The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and journalists have expressed their commitment towards children rights influenced reportage on the novel Covid-19 pandemic.
UNICEF and members of the fourth estate of the realm showed their readiness to partner in the fight against the virus at a programme which took place in Port Harcourt, recently.
The event was organised by UNICEF in conjunction with the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State(BCA) for media executives within the South-South zone.
The programme which was tagged, ‘ One-Day zonal media executive meeting on COVID-19 Vaccine, Vaccination and Theories’ had in attendance media practitioners from media organisations with visible presence in the zone.
The Tide also learnt that the event was the second held by UNICEF in its Enugu field office, comprising the States of the South-South and South-East zones, respectively.
Informing participating media organisations of the objectives of the meeting, the Communication Officer of the Enugu Field Office of UNICEF, Dr Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe stated as follows: “The objectives of the programme are, identifying media networks in the field office (FO) to frame a pitch over all plights of children and women, to engage with 25 media representatives and practitioners in the south-South states to forge way for enhancing and making more visible issues affecting children and women, as well as calling the media to action,plan developed story pitches that will increase Covid-19 vaccination uptake”.
She emphasised that the media is a tool for informing and educating the citizens on issues of public interest, saying that the media have a wide reach.
She also noted that the role of the media in the timely dissemination of information can not be over stated, hence, UNICEF partnership with the media in its programmes and activities.
“The role of the media in the reportage of the Covid-19 vaccination,are the use of clear language, explanation of the stage, reportage of the numbers affected, reports on the adverse events following vaccination and the use of appropriate imagery”, she said.
In the opening remarks of the event, Director General, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA), Anyaso, Anyaso, who was represented by the Desk Officer of the corpo ration, Nkpa Okezie thanked UNICEF and the media for the partnership.
The Abia Radio boss described the media as a foremost tool for not only informing the general public of what is happening, but that it also has the capacity to constantly provide the needed education on issues that are of mutual benefits to the government and citizens.
Anyaso hinted that he was glad his office partnered with UNICEF towards finding lasting solutions to address issues partaining to the Covid-19 pandemic, as it affects children and women in this part of the nation.
Giving two lectures titled, ‘Covid-19: Vaccination As A Life Saver’ and ‘ The Impact of Covid-19 on Children and Women: the Need for Mass Vaccination’, a consultant physician in the Department of Community Medicine, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Obasi Chikezie identified some of the errenous beliefs on Covid -19 vaccines and vaccination as the ‘death of a vaccinated patient after two years’, ‘magnetic metals’ in the vaccines, ‘convulsion’, ‘ignition of electric bulbs’ by any vaccinated individual and ‘changes in one’s DNA’, amongst others, dismissing them as myths.
Chikezie, who also called on all yet to be vaccinated individuals to make themselves available for vaccination at their various states of residence, expressed dissatisfaction that the nation’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage was still low, adding that records available show that Nigeria has covered only just about 3 per cent.
He decried the low level of vaccination reecorded by Nigeria when compared to the Western and some of the Eastern countries of the world which he stated have recorded close to a 100 per cent coverage as disheartening,urging the government to step up the rate of the vaccination exercise with applicable sanctions in order to persuade Nigerians to take the vaccines.
“Our vaccination records in Nigeria show that we’ve vaccinated only just 3 per cent, while America,China,the UK and others have surpassed 70, 80 and some have even achieved close to 100 per cent coverage”.
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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