As Ikpeazu tests positive for Covid-19, Anambra records 80 rape cases during lockdown

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As Ikpeazu tests positive for Covid-19, Anambra records 80 rape cases during lockdown

Okezie Ikpeazu

…Don’t panic, I’m stable; he tells Abia people

…2 Ebonyi Exco members, 15 others treated, discharged in Ebonyi

…Nestlé donates nutritious foods, beverages worth N32m to Enugu govt

By Anayo Okoli, Vincent Ujumadu, Peter Okutu & Ugochukwu Alaribe

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has tested positive to coronavirus.  A  statement from the state Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi confirmed this.

The statement read: “Recall that on Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for COVID-19 test and subsequently directed members of the state Executive Council (EXCO) and those of the inter ministerial committee on COVID-19 to submit themselves for the same test. On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020, the result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative.

“On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the governor submitted another sample at the Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive. “As a result, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gone into isolation as required by relevant NCDC protocols, and he is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.

Don’t panic, I’m stable;  Ikpeazu tells Abia people

Meantime, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has assured the people of the state not to panic as he is stable and in high spirits.

Ikpeazu, whose second Covid-19 test returned positive yesterday explained that his decision to present himself for a second test was to remove all doubts about his status; after testing negative the  first time.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, the governor said: “As your governor, I have a responsibility to do what is right and keep our people fully updated about my health status”.

The governor reiterated his stance that testing positive to the virus is not a death sentence and urged the people of the state not to panic, but continue to take issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic with seriousness.

He also urged the people to take necessary precautions in line with the protocols stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.

The governor disclosed that he has already commenced self isolation under the watch of experienced medical personnel and directed his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, to act in his absence.

Anambra records 80 rape cases during Covid -19 lockdown

In Anambra, no fewer than 80 cases of rape have been recorded since the lockdown of the country occasioned by  coronavirus pandemic.

The worrisome figure was given yesterday at Isuaniocha in Awka North local government area of Anambra State by the director of child welfare services in the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Children and Social Welfare, Mrs. Nkechi Anazodo.

Anazodo, who spoke during the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, -supported flag off of integrated child protection community sensitization campaign, said there were only 32 cases of rape in her ministry before the lockdown,  adding that the upsurge had necessitated the need for the 10- day state-wide campaign in the 21 local government areas.

Other organizations involved in the campaign programme were the National Population Commission and the National Orientation Agency, NOA, with presidents of the 181 town unions, the churches, traditional institution and the women groups participating.

She said: “Sexual violence has become the order of the day, especially during this period of lockdown. Even old men now rape children of 12 years and below. The problem we have is that people don’t report.

“Last week, a case was brought to us of a 70 year- old man that raped a four-year old child. The case has gone to the police.

“Before the lockdown, we had only 32 cases of rape in the ministry, but the figure recorded within the last few months is over 80. It is unfortunate that some men have left their wives to be having sexual relationship with children less than five years.

“The most worrisome is that some fathers raped their daughters more during the lockdown. In many cases, fathers who rape their daughters threaten to kill them if they report. The problem, therefore, is that many people don’t report these cases because they feel that the victim might be stigmatized.

“That is why we are going round the 21 local government areas of the state to create awareness on this problem.”

According to her, the state government has created a place called ‘task sexual assault centre’ at the Engwu-Ukwu General Hospital purposely for treating rape victims, adding that once any rape victim was brought to the centre, tests would be conducted on her because of the possibility that the child might have been infested with sexually transmitted diseases, STD.

She added: “It is advisable that the victim should be taken to this referral hospital within two hours of the rape for effective result. Treatment and counseling of the victim are free and the identity of the victim is usually well protected. Some people are already making use of the facility, but we want more people to be bringing the reports.

“Once we get any case of rape, we use the police to arrest the rapist and do everything within the law to prosecute the person”.

She urged parents, Presidents General of Town Unions, the clergy, youth organizations, and Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs, to assist in educating the people on the best way to discourage rape.

Anazodo also explained that the Anambra State Child’s Right implementation committee has been properly positioned to handle, among other issues, child abuse of any form.

2 Ebonyi Exco members, 15 others treated, discharged in Ebonyi

Similarly, two cabinet members in Governor David Umahi-led administration, the Principal Secretary, Chief Clement Nweke and the State Commissioner for Finance, Professor Ogbonnaya Chukwu, and 15 others have been treated of the dreaded Coronavirus and discharged in Abakaliki.

The duo were discharged on yesterday alongside 15 others at the Virology Center of Federal Teaching Hospital ,Abakaliki (FETHA 2).

Speaking with journalists at the center during their discharge, Mr Nweke  noted that his contact with the virus remains a mystery to him.

He narrated how sick he was to the extent that the medical team had to use oxygen to stabilize his condition among other things.

He also debunked the rumor that some members of his family were infected, especially his younger brother, Professor Eugene Nweke Dean, Post Graduate School, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki.

Prof. Eugene who also came to the centrE to take his brother home also said he tested negative after he underwent a test at the Center.

But the Commissioner for Finace, Professor Ogbonnaya Chukwu confirmedthat his wife and his son tested positive but have all recovered in health.

Churches not complying with protocols — Abia govt

Abia State government has expressed dissatisfaction with some churches in the state over their failure to comply with Covid -19 protocols.

Chairman, State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Barr. Chris Ezem, who frowned at the flagrant flouting of COVID-19 protocols by some churches in Umuahia, blamed clerics and their members over the development, warning that any  church found flouting the state government’s guidelines of 50 worshippers per stream of service stands the risk of being sealed off.

Ezem, who is the Secretary to the State Government, expressed shock that worshippers failed to put on facemasks and observe social distancing in their sitting arrangements in the church despite directives by the government.

In his words, “COVID-19 has entered community infection stage. We keep emphasizing on this daily, but it looks like the churches are taking it as a joke. It is not! COVID-19 is not written on anyone’s face; it is neither malaria nor measles whose symptoms are clearly visible.”

Nestlé donates nutritious foods, beverages worth N32m to Enugu govt

As fight against the spread of COVID-19 continues to intensify, one of the largest food companies in Africa, Nestlé Nigeria PLC,yesterday donated nutritious foods and beverages worth over N32 million to Enugu State government to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on citizens

Donating the items to Enugu State government, the MD/CEO of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mauricio Alarcon said, “we are doing all we can to support the individuals and families at a time like this when our communities need us the most.

Alarcon who disclosed that all hands must be on deck, to defeat this common enemy, pointed out the foods and beverages would help provide the necessary nutrients to those who need them most in these times.

“Today, Nestlé Nigeria, donating nutritious food and beverages worth N32 million (thirty-two million naira) to support  individuals and families most impacted by the pandemic in Enugu State as the fight against the spread of COVID19 continues to intensify”, Alarcon said.

Receiving the items, Gov Ifranyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state thanked Nestlé Nigeria for the generous donation and for thinking about the people of Enugu State in these challenging times.

“I want to appreciate Nestlé Nigeria for including Enugu among the states to benefit from its relief efforts.”

Gov. Ugwuanyi, represented by his Deputy, Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo, said that “the lockdown of COVID-19 has negatively impacted on businesses in the state as in other states and the  donation shows you are feeling the heartbeat of our people.

“On behalf of the governor and the good people of Enugu State, I promise that the items will get to the vulnerable, sick, orphans and the indigenes and residents of the state who really need these food and beverage products, ”she said.


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