Liberia Confirms First Case Of Coronavirus


Liberia announced its first case of the novel coronavirus on Monday, becoming the 27th African country to confirm the illness.

The patient is the head of Liberia’s environmental agency and had recently returned from Switzerland, the information ministry said in a statement.

“The country has registered its first case of coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19,” it said.

“The government urges everyone to remain calm. Health officials continue to search for all those who came in contact with the infected person in order to place them in quarantine,” it added.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Ghana Closes Schools, Bans Gatherings

Liberian President George Weah will address the country on Monday “to announce important new measures that the government will put in place to prevent transmission” of coronavirus, the statement added.


Ooni Makes Case For Nigerian Youths At Meeting With Senate President

Ooni of IfeThe Ooni of Ife has appealed to the Senate President, to take steps towards making provision and guiding the interests of the Nigerian youths.

Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi made the appeal during a meeting with the Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday in Abuja.

The Ooni of Ife said that it was time for leaders at all levels to rekindle the hope of youths by making them comfortable in their pursuits.

He also sued for peace and unity amongst the Nigerian youths irrespective of their tribal background.

The meeting with the Senate President came two days after the Ooni met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

The monarch had also stressed the need for further diversification of Nigeria’s economy, with a call on the government to explore the solid minerals in Osun State.

Oba Ogunwusi expressed optimism that an exploration of the huge solid minerals in his state, especially gold, would give an unprecedented boost to the nation’s economy and shift it away from volatility of the crude oil market.

President Buhari Hosts Ooni Of Ife

Ooni of IfeNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has held a closed door meeting with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting is coming shortly after President Buhari played host to the Liberian President, Ms Johnson Ellen Sirleaf; the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, among others.

The Ooni of Ife, who visited the President on Tuesday, had earlier stressed the need for further diversification of Nigeria’s economy, with a call on the government to explore the solid minerals in his state.

He expressed confidence that Ile Ife would be the take-off point of the new Nigerian economy in a post oil and gas era.

Oba Ogunwusi also expressed optimism that an exploration of the huge solid minerals in the state, especially gold, would give an unprecedented boost to the nation’s economy and shift it away from volatility of the crude oil market.

He stressed the need for focus to shift from oil and gas to other solid minerals in Nigerian states.

The monarch said that he was already working with the State and Federal governments to promote solid minerals, tourism and agriculture to keep the youths engaged and promote the local economy.

President Buhari, Liberia’s Johnson Sirleaf Discuss Regional Security

Johnson-Ellen-Sirleaf-Muhmmadu-BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Liberian President, Ms Johnson Ellen Sirleaf, held talks on Tuesday that centred on regional Security and improved relations between both nations. 

The Nigerian leader once more brought to the fore what he called the hunger and starvation ravaging Northeast Nigeria following the Boko Haram insurgency, stressing the need to end terrorists activities in the region for food security.

After talks, the Liberian President told reporters that she was in Nigeria to thank President Buhari for the support her country received from Nigeria, following the Ebola disease outbreak.

She said that she came to also renew the strong bond of relationship between Nigeria and Liberia.

The President of Liberia, Johnson Ellen Sirleaf said Nigeria and Liberia would become stronger with greater ties

“I came to talk about the joint commission that has been formulated and how we can make it a more effective instrument for improving relation – trade relation, investment relation, international relation – and to continue to see Liberia and Nigeria as strong friends,”the Liberian leader said.

Madam Sirleaf expressed gratitude to Nigeria in the setting up of the Liberian Army and called for the renewal of the bond between Nigeria and Liberia under President Muhammdu Buhari.

President Buhari was impressed with the progress made so far in Liberia. He expressed hopes that West African countries would ensure peaceful elections coming up in some countries in the subregion.

He asked the international community to continue to support him to restore peace in the northeast being ravaged by starvation brought about by Boko Haram.

“How do we stop the sub-regional terrorists infiltration and attacks. The Lake Chad Basin Commission, comprising of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin have to work with other from other parts of Africa and the ECOWAS to make sure that we stop the spate of terrorism, the effect of which you know that in the northeast, for the last two planting season, they have not planted, much less harvest.

President Muhammadu Buhari is hopeful that an end of Boko Haram activities in the northeast will ensure food security

“So there is starvation. You need to see the several millions of Nigerians in Internally Displaced Persons camp. We went over all these things that affect most of us in our region and the continent,” President Buhari said, listing areas that discussions with the Liberian leader had focused.

The two leaders pledged to continue to do their best to ensure that their economies get back on track.

