The Kwara State Government on Wednesday in Ilorin explained the reason behind the sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Rafiu Ajakaye Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19 gave the explanation in a statement.
He said it was due to deliberate effort of the committee to contact-trace and test all persons and health workers that had contact with two Coronavirus positive persons that recently sneaked into the state.
“They were already in isolation before the test result as they had long been identified as “persons of interest” on account of their close contact with a pregnant woman who sneaked in from Zamfara and later tested positive.
“The woman was briefly treated at the Ilorin General Hospital and later at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital where she underwent an operation and later tested positive,’’ he said.
Ajakaye noted that the incident led to contact tracing and testing of no fewer than 180 persons.
“Various precautionary measures have since been taken at the two hospitals, including disinfection of relevant wards, relocation of other patients to some other wards and testing of all the contacts.
”There is also a renewed emphasis on the need for healthcare workers to treat every patient as a potential COVID-19 case.
“For the record, the rise in the cases was a result of government’s proactiveness in rounding up all contacts and testing all of them.
“Insinuations about the lack of PPEs or shortage of same are unfounded and reckless,” he explained.
He added that 23 new cases recorded included that of a contact of a deceased person whose corpse was brought into Kwara from neighbouring Ekiti State.
“The government has, therefore, despatched a Rapid Response Team to begin an aggressive contact tracing of the case in the affected community for another round of tests.
“So far, 75 per cent of our cases were imported. There is no record of community spread yet in Kwara.
“While we commend the security agencies for what they are doing, we urge them to do much more to secure our borders and prevent influx of people into the state.
“The 23 new cases, as many before now, were a backlash from porous borders.
“In times of pandemic and other emergencies, it is a crime for anyone or entity to undermine a system put in place to protect the people.
“The government, therefore, warns that any action that purports to kill the morale of our health workers and those in the frontline of this national emergency will not be tolerated,” the statement said.
It called on the Federal Government to expedite action on setting up of at least a COVID-19 test centre in the state to strengthen the capacity to test more samples while urging people to come up for voluntary testing.
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
Attack on police officers in Sokoto ‘ll not be left unaddressed – AIG
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 10, Mr Muhammad Mustapha, says the attack on Gidan Madi Police Division in Tangaza Local Government area of Sokoto State by bandits will not be left unaddressed.
Mustapha, who is in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, stated this when he led a delegation of police top brass to condole with the family of the deceased Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Aliyu Abubakar, in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar, and another officer, Insp. Muhammad Abdullahi, attached to the division in Tangaza council area, were, on Thursday, shot dead by unknown gunmen, who invaded the town and engaged the police in a gun battle.
“The deceased was a seasoned police officer who was truly professional. The impact of the loss is felt by the force and it shall not be left unaddressed,” Mustapha said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in Sokoto State, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, expressed regret over the killing of the officers, describing it as unfortunate.
He reiterated the command’s avowed commitment to bringing perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
“On behalf of the command, I regret the unfortunate demise of our officers.
“The deceased were very gallant, hard working and vibrant officers who dutifully and meritoriously served the force,” Kaoje said.
Speaking on behalf of the deceased’s family, Malam Tukur Bawa, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and uncle to the late DPO, thanked the delegation and the entire police family for the concern shown to them.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
Lawmaker donates 5 motorised boreholes, promises more
Rep. Tunji Ajuloopin, representing Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara, has donated five motorised boreholes to his constituency.
The lawmaker during the inauguration of the projects on Sunday reiterated his earlier promise to sink a motorised borehole in each of the 42 wards in his constituency.
Ajuloopin, who is the Chairman House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, said the well-being of the people of his constituency is a top priority to him.
He pledged to continue to give adequate attention to projects that would have direct bearing on his constituents.
“These five newly completed boreholes take us to a total of 13 and we are spurred to do more; we will be doing this based on availability of funds.
“We still have plenty of projects to bring to our people but it is one step at a time.
“We are careful about what we are doing, so that we won’t give a community in need of transformer, a borehole. We don’t want to make such a mistake,” he said
He appealed to his constituents to exercise patience with him as the COVID-19 pandemic affected a lot of things already in the pipeline for the year, saying that he would not, however, be deterred from delivering his mandate.
The lawmaker thanked the people for their support, while expressing happiness for belonging to the constituency.
As at the time of visit to some of the projects sites, all the boreholes were fully operational.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Felix Ajide