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Sanwo-Olu Boosts Fight Against COVID-19



Sanwo-Olu Boosts Fight Against COVID-19_newtimes

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has released N200 million to support the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response of the Federal Government-run isolation centres that are based in the state. The grant is specifically to ramp up the capacity of the federal isolation centres in Lagos to efficiently manage and cure infections from all identified COVID-19 variants.


This development was disclosed in the governor’s latest update on the state’s COVID-19 response, which was released on Sunday evening.


The beneficiary treatment centres are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Idi Araba, and Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Ebute Metta, which will get N150 million and N50 million respectively.


Also, the state government announced that its isolation centre situated in the Gbagada General Hospital would now be transformed into fee-paying private wards. The move, Sanwo-Olu said, was in response to the growing requests from patients and families willing to pay for personalised care in government-run facilities, while also protecting their privacy.


Payable fee for the private treatment, the governor noted, will be moderately lower than charges at licensed private hospitals. Sanwo-Olu said the state-owned treatment centre at Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba would continue to offer high-quality treatment to all persons, free of charge.

He said: “In view of the rising profile of the Coronavirus disease due to the mutating variants now being discovered globally, and to shore up our containment and management capacity, I have approved the sum of N200 million to support the ongoing patient management and treatment efforts in two Federal Government’s treatment centres in our state. To this end, LUTH will be receiving the sum of N150 million and the FMC Ebute Metta will be receiving N50 million. These sums will be disbursed today, February 1.


“Also, in response to the growing clamour by patients and families who are willing to pay for COVID-19 treatment but would like to do so at a cost that is lower than is currently obtainable at private facilities, Lagos State Government is making efforts to transform the state-owned isolation centre in Gbagada into a fee-paying facility that people can elect to be treated at. While the treatment facility in Yaba will continue to offer free and high-quality treatment to all persons, Gbagada isolation centre will offer treatments at a moderated and affordable cost to those who wish to take advantage of extra offerings like private treatment rooms and more personalised levels of care.”


Despite that oxygen demand has spiked up from 300 cylinders to 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, Sanwo-Olu said the state government would not charge patients who receive oxygen.


The governor said Lagos was working hard to ensure oxygen supply met and surpass the demand, disclosing that the state was on the verge of delivering its second oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital. The new plant will be ready in the next seven days.


According to Sanwo-Olu, when the COVID-19 vaccines are finally delivered to Lagos in the coming days, distribution priorities would be accorded to frontline workers, persons with co-morbidities, essential workers and the elderly who are within the age bracket of 50 to over 65 years.


He said: “The government will keep the integrity of the vaccines intact along the entire supply and distribution chain, while also ensuring approved dosages are complied with. The state will follow up on possible post-vaccination adverse event; the monitoring strategy will be diligently followed in line with protocols of pharmaceutical public safety.”

READ ALSO; COVID-19: Lagos Civil Servants To Work From Home Till Feb 26

The state government condemned what it called “widespread flagrant disregard and non-adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols” issued to stem the tide of infection. Sanwo-Olu particularly noted that some event centres’ owners had been operating their facilities outside the acceptable parameters for usage, warning that defaulters would be decisively dealt with.


In line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations of 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, Sanwo-Olu directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.


“A breach of the provisions of the presidential regulations attracts upon summary conviction, a fine or six months imprisonment or both. Our enforcement agencies have been appropriately tasked to ensure maximum compliance,” the governor said.

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Much Ado About Certificates 



Prof Hope Eghagha

By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

BISHAK: A certificate is nothing! A certificate is nothing! A certificate is nothing!

OBUKS: A certificate is nothing?

BISHAK: Quote me. A certificate is nothing!  

OBUKS: How? What do you mean? We are in the 21st century, my dear friend!

BISHAK: What certificate did Jesus have? What certificate did Mohammed have? What certificate does Ronaldo have? Did the last president have any certificate? Didn’t he govern well? What certificate has Messi? Messi is his own certificate. Football is Messi. Messi is football.

OBUKS: Ibaboooo! I can’t believe what my ear is hearing oooo!

BISHAK: What certificates do those traders in Alaba or Kano markets have? Please, tell me another story!

DEMOLA: Are you for real? We are discussing certificates, and you are referencing Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed? Who, what has brought this disaster on us as a people?

DELILAH: A former minister of the Federal Republic? Now I understand why we are where we are!

DEMOLA: A certificate is something! A certificate is something.

