Ilori said that the drastic decline in sample collection and contact tracing for COVID-19 was not limited to states with few number of cases, but included states with the highest number of infection.
She stated that a total of 32 states recorded poor sample collection — below 1,000 in August — as against seven states in July.
Ilori said that the centre’s priority since the beginning of the outbreak had been to promptly detect, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the virus.
“However, in a country of about 200million people across 774 LGAs, this is resource-intensive and rigorous.
“In many ways, we have intensified surveillance activities to not only understand the epidemiology of COVID-19 within our context, but help us respond accordingly.
“This also feed into the guidelines and advisories that we develop,” the NCDC head of Surveillance and Epidemiology said.
She stated that a few years ago, the centre began the gradual roll out of a digital surveillance tool called SORMAS, in Nigeria.
“Each time a new case is recorded from any part of the country on SORMAS, we can immediately view this at the National Emergency Operations Centre where we have a dashboard for monitoring.
“Using SORMAS, at a glance, we can view the number of cases and specific indicators for each case- their symptoms, current status, demographic factors etc.
“This allows for a harmonised overview of COVID-19 data and key attributes across the country.
“This also forms part of the information published in our COVID-19 daily situation report,” she stated.
“In addition, contact tracing is one of the core surveillance activities that we have employed in this response.
“This entails following-up on people who may have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to ensure that they have not been infected too.
“For this response, NCDC has trained state teams on improving surveillance including case definition, investigation and reporting,” she explained.
Ilori, however, said that the centre had supported states to engage SORMAS data clerks as well as volunteers to aid surveillance activities in local government areas.
“We are also grateful for the support from Africa CDC for the engagement of 200 community health workers to enhance contact tracing activities,” she said.
In addition, Ilori said that the NCDC had continued to develop and update existing guidelines as knowledge on the disease evolved.
She explained that recently, the agency published and shared with states, “Strategies to Improve Surveillance for COVID-19”. This, she said, could be accessed via covid19.ncdc.gov.ng.
“This is a guiding document that helps states’ teams to be more strategic in the implementation of activities to improve the overall response to COVID-19.
“To date, preventive measures that have been recommended have been informed by the epidemiological data on COVID-19 in Nigeria as well as observable trends across the country,” she noted.
The NCDC official urged Nigerians to support state and national efforts to curb the disease.
“This includes adhering to preventive measures such as the use of face masks, getting tested if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and spreading information only from official channels,” she advised.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni (NAN)
Late Emir of Zazzau laid to rest in his palace
The remains of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaj Shehu Idris has been laid to rest at his palace in Zaria besides some past emirs of the emirate.
The funeral prayers was led by the Chief Imam of Zazzau Emirate, Alhaji Dalhatu Kasimu in the palace at about 5:35pm, attended by thousands of people.
Among those in attendance were Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufa’i, Secretary to the state government, Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker of the State Assembly, Yusuf Zailani and other top government functionaries.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari led the federal government delegation, consisted of Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
Also at the palace was the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and heads of military and paramilitary formations in Kaduna state.
News Agency of Nigeri recalls that the Waziri of Zazzau, Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, confirmed the death of Alhaji Shehu Idris, the 18th Emir of Zazzau and the Chairman, Kaduna State Council of Chiefs to NAN in Zaria.
The Emir died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 84.
Shehu Idris was coronated the Emir of Zazzau on February 15, 1975, and has ruled Zazzau emirate for 45 years, before his death.
NAN observed that the death of emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris has thrown the entire people of the emirate into tears and mourning.
The corpse of the late Paramount ruler arrived the Palace from Kaduna at about 2.45pm.
The palace that was filled to capacity by friends, relatives and well wishers patiently waiting to pay their last respect to the late emir, bursted into tears when the corpse arrived the palace.
The 18th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, late Idris, ascended the throne on February 8, 1975 following the demise of Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th Emir of Zazzau.
In 1958, he was a teacher at a school in Hunkuyi and then taught at a few other schools in Zaria. Thereafter, he left the teaching profession.
In the 1960s, he was a private secretary to Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu, and was also appointed as the Secretary to Zaria Native Authority council in 1965.
In 1973, he was bestowed the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and appointed the district head of Zaria and Kewaye.
Idris succeeded Sarki Aminu in 1975. On January 10, 2015 he celebrated his 40 years coronation anniversary, and marked his 45th anniversary on February 8, 2020.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/ Maharazu Ahmed
More troops, police deployed to Kaduna Airport Road, other strategic locations
At the instance of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, troops of the Nigerian Army and police operatives have been deployed to Kaduna Airport Road on Sunday in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the deployment also covers some strategic locations, where aggressive operations by troops and police are in progress.
