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BREAKING: Lagos withdraws charges against Naira Marley, Gbadamosi
The Lagos State Government has withdrawn charges against a musician, Azeez Fashola, alias Naira Marley, and a politician, Babatunde Gbadamosi.
Naira Marley, Gbadamosi and his wife were charged before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Ogba for attending a crowded birthday party in violation of the government’s social distancing directive to check the spread of coronavirus.
They were scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday.
But the government, according to one of the defence counsel, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), withdrew the four counts filed against the three defendants.
It was earlier reported that policemen barred journalists from the court premises.
At the end of the proceedings, Adegboruwa briefed journalists on what transpired in the courtroom.
He said the state withdrew the charges on the condition that the defendants would tender an apology to President Muhammadu Buhari and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 1:11 pm
BREAKING: Fire guts Accountant-General’s Office
Fire on Wednesday gutted the Treasury House which is the office of the Accountant General of the Federation in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
It was gathered that the fire started from around the third floor, razing the building upwards including the Accountant General’s office and most of the important offices.
The cause of the fire is however unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 12:38 pm
Despite isolating and receiving treatments, UCH chairman tests positive for coronavirus again
Chairman of the governing board of the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Ibrahim Shetima has tested positive for Coronavirus again.
Shetima had earlier tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago and was placed in isolation at a special ward in UCH.
Public Relations Officer of the institution, Toye Akinrinlola, had noted that the chairman manifested symptoms of the virus shortly after the last board meeting of the hospital began in Ibadan.
However, the result of the COVID-19 second test done returned positive.
Akinrinlola on Tuesday said Shetima would continue to receive treatment at the UCH and that a third test would be done in a few days.
He said, “As I earlier said, the chairman only attended the first day of the board meeting on Tuesday, 24th of March, 2020. It was at the meeting that he began to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. The meeting was suspended and a test was done and result came out positive. He was placed in a special ward at the hospital for treatment.
“A repeat test, which was done to see if he was negative after a series of treatments, was conducted two days ago (Sunday) and the result still showed positive.
“He is being treated at an isolation center at the UCH. He will continue treatment and a third test would be done at an appointed time.”
Akinrinlola, however, noted that Shetima was “sharp and alert.”
“The chairman’s case is not severe. He is sharp and alert but we have to attain that negative status before we can consider him as fully recovered. The record we have places him around 65 years of age, ” he added.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 12:18 pm
Coronavirus: Buhari Govt under fire as China kicks out Igbo indigenes (VIDEO)
A South East group, the Igbo Renaissance Forum has reacted to the demeaning treatment currently being meted out on Igbo people in China.
Video clips emerged from different social media platforms yesterday showing Chinese authorities kicking Nigerians out of their hotels over Coronavirus fears.
In a statement on Wednesday, signed by International Coordinator, Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi) the forum said it “received with amazement and shock the inhuman and demeaning treatment currently being meted out on Ndi Igbo and other Nigerians in China.”
The group warned that Ndi Igbo were fast losing patience with a leadership of Nigeria that had not inspired any hope in those they lead.
The group expressed concerns that the Federal Government and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Jideofor K. Onyeama remained in golden silence mode despite the situation.
“A few days ago, videos of molestation and intimidation of Ndi Igbo and other Nigerians living in China went viral online. We have taken time to investigate the matter and have confirmed the videos that we received in relation to the incidents recorded as factual,” the statement added.
“We want to use this medium to speak directly to the South East political leaders, and specifically to the South East Governors. That your deafening silence in the face of obvious life-threatening circumstances facing your people in China is disdainful and insensitive to put it mildly.
“It is sad that these people stranded in China and being subjected to inhuman treatments by the Chinese were quarantined for 15 days and subsequently thrown into the streets and asked to leave, without any consideration whatsoever. From information received from reliable sources, we gathered that hotels have been instructed not to take them in, even as some are being evicted from their living places.
“It is even more sad that while our people are being treated like animals in China, our leaders, who were always screaming on podiums during campaigns, vowing and pledging to protect and preserve our lives and rights have decided to be VERY SILENT and are acting as if they are deaf, dumb and blind!
“We are waiting for Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to address this matter with the urgency it deserves. It is disheartening for us as Ndi Igbo to observe the kind of efforts that goes into rescuing citizens from regions other than ours from unsavory situations, only to see a snail speed action when any bad situation seems to affect Ndi Igbo more.
“However, we shall not dwell on the lacklustre attitude of the federal government to issues concerning Ndi Igbo as our focus is on our elected leaders in the South East who have become even more fatally lethargic at taking charge and defending Ndi Igbo in recent times.
“Our people are going through unimaginable pain and anguish for no other reason but XENOPHOBIA, and yet we have our own brother, Geoffrey Jideofor K. Onyeama as Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in GOLDEN SILENCE MODE.
“Some people in some quarters have insinuated that most of the people affected are either not legally resident in China or have criminal records that might affect their exit from the country. For us as an Organization, it is absurd to start attributing and conjuring such ideas without any data of the individuals affected, or even a thorough investigation of the matter to ascertain the legal immigration status of these individuals.
“We demand that the South East Governors by Friday 10th of April 2010 should tell Ndi Igbo in definite terms, the course of action on how to engage the federal government to evacuate our people facing homelessness, anxiety, vagaries of the weather and ultimately COVID-19 in China at this moment.