OBUKS: I am baffled that a sitting president does not want the details of his credentials revealed to Nigerians, that a disclosure would cause him irreparable damage! President Jonathan also blocked his PhD documents in University of Port Harcourt from public view. It is not a good sign, not a good sign at all. Sends a wrong message to the youths in the country!

DEMOLA: The youths? They are already lost. Is that not the reasoning behind the ‘school na scam’ slogan? We must trace them and bring them back to the path of truth!  

BAKO: Look here, what is the big deal about two different dates of birth? You see, people from the old generation did not have proper records and relied on oral accounts. Besides, some people keep two different birth dates so that they may remain in paid employment!

BISHAK: What is a certificate? It is an ordinary paper which states that you went through an institution. It does not show competence. Why the sentimental attachment to an ordinary sheet of paper?

OBUKS: Are you saying this? That a certificate is not necessary for employment?

BISHAK; Calm down, young lady, calm down! Is it a university certificate that is driving Microsoft or Facebook. Let us look at practical things fa!

OBUKS: I agree that a certificate is not always an indicator of competence. But here we are dealing with a false claim.  

BISHAK: It is this over-reliance on certification that is propelling public officials to concoct results. The list is long. Speaker of House Salisu Buhari who falsified his age and educational qualification, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who did not submit his PhD credentials for public scrutiny, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieyo running mate to David Lyon of Bayelsa State, Kemi Adeosun, Christian Abah whose tenure in the House of Representatives was cut short by the Supreme Court in 2017 over a forged academic certificate to INEC, Bello Masari who was accused of forging his secondary school certificate (the case eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court for lack of evidence), Speaker of House of representatives Dimeji Bankole, though the case was dismissed when he produced an NYSC discharge certificate.

DEMOLA: Our country is a  riddled with contradictions. Former President Muhammadu Buhari hired 13 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to defend him after Nnamdi Nkwocha-Ahaaiwe argued that Buhari did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 and so was not qualified to contest for president! A transparent leader would produce the certificate. But our national sheriff, the man who staked his reputation (non-existent as far as I am concerned) hid behind technicalities to block a verification of his certificate.

OBUKS: Do you mean Buhari did not, does not have WASC? How did he enter a military academy? 

BAKO: His certificate went missing, we are told; a guard dog in Army Headquarters ate the certificate when there was no food!

DELILAH: Hahahahahaha! I laugh in Fulfulde language!

OBUKS: Let us return to the current issue. The rumour mill, galvanized by social media, has been awash with all kinds of allegations against then candidate Senator Bola Tinubu. The core of the allegations was that Bola Tinubu migrated to the US with a female visa. Now that the papers have been released, there is a discrepancy in the two documents. When was our president born? 1952 or 1954? We need to know.

BAKO: Let us not waste time on frivolities. We know Bola Tinubu as president. We had known him as a senator, as a governor for decades. So, his identity is not in doubt. He successfully governed Lagos State. He was a successful senator. He was one of the arrowheads of NADECO that brought down the Abacha junta. Tinubu has political sagacity, and this has clinched him the presidency. He has built a network of friends across the country and should be allowed to govern in peace. We need a stable polity. Enough is enough, please!

OBUKS: We do not doubt the person of Bola Tinubu. We are asking: is the Bola Tinubu we know the Bola Tinubu who graduated from CSU?

DEMOLA: Is the Bola Tinubu who studied in CSU a man or a woman? Who is Sangodele?

BAKO: The admission letter shows that the Bola Tinubu who studied in CSU was a man! Period.

DELILAH: Remember though that gender switch or change is allowed in America!

OBUKS: If I were president, I would address the nation, display my certificates, and put to rest all the allegations and innuendos that have beleaguered me. I would post photographs of my classmates from the period. I would stand on the moral high ground and assure the youths that I attended CSU and graduated and that they should not listen to interlopers and haters. I would tell the nation that I did not peddle drugs and move on.

BISHAK: But you are not the President (Laughter). Don’t daydream! Presidents don’t rush to address the nation on every frivolous allegation against them. What time would they have to govern? Talking seriously, the matter is before the Supreme Court. We shall soon know if the struggle in the courts in America was worth the trouble.  

BAKO: Too late! Too late!! On technical grounds, the matter will be thrown out. Gender identity is not one of the issues that was raised in the tribunal.

OBUKS: What if a case of perjury is established?

