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Kogi: Thugs linked to APC allegedly invade PDP meeting in Ofejikpi with AK47



Igalas are getting apprehensive on a daily basis over the likelihood of a violence-prone general election next year. The reason is the wanton disturbances across the Kingdom, from Abocho to Anyigba, Ankpa to Idah.

Political thugs reportedly invaded a stakeholders’ meeting of the members of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Anyigba with AK 47.

The thugs invaded the environment with a Red Toyota Corolla Saloon car with a covered plate number said to belong to Dekina Local Government official, over five cars were destroyed including Amidu Isah the Anyigba ward Chairman, Ayuba Umoru, Eti-Aja Anyigba Unit Chairman’s car were also destroyed The political meeting was organised by the state’s opposition party to reconcile the aggrieved members ahead of the coming election.

Anyigba is known for several cult activities with so many cult boys available Many of them are said to have since been hijacked by politicians who equipped them with dangerous weapons. Today, whenever and wherever they choose to demonstrate, residents in that area go to bed while it is still day. They carry out a reign of terror and violence in society, nowadays.

Peoples Democratic Party PDP in kogi east has come under serial attack, yesterday in Abocho thugs randomly fired a sporadic gun shot at the peaceful meeting in Abocho town with over five motorcycle destroyed, the victims are helpless due to the facts that the said thugs enjoyed government support and police escort.

THE OBSERVERS TIMES called state commissioner of police on the happening, CP Ali Jega referred the reporter to the state police PRO, who is yet to pick his phone as at the time of the report.The igala kingdom has been experiencing increasing security challenges which appear to have defied solutions. The people of the kingdom seem to have lost count of repeated promises and reassurances by government on how to restore peace in society.
This revealed that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are not spirits; they are known to government but for reasons known to the powers that be in the state, such killers are shielded and treated as untouchables.

Last two months more than Ten people were killed by unknown killers in that same Anyigba which is fast becoming notorious for crimes and under dark forces operation till date the police in the state are yet to arrest anybody in connection to the killing.

The Observers have also said that governments (mishandling of the killing is also a recipe for greater violence as the country moves into the election season.

Today, many parts of Igala kingdom are “gunarised”. Some of the “warlords”, who have their abodes in the ruling political party are controlling huge cache of dangerous arms, more sophisticated than even the ones being owned by the state all awaiting the general election.

Many years ago, in igala land whenever bad boys heard that the police were coming, they would naturally take to their heels, because they had lesser sophisticated firearms than the security agencies, not so any longer.

Lamenting the danger of the illegal arms in the hands of criminals, in Igala land a publicist said that today, it appears that states have lost the capacity to guarantee security of lives and property.

Who made the observation during an exclusive interview with BusinessDay, said: “The capacity of the state to guaranteeing security of lives and property is also a function of the state of the economy. It is the duty of the state to buy guns; to maintain a police force, military and all which is superior to those of the ones challenging them. But a situation where non-state actors are now challenging the state, in the area where the state used to have monopoly; then there is problem.”

“In those days if you hear that government is coming, you run away because government has uniform and has guns. But today, uniforms and guns are no longer a monopoly. In fact, non-state actors- the thugs and cultists and all the others- have bigger guns. Theirs is even more frightening. Armies and soldiers have a protocol for deployment of forces. Now, a thug or cultists has no protocol, they have no rule of engagement; in fact, the bigger the gun a person wields, the more the person is a commander. And as a result of that, insecurity which breeds instability becomes the order of the day,” he further said.

Igala Land, All hands must be on deck

Giving some words of advice, Ibrahim Audu said: It is not just enough to wish that the 2019 general election will be free from violence. Mere wishing may not guarantee that. It is therefore, incumbent on government, relevant agents of government, the media, the religious bodies and Attah Of Igala and other traditional rulers and everybody to see it as a challenge to ensure that desperate politicians do not turn the Igala land into a war zone this time around.