Ebola: Its Going To Get Worse Before It Gets Better – US Official

EbolaThe Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Tom Frieden, has said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is going to get worse before it gets better.

The top US public health official said that the epidemic would need an “unprecedented” response to bring it under control.

Mr Frieden met Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to discuss ways to fight the disease.

“The cases are increasing. I wish I did not have to say this, but it is going to get worse before it gets better,” he admitted.

“The world has never seen an outbreak of Ebola like this. Consequently, not only are the numbers large, but we know there are many more cases than has been diagnosed and reported,” he added.

He said there was a need for “urgent action” and called on Liberians “to come together” to stop misconceptions that have helped the outbreak spread.

Health ministers from across West Africa are due to meet in Ghana on Thursday to discuss the growing crisis.

The meeting comes after the African Development Bank warned that the outbreak is causing enormous economic damage to West Africa as foreign businesses quit the region.

Medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has, however, branded the international response “entirely inadequate”.

MSF operations director, Brice de la Vigne, said of the efforts to bring the outbreak under control; “It is simply unacceptable that serious discussions are only starting now about international leadership and coordination.

“Self-protection is occupying the entire focus of states that have the expertise and resources to make a dramatic difference.”

The World Health Organization says the outbreak, which has killed 1,427 people, is the largest ever Ebola epidemic and has infected an estimated 2,615 people.

Liberia has been hardest-hit of the affected countries, with 624 deaths and 1,082 cases since the start of the year.

Despite rumours to the contrary, the virus is not airborne and is spread by humans coming into contact with bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, from those infected with virus.

Ebola: Liberian President Imposes Night Time Curfew

Liberian-Presid2The Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has imposed a night- time curfew and quarantined two affected neighbourhoods in a bid to stop the Ebola epidemic rampaging through West Africa.

The new quarantine areas include Monrovia’s West Point slum.

The President said that the commencement of the curfew would start on Wednesday, August 20, from 9:00 pm to 6:00am daily.

“Commencing on Wednesday, August 20, there will be a curfew from 9:00pm to 6:00am.

“All entertainment centres are to be closed. All video centres are to be closed at 6:00 pm,” she ordered.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,200 people have died of the virus in four West African countries.

In Nigeria, a top Lagos doctor, who attended to the Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, that brought the Virus to Nigeria died of the virus on Tuesday. That brings the number of people who have died of Ebola in Nigeria to five, the health ministry said.

Colleagues said consultant Stella Ameyo Adadevoh was the first medical practitioner to order that a sick patient from Liberia be tested for Ebola when he was admitted in July.

The Chief Medical Director at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Akin Osibogun, said that late Stella Adadevoh was a hero who contained the late Sawyer from leaving the hospital when he was tested positive to the virus, helping to contain the spread of the disease.

“We owe her a lot. She managed the situation like a thorough professional that she was. She had helped Nigeria to contain the epidemic in her own way.”

Government authorities had said five people have recovered from the virus in Nigeria and have been discharged from hospital in Lagos after they were confirmed fit and without the virus. Two are still being treated.

The outbreak in West africa has claimed at least 1,200 lives and it had started affecting travellers in the region, as several airlines have stopped flights.

Former Liberian President Asks Out-going Governors To Impact Lives

Amos SawyerA former Liberian President, Professor Amos Sawyer, has urged political and public office holders in Nigeria to see their positions as a call to service by using state resources for the overall benefit of the electorate.

Addressing governors at the Nigeria Governors Forum held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Friday, Professor Sawyer stressed that “it is only when lives are impacted that a transitioned leader can enjoy the dignity of service among his people”.

Professor Sawyer, further asked politicians to play down on party differences, and foster a stronger cooperation to effectively tackle Nigeria’s challenges.

“If there is a spirit of co-operation, the environment for reaching understanding will exit. You must reach common understanding,” he said while delivering a speech on the ‘Life After Service’ for governors.

Professor Sawyer stressed that all public officer holders must begin to “think about what quality of life they want after their service and work towards it before assuming office or immediately after they assume office”.

“The quality of life every office holder will have after service is a function of the quality of service he delivered while in office. “My preparation for exiting office began at the time that I was inducted into office,” the former Liberian President said

He said that when appointed, public service must be seen as a privilege.

“We must be appreciative of the honour given to us to serve and we must be humbled by this opportunity. We must remind ourselves every day that public service is an assignment and not an entitlement. Serving in leadership position is of time bound duration. We must know that others are to follow us and we are in a chain of actors and we have the responsibility to build upon what was done by our predecessors and to leave our footprints for our successors to follow,” he said.

