…says Testing Centre set to come on stream in state
*Compliance with shutdown measures, best way to protect state
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, informed residents of the state that his government is already working on palliatives to ease the pressure on the people following the partial shutdown of activities as part of the precautionary measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
The governor, however, added that the state would need to work on accurate data and design that would ensure the palliatives get into the hands of those who truly need them.
According to him, it was important that the palliatives to be put in place get to those with genuine needs for them and that they are not cornered by middlemen.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde stated these during a phone-in interview programme on Ibadan-based Fresh 105.9 FM, as well as and a one-hour Tweetchat via his Twitter handle @seyiamakinde on Saturday.
The statement noted that the government had stepped up enlightenment campaigns on Covid-19, while also enforcing measures on the lockdown of activities in the state.
Governor Makinde maintained that as part of measures to contain the spread of the disease in the state, the state government in collaboration with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has set up a diagnostic centre to handle testing of samples, noting that the state was only awaiting NCDC endorsement.
He explained that once the centres are certified, it would become easier to test more people.
Governor Makinde added that apart from the preventive measures, the state has set up isolation centres, with 4-bed isolation unit in Ogbomoso, 10-bed at Jericho, 4-bed at UCH and 100-bed capacity at Olodo, Ibadan, which will be ready on Thursday.
He noted that the ICU beds in the state currently have ventilators.
The governor further noted that the state has Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in all 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs and that Local Government Caretaker Chairpersons were already involved in enlightenment campaigns and implementation of directives, complementing the state-wide campaign and efforts to prevent Covid-19 in the state.
Governor Makinde, who maintained that the state has ensured that health workers have the required equipment and personal gears, and that wherever it identified gaps, it would immediately plug them, counseled the people of the state to stay safe by following the proper hygienic practices – washing of hands regularly or using an alcohol-based hand sanitisers and also practising social distancing.
The governor explained that the though the administration understood the challenge of asking residents to stay at home, the decision to shut down activities was in the best interest of the state as according to him, it would be effective in curtailing the spread of the virus.
He said: “It is a challenge that we asked people to stay home and don’t have palliatives to give them. The oil price is at its lowest. What we get from Federal Allocation is almost half of what we were getting at the beginning of this administration. So, when you put all of those together, it is a big challenge and we are almost left with nothing.
“Even, if we want to do palliatives, how do we run it to ensure that they will get to the people who really need them? But we will welcome anyone with bright ideas to come forward and we will sit down together to evaluate those ideas. We are working on palliatives. But we want to set it up in such a way that it’s not middlemen that will profit but those who need the palliatives.”
According to Governor Makinde, it has put up additional measures to combat the pandemic, including the reduction of gathering from 30 to 10 people, closure of markets to all traders except those selling foodstuffs and a 7p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew as well as a ban on transportation to and from the state.
He explained that the directive on religious gathering is for all religions, as Covid-19 is not a respecter of any religion, saying that the risk of breaking any of the directives is huge and would affect everyone.
The Governor added: “Everything we can do to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19 is on the table. We will continue to assess the situation and put measures in place.
“For now, I have directed that additional measures be put in place, including a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and reduction in the number of gathering of 30 people to 10 persons.
“As from tomorrow night (Sunday, March 29), all markets will be closed, except for those selling perishable food items. We are also using that same point to ban transportation into and out of the state. The only exceptions are vehicles carrying food items, medical, pharmaceutical, essential services and petroleum products.
“We will keep reviewing these measures on a weekly basis. We are here to ensure that we make logical sense out of the information that is emanating from the people.
“It is unfortunate that some people, rather than coming on board to see what they can do to assist the government, they are busy criticising us. Well, they are free to do that because we don’t know it all. They can criticise and we are here to listen to them.”
Governor Makinde, who equally informed residents of the state that he was in self-isolation following an instruction to governors who attended the last National Economic Council Meeting in Abuja.
He said that he would be the first to get tested once the state diagnostic centre comes on stream after NCDC’s certification.
He said: “I am self-isolating because of the advisory of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. So, the protocol is, whoever has made contact with one of our members who tested positive should also self-isolate until you have your own test result, then one will be free to move around.
“Within the confines of the situation we have found ourselves, I am at home for now but this does not still disturb the assignment, which the good people of Oyo state have given me to do.
“We know that our testing capacity is limited.
Our state government, in collaboration with College of Medicine and University College Hospital, has set up a diagnostic centre to handle testing of samples, and we are only awaiting NCDC endorsement.
When the testing centres in Ibadan are certified, I will be the first to test.
“One reason why this is the case is that the virus is imported and testing capacity is limited. Setting up our testing centres enables us to test more people which means that people showing symptoms can get tested regardless of their travel history.”
The governor, who called on well-meaning individuals and organisations who have the intention of collaborating with the state in one way or the other to fight Covid-19, charged them to reach out to State’s Commissioner for Health or the Oyo State Covid-19 Task Force on areas where they can collaborate.
He acknowledged that already some private entities have begun to cooperate with the state on the Covid-19 prevention.
He stated: “I swore an oath to protect the people of Oyo State and I will do that to the best of my ability. People have come to me to render help and I told the individuals that we need to key into whatever the government’s aspirations are. I directed them to meet with the Commissioner for Health. I told them we will appreciate whatever they can put on the table but not to just show off. We are not in for that. We are in to analyse our situation and find a solution that is obtainable and workable.”
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde
March 28, 2020.
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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