A total of 122 coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been successfully treated and discharged from the isolation centres in Edo State, the government has said.
The Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Patrick Okundia, disclosed this to reporters on Sunday in Benin City, the state capital.
He noted that the state has recorded 87 new cases, bringing the total number of infections in Edo to 1,353.
“We have recorded 87 new confirmed cases, with 31 cases reported at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) and 56 cases at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH),” the commissioner stated.
He added, “We have made tremendous progress in the management of coronavirus, as 122 patients have been discharged from our isolation centres, bringing the total number of discharges to 718.”
Okundia revealed that a total of 6,300 suspected cases have been reported across the state, while 47 people have lost the battle to COVID-19.
He, however, said the state government has intensified contact tracing, line listing, and monitoring of contacts of the confirmed cases.
According to the commissioner, the government is committed to controlling the spread of the virus and necessary actions are being taken regarding Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices at ISTH, UBTH, and Stella Obasanjo Hospital Isolation Centre (SOHIC).
He added that that the state government has intensified public enlightenment and sensitisation on the need to get tested and for prompt presentation at the designated health facilities when symptomatic.
The Edo State government says it has spent N25,047,472,632.77 for the payment of monthly pension of 13,081 pensioners from November 2016 to May 2020.
According to the Mid-Year Report of the Edo State Pension Bureau, the government has also expended over N4.3 billion in clearing the backlog of outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners in the state.
A breakdown of the figure shows that the government spent a total of N771,714,393.01 between November and December 2016 for the payment of pensions; expended N5,371,283,211.09 in 2017; while N6,452,535,649.08 and N7,936,681,957.45 were spent in 2018 and 2019 for the same purpose.
“For 2020, the government spent N735,069,623.04; N736,780,760.18; N759,731,334.31; N760,620,948.61; N759,695,333.23 and N763,359,423.02 in January, February, March, April, May and June respectively,” the report stated.
It explained that with the setting aside of N200 million monthly, the Godwin Obaseki administration was able to defray arrears of pensions dating back to 1996 to December 2018.
The government, the Bureau noted, divided the pensioners into batches 37 to 65 and ensured that the backlog was cleared after physical and documentary verifications.
Following the payment of outstanding pension arrears, it revealed that the government would consider harmonisation of pensions and payment of death benefits and gratuity in the weeks ahead.
The Bureau disclosed that an efficient management process has been put in place to fast-track the processing and documentation of retiring officers’ entitlements, thus ensuring a seamless migration from salary payroll to pension payroll.
It stressed that this has minimised the incidence of accumulation of pension arrears that had been a burden before the inception of the present administration.
The report also revealed that civil servants eligible to register under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have the benefit of a Group Life Insurance cover that makes provision for beneficiaries of contributors in the event of death in active service.
“The sum of N80,713,446.34 was paid as premium for 9,803 Edo State employees in the CPS. With this payment made, the next of kin of deceased employees receives three times their gross annual salary as benefits.
“From the commencement of the CPS on January 1, 2017 till date, a total sum of N 81,169,724.24 have been paid to families of 34 deceased employees of the State Public Service who were enrolees of the CPS,” it noted.
The report stated further, “The state government exercised political will and has been committed to the payment of pension arrears, monthly pension, death benefits under the Defined Benefit Scheme and government’s 10 per cent matching contribution into the Employees’ RSA, in compliance with the provisions of the Edo State Contributory Pension Scheme Law of 2010 as amended.
“The state has made remittances of contributions of both employees (8%) and employer (10%) to the PFAs for 39 months, i.e. from January 2017 to April 2020 which amounts to N5,230,348,954.34.
“Of this, government’s (employer) matching (10%) contribution is N2,905,749,419.08 only, while that of the employees’ (8%) contribution is N 2,324,599,535.26. Also, a Retirement Benefits Bonds Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account has been opened with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This account is being funded monthly to ensure that funds are available to defray the accrued pension rights of employees who have registered for the Contributory Pension Scheme. The RBBRF Account is being funded with 5% of the total monthly wage bill of employees in fulfilment of the provision of the Contributory Pension Scheme Law.”
Eighty more coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been successfully treated and discharged from the treatment centres in Edo State.
In a statement on Friday, the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, explained that the recovered persons were cleared to reunite with their families after testing negative to the virus.
He, however, noted that the death toll in the state has risen to 43, with the elderly accounting for a large number of the fatalities.
Governor Obaseki urged the residents to observe precautionary measures to stay safe, healthy, and ensure that the aged were adequately protected.
“We have discharged 80 more COVID-19 patients from our isolation centres. The number of discharges now stands at 498.
“We lost one more person to the virus, bringing the number of fatalities to 43. Stay safe and protect our aged parents, who are most endangered,” he said in the statement.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Health in Edo, Dr Patrick Okundia, said the state has recorded a total of 1,203 confirmed cases of out 6,046 suspected cases.
He added that the confirmed cases were recorded in Oredo (391), Esan West (117), Egor (223), Ovia North East (86), Ikpoba-Okha (160), Uhunmwode (14), Etsako Central (Two), and Esan South East (Seven).
Others are Akoko-Edo (One), Esan Central (107), Ovia South West (19), Owan East (One), Esan North East (43), Etsako West (20), Etsako East (Nine), Orhionmwon (Two), and Owan West (One).
The commissioner reassured residents that the government would continue to intensify efforts to contain the pandemic and protect the Edo people.
According to him, the state has tested over 6,371 residents and is contact-tracing 2,794 others while over 1,035 rural and urban communities have been visited for Active Case Search (ACS).
“While the state government intensifies efforts to protect the Edo people from this deadly disease, we urge all citizens to stay at home and 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,” Okundia appealed.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has uncovered plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use the trio of Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to derail the September 19 Edo State governorship election.
The PDP in a communique signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it is already aware that the trio was selected by the APC to lead its campaign so as to force a “combined formula of Kano and Kogi electoral violence as well as Imo state mandate robbery” to subvert the will of the people of Edo State in the governorship election.
The PDP said it is pathetic that the APC only has a person who has become a “butt of international shame after being seen in a viral video stuffing his robe with gratification, in foreign currency,” to serve as Chairman of its Edo state governorship campaign council.
The statement further reads that “It is equally contemptuous that such a person is being deputized by another individual, who has become a metaphor of electoral manipulation, after being so docketed by a judgment of the Supreme Court.
“It is also disgusting that a governor who deployed a Police helicopter to scare voters on election day has been mandated to deploy thugs and dangerous weapons through the northern borderlines of Edo State ahead of the election.
“Part of APC’s plot is to import election mercenaries as observers to attempt to scare the people of Edo state, suppress them and steal their mandate.
“It is however not surprising that such is the drift of the APC campaign, given that it has neither messages nor plans for the people of Edo state, especially, with a candidate like Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who has also been declared by his former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as a person of questionable character, a fake pastor, treasury looter, rusticated student who is only fit for “night meetings” and should never be entrusted with the office of the governor of Edo state.
“Whereas our candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, enjoys the overwhelming support of the Edo people due to his enthusing track record of personal character and performance in office for which even APC leaders have praises for him, the APC candidate has nothing to present to the people.
“With its defective nomination process, an ailing campaign council and a dented governorship candidate, it is clear that the APC is not preparing for issue-based and people-oriented campaign, but for process manipulation and ballot robbery.
“Our party, in the strongest terms, cautions the APC to note that the “Gandollar,” “Supreme Court Governor” and “helicopter shooting” formulas cannot work in this election as the people of Edo state have never been intimidated, suppressed, subjugated or overpowered by external political influences”.
The PDP asked the APC to note that the people of Edo state will spare nothing within the law in firmly resisting any attempt by anybody to import violence or try to manipulate the Edo election in any way.
“With the people of Edo State on the side of Governor Obaseki and the PDP, the coast is already clear and any attempt by anybody to subvert the will of the people will surely be met very stiff resistance,” Mr. Ologbondiyan stressed on behalf of the PDP.
A former vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has called for the postponement of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had set September 19 to conduct the election in Edo and October 10 for the poll in Ondo.
Addressing reporters on Sunday in Kaduna, Aremu believes conducting the elections in the face of rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases will put the lives of millions of voters at risk.
He alleged that the basic COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing, were violated during the recent primary elections conducted by various political parties in Edo State.
Aremu warned that the electorate must not be exposed to the dangers of COVID-19 during elections and advised INEC to reconsider its timetable and see how it can reschedule the two polls.
According to him, since the primary objective of governance is to protect the lives and property of the citizens, it is incumbent on INEC to consider the inherent danger of conducting elections while the COVID-19 pandemic is fast spreading in the country.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 145 suspected drug traffickers in Edo State.
NDLEA State Commander, Wakawa Buba, disclosed this to Channels Television during a briefing on Friday to mark the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Buba who noted that the arrest was made from January to date despite the COVID-19 pandemic said the Command also made a seizure of seven thousand, nine hundred and five (7,905) of various narcotic drugs.
“Edo command in the first half of the year arrested 145 suspects including 101 males and 44 females. The bulk of the drug is cannabis Sativa with 7,880.3128kg while psychotropic substances are 24.788kg.
“Three cannabis farms were identified and destroyed measuring 2.290259 hectares with an estimated yield of 10,993.2432kg of cannabis,” he said.
Similarly, six vehicles used in conveying illicit drugs were impounded along with one motorcycle.
Meanwhile, the agency has counselled and rehabilitated 63 persons with drug abuse disorders before reuniting with their families.
“Two others found to be abusing multiple drugs and refereed by their parents are currently undergoing counselling. The command also secured seven convictions while 174 cases are pending in court,” he added.
“The Electoral Guidelines for primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) provides that, for the purpose of nominating the party’s candidate for the office of governor of a state, each ward chapter of the party shall elect three ad-hoc delegates at a Special Ward Congresses, at least one of whom shall be a woman.
“Similarly, each of the Local Government Areas shall elect a national delegate for the same purpose,” the PDP Directorate of Organisation and Mobilisation said.
According to the party, both categories of delegates along with others will participate in the special state congress for the nomination of the governorship candidate of the party.
“In compliance with the above, and in keeping with its promise of a transparent, free, fair and credible primary, the NWC hereby publish the underlisted members of the PDP in Edo State as Delegates that will nominate the governorship candidate of our party ahead of the September 19, 2020, Governorship Election in Edo State,” it added.
However, the names of 18 members of the Executive Committee in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state were left out of the list.
The PDP primary in Edo will hold on Thursday, after it was earlier shifted from June 19 and 20 to June 23, and later to June 25.
Among the aspirants in the exercise include the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking re-election for a second term in office.
One of the PDP aspirants who had picked up the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms had stepped down for the governor.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said he has instructed his lawyers to write a major newspaper over an allegation levelled against him in their Tuesday, June 23 publication.
“As a result of this senseless accusation, I have pulled out of Edo State settlement. My integrity matters. I have also directed my lawyer to write ThisDay Newspaper on the publication they made against me in their Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 edition,” he said.
He also accused some members of his party’s NWAC of conniving with the media house, stressing that he will come out with more fact if challenged.
The governor noted that he would no longer participate in any reconciliation and wondered why the NWC now wants to consult Governors of the party.