“This can be done through profuse mass sensitization and education. People must be sufficiently reminded about the dangers of electoral violence and the need for those prone to fall into that recruitment web to resist such temptation,” he said

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Coronavirus: Ogun govt quarantines 28 who had contacts with Italian



The Ogun State government has said that 28 people who had contact with the Italian victim of the Coronavirus disease have been identified and quarantined. The Witness reports.

The government also said the firm where the victim visited in Ewekoro has been shut down.

The state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, disclosed this, on Friday, while addressing newsmen on the update of the Coronavirus incident in the state.

The governor said efforts were on to identify more contacts to curb the spread of the disease.

Abiodun said, “The particular company in question has been practically shut down and they have set up two isolation centres within the premises.

“They have identified all those that have been in contact with this index, totalling about 28. All those 28 people have been quarantined.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Tomi Coker, said the victim, whose name was not given, fell ill in a cement company in Ewekoro, where he visited for a business engagement from Italy.

Coker while explaining how the 44-year-old Italian victim entered the state said, “In the last 12 hours, the first case of the chronic virus has been identified in Nigeria and the individual was visiting Ogun State.

“The individual is of Italian origin and he is a consultant to the Lafarge, Ewekoro factory.”

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Coronavirus infected Italian visited our plant – Lafarge Cement



Coronavirus infected Italian visited our plant - Lafarge Cement

One of Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturers, Lafarge Africa Plc, has confirmed that an Italian, who is the first case of Coronavirus in Nigeria, indeed visited its plant in Ewekoro, Ogun State.

The confirmation was contained in a statement sent to The Witness on Friday by its Director, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem.

The statement, which expressed gratitude to the Federal, Lagos and Ogun States Governments, also listed steps being taken by the company to prevent the infection of the staff of the company who came in contact with the yet-to-be-named Italian.

The statement said: “The Lagos State Government has reported a first case of n-COVID19 (Coronavirus) in Nigeria.

The individual concerned works for a vendor that provides services to Lafarge Africa Plc in Ogun State. As a business, we have immediately identified the persons who had direct contact with the concerned individual. We have equally initiated isolation, quarantine and disinfection protocol.

“We thank the exemplary leadership of the federal ministry of health, Ogun and Lagos State Governments for swiftly providing response and testing facilities and we are working in full co-operation with all local authorities. Lafarge Africa is also working in close partnership with International SOS, our medical service provider, a leading global health company.

“Health and Safety remains a core value at Lafarge Africa and we intend to leverage this strength at this critical time.”
Lafarge Africa Plc is a member of the LafargeHolcim Group, the biggest building and concrete solutions company in the world.

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Coronavirus: Sanwo-Olu speaks on how Lagos govt diagnosed patient, allays panic



Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho at the briefing at government House, Ikeja, Lagos on Friday

Lagos State Government has raised its level of response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) incident, following a reported case of a patient diagnosed with the infectious viral disease in the State in the early hours of Friday. This is coming, just as the Chief Incident Commander and the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, offered more information on how the patient was identified and efforts currently being made to prevent the spread of the virus.

The patient, Sanwo-Olu said, is an Ogun State-based expatriate who flew into Lagos from Milan in Italy via Istanbul, Turkey last Monday evening. The Governor said the patient, whose name was not disclosed, remained in stable condition at the bio-security facility in Yaba, Lagos Mainland, where he is being isolated.

It was gathered that the patient, although, tested positive to COVID-19 virus, he is yet to show any respiratory symptoms at press time. He complained of fever and body pain, which prompted his transfer from Ogun State to Lagos for advanced medical investigation.

Sanwo-Olu said a number of persons, who had physical contact with the patient before the virus was diagnosed, are being traced, while others are currently being examined for possible symptoms.

The Governor shared these details during a first press conference held on Friday at the State House in Marina to brief the public on the matter. Top State officials at the conference included Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Gbolahan Lawal, Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji and Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola.