“That the South East Governors constitute adiaspora interface organization at the shortest possible time, made up of credible individuals to get to work and to quickly come up with a comprehensive welfare report on Ndi Igbo across the globe. This is very pertinent for us, as we battle this pandemic and beyond, for R&D purposes.
“We demand that a database of Ndi Igbo stranded in China be raised immediately. That is the only way we can work out an efficient plan for a successful action.
“We demand that the South East Governors, the South East Parliamentary Caucus and Ohaneze Ndigbo convene an emergency meeting on or before the 15th of April, 2020 to holistically look at the Igbo nation and its survival through this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond as we are tired of the silence in the face of serious threats to our existence by the effects of the measures to combat COVID-19 globally.
“We want to state very clearly that Ndi Igbo are fast losing patience with a leadership that has not inspired any hope in those they lead.
“We shall be left with no option but to invoke the PEOPLE POWER in the situation where it becomes obvious that the lives of those who took pains to put our leaders in office does not matter anymore.
“Finally, we want to give our people who are caught in this unfortunate situation in China hope, that they are certainly not alone, and that we shall not rest until they are safely evacuated back to Nigeria. We ask that they maintain the peace and be of good conduct as great ambassadors,” the group stated.
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Posted: April 8, 2020, 12:02 pm
COVID-19: Anxiety in Osun as ‘67 travellers from Ivory Coast head for state’
There is panic in Osun as 67 travellers from Ivory Coast head to Ejigbo, a town in the state, sources at the government house disclosed.
In March, the state received 127 returnees from Ivory Coast among whom 17 tested positive for COVID-19.
A source said they have been alerted of another 67 coming to Ejigbo, and that it would be difficult for the state to manage them as they do not have the facility and staff in place.
“When those 127 were coming on the 28th 0f March, they claimed that they were all from Osun state and it was based on that our governor called the Ogun state governor and requested that they be escorted to Osun because they claimed they were going to Ejigbo,” the source said.
“On getting to Osun, because of our desire to control the speed of this virus, we decided the best way was to isolate them first. It was in the process of profiling we realised that there were indigenes and residents of other states other than Osun. In any case, we still took responsibility. By the time we were discharging those who tested negative, 11 of them were from Oyo, two were from Lagos, one from Ogun, three Edo, another three from Abia, four from Delta and one from Imo.
“Among those taking treatment at our facility who tested positive, two are from Abia.
“Now, we were alerted to the fact that another 67 are coming. It was this 127 that shut up the number of our cases from two to 20 as we speak. The 67 are coming from Ivory Coast, the same place the 127 came from. So, the tendency is that there is every likelihood that they are also coming with a virus. Up till this moment, the federal government has not looked on our side. And we don’t have the facility to treat more people than what we currently have. We are not going to have any additional number.
“The personnel are not there to handle beyond what we currently have. Even now we are being overstretched. We don’t have money. Imagine keeping 127 people for over 10 days and feeding them, and now bringing another 67?”
Another source said they had expected the federal government to put a holding bay at the border in Idi Iroko, and quarantine the returnees.
When contacted, Funke Egbemode, Osun commissioner for information, said she does not have information on the matter yet.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:33 am
Katsina lifts ban on Friday prayers — despite recording COVID-19 death
The Katsina state government has lifted the ban on Friday prayers with immediate effect.
This is coming a few hours after Aminu Masari, the governor, announced that a 60-year-old medical doctor in the state died from the complications of COVID-19.
On March 28, police arrested a cleric for conducting Friday prayers despite a ban on large gathering.
The following day, a group of protesters stormed a police station and set it ablaze.
They also burnt down the official residence of a divisional police officer in Kusada LGA of the state.
One person was killed while seven vehicles and 10 motorcycles were also set on fire.
Mustapha Inuwa, secretary to the state government, in a statement on Tuesday, said the decision to lift the ban was reached after the government held a meeting with religious leaders, traditional rulers and security agencies in the state.
He asked Muslim clerics to avoid long sermons and discharge their followers within a short time.
“Following a meeting held today between the Katsina state government, religious leaders, traditional rulers and security agents to review some measures taken by the government to prevent spread of covid-19 in the state,” he said.
“The Executive Governor has directed that the suspension of Friday prayers be lifted with immediate effect; however, the prayers will be conducted under some stipulated health and security guidelines.
“The Jumu’at Imams should, however, avoid prolonged sermons in order to discharge their followers within the shortest period.
“People are also strongly advised to maintain social distancing and adhere strictly to all the rules and regulations provided by the health experts in fighting the contagious disease.”
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:32 am
Lockdown has placed hardship on people- Zack Orji
Veteran actor and Preacher, Zack Orji has averred that the sit-at-home directive introduced by the federal and state governments to combat spread of COVID-19 in the country has availed families the opportunity to bond.
The revered actor also disclosed that the lockdown directive should not only be seen from a negative perspective.
“The stay-at-home order has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the way I see it and the manner that the government is handling it matters a lot to many,” he said on Tuesday.
“I believe parents, particularly career couples, are making the best use of the lock-down to rest, be with their children, look in and take care of something hitherto ignored in the home.
