The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that the resignation of former Minister of Health and member of Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof Alphonsus Bosah Chukwurah Nwosu from the party was in further support to G5 governors’ demand for equity, fairness and justice.
The governor warned that if the party remains unyielding in zoning the office of the national chairman to the South, then, it should also be willing to face grave repercussions.
He made the declaration when stakeholders of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area paid a solidarity visit to him at Government House, Port Harcourt, last Saturday.
The governor stated that he had continued to challenge the party to come to terms with the fact that everybody was equal in the country, with nobody being a second class citizen.
“I have continued to challenge them. What is the problem? What are we fighting for? What I said and will continue to say is that: all of us are from this country. Nobody is a second class citizen.
“We had agreed that this is how our party will be. Recently, Prof. A.B.C.Nwosu resigned from the party, saying that his conscience will not allow him, that the constitution of the party is clear, if you take this, these other people will take that. Why now are we saying that we won’t do it again?”
Wike spoke further: “What the people are saying is look, you have taken this, let these people take that, and you are saying you will take all. If you take all, you will also face the repercussions.”
The Rivers State governor declared that anybody fighting the state would experience defeat.
He maintained that God has blessed the state so much that He would not allow its adversaries to become victorious because the protective wall still remains difficult to penetrate.
Wike stressed that even if Rivers State loves peace, it cannot be intimidated and made to succumb to those who just want to milk it and deny it of its rightful place in the scheme of national politics.
“You cannot fight anybody that God has blessed. God has blessed Rivers State. Anybody fighting Rivers State, you are fighting yourself.
“Nobody can intimidate us. No one state in this country can intimidate Rivers State. If you want to fight us, we will fight you to the last.
“If you want to make peace with us, we will make peace with you to the last. But thinking that anybody will come and intimidate us, and then, we will chicken out, that is not possible.”
Wike flayed people like Senator George Thompson Sekibo for pitching against the interest of Rivers State, and wondered what benefit he can attract to his people.
The Rivers State governor described the senator as an ungrateful politician who believes that only him should be the leading light in his local government.
Wike made reference to the support he gave to ensure that the former head of the notorious SARS team in Rivers State, Akin Fakorede, did not succeed in stalling the announcement of the 2015 senatorial election, and footing the legal fees through the election tribunal for him.
The Rivers State governor insisted that it was time the people of Ogu/Bolo, and indeed, all Rivers people stand up together, and boldly too, against those who were working against the interest of the state.
Wike announced the award of contract for the construction of Eli Town landing jetty, and the Eteo-Ogu Road in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area.
The governor also assured the payment of the outstanding contractual sums in the coming week for the remodelled Junior Secondary School in Ogu, sandfilling project, and Kera-K-Dere Road (50percent) paid already.
Wike explained that 100percent sum has been paid for the Kpogor-Wakama Road, and urged the contractor handling the project to return to site and speed up the work.
The governor stressed that governance was about giving the people confidence, and fulfilling promises made to them.
He told them to be ready to return 100percent votes enthusiastically same way they have received projects from his administration, so that the consolidation team that would be headed by the PDP governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, would win at the polls.
In his remarks, Rivers State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon Boma Iyaye, acknowledged that the Wike-led administration has given to communities in Ogu/ Bolo more projects than they ever requested.
While pledging their support to Wike, he said they would await his directive on the presidential candidate to vote for in the forthcoming election.
Reading their address, the Amanyanabo of Bolo-Ama, King Acheseinimie Frank, said Wike was a systematic source of inspiration to all Rivers people because he had courageously improved the socio-economic and political fortunes of the state.
LGA Boss Vows To Deliver Fubara, Others In Rivers
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
NCDC Confirms 38 Deaths Of 123 Diphtheria Cases …Says Gaps In Vaccination Coverage Fuelling Outbreak
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.
Long-Hour Fasting, Danger To Kidney, NAFDAC Warns
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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