• 3 of 14 recent quarantined oil workers tested positive
• Delta records sixth death
• Edo engages tailors to produce 8,000 facemasks
• Ayade approves resumption of public worship but to wear mask
By Festus Ahon, Gabriel Enogholase, Egufe Yafugborhi, Harris Emanuel & Ike Uchechukwu
No fewer than 11 trucks conveying Almajiri’s into Cross River State have been intercepted at the Gakem-Benue border in Bekwarra Local Government Area of the state.
Cross River Government in collaboration with Peace Corps Nigeria intercepted and sent back the 11 trucks carrying Quoranic education pupils “Almajiri” at the Gakem-Benue border in the state.
Head of the taskforce team at the border, Mr Omang-Idiege, told Vanguard on telephone, yesterday that the trucks were turned back at Gakem-Benue border for carrying large numbers of Almajiri against the inter-state lockdown order of the Federal Government.
Idiege, who is the state Commissioner for Youth Development and Skill Acquisition said the 11 trucks were sent back to their places of origin between May 4 to 17, adding that the taskforce had continued to maintain a steady presence at the border.
Idiege said it was the desire of Governor Ben Ayade, to ensure that the state remain Covid-19 free, hence the effective border surveillance.
“President Mohammadu Buhari had announced an interstate lockdown of persons not on essential duties, I wonder why we keep being confronted with trucks at the Gakem-Benue border conveying Almajirai.
“We will not succumb to any form of challenge or gratification to allow any passenger vehicle or truck conveying Almajirai entrance into the state,” he said.
He commended Ayade for his enforcement strategies and directives that have kept the state Covid-19 free since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria.
On his part, Commandant of Peace Corps Nigeria, Dr Dominic Okweche, said that the Corps was driven by passion to protect Cross River borders against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Okweche said that he has deployed over 100 Peace Corps personnel across the state since the Covid-19 taskforce was inaugurated.
3 of 14 recent quarantined oil workers tested
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, reiterated the threat oil workers pose to the fight against Covid-19 in the state with disclosure that three out of the 14 quarantined oil workers tested positive for the virus among recent cases.
Wike, sharing the concern to a delegation of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, which visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, estimated that 60 percent of Coronavirus cases recorded in the state was from oil workers returning from rig duties.
He said, “It’s not in anybody’s interest to deny people discharge of their official duties. Oil is main stay of the economy of Nigeria and without it, we in this part of the country will find it difficult to function.
“My concern is that companies should always notify government of workers they are bringing into the state, so that our health officials can monitor them. So all that we are saying is that we should work together. But people bring in politics that Rivers State is difficult, they don’t want any oil exploration that is because people want to play politics.
“People say we don’t want foodstuff and livestock to come into the state. That is not correct. What we are saying is that human beings should not be hidden with these items.”
Delta records sixth death
Delta State, yesterday recorded another Covid-19 death, bringing the number of deaths resulting from the deadly virus in the state to six.
State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu confirmed the death in his verified WhatsApp page.
According to him, the number of cases in the state is now 28, adding that the number of active cases were now 10 and discharged cases 12.
It was gathered that the death case, which was recorded in the early hours of Wednesday, died at the Warri Central hospital.
Foundation donates palliatives to over 50,000 Nigerian journalists
Meanwhile, Baywood foundation, a non-governmental organisation designed to support populations and communities at negative edges of household income, unemployment, healthcare access, illiteracy, marginalization and exclusion, has donated palliatives and personal protective materials to the National Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Country Director of the foundation, Mr Chukwudi Ojielo while making the presentation reiterates that the gesture was to enable journalists cushion the effect of the pandemic as front line workers in the fight against COVID19.
He said, “This deed is to show the media that we appreciate their role in the fight against COVID-19. This event is following what Baywood Foundation has done in the South East which runs into millions of naira having reached over 50,000 persons in the region. We have done similar things in the West and now we are in Abuja. This shows Baywood foundation’s effort funded by the founder Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe to ensure that those in the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and communities endangered by this pandemic are taken care of.”
National President of NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, who received the items on behalf of the Nigerian journalists lauded Emperor Ibe, for the philanthropic gesture shown to the Nigerian journalist across the federation.
He commended the foundation for responding to their plights and needs in this trying time of COVID19 pandemic.
Edo engages tailors to produce 8,000 facemasks
As the increase in COVID-19 cases in Edo State continues, the state government has engaged local skilled workers in response to the pandemic.
In furtherance of this, Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs), has mobilized tailors and other micro and medium enterprises in the state on the production of facemasks and hand sanitisers for top companies and suppliers within the state.
Executive Director, EdoJobs, Mrs Ukinebo Dare, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Benin City, yesterday, said the state government was committed to leveraging resources within the state to boost productivity and meet local demands for health and safety supplies, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “We are supporting out-of-work businesses at this period of the coronavirus pandemic. First of all, we are generating businesses for out-of-work enterprises. Working with the First Lady’s Office and the Managing Director of ICMG Securities Limited, Mr Mike Osime, we have generated clients that ordered 8,000 facemasks from local tailors in Edo State.’’
NYSC members construct automated disinfection chamber in A’Ibom
National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has inaugurated automated disinfection chamber in Akwa Ibom to sanitise against coronavorus infection
The automated disinfection chamber, which has the capacity to sanitise the whole body in three seconds was constructed by a team of corps members serving in the state.
Coordinator of NYSC, Mr Julius Amusan, who inaugurated the machine in Uyo, said the chamber was constructed by corps members in the state as part of their contribution to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the product was constructed by the corps members through the knowledge of Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme, SAED.
Ayade approves resumption of public worship but to wear mask
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered that worship centres can resumes activities, stressing that they must wear nose masks and only occupy sitting capacity of such centre.
The order was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Christian It.
He said, “Cconscious of the spiritual economy, and in response to appeals by religious leaders in our state, His Excellency has issued the following executive orders: The order suspending public worship in the state, is hereby lifted with effect from May 24, 2020.
“Consequently, starting May 24, church services are permitted but should be limited to the sitting capacity of the Church. Same applies to Mosques.
“Use of nose mask is compulsory for all worshipers. Churches and Mosques should provide buckets for hand washing, or sanitizers.
“Churches and Mosques are advised to strictly keep to the above instructions. The enforcement team will still go around to check compliance,” Ayade ordered.