Lassa Fever: Remain Calm, Oyo Govt Tells Residents Amid Reported Cases

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo used to illustrate the story.

 

The Oyo State government has called on all residents of the state to remain calm over the reported cases of the Lassa Fever in the Iwajowa Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, made this known in a statement issued on Monday and made available to journalists in Ibadan, stating that the state government is doing everything possible to curtail the further spread of the virus.

He said that in response to the development, the government has already set up a surveillance system across LGs in the state to prevent further transmission of the illness.

According to him, the Ministry of Health has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the reported cases, adding that personal protective devices had been provided for health care providers at Iwere Ile and Iganna.

READ ALSO: Lassa Fever Kills Medical Doctor In Benue

He enjoined the general public to refer similar cases to the nearest government hospitals for free and quality care, and also call the following numbers: 09058704101,08025245800 and 08073431342.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the Ministry was drawn to reported cases of deaths at Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday, 12th January 2022. The deaths were said to have been associated with fever, gastrointestinal symptoms and some neck swelling.

“This warranted a high-level investigating team led by the Honourable Commissioner for Health to visit the LGA on Thursday, 13th January 2022 to assess the situation and provide the necessary support to abate any further transmission of the illness.

“The team comprised of senior officials of the Ministry, the State Primary Healthcare Board, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“An initial visit to the State General Hospital at Iwere lle revealed the fact that there was an increase in a number of cases brought from the Gaa Agbaruru settlement with confirmation of two (2) deaths at the facility. The team was then led to Gaa Agbaruru, a Fulani settlement in Iwere ward of the LGA where the victims of the illness came from.

“It was observed that there were cases with symptoms mentioned above but were recuperating. It was also confirmed that there was indeed a high degree of contact between the inhabitants, rodents and bats. In addition, the challenge of having potable water was noted.

“Blood samples were taken from the recuperating individuals with samples of water also taken. These samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory for Haemorrhagic Fever in Abuja for analysis and confirmation.

“The result of the investigation from the Reference Laboratory was received today, 17th January 2022 with two (2) of the ten (10) samples testing positive for Lassa Fever.

“As such, the Ministry has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the Lassa Fever cases and personal protective devices for the health care providers at Iwere lle and Iganna. Health education and environmental sanitation are presently ongoing in the communities.

“The State Surveillance System has been augmented across all Local Governments in the state. Suspected cases are to be referred to the nearest Government Hospital for free and quality care.”

Tinubu Pays Condolence Visit To Makinde Over Demise Of Olubadan, Soun And Akala

 

Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday, paid a condolence visit to the Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, over the demise of two prominent traditional rulers and a former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala.

While speaking at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, Tinubu said that the departed traditional rulers – the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1 – as well as former Governor Alao-Akala, would be greatly missed.

Makinde said Tinubu stood for politics without bitterness.

 

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, quoted Tinubu as saying that the reign of the two prominent traditional rulers was peaceful, adding that the duo contributed to the peaceful atmosphere of the state.

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The statement also quoted Tinubu as adding that the late Governor Alao-Akala equally contributed immensely to the political development and the love radiating within the political arena in the state.

The former Lagos governor also commended Governor Makinde for “demonstrating good character” as far as governance is concerned in the state.

He said: “I want to thank you, the governor. It was only last night that I thought of my coming here and we are here today. Having lost a former governor of this state, the Olubadan of Ibadanland and Soun of Ogbomoso, it is just for us to go back to the sense of value of people and their lives.

“With this situation, we share in your loss. You, as the governor on the saddle of power, take responsibility for the situation here. I want to say that we thank God Ibadan has been peaceful and not a den of violence but peaceful.

“Every other thing that has happened has taught us in the book of religion that we are just passing through and we will leave one day. But no matter how long, it is difficult to absorb the loss easily.

“Thank you for being accommodating. We gave you a short hour notice and you responded.

“That is a demonstration of a good character, which is rare. People get, sometimes, intoxicated with power and the arrogance of office can be overwhelming, but not with you. Thank you for receiving us so quickly.”

Tinubu is full of praises for Makinde.

 

In his remarks, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, said that the former governor of Lagos State stood for politics without bitterness.

According to him, politicians, may fight, struggle for political positions, but power can only come from God and He gives it to whomever he likes.

Makinde equally appreciated the former governor of Lagos State, wishing him well in his political endeavour.

