Connect with us

News

FG Rolls Out New Campaigns To Contain COVID-19

Published

on

With over 99% of Nigerians being aware of Covid-19, according to NOIPolls, the Federal Government has rolled out a new set of campaigns to contain the rampaging novel Coronavirus in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced this, yesterday, during the daily update briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) in Abuja.
He said that the ministry rolled out a new set of TV campaigns and radio jingles focusing on the NPI interventions after the ministry and its agencies had ramped up their public enlightenment and advocacy campaign to continue to reach Nigerians with information on how they can protect themselves and avoid contracting the disease.
Accordingly, Mohammed explained that the TVCs and the jingles, were packaged in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and had started playing on the NTA and the FRCN.
This he said is necessary because, in the absence of vaccine or drugs, Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI) remains the most effective way to contain the spread of the disease and protect Nigerians.
“The campaign has therefore continued to focus on the need for the populace to adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering restrictions, wear face mask and ensure good personal hygiene.
“The ministry has now rolled out a new set of TVCs and radio jingles focusing on the NPI interventions.
“The TVCs and the jingles, in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, have started playing on the NTA and the FRCN.
“We are in the process of rolling them out on state and private radio and television stations across the country. We have no choice since information remains the most potent tool that can be deployed against the virus today.
“NTA, FRCN, NAN and VON are also fully engaged in the public enlightenment and advocacy campaign. These agencies have used their own resources to produce TVCs and jingles, which they have continued to air and disseminate, in addition to devoting a large chunk of their programmes and time to the campaign.
“I am also happy to announce that, contrary to the belief in certain quarters, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), despite lacking adequate resources, has shown creativity in its bid to take the campaign to Nigerians.
“The agency has leveraged its relationship with NGOs and the private sector to produce Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials which are now being disseminated to Nigerians in English, Pidgin and some of the major indigenous languages.
“The NTA and the FRCN have provided their platforms for the dissemination of these IECs. The advantage here is that some of these materials can also be disseminated to Nigerians through their phones, thus helping to spread them quickly and widely,” he added.
On the next phase of the public enlightenment and advocacy campaign, the minister said the ministry is to develop and disseminate IEC materials on the need to avoid stigmatizing those who have contracted the virus; the need to shun fake news and the need to reach those who are visually-challenged and hearing impaired. We have already started working on this.
On misinformation, the minister added that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had taken steps to prevent misinformation via the broadcast stations by warning them to adhere strictly to the professional ethics of balance and fairness in reporting Covid-19.
In particular, the commission, according to him, has warned the stations against bringing on their programmes ‘panellists’ with agenda to make reckless statements and insinuations.
“The commission, in its warning letter to the broadcast stations, quoted the relevant sections of the Broadcasting Code.
“The NBC quoted Section 5.4.1, which says ‘The broadcaster shall at all times ensure that the coverage of a disaster or crisis is aimed at overall public interest, guidance and safety’.
“The commission has warned that failure to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Broadcasting Code will attract sanctions, as stipulated by the Code.”
The task force also clarified that members from the same family cannot receive money from the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme currently ongoing in many states.
It also stated that a total of 279 trucks of grains had been deployed to the frontline states that were put on lockdown by the President.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, disclosed this at the daily briefing on Covid-19 updates in Abuja.
She further said the government was focusing on digitalising the CCT scheme and was getting the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of beneficiaries as well as their mobile phone contacts to improve on the transparency of the process.
On claims that two members of a family were paid N20,000 each recently, the minister said it was highly impossible for such to happen.
Umar-Farouq said, “This is near impossible because the process involved is a very tedious one, where all critical stakeholders in the community are involved.
“The faith-based organisations, leaders of the community and other stakeholders are the ones who came up with the list of those to benefit from the intervention in that particular community.”
She added, “And if you go through the list, every particular household must be captured in all three or four of the lists being managed by that community.
“So, it is almost impossible for the same members of a household to get this intervention.”
The minister noted that her ministry would look into the matter to ascertain the claim but insisted that it would be “highly impossible”.
The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has said the Kano State Government has set up a team to investigate the increase in coronavirus cases in the state.
Though the task force said it was closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo states amid the recent surge in Coronavirus cases, it expressed “particular concern” with Kano.
The National Coordinator, PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who spoke during the daily task force briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said, “We note the concerns about increased reporting of cases. We are closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo.
“I think it is important to let us know that the country is about to witness turbulent times induced by the pandemic Coronavirus. We may soon be hard hit. The reason for this is that, we, I mean the Nigerian Government, delayed in taking proactive action at the onset.
“However, I can assure us that the government is serious about taking necessary steps to curtail the level of casualties. Well coordinated measures are about to be put in place from a broad, diverse spectrum. All the necessary Working Groups have been inaugurated today.
“International bodies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, CDC, World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the private sector, civil society groups are partnering the task force, providing technical and financial assistance and support. Donations are quite streaming in.
“From Global Fund, we got $33million, another $3.3million came from another body I cannot give the name immediately. Max Air donated $200,000, the Chinese firm, Huawei, doled out N100million. There are a number of other handsome donations. We have been holding these meetings with some foreign experts.

Continue Reading

News

2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence

Published

on

The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.

Continue Reading

News

Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC

Published

on

The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.

Continue Reading

News

Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death

Published

on

The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.

Continue Reading

Trending