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FG confirms new case of yellow fever in Kwara State

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YELLOW-FEVER-DISEASE
The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a new case of Yellow Fever in a young girl in Oke Owa Community, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara.

Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, said the Lagos University Teaching Hospital carried out the laboratory diagnosis of the case while the Institute Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal confirmed it on Sept. 12.

The minister made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry on Monday in Abuja.

The minister said that the State Epidemiology Team has begun investigation in the affected area and surrounding communities following the confirmation of the case.

He added that government has deployed a joint team comprising the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the World Health Organisation Country Office to the state.

According to the minister, the team will support the state in carrying out a detailed investigation and risk analysis.

“An Outbreak Control Team has been constituted to ensure rapid and coordinated decision-making,’’ he said.

Adewole also gave the assurance that all agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners would work together to support the state response programme in order to prevent further spread of the disease.

He added that a vaccination campaign would be carried out in the affected area to prevent the disease from further spread in the area.

“The most important measure to take in preventing Yellow Fever is vaccination against the disease.

“A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine, which is included in Nigeria’s routine immunisation schedule given at nine-months is free and sufficient to cover sustained protection of up to 10 years,’’ he said.

According to him, other methods of prevention included use of insect repellent, sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide treated net, ensuring proper sanitation and getting rid of stagnant water or breeding space for mosquitoes.

He said: “Even though there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, intensive supportive care is provided. Most patients would recover with appropriate care.”

He, therefore, urged health workers to be alert and maintain a high index of suspicion.

The minister, however, advised health care workers to practice universal care precautions while handling patients at all times.

The minister called for calm and advised everyone to avoid self-medication but report at the nearest health facility if feeling unwell.

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes.

Symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

Some infected people may not experience any of these symptoms.

In severe cases, bleeding may occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach.

Mediator who helped secure release of Chibok girls wins $150K UN prize

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Zannah Mustapha

A Nigerian lawyer who helped to secure the release of dozens of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 was on Monday announced the winner of a U.N. prize for providing an education to children uprooted by violence in northeast Nigeria.

Zannah Mustapha is the founder of two schools which offer free education, meals and healthcare to its pupils, and even enrol children born to Boko Haram fighters to learn alongside those orphaned by the Islamist group’s eight-year insurgency.

The Nansen Refugee Award, which is bestowed by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), has been won in the past by Eleanor Roosevelt and Luciano Pavarotti, and the winner receives $150,000 to fund a project complementing their existing work.

“I am exceedingly happy and motivated to do more … I will scale up my efforts,” Mustapha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“Some of the students that started in my school have graduated, and they are now going into university – I can use this money to help them complete the cycle,” Mustapha added.

His first venture, Future Prowess, opened a decade ago and was the only school in Borno state in northeast Nigeria to remain open when Boko Haram in 2009 began their brutal campaign to carve out an Islamic state.

The Islamist militants have killed hundreds of teachers and forced more than 1,000 schools to shut, leaving tens of thousands of children without an education, aid agencies say. [ID: “Education offers hope”]

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi hailed Mustapha for helping to foster peace and rebuild communities devastated by violence.

“Education is one of the most powerful tools for helping refugee children overcome the horrors of violence and forced displacement,” Grandi said in a statement.

Mustapha’s work also includes helping to negotiate the release of more than 100 of the 220-odd girls snatched from their school in Chibok in April 2014 in the biggest publicity coup of Boko Haram’s insurgency that prompted global outrage and the international campaign #bringbackourgirls.

The return of 82 of the girls in May marked the second group release of the Chibok girls by the militants – with both deals brokered by Switzerland and the Red Cross and mediated by Mustapha – after a group of 21 were freed in October last year.

A few others have escaped or been rescued but about 113 of the girls are believed to be still held captive by Boko Haram.

The Islamist group has killed at least 20,000 people, uprooted more than 2.7 million and sparked one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, according to aid agencies.

Despite being driven back from much of the territory it held, Boko Haram has ramped up attacks this year, targeting civilians and camps for the displaced with suicide bombings.

You can’t achieve agitation without consulting president Buhari – Onochie tells IPOB

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Lauretta-Onochie

Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has admonished the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to collaborate, consult and confer with the Buhari-led government in order to achieve their agitation.

She stated that their violent conduct with  ‘operation Python Dance II’ in Umuahia and Aba would only cause more harm than good considering the fact that it’s an aberration to seek for Secession in a sovereign nation.

Onochie posted on her Facebook account: ‘As the Death Knell Sounds for IPOB’, Onochie said:

“Is there anyone still linking the word “Peaceful” to the Agitation by the terror group, IPOB?

Their definition of marginalisation is that Nigerians have not gifted the presidency to someone from the South-South or South East, soon after Jonathan. But it’s never done anywhere in the world of democracy. It is by election!

If you do not have the numerical strength to achieve the Presidency, you cooperate, collaborate, consult and confer with others so they can support you.You do not form a ragtag army, armed with sticks, stones, bottles, some guns and a lot of abuses, to threaten, intimidate and insult those who can make your dreams come true.

Respect and friendship go a lot farther than insults. A lesson for you and all those who need to run an agitation in the future.”

Presidency: military deployment in Southeast not invasion

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Okoi-Obono-Obla

The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla has described as uniformed the argument that the military deployment in the South-east amounted to an invasion of the region.

He argued that the President, by authorising such a deployment, acted within his powers as provided in the Constitution and was bound to do so in the face of the threat to national security constituted by the activities of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Obobo-Obla, in a statement yesterday, cited Section 8 (1 – 3) of the Armed Forces Act to justify the deployment. He added that the decision of the Federal Government was also supported by the provision of Section 217 of the Constitution, which allows the use of the armed forces in the face of insurrection and in aid of civil authorities to restore order.

He said: “It is axiomatic that Abia State constitutes part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President, Commander–in-Chief; President Muhammadu Buhari, has the power to deploy the Armed Forces to any part of the territory that constitutes the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to maintaining and securing public safety and public order.

“It follows that by Section 8 (3) of the Armed Forces Act, the President, in exercise of his powers to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces, direct that the deployment of any branch of the Armed Forces for the purpose of maintaining and securing public safety and public order.

“This is precisely what the President did when he deployed the Armed Forces to the Abia State of Nigeria to maintain and secure public safety and public order. Put differently, the President can, in certain circumstances, deployed the Armed Forces of Nigeria to perform police duties.

“Examples of the use of the Armed Forces to maintain law and order sometimes in this country abound; so why are detractors of the Federal Government suggesting that the deployment of the Armed Forces to Abia State or the South East region amounts to invasion?”

Citing the provisions of Section 217 subsections 2 (a) (b) (c) of the Constitution, Obono-Obla argued that “grammatically or literarily or contextually the description or branding of the deployment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to Abia State to maintain public safety and public order as invasion, in the face of threat by IPOB, is absolutely wrong.

“The pertinent question is, what is an invasion?  An invasion is a military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geo-political entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory, forcing the partition of a country,” Obono-Obla said.

Released Chibok girls to resume school in September

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Sen. Aisha Alhassan,  Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, on Saturday, said the Chibok girls were ready for academic session in September and pleaded with abductors to release the remaining girls.

Alhassan disclosed this during a lunch with the released Chibok girls and their parents in Abuja.

“They will be examined academically and placed appropriately, the ones that are qualified to enter into the university will be allowed to.

“The American University, Yola had indicated interest in supporting 21 of the Chibok girls.

“We are also meeting with the university to support the remaining girls so that they all can be in one place,” she said.

See Also: DSS to hand released Chibok girls over to ministry of women affairs for proper rehabilitation

Alhassan said that the escaped 14 Chibok girls, who were released three years ago were given scholarships by the American University of Nigeria, Yola.

She said that the girls were properly examined academically, adding that they started foundation courses for them.

The minister, however, pleaded for the release of the remaining Chibok girls and others in captivity, adding that the abductors should dialogue with government.

Mr Reginald Briggs, the Assistant Vice President of America University, Yola, said the girls were initially traumatised but had made significant progress.

“We have 24 of the Chibok girls with us, we try to keep their academic levels up by assessing them emotionally, psychologically, academically and we found out that they are at different academic levels.

“They have foundation in English, Mathematics and General Knowledge and gradually we moved them to advanced stage.

“They are studying difference courses such as journalism, computer science, accounting and law,” he said.

Briggs said that the university was working toward supporting the 82 Chibok girls to be enrolled into the university.

The Chairman of the Chibok Girls’ Parents, Mr Yakubu Nkeki said that parents of the girls were happy meeting their children and appreciated the efforts of the government.

Mrs Catherine Udidathe Head of the Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, Office of the National Security Adviser, said that the Chibok girls were fit psychological as they had gone through various tests.

She said that the girls were fully integrated, adding that initially they were shy but they now have confidence and ready to face the world.

One of the Chibok girls, Miss Rhoda Peter appreciated the efforts of government and well-meaning Nigerians who had supported them.

Another Chibok girl, Miss Hauwa Ntakai, who said she wants to be a medical doctor, also appreciated the government for helping her to achieve her dream.

 

Boko Haram member thanks army for sparing his life, taking care of his wound

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Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole fighting insurgency in the North-East, have rescued Abba Mustapha, an injured suspected Boko Haram member after heavy bombardment in Ngala in Borno.
boko haram

Lt. Col. Kingsley Samuel, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Department, made the disclosure in a statement issued to newsmen on Friday in Maiduguri.

“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in strict adherence to rules of engagement and international conventions on armed conflict, especially as it relates to prisoner of war, have rescued Boko Haram terrorist Abba Mustapha.

“Mustapha was injured and abandoned to his fate by his colleagues in the heat of heavy fire fight with Nigerian Army troops in the remote Forward Operating Bases in Ngala in Borno.

“Mustapha was captured during counter attack operation launched by the troops following an attack at their location,” Samuel said.

He added: “as narrated by Abba, eight of his colleagues were killed. Also recovered from the BHTs were 3 AK 47 rifles, 2 AK 47 magazines, 2 FN rifle magazines and 3 PKM link belts.

“The surviving terrorist was full of joy and praises for his survival. He thanked the Nigerian Army for sparing his life and taking care of his wound. ”

Diezani Alison-Madueke faces new charges from US

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Nigeria’s former oil minister faces charges only at home but her name crops up in a growing number of international cases that lift the lid on the scale of alleged corruption in the country’s oil sector.

After leaving office in 2015, Diezani Alison-Madueke has been implicated in bribery, fraud, misuse of public funds, and money laundering cases in Nigeria, Britain, Italy and the United States.

The first female president of the global oil cartel OPEC — who was one of Africa’s most prominent politicians — has always denied the allegations, which involve billions of dollars syphoned from oil deals and state coffers.

See Also: How Diezani, others diverted NNPC’s $1.8bn – FG

But former US State Department Nigeria specialist Matthew Page suggested that a US civil forfeiture case to seize $144 million (124 million euros) of assets from allegedly ill-gotten crude contracts may just be the start of Alison-Madueke’s legal troubles.

“Although this is the first attempt by US law enforcement to go after assets allegedly stolen by Diezani and her henchmen, it almost certainly will not be the last,” he told AFP.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, elected in 2015 on a promise to eliminate graft, has said that “mind-boggling” sums of public money were stolen by previous administrations.

See Also: How Diezani, others diverted NNPC’s $1.8bn – FG

Officials in Abuja say they are talking with US prosecutors about repatriating the money if the civil forfeiture claim is successful.

Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors allege that she and Jonathan received kickbacks from oil majors ENI and Shell as part of a $1.3-billion deal for an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

Charges relating to the same oil block deal have also been filed against the oil majors and some senior Nigerian politicians.

Jonathan and Alison-Madueke are not named in the suit but the former president is under pressure from Parliament to answer questions about the so-called Malabu deal.

Finally, Diezani-Madueke was arrested in London in October 2015 in connection with a British probe into international corruption and money laundering, but she was freed on bail.

Leading Nigerian lawyer Festus Keyamo said the cases demonstrated the need fundamentally to overhaul the NNPC — and to investigate just how far up corruption went in the ruling elite.

“The big unanswered questions is it possible one Minister allegedly stole so much without the knowledge, connivance & approval of the C-in-C (commander-in-chief)?”, he tweeted.

Annie Idibia is all shades of beautiful in new photos

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Nollywood actress, wife to Legendary Musician, 2Face Idibia, and mother of two, Annie Idibia looks all stunning in new photos shared by make-up artist, Anita Brows:

See photos below:

Benedict Peters: The fate of Nigeria’s oil future hangs in the balance

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Benedict peters

The workings of the oil sector in Nigeria had been in need of a rethink long before the Obasanjo government decided to take action nearly a decade ago. Passed from government to government in the years since, we’re barely any closer to the promised alignment and clarification of the regulatory framework and the industry is suffering as a result.

And now it’s not just a point about policy; it’s become an impediment to investment. In its latest bulletin, OPEC says that investor confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is at an all-time low. Failures to reform are now holding up the entire sector, compacting an already downtrodden industry.

There is one piece of legislation that could change that, the now-infamous Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB). Stuck in Nigeria’s legislative corridors for almost a decade, the PIB has now been restyled as the ‘Petroleum Industry Governance Bill’ (PIGB), and the Buhari administration, with Vice President Osinbajo acting on his behalf, has pledged to finally pass it by the end of March this year. But we must hope that the new PIB has not been diluted as a quick fix to getting it passed.

Eight years is a long time in a country’s development and the challenges within the oil sector have only been compounded by the failure of successive governments to bring the PIB into effect. The NNPC is not fit for purpose. The need to reform the national oil company is something which most politicians would, I believe, support.

The vision of the oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu, to break up the NNPC into several units, each with responsibility for separate divisions, makes a lot of sense. But the problem is not the quality of the proposed regulation; it is the political stalemate over implementing it.

Failure to pass the Bill has got investors spooked: the uncertainty over future regulation, particularly around Upstream taxation, means that investestor cannot plan with any confidence. Without confidence, the investment climate will continue to be stale and a the return of a roaring oil industry will continue to evage Nigiera.

If passed, Nigeria’s fortunes and competitiveness on the world stage may at last be heading in the right direction. A more stable investment environment will improve prospects for foreign investment but will also encourage indigenous players to thrive and compete again.

Qualified Nigerian companies have shown that if given an opportunity, as local content players, that they can deliver the same professional results as many of the globally recognised names.

The absence of investment and a thorough fiscal framework means that the government is not benefitting from the revenue streams it could be. But there is also a greater problem about Nigeria’s long term growth. The lack of investment ultimately means a lack of job opportunities in the sector and a withering skills base. With the right level of investment, Nigeria could develop its own capacity to exploit and benefit from its own natural resources (not least in terms of jobs) at every stage of the supply chain: exploration, production,

With the right level of investment, Nigeria could develop its own capacity to exploit and benefit from its own natural resources (not least in terms of jobs) at every stage of the supply chain: exploration, production, refining, and marketing.

OPEC has recognized that a failure to convert the present challenge into an opportunity will see criticism targeted at the President Buhari administration. But the government must also be encouraged to ensure that the benefits of an improved investment environment are felt predominantly by domestic players. With Nigeria as a more attractive investment option on the world stage, there will be a temptation to invite foreign companies to snap up the most lucrative contracts. But we must not forget the benefits that the Nigerian Local Content Bill, Goodluck Jonathan’s 2010 act, brought to Nigerian firms.

With Nigeria as a more attractive investment option on the world stage, there will be a temptation to invite foreign companies to snap up the most lucrative contracts. But we must not forget the benefits that the Nigerian Local Content Bill, Goodluck Jonathan’s 2010 act, brought to Nigerian firms.

The law specified that Nigerian independent operators should be accorded “first consideration” in the award of oil and gas contracts and that Nigerian service companies should also be given “exclusive consideration” for contracts and services. President Buhari has an opportunity to build a renewed confidence in this local content act and renewed support which will help make Nigeria’s local content players to increase capacity and take the country to the next professional level, globally.

Benedict Peters the CEO and Vice President of Aiteo Group, an integrated energy group involved in exploration, production, refining, and supply.

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