He said: “I want to welcome you to Oyo State. We are really grateful for this visit. This is the year political parties will elect their candidates towards the election that is coming next year. So, what this had demonstrated to us is, you stood for politics without bitterness.

“During this political season, you may have to question yourself on why you need to come to the Government House because people might have another interpretation to it. But you sent a message across to me and I was delighted to host you in Ibadan.

“We lost two traditional rulers almost in quick succession. First, it was Soun of Ogbomoso land, and we were planning for the burial when the Olubadan of Ibadanland also joined his ancestors. We were still in the middle of that when former Governor Akala also died. I can see that in Oyo State, we try to take politics out of what we call ‘omoluabi’.

“We may fight, struggle for political positions but we know power can only come from God and He gives it to whomever He will like to give it to at whatever time.

“We really thank you for this visit and want to let you know that we have taken proper notice that you have risen above politics and all that is going around here to come and share with us at this moment that we are grieving. We say thank you.

“Let me also use this opportunity to wish you well in your political quest to govern this nation. We want the best for this country and only the best is good enough at this particular time.”

Senator Tinubu’s visit to the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, came after he had paid condolence visits to the palaces of the Soun of Ogbomoso land, Olubadan of Ibadanland, and residence of the late Governor Alao-Akala, where he sympathised with the respective families.

Former Oyo Governor Christopher Alao-Akala Dies At 71

File photo: Christopher Alao-Akala

 

A former governor of Oyo State, Christopher Alao-Akala, is dead.

He died at the age of 71.

The news of his death was confirmed to Channels Television by a source close to the family.

Alao-Akala was a former governor of Oyo State and sought re-election under the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 governorship election in the state.

Alao-Akala was born in Ogbomosho on June 3, 1950. He had his elementary education at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso, and proceeded to the Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.

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He was enlisted as Cadet Inspector of Police in June 1974, at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja. He was later recommended for overseas training at the Hendon Police College, in London, among others.

The former governor also participated as a Nigerian delegate at two INTERPOL conferences in Nice, France, and in Málaga, Spain. From the position of Station Officer in the Nigeria Police, he became the Administrative Officer, Federal Operations at the Force Headquarters, Lagos.

He later rose to the position of Operations Officer, FEDOPS, Lagos. He became the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and subsequently the ADC to the Inspector-General of Police.

Alao-Akala started his political career as a member of New Dimension. He contested and won the chairmanship seat of the Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors under the platform of APP in 1998. He was elected the vice-chairman of ALGON, Oyo State Chapter between 1999 and 2002.

Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum, a political association that later joined the PDP. He was the Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.

He served as the Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003 to January 2006. Following the impeachment of then-incumbent Governor (Rashidi Ladoja), Alao-Akala was sworn into office in January 2006 and served for 11 months. In December 2006, the impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court, and Rashidi Ladoja was reinstated.

Alao-Akala later contested and won the governorship election in 2007 under the platform of the PDP and became the Executive Governor of Oyo State, serving a full term till May 2011.

In October 2018, he defected to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) where he won the governorship ticket to contest for the office of governor in the 2019 general elections.

Makinde Takes COVID-19 Booster Shot, Flags Off Mass Vaccination In Oyo

Governor Makinde is calling for calm in the wake of the attacks.

 

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has received a COVID-19 booster shot to further protect himself against COVID-19.

While flagging off the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign held at the Aleshinloye Market in Ibadan, he called on the people of the state to take advantage of the free service to get vaccinated.

“Well, we are here to flag off the mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Oyo State,” Makinde said. “It is close to two years now when the first case was reported in Nigeria and it subsequently hit us in the state.

“The majority of the people think it would vanish in three or four months but it is now close to two years that we have been battling with it.”

He explained that the flag-off was another logical step taken by the state to curtail the spread of COVID-19, noting that the step was based on data and the scientific position that vaccines were safe in protecting people against the worst effects of the virus.

The governor appreciated the frontline workers, who, according to him, have been working tirelessly for nearly two years, to curtail the virus in the state, assuring them that the government will continue to support them with the resources needed to get the job done.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have known that this will be with us for a very long time. I heard the Speaker saying that maybe by this time next year, we would be celebrating a COVID-19-free environment; well, there is nothing God cannot do. But you see, science, logic, and data are still saying that this virus is going to be with us for some time.

