The Organised Labour movement and its Civil Society allies, under the Labour-Civil Society Situation Room COVID-19, has called for gradual and evidence base relaxation of the lockdown in different states of the country.
The Labour-Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 comprised representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), affiliate unions in the frontline of the COVID-19 challenge, civil society organisations and professional groups.
The meeting was held to discuss a broad range of issues pertaining to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria particularly the fallout of the recent relaxation of the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States.
According to him, we emphasise the need for sector specific, gradual, and evidence led relaxation of the lockdown in different states of Nigeria.
“This is in order to avoid overcrowding in public places with the attendant risk of worsening the COVID-19 incidence.
“We also call for synergy between the Federal Government and the states. We reiterate the call for the prioritisation of adequate supply of personal protective equipment for health workers at all level of healthcare delivery;
“We call for specialised and continuous training of health workers on COVID-19 management and we call for special Isolation Centres for infected healthcare workers and standardisation of all isolation and treatment centres in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that this would also improve recovery rate, boost confidence of health workers and also make available more professional hands to fight the COVID-19 challenge.
He, however, said the Situation Room noted that the rash of conflicting responses and approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic by state governments should be addressed.
“We call on the Nigeria Governors Forum to issue a set of overarching guidelines on issues of common interest to states while allowing individual states to deal with peculiar nuances that affect them.
“We call on the Kano State Government to take the current wave of infection in the state more seriously.
“We call for very proactive measures by Kano State Government including strict enforcement of total lockdown of the state, deployment of robust public health education.
“We also call for the provision of adequate personnel and equipment for rapid contact tracing, testing and treatment of COVID-19 cases.
“We also call on the Federal Government to mobilise additional support to Kano State and other states in similar situations,” he said.
He further said the deportation of Almajiri children across many states in Nigeria has given rise to active mobility of the COVID-19 cases.
He said the failure to address and resolve the Almajiri question within the broader context of Nigeria’s “out-of-school-children” crisis has been severely exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wabba also called for adequate de-contamination of aircrafts and airports during and after the current lockdown of normal flight operations in order to safeguard the health of airport workers and users.
Wabba, however, called for a community based and decentralised contact tracing, testing, isolation and treatment, adding that this should be prioritised as a major public health policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also called for more testing facilities and kits across the country as a matter of national health emergency, adding that testing centres should be established in every senatorial district of the country complete with community mobilisation and enforcement.
He said that the Situation Room called for improvement in Public Health Education through community participation and ownership to educate people on the reality, dangers and public health guidelines on COVID-19.
Wabba, while speaking on the issue of mitigating socio-economic impact and stimulus package, said the Situation Room called on employers of labour to stop the massive layoff of workers and cut in salaries.
“We demand that the economic stimulus package by government target employers who have demonstrated iron-clad commitment to keep jobs, retain existing salaries and expand production.
“This is the time to re-think our economic strategy. We posit that the current economic crisis which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic is as a result of gross mismanagement of the Nigerian economy by successive governments.
“The continuous importation of refined petroleum products as a result of the neglect of our oil refineries, perennial distortions in our trade balance, huge patronage of foreign goods and services including medical tourism.
“Especially by public officials, dearth of a national development blueprint and appetite and widespread official corruption has brought us to this cauldron.
“To navigate out of this mess, we need a surgical socio-economic paradigm shift,” he added.
He also called for a paradigm shift in the management of the country’s resources and the economy, while re-echoing its earlier calls for an urgent national conversation for an immediate resuscitation of the four comatose national oil refineries.
He added that we also insist that Nigerians are not ready to bear yet again further costs of the clear ineptitude, policy failures and outright corruption of public officials whether in the petroleum sector or with regards to the so called cost reflective adjustment of electricity tariff.
“We call for strategic action and synergy by the federal and subnational governments on a scale of immediate, short term and long-term responses to the fallout of the COVID-19 challenge.
“Given that our country is almost at the limits of sustainable loan financing and the fact that we are almost at the same level before the debt reprieve from the Paris Club creditors in October 2005.
“We call for a cap on external and internal borrowing by different tiers of government,” he said.
He also said the Situation Room regards the bill on the Control of Infectious Diseases being currently considered by the two chambers of the National Assembly as an unnecessary distraction at this time of national health emergency.
“We demand that the bill should not in any way encroach on the fundamental rights of workers and citizens. We are also ready to engage with the bill when it comes up for public hearing,” he said.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/lockdown-labour-civil/
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