“For me, it has availed me more opportunity of doing a lot of reading, doing some house chores, enter the kitchen and sweep it, which was not obtainable during busy days.”
He also noted that the lockdown has indeed taken a huge toll on the masses, calling on the government to put in place palliatives to lessen its economic burden on Nigerians.
“People are suffering from the lockdown because it has placed hardship on them; some of us have extended hands of fellowship on request, so the situation is telling on the people,” he said.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:10 am
Churches closed in 1918, stop misinterpreting pandemic — Pastor Sam Adeyemi speaks on 5G, COVID-19
Sam Adeyemi, the senior pastor of the Daystar Christian Centre, says churches, mosques, schools and markets were shut in Nigeria during the influenza pandemic which hit the world in 1918.
Via a live Instagram chat with Poju Oyemade, the senior pastor of The Covenant Nation, Adeyemi said he studied how the 1918 pandemic affected Nigeria, so he could give perspective to his followers on the novel coronavirus disease.
Taking a question from Oyemade on how a leader can handle a crisis like the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Adeyemi said people were giving extreme interpretations of the crisis.
He added that the leader’s role in a crisis is to give perspectives, stating that he studied the last global pandemic before COVID-19 to give the right perspective.
“I went online, there was a pandemic 100 years ago, let me go and study it and check it out, because the interpretation that people are giving to this pandemic, they range from one extreme to the other,” Adeyemi said.
“I don’t even want to go into the details now, but there’s quarrel on social media now; from 5G to 10G and other things. I decided to check, how did it affect Nigeria?”
In 1918, there was a global pandemic caused by the Spanish flu, which spanned January 1918 to December 1920.
It was estimated to have infected 500 million people – about a quarter of the world’s population at the time and killed 50 million people worldwide.
Relating the 1918 pandemic to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Adeyemi said: “I found a research article by a history lecturer at the University at Birnin Kebbi. Beautiful research!”
“I had to buy it. But I was happy buying it, because when I read it, it was amazing, it dug into the British archives, all the records that the colonial officers kept.
“[In] 1918 September, when the thing hit, the way air travel now is the main thing for global transportation and it was air travel that moved the coronavirus around, it was sea travel that spread the influenza around then.
“The ships that brought sick people into the Lagos port; I got the names, the dates they arrived, how it spread in Nigeria.
“I’d tell you the one that I saw and almost screamed, they closed churches, they closed mosques, they shut down schools, they shut down markets. 1918. So, some of us now think it is the anti-christ that is at work, he does not want us to gather together and fellowship.
“We should just be thanking God that we have internet now and we can be relating without meeting together. They shut churches in 1918. So when the leader takes perspective like that, then you can calm people down and tell them there will be life after this thing.”
Adeyemi said there are opportunities in every crisis, and it is the leader’s duty to see the opportunities and not to project fear on his/her followers.
There are big debates and conspiracy theories about 5G, the anti-Christ and coronavirus on social media, but findings has shown there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
View this post on Instagram#COVID-19 : Pastor Adeyemi issues strong warning to fellow pastors, says Churches also closed in 1918.A post shared by nwachukwu john owen (@realjohn_owen) on
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:07 am
BREAKING:Lagos records another death from COVID-19
A 66-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom has died of coronavirus in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, announced this on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.
He also confirmed that cases of coronavirus had increased to 130 in the state.
He tweeted, “Lagos recorded another #COVID-19 related death: a 66-year-old Briton, who travelled from India via Dubai to Lagos on 17th of March, 2020.
“As of 7th of April, 2020, there are 10 new cases of #COVID-19 confirmed. The total of #COVID-19 cases in Lagos rises to 130.
“Another #COVID-19 patient was discharged after full recovery. This brings the number of discharged patients to 32.”
Earlier, a 36-year-old Nigerian died of coronavirus on Saturday, April 4, in a private facility in Lagos.
Before then, a 55-year-old man died of coronavirus complications at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.
It was gathered that ten new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Lagos State on Tuesday.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, who made this known, also said the number of infections recorded in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja also jumped to 50 with two new cases while the number of cases in Ogun State remains four with no new infections.
Residents of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States are currently observing the 14-day lockdown and stay-at-home order of the Federal Government as part of measures to curb further community transmission of the novel virus which has infected 254 people in Nigeria.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:07 am
Police stop pressmen from covering Naira Marley’s trial
Policemen on Wednesday stopped journalists from covering the trial of street rapper and singer, Naira Marley for alleged violation of the lockdown order in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Government charged the musician before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Ogba for attending a packed birthday party in violation of the social distancing order to check the spread of coronavirus.
The birthday party was organised by actress, Funke Akindele, popularly known as Jenifa, for her husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello. The two were sentenced to three-month community service on Monday.
At the law court on Wednesday, a policeman, identified as Suumonu Kazeem, ordered the gates of the court shut against journalists, saying he was acting on a directive from above.
The trial is currently ongoing with journalists unable to cover the trial.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 11:05 am
Caverton Helicopters kicks over arrest of its pilots on Wike’s order
Caverton Helicopters has asked the federal government to prevail on the Rivers state government to release two of its pilots detained over alleged illegal flight operations.
According to a statement by the aircraft, two of its pilots were arrested and charged to court on Tuesday on the orders of Nyesom Wike, the governor.
It explained that while the federal government banned flight operations, the aircraft was given permission to continue operations for the oil and gas sector.
It added that despite the approval it got from ministry of aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), its pilots, who tendered relevant documents, were charged to a magistrate’s court and remanded in custody till May 19.
A copy of the approval granted the aircraft by the NCAA allowed the company to provide support services to the oil and gas sector for an initial period of three months effective April 1.
“At the start of the COVID -19 lockdown, we received a letter from our client stating that they have been given approval/ exemption to fly and continue operations. We (Caverton along with three other companies) also received approval from the Minister of Aviation to fly only essential services, mainly in the Oil and Gas industry,” the company said in a statement.
“Lastly, we got another approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fly for this same oil and gas sector. We have been flying along these guidelines for the past seven days.
“Today, we were informed that the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike was coming to address the operators in Port Harcourt and our people waited. But on arriving, the governor directed two of our pilots to be taken to CID where they were told to write statements.
“Despite all pleas by our lawyers who showed all the relevant documents, they were taken to the magistrate’s court and charged. At the court, our lawyers also presented all the documentations approving us to fly by the federal government but the case was closed and the pilots have been remanded in Port Harcourt prison till the 19th May.
“We appeal to the federal government to urge the Rivers State government to release our pilots who violated no law and are being unduly punished for reasons we still do not understand.”
In the charge sheet, the pilots identified as Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, pilot and co-pilot respectively, and some “others now at large”, were accused of conducting themselves in a “manner likely to cause a breach of peace by flying and discharging passengers from the Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters at the Air Force Base”.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 10:40 am
Isolation centre doctors, others lament N30m unpaid allowances
Doctors treating the over 40 COVID-19 patients at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, have complained about the failure of the Federal Government to pay them their allowances.
It was learnt on Tuesday that there are five doctors and four nurses, as well as three cleaners working at the isolation centre who are collectively owed over N30m.
Our correspondent was informed that due to the sensitive nature of the disease, the government picked and trained the five doctors with a promise to pay them the sum of N50, 000 daily while nurses were to be paid N40,000.
The allowances are also supposed to cover feeding as well as accommodation
They were also promised hotel accommodation near the hospital.
However, top health officials told our correspondent that only N40,000 had been given to each doctor since they started working there on February 15, 2020.
A top source said the doctors had already started working on suspected cases at the isolation centre before the first confirmed case in Abuja on March 20, 2020.
He said, “We were paid N20,000 the first week and then N20,000 the following week and we haven’t received anything since then. When we started, we were promised N50,000 per day for doctors while nurses receive N40,000. The cleaning staff were promised about N25,000 per day.
“The health minister said during the Presidential task force briefing recently that we were well taken care of but we have not received anything besides the N40,000 in the last two months.
“When we went to understudy Lagos at the time the disease first broke out in February, we were told that the doctors were receiving N50,000 per day. In fact, Dr Ismail Abdusalam, who was in charge of the doctors, said N40,000 was paid to nurses, N20,000 to cleaners and then there was a special package for security while the staff that come in contact with patients would be placed on life insurance. That was the template we used.”
The health worker said some firms had offered to take care of the doctors but the hospital authorities seem to be more interested in donated equipment and neglecting the staff.
“The CMD claims the government has not released the funds but the government claims the money has been released,” he said.
A nurse said they would rather have the allowances than have life insurance which is only payable in the event of death.
The nurse added, “It is because we are not well taken care of that health workers don’t want to join in this COVID-19 fight. We have been working since February 9. On February 9 we had the first set of suspected cases that were Chinese. They were later discovered to be negative and discharged.
“We had the second set of Chinese that were negative discharged. We had set of Nigerians that were discharged before we had final set that turned out positive and treatment started. We have not been received anything since then.
“They are thinking of bringing volunteers and retired doctors while we that have been in the trenches have been abandoned.”
A spokesperson for the hospital, Frank Omagbon, neither responded to calls nor a text message on Tuesday.
Similarly, the Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, could not be reached for comment.
However, a top source at the ministry of health said, “The money will soon be released. We appreciate the 24-hour job the doctors are doing. They should be just a little more patient.”
Posted: April 8, 2020, 9:16 am
Chinese doctors arrive today, to spend one month
Despite opposition by the Nigerian Medical Association, the visiting 15-member medical team from China will arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on a chattered Air Peace aircraft on Wednesday (today).
The personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, will be coming with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in the country.
The Executive Director, CCECC, Mr Jacques Liao, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
Liao dispelled what he described as the controversy about the team’s visit, stating that “the primary purpose of the team is to provide CECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare.”
He added, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.
“The primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary health care assistance. They are also coming with adequate personal protective equipment and medical items for the employees.”
The director explained that under the directive of the Embassy of China in Nigeria and in response to the Federal Government’s request, the team may also share with their Nigerian counterparts effective methods on COVID-19 containment.
Liao explained that in keeping with CCECC’s corporate value, ‘stride with Nigeria,’ the firm would be participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the Federal Capital Territory for free.
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has rejected the decision of the Federal Government to bring in Chinese doctors and nurses to assist in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmakers on Tuesday said the decision to bring in people from “the hotbed of the plague” was not in Nigeria’s best interest. They urged the Federal Government to suspend the plan.
