Archives April 2020

COVID-19: WAEC, NECO Postponement Is Indefinite – FG

The Federal Government has reacted to the continued closure of educational institutions in the country over the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja over the virus, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said the postponement of examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) remain indefinite.

He also recalled that the Ministry of Education had in March shut tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools in the country as precautionary measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister while noting that rendering educational services to the masses is in the concurrent list, said the Federal Government will communicate a new resumption date to all stakeholders.

“As you are aware, we have announced that WAEC and NECO for the year have been postponed. This postponement at the moment is indefinite.

“As soon as we arrive at a definite time, we will re-communicate that. We will also be looking at what we will do in order for schools to reopen. As you will recall, we asked that schools vacate in the late part of March as soon as this broke.

“Now it will be a coordinated effort among all the states because the lockdown in various parts will definitely affect how students go to school or not or how teachers come to school or not. So it goes with that saying that nobody can reopen schools now except we coordinate all of that effort,” he said.

Speaking further, he solicited the cooperation of parents regarding efforts put in place to render online services to students staying at home during the lockdown period.

According to him, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had directed the Ministry through the Directorate of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enable students learn online.

Nwajiuba explained that his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Information plans transmitting educational contents to Nigerians.

He said that currently, about 14 or 15 states in the country including Lagos and Anambra run some educational contents to carry students along.

“Right now, what has happened is that that 14 or 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly radio and local TV.

“What they are running is an approved NERDC curriculum. That is ongoing at the moment, not all the states have started the programme but mostly Anambra, Lagos, a few states about 14 of them.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Information through NTA and the Federal Radio Corporation to then escalate what they have as their education content so that they can provide for everybody. They are still working on that, it is ongoing,” he stated.

A Special Broadcast on Covid-19 by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano

A Special Broadcast on Covid-19 by the Governor of Anambra State, HisExcellency, Chief Willie Obiano

A Special Broadcast on Covid-19 by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano on Saturday April 18, 2020 to Update Ndi Anambra on Contact Tracing and Progress of the Index Case.

Ndi Anambra ekenem unu.
One week ago, I announced to you that our dear state had recorded an Index-Case of the Covid-19 pandemic that has forced the world to a standstill in the past few months.

I assured you that my Team and I had made the necessary arrangements to give Ndi Anambra a fighting chance against the pandemic. Today, I am delighted to announce that the report reaching me from the Protective Care Center indicates that our Index Case is responding very well to treatment. In fact, the first post treatment result from the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) returned Negative for SARS-CoV 2. However, following the standards which have been rigorously applied by NCDC since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, he will go for a second round of test before he can be conclusively declared negative. We shall continue to remember him in our prayers as he fights his way back from this illness.

Update on Contact Tracing:
As I assured in my last broadcast, our medical team has successfully tracked 39 people who had direct contact with the Index Case. Out of this number, 5 are in our Protective Care Center while the rest are quarantined at home. The people in our Protective Care Center are stable and have shown no symptoms of the virus so far. Similarly, the people in Home Quarantine are being closely monitored in strict compliance with the WHO guidelines on Covid-19 containment.

Meanwhile, 6 people out of the 39 contacts have tested negative for Coronavirus. These are people who met directly with the Index Case 14 days ago. Ndi Anambra, this is something to be cheerful about.

Similarly, out of 20 samples tested for the virus from Anambra State so far, only the Index Case returned Positive. The rest are negative. Ndi Anambra, this result gives us enough elbowroom to fight this monster by adhering to the principles of Social Distancing, maintaining a thorough personal hygiene and obeying government directives and policies on the Covid-19 pandemic. I have no doubt that if we keep the rules, we shall be in good position to kick Covid-19 out of our dear state.

Anambra State Covid-19 Law:
I am delighted to announce the Anambra State House of Assembly has successfully passed the Anambra State Covid-19 Law which has been accented to by the Governor.

Flattening the Curve on the Pandemic:
Umu nnem, I want to thank you all for taking the inconvenience created by the Covid-19 pandemic with calm dignity and complying with government directives in the past one week. I wish to assure you that if we raise our level of compliance a little higher for the remaining week of this lock down and ensure that there is no new case of the virus among us, we shall review the continued lock down of our beloved state. So, I urge you to keep your heads up and don’t relax your defence just yet.