“The first flu, the Spanish flu that first occurred in 1916 is still around till now and it is still with us. We only have slight symptoms like sneezing, cold and so on but that flu is a very serious disease in other places. The prayer we should continue to say is that this infection will not claim our lives,” he said.

Makinde called on the people of the state to get vaccinated and give themselves and their loved ones another layer of protection against COVID-19.

He also called on residents who have been fully vaccinated to take the booster shot and always observe COVID-19 safety precautions.

Makinde’s Wife Urges Philanthropists To Help Oyo Residents At Grassroots

The First Lady of Oyo State, Tamunominini Makinde, presents a grinding machine to one of the beneficiaries of the empowerment programme in Ibadan.

 

The wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde, has appealed to well-meaning individuals to support the state government in improving the livelihood of the people at the grassroots.

She decried the level of poverty in the land, stressing that empowering the people, no matter how little, would go a long way in helping them through the austere times they face.

The governor’s wife believes it will be out of place for people to rely totally on the government for their welfare and to provide succour to the downtrodden.

“I appeal to philanthropists to help our people at the grassroots,” Mrs Makinde said at an event on Thursday in Ibadan. “There is so much poverty in the land and people can be empowered with even as little as N2,000.

“Some women just need N1,500 to start a business. Some women are suffering because they lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or because of the loss of the breadwinner in their families. The government cannot do it alone. So, I beg philanthropists to help those at the grassroots in their own little way.”

She made the remarks at the grand finale of a weeklong empowerment programme during which many items such as sewing machines, grinding machines, and hair dryers among others, were distributed to hundreds of beneficiaries across the state.

The first lady urged the beneficiaries not to sell their empowerment tools, but to use them to generate income to feed themselves and their families.

For those who lack the skills to wield the tools, she advised them to let them out rather than settling for the option of selling them.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in Oyo, Bayo Lawal, in his remark, urged the beneficiaries to effectively utilise the items got.

Oyo Holds Agribusiness Summit

 

Oyo State is holding its 2021 Agriculture Business Summit.

The event brings together stakeholders in line with Governor Seyi Makinde’s vision and roadmap towards changing the agricultural landscape of the state to become the agribusiness hub of Nigeria.

In attendance is the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, amongst other dignitaries.

837 Inmates Fled Oyo Custodial Centre, 575 Still On The Run – NCoS

 

A total of 837 inmates awaiting trial escaped from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Abolongo, Oyo State.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCos) in the state, Olanrewaju Anjorin, confirmed the figure in a statement on Saturday, barely a day after the incident.

He explained that yet to be identified gunmen attacked the custodial centre at about 9:30pm on Friday, adding that some of them have returned.

“A total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured, leaving 575 still at large,” said Anjorin.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Custodial Centre, Free Inmates In Oyo

“Following the directives of the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa mni, the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident.

“He assured that no effort will be spared to recapture the fleeing inmates, even as he solicited for credible intelligence to aid security agencies in tracking down the fugitives.”

The assailants destroyed some items at the facility.

 

The custodial centre in Oyo town was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates. But at the time of the attack, a total of 907 inmates were in custody.

Of this figure, 837 people are awaiting trial, representing 92 per cent of the total population of inmates there while 64 are convicts.

The invaders were said to have arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed with sophisticated weapons.

They later gained entry into the yard using dynamite to blast the wall of the facility, following a fierce encounter with officers on guard,

While all the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

A combination of photos of other items destroyed by the assailants.

 

Reacting to the incident, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbosola, assured residents to go about their normal businesses, but to report any suspicious movement or any sign of the escaped inmates and the gunmen to the nearest security post around them.

In a statement by his media adviser, Sola Fasure, the minister also confirmed that a joint security services manhunt launched to apprehend the attackers and the escapees led to the recapture of a number of inmates while others returned voluntarily.

“Those who are on the run are advised to turn themselves in, as an escape from lawful custody is a serious offence. The full weight of the law will be brought on them when arrested,” he warned in the statement.

Oyo Jail Attack: Some Inmates Recaptured, Others Return Voluntarily – FG

The assailants destroyed some items at the facility.

 

The Federal Government says operatives have recaptured some of the inmates who escaped from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Abolongo, Oyo State.

Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbosola, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

While the number of those who fled the facility is yet to be ascertained, Fasure revealed that some other escapees returned voluntarily.

However, some are still on the run.

