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Covid-19: Confusion Over CJN’s Health, As S’Court Debunks Reports

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There is confusion over the health status of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Whereas the Supreme Court, in a statement signed by its Director of Press and Information, Dr Akande Festus, debunked report that there was anxiety over the CJN’s health, a Justice of the court, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, reportedly confirmed that he tested positive for Covid-19.
Justice Saulawa, who was said to have made the disclosure during the unveiling ceremony of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), in Abuja, yesterday, further revealed that the CJN was currently receiving treatment in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Justice Saulawa is one of the eight justices that were recently elevated to the Supreme Court.
Absence of the CJN at the swearing-in of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), last Monday, an event that coincided with a special court session the Supreme Court held to mark its new legal year, had raised speculations over his health condition.
He was represented at the event by the second highest ranking Justice of the court, Bode Rhodes-Vivour.
Meanwhile, the apex court, in its statement, said the fact that the CJN was “unavoidably absent” at the function, was not enough to conclude that there was anxiety over his health.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the story currently in circulation with the above caption which was published on page 38 of ThisDay newspaper on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
“It is necessary to state that there’s no iota of truth in the claim being peddled by the publication, as there hasn’t been any indication made public or otherwise that has shown any anxiety over the CJN’s health.
“This is obviously a product of the imagination of the author of the concocted story which has literally failed the test of sound, investigative journalism as no form of enquiries was made by the Reporter before hitting the public domain with this baggage of falsehoods to mislead the public by crying wolf where none is in sight.
“The Hon. CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, being unavoidably absent at a function is not enough to plunge into this premeditated conclusion that there’s now “anxiety over his health.
“The other aspect of this monumental falsehood is the erroneous claim that the ‘CJN has not been seen in public for weeks’.
“We are still at a loss as to where the Reporter got that malicious information from, as the CJN has been very active and even presided over the swearing-in of the newly appointed Justices of the Supreme Court a few weeks back.
“It should be noted that no business survives on falsehood. You cannot whip up sentiments through sensational reports to attract traffic to your media organisation.
“Certainly such practice leads to nowhere. We must eschew acts capable of eroding our good values at all times”, the statement read.
The CJN had in his prepared speech that was read by Justice Rhodes-Vivour during the event on Monday, decried the impact of what he termed as “ravaging Coronavirus pandemic” on the Judiciary.
He said: “As it is often said, man proposes, God disposes. We have just witnessed, for the first time in the history of Nigerian Judiciary, a situation where normal court sitting became a very risky adventure.
“Even though no one disputes the fact that the Judiciary renders essential services that, largely, help in stabilizing the society, I have to point out the equally pertinent fact that everybody, including the judicial officers, has just one life, as the coronavirus pandemic, at its peak, brazenly presented a scenario of life and death that no mortal could contest.
“As for our loved ones and all others across the globe who succumbed to the excruciating pangs of Covid-19 pandemic, I pray that their souls continue to rest in the bosom of the Almighty God”, the statement added.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu

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The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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