Their position was contained in a statement signed by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Elumelu said the caucus wanted the Federal Government to rescind its decision to import doctors from the “hotbed of the plague into our country at this critical time.”
The statement read in part, “The lawmakers note that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and express fears that bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest.
“The Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association over the decision. The caucus notes that this is particularly after alleged escalation of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time.
“At such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardising their lives must be avoided.”
Posted: April 8, 2020, 9:07 am
Nigerians abroad must test negative for coronavirus before evacuation – FG
The Federal Government has said Nigerians abroad, who wished to be evacuated amid the pandemic, must be “COVID-19 free”.
This was contained in the “COVID-19 Application Form for Nigerians who want to return home” on the website of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.
Citizens intending to be repatriated are required to complete the form.
One of the conditions for evacuation expressly stated in the form is that Nigerian nationals willing to join the evacuation flights planned by the Federal Government must be tested for coronavirus and certified negative.
“You MUST get tested for the Virus in your country of residence and be issued an Authorised Health Clearance Certificate attesting that you are COVID-19 free. This Certificate MUST be presented and authenticated by officials at the Airport in your country of departure before you are allowed to board the Aircraft,” part of the requirements read.
Another requirement was that the cost of travel would be paid by the potential evacuees and upon landing, they would be placed on a 14-day compulsory quarantine at a location approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Confirming this development, NIDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the coronavirus test requirement is based on the NCDC protocol and must be adhered to.
Dabiri-Erewa made this known via Twitter while addressing concerns from some Nigerians abroad.
“Dear Madam, we have been instructed to go for a COVID-19 test before we can be considered for evacuation from the United States. This is both sad and shocking to us considering that we are visitors in the US with no access to any health and social care benefits,” a user, Adeolu Anthony Olagunju, had informed the NIDCOM chairman.
Responding, Dabiri-Erewa said, “Beyond NIDCOM power. It is an NCDC protocol based on very cogent reasons, I am sure. We will continue to engage with them. If anything changes, our embassy will inform you. Scary times but the Lord will heal the world as we do look forward to welcoming you home soon.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced its plans to evacuate Nigerians stranded abroad amid the pandemic despite airport closure.
See Dabiri-Erewa’s tweet;
Beyond @nidcom_gov power. It’s an NCDC protocol based on very cogent reasons, I am sure.We will continue to engage with them. If anything changes ,our embassy will inform you . Scary times but the Lord will heal the world as we do look forward to welcoming you home soon https://t.co/YUPBtFOHzY— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) April 7, 2020
Posted: April 8, 2020, 9:01 am
How coronavirus enters lungs, affects breathing
In the pictures emerging on COVID-19, some trends have been noticeable.
Many of those infected have recovered, while less than 80,000 have died out of the nearly 1.4 million cases so far.
But when it has killed — usually the elderly and those with underlying conditions — the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) has often done so by leading to pneumonia, the eventual cause of death.
How does the virus affect the lungs?
Coronavirus: Outside lungs & inside
Once the virus enters the body, it can cause discomfort when it reaches the air passages on the outside of the lungs.
These passages conduct air into and from the lungs. The virus injures the lining of the passageways, and the body responds with an inflammation, which in turn irritates the nerves in the lining. That is when an infected person coughs.
Infection can be more severe if the virus goes past the lining of the airways, and reaches the air sacs at the end of the air passages.
Called alveoli, these sacs are responsible for the exchange of gas in the lungs. If they get infected, the sacs respond with inflammatory fluids, which fill the air sacs. That is what leads to pneumonia — when the lungs’ ability to transfer oxygen is impaired, and the infected person has difficulty breathing. When a person cannot inhale enough oxygen and exhale enough carbon dioxide, pneumonia can lead to death.
Who should worry?
The description above is of those who are the most severely affected. In most cases, the individual will recover after showing symptoms of varying severity, or none at all.
The least serious patients will show no symptoms after catching the virus. Some others will get an infection in the upper respiratory tract — at the lining of the lungs as described — and will develop a cough, may also have a fever, and will be potential carriers of the virus.
Read more Here
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:52 am
Root of coronavirus is cursed – Oyedepo
Nigerian Bishop, David Oyedepo has said the root of Coronavirus disease has been cursed and that Nigeria will soon experience a liberation.
In one of his preaching, Oyedepo, Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide said “The root of coronavirus is cursed. It took 24 hours but when they came, they saw it dried up from the roots Mark 11:21. Every curse we have inflicted on that virus is established.
“We will see it wither now in the name of Jesus. Isaiah 62:6-7 We will keep engaging in fervent declarations of Faith and indepth thanksgiving for answered prayers as individuals, as family members. With the lock down, we have the time to be with the Lord,” he said.
Oyedepo said he expected every family to have at least a prayer hour in the course of the day and also expected every prayer partnership that “we have here and there to engage. Don’t let us give any place to the devil. You keep giving thanks, the prayer is answered.
“You keep reminding Him that You have answered us, now confirm it, now establish it. We will be feeding you with prayer lines to ensure you are on course, to see to the end of this evil wave.
