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Bayelsa Govt Set To Pay COVID-19 Hazard Allowances …Sues Health Workers’ Cooperation

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Bayelsa State Government has indicated willingness to pay special allowances to frontline health workers combating the novel COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Governor Douye Diri gave the indication yesterday at a meeting with representatives of labour unions including the Nigerian Medical Association,NMA and the Association of Resident Doctors,ARD in Government House, Yenagoa.

Other unions who were part of the meeting includes the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC ,Trade Union Congress, TUC,NANNMW,National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria,PSN and the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, reassured health workers of the present administration’s commitment to giving priority attention to their welfare and other challenges affecting healthcare delivery in the state.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, said government was prepared to pay the COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances

effective from April 2020 when the state recorded its index case.

Governor Diri, however, pointed out that the state does not have the financial capacity to adopt the Federal Government’s template for implementing the payment due to the steady decline in its revenues.

On the issue of skipping for medical doctors, Senator Diri assured that government would implement the policy as soon as modalities were worked out by the committee handling it.

He therefore urged the labour unions to show understanding by prevailing on their members to accept the well considered position of the state Government.

“Health issues will never be at the tail of this administration. Rather, they will be on the front burner and occupy a very prominent place as far as we are concerned”,he said.

“Our team has had useful discussions with yours. Our position which we are appealing to you seriously to consider is that, we will pay only the frontline health workers who are directly engaged in the COVID-19 response”, he added.

“And our position is not in isolation. It is a position we know quite a number of states are

working on. Federal Government can afford to do anything because it has less responsibility but more money.On skipping, the Head of Service, Hospital Management Board, the Ministry of Health and officials of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital are working hard to get the final figures. We take it seriously because we believe that our doctors should not be treated differently from other doctors in the country”,he noted.

Earlier, the State Chairman of NMA, Dr Peter Alabrah and President, Association of Resident Doctors, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri Chapter, Dr Oru Inetsol had urged government to pay the special allowance to all health workers in the state.

On their part, the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyema and Technical Adviser on Treasury, Accounts and Revenue, Mr Timipre Seipulou, called on the unions to come up with more  feasible options for Government to consider at the next meeting later this week.

Others who made contributions include the Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s Office, Barr. Alex Dumbo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Inodu Apoku and the Chief Medical Director, NDUTH, Prof Dimie Ogoina.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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Niger Delta

Ex-APGA Scribe, Obasi, Petitions IGP Over Alleged Assassination Attempt

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Former Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Jerry Obasi, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, over alleged attempt on his life by suspected hired assassins in Ebonyi State.
Obasi in a statement, yesterday, said he was trailed from Nkalagu in Ishielu Council Area of the state by an unmarked, white commuter Hiace bus with tinted glasses last Sunday night while returning from a meeting alleging that  the aim was to assassinate him.
He said when he noticed that his life was in danger, he sped up and meandered through different roads immediately he got to Abakaliki, to keep away from the view of those who stalked him.
The ex-APGA scribe said he rode in his Mercedes S-Class and that the suspected assassins immediately followed suit, turning the exercise into a car race of sort to the amazement of onlookers.
Obasi  alleged that Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi, has a hand in his ordeal for holding strong opinions against  his administration.
“Earlier before this ugly and ill-fated incident of 26 July, 2020, I had received information about an imminent attack on me by Ebonyi State governor’s boys. I called one of the leaders of the boys and he promised to call me for us to meet the following day which didn’t happen. The next thing I saw was this attempt on my life,” Obasi said.
Governor Umahi who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Francis Nwaze, dismissed the allegations as baseless. He said the governor  has never sent any of his appointees or supporters to attack anyone, let alone with the intention to kill.

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Community Policing: Shun Compromise, Monarch Charges PCAC Members

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The Paramount Ruler/ Nye Nwe Eli, Rumuogba, Eze Temple Ejekwu, has charged members of the Police Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) not to compromise, if they are prepared for the task.
Ejekwu gave the charge during the inauguration of the committee at Mini Okoro Police Station, recently in Rumuogba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Eze Ogba Iji- Nu -Ede, said that the charge became imperative in order to keep the aim of the committee alive.
Dedication and commitment he said are other values the PCAC members must possess, in an attempt to achieve the mission and vision behind the creation of the outfit.
According to him, the creation of the committee would help in no small measure in curbing crime in the rural areas, as its members are grassroot based.
Dr Ejekwu also called on members of the public to feel free and provide useful information to the police and PCAC members and added that crime fighting should be viewed as everyone’s responsibility.
“Security is not one person’s job, so members of the public must provide useful and timely information for the police and PCAC, if they want the group to succeed”, he said.
On the security level of the state, he rated the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike high going by the relative peace enjoyed in the state.
He further charged the committee members to work in line with Governor Wike’s vision to enthrone business friendly environment that would attract permanent investors in the area.
Meanwhile, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Mini Okoro Police Station, CSP Opayemi Olufunke Isi has reassured members of the public of the police determination to rid the public of crime and thanked the monarch to support for the police.

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Bayelsa Promises To Curb Gender-Based Violence, Child Abuse

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The Bayelsa State Government has promised to curb all forms of social violence against women and the maltreatment of children in the state.
Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Women,Children and Social Development, Mrs Ayi Ujile stated this during an interview with The Tide in Yenagoa.
She maintained that recently, women through the support of NGOs,women professional bodies and faith based organisations had had to stage protests across various states in the nation to register their grievances against the wanton social Violence’s meted out to them by men in their respective domains.
According to the permanent secretary, following government’s resolve to ending these ill treatments facing women of all age brackets in the state, successive administrations had made concerted efforts in bringing those infringing on women’s rights to book.
Speaking against the backdrop of violation of children’s rights, she mentioned that with the domestication of the Child rights act by the State Assembly last year maltreatment of children and wards will soon be history.
She stressed that the State owned Orphanage home is functioning ultimately, just as she stated that the administrators of the orphanage in consultation with appropriate government ministries had also rescued new born babies from their insane mothers in the streets of the state.
“We’re more than ever willing to stop the menace of social violence against women in this state”, she said.
“We’re aware that very presently women of the state joined their peers from other States to replicate same protest against rape, sexual harassment and other ills meted out to women”, she added.

 

 

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,Yenagoa.

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