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COVID-19: Nigerian govt provides update on vaccines

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The Federal Government says the nation is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), GAVI and others on therapeutics and vaccines against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 59th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Ehanire said that Nigeria had as of August 19, 2020, crossed the 50,000 landmarks and recorded 50,488 COVID-19 cases, out of 366,244 samples tested so far, of which 37,304 persons were successfully treated and discharged.

“We have sadly had 985 fatalities, which is also a reminder to us all, that COVID-19 has not abated.

“Male prevalence remains high, with more infections in the age group below 50 years, but more fatalities in the higher age brackets and among the vulnerable with comorbidities.

“The changing dynamics of the virus and the disease make it necessary for us to continue to review our response strategies, ensure we train and update our health workers on the latest and most effective approach to the treatment of the disease and tailor our procurement in the light of knowledge gained,” he said.

The minister said that the Department of Hospital Services, FMOH, would lead the effort to increase the pool of experts and focal persons in various specialities.

He said the ministry would train trainers in Infection Prevention and Control at all service and health facilities and that one such training was recently concluded in Gombe State.

Ehanire said that the information session on COVID-19, conducted weekly by the World Health Organisation (WHO) was held on Thursday morning and that he had the opportunity of sharing Nigeria experience, as one of two countries invited to make presentations on national response strategies.

“A clear message from this briefing is that COVID-19 is a threat to mankind and there is a need for all countries to work together for solutions that will allow equitable access to information sharing on therapeutics and vaccines.

“In the words of the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, “by working together, we are protecting each other. In a global pandemic, none of us is safe until all of us are safe,” he stated.

According to him, Nigeria is also working with WHO to finalise enrollment with ACT Accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring research organisations working on COVID-19 vaccine development.

He said: “We are also interested in the COVAX facility, a GAVI supported global initiative to procure and ensure equitable access to vaccines, as soon as they are available, especially for Lower and Lower Middle Income Countries (LMIC).

“This will prioritise Nigeria for allocation of a part of two billion vaccine doses that will be secured, in a special plan to protect the interests of poorer countries.”

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Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is deadObadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is dead

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Obadiah Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is dead.

Mailafia, the 64-year-old reportedly passed away on Sunday morning at the National Hospital Abuja.

Recall that Obadiah Mailafia stirred controversy after he granted an interview accusing most top government officials of sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria.

Confirming his death, Fani-Kayode on his Twitter page wrote: “I am saddened by the passing of my dear friend & brother Mr. Obadiah Mailafiya who was one of the most powerful and progressive voices in our country. I was informed that he passed on this morning. He was a great nationalist, a believer in Nigeria, a kind and gentle soul.”

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APGA disowns Jude Njoku as Party National Chairman, insists on Oye

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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has refuted viral claims of a court pronouncement affirming Chief Edozie Njoku as the party’s national chairman.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance is currently battling a leadership crisis that has led to the emergence of several factions, coupled with court litigations among each of the factions claiming to be the authentic elected national working committee (NWC) of the party.

A party chieftain, Edozie Njoku had approached the federal high court and sought among other reliefs, a declaration of the court in his favour as the National Chairman of APGA.

He also prayed the court to mandate Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise him as the National Chairman of APGA and to stop recognizing Victor Ike Oye as the National Chairman of the party.

However, APGA, in a statement by its Chairman in Imo State, John Iwuala, while clarifying the outcome of court proceedings in the matter between Oye and Njoku held Friday, said Njoku breached part rules by appearing in court with a new lawyer.

“Trouble started in the court when he, (Edozie Njoku) in his usual way brought a lawyer for APGA as against the National legal adviser of the party, Sly Ezenwoke Esq. The question now is: who is to represent APGA as lawyer among the duo? he asked.

“After series of deliberations, the court later asked both lawyers to file briefs and decided to pronounce the authentic lawyer at the end of the matter on judgement. This decision did not go down well with Dr Oye and APGA, hence they approached the court of Appeal.

“On Friday, 17 Sept. 202, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division directed that the matter be sent back to the Federal High Court for continuation. There is nothing beyond this.

“The court of Appeal has every right to invoke the authorities of Order 47 of the court of Appeal Act to assume jurisdiction as the court of first instance but didn’t want to do so as the substance of the case has already been dealt with by three appeal court judgements via Kano, Awka and Enugu respectively.

“It baffled the leadership of APGA Imo State Chapter how these fake news peddlers behave in a myopic way of feeding the public with fake news. This calls for a cry of reasoning and ecology of reasonableness.

“It must be recalled that this matter emanated from Bauchi State, where the plaintiff and his co-travellers went for “forum shopping’ to deceive the judge who on sighting danger that both plaintiff and defendant are same persons, sponsored by the same person, just trying to mislead the court, washed his hands off from it, the case was transferred to Abuja and Dr Victor Ike Oye was notified of the ongoing matter. What they specialize in is to sue, bring their lawyer and bring a lawyer for the defendant without the knowledge of the defendant until judgement is secured. That was what they did in Jigawa. Though the court of Appeal Kano division has set it aside and declared *Dr Oye as the duly elected and authentic National Chairman of APGA in a well organized and INEC monitored National Convention held on 31st May 2019.

“With the return of this matter to the High Court yesterday (Friday) from the court of Appeal Abuja, the matter is as good as dead as the High court lacks jurisdiction to hear any matter of which substance has already been heard and finally determined by the Court of Appeal. This one, three appeal court judgements in favour of Dr Oye including the award of N10m against Edozie Njoku for disturbing APGA and the courts of the land.

“I am seeing another N10m award against him soon. I wish with this, the reading public, especially our Anambra indigenes resident here in Imo State can remain calm and unperturbed over the fake news.

“We all know the pains you pass through when this fake, fabricated and malicious news came up as it has to do with the emergence of Prof Chukwuma Soludo as the next Governor of Anambra State, come November 2021”.

APGA accused political jobbers of peddling the fake viral news to mislead the reading public as part of their failed strategies to truncate the party’s chances for the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state.

 

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Nigerian health workers issue fresh strike notice, lists demands

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The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have issued a fresh notice of industrial action.

The notice confirms negotiations with the government is still ongoing as the recent strike notice expired the night of September 17.

JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Matthew Ajorutu, said an Expanded National Executive Council (NEC) emergency meeting of the unions was held on Friday.

In attendance were the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

The session appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the federal government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

Ajorutu noted that NEC discussed the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the pledge to pay any debt owed to health workers.

The scribe disclosed NEC received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the fresh strike notice starting September 18.

Ajorutu asked the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

The unions urged that the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to FG’s High-Level Body (HLB) not later than September 22, as agreed.

”NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High-Level Body (HLB) completes and submits the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the Sept. 30th, submission window.

”NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window”, the joint statement added.

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