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COVID-19: NGIJ Charges Gov. Sanwo-Olu to Urgently Revise Lockdown Palliative Measures for Residents

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COVID-19: NGIJ Charges Gov. Sanwo-Olu to Urgently Revise Lockdown Palliative Measures for Residents
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The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) has berated the Lagos state government for adopting a weak and defective approach in handling lockdown palliative measures especially the disgraceful emergency food pack distribution, despite performing well in curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

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This lapse, the Guild lamented, has resulted in widespread condemnation for the government as well as allegations of negligence and insensitivity from the residents of the state, including the CDA representatives and the general public who received beggarly and pitiful portions of foodstuff during the distribution.

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In a statement released to the media on Monday, Mr Israel Bolaji, Vice President (Information and Strategy) of the Guild, said whereas the state government’s efforts at curtailing the pandemic were commendable, its palliative measures for residents especially the emergency food pack currently being distributed to residents is disgraceful, poor and ineffective, charging Gov. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Sanwo-Olu to urgently revisit and overhaul the lockdown palliative plan.

The spokesman said as expected and applicable globally, Lagos State government came up with an apt idea of providing food especially for aged parents, widows, widowers and less privileged households with an emergency food pack.

However, the selective distribution approach shrouded in mystery, beggarly food pack quantities, lack of transparency and alleged large scale diversion of the food packs by officials makes a mess and mockery of the entire process.

Bolaji said the guild was shocked and appalled by the various reports and the attendant disillusionment generated. NGIJ has been inundated with reports, viral video accounts and verified cases of residents receiving pitiful food packs, including multiple videotaped cases of two sachets of tomatoes, and two bowls of rice and beans given to an entire street.

For example, there are embarrassing accounts from Ijede communities under Ikorodu constituency made up of 127 CDA, where each of the CDAs was asked to compile a list of names of aged parents, widow, less privileged and widower with at least 40 in some and some between 50 and 80 names submitted since last week Sunday.

Surprisingly on Saturday only five packs were handed for 80 persons for my own CDA, said one of the CDA representatives.

“In my CDA at Agege where 40 names were forwarded 5packs for 40 persons. I did not know what is going on because personally, the government is not fair to us. If they want the emergency food to go around I believe religious bodies, stakeholders and Royal father should be part of the programme, said another source.

“Many of the CDAs here did not have at all, a source said, adding that the local government chairman kept the food packs for sharing to their members later.”

The Guild charges the government to show more sensitivity to the people considering that the lockdown had crippled the economic activities as well as the source of livelihood for many residents. As much as the government may not choose to share food packs to all residents, a basic threshold is at least expected to be met. Giving 5 units of very small food pack to an entire street of about 2000 people amounts to reckless insensitivity, humiliation and travesty.

Bolaji urged the state government to urgently rejig the entire plan, make sufficient units available, work with trusted social and community leaders, block leakages and reverse the deplorable trend.

We also urge the government to be transparent in handling the disbursement of the various donations from well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists and multinationals that have donated handsomely to cushion the impact of the crises.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Group Urges FG To Ensure Affordable Access To Drugs For PWD

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The Diabetes Association of Nigeria, has called on the Nigerian government to ensure affordable access to fundamental care for people with diabetes(PWD).

Speaking during  sensitization exercise to commemorate the 2021 World Diabetes Day, National President of the Association, Dr Alkali Mohammed,  stated that access to care which include information, drugs, technology, and support is a right to all citizens and will go a long way to reverse the emerging ugly trend of the diabetic epidemic. 

“Diabetes has become a major global epidemic being the leading Non-Communicable Disease (NCD).There are 537million people living with diabetes globally and is projected to reach 743 million by 2030 unless urgent steps are taken. Almost 1 in 2 of the people living with diabetes are undiagnosed while 4 in 5  of them are  in the middle and low-income countries.

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 “In the year 2021,diabetes is responsible for 6.7million deaths. Although no reliable National Data is available in Nigeria, about 6 million Nigerians are  estimated to have diabetes.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that almost everyone in Nigeria has a relation or friend that is diabetic and might have lost one. This is only going to worsen unless concerted efforts are put in place,” he said.

