Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Monday advised the Federal Government against banning Hijab (Muslim female headscarves), saying such proposal would be unconstitutional.
Okey Wali, the President of the association, who was reacting to recent calls by some members of the public that the government should ban wearing Hijab to checkmate female suicide bombers said the government should rather find a lasting and peaceful solution to the security challenges threatening the country.
Wali told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that placing a ban on wearing Hijab due to the recent spate of attacks by female suicide bombers was not a positive and lasting strategy to curbing insecurity.
Just in: Army, Police Take Over Venue of Labour’s Aregbesola Support Rally in Osogbo, Plan to stop the rally.
Men of the Nigerian Army have taken over the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Venue of the rally organized by the entire workers of Osun to show support for the re-election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Stern and gun-wielding security agents stopped those who had arrived the venue to decorate it ahead of the programme slated for 10am this morning.
The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, made government’s position known while briefing State House correspondents of the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Chukwu said to demonstrate government’s resolve to tackle the emergency, he had written to the United States Centre for Disease Control if they could make the experimental drugs being used in treating the US missionary doctors infected with the virus available to Nigeria.
He said at the time he was briefing journalists he had yet to receive response from the centre.
The minister also said the government had decided to embark on mass recruitment of health personnel to strenghten the team managing the situation in Lagos where all the Nigerian cases were recorded.
He expressed the hope that the Nigeria Medical Association will soon call off its industrial action to join in the emergency service since government had met almost all their demands.
Chukwu added that the government had also started the process of procuring isolation tents that will be distributed to all the states of the Federation and Abuja to cater for those who will be quarantined because of the virus.
This, he said, had become necessary because residents were raising objections to housing the patients close to them.
He put the cost of one of such isolation tents at about N20m.
“We have a national emergency. Indeed, everyone in the world is at risk. Nobody is immune. The Nigerian experience had alerted the world because every country is connected by flights,” he said.
He further disclosed that the government had set up a special team to provide counseling to patients and their families.
He said the Minister of Information would soon visit Lagos State to assess the situation and sensitise residents on the deadly virus.
He minister advised the public to avoid handshake as much as possible if they could afford it, describing the virus as both contagious and infectious.
He said the virus could also be contacted through the sharing of bedspreads, pillow cases and towels among other personal effects with infected persons.
On update on casualty, Chukwu said Nigeria has so far recorded seven confirmed cases of Ebola virus, including the first case of the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who imported it to the country.
He said one of the nurses who cared for Sawyer was the first known Nigerian to die of the decease on Tuesday.
He said the other five victims were currently in an isolated ward in Lagos.
He added that three other persons in the isolated ward had not been confirmed to be carrying the virus.
The patients, he explained, had direct contacts with the late Sawyer.
As part of strategies to rise to the national emergency, Chukwu said a website, www.ebolaalert.org, has been designed to offer information on the virus.
While disclosing a Twitter handle, @ebolaalert, the minister added that help could also be reached through a toll-free telephone line designated for that purpose.
Maku said the FEC meeting was devoted to the measures being taken by government to deal with the outbreak of the virus.
He recalled that the council had set up a committee about two weeks to sensitise citizens to avoid unhealthy practices.
President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the Federal Government is encouraging intermediaries who have offered to persuade the Boko Haram terrorist group to release over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State, in April this year.
The President gave this indication while speaking in an interview with the Washington Times in Washington USA where he is attending an African Leaders Summit convened by US President Barrak Obama.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, a copy which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, said while appreciating the support of the international community in the ongoing rescue efforts of the Chibok girls, the President explained that government considered the safety of the girls as very paramount hence the adoption of several methods in the operation.
While describing a strict military approach to the rescue effort as ‘delicate’, the statement quoted President Jonathan as saying “If it is to risk a few dead bodies, it is easier. You can blast the place and carry the corpses. But is that what we have to do? So it is delicate”
The President insisted that the Federal Government has information on the location of the kidnapped girls but was being mindful of the consequences of invading the location to avoid a repeat of an episode in February 2013 in which an offshoot of Boko Haram killed seven foreign hostages in northern Nigeria before authorities could rescue them.
“They are ready to die,” he added about the Islamist militant group. “So when you are dealing with that scenario, it is very different from the ordinary kidnapping by criminals or people who don’t want to die. So it is very, very delicate.”
This, according to the President, was why the dialogue option is not being ruled out. “We have set up a committee, what I call a dialogue committee on the security challenge we have in the north, even before the kidnapping of the Chibok girls.
