Fashola Assures Lagosians Of Resolve To Contain And Overcome Ebola

Gov-Fashola2Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday assured Lagos state residents of the resolve of his administration to contain the spread  and overcome the deadly Ebola Virus which was imported into the State early this month by late Patrick Sawyer.

In a Statewide broadcast, Governor Fashola said the resolve was based on the courage so far shown by the first set of health workers at the State and Federal levels as well as the leadership of the State and Federal Ministries of Health with the support of the Government’s international partners.

He said the resolve is also reinforced by the encouraging reports that emanate daily from the isolation wards about those who are receiving treatment and those under surveillance pointing out that while 61 persons, who have been under observation in the last 21 days have been discharged, there is a report that a confirmed victim of the disease has fully recovered.

Fashola told Lagos residents that contrary to the rumour that it lacks the resources to tackle the challenge posed by the virus, the State has enough resources to fund everything that is needed adding that the House of Assembly has also approved a request for any needed help.

The Governor noted that the recovery of a victim has reinforcement the advice from experts that the Ebola virus infection is not an automatic death sentence, “this is encouraging news from which our containment strategy can profit greatly”, he said, adding that the State has no case of unknown origin which could raise the risk of an epidemic.

He applauded the first set of health workers at the State and Federal levels who, according to him, “stood up to be counted” as well as the leadership demonstrated by the State and Federal Ministries of Health with the support of international partners.

“In spite of fear, they stood up to be counted at a time of grave danger. We salute their courage, professionalism, patriotism and humanitarian disposition. They are the heroes and heroines that we have looked for for a long time. I cannot thank them enough”, the Governor said, adding that what they need now is encouragement and support to gain even stronger control of the situation.

Fashola expressed joy that in the last one week, the response of the State to the sudden challenge has become a lot better than when the news first broke while the capacity to cope with it is increasing daily, adding that although some lives have unfortunately been lost, the State is not yet at an epidemic stage of the disease and Government is determined to do everything not to get to that stage.

According to the Governor, this has been made possible with the advice of the technical partners such as the World Health Organization, the Centre for Disease Control and the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who, according to him, “have tracked the Ebola virus and studied it for decades”.

While assuring that Government is doing everything to ensure the safety of the workers and give them confidence to continue their work, Fashola appealed to Lagos residents not to do anything to distract them or de-motivate the workers, adding that what the workers do not need are rumours and the distractions that such rumours can bring with them”.

The Governor, who acknowledged the concerns and anxiety of friends and relatives of sick victims, assured them of the concerted efforts of Government and added that that the fact that they expect special care for their loved ones is both understandable and expected of them as friends and relatives.

“I assure you that they are receiving the best care that the experts have recommended to us, given the circumstances; because they say that this is the best way to proceed especially because experienced personnel in Ebola containment and management have always been a challenge”, the Governor said.

He called for additional medical personnel “who are willing to volunteer to join hands with those on the frontline”, adding, however, that the experts have cautioned that those who signed up cannot immediately start to participate in the isolation ward where sick people are being treated no matter how qualified and experienced they are.

“They must undergo a few days of training by our international body of advisers and understand the protocol for operation in the isolation ward for their own safety and sustenance of the containment plan to stop the virus from spreading”, he said.

Nigeria Is Home Once Again – Jide Chord

Jide ChordUK based Nigerian Juju Musician, Jide Akinwunmi popularly known as Jide Chord has taken his music back to Nigeria.

He made this known while appearing as the ‘Guest of the Week’ on Channels Television’s Sunrise. He noted that he decided to take his trade to the United Kingdom because he felt the home turf was saturated and he had a better chance of making it abroad.

He admitted that the audience was smaller in the UK and he was aware of the risk in his decision but he was able to follow his heart because he had alternative skills like music production and entrepreneurial skills that would help him balance things out.

Jide noted that 40% of his audience were Nigerians and about 60% were other nationals. He revealed that the secret to his ability to capture a large non-Nigerian fan base could also be linked to his radio audience and his performances at Jazz events with predominantly non-Nigerian audiences.

Jide’s education and vast knowledge of the Nigerian and European cultures also contributed to his rise and ability to take his music to many countries of the world. He revealed that asides performances, he has also written and presented academic papers on African Music at tertiary institutions overseas.

He, however, revealed that his major challenge was not getting bookings but the staff that worked with him. He noted that the typical Nigerian attitude to time became a major issue as many Nigerians in UK has many career commitments and lacked the time managements skills to combine these jobs with their role as members of his band.

At what point did Jide decide to check out of Nigeria? The guitar maestro, who was trained as a journalist and also worked in banking, said that he left Nigeria to seek greener pastures in 1988.

Jide Chord, who once left home to live with renowned Nigerian Magician, the late Professor Pellar, also revealed that during his years of struggle he had once practiced Magic and shared fond memories of that part of his life.

Jide concluded by saying that he indeed found those greener pastures on his sojourn abroad but said that he was back in Nigeria because now the grass was greener in the country.

Reviewing 2013: It’s Been A Year Of Endorsements In Entertainment – Areh

The CEO of Wildflower PR, Omah Areh, has rated the Nigerian entertainment industry to have done very well during the year 2013.

Areh was a guest on the last edition of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television for the year, where she did a review of happenings during the year.

According to her, Nigerian musicians took their acts to the next level in 2013, considering how many of them had tours in foreign countries, most especially in Europe and North America.

Citing examples like P-Square, Iyanya, Flavour, Davido and many others, she said that the most notable part of this is not that they performed abroad, but that many of their concert tickets sold out, with massive crowds coming to watch them.

She also noted that the industry is now taken more seriously by Corporate Nigeria, as brands are appreciating the fact that there are a lot of things to be part of in the industry.

With telecom companies leading the pack, she commended the involvement of many local businesses in the industry; she said “It was a year of endorsements”. Afeez Oyetoro, popularly called Saka and his highly celebrated switch between two giant telecom brands was cited as example of the fact that brands have really taken the industry serious.

She added that at a point it looked like there were no more artistes without an endorsement deal. The artistes are now seen as brands themselves and companies are happy to identify with them as ambassadors.

She noted that the implication of this development is that more of these artistes now have better funds to invest in their careers and this has added to the quality of work being churned out from Nigeria.

“There are also more concerts” according to her, with singer, Dare’s ‘Love Like A Movie’ concert among the most eye catching in 2013.

She also noted that, beautiful actress, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, being named by TIME Magazine among the world’s Top 100 influential people shows how much the entertainment industry grew in 2013.

There were expressions of hope that someday, concerts in Nigeria would be even greater with arenas fully packed with everyone standing.

On the gloomy side, the many deaths of Nigerian entertainers put a dent on Areh’s many reasons to celebrate the industry, especially with many of them being young people. Fatai Rolling Dollar, Justus Esiri, Goldie Havie, were among those mentioned with singer, Goldie’s drawing a lot of attention becasue she passed on at a time when she was just gaining prominence.

The industry also saw many weddings in 2013 but there were many crashed marriages too according to Areh. However she thinks that is nothing to frown about.

She advised that the art of peeping into people’s private lives is catching on in Nigeria because people find it amusing to see the privacy of their celebrities. She therefore expects that more Nigerian stars would take a cue from the likes of American superstar, Beyoncé (who shot a documentary of herself) and embrace the global trend of celebrity reality shows in 2014.