He also called on government to develop appropriate policies to improve the presentation of type 2 diabetes and also improve screening to ensure timely diagnosis and prevention of diabetes related complications.

Mohammed urged for implementation mechanisms to engage with diabetes meaningfully in the development of policies to tackle diabetes. 

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He revealed that this year’s commendation of the event is  unique because of the  COVID-19 epidemic as people with diabetes have higher complications and mortalities among the infected patients.

The national president also added that this year also mark the 100 years since the discovery of insulin which was a breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes.

“However, despite the existence of insulin for a decade, 1 in 2 people in need of insulin globally cannot afford it. In Nigeria, the gap in access is even more as our health care system is mainly funded through out of pockets system.

“Additionally, the current economic realities and high inflationary trend is a major challenge to the effective management of diabetes as most patients cannot afford the minimum basic care since they do not have money,” he said.

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The World Diabetes Day is celebrated on the 14th of November annually to serve as the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes world.

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UNICEF Organises Workshop On COVID-19 Vaccine For Journalists On Demand Creation

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The United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) has organised a workshop for journalists  on ways  to support the Federal Government on COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Nigeria.

Speaking during a  Two Day Media Engagement Dialogue on Demand Creation for COVID-19 Vaccine organized in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of information and Culture in Kano, Communication Specialist for UNICEF Nigeria, Geoffrey Njoku revealed that the vaccination exercise was slow in some states because the government were reluctant to provide  logistics  for the exercise.

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He therefore urged journalists in the country to use their various tools for advocacy to both Federal and state government to provide logistics and operational support for the delivery of vaccines to every part of the country. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Njoku also added that Journalists have to be on the forefront of allaying fears amongst Nigerians who had  conspiracy theories about the vaccine, there creating vaccine hesitancy in many parts of the country.

While being optimistic that the workshop will avail the participants on the skills to use to ensure the increase of uptakes of the vaccine, Njoku urged the journalists to use data from World Health Organisation(WHO), UNICEF, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) and other reliable organisations to derive stories that will bring about positive impact on the vaccination exercise.

Also speaking while giving an opening remark, the WASH Manager, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Rafid Salih stated that vaccine hesitancy have to be tackled hands down so as to avoid deaths caused by the virus.

Salih who was represented  UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Kano State, Maulid Warfa urged the journalists to use that same medium used to perpetrate misinformation about the virus, to propagate the fact to every part of the country.

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COVID-19 Misinformation: NOA Promises Collaboration With Paged Initiative To Battle Scourge

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PAGED-AND-NOA
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The National Orientation Agency(NOA) has promised to work with the Participatory Communication Through Gender Development (PAGED) Initiative, a media and advocacy Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) to battle the issue of COVID-19 Misinformation in 19 Northern states of the country.

While the organisation paid a courtesy visit to the Agency, the Director General of NOA, Garba Abari stated that they were ready to collaborate with any organisation on the dissemination of information to curb the COVID-19 virus.

Abari who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Special Duties and State Operations, Mette Edekobi revealed that NOA was well equipped to carry out any awareness in the country as it has staff in all the 774 local government in the country.

“Our strength is the fact that we speak all languages. Our 774 officials are in their local government areas where they can speak the local languages and communicate with the people in the way that they will understand. We are predestined to do what we are doing,” he said.

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Abari who lamented that the Agency had to battle with the issue of fake information about the virus and its vaccine, added that collaboration with other organizations would help a great deal as many Nigerians do not believe in their leaders, no matter what they tell them.

“So we need Nigerians to hear from other people that do not come from the government and maybe that will make them believe,” he said.

Earlier while stating the reason for their visit, the Programme Director, Paged Initiative, Ummi Bukar, said her NGO was there to ascertain the challenges NOA has encountered in the dissemination of information about COVID-19 and where the organisation can come in to assist curb the pandemic.

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“In terms of COVID-19 media response, what we want from NOA is to know the gaps you have encountered that you will need the media to help address because there are still a lot of people who do not believe that COVID-19 exist. There is a lot of mis-information out there. We are have a lot of media partners across the 19 states that can help in this aspect,” she said.

Bukar added that her NGO in collