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Govt Gives Conditions For States To Get COVID-19 Vaccines

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Denmark, Norway, Iceland Suspend Use Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Management has said that only states that have ready facilities and are prepared will be given vaccines .

Nigeria is expecting the delivery of 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine today. It is the first batch of the 129 million doses of vaccine the country is expecting to curb the spread of COVID-19.

No fewer than 70 per cent of Nigeria’s over 200 million population is targeted for vaccination between now and end of next year.

There will, however, be no vaccination for people under the age of 18 years.

The PTF spoke at a news conference yesterday on the preparation for the distribution of vaccine and vaccination. It said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be publicly vaccinated to give Nigerians confidence on the safety of the vaccine.

Governors, ministers, religious leaders and traditional rulers will also take jabs of the vaccine which the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified fit for use.

Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said: “Vaccine distribution to the states for the phase one vaccination process will begin. This phase is the vaccination of all frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders.

“Deployment of vaccines to the states will be based on the assessment of their level of preparedness. Some of the parameters that will be used for the assessment includes adequate maintenance of cold chain storage facilities, adequate operation for logistics transportation to the ward and health facilities, adequate security in place during transportation and at the vaccination site, completion of training of health workers, efficient social mobilization activities in place, and adherence to protocol for vaccine deployment.

“Working with CACOVID, the private sector has made plans to transport the vaccines to the states by air. States without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road using vans fitted with cold chain cabins from the nearest airport in their states.

“The vaccines will be stored at the state cold store from where they will be transported by road to LGA cold stores. All of these cold stores will have security details to protect these valuable national assets. Once activities are commenced in the states, there will be strict monitoring by the Presidential Task Force, the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC, NPHCDA, independent bodies such as the EFCC, DSS, ICPC and Civil Society Organisations, along with all the relevant line ministries.

READ ALSO: Kidnapped Zamfara Schoolgirls Regain Freedom

“The states, health facility, and health workers that are identified as defaulting from the standard protocol and the guidelines for this phase one of this vaccination will be sanctioned.

“It is worthy to note that at each phase of the vaccination, the level of preparedness of the states will be assessed before vaccines are deployed. There will also be accountability measures put in place to ensure strict compliance to the vaccination process. If we are not careful, we will not be able to ensure that the vaccines reach those who critically need them the most.”

He, however, noted that there was no fixed number of doses to be given to states.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, urged private organizations not to import vaccines into the country for now because the Federal Government was expecting enough vaccines to cater for Nigerians, with the option to increase supply if the need arose.

“All vaccines coming into Nigeria will arrive only by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. Arrival at any other airport will not be allowed and sure to be confiscated by the customs. It is important to have an orderly, disciplined rollout to avoid chaos in the immunization scene,” he said.

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NUPENG Ex-chief Frank Kokori Is Dead

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Erstwhile NUPENG General Secretary Chief Frank Kokori

A former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori has died at the age of 80 years.

Chief Frank Kokori breathed his last at a kidney treatment hospital in Warri, Delta State, in the early hours of today, Thursday.

One of his aides, who confirmed the painful development said he would want the family to formally break the news to the media.

“He passed on this night. I would want the family to break the news formally to the media.

“I am his aide but at this moment I am not to speak on this until the family issues a statement,” he said.

Kokori’s health relapsed on Monday, and the veteran labour leader was placed on life support.

Kokori made a distress call over his failing health status last month.

He lamented that in spite of his key role in the growth of the nation’s democracy, he had been abandoned.

At the hospital last month, he said: “I came to this hospital when I was told there is a place like this in Warri.

“They have been doing their best. In the midnight, they put their generator off. But I begged them to run it that I will pay their bills.

“I came on Tuesday. After the dialysis, I have been here. I could have just died because of lack of diesel. So I had to beg them to run their generator so the air conditioner, AC, in the ward can function. I need it to be alive.

“It got to a stage that I could not take a flight, I could not walk . If it was when I was in NUPENG, I would have been flown out with air ambulance immediately.”

When the Military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the June 13, 1993 presidential election, Kokori was involved in mobilising the masses against the government.

He led NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, in organising nationwide strikes that crippled the oil industry.

Also, Frank Kokori was actively involved in pro-democracy activities, organising and participating in rallies and demonstrations.

“If I wanted to compromise, the military (junta of late General Sani Abacha) was ready to give me anything but I stood for democracy, believing that democracy would usher in a better Nigeria.

“The refineries were working before I retired from NUPENG.

“I became the tribune of the country, heading the freedom fighters. Some of us were underground, disguised for 10 weeks fighting the military.

“The military sent presidential jet to pick me to compromise, but I refused.”

