…ESUT resident doctors resume to treat growing COVID-19 cases
…Don’t cause unnecessary tension in Anambra, AVG warns
…Lockdown, other precautionary measures still in force — Enugu govt
…IPOB: North flooding S-East with coronavirus through Almajirai
…LEDAP flays Ebonyi gov’s order to flog defaulters of Covid-19 regulation
By Innocent Anaba, Dennis Agbo, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Nwabueze Okonkwo
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Anambra State chapter, has described herdsmen and Boko Haram killings as more dangerous than the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued yesterday in Onitsha, the state chairman of CAN, Rev. Ndubuisi John recalled that since the emergence of COVID-19 till date, Nigeria has recorded more deaths from herdsmen and insurgents than from the virus.
According to Rev. Ndubuisi, “For instance, last month in Yobe State, Nigeria lost 100 gallant combatant soldiers to Boko Haram insurgents who ambushed and battered their lives with bullets.
“Oh! what a loss to Nigerian government two weeks ago in Plateau State where herdsmen bombarded the Miango community, killing as many people as they could since they have the monopoly of guns.
“Few weeks ago at Askira Uba, a community in Borno state, the insurgents invaded and shattered the unarmed community with bullets sending many of them to their early graves.
“And also in Taraba State, herdsmen killed 25 persons. My question therefore is: where are the true elders of this great nation?
“Do you not know that some states are gradually dying out in this country? Many governors have cried out to the Federal Government, seeking for security aid. How much blood do we want to spill ?”
Striking ESUT resident doctors return for COVID-19 cases
Also yesterday, resident doctors of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, ESUT-TH, who withdrew their services eleven days ago, have resolved to offer skeletal services so as to help combat the growing cases of COVID-19 cases in the state.
The doctors said that even though the state government has remained adamant in their demand for commensurate pay, they will ease the industrial action, particularly as some of them were trained by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on the treatment and control of Covid-19.
A statement yesterday by the President of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD ESUT-TH Chapter, Dr. Chima Edoga said: “The impasse between the Enugu State government and the resident doctors of ESUT Teaching Hospital has continued to linger as the government is yet to pay the doctors the approved salaries as agreed. This is despite the moves made by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD; the Enugu branch of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA; the Management of ESUT-TH Parklane; Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria,MDCAN, ESUT-TH Chapter and the pleas by well-meaning residents of coal city.
“However, the striking doctors, having considered the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Enugu which has risen to 6 active cases as at 3rd of May, 2020, have decided to ease the withdrawal of services in bid to allow doctors who have been trained by NCDC to attend to the COVID-19 cases.
“This decision by the Association of Resident Doctors,ARD, ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane, is done in good faith and borne out of our love and respect for the good people of Enugu who have relentlessly pleaded for consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a reflection of the Association’s good intentions to promote quality healthcare for the people of Enugu which is its sole reason for the ongoing struggle.”
Don’t cause unnecessary tension in Anambra, AVG warns
Similarly, authorities of Anambra State Vigilante Supervisory Committee have warned those they called rumour mongers and mischief makers to stop peddling false rumour capable of causing unnecessary tension in the state when all hands should be on deck to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in its entirety.
Chairman of the committee, Chief Ikechukwu Ayo Aduba, a retired Commissioner of Police, who sounded this note of warning in a statement yesterday in Onitsha, recalled that the rumour mongers and mischief makers had gone on social media alleging that armed herdsmen had on Wednesday, April 29, overrun Ufuma community in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state and caused mayhem.
According to the statement by Aduba, a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Vigilante Matters, “the attention of Anambra State Vigilante Supervisory Committee has been drawn to a recent post on the internet that herdsmen had overrun Ufuma on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. There is no iota of truth in this malicious and mischievous lie.”
Imo govt begins enforcement on social distancing
In a related development, the Imo State government yesterday said it has commenced the enforcement of the covid-19 , social distancing guidelines among commercial bus/taxi operators in the state to stop the spread of the virus in Imo.
The state commissioner for Transport, Rex Anunobi, disclosed this in Owerri, after a meeting he had with the leadership of Bus/Taxi Imo Transport Association and the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, as captured by Anunobi’s Special Adviser on Media, Ebere Uzoukwa.
To achieve this, he said that in line with the social distancing rules, commercial buses in Imo, will be allowed to carry six passengers including driver, while for taxi, four passengers including driver.
Lockdown’, other measures still in force— Enugu Govt
Meantime, the Enugu State government has reiterated that all precautionary measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus in the state remain in force until further notice.
The state government maintained that all land boundaries remain closed “except for medical emergencies and movement of essential goods and services”, disclosing that “the presidential directive on the compulsory use of face masks or covering in public and the overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am takes effect immediately”.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, the government urged the people of the state to “strictly adhere to these restrictions and control measures, in addition to maintaining physical distancing and good personal hygiene.”
The management of Enugu State Transport Company (ENTRACO) has also warned operators of its vehicles and registered contract ones to strictly adhere to the directive of the state government banning Inter-state transportation in the state.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Managing Director of the Company, Bob Itanyi.
The MD reminded the vehicle operators that the state government’s directive on passenger conveyance and all other precautionary measures are still in force, stressing that “any vehicle bearing ENTRACO colour and name found violating the order will be dealt with and your contract with us will be terminated.”
IPOB accuses north of infecting S-East with COVID 19 through Almajirai
In a related development, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday raised the alarm that there is a grand plan by some elements in Northern Nigeria to infest the s-east with coronavirus, through sending the Almajirai to Enugu State.
IPOB alleged that those behind the plot are currently pursuing its actualisation under the guise of repatriation of Almajirai to their home states.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the pro Biafra group wondered why the people behind the alleged plot will be sending Almajirai to Biafra land which does not harbour, encourage or make keeping Almajirai as part of their culture.
IPOB’s statement read: “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wishes to draw the attention of Biafrans and the world at large about the ploy by some Northern elements to export coronavirus from its Kano epicenter and other parts of Northern Nigeria to other parts of Nigeria particularly Biafra land.
“Those behind this evil plot are currently pursuing its actualisation under the guise of repatriation of Almajirai to their home states.
“It is a known fact that Biafrans have no Almajirai as that is not our culture. Why then are those behind the sending of Almajirai boys to Enugu doing so if not to infest Biafrans with COVID-19. It is an indisputabke face that there are no Almajirai of Biafran origin.
“Arewa North have been secretly sending potential coronavirus victims in the name of sending out their Alamajirai group to Enugu State since the lockdown started.
“Dispatching Almajirai to our land under any guise will not be accepted. We shall stoutly resist this move.Now, they intend to infest the rest of us with the virus under the guise of repatriation of Almajirai. We won’t allow this evil plot as there are no Almajiriai of Biafra origin, neither do we encourage such practice.”
LEDAP cautions Ebonyi gov
In a similar vein, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, has condemned the directive by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, to local government officials and law enforcement agencies to flog anyone who appears in public without wearing face mask in the state.
In a letter addressed to the governor by LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Chino Obiagwu, SAN, the body said that “flogging is an inhuman treatment prohibited under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which guarantees every person’s right to the respect of his or her dignity and prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
“Flogging or any such corporal punishment also amounts to torture and therefore a crime under Section 2 of the Anti-Torture Act 2017, which has national application including in Ebonyi State. Flogging also violates the provision of Section 2 of the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 and African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 1990.
“We call on the governor to withdraw the statement forthwith and to direct officials to refrain from flogging any offender but rather, those suspected of flouting the Covid-19 regulations in the state should be charged and given fair hearing in the courts, including mobile courts, to ensure that due process of the law is complied with.
“We and our allies are working to protect and promote human rights in Nigeria especially during this Covid-19 lockdown state that we will take steps in line with their mandate, to initiate criminal charges under the Anti-Torture Act 2017 against any official in the state who flogs a citizen as punishment for any offence or for any reason whatsoever and shall also hold the governor accountable at the end of his immuned tenure, under the principle of command criminal responsibility.
“We further drew the Governor’s attention to the fact that “most citizens in Nigeria including in Ebonyi state, live under the poverty line and daily subsistence.”