BISHAK: Do you think there is a court in Nigeria that can remove a sitting president who has been in office since May 29th? Remember the chaos that followed the removal of Chief Ernest Shonekan?

DEMOLA: I’m worried about the image of the country. We should be discussing policies, not academic qualification.

BISHAK: Don’t lose sleep. Even America the powerful has its own share of certificates wahala. Donald Trump hounded Barack Obama about his birth certificate. It is now clear that the diplomas awarded by Trump University are worthless.       

BAKO: Senator, now President Tinubu is my man. Let us not join rabblerousers to distract him from the excellent job which he is doing!

DEMOLA: Alhaji Atiku is my man. Let us support him to ensure that truth is established in the Nigerian polity.

DELILAH: What is truth?

BAKO: The truth is that the deposition by the Registrar of Chiago State University has laid the controversy about this unnecessary drama to rest: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, now President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, did attend Chicago State University. No forgery. No fraud.

DEMOLA: What about the inconsistencies in schools, and date of birth?

OBUKS: Leave that to the Supreme Court!  

(End of discussion)

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The Toyin Falola Interviews: Panel Discussion On Coups In Africa: Geo-Politics, Legitimacies, And Resource Management



Dr.Claire Princess Ayelotan

By Claire Princess Ayelotan

It is imperative that we acknowledge the need to shift away from Maradona democracy in Africa. The panels have aptly articulated this sentiment. The root of this issue lies in the need for a change in mindset through education. Unfortunately, even education cannot guarantee a change in ignorance, as displayed by some politicians.

The true challenge is the disunity among Africans that external actors routinely exploit. This makes coming together to establish a contextualised democracy challenging, reminiscent of the biblical passage “to your tent, oh Israel (1 Kings 12:16b)”. A house divided against itself cannot stand and will inevitably fall apart under any pressure. This is why thieves will come without hesitation to steal, kill, and eventually destroy. During pre-colonial times, some African leaders participated in the colonisation of their own people. It is also widely acknowledged that many elites were responsible for selling their people to slavery during imperialism. As mentioned above, the elites or their descendants also bear significant responsibility for disrupting and undermining long-standing traditions, religions, and belief systems in Africa. It is of great concern that I note the considerable impact of Western imperialism on Africa’s cultural landscape. Introducing toxic religio-cultural practices has contributed to decades of turmoil and instability of the continent. One such could be deducted from Jean-Marc Ela that “The God of missionary preaching was a God so distant, so foreign to the history of the colonised people (Ela 1986, 29).” They presented a facade of aid and benevolence to the people of Africa, but in reality, their actions were intended to maintain the subjugation of the indigenous population long after the colonialists had departed.

The extent to which these African elites were manipulated remains unclear; however, the same sense of disunity among Africans has once again become apparent. The divided house is crumbling! ECOWAS’s decision to launch an attack on Niger in response to the military coup that occurred raises several questions about the organisation’s motivations and consistency in addressing such events in the region. Specifically, why did ECOWAS choose to act against Niger while other countries, such as Mali, Guinea, and Gabon, have experienced similar military takeovers with no apparent action from the organisation? Whose voices are they listening to or hearing? Could they be concerned that they could be their respective nations that will soon undergo military coups? Niger’s neighbour, Nigeria serves as a compelling illustration of the potential for a severe social or political crisis. Given the persistent poverty and the glaring disparities between the wealthy and disadvantaged segments of the population, it is conceivable that an incident more catastrophic than a military coup may soon occur.

It is crucial to explore these discrepancies to understand ECOWAS’ role in maintaining instability in West Africa. Launching an attack on Niger is an infringement of Niger’s sovereignty and a clear violation of the Rule of Law. First, Niger is a sovereign nation, not a battlefield for mineral resources. It is imperative to consider the financial implications of engaging in armed conflict, including the loss of lives, psychological trauma, exploitation of the vulnerable, and forced displacement. Nigeria, which has long struggled to secure adequate food supplies for its population, would face significant challenges in providing sustenance to Nigerien refugees in the event of a war. Second, according to Sir Tom Bingham (2011, 8), the importance of the rule of law is that regardless of the type of authority represented by persons or organisations, the laws enacted and enforced in public must be binding on them, which requires clear, consistent, fair, and impartial laws, without discrimination or favouritism. In contemporary democracies, the observance of legal precepts is recognised as a fundamental aspect of effective administration, which appears to be absent in the governance of many African countries.