“Security agencies are on the trail of the escaped inmates, while a joint security services manhunt has been launched immediately for the apprehension of the assailants,” he said in the statement.

“This has led to the capture of some of the inmates while others returned voluntarily. However, those who are on the run are advised to turn themselves in, as an escape from lawful custody is a serious offence. The full weight of the law will be brought on them when arrested.”

A combination of photos of other items destroyed by the assailants.

 

However, the government did not give the exact numbers of those rearrested and inmates who returned voluntarily.

Channels Television had reported the attack on the custodial centre in Oyo town where the gunmen blasted their way into the facility.

Several suspected criminals awaiting trial were freed by the gunmen during the incident that occurred at sundown on Friday.

Narrating how the attack occurred, Fasure said, “At about 10.00 pm yesterday, October 22, 2021, a large number of heavily-armed gunmen attacked the Abolongo Custodial Centre, in Oyo, Oyo State.

The assilants destroyed some items at the facility.

 

“Armed squad unit members of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and other security agencies on guard at the facility engaged the attackers in a gun duel that lasted for 20 minutes before they were overpowered.”

“The attackers subsequently used grenades and other explosives to gain access into the awaiting trial section of the facility and set free many of the awaiting trial inmates. Other sections of the facilities were left untouched,” he added.

According to Fasure, Aregbesola has been briefed on the attack and is monitoring the situation while the Controller-General of NCoS has been on the situation immediately after the incident occurred.

He assured residents to go about their normal businesses, but to report any suspicious movement or any sign of the escaped inmates and the gunmen to the nearest security post around them.

Gunmen Attack Custodial Centre, Free Inmates In Oyo

A combination of a silhouette photo of a man holding a gun, with photos of the custodial centre attacked by gunmen in Oyo State.

 

Gunmen have attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre in the Abolongo area of Oyo State, authorities said on Saturday.

An unconfirmed number of inmates are said to have escaped from the correctional facility during the attack which occurred at about 10pm on Friday in Oyo town.

The spokesperson for the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Olanrewaju Anjorin, confirmed the attack to Channels Television.

A signpost of the custodial centre that was attacked by gunmen in Oyo town.

 

He explained that the gunmen arrived in Abolongo in large numbers and used explosives to gain access into the prison.

Anjorin also confirmed that several suspected criminals awaiting trial were freed by the gunmen during the attack.

According to him, NCoS authorities in the state swiftly mobilised support from other security agencies to trail the attackers and inmates, who are currently on the run.

The assailants destroyed some items at the facility.

 

Although the command spokesman could not ascertain if there was any casualty in the attack, he stated that investigations were ongoing.

A combination of photos of other items destroyed by the assailants.

 

Over 2,000 Inmates Flee

The attack on the custodial centre in Oyo town is the latest in the series of jailbreaks recorded in various parts of the country, during which many prisoners were freed.

Some of the fleeing inmates returned voluntarily, others were recaptured, while many are still on the run.

On April 5, Nigerian woke up to the disturbing news of an attack on Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State where gunmen forcefully released 1,844 inmates.

A screengrab taken on April 5, 2021, shows the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) custodial centre that was attacked by gunmen in Imo State.

 

A spokesman for the NCoS Headquarters, Francis Enobore, has said the assailants blasted their way into the facility using explosives.

While the search and recovery operation to recapture the fleeing inmates commenced immediately, correctional were asked to be vigilant.

“As at the last count, six inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack,” Enobore had said in a statement shortly after the incident.

A screengrab taken on September 13, 2021, shows an armed security operative at the entrance of the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State.

 

Five months after the jailbreak, a group of gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi State where no fewer than 240 inmates escaped.

As of the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were said to be in custody, out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.

#EndSARS Memorial: Youths Hold Processions in Edo, Oyo, Osun, Other States

Youths in Edo State during the #EndSARS memorial on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

 

Youths on Wednesday held a memorial procession across the country to mark the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests and to honour victims of police brutality.

The procession started in Lagos, the commercial capital city with a drive-through procession. Youths drove through the Lekki toll gate blaring horns of their vehicles and waving the Nigerian flag.

In Abuja, Youths gathered at the Unity Fountain and marched across some of the major streets in the nation’s capital.

From the Unity Fountain, the youths marched towards the National Assembly but they were intercepted by a team of security operatives.