“The good news is life will be restored back to our streets, market places will flourish again, our government offices will be serving us again, the economy will start thriving again, the health of mankind shall be gloriously restored and the name of our God shall be glorified,” he said.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:43 am
UK blocks Nigeria’s plan to pay $110m to Bagudu
The United Kingdom is blocking the plan of the Nigerian government to pay $110 million believed to be a part of funds looted by the late Sani Abacha to Abubakar Bagudu, governor of Kebbi state.
According to Bloomberg, the governments of Nigeria, the UK and the US, are in a dispute over investment portfolios worth 141 million euros ($155 million) linked to Abacha and held in trust for Bagudu and his family.
Nigeria is seeking the approval of a UK court to take ownership of the assets before returning 70% of the proceeds to Bagudu under the terms of a 2018 deal.
Bloomberg reported that the UK government’s National Crime Agency “is opposing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s application,” according to a motion filed by Bagudu’s brother, Ibrahim, to the district court for the district of Columbia in the US capital on March 30.
The US Department of Justice said in February that its Nigerian counterpart is hindering its efforts to recover the allegedly laundered money from the UK.
The US department of Justice is accusing Bagudu, 58, of being a part of a network controlled by Abacha that “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria”.
While successive Nigerian governments have repatriated billions of dollars looted by Abacha, who died in office in 1998, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari says it is prevented from assisting the US’ ongoing forfeiture efforts by an agreement between Bagudu and a previous government in 2003
An estimate of $5 billion is said to have been stolen from Nigeria during Abacha’s five-year rule.
The 2003 settlement, which was approved by a UK court, allowed Bagudu to return $163 million to Nigeria “without admitting to wrongdoing,” according to US court filings.
In return, the government dropped all outstanding civil and criminal claims against him.
Bagudu was elected a senator in 2009 and the governor of Kebbi six years later.
Five years after the US launched fresh forfeiture proceedings against him, Bagudu and the Buhari administration struck a new accord in October 2018 to transfer ownership of the investment portfolios to the Nigerian state, which would immediately pay 98.5 million euros to the Kebbi governor and his affiliates.
Bloomberg said the terms of the updated settlement cannot be implemented while Nigeria’s application in a UK court is pending and a freezing order is still in place, according to a motion by Ibrahim Bagudu, who is entitled to a $100,000 annuity from the funds and is contesting the US confiscation efforts.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:43 am
Nnamdi Kanu is Igbo’s greatest enemy – Ohanaeze alleges
The apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as the greatest enemy of Igbo people in the last 200 years.
Ohanaeze’s Secretary General, Barr. Uche Okwukwu in a chat with Daily post claimed that Kanu collected money from enemies of Igbos to destroy the Southeast.
Okwukwu maintained that the actions of the IPOB leader was undermining the chances of the Southeast to produce the next Nigeria’s president.
He said: “This is a man that asked Igbo to destroy their Voters Registration Cards and not to vote. 48 hours to the election, he collected money from PDP and asked the people to vote; so what will they have used to vote?
“Kanu’s action undermines the interest of Ndigbo politically. He’s an enemy of the Igbo man. In any serious land and clime, they will catch him and flog him because he’s undermining our people.
“Today, you can see the votes that came out of Igbo land, three thousand votes from Abia; 600,000 votes from Anambra; 500,000 votes from Enugu; 300,000 votes from Ebonyi; 500, 000 votes from Imo. Is that the number of votes that will produce Igbo president?
“All the votes from the Southeast are not up to that of Jigawa and Katsina, so Nnamdi Kanu is commissioned to destroy the Igbo race. The enemies of Ndigbo gave him money to destroy us. He’s the greatest enemy of Ndigbo in the last 200 years. I equate him to a slave master.”
The Ohanaeze’s Secretary General lamented that the separatist’s continued insults on President Muhammadu Buhari was affecting the chances of the Southeast politically.
He claimed that Buhari will install a president in 2023 but Kanu’s action would hinder the chances of the Southeast coming out as next president.
He said: “I have said this time without number that APC will win the 2023 presidential election; you know and I also know that Buhari will install a president, you don’t need a prophet to tell you that in the next three years, Buhari will decide the next president of the country.
“So, Kanu’s continued insult on the president and shifting Igbo from the APC is weakening us. APC will install the president and Igbo people are not in the party. Igbos in APC are being insulted, they are insulting Ngige, Okorocha, Orji Uzor Kalu, meanwhile APC will produce the president, Buhari will install the President in 2023.
APC does not need Nnamdi Kanu to win election. They have won the presidential election twice without the votes of the South-South and South-East. Buhari became president without the vote of our people, he ran again without the vote of our people, so he will still install a president without our votes.”
Okwukwu also appealed to Buhari to give the presidency to the Southeast in the interest of fairness and equity.
“We are appealing to Buhari and APC that in the interest of equity and fairness to give the presidency to Igbo and to produce a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction. I don’t care where he comes from.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:43 am
COVID-19: 7 Ways a family can enjoy stay-home order
It is not easy staying at home especially when we are not doing so on our own free will. It is obvious that the pandemic has forced the government of most countries to enforce a stay at home order.
The stay at home instruction is telling on us, this is due to the fact that a greater part of our life has been spent outside our home. In other words, the search for greener pasture, extra cash and so on have prevented us from staying at home, even when sometimes we yell for it.
