Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said approval has been given to Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for campaign of the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the state.
The governor, however, explained that the approval granted at no cost to the Presidential Campaign Council, was that the stadium would be accessible to the council 48hours to the February 11, 2023 presidential campaign.
Wike, who disclosed this while speaking at the campaign flag-off rally by the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council in Oyigbo Local Government Area, last Friday, said the Director-General of the PCC in Rivers State, Dr.Abiye Sekibo, has no right to want to take possession of the stadium one month before the date of the stipulated event.
He warned Sekibo not to provoke the Rivers State Government by desperately wanting to take possession of the state-owned stadium weeks to the campaign, or else, the approval would be cancelled.
Wike, however, said by the approval he signed, Sekibo and his group can only begin to access the stadium two days to the event to verify and put in place what they required for their rally.
“Let me also use this opportunity to warn Abiye Sekibo, we have made approval for your presidential candidate to use Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, on February 11.You have no right to begin to go to the stadium now. We cannot give you access to the stadium now. We can only give you access to the stadium two days to the occasion for you to prepare.
“Nobody gave you one month. So, if you dare it again, to go and force yourself into the stadium, I will cancel the approval with immediate effect. Dare it again, I will cancel it. Heaven will not fall. In fact, if heaven falls now, we will be happy that it was in our time heaven came down.”
The governor wondered why Sekibo was acting against the approval given to him, and said it appears that he was finding a reason to blame in the event that the rally fails.
“I know you are not ready to do that rally. You are only looking for excuse. But you must do it. I know you are going to import people, no problems, go and import. We have given you the stadium.”
Wike also took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State for blaming the crisis that greeted the campaign of its governorship candidate in Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt,lastThursday.
The governor stressed that APC became a victim to the brewing crisis between the two factions in Rumuwoji community because they did not address their demand adequately.
Otherwise, Wike wondered why APC did not encounter crisis with their rallies when they used the Tipper Park in Etche Local Government and the IYM secretariat in Ikwerre Local Government.
The governor asked them to stop complaining if they are not ready for the forthcoming general election because the PDP in the state is fully prepared for the election.
Wike mocked Senator Andrew Uchendu, because despite serving in several administrations, he failed to attract development project to his Mgbuitanwo community.
According to him, it was his administration that contracted Julius Berger to construct internal roads, fitted with street lights in Mgbuitanwo.
The governor stressed that the APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, in collusion with the immediate past administration of Governor ChibuikeAmaechi, sold the state gas turbines, and diverted $50million from the state account.
Wike said the APC governorship was now facing criminal charges with the state government demanding from him to refund the $50million, which it wants to use for development projects.
“Go and bring our money back. We want to use the money to develop the people of Oyigbo, to develop the people of Rivers State.”
The governor further accused the APC governorship candidate of masterminding the killing of scores of persons in Abonnema by the military during the 2019 general election.
The Rivers State governor told Oyigbo people to know that the PDP governorship candidate, Sir SiminialayiFubara, would continue from where his administration would stop and consolidate on the gains made already.
In his address, Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Sir SiminialayiFubara, told the people of Oyigbo to support PDP, and in return, he would consolidate on the infrastructure and security gains of Governor NyesomWike in the area, and transform it to the commercial hub of the state.
He promised to carry out programmes that would encourage and grow small and medium-sized enterprises in Oyigbo, but urged them to ensure that PDP wins the governorship, National Assembly, and state House of Assembly elections for such promise to be fulfilled.
“We are campaigning on the grounds that Governor NyesomWike’s administration has given you road that the previous administration refused to construct for you. We have built good schools for you, provided security and other basic amenities.
“Our task is to consolidate and continue with the good things already established by Governor Wike. Since you have stable power and you are close to the sea port, we will create an enabling environment for business to thrive.
“Investors will come in from Aba, and other places to establish small-scale and medium-sized businesses here. The basis of development is infrastructure, and that is what this administration has provided. When we say consolidation and continuity, this is what we are talking about.
“The man who just joined us from APC said the reason he jumped ship is because the bad road leading to his community has been constructed by Governor Wike after Amaechi refused to do it. Our government carried out only meaningful projects; we don’t abandon projects everywhere like they do.
“Support us the way you supported Dr. Peter Odili in 1999 to 2007.Support us the same way you have been supporting our Principal, GovernorNyesomWike from 2015 to date. Forget the fact that I am your brother, support me based on my competence and commitment to the overall development of Rivers State,” he said.
Fubara took a swipe at the embattled governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, for embarking on incessant campaign of calumny and lies in lieu of issue-based campaign.
“He claims that he is a pastor but there is nothing in his character and deed that shows that he is a Christian. Christianity is living like Christ, not title. A real pastor will not bring soldiers to kill his own people in the name of election; a real pastor will not be used to steal state assets,” the guber candidate added.
He issued stern warning to Tonye Cole, to focus on his campaign, and leave him out of his affairs.
Fubara insisted that his administration, when elected, would follow in the footsteps of the outgoing government on the slogan of continuity and consolidation.
According to him, he would build on the infrastructure development secured by the Wike administration in Oyigbo, sustain the gains in security, provision of quality education infrastructure, create conducive business climate to promote small scale businesses, while improving on the quality of life of the citizenry.
In his remarks, Director General of Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Bro Felix Obuah, said Wike has done so well, and Fubara would consolidate on his achievements.
Obuah said Oyigbo would give Sir SimFubara 90percent of their total votes in the governorship election.
Also, Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb Desmond Akawor, presented the flag of the party to the candidates contesting the various elective positions.
Senator BarinadaMpigi, who spoke on behalf of the candidates, said they were fully ‘Sim-plifed”, and willing to serve the interest of their constituents and the state at large.
Mpigi said they would do allthat Wike has asked them to do.
Former leader of Oyigbo Legislative Assembly, Hon. EbeOwulo, said the projects delivered by Wike in Oyigbo have collapsed the opposition party in the area.
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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