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HURIWA Cautions Lai Mohammed Against False Alarm Over COVID-19 Cases In NYSC Camps



Fitness Certificate Now Compulsory Before Corps Members' Acceptance In Camps - NYSC

Leading civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as fake news the claim by the Minister of Information and Culture about what he calls the high rate of COVID-19 positive cases found in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme across the country.

HURIWA recalled Lai Mohammed as sayjng on Wednesday that the number of COVID-19 cases recorded at National Youth Service Corps, and NYSC camps across the country was far more than reported.

According to a statement by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, consequent  upon the fictitious claim of the information  minister the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, in a swift reaction, called for the suspension of camp activities if the government cannot vaccinate all youth corps members. Also, critical stakeholders in the education sector blamed negligence on the part of officials for the reported surge in COVID-19 cases in orientation camps run by the NYSC across the country but expressed differing opinions on whether or not the camps should be shut down.

HURIWA also said the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, had earlier told Nigerians that there was no COVID-19 positive corps member in any of the agency’s 37 orientation camps nationwide but the media quoted Lai Mohammed as saying that if more tests were conducted in orientation camps, “there will be more cases.”

READ ALSO: The Lies A bout NYSC

Reacting to the statement credited to Mohammed,  HURIWA accused the minister of spreading fake news just as the rights group cautioned the Federal Government to adhere strictly to competency and merit in permitting public officials to speak on certain specialised areas because the mimister of information lacked the requisite competence and qualifications to give official statements on COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the president has in his cabinet two qualified medical practitioners as health ministers.

“Speaking as an independent non- governmental organisation with no strings attached, we believe that the National Youth Service Corps Scheme has adopted strong proactive and preventive measures to keep the participants of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme safe from all infections due to the existence of functional clinics and test kits in all camps as made evidently available by the hierarchy of the scheme. Is it possible that the NYSC that has organised a series of health-related services with abundant number of young doctors and nurses in many communities benefiting hundreds of thousands of rural dwellers could let down their guards and allow COVID-19 pandemic to sweep through their camps? I don’t think so. The minister of information should stop spreading fake news please.”

HURIWA recalled that like many good Nigerian observers and patriots, it has only just been made aware through credible news channel of News Agency of Nigeria that the National Youth Service Corps has once again restated its commitment to the welfare of corps members, including the provision of conducive environment to enable them to develop their potential for national development.

NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim was quoted by NAN as stating this today while commissioning an ultra-modern clinic inside NYSC Ondo State Orientation Camp in Ikare-Akoko.

He said that the clinic was anchored on the need to ensure the well-being of all corps members — a key policy thrust of the scheme as they are a critical national asset that must be taken care of.

READ ALSO: NYSC Not Death But Skills’ Sentence

The director-general implored the camp participants to effectively utilise the clinic with adequate maintenance of its facilities.
He also directed that the clinic should provide medical services to the host community.

The construction of the clinic was initiated in 2018 by corps Doctor Ijirotimi Gbenga, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, but could not be completed due to paucity of funds.

It was later taken over and completed by the NYSC Ondo State Secretariat, with support from good-spirited individuals from lkareland.

Addressing the corps members, the director-general charged them to embrace skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development programme of the scheme that would make them become job-creators, instead of trudging the streets of Nigeria in search of scarcely available white collar jobs.

“Salaried jobs are scarce to get nowadays and l urge you to key into the in-camp and post-camp training that would make you self-employed and wealth creators.

“Efforts are on-going to establish NYSC Trust Fund that will provide start-up capitals for all corps members as you are exiting service so that you can establish your vocational business in line with the skills you acquire during the service year”, he said.

He added that many of their predecessors that embraced skill acquisition during their service year benefitted from grants to boost their businesses through the Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank, Heritage Bank, Bank of Industry, NYSC Foundation among others.

READ ALSO: Why Govt Shouldn’t Scrap NYSC – HURIWA

Before leaving the camp the director-general commissioned the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Centre where he admonished the corps members to emulate their predecessors.

While in Ikare-Akoko camp, General lbrahim also laid the foundation of the Camp Officials’ hostel. NYSC Ondo State Coordinator, Mrs Nnenna Ani informed the director-general that the corps members had been in high spirits  and comporting themselves very well as they adjust to the regimented camp life.

“They are disciplined and courteous, readily receiving instructions. Equally, both the NYSC and non-NYSC officials have been very much alert to the task of providing practical step by step training to the corps members so as to prepare them for their roles in nation building”, Ani said.

HURIWA also carpeted the Nigerian Medical Association for calling for the closure of NYSC Camps due to the fear of COVID-19 just as their source of information is the statement by the minister of Iformation which is at best the greatest fake news of the day. HURIWA challenged the NMA to conduct evidence-based research on COVID-19 in the NYSC camps before jumping to any sort of conclusion which is unscientific and speculative.


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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose



Anyim and Fayose

Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).

The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.

“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.


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BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK



Ekweremadu and his wife

A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50,  guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK

They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.

Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.

She was cleared of the same charge.

The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.

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NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity



NLC Suspends Plan To Protest Against Fuel Subsidy Removal

Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.

Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.

The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.

Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.

Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.

He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.

He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.

“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.

“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.

“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”

The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

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