Some of us before the pandemic spends only night and weekend at home and not even most of the weekends.
Most people have totally forgotten how to make their home interesting and are really finding the stay at home order very difficult to adapt to. To ensure you and your family enjoy this stay at home.
Exercise is an aged long activity carried out by several people in society since time immemorial. In fact, it is near impossible to trace the history nor origin of exercise. During this stay at home, exercising is of the essence as it has a lot of health benefit.
Exercise even gets more interesting when you exercise with people, now imagine exercising with not just people (strangers), but with people you love, by this I mean family. Certainly, boredom will be a thing of the past when you engage in a daily routine exercise with families during this period.
2. Share Cultural Values/Family goals
Some of us have forgotten or do not know our cultural values, this is not totally a bad thing at all. It is very important that we get to know more about our cultural values. The good thing is, unlike the perception people have about their culture that it is boring, the reverse seems to be the case as our culture is much more interesting than we think.
This stay at home is an appropriate time to enjoy learning your culture and its values. You will be amazed at how fun-filled and interesting it is learning about your cultural values. For those with kids, interest your kids with those great tales your father told you about your culture. You will be amazed at how interesting your family will find stay at home to be.
Most of us have probably forgotten the feelings of staying in the kitchen, most especially those who enjoy cooking but barely have time for it, due to so many engagements. This is one of the best times to enjoy those cooking moments. It gets more interesting when you are cooking with your spouse and family around you.
Stay at home will be interesting if you spend your time cooking and eating healthy.
This is the best part of staying home, you get to know more about your family, what they like and what they don’t. It is always interesting to get to know new things about your spouse and families. This can be achieved when you get to stay at home.
Ask questions, discuss what’s on each other’s mind, explore your body, make love and listen to music together. It makes your stay at home interesting and also builds stronger bonds among families.
Most of us due to our busy schedule, find it difficult to make out time for ourselves and family. These have made us totally forgotten the benefits of watching movies, with our loved ones. A time like this is one of the best periods to rejuvenate the spark in our family through watching movies.
There are lots of movies that are best for family and some of these movies can be educating as well as entertaining. Watching movies will not only make you enjoy your stay at home, but it will also help educate and create bonding among members of your families.
The benefits of reading cannot be overemphasized however, some of us normally see reading as, something done only by those in the academic discipline or students, and those who need to seat for an exam, this notion is wrong and untrue. Reading is a form of brain exercise which is highly recommended for all.
It is utmost significant that we develop our reading habits, as it will go a long way for families to stay at home comfortably, without feeling bored at all. Not only will reading clear boredom, but it will also help educate and inform, and for those of us that have kids, it will help a lot in building their vocabularies and mental capacity.
Staying at home will always be interesting if you read the right books. There are a whole lot of books by different writers, on several topics. You can always find the choice of books that suits you and make your stay at home, interesting.
Communication has been a major factor for a successful relationship, and a healthy relationship makes life interesting. for those of us who have communication gap among our family members, this is the best time to work on the communication and bring back that relationship.
Constant communication with our loved ones leads to a healthy conversation or interaction, which in turn builds our relationship and make, stay at home interesting.
Conversation also helps to build bonding between members of families and increases love in the family.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:29 am
Nigeria’s External Reserves falls to $34.7bn
Nigeria’s external reserves dropped further to the $34 billion, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.
According to the data, the nation’s foreign reserves depleted to $34.67 billion on Monday, April 6, 2020 from $34.98 billion on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
It was observed that on Monday, March 30, 2020, what was left in the buffers was $35.26 billion and the next day, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, it depleted to $35.16 billion, before declining to $35.01 billion on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
From the analysis, the country’s FX reserves have decreased by about $491 million this month alone.
Last month, the nation’s reserves depleted by $1.14 billion and the hope of getting it quickly shored up is very dim due to the decline in the price of crude oil at the global market.
Recall that some days ago, Fitch Ratings said the FX reserves will likely decrease to around $32 billion due to uncertainty around oil.
Nigeria was forced to cut the 2020 oil benchmark to $30 per barrel from the initial $57 per barrel in the budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last December.
Much of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings come from crude oil and a problem in that sector always spells doom for the country.
In 2016, when prices were down and production disrupted in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of the country by agitators, Nigeria went into recession.
This time, the crash in the price of the commodity coupled with the coronavirus pandemic is hitting hard on the country’s economy and there are fears that another recession is just knocking at the door.
At a programme aired and monitored on Channels TV recently, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had warned that if things remain at their current level in the next six to 12 months, Nigeria may be hit by another recession in five years under this present administration.
She had said the country was not broke, but was also not buoyant enough to meet its needs especially due to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
On Monday, she said federal government was planning to get $6.9 billion from the trio of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
She had said while the sum of $3.4 billion would be borrowed from the IMF, $2.5 billion will come from the World Bank and $1 billion from AfDB.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:22 am
COVID-19: Test vaccine in US, Europe – Apostle Suleman warns scientists
Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries has said that Africa is not a testing ground for Coronavirus Vaccine.
Suleman wondered why the COVID-19 vaccine should be tested in Africa when the United States, US, and Europe have recorded more deaths.