“We have a team. And we encourage people to assist them. We do negotiate,” he said. “Quite a number of people have come with different information. We encourage them. But none of them has yielded any results yet”
The President expressed government commitment to winning the war against terrorism in Northern Nigerian as well as rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by insurgents and called on all leaders of thought in the region to co-operate with the Federal Government and assist security agencies with necessary information to accomplish their mission of securing lives and property of citizens in the area.
Must Read: Three things you have not been told/read about Ebola Virus
With the rising wave of terrorism and other violent crimes, soldiers have been deployed across the country to assist the police in internal security operations. Tsav, who spoke yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, said “the police force is heavily understaffed and as a result, the soldiers have taken over their jobs and are allegedly killing innocent citizens even without provocation”.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra has revoked the Certificates of Occupancy of four buildings, including a church in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area, due to their alleged links to kidnappers.
The buildings have subsequently been demolished. The demolition followed the parade of 15 suspected armed robbers and kidnappers at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters, Awkuzu on Tuesday.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, Olafimiham Adeoye, said the demolition was in compliance with the state’s law.
There have been palpable fear and anxiety across the state since last week following the report of a corpse in the neighbouring Anambra State suspected to have died of Ebola.
Despite assurances by the state government of its preparedness to contain the possible outbreak of the pandemic as some hospital wards had been designated to treat likely victims, residents still remain apprehensive.
The priest is the third foreigner to be evacuated from Liberia after an American doctor suffering from Ebola was flown to Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday. Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had declared three days of fasting and prayer with which to seek God’s mercy with regards to the Ebola outbreak that has killed 263 people across the country.
The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation is disappointed with the performance of the country’s female table tennis players at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, an official has said.
The NTTF Technical Director, Anderson Bankole, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that some of the female players in the team were not committed and patriotic enough.
He said the players did not play like those who wanted to win, adding that he was not surprised by the situation Team Nigeria found itself in Glasgow.
“Two of them did not show up at the camp in Nigeria, prior to our departure for the Games,” he said.
Saudi man suspected of contracting Ebola on trip to Sierra Leone dies in a Jeddah hospital, health officials say.
More details later.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Joe Biden have agreed that Nigeria and the United States would work together to urgently curtail the outbreak of Ebola virus.
Jonathan and Biden met in Washington D.C. on Tuesday on the side-line of the on-going US-Africa leader’s summit, according to a ‘readout’ issued by the White House, Office of the Vice President.
Ebola virus has claimed two lives in Nigeria since a 40-year old Liberian and American citizen Patrick Sawyer died of the disease in Lagos.
The Minority Leader, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Mr. Tanko Maikatako, has said President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to amicably settle the dispute between the lawmakers and Governor Umaru Al-Makura were rejected.
“The President’s efforts toward peace were not successful due to selfishness among the lawmakers,” Maikatako, a member of the All Progressives Congress, who represents Lafia Central Constituency, told theNews Agency of Nigeria, on Wednesday in Lafia.
The spokesman for the French peacekeeping unit in Central African Republic said this in Bangui on Wednesday.
He said the Seleka fighters refused to follow a call to disarm, and instead attacked French and African soldiers in Batangfo, north of Bangui.
Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, speaking today August 6th at a news conference in Abuja said a Nigerian nurse has died from the Ebola Virus. He said the nurse worked at the Lagos hospital where Liberian Patrick Sawyer was treated. He explained she died yesterday August 5th. He also revealed that five medical practitioners who interacted with Sawyer have now been confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus
"Nigeria has now recorded seven confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease. The first one was the index case, which is the imported case from Liberia of which the victim is now late. Yesterday, 5th August, 2014, the first known Nigerian to die of the EVD was recorded and this was one of the nurses that attended to the Liberian. The other five cases are currently being treated at the Isolation Ward in Lagos.” he saidContinue..
The source said, “The bouncers at the club stopped the lady and challenged her, asking if she was a soldier. But Hilary asked why they would question his girlfriend in his presence.
Photo above shows Nigerian women and children currently taking refuge in the Chadian Island of Choua, a wilderness land that's in no way habitable. The ladies and children ran to the Chad island after numerous attacks on the village, Kolikolia in Borno State by the Boko Haram sect. In line with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ariane Rummery, the Chad Government has signified fascination with moving the ladies and children to a habitable village where they are able to settle and get minimal comfort.
Noting that American aid workers who contracted the disease in Liberia were given an unapproved medicine before being evacuated back to the United States, the specialists – including Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola in 1976 – said Africans affected by the same outbreak should get the same chance.