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Secondus Remains Expelled, Can’t Speak For PDP, Wike Insists

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has insisted that the former national chairman of and therefore, cannot speak either for or interfere in the affairs of the PDP.
Secondus, who was the immediate past national chairman of PDP, while alluding to the Wike, was reported in the media to have said that no one person has powers to impose a presidential candidate on Rivers electorate.
But reacting to the outburst, Wike said Secondus was a meddlesome interloper because he had been expelled as a member of PDP by his ward in Andoni, an action that was affirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of Aluu-Omagwa Link Road at Omuagubia playground by Cross Junction, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, last Saturday.
“I read a newspaper this morning where a former member of our party, one Uche Secondus, said that no one man can impose a presidential candidate on Rivers people.
“He is not a member of our party. His ward expelled him from the party. The court confirmed it. He went to Court of Appeal, he lost. He went to Supreme Court; the matter is coming up on October 23, 2023.”
Wikeadded, “I told him, you will not be national chairman to conduct the convention. Did he conduct it? Was he at the national convention? Up until now, you are not a member of our party.
“And in any case, I never said I was going to impose my candidate on Rivers people. I said, I was going to tell Rivers people who I am going to support; who I am going to campaign for.
“But don’t blame them, when you didn’t finish secondary school, you will not understand the grammar.”
Wike emphasised that, in any case, Rivers people would listen to him more than Secondus because they can trust him as a leader who would continue to defend the interest of the state.
“So, Mr.Secondus, I have no problem with you being technical adviser to Atiku. But don’t speak on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State, because you are not a member of our party.”
Wike asserted that it was not surprising that Secondus, beclouded by his half education, preferred poorly educated candidate, Senator Lee Maeba, to have emerged as senator over Senator Magnus Abe, a more educated Rivers son.
The governor recalled how Secondus and his cohorts, now christened,‘Abuja Rivers politicians’, had always tried to circumvent his political intentions, but failed.
The governor said he had no apology for unsettling the so-called Abuja politicians when the party structure was taken over by him in 2013, while beating them into joining with him because there was no other choice left for them.
“What most of you didn’t know is that all these people who run away to Abuja, they’ve never worked with us. I led the team; they kicked them out of office in 2007. Yes, I have no apology to that.
“In 2014, in spite the fact that I was the one who fought for the structure of the party, most of them sabotaged me at the back to run for governor against me. When they saw there was no hope, there was nothing else for them to do, they had no choice but to come and join us.”
Wike observed that in their usual manner, they regrouped against him, and clandestinely supported one of them to become the governorship flag bearer of PDP in the state for the 2023 general election but were frustrated.
The Rivers State governor explained that he embarked on legal battle to reclaim Rivers State ceded oil wells to Imo and Bayelsastates, and today, proceeds from them were received by Rivers State.
Wike also mentioned the ongoing legal battle over the illegality of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection by the Federal Government when it should be collected by the states.
The legal battle over deduction of Rivers State fund for the Police Trust Fund was won in favour of the state, including the foiling of the attempt made to illegally abduct former acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), JoiNunieh, who though, was not one of his political supporters, but was protected because she was a Rivers daughter.
Wike said one of the reasons Rivers people cannot trust Seconduswas because of the ugly role he played in 2019.
It was about election time, he said, when AlhajiAtikuAbubakar and former Senate president, Dr BukolaSaraki, visited him to ask what he was expecting for Rivers State, and the demand was clear: the office of the attorney general of the federation and minister of petroleum.
But Wike stated that what Secondus did was to go behind to demand for oil block for himself and not for the state.
Wike also recalled how Secondus had always frustrated the completion of projects that were under his purview, including the Andoni axis of the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni Unity Road.
“Ask him, what happened when the military took over, when the National Republican Convention (NRC) was in power; Ada George was the governor of the state? Ask him, what happened at Ohamini Road. Why was he told to frog jump?
“Who flogged him? Colonel Akubundu(rtd) who, of course, was the organising secretary, flogged him, why? He couldn’t do the project of the Ohamini Road.”
Wike further alleged, “Ask him, from 1999, when Dr Peter Odili became governor?Every project Odili gave to Andoni through him, ask him, which one was commissioned?
“Every company that the state government paid money to, instead of allowing the company to do the job, you’ll collect the money. That is why it’s difficult and we have not been able to commission the Andoni aspect of the road.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr DakorinimaAlaboGeorge-Kelly said the Aluu-Omagwa Link Road was 9.8km long and 9.5metre wide.
He explained that the road would serve as an alternative route for motorists going to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Imo State, and other neighbouring communities.