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Ogun To Provide Shelter For Victims Of Gender Based Violence -Abiodun

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L-R: Commissioner for Women and Social ocial Development, Mrs. Adijat Oladipo Adeleye; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; Governor Dapo Abiodun; wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun and the wife of the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mrs. Victoria Oluomo, when members of the Ajose Foundation, led by the Governor's wife, embarked on a walk to the governor's office, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, as part of the 16 Days activities against Gender Based Violence on Wednesday.

The Ogun State Government on Wednesday said it would provide a befitting accommodation for victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

Governor Dapo Abiodun made this known in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he received his wife and other women, who were on a road show as part of activities for the 16 days’ Activism Against Gender Based Violence in the state.

The governor, who acknowledged that gender violence has become pronounced among males and females in the country, assured that the state government would provide a befitting building to serve as a shelter for people that have  been sexually harassed or subjected to other forms of molestation in the state.

The shelter, he said, will save them from the stigma usually associated with the problem.

He added that the government would also work towards instituting a Gender Based Violence Trust Funds to finance the welfare of the victims.

“You want us to ensure that we have a befitting shelter and you made a case for that, and you emphasized the fact that people abused in the house or at home can not go back home. There are those who do not have anywhere else to go back to. There is a lot of stigma associated with those who are abused.

“I believe that we have identified somewhere previously, but I am told that it may not be befitting.

“By this, I am now instructing the Secretary to the State Government to work with the Ministry of Housing to identify a building; if they can’t find one, we identify a parcel of land and we will construct a befitting building to serve as the needed shelter for those persons who have been subjected to all kinds of sexual harassment,” he said.

On the call for a specialized court to try cases of gender based violence in the state, Governor Abiodun said: “Fortunately, our head of court in Ogun State is a woman. In fact, the two courts we have, the state High ourt and the Customary Court of Appeal, are both headed by women. I am sure that the Chief Judge will be more than happy to see what she can do to expedite the request.”

The state helmsman also assured stakeholders that his administration would support women at the executive level and at the judiciary to ensure that all that is required to reduce gender violence to the barest minimum in the state, is implemented.

Governor Abiodun also brought to the fore the need to look into violence against men.

He said: “I also want to bring to the fore that violence against persons is not only violence against women . Men also are being abused. But often times, nobody talks about that, and I want to be the advocate for men who are being abused.

“On the Gender Based Violence Trust Fund, I will do everything that I can to ensure that we sit down and plan on how to mobilize resources towards this noble cause.

“Once again, I want to assure you that I do identify with you and as your Governor, I will do everything within my power to ensure that we reduce this incidence of gender based violence to an absolute minimum in Ogun State.”

In her remarks, wife of the governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun noted that there was an increase in cases of rape and incest in the society, calling for the provision of a safe space for those who have been abused or harassed.

Earlier, an expert on gender based violence, Dr. Mojisola Akinsanya noted that there was an urgent need to relocate women who have experienced violence at home for them to have a peaceful place to stay.

Dr. Akinsanya, who advocated for a Gender Based Violence Trust Fund in the state, acknowledged poverty as the driving force for GBV, noting that once women are well empowered, they would adequately cater for themselves.

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Mike Ozekhome Fined For ‘Demonising’ Supreme Court

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Mike Ozekhome (SAN)

For ‘demomising’ the Supreme Court, rights activist and Constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome has incurred a fine of N40 million .

This development occurred in a ruling by Justice Tijani Abubakar, who ordered the Senior lawyer to personally pay the N40 million fine to the four respondents he took to court in respect of the Imo governorship tussle decided since 2019.

Abubakar held in the ruling that the request was strange, frivolous, baseless, unwarranted, vexatious and irritating.

He further held that the motion was a calculated design to demonise the Supreme Court.

Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN called to the Nigerian Bar over 42 years ago was fined the huge amount for bringing a motion before the Apex Court seeking to revalidate the suit that removed Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo State in 2019.

Those to be paid are the Action People’s Party, APP, Uche Nnadi, Uche Nwosu and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

In the motion considered to be frivolous by the court, Ozekhome had asked the Court for a consequential order to compel INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Ihedioha to enable him to spend a four- year tenure as Imo Governor.

His grouse was that the incumbent governor, Hope Uzodinma unlawfully spent the four years which Ihedioha ought to spend.

Among others, Ozekhome in the motion claimed that the All Progressives Congress APC had no candidate in the 2019 Imo governorship election, hence, Uzodinmma ought not to have been made governor on the platform of APC.

However, the apex court dismissed the motion on the ground that it had no jurisdiction to entertain such a motion.

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