Ndi Anambra, experience has shown that the best defence against Covid-19 is eternal vigilance. The virus has a tendency to surprise people who lose concentration; and once it is allowed a room to flourish, it occupies space in full. Ndi Anambra, we cannot afford to lose concentration against Coronavirus. For this reason, we wish to re-strengthen the following measures we have adopted against it –

1. All boundaries with neighbouring states remain closed. Only vehicles conveying essential commodities and supplies are allowed to enter Anambra State after a proper check and confirmation by Security Agents.

2. All inter-city/inter-community movements in the State (e.g Awka-Onitsha, Onitsha-Nnewi, Ozubulu-Ihiala etc) remain suspended. Ndi Anambra are strongly advised to stay where they are until the lock-down is over. For example, those in Awka should remain in Awka, those in Aguleri should remain in Aguleri, people in Nnewi should remain in Nnewi except when the movement is extremely necessary.

3. All motor parks in the State remain closed.
4. Food markets in Anambra State are to open only on Tuesdays and Fridays. Traders and customers in these markets must always maintain the principles of Social Distancing during the transaction process.

5. The wholesale medical drug market (Ndi Ogbo Ogwu) in Onitsha is permitted to open only on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please note that any stores/shops located in the markets not dealing on food items or medical drugs remain closed. The security agents have been directed to ensure a rigorous enforcement.

6. Commercial banks in Anambra State are encouraged to maintain skeletal services especially on market days.

7. All farmers in Anambra State are directed to return to their farms with immediate effect. This is to allow them participate fully in the current planting season. I also wish to urge Ndi Anambra to return to the farms because that is the only way we can fend the impending hunger that Covid-19 has created.

8. Ndi Anambra are encouraged to wear face masks whenever they step out of their homes for any reason, wash their hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds each time, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, cough/sneeze into folded elbows and practice Social Distancing at all times.

9. People on essential services e.g. Health workers, journalists, and factory workers producing essential commodities are not affected by this lockdown. Security agents enforcing the lockdown order should take note of this.

10. Ndi Anambra are advised to contact the Anambra State Public Health Emergency Operation Center immediately (PHEOC) once they feel unwell. The PHEOC numbers are 08030953771, 08145434416, 08117567363, 08058967320.

Ensuring our Food Supply after Covid-19:
Ndi Anambra, Covid-19 has forced the world to prioritize its needs. In Anambra State, we are seriously looking at the effect of the pandemic on food supply while it lasts and in the near future. Consequently, we have come up with a short term plan that will ensure that food supply is not adversely affected in the state after Covid-19. To achieve this, we have taken the following steps:

1. Secured 3000 hectares of arable land in the agricultural belt of the state for large scale farming during this planting season. This initiative is expected to take over 2000 youths off the labour market.

2. Ordered the purchase of 7 Tractors to be deployed in the cultivation of the land.

3. Empowering women and youths by providing them with cages for poultry and feedstock for birds.

4. Commenced the distribution of agricultural inputs at subsidized rates to farmers.

Umu nnem, I have no doubt that a strict implementation of this initiative shall give us food security during this pandemic and afterwards.

Covid-19 Prerogative of Mercy:
Fellow citizens, the world is going through an extraordinary time. The moment calls for acts that will renew and restore our faith in our humanity. It is as result of this that I have decided to exercise my Prerogative of Mercy and release 54 prisoners from the four correctional facilities in Anambra State. I hope that this decision will not only bring hope and joy to some families but that it will also help to decongest our correctional facilities.

The Nkpor Incident:
Umu nnem, the clash between a group of youths and some security operatives at Nkpor that resulted in the unfortunate death of one person and injuries to other is extremely regrettable. It is one avoidable incident which we must not permit to happen to us again. The Government of Anambra State will foot the medical bills of the injured as well as underwrite the burial costs of the deceased. However, in the interest of peace in our communities, I wish to appeal to Ndi Anambra to refrain from anything that would lead to a head-on collision with the police. I also appeal to the police to adopt best practices in dealing with the challenges that this difficult moment will most certainly provide. May the soul of the departed young man rest in perfect peace! Amen.

Palliatives for the Youths:
Ndi Anambra, this administration has always prioritized the youths in all our activities. It is on account of this that we have decided to extend a similar gesture we gave to senior citizens above 70 years to Anambra youths this time around. In specific terms, we shall soon be handing out 400 bags of rice per community to each of the 181 communities in Anambra State. The bags of rice shall be distributed to the youths of these communities through the same channels that were used in distributing the ones meant for the senior citizens. It is my fervent hope that this gesture will go a long way in alleviating the pains of Covid-19 on our youths.

