Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 1,486 after 142 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Wednesday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.
This is so far the highest daily increase in the Horn of Africa country.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health, in a statement issued on Wednesday, revealed that from the total of 4,120 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24-hours period, some 142 of them have been tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,486 as of the stated period.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health further indicated that while 140 of the latest confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals, the remaining two are Portuguese and Djiboutian nationals, with an age range of seven to 78.
The ministry also indicated that from the latest 142 COVID-19 positive cases, some 126 of them were identified in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, which is so far considered as the hotbed of COVID-19 infections in the country.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health also said that 246 patients who were tested positive for COVID-19 have so far recovered from the virus, in which 15 of the patients recovered during the past 24-hours period.
The ministry also disclosed that three COVID-19 patients — including 71-year-old female, 46-years-old and 40-years-old males — succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, eventually bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 17.
In April, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives announced a five-month state of emergency to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Edo poll voter turnout decline worrisome in spite of credible conduct — CDD
Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro democracy civil society organisation, has said that in spite of the general peaceful and credible conduct of the Edo election, it was worried over the decline in voters turnout for the election.
The group in its final observation report signed by CDD Director, Ms Idayat Hassan, and Head, Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu, said that the credible conduct of the election was a refreshing development.
“The decline in voter turnout is pointed out as a trend, which would not augur well for the robust participation of the electorate, including marginalised groups.
“Backing this assertions with figures, CDD noted that in 2003, voter turnout stood at 78 per cent of 1,432,891 registered voters; In 2020 however, only 25.2 per cent of voters turned out to cast their ballot out of a registered number of 2,210,534.
“ CDD figures similarly showed a consistent decline in voter turnout from 78 per cent in 2003 to 40.5per cent in 2012, and further down to 32.3 per cent in 2016.
“CDD, therefore, expressed worries that the further decline in voter turnout in 2020, which came down to a low of 25.2 per cent could be read as a steady loss of faith in the electoral process, as well the entire democratic system of governance.”
Hassan said that CDD rated the conduct and outcome of the Sept. 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo as relatively credible, in spite of the challenges and infractions, which dogged the process.
She said that CDD deployed 250 stationary and roving observers to keep a close eye on key processes in the election and handed down its verdict in a final observation briefing.
She said that the Centre noted that the election was relatively peaceful when compared to other polls recently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in spite of high vote buying .
“The peaceful conduct points the way away from the “degeneration” that has historically been the country’s sad experience with electoral outcomes, and towards outcomes that significantly reflect the mandate of the electorate.
“In this respect, the election potentially augurs well for the future of democracy and development in the country.
“This is particularly in view of the determination shown by the electorate to protect their mandate and ensure that it counted in the critical penultimate months to the election day. ‘’
Head, Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu noted that the credible outcome of the election was due to the activities of various strategic stakeholders, particularly INEC and the peace-keeping efforts, the Oba of Benin and the Abdulsalam Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.
Jinadu said CDD, however, warned that there remained certain anomalies in the process, which if left unaddressed could turn the current euphoria into a mirage that would precipitate a reversal to the status quo ante.
He listed some of the issues as the controversial modality used for selecting the governorship candidates and the abuse of the power of incumbency for partisan party political advantage.
He added the general poverty in the state and the high unemployment rate that resulted in vote selling among others.
He said that although the group pointed out some malfunctioning of smart card readers, however, it acknowledged that the overall performance of INEC was smooth across the state.
He said that the group commend INEC for the introduction of the result viewing portal in improving transparency and accountability of the collation and declaration of results.
This, he said, enhanced citizens’ trust in the electoral process.
Jinadu said that CDD urged INEC to concentrate on the dual purpose of implementing its protocol on conducting elections during COVID 19 and improved voter education programme especially for other elections.
He said that there was need to reform the country’s party system to strengthen internal party democracy.
“This measure will ensure that political parties pay more attention to the nomination of women and the youth as candidates and have equal access to leadership opportunities within party organisations.
CDD further called on government and citizens to push to encourage compliance with Chapter II of the Nigerian Constitution and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to curb poverty in the country.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Bayelsa begins 2021budget process, pledges citizens’ participation
The Bayelsa government on Monday said the 2021 budget would be driven by the citizens’ input and participation toward the utilisation of public funds based on the needs of the people.
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa said that the government was poised to adopting best practices in budget process by engaging all stakeholders, which include the executive, legislature, civil society, labour, youths, women and community leaders, physically challenged amongst others.
Diri, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewrhudjakpo said that the state was adopting the citizen based approach in budgetary process for the second time.
“The Citizen’s Participation Budget Conference has been called in compliance with section 22(2) of the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 (as amended) which states:
“The government shall direct citizen’s participation conference to be convened and cause the outcomes of the said conference, together with the view expressed to be published on the state website.
”Itis designed to ensure accountability and strong collaboration by all stakeholders in stewarding our communal resources.
“Indeed, in reviewing and approving the annual state budget, you play the vital role of guaranteeing that we apportion our resources sensibly and in accordance with our shared vision and values, with a view toward helping all our citizens thrive and prosper in a sustainable manner.
“Budget policy is therefore, mostly about planning. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
“The impact of COVID 19 pandemic and the heavy toll it has taken on our inflows from federal allocations, means that the need to plan to diversify our economy has become more urgent,” Diri said.
He said that the government would focus on security, health, education and agriculture in the 2012 fiscal year for allocating resources among competing needs and plan for delivering on its promises and obligation to the citizens of Bayelsa.
Speaking earlier, Mr Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning noted that the participation of citizens would eliminate the issue of duplicating projects and ensure value for money.
He said that the input of the people at the foundational non-technical stage was critical to the success of the next statues and urged the stakeholders to participate meaningfully in the process.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of several groups took turns to make contributions and the NEEDS Assessment during the interactive session segment.
Chief Joshua Igbugburu, the Monarch of Bomo clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa urged the state government to fund the Yenagoa-Poroma road project to connect the coastal communities.
Also Mrs Dise Ogbise, the Executive Director, DO Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society commended the government for adopting a transparent approach by involving members of the public.
She pledged the support of civil society organisations in the state to the process.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists
Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.
“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.
“What’s happening tonight is not important. It’s not going to stop COVID. It’s not going to put out the fires, but it’s fun.
“And right now we need fun. … This has been a miserable year. It’s been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.
HBO’s “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession’s seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.
In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”
“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response.
“Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country.
“Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.
HBO’s alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show’s kick-ass police detective.
“Watchmen” was the night’s biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.
Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K. Brown, and “Mrs. America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed tee-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the Nov. 3 United States elections.
“Schitt’s Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys.
“It also won best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.
The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.
The “Schitt’s Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.
The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday
As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries for the Survival Fund opens on Monday, the Federal Government has released the timetable for categories of businesses to register.
A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Project Delivery Office stated that the portal which opens at 10 PM, will have educational institutions as the first category of beneficiaries to register.
“Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday September 21, 2020.
“In order to ensure seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.
“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.
“The portal will also be open to other category of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday September 28, 2020,” the statement said.
The office therefore advised those interested in benefiting from the fund to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the survival fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID– 19 pandemic.
The scheme is estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz