The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has said it was still opposed to the arrival of the Chinese medical experts in the country to help combat novel coronavirus.
This was as the organisation called on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, and other health regulatory bodies in the country to subject the foreign medical practitioners to thorough screening.
The NMA, in a statement last night, by its president, Dr Francis Faduyile and Secretary-General, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, respectively, also called on the federal government to publish the names, designations, and qualifications of the medical experts.
“We demand a thorough screening of the so-called medical team of experts by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and other relevant regulatory bodies to verify their status, as we call on the Federal Government to publish the names, designations/status, and qualifications of the so-called medical experts,” it said.
In the statement, the organisation said, ”We note that the consistent and progressive neglect of the health sector and health care workers have left the industry debilitated, leading to the mass exodus of healthcare workers for greener pastures. Those left behind are working “magic” with bare hands. We, therefore, believe this is the time to look inwards and deploy mobilized resources to strengthen our systems.”
The statement read in full: “The Nigerian Medical Association in furtherance of her responsibility to the Nigerian people wishes to reiterate her earlier stance on the rejection of the visiting Chinese “Medical Experts” at this time even as the Federal Government (FG) has rebuffed all entreaties. We wish to clarify our informed resistance to the visit by this team from China.
“We are not against the receipt of donor support and equipment. We rather are against pulling the wool over our eyes going by the recent statement issued by the Managing Director of the Chinese donor firm operating in Nigeria that the medical personnel will be treating Chinese workers in their facilities.
“We are taken aback at this statement as this is at variance with the information supplied by the Honourable Minister of Health. We wish also to ask when Medical expatriates started coming to the Sovereign States to treat her nationals. What happens to the Nigerians working in those facilities?
”We are aware that the Chinese team will provide “CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance”, as stated by the Managing Director of CCECC.
“ It does not seem likely that the team will NOT have contact with Nigerian patients as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) would want to have us believe. CCECC has Nigerian workers among her employees.
“We call on all healthcare professionals to be wary of uncertified Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China.
“We demand a thorough screening of the so-called medical team of experts by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and other relevant regulatory bodies to verify their status, as we call on the Federal Government to publish the names, designations/status, and qualifications of the so-called “Medical experts”.
“We note that the consistent and progressive neglect of the Health sector and health care workers have left the industry debilitated, leading to the mass exodus of healthcare workers for greener pastures. Those left behind are working “magic” with bare hands. We, therefore, believe this is the time to look inwards and deploy mobilized resources to strengthen our systems.
“The NMA in recent times has been at the vanguard calling on the Government to revive the health sector and trigger brain gain.
The Government has continued to “shift the post” in explanation regarding this Chinese invitation. First, it was that these were mere donations, then to experts rendering assistance to set up test laboratories and now to the experts treating patients. No country allows foreigners to jump on their patients and manage without regulation.
”We are aware of the “Stride with Nigeria” mantra of the CCECC and their willingness to participate in the construction of two isolation centres in Abuja.
“This gesture is no different from that of Corporate Nigeria so far, including the world-class isolation centre constructed and donated by Guaranty Trust Bank to the Lagos State Government without the help of Chinese experts. Unless there is something else, we don’t know.
“We wish to respectfully request the Presidential Task Force to deal with the genuine concerns of her people including all the professional bodies that have spoken out against this curious decision to engage the Chinese at all cost. A recipient of donations is still at liberty to pick and choose.
”We will continue to monitor this uncomfortable relationship with the so-called Chinese personnel. We shall not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect our long-suffering fellow citizens against any form of medical exploitation.
”We reaffirm our belief in the ability of the Nigerian healthcare professionals especially those at the frontlines to continue to do their best for our country as we continue to reject this “Greek Gift” from CCECC at this time. ”
The NMA membership despite the provocation by the Government will not abandon our countrymen at this hour of need. We, however, call on all men and women of goodwill to mount pressure on the Government to provide adequate PPE to the frontline healthcare workers and not share it among the political class who are not facing similar risk like the frontline workers. ”
The NMA as an umbrella body of medical and dental practitioners, and in accordance with the Physicians Pledge dissociates herself from the purported consultations with any politician/group of politicians on any position we take on the Covid-19 pandemic. We are minded by altruistic intentions for the good of our country.
“We advise our members to be on alert for further directives as events unfold.”
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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