Justice For Victims

In Edo State, youths gathered around the national museum in Benin City, the Edo State capital in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

They demanded that the recommendations of the Edo Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and related issues be implemented.

Miracle Ailenokhuoria during the #EndSARS memorial in Edo State.

 

Some of the victims of police brutality were also at the memorial including those allegedly shot during the protest last year.

Two young men said they were shot by security operatives during the Endsars protest in Ekpoma and Auchi, in October 2020. They appealed to relevant authorities for justice and support that would help them return to a normal life.

One of the victims, Steven Ohimai said his leg was amputated following the shooting incident while the other, Miracle Ailenokhuoria said he was shot in the hip and is still undergoing treatment.

Procession In South-West

Processions were also held in the southwest region of the country. In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, youths carrying placards gathered at the entrance of the government secretariat in Agodi.

Youths in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, during the #EndSARS memorial on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

 

They marched from Iwo road interchange and proceeded through the main road to Idi Ape, Gate, and reached the government secretariat.

Security operatives monitored the protesters to prevent the breakdown of law and order and miscreants from taking over the procession.

Youths in Osogbo under the umbrella body of Osun Civil Society Movement organised a public lecture while others marched through the streets.

Youths in Osun State during the #EndSARS memorial on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

 

The procession took off around 12 pm at Ita Olokan Area as the youths marched through Station Road. They ended up at Freedom Park, Osogbo where they gathered and chanted songs of solidarity demanding an end to police brutality and demanding for good governance.

Procession restricted

The situation was different in Enugu as protesters were not allowed to gather for the memorial at the Michael Okpara square.

The gate to the venue of the planned procession was locked and journalists were restricted from the venue.

The security operatives on joint patrol were positioned in the area while others were seen patrolling the city.

 

Customs Intercept Ammunition Concealed In Cassava Flour Bags

Some of the cartridges impounded by Customs operatives in Oyo State.

 

Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have intercepted live cartridges concealed in bags of cassava flour, popularly known as garri.

The items loaded in three Mazda saloon cars were seized by officers on patrol along the Igbora axis of Oyo State.

On sighting the officers, the drivers were said to have fled into the bush, leaving their vehicles behind.

The Public Relations Officer of the FOU, Theophilus Duniya, confirmed the incident on Monday.

He revealed that the items impounded included 751 pieces of AAA, 70mm live Lion Cartridges, sacks of cassava flour, and sacks of parboiled rice.

A photo released by the customs shows the seized items paraded at the FOU headquarters.

 

Duniya explained that the vehicles, including their content, have been deposited at the unit’s headquarters for further investigation.

Reacting to the seizure, the Acting Customs Comptroller in charge of the FOU, Hussein Ejibunu, called on all patriotic citizens to provide useful and timely information that would help in combating smuggling.

He described smuggling as the mother of all crimes and sought the collaboration of the people to tackle the menace to the barest minimum.

“It is an act of sabotage that should not be allowed to fester for a long time, most especially with the security challenges in the country,” said Ejibunu.

“Information is key and germane towards the fight against this cankerworm called smuggling.”

Makinde Calls For Unity As PDP Holds Ward Congress In Oyo

A photo taken on September 25, 2021, shows party officials at one of the venues of the PDP ward congress in Oyo State.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held its ward congress without any major hitch on Saturday as scheduled across the 33 local government areas of Oyo State.

Governor Seyi Makinde monitored the exercise at his constituency in Ward 11, Ibadan North-East Local Government Area (LGA),

He called for unity among members of the party in the state and urged aggrieved members to give room for more dialogue and resolution.

“For the PDP members in Oyo State, I want to ask them to stay unified because we can do quite a lot in unity; and for some who are angry or aggrieved, let them bring their issues to the table, we will address them.

“Politics is about conflict and resolution of conflict within the interaction of people,” the governor stated.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, speaks after monitoring the PDP ward congress in Oyo State on September 25, 2021.

 

Judging from the turnout recorded during the exercise, he said that he was happy that the people of Oyo were excited about the ruling party in the state.

He called on members of the PDP to stay united, stressing that the time has come for the aggrieved members to bring their grievances to the table for an amicable resolution.

The PDP leadership had appointed the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, as the Chairman of the Ward Congress Committee in Oyo.

Shaibu stated that the committee did not notice any parallel congress in the state, adding that the process was peaceful.

He gave an assurance that the party would settle all internal issues among its members amicably.