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Coronavirus: We’re Working Towards Zero Incidence, RSG Assures …As Ministry Hails Wike Over Support

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Government says it has put necessary measures in place, including setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Collaboration Committee to ensure that no case of Coronavirus is recorded in any part of the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, stated this during a meeting with general managers of state-owned media organizations at his office in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Nsirim explained that with the outbreak of Coronavirus in many countries of the world and the first confirmed case of the virus in Lagos, last week, the state government has begun an aggressive enlightenment campaign to create awareness on the virus.
He said, “This meeting is designed to set up inter-ministerial collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Let me also say that the Rivers State Government places a lot of emphasis on the healthcare of our citizens and His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has always placed priority on healthcare and public health safety.
“That is why you can see the robust infrastructural development that is going on in the three senatorial districts and the upgrade of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) to a Teaching Hospital now known as the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH). You will also note the kind of equipment that has been put in the teaching hospital now.
“The Radiology Department there is second to none in the country now. This is a pragmatic effort being made by His Excellency to ensure that the citizens of Rivers State enjoy better healthcare. So, as a state, it is important that we also take our destiny in our hands to begin to enlighten various stakeholder groups, especially health workers, those who work at the airports, seaports, transport workers and even the average market woman.
“They say prevention is better than cure. That is why this meeting is convened to set up this inter-ministerial committee to begin to strengthen the enlightenment that the Ministry of Health is already doing. They cannot do it alone. That is why the general managers of the state media houses are all here,” Nsirim stated.
He further said that “going forward, the Ministry of Health will provide content for the various media houses, who will in turn begin to set up strategic platforms to reach out to the various stakeholder groups across the state”, saying, “This is a Corporate Social Responsibility and everyone seated around this table must understand that we owe our state the duty to take this very seriously.”
He recalled that when the Ebola crisis broke out in the country, the response that was set up by the state (Rivers) received widespread commendation, noting that “As a state, we need to show that leadership, we need to show our people in the state here that we understand what is going on, and then, give them the right information.
“Going forward, the various media houses need to create strategic time at their prime news hours and spaces in their newspapers, to give information on this Coronavirus. We can’t afford as a state to record any incident. That is why all hands must be on deck, and this enlightenment is key.
“As you go back to your various media houses, we need to put the machinery in motion. Get all those who are supposed to be part of the enlightenment together and kick start. We have what it takes to do this, and I believe strongly that if we all work collectively, our state will be very safe,” he assured.
In her remark, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Chinwe Tonye-Atata explained that containment of any pathogenic disease requires multi-sectoral approach, noting that the meeting convened by the Information and Communications commissioner was a step in the right direction to ensure that everybody was on board.

 

By: Dennis Naku & Precious Nwiuwbari

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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