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LGA Boss Vows To Deliver Fubara, Others In Rivers

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The Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers State, Hon. Akara Okechukwu, has reiterated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would win all positions from governor to state House of Assembly.
He stated that the foundation of victory had been laid by the Governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, following his infrastructure development successes in the state.
Okechukwu said this while reacting after the state PDP campaign team visited his area, last Saturday, saying that the people of Oyigbowere ready to reciprocate what the present administration has done for the LGA in every aspect.
“I have no fear, and I am convinced that the Governorship candidate of PDP Siminialayi Fubara and other state candidates of the PDP will win.
“The people of Oyigbo have vowed to vote massively for PDP because that is the only way to pay back Governor Wike for his good works, mostly in Oyigbo.
“As I speak, 95percent of people living in the area have their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and this indicates sure victory for our great party. I thank the people for coming out enmasse for the campaign, I am really happy,” Okechukwu said.
Speaking, Chairman, Revenue Committee of the LGA, Senibo Daniel Chijindu, described the massive turn out as historic, saying that it was an indication of total victory.
“I will say that the massive turn out of people was historic because this is the first time people came out enmasse for campaign. Honestly, this is an indication that Oyigbo was ‘Simplified’ and was totally for PDP.
“Governor Wike has given Rivers State, a facelift in all ramifications. That is why Oyigbo people said they are for PDP in totality,” he said.
The revenue boss advised those who register for PVC should go and collect their PVC because that is only way to sustain the good governance of PDP.
Also speaking, former commissioner for commerce and industry and stakeholder of PDP in Oyigbo, Hon. Nancy Nwankwo, said adequate sensitisation has been done for the importance of PVC and vote PDP.
According to her, women in Oyigbowere already prepared to celebrate the victory of SiminialayiFubara come May this year, saying they come out enmasse to vote for PDP.
“I am convinced that SimFubara will do better hence he is civil servant. He has proven his intellectual capacity faithful and truthful to replace Governor Wike,” she said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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NCDC Confirms 38 Deaths Of 123 Diphtheria Cases …Says Gaps In Vaccination Coverage Fuelling Outbreak

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No fewer than 38 persons have died out of the 123 diphtheria cases recorded in Nigeria so far, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed.
The states currently facing the disease caused by serious infection of the nose and throat that is easily preventable by vaccine, are Kano, Lagos, Yobe and Osun, respectively.
The nation’s disease control and prevention agency, which disclosed this at a ministerial press briefing, organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, said more cases of the disease were being expected in days ahead, as it spreads to other places.
Speaking through its Director of Special Duties, Dr Priscilla Ibekwe, NCDC said: “As of January 22, NCDC have 123 confirmed cases and 38 deaths. 100 cases are from Kano, with 32 deaths. In Lagos there are five cases with three deaths. In Yobe, there 17 confirmed cases and three deaths, and Osun has recorded one case with no death”.
According to Ibekwe, besides clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases.
Ibekwe said the agency was working with state ministries of health and partners to enhance surveillance and response to the outbreak.
She said,”Given the sub-optimal coverage for the third dose of the diphtheria containing pentavalent vaccine (54percent – 2021 MICS & NICS) in the country, we expect more cases from more states.
“The centre has collaborated with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to organize a 5-day workshop on enhancing laboratory diagnosis of diphtheria in Nigeria for laboratory scientists working in NCDC’s National Reference Laboratories and its lab network (this was planned before cases were reported as part of preparedness), and;
“Written to all states HCHs to institute immediate and necessary public health measures for timely detection and response to diphtheria at state level”.
Speaking on measures being put in place to prevent the disease from spreading further, Ibekwe said NCDC has published a public health advisory, accessible on its website, which educates Nigerians on risk factors and offers advice.
She said:”Parents ensuring that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with 3 doses of the pentavalent vaccine. Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria”.
She also spoke on how to better understand and contain the prevailing global outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 variants.
She said:”The sub-lineages i.e., XBB.1.5 partly responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in the US and elsewhere countries have not yet been detected in the country.
“However, this variant has not been associated with increased severity of illness and now appears to be levelling off.
“The variants reported in China so far have been those circulating globally including in Nigeria for some time.”
However, the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control and Prevention has attributed the current outbreak of diphtheria in some parts of Nigeria to a drop in the childhood vaccination coverage in some areas of the country.
The Director-General of the Agency, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who spoke about the development on a television programme, said that there were 34 deaths recorded over the weekend from the outbreak which hit four states.
He said due to the effectiveness of the childhood vaccination programme, most people have forgotten what it looks like.
He said, “Diphtheria, a vaccine preventable disease that used to be common decades ago is on the increase in some states in Nigeria. The fact that there is a resurgence suggests that there is significant reduction in vaccination coverage among pockets of the population and this reduced pockets of immunity has given rise to the cases we have seen.
“It is not a matter of diphtheria spreading from state to state, the bacteria that causes the disease is present everywhere and it spreads, and any state in which you find the disease now is likely to be associated with suboptimal vaccination rates, either in general or in particular in pockets of population. Failure of childhood vaccination in the failed states causing the diphtheria outbreaks.
“Kano has highest number of cases followed by Yobe, by weekend, there were 34 deaths in total.”
He warned that although diphtheria was highly preventable and treatable, fatality can increase without antibiotics and appropriate conditions, including the diphtheria antitoxin. He assured that with early detection and prompt treatment, the fatal outcomes are usually low.
Adetifa stressed that the really severe cases require the diphtheria antitoxin, even as he assured that the NCDC had distributed vials of the antitoxin since December for use in Lagos and Kano states, and was planning to extend availability to every state where the disease cases are found.
“It is important that patients should be recognised early, and laboratory confirmation carried out so that treatment can commence immediately.”
Adetifa said there were arrangements for trainings of personnel for laboratory diagnosis of the toxin including testing for most of the clinical effects.
“We are in a good state to help, but patients need to be recognised early and diagnosis made quickly and they are placed on the right treatment.
“We are using the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA data to predict high risk states, there is connection with low socioeconomic situation, and we need to look out for healthcare workers who can be given courses of antibiotics.

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Long-Hour Fasting, Danger To Kidney, NAFDAC Warns

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The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. MojisolaAdeyeye, has advised Nigerians against subjecting themselves to long-hour fasting, saying it was risky to their kidneys.
Adeyeye, who attributed the high rate of kidney problems in Nigeria to prolonged fasting by some religious adherents, insisted that those subjecting themselves to prolonged fasting on religious grounds must moderate the act.
She spoke in Abuja, yesterday, while briefing the media on the breakthrough by her agency in tracking high consignments of Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals to the Republic of Benin.
On the high rate of kidney problems in the country, she said: “Kidney failure, we are a very religious country- Muslims and Christians fast a lot and it is part of the kidney problem.
“Your body has to have homeomistatic balance, meaning that the water level in your body must be enough to make your organs to function.
“Some people will fast for 10 or 20 days and drink only little water, the kidney is being punished. Now, if you put chemicals in it, it triples in exponential manner, it damages the kidney because the kidney doesn’t have water to dilute and filter.”
Adeyeye, who tasked Nigerians to fast but with common sense, added: “I fast but with common sense. We have to fast with common sense; otherwise we will pay with our kidneys.”

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