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Ebola in Nigeria: No Cause for alarm – Govt.

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– As Anxiety Heightens

Over the past few days, there has been trepidation and panic following the death in Lagos of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, an American man of Liberian descent. Mr. Sawyer died last week in a private hospital in Lagos. Authorities say, “In keeping with WHO guidelines, the hospital has been shut down to enable full decontamination exercise.” Anxiety further heightened on Wednesday, due to reports that one of the personnel, who helped him out of the aircraft on his arrival in Lagos, has shown signs of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

1397510646237The latest victim, who was said to have helped the late Sawyer, but has not been named, was among the 59 persons the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government listed as having had contact with the late Sawyer immediately on his arrival in Nigeria on Sunday, July 20. The death on Tuesday of Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, leading doctor who had been treating Ebola Patients in Sierra-Leone worsened matter

Early symptoms of Ebola virus include fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, joint pains, while later symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and mouth as well as the anus, eye swelling and rashes that often contain blood.  It could progress to coma, shock and death. The virus is spread through close personal contact with bodily fluids of a person who is infected with Ebola, such as urine, blood, sweat, saliva etc.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government said on Wednesday that no fresh case of the dreaded disease has been found in the state or any part of the country.

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Yewande Adeshina, none of the persons said to have come in contact with the late Liberian victim had manifested unusual body temperature or any other symptoms of the dreaded virus.

She explained that all the 59 persons, who had close contact with the deceased Liberian in Nigeria, were okay and had not, exhibited any unusual symptoms, just as there had been no case of the dreaded disease from Nigeria’s borders.

Also, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Lateef Ibirogba, has cautioned people to desist from sending panicky text messages round about the Ebola disease that could heighten tension and create anxiety.  He however advised the public to observe the highest level of personal/environmental hygiene and visit  any hospital nearest to them to report strange feelings.

The Osun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on Wednesday, assured that his government has put all health and other related officials in the border areas of the state on red alert to forestall any infiltration of the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, said on Thursday that it had started temperature screening of passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola and had suspended Pan African Airline Asky for bringing the first case to Nigeria.

In a related development, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has expressed concern over doctors’ lingering strike in Nigeria, saying that they should have by now been on alert to check the spread of Ebola virus. Asking Nigerians to be prayerful over the Ebola disease, the prelate called on the government to enter into dialogue with NMA to resolve the six-week impasse.

It should be recalled that Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20 on an Asky flight.  He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende but died early on July 25.

The Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea in February 2014 and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria is the most severe in recorded history, both in the number of cases and fatalities.  A suspected 1,323 cases with 729 deaths have been reported as of July 27, 2014.

Latest casualty figures showed that Guinea has 460 cases, 339 deaths, Liberia 329 cases, 156 deaths, Sierra Leone 533 cases, 233 deaths, Nigeria, 1 case ( a Liberian visiting Lagos)., 1 death.

Since Ebola was discovered in 1976, some 1,200 people have been killed by the virus from 3,147 cases. Symptoms present themselves anywhere from 2 to 21 days after infection, but mostly between days 8 and 10.

The first reported case of the deadly virus was in 1976 and it is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was discovered. The virus has since spread throughout the region.

Non-human primates, like gorillas and Chimpanzees, have been cited by the World Health Organization as possible infection sources for human, but experts have realized that they are not the source of the problem. The apes have been deemed “accidental hosts,” meaning that they can catch the disease and then pass it along but not the initial “reservoir” source that produces the virus.

Liberia and Sierra Leone, which are two of the worst hit nations have begun emergency measures as the former has cancelled all football games and closed schools while the latter has declared a state of emergency.

Meanwhile Ebola remains African disease as three people who were tested for the virus in UK and Hong Kong due to symptoms similar to the disease have tested negative.

Spokesperson for the United States Centre for Disease Control, Stephen Monroe said: “No Ebola cases have been reported in the United States and the likelihood of this outbreak spreading outside of West Africa is very low. I want to underscore that Ebola poses little risk to the U.S general population.”

 

CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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