Tuesday Update: Is Nigeria About To Exit COVID-19 Second Wave?

Good morning,

We are leading with updates on the farmers-herdsmen crisis and the very pertinent question of whether Nigeria will soon exit the second wave of the pandemic.


A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

Governors Continue War Of Words

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Monday described his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed as a terrorist based on his apparent support for herdsmen who move around with AK-47.

Mr. Mohammed had said herdsmen had no option but to wield AK-47s to protect themselves, due to the security situation in the country. After drawing criticism from several quarters, including from Mr. Ortom, the Bauchi Governor said he had used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.

Governor Bala argues that herdsmen are exposed and need to protect themselves.

But Mr. Ortom’s latest comment shows he remains unhappy with Mr. Mohammed’s position.

Quote: “I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country,” Mr. Ortom said at his Monday press conference.

Context: The farmers-herdsmen conflict is an inflammable issue. Farming-centric states like Benue have pushed back against the free movement of cattle, but herdsmen communities, mostly Fulanis, claim they have been unfairly targeted for practicing their nomadic lifestyle. The conflict has devolved into various forms of violence and governments, both states and federal, are exploring a number of options – ranching, ban on open grazing – to tackle the problem.

Babagana Zulum: The Borno State Governor said the time has come to transform livestock production in the country as a way to tackle the farmers-herdsmen crisis.


Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV's Politics Today on February 22, 2021.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today on February 22, 2021.

Sheikh Gumi Makes Case For Fulani-Herdsmen Bandits

Since he met with Fulani-herdsmen bandits in the bush, popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has attracted national attention.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Monday, the cleric reiterated his calls for the government to grant repentant bandits amnesty and reintegrate them into society.

Gumi’s stance has been roundly criticised for pampering criminality, but he maintains that the bandits are a victim of circumstances.

Quote: “I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality,” he said. “And this is what we should look, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”


The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

Nigeria To Exit Second Wave Of COVID-19?

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire, on Monday, suggested that the country may soon exit the second wave of the pandemic as the rate of new COVID-19 infections slows down.

“We are, however, not drawing conclusions yet and certainly not declaring victory, but rather watching developments as they unfold nationally and internationally, ready to make use of comparative advantages that may emerge,” the Minister said.

On Monday, Nigeria recorded 542 new cases of the virus and 23 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said the country will soon receive four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.


What else is happening?

Aminu Tambuwal: The Sokoto State Governor has called on the need for Nigerians to live in peace with one another irrespective of their belief, tribe, or religion. He made the call while assenting to Sokoto’s hisbah law.

President Muhammadu Buhari met with Senate President Ahmed Lawan at the State House in Abuja on February 22, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Muhammadu Buhari met with Senate President Ahmed Lawan at the State House in Abuja on February 22, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

Ahmed Lawan: The Senate leader met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday to discuss the nation’s security challenges, among other topics.

Niger State: The 53 abducted travellers who recently regained their freedom have been reunited with their families. They have also been sharing their stories.

Rivers State: Gunmen have abducted a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Jones Ayuwo, and a first-class traditional ruler in the state, Aaron Ikuru of Ikuru Town.

Ayo Fayose: The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted permission to former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to travel abroad for further medical treatment. He must however return to defend himself in corruption charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the court said.

DRC: The government has blamed a Rwandan Hutu rebel group for the killing of Italy’s ambassador to the Central Africa nation.

China: Canadian ministers have voted to label China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang as genocide, a move angrily slammed by Beijing as a “malicious provocation”.


And that’s it for this morning. See you tomorrow.

COVID-19 Second Wave: Protect The Elderly, Edo Govt Tells Residents

A map of Edo State.

 

 

The Edo State Government has urged residents in the state to take responsibility for protecting elderly persons who are most vulnerable to coronavirus in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie in a statement, said with the resurgence of the deadly disease, the government is putting adequate measures to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Ogie, however, urged residents to comply with all safety and precautionary guidelines against the spread of the virus in order to protect the aged population, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

According to him, “As part of the response to the second wave of COVID-19, the Edo State Government has reactivated isolation and treatment centres, 4 molecular PCR laboratories and its contact tracing network to ensure the pandemic is contained.

“We are also intensifying public awareness on the need for residents to take personal responsibility in staying safe to protect the elderly in our state,” he said.

Ogie added: “As we go about our daily activities, let us observe all precautionary measures against the spread of the infectious disease, including regular handwashing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing.

“If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please contact the Edo Emergency Operation Centre on this toll-free number: 08003625000 for assistance.”

COVID-19: Kaduna Bans Large Gathering, Imposes Restrictions On Worship Centers

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai

 

The Kaduna State Government on Sunday announced new measures to stem the rising COVID-19 infections in the state.

The new regulations which was signed and authorised by the state Governor Nasir El-Rufai ban large gatherings and limit the hour of worship at churches and mosques to one hour.

Also, the use of a face mask and observing physical distancing is mandatory.

The new measures which are further to COVID-19 containment measures announced last week, take effect from December 17, 2020.