Moreover, the recent declaration by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, regarding the withdrawal of French troops from Niger before the end of December has raised concerns about the durability of this decision (France24, 2023). The troops in question had been stationed in Mali for nearly a decade but were compelled to leave the country in February of the previous year (Chrisafis and Burke, 2022). Subsequently, they were moved to Niger. This development serves as a distressing reminder of the situation in Afghanistan when the United States and its allies withdrew their forces (Stewart and Ali 2021) and raised spectres of history repeating itself too soon.

However, there were some concerns. It is unclear whether this is a temporary measure to allow for full-scale clashes between military insurgents and the ECOWAS or a permanent one. Additionally, a country’s claim that its ambassador is being held hostage in Niger raises questions about the truthfulness of this statement as there is no evidence to support this claim. No one is holding the ambassador, as he is free to leave Niger. The Nigerien military simply revoked his diplomatic immunity. It is widely known that France initially declined to withdraw, and the reason was well known.

If a military force from an African country invaded France and refused to withdraw, what would France do? The French government would likely take some steps to address the situation. These might include diplomatic efforts to negotiate a resolution, deployment of military forces to defend against further incursions, and implementation of economic or other sanctions against the invading country. Ultimately, the specific actions that France would take in this situation would depend on some factors, including the scale and nature of the invasion, capabilities of the French military, and the situation’s broader political and strategic context. Furthermore, France’s continued presence in the region has been met with criticism regarding its hostile relationship with francophones and has called into question the continuity of disguised colonialism in these regions.

A similar façade to the above is France’s hard-line stance on migrants from Lampedusa, Italy. On Tuesday, the 19th of September, the French interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, was invited and interviewed in the TF1 8 pm news about the sudden arrival of nearly 9000 migrants in Lampedusa. He replied, ‘La France n’accueillera pas de migrants’ meaning France will not welcome migrants (Timsit 2023). It is not being suggested that France should open its borders without restrictions to accommodate all migrants, as such an action would prove overwhelming and untenable. Instead, the issue at hand concerns the question of what steps should be taken concerning migrants who hail from countries that have been or continue to be exploited by nations that refuse to accept them. If the African continent were to experience development, would the current influx of migrants (including oneself) be witnessed? It is universally acknowledged that when one casts stones, they should not be surprised if the projectiles land upon their abode, causing them to crumble and be destroyed.

It is clear that the various perspectives on this issue require further examination. Africa is in crisis because of adopted foreign values that are inadaptable to the continent. Last night, Professor Mary Owusu mentioned the need to return to history and I agreed. This means that Africa must find its voice and necessitates excavating our heritage beyond the pre-colonial period to reclaim our dignity. Otherwise, it will continue running hopelessly in the dark with no hint of light in the tunnel (Ela 1986, 100). Africa must abandon its foreign-style democracy, akin to Maradona’s brand of leadership, in favour of a democratic system that is tailored to our socio-cultural and religious values. Until such a time, the probability of military coups or even more catastrophic events is unavoidable.

Ayelotan, MA, MA, PhD, PDSL, ACIArb, IMI,Theology & Religious Studies, University of Roehampton.

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BBNaija All-Stars: Cee-C, Alex In First Fight In Biggie’s House



Cee-C and Alex

By Esther Kainebi-Daniel

Signposting the expected drama cum fight in the luxurious Big Brother mansion,  housemates Cee-C and Alex  have in just 72 hours  shown the stars’ inability to accommodate themselves as they fight dirty in the house.

Season 2, Double Wahala participants, Cynthia Nwadiora (Cee-C) and Alexandra Amuchechukwu Asogwa (Alex) could no longer bottle their emotions as they clashed during a bitter quarrel on Wednesday, July 26.

The fight broke out after the housemates had their first wager task during their meeting in the morning. Alex accused Cee-C and Uriel of sabotage following the duo not participating well in the task.

Cee-C and Alex engaged each other in a shouting marathon in a very loud manner, threw caution to the wind, ridiculed, insulted and called each other names over the incident.

Despite other housemates attempt to separate their fight, the duo continued to shout at each other at the top of their voices, throwing inventives up and down. Tired of the situation, other housemates, allowed them to have a field day while they watchd.

Cee-C and Alex are two housemates from the Season 3 Double Wahala Season in the ongoing Season 8 All-Star dubbed the Biggieverse. The duo are always full of drama whenever they meet.

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