The deployment was aimed at beefing up security around the Kaduna Airport Road, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road Roundabout and the Nigerian Defence Academy Road.
The Nigerian Air Force will retain the duty of securing the immediate premises of the Kaduna Airport, its staff quarters and other critical aviation assets in the airport.
A meeting was held between the state government, the Army, Police, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and community leaders at Kutungare village, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
At the meeting, Gov. El-Rufai, represented by Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, challenged the community leaders to cooperate with the newly deployed troops and operatives.
“We are here to see for ourselves the ongoing aggressive fighting patrols by the newly deployed troops and police operatives in these locations.
“This will complement the Nigerian Air Force, who are working in the immediate airport environment, while the troops and operatives cover the general area,” the governor said.
In his remarks, the Garrison Commander, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen Olusegun Abai, said communities have roles to play in enhancing security through information sharing and working harmoniously with security agencies.
He added that the army will be open to the communities in line with the principles of civil-military relations.
El-Rufia commended the Army for deploying troops to Juji village in Chikun LGA, following security challenges in the village and adjoining communities on the Kaduna Eastern Bypass.
The governor also praised the community leaders for their support to security agencies and the government.
He charged them to sustain the security information sharing mechanism in place, and also urged recourse to the law by aggrieved individuals and groups.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Maharazu Ahmed
Emir of Zazzau: We’ve lost a father – Tijjani Ramalan
Dr Tijjani Ramalan, Executive Chairman of Liberty TV and Radio has described the death of Dr Shehu Idris, Emir of Zazzau, as a great loss not only to the people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State, but Nigeria as a whole.
In a condolences massage he issued on Sunday in Kaduna, Ramalan also described the late Emir as a father, leader and a nationalist.
He said , “I and the Liberty Family received with a heavy heart but total submission to the Will of Almighty Allah the passing on to the glory of our dear King and father, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris
“The history of Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria and indeed our great nation Nigeria cannot be written without a mention of the valuable contributions of His Royal Highness to peace and security,”. he said
Ramalan prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the shortcomings of the late Emir and grant him Aljanah Firdaus, and give the people of Kaduna state the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edo poll: New dawn, end of ‘godfatherism’ in Nigeria politics – Atiku
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his reelection, describing his victory in at the Edo governorship election as end of ‘godfatherism’ in Nigeria politics.
Abubakar in a statement he issued in Abuja on Sunday said that the election marked a new dawn in Edo.
“There is a new wind of democratic change now blowing all over Nigeria. The forces of despotism, nepotism, and interlopers cannot successfully withstand this force.
“Nigeria shall soon be totally free from these forces.
“The only power that will stand in Nigeria is people power, not the power of godfathers or despots,” he said.
He added that the hard won victory of Obaseki was not just a victory, but a declaration of independence from the anti democratic forces.
“No victory can be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the governor and the good people of Edo for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.
“Edo has a rich history as the centre of black civilisation, and to this, she is adding a new history as the bastion of Nigerian democracy.
“This double whammy of ancient and modern glories is a testament to a people who have, for centuries, set the pace as a beacon of light on the African continent,” he said.
Abubakar congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the people of Edo and their government, in good and bad times.
He said that the PDP had shown that it was not fair weather friends to the good people of Edo.
Abubakar said: “In good times, we will walk beside you. In bad times, we will be your true ‘comrade’. We will never be a turncoat.
“We will never abandon the principles we once espoused, so we can dine with our nemesis. Democracy has no nemesis. And this, the PDP has again proved,” he said.
Abubakar commended the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Ewuare II, for the fatherly role he played as a neutral catalyst for peace in the election.
He said that the Saturday election was largely free from violence, a testament of the long and effective shadow he casts over his domain.
The former vice president said he looked forward to the continuation of four more years of tangible development, and people-centred leadership from Obaseki.
“From personal experience, I know Obaseki to be a magnanimous man, and I urge Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to accept the right hand of fellowship that is likely to be extended to him,” he said.
Abubakar also advised Ize-Iyamu to return to PDP saying, “I remind him that no matter how far one has gone on a wrong road, it is never too late to turn back and head in the right direction. The PDP is the right direction.”
Abubakar advised the people of Ondo State to demonstrate what the people of Edo had done in the forthcoming election.
“To the good people of Ondo state, my message to you is that freedom from the oppressive grasp of godfathers and external forces that seek to dominate your will, and eviscerate your treasury, is possible.
“Edo has done it. You can do it too!,” he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/DonaldUgwu