Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis Outbreak

Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis OutbreakAn emergency meeting of State Governors and traditional rulers of the 19 northern states of the country has been held in Kaduna State.

The meeting was convened on Tuesday to discuss ways of tackling the meningitis outbreak that has claimed over 400 lives across Nigeria, most of them from the region.

The meeting, which was organised by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, seeks alternative ways of importing vaccines for the treatment of meningitis victims, and prevent further spread of the killer disease in the region.

Declaring the meeting open, the Sultan of Sokoto, who was represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, called on the Federal and State governments to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to strengthen primary healthcare system in the country.

He said the traditional rulers would support government’s effort in ensuring that the people get the needed medical attention to contain the spread of the disease.

“The traditional rulers of Nigeria, in coordination with stakeholders, will do all that is humanly possible to assist in ensuring that our people and members of communities are given the appropriate medical attention promptly, to avoid the outbreak of meningitis.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal, State and Local governments to put all hands on deck to ensure that appropriate measures are taken, to give the necessary prevention by way of immunisation and preventive drugs against the bacteria, so that our members of communities will be protected adequately,” the monarch said.

NBA Investigates Army-Shiites Clash In Zaria

Army and Shiite clashThe Nigerian Bar Association has visited Zaria in Kaduna State to investigate the December 12, 2015 bloody clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army.

The clash had led to the killing of several people and destruction of property worth millions of Naira, with both parties trading blames.

President of the Association, Austin Alegeh, who led other national officers on the fact finding visit, stressed the need for all the parties in the dispute to sheath their sword, assuring them that the Association would get to the root of the matter and come up with a position.

The NBA interacted with all the parties concerned and other relevant stakeholders.

The first point of call was the palace of the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, where Mr Alegeh explained to him the purpose of the visit.

From the Emir’s palace, the delegation proceeded to the Nigerian Army Depot where they were briefed by the Commandant, Brigadier General Christopher Musa, who accused the Shiites of constituting nuisance and unleashing terror on members of the public.

The NBA team also had an interaction with the police, representatives of the movement and some residents of Gulleyesu, where Sheik  Ibrahim El-Zakzaky lives.

The group  also met with some Shiite members  and they insisted that they have lived peacefully with their neighbours and had never attacked anybody or group since their existence in Zaria.

But some residents of Gulleyesu and the Police countered the Shiites’ statement, insisting that they had been unleashing terror on innocent citizens in Zaria for quite some time.

After hearing from all the parties concerned, the NBA President promised that a thorough investigation would be conducted, with a view to coming up with a report that would not only address the current issues, but would assist in preventing future occurrence.

The investigation by the NBA will be the latest investigation on the clash, coming after the Kaduna State Government had set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the incident.

According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred at the PZ area in the city when some members of the movement allegedly blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff who was on his way for the Passing Out Parade at the Nigerian Army Depot also in Zaria.

While the Army authorities alleged that the attack was a suicide attempt on the life of the Army boss, the sect accused the Army of committing human right abuse on their members. They said the Army massacred hundreds of their members and arrested over seven hundred of their members.

It is believed that fact finding visits like the one by the Nigerian Bar Association will help the Human Rights Commission and others that may be set up in future to address such social uprising across the country.

Meanwhile, Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria had earlier demanded for the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, from detention.