Sanwo-Olu said there should be no cause for panic among Nigerians over the reported COVID-19 incident, stressing that measures had been set in motion by the State and Federal governments to contain the spread of the virus across the country. He particularly allayed the fear of Lagos residents, saying the two bio-security facilities in the State had the capability to contain the virus.

He said: “At 10pm on Thursday, I got a call from Commissioner for Health, who reported possible identification of patient with coronavirus in Ogun State. Immediately, we triggered all levels of bio-security responses and containment facilities. After series of laboratory examination, the patient was confirmed to have tested positive to the virus in early hours of today (Friday) and we immediately alerted the federal authorities, including the President and everybody who needs to be aware. We are in constant touch with the company where the patient was engaged. The management and personnel of the company have been cooperative.

“Health workers and emergency officials are on the field to track all persons that had physical contacts and interaction with the patient. Our bio-security facilities have been fortified to continue any form of test and contain any other potential case. We are in constant touch with the Federal Ministry of Health to harmonise our response to the incident. For us in Lagos, we are doing anything that needs to be done. The patient is stable and every health intervention required is currently being given to him.”

On how the patient scaled through health screening at the Lagos airport without being detected, Sanwo-Olu said investigation showed the virus did not materialised in the patient at the time he passed through the airport. The incident, he said, prompted the Government to immediately trigger advanced end-to-end screening for passengers flying into Nigeria, especially from high-risk countries.

The Governor said there would not be prohibition of public gatherings and regular activities in Lagos despite the diagnosed case of COVID-19, pointing out that such measure may give rise to needless panic among the general public. He said the condition of the patient was not “highly contagious” at the moment, adding that the State would only ban outdoor gatherings in the case of escalation in person-to-person transmission of the virus.

He said: “It is only when there is a high level of escalation that the public can be panicky and this is when we realise that it is getting to person-to-person transmission. As we have said, this isolated case has been contained right from the hospital where he was first admitted and the guesthouse he slept after his arrival in Nigeria. It is when there is a person-to-person infection that we can trigger another level of isolation and curtail public events where large number of people can gather. I don’t think we have gotten to that level yet.”

Sanwo-Olu also cleared the air on why the patient was transferred to Lagos after the incident was reported in Ogun State, saying the Federal Government only established testing centres to prevent to coronavirus in States that have international airports. Lagos, the Governor said, is only State in the Southwest that has testing centres. He said the State was also considered based on its sophisticated bio-security facilities, which were established during the outbreak of Ebola virus.

Prof. Abayomi explained how the diagnosis was carried out, following the patient’s complaint of fever and body pain. He said the patient started to show signs of illness on Wednesday afternoon, after which he was presented at the Ogun State-based firm’s hospital where investigation began.

He said: “Investigation began at the hospital after the patient gave history of his trip to Nigeria. The medical personnel at the company’s hospital kept the patient in isolation overnight and contacted us at the bio-security in Lagos for assistance. We immediately asked them to transfer the case to Lagos. The patient was brought to our high-containment in Yaba on Thursday morning.

“Immediately the patient arrived, he was put in proper isolation and appropriate tests were conducted on him. Within hours, we received signals that the laboratory tests were showing signs of positivity. At that point, we informed the Federal Minister of Health and Governor Sanwo-Olu, who is the Chief Incident Commander in Lagos.”

The Health Commissioner said the patient was responding well under a supportive therapy, saying efforts were on to identify all persons that had physical contact with the patient to break the cycle of transmission.

He disclosed that the State remained prepared to contain potential spread of the virus, observing that Lagos had wrapped up the capacity of its containment facility to 80-bed as a result of the emergency funds released by the Governor.

Prof. Abayomi said more capabilities were being put in place by the State to deal with increase number of cases. He said aggressive public awareness campaign was going on to sensitise residents on hygiene and activities that can prevent the spread of virus.

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