of any man and the management of which cannot and must not be confined to any regular theories of routine. It is an unusual situation and demands unusual solution’’
Dr Odo also lamented the increase in the cost of medical equipment, adding that it is affecting the running of private hospitals in the country.
“Cost of providing medical services have gone up astronomically while medical bills remain the same and still unaffordable by poor Nigerians, who do not have health insurance.
“What this translates into is that the private doctors and other private health care providers of health are bearing a great burden for the nation and need to be supported and rescued ‘’he said.
The association president also urged the nation to unify its systems and people into one, and said that the health sector should work collaboratively and in synergy.
“In particular, the private sector who are the first respondents need all the support that government can afford at this time.
“This is the time for the government to speak for all and care for all and provide for all more than ever before,’’ he said.
The association used the occasion to commend the doggedness shown by both the federal and Rivers Sate Governments in managing the crisis, and stressed the need for both governments to go the extra mile to support the entre health system irrespective of sectoral divide with medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, medicines and consumables.
RIWAMA Urges Service Providers To Step Up Delivery
The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah says the agency is challenged by the circumstance of the period more than ever to step up action and has ordered that the service providers rise up to the demand.
Bro. Obuah noted that being in forefront of the relentless efforts of the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to ensure that the checkmate of the coronavirus pandemic was watertight, all service providers must work round the clock to rid all nooks and crannies of the state of any refuse dump.
He said for no reason will any service provider be found wanting this time, stressing that the sit-at-home and/or curfew order by the state government exempts all workers on essential duties including the service providers and their workers.
The RIWAMA sole administrator reminded service providers of the fact that their services were indispensable as the panacea for the dreaded decease for now centred on healthy living and should work assiduously to keep the state clean and healthy.
Bro. Obuah also urged the service providers working with the agency to ensure that their drivers and workers were protective gears like hand gloves and medical masks as well as applying all other control measures while carrying out their duties.
COVID-19: Taxi Drivers Defy CRSG’s Order
Taxi drivers in Calabar have defied the order by the Cross River State Government to carry only two passengers at a time to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
Our correspondent, yesterday went round the city to ascertain the level of compliance and spoke with some taxi drivers.
Our source reports that taxi drivers were still going about their normal business of carrying two passengers in the front seat and four passengers at the back, bringing the total to six passengers.
A driver simply known as Etuk said that the order was impossible to be carried out in the state.
He said that most of the drivers that were involved in commercial transportation business in the state did that with hire purchase vehicles and the owners of the vehicles were not interested in what the government was saying.
According to him, all the owners want is their weekly money as agreed.
He said: “All the owners want is their money as agreed with the driver from the beginning.
“So, how do we meet up with payment if we pick only two passengers per trip? How do we maintain the vehicle, fuel them, buy tickets and meet up with the agreed amount with the owners of the vehicles?’’
Another taxi driver, Mr Asuquo Edem, said it was not enough to just give orders, the state government should look at how practicable these orders were.
“People have been ordered to stay at home, meaning that the number of passengers have reduced drastically.
“Yet, you are telling a taxi driver who hardly sees two passengers because of the lockdown to carry just two when he has mouths to feed at home. How will they survive?
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