Appreciation of Donors and Communal Response to Covid-19:

Ndi Anambra, I am delighted to announce that since my last broadcast, the call for support to our efforts to fight against Covid-19 has attracted more favourable reactions from our people. Donations have poured in from individuals and groups who wish our dear state well. I am particularly impressed that these donations have not only come from the rich and mighty among us but also from the everyday people who struggle to feed their families. That is the spirit of Igwe bu ike (the communal spirit). That is the Spirit of Anambra. As a result of this, our new list of donors is so long that I will not be able to read it now. However, we shall continue to update the list online where everyone can see it. You may visit www.absradiotv.com for details.

Ndi Anambra, I must not fail to acknowledge our brothers and sisters who have taken up the challenge of reaching out to the vulnerable ones in their respective communities. I am daily updated on the enormous relief materials distributed by kind-hearted people in various communities and I say “thank you” to everyone who has done that for our people. The Government alone cannot meet all the expectations of the people in these trying times. Dalunu o! Oga abalu unu o!

Ndi Anambra, in conclusion, it should be clear to us now that we hold the key to our own peace of mind and to our collective survival. God has shown us tremendous mercy. It is up to us now to help ourselves by complying with the directive on lock-down for the remaining week of the exercise by maintaining Social Distancing, washing our hands with soap for 20 seconds, using alcohol-based hand-sanitizers, wearing a face mask whenever we step out of our homes and coughing/sneezing into our folded elbows.

It shall be well with us!
God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria
Dalunu
Willie Obiano
Governor

BREAKING: Ganduje Fires Commissioner For ‘Unguarded Utterances’ About Kyari

The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has relieved the appointment of the Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Mu’azu Magaji with immediate effect.

Engineer Mu’azu was sacked following his  Facebook posts on Abba Kyari.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, the commissioner was removed following his unguarded utterances against the person of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari.

He said as a public servant, the commissioner ought to have respect the office by refraining from any act capable of rendering it to disrepute.

“The action of a public servant, personal or otherwise reflects back on the government and therefore, the Ganduje administration would not tolerate people in official capacities engaging in personal vendetta or otherwise,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the state government eulogised Kyari, stressing that he led a life worthy of emulation by serving his country to the best of his ability.

Pastor, church workers jailed 4 years each for defying ban on public gatherings

Pastor, church workers jailed 4 years each for defying ban on public gatherings

A district court in Ho has sentenced a pastor and two of his church worker to 4 years in prison for defying directives against public gatherings.

Apostle Sampson Agakpe who is the founder of the Church of Pure Christ in the Volta Region, was arrested on April 12 together with his assistant pastor, Maxwell Dzogoedzikpe and church secretary, Samuel Agakpe.

The pastor was said to have held church service at Tongor-Abui in the South Dayi district last Sunday for more than 50 people in clear breach of the ban on religious gathering contrary to Regulation 1 sub-section 1 of EI 65 and section 6 of Act 1012.

The three arrested pleaded guilty to the charges of failing to comply with the ban and put before the Kpando Circuit Court, and accordingly fined 13,200 cedis each or in default serve four-year jail term each.

As at Thursday, April 16, they had failed to pay the fine totaling 39,600 cedis, forcing authorities to send them to the Ho Central Prion to serve the four year jail term.

Prosecution told the court that on April 12, the police had information that Apostle Agakpe, was having a church service at the church premises at Tongor-Abui in the South Dayi district assembly.

The police proceeded to the scene and met the apostle preaching to a congregation of over 50 “in flagrant disregard of the president of the republic of Ghana’s imposed restrictions on public gathering including religious activities in churches”, the court heard.

There Will Be No Condolence Visits For Abba Kyari – Presidency

The Presidency has announced that there will be no condolence visits to the family of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari.

The Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, said this in a series of tweets on Saturday, shortly after the remains of Mr Kyari arrived at the Defence House in Abuja for his burial.

“We just received the body of Abba Kyari, the deceased Chief of Staff the President in Abuja. In strict observation of the protocol put in place for the burial of Coronavirus victims by the NCDC, and the Federal Ministry of Health, the funeral prayer and burial will be private.

“Thereafter, there will be no such ceremonies as condolence visits.

“Well-meaning friends, family members and the general public are encouraged to pray for the repose of Abba Kyari’s soul,” Shehu wrote.

The news of Kyari’s death was announced by both Mr Garba and another presidential aide, Mr Femi Adesina, in the early hours of today.

According to them, he died on Friday, April the 17th.

Mr Kyari’s remains were brought in an ambulance to the Defence House in Abuja, where family members, as well as his colleagues, gathered to pay their last respect.

He was eventually laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery.