In a tweet, the clergyman said the vaccine should be tested in Europe which has recorded more deaths than Africa.
Recall that Jean-Paul Mira and his colleague, Camille Locht had recently suggested that Africa was the best place to conduct the COVID-19 test.
They made the claims while recalling how an experimental treatment for AIDS was carried out in Africa.
The suggestion has since triggered global outrage as some described it as racist.
However, Apostle Suleman has maintained that Africa was not a testing ground.
“They want to test the COVID-19 vaccine in Africa…yet America and Europe have thousands of deaths recorded. Africa has very few deaths. Test it in Europe and America where there is urgency. I wonder why they always think Africans are fools. We are not testing ground,” Apostle Suleman tweeted.
Meanwhile, scientists in Australia have discovered an already existing drug, Ivermectin which they claim kills COVID-19 within 48 hours in the laboratory.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:18 am
Doctor dies from complications of COVID-19 in Daura
Aliyu Yakubu, a medical doctor based in Katsina state, has died from the complications of COVID-19.
Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina, broke the news at a media briefing on Tuesday.
He said the doctor aged 60 died at the Nigeria Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura, three days ago.
The governor said the deceased owned a private hospital in Daura and had visited his Kogi, where he hailed from, and later travelled to Lagos.
Masari said on returning to the state, Yakubu became ill and was admitted to the hospital, where he died.
He said the deceased’s samples were taken to the Nigeria Centre for Decease Control (NCDC) for diagnosis before his death, and he was confirmed positive for coronavirus.
“We have received a bad news of COVID-19. The deceased’s samples showed COVID-19 positive. Before his death, he was also diagnosed with hepatitis and hypertension three years ago,” he said.
The governor said the state medical response team was in Daura, taking samples of all those that had contact with the doctor before his death.
This is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Katsina. The doctor’s death brings to six, the total number of deaths from complications of COVID-19.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:17 am
Judge denies R. Kelly’s bail request
American singer and songwriter, Robert Sylvester Kelly widely known as R. Kelly has been denied a release from jail after requesting to be freed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 53-year-old singer is currently being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions.
According to CNN, Kelly’s attorneys had requested that the singer be on home confinement at the Roosevelt Collections apartment complex in Chicago, arguing that he is at risk of contracting coronavirus in prison.
The attorneys had also complained that the country’s new restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have made it impossible for them to meet with their client (Kelly) and prepare for trial.
According to legal documents, a judge in Chicago denied the motion, saying that the 53-year-old singer remains a flight risk.
The judge said: “that he is a flight risk and that he poses danger to the community, particularly to prospective witnesses. The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”
The judge also explained there are no confirmed cases of the virus at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago where the singer is currently in.
The singer had also argued that he is part of the COVID-19 at-risk group, but the judge said that Kelly is fifty-three years old, thus twelve years younger than the ‘older adults’ defined by the CDC to be at high risk to the virus.
Kelly also noted that he’s had surgery while in jail making him susceptible to the virus. The judge said, “he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness. Moreover, officials in Chicago have advised the government that doctors have completed all treatment for the defendant’s recent operation.”
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:16 am
BREAKING NEWS: Nigeria records 16 new cases of COVID-19, total now 254
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday night recorded sixteen new cases of the Coronavirus
Sixteen new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: 10 in Lagos, 2 in the FCT, 2 in Oyo, 1 in Delta and 1 in Katsina— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 7, 2020
As at 09:30 pm 7th April there are 254 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Fourty-four have been discharged with six deaths pic.twitter.com/UlDvzM3cUZ
Ten cases were recorded in Lagos; two cases were recorded in the FCT, two in Oyo, one in Delta and one in Katsina
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 254. Fourty-four have so far been discharged with six deaths recorded
As things stand (7th April, 2020)#Coronavirus cases in Nigeria— NigerianEye (@Nigerianey) April 7, 2020
Akwa Ibom- 5
254 confirmed cases
6 deaths pic.twitter.com/b5Ab0RFW2s
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:15 am
Over 12,000 people have now died of Coronavirus in United States
The United States has recorded 12,291 deaths from the raging Coronavirus pandemic sweeping through all its 50 States.
There are at least 387,547 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 12,291 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.
So far Tuesday, there are at least 19,351 new cases and 1,305 deaths have been reported, according to the tally.
The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.
Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus, according to CNN.
New York is the epicentre of Coronavirus in the US, recording 138,863 cases and 5,489 deaths. The City recorded 714 death on Tuesday alone.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is worried about coronavirus cases and hospitalizations increasing again as some people start to leave their homes.
“The weather has turned warm. People have been in their homes for one month, everyone has cabin fever and they’re coming out in greater numbers,” Cuomo told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Earlier Tuesday, Cuomo said at his daily press briefing that hospitalizations may be leveling off and social distancing “is working,” but stressed that New Yorkers need to keep doing it.
He told Burnett his focus isn’t merely on preventing a second wave, but working to improve the current situation in New York — an epicenter for coronavirus in the United States.
“(I’m) not even worried about a second wave. I’m worried about getting out of the situation we’re in right now and saving as many lives as possible and that will be a direct coefficient of how well we comply with social distancing,” Cuomo said.
Posted: April 8, 2020, 8:13 am