Insecurity In Africa Hampering Growth

Conference of International Peace and Security - NigeriaWorld leaders at the celebration of Nigeria’s centenary have emphasised the need to improve the security situation in Africa, as it is hindering development in the continent.

Some African countries are currently experiencing attacks by terrorists groups.

Some days before the conference attended by more than 28 world leaders, a terrorist group, Boko Haram, killed over 29 students in a Federal government college in Buni Yadi, Yobe State.

At the Conference of International Peace and Security held in Abuja, the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, pointed out that human security should be the major concern of leaders in order to sustain development.

“Human Security is about freedom. Freedom from want, through empowerment and equity, ensuring that all people have access to basic services so that they can find a livelihood and have a voice in determining where they live and that their concerns are addressed and their priorities respected.

“Human security is not just a moral issue for our time; it is a political imperative and the cornerstone of social stability and human development,” she said.

Defence Of African People

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemiriam Desalegn, stressed that the only way security challenges could be overcome is by improving the governance structures.

“There is no one size-fits-all ideological blueprint to get this process right, there appears to be a growing consensus that all inclusive political arrangement is an absolute imperative.

“The whole notion of introducing an all-inclusive political arrangement in any given system meant to address these historical inequalities could only make sense if this political experiment also at the same time involves putting in place policies that could ensure sustainable economic development benefiting the cross section of society irrespective of ethnicity, gender, political affiliation or class,” Desalegn said.

UK Secretary for Africa, Mark Simmonds, pointed out that any government has the right and indeed the obligation to defend its territory and people from terrorism.

“The government has a duty to be the protector of its citizens and their universal human rights. The defence of African people and a proportionate use of legal force are mutually re-enforcing.

“The UK will partner the African governments in seeking the eradication of violence, extremism and terrorism. But if we ignore the values we want our children to benefit from, we will act as a recruiter for the likes of Boko Haram and the Al-Shabaab. We must not forget what it is that we defend,” he stressed.

Mr Simmonds said that the UK would continue to work with all African countries on African issues at the United Nations Security Council.

“We are partners in the Commonwealth, which African countries have continued to join. We want to see a strong and ambitious African Union. We are opening new embassies and high commissions across Africa, building link and strengthening our understanding and we are expounding our network of trade and investment experts throughout African countries.”

Tom Shannon  Ambassador -US EnvoyA US Envoy, Ambassador Tom Shannon, told Channels Television that part of the countries bilateral dialogue revolves around transparency and efforts to address issues of corruption in both countries.

“We both have corruption issues and the extent to which we can share our experiences and how we address these issues will make us better.

“Obviously corruption can be a problem but what we are seeing here is real interest on the part of American companies and American investors and the more American investors we have here and the more Nigerians we have working in the United States the greater our common efforts in the fight against corruption.

He said that the human condition is riddled with corruption but the US government was only interested in ensuring that governments were chosen by the people.

“Corruption is part of the human condition but the good thing about democracy, especially one that is transparent, is that it gives the citizen a way of communicating with the government,” Ambassador Shannon.

He said the the US help in combating terrorism would only be successful when all acts of terrorism were done away with, assuring the Nigerian government of the US resolve to continue to work with it to bring an end to the insurgency in the north east.

Centenary Celebration: Jonathan Advises African Leaders On Conflict Management

Over 20 Heads of State have converged on the International Conference Center Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, to commemorate Nigeria’s 100 years of existence, beginning with an international conference on human security, peace and development.

President Goodluck Jonathan presented the lead paper at the security conference which focuses on how to secure the continent against terrorists.

Some of the leaders present were President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia and Prosper Bazombaza of Burundi.

Liberian President, Helen Sirleaf and the former Secretary-General of OAU, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim who led the Tanzanian delegation were also in for the celebration.

Also in Abuja was the President of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, Ethiopian President, Mr Hailemarian Desalegh, and the European Union President, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso.

Presenting the lead paper, President Goodluck Jonathan, while highlighting the economic growth in the continent, told the world leaders present, that there was a need for collaboration in the fight against terrorism which is a global threat to development.

The President told his guests that world leaders must strengthen existing mechanism for national and international conflict management.

Citing the recent attack on students in Yobe State, President Jonathan said that the Federal Government would spare no funds in its resolve to bring the perpetuators to justice.

The theme of Nigeria’s centenary celebrations is designed around the key concepts of unity, indivisibility, virility, progress, and promise of the Nigerian Federation.