News that the Chief of Staff had tested positive for COVID-19 first broke on March 24, about 10 days after he returned from a trip to Germany during which he met with officials of Siemens in Munich on Nigeria’s electricity expansion programme.

He later confirmed the news himself, in a statement on March 29, the same day President Buhari made his first nationwide broadcast on the pandemic and announced a two-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

In the statement, Mr Kyari revealed that he would be transferred to Lagos from the FCT for treatment and expressed the hope that he would recover and return to work soon.

At the time, Mr Kyari said he felt well and did not exhibit any signs of the disease, which has now infected 493 people in the country and claimed 17 lives, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

A Kanuri from Borno, Mr Kyari was one of President’s Buhari’s closest allies.

Appointed Chief of Staff in August 2015, he became considered one of the most influential and powerful members of the Buhari administration.

Prior to his foray into politics, Mr Kyari had a professional career as a lawyer and spent years in the banking industry, rising to become the Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) at some point.

PHOTOS: Abba Kyari Buried In Abuja

The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari, who died on Friday, April the 17th, has now been buried.

His remains were brought in an ambulance to the Defence House in Abuja, where family members, as well as his colleagues, gathered to pay their last respect.

He was laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery in Abuja.

The news of his death was announced by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in the early hours of today.

Another of the President’s spokespersons, Mr Garba Shehu, also tweeted about the development.

News that Mr Kyari had tested positive for COVID-19 first broke on March 24, about 10 days after he returned from a trip to Germany during which he met with officials of Siemens in Munich on Nigeria’s electricity expansion programme.

Mr Kyari confirmed the news in a statement on March 29, the same day President Buhari made his first nationwide broadcast on the pandemic and announced a two-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

In his statement, Mr Kyari revealed that he would be transferred to Lagos from the FCT for treatment and expressed the hope that he would recover and return to work soon.

At the time, Mr Kyari said he felt well and did not exhibit any signs of the disease, which has now infected 493 people in the country and claimed 17 lives, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

A Kanuri from Borno, Mr Kyari was one of President’s Buhari’s closest allies.

Appointed Chief of Staff in August 2015, he became considered one of the most influential and powerful members of the Buhari administration.

Prior to his foray into politics, Mr Kyari had a professional career as a lawyer and spent years in the banking industry, rising to become the Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) at some point.

See photos of the burial below.

Nigerian president’s chief of staff dies from coronavirus

The Nigerian president’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, has died after contracting Covid-19, two presidency spokesmen said on Twitter, as Covid-19 deaths on the continent pass 1,000.

Kyari, who was in his 70s and had underlying health problems, including diabetes, was the top official aide to President Muhammadu Buhari and one of the most powerful men in the country.

“The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu in a tweet on Friday, using an honorific title for Kyari.

“The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” he said in a second post on Twitter. Spokesman Femi Adesina also confirmed the death.

Kyari’s was the highest profile death due to the disease in the West African country, which has 493 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Nigeria Records Another COVID-19 Death As 24 More Patients Recover

Another person has died of coronavirus in Nigeria, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in the country to 13.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this on Thursday night in its latest report on the pandemic.

It revealed that as of 10:20 pm on April 16, five states – Lagos, Edo, Katsina, Delta, and Kano, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have recorded at least one death.

The NCDC added that 35 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the country, raising the total number of infections to 442.

These infections, it said, were reported from three states – Lagos (19), Kano (five), Oyo (two), as well as the FCT where nine new cases were confirmed.

According to the NCDC, a total of 152 COVID-19 patients have recovered across Nigeria, following the discharge of 24 more people.

It stated that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) which was activated at Level 3 would continue to coordinate the national response activities.


CASE SUMMARY IN NIGERIA AS AT APRIL 16TH 2020

Total Samples Tested > 5000
Total Confirmed cases 442
Discharged 152
Death 13
States Affected No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed) No. of Active Cases No. Discharged No of Deaths
Lagos 251 154 90 7
Abuja FCT 67 42 23 2
Kano 21 20 0 1
Osun 20 3 17 0
Edo 15 9 5 1
Oyo 13 8 5 0
Ogun 9 4 5 0
Katsina 7 6 0 1
Bauchi 6 6 0 0
Kaduna 6 6 0 0
Akwa Ibom 6 3 3 0
Kwara 4 4 0 0
Delta 4 3 0 1
Ondo 3 3 0 0
Enugu 2 0 2 0
Ekiti 2 1 1 0
Rivers 2 1 1 0
Niger 2 2 0 0
Benue 1 1 0 0
Anambra 1 1 0 0
Total 442 277 152 13