READ ALSO: Speaker, Clerk Niger State Assembly Test Positive For COVID-19

“Many of the regulations in the Quarantine Order of 26th March 2020 were significantly relaxed in June 2020 to support the safe pursuit of livelihoods. However, recent developments have compelled the state government to reinstate and tighten some of those provisions.

“Accordingly, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has signed and authorised new regulations with effect from 17 December 2020 as follow:

“It is mandatory to wear facemasks outside the house. Large gatherings are henceforth prohibited.

“Places of worship must enforce facemasks, provide sanitisers, and ensure physical distancing. The number of worshippers will be capped. Congregational worship should not exceed one hour,” the statement read in part.

Also, civil servants in the state below Grade level 14 are instructed to work from home and businesses must provide thermometers for temperature checks.

 “Civil servants below Grade Level 14 to work from home from Monday, 21st December 2020 subject to directives or summons by their supervisors who may require their presence in the office. The Head of Service will issue service-wide updates as required.

“Transport operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50 percent of capacity.

“Supermarkets and providers of personal services such as hairdressing and barbing salons can remain open but service providers and customers must use facemasks and limit the number of persons they admit and serve at any time,” the statement read in part.

While hotels are to remain open, event centers and night clubs gyms, bars, and lounges are to close until further notice.

Restaurants are restricted to takeaway services and all schools will remain closed.

COVID-19: Imo Govt Cautions Against Gathering Of More Than 100 Persons, Shuts Secretariat

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma on Sunday announced the shutdown of the state secretariat till further notice and cautioned residents to avoid gathering more than 100 persons in the state.

The governor who made the announcement during a live broadcast revealed new measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 due to its resurgence in the state.

“I want to emphasise that there is an absolute need to avoid gathering of crowds of more than 100 people anywhere in the state. Where such crowds must gather, those involved MUST wear face masks. There should be wash handstands readily available with alcohol-based sanitisers at such gatherings.

READ ALSO: Police Rescue 84 Schoolchildren, Dislodge Bandits In Katsina

“To further strengthen safety measures, all government workers are to stay at home from tomorrow, Monday, December 21, till further notice, except for permanent secretaries and political appointees. This means that the state secretariat, which is a major crowd puller, will remain closed, from tomorrow until further notice,” the governor said.

Governor Uzodinma also ordered the compulsory use of face masks in public, noting that, “mobile courts have been deployed all over the state to try any person caught without wearing face masks.”

Explaining the importance of the measures, the governor noted that there is a global resurgence of the dreaded virus with the reopening of international flights and the nonchalant attitude of many towards COVID-19 precautions.

“Since October the number of cases in the country, which hitherto seemed to be reducing, has been on a rapid rise. From 225 confirmed new cases in October, the number has risen to a frightful level of 77,933 in December. Yesterday, 19th December alone 920 new confirmed cases were recorded in the country, with six deaths.

“Recent PCR-Based tests carried out in the state in accordance with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), reveal a frightful upward surge in the curve of the confirmed case.

“Already the effect of this frightful global resurgence and spike in COVID-19 infections is manifest in the country and Imo State. A general complacency and false sense of safety amongst our people to COVID-19 19 safety protocols remain the order of the day,” he explained.

Governor Uzodinma said therefore drastic steps must be taken to stop the trend and avert imminent danger posed by the human traffic surge in the interest of everyone.

He directed that all COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly enforced.

These include the provision of wash handstands and sanitisers in markets and worship places.

He said any person or persons caught not observing these safety protocols will be prosecuted in the mobile courts.

COVID-19 Second Wave: Nigeria Records 920 New Infections, Six More Deaths

A medical official performs a throat swab on a resident of Mabushi in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja as part of the community testing for COVID-19… on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV
A medical official performs a throat swab on a resident of Mabushi in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja as part of the community testing for COVID-19… on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced on Saturday that 920 new coronavirus infections and six more deaths were recorded in the country.

This is the country’s third-largest daily figure ever, with the highest being 1,145 recorded on Thursday.

Since early December, there has been a spike in coronavirus cases. This week alone, Nigeria experienced an increase in records of highest daily infections.

The total death tally from COVID-19 in Nigeria also climbed to 1,218 on Saturday after six more people died from the virus in the last 24 hours.

READ ALSO: Edo Govt Urges Residents To Take COVID-19 Precautions

The 920 new cases recorded on Saturday is an increase from the 806 reported on Friday.

Lagos and the FCT recorded the highest cases with 308 and 207 new positive samples respectively, while Kaduna recorded the third-highest figure with 179 positive samples.

On the positive side, the NCDC also said 300 patients have been discharged after testing negative for the coronavirus.

 

920 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-308
FCT-207
Kaduna-179
Plateau-46
Niger-43
Adamawa-26
Sokoto-18
Rivers-16
Yobe-15
Enugu-13
Kano-13
Ogun-12
Delta-10
Edo-5
Osun-3
Oyo-3
Anambra-2
Ekiti-1

77,933 confirmed
67,784 discharged
1,218 deaths