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Ondo

As part of efforts to redue infant and matenal mortality rate among residents of Ondo State, the government has concluded arrangement with the World Bank for the execution of  a N1 billion special healthcare programme in which pregnant women would get personalised care from trained health workers across the state.

Under the arrangement, to which the global body would be contributing counterpart funding of $3.4 million, each pregnant women registered with the project would be assigned specific healthcare worker and be provided with telephone line to reach the assigned officer in case of emergency or distress.

Already, 5,000 such lines that would charge no cost, if it was made to specified health workers who would also be issued with same, have been provided by a GSM telecom Company. The lines will be made available to pregnant beneficiaries in collaboration with the state government.

Part of the initiative is also the establishment of Health Rangers Scheme to be equipped with communication gadgets and mobility machines and who are to maintain constant contacts with pregnant women assigned to them individually to monitor their health and other immediate assistance when needed. The novel idea, which the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, had said would assist the government to monitor the health of the citizens, also included provision of more health facilities at each political unites of the state to make such facilities available within the people.

 

Gombe

Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Aishawu Ahmad Bose, has accused teachers in the state of aiding and abetting examination malpractice in the last Senior Secondary certificate Examinations (SSCE) and the National Examinations council (NECO).

Ahmad made this known while addressing teachers at the Education Resoruces Centre in Gombe explaining that despite the ugly trend, only about five percent of those who sat for the last SSCE got qualifying results for admission into tertiary institutions.

She told the teachers that they were perpetrating the dirty act to cover up their shortcomings since they could not give their best to their studies preparatory to the examinations.

According to Ahmad, the state government will not tolerate such ugly practice anymore and will deal ruthlessly with anyone caught aiding students to cheat in exams.

She further directed the teachers to ensure they did their jobs diligently rather than involving in fraud.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has given the state government 90 days ultimatum to pay the teachers’ 2009 annual increment, else the union would embark on strike. NUT state Chairman, Ahmed Maisakala, said some teachers had spent up to 10 years without promotion while 1,000 others under the Federal Teachers Service Scheme had spent eight months without any pay.

Maisakala called on the authorities concerned to hasten up and ensure that the eight months salary arrears was paid and the backlog of promotion cleared in order to motivate the affected teachers.

 

Taraba

The current suspected cholera outbreak in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital, has reportedly claimed 35 lives as at the last count. But state health officials have disputed the figure, saying that only six people have so far died in the epidemic.

A visit to some health centres in the town showed the children within the ages of five and 12 constitute the bulk of the victims on admission in the wards.

However, state health officials could not confirm if the deaths were actually from cholera, as results of laboratory tests carried out some victims were still being expected.

According to a list made available to The Tide at Turaki Model Primary Health Care Centre, Jalingo, by the Health Officer, Lawal Illiyasu Matindi, force persons out of the 23 cases reported in the centre died.

A number of deaths has also been recorded at the Sabon-Gari and Matindi Health Centre in the state.

“We cannot actually claim that it is cholera. For now, we believe it is gastro-enteritis,” Matindi explained.

 

Osun

Traditional rulers from Osun State have stormed the National Assembly in furtherance of their agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state from the present Osun State.

They were received by the president of the senate, Chief David Mark at the Senate Committee hearing room one, where they presented a handbook articulating their demand to Chief  Mark.

Leaders of the delegation, Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, Oba Oladele Olashore, who stood in for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okumade Sijuade, delivered an address on behalf of the people of Osun State.

In his address, Olashore stated that the agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state as a response to the yearning and aspiration of the people of the state with the active support of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

According to him, “In the last seven months, we have engaged in serious consultation to ensure  that  every section of the present Osun State is involved in the agitation and demand.”

The monarch added that 13 out of the 30 local governments in Osun state are involved in the proposed state which covers a land area of 1.7 million people. They said the population and land mass of the proposed state are large enough when compared with some existing states in the country.

“We assure you that the proposed Oduduwa state with the proposed capital in Ile-Ife, has enough human and material resources to maintain itself without becoming a parasite and to contribute meaningfully to the overall development of the country,” he said.

Responding, Mark described the agitation as a legitimate one and urged all agitators to go about their demand by peaceful means.

He charged the Osun State House of Assembly to lobby other state assemblies for necessary support for the actualization of the demand.

 

Ogun

Governors  of Ogun, Edo and Ekiti states have paid tribute to the late nationalist, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye.

Governor Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State described late Dr. Otegbeye as an icon of democracy, a true nationalist and one of the pillars of the Nation.

Daniel, in the statement signed by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya, said  the elder statesman was a great  politician, who contributed immensely to the making of modern Nigeria “and was a worthy example of a detribalized Nigerian whom the present and coming generation should emulate.”

Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressed shock over the death of  Otegbeye.

Oshiomohole in a statement by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Hon. Abdul Oroh, said  “he was critical to organising the Nigeria students movement as a formidable platform for combating colonial rule.

His contribution to the struggle for Independence was most marked in the pioneering roles he played in the Nigeria Socialist Movement and the Labour Movement.”

In the same vein, Ekiti State governor, Engr. Segun Oni, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre in Ado-Ekiti  described  Otegbeye as “a patriot, who devoted his entire life to the emancipation of the down-trodden while he also worked tirelessly with other leaders for the pre and post colonial development of Nigeria.”

Also two frontline politicians, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Dr. Olapade Agoro have eulogised the late elder statesman.

Babatope described him as “a fervent nationalist and Pan Africanist who actively participated in the independence struggles of many African countries.”

Agoro said the death of  Otegbeye was painful and inevitable. “He was a great believer in the cause of the Yorubas in oneness of  Nigeria and one of the few remaining political loyalists of the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo ideological school of thought.”

Kano

Amidst speculations of an impending plan by the Federal Government to hike prices of petroleum products, an Islamic Cleric in Kano, Sheik Aminu Adam has cautioned President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to shelve the idea in line with his divine covenant with the citizen.

Sheik Aminu Adam, Deputy chief Imam of Al Furqan Juma’at Mosque who made the plea during a Friday sermon to hundreds of thousands of Muslims worshipers in Kano  said that Nigerians already have enough dose of hardship, pointing out that under the existing harsh economic scenario ‘any further attempt to muscle Nigerians further is man inhumanity to man’.

The  cleric reminded Nigerian rulers of their divine responsibility to the masses, maintaining that they should jealously guard against their interest all the time.

Sheik Aminu Adam specifically called on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the 36 states Governors to intervene on behalf of the hapless masses.

 

Badagry

 Security Agencies operating at the Seme border- Badagry have ordered a stop to the indiscriminate crossing of the border by commercial motorcyclists, okada in local parlance.

A source told our correspondent in Seme Border that the government agencies took the decision at its monthly meeting because of the ‘adverse security implication’ of the motorcyclists.

The source added that there had been incessant complaints by security operators over the manner in which the commercial motorcyclists took passengers across the border without undergoing security screening.

The source alleged that in the past, officers on patrol had been knocked down by the commercial motorcyclists who speed recklessly across the borders in an attempt to foil the screening of their passengers by security operators, adding that the Seme border is an escaping route for wanted politicians and bank chief into neighboring country.

He said that the initial decision was to stop the operation of okada at the border but this was revived because of the likely hardship innocent travellers who patronized them might suffer.

The source also revealed that to sanitize the border area, the agencies outlined a measure that required the commercial motorcyclists to drop their passengers in the baggage area of the ECOWAS building where they would undergo screening.

The commercial okada are expected to push their bikes across the border and wait for their passengers to go through arrival and departure procedures a situation that has yield so many results.

The source also revealed that the latest development resulted to the arrest of over ten suspects by the National drug law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on various crime ranging from, illegal possession of 160 pieces of Thomas cook Travelers cheques in 100 Euro bill and 49 pieces of America Express Travelers’ cheques also in 100 Euro bill, 9,000 fake dollars and large quantity of weed suspected to be cannabis imported from Ghana and many other criminal cases recorded by various government agencies.

 

Abuja

Nigeria – A Nigerian official says at least 80 people died when a petroleum tanker truck exploded and set nine other vehicles alight on a road in southeastern Nigeria.

Nigeria Road Safety Commission spokesman Ben Ekenna says 12 bodies were badly burned and five people were injured in the blast in Anambra state on Friday. He says the petrol-carrying truck leaked into a deep pothole which then attracted heat from the exhaust pipes of nearby cars and set off the explosion.

Fatal traffic accidents are common in Nigeria, where decades-old roads are normally pitted with potholes and drivers frequently fail to observe traffic-safety regulations.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest oil producers.

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2023: PWDs Seek Inclusion In Election Processes 

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPD), Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) have tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other electoral stakeholders on accessibility of polling booths and election materials
The PWDs also urged the INEC to ensure that the over 30 million PWDs are not disenfranchised in the 2023 general elections.
The disabilities community also called on presidential and governorship candidates to come up with tangible roadmap of policies and programmes that will alleviate their sufferings in the country..
They spoke separately with journalists on the  IDPD, a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is ‘Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of innovation in Fuelling An Accessible and Equitable World,’ with focus on the overarching theme of innovation and transformative solutions for inclusive development, covering three different interactive dialogues.
The first dialogue is innovation for disability inclusive development in employment, discussing the linkages between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological world.
Another dialogue was the innovation for disability inclusive development in reducing inequality, focusing on innovations, practical tools and good practices to reduce inequalities in both public and private sectors.
The third dialique was the innovation for disability inclusive development with sport as an  case, a sector where all of these aexemplarspects coalesce.
Explaining the importance of the day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is important for governments and all of society to include PWDs in decision-making about their health and lives.
“WHO calls for more inclusion in the health sector and society, in line with the newly adopted ‘WHO framework for action to achieve the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities 2022–2030’.

“The framework is an ambitious strategy that calls on countries to ensure that people with disabilities can access the care they need, and outline ways for countries to build inclusive and enabling health systems and environments.”

The Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), David Anyaele, said issues that deal with PWDs ahead of the general elections give them cause for worries, as the campaigns of the leading presidential candidates are low on welfare for them.

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Flooding: 600 Persons Died, 1.3m Dsplaced-UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said about 600 persons died and 1.3 million were rendered homeless as a result of the floods that ravaged most states across the country.
Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, stated this on Saturday, during an official handover of supplies for Anambra State Flood Response from UNICEF to Anambra State Government.
Chiluwe said the figure was obtained according to available data it received from government.
During the visit by the UNICEF, the first set of supplies of 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food were handed over to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was represented by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim.
In her address, Chiluwe said, “We bring you greetings from UNICEF, Nigeria and sympathise with the government and people of Anambra State on the recently encountered flooding experience, especially with the women and children who remained vulnerable during these times.
“We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.
“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea, and malaria.
“To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding from the  Central Emergency Response Fund, has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.
“For child protection, the response will focus on protection concerns in three key areas: the provision of psychosocial support for flood-affected children; the prevention of family separation and the reunification of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as the strengthening of community-based protection systems.”
She added that as part of the response, UNICEF would make available, essential medicines and health supplies, sexual reproductive kit, chlorine for disinfection of water sources in health centres, schools and communities.
In his response,  governor Soludo assured UNICEF of continuous collaborations, adding that the state government was working out modalities to mitigate the effect of the flood on victims as well as put proactive measures to checkmate such emergencies in the future.
He commended UNICEF’s interventions in the state, especially as it concerned women and children.

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Minister Tasks Examination Agencies On  ICT, Others Against Malpractice

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Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has called on examination and assessment agencies in the country to adopt the use of ICT as best method to prevent malpractices and build a multi-dimensional approach to address the menace.
Adamu made the call at the opening of a One-Day National Sensitisation Workshop, tagged: ‘Role of Education Stakeholders in Tackling Examination Malpractice’, organised by National Examination Council (NECO), in conjunction with the National Assembly, held at Marriott Hotel,  Ikeja, Lagos.
Represented by the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Adamu noted that malpractice was a major problem affecting examinations, not only in Nigeria but also in other countries.
“This is a threat, and many of us are directly or indirectly involved in exam malpractices. We must be creative in adopting strategies and putting in measures to fight and stand against malpractice,” he said.
Adamu stated that the Federal Ministry of Education would continue to ensure a high standard of education to reduce malpractices.
NECO Registrar, Ibrahim Wushishi, said it waa time to reorient youths, community leaders, parents and teachers concerning the issue.
“No doubt, examination malpractice has the tendency to discourage hard work among serious students, lower education standards and discredit certificates. We have a collective responsibility to stop this bad habit.”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education (Basic/Secondary), Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, stressed the need for stakeholders to work together to boost the education sector.
He also expressed disappointment that children no longer fear to indulge in examination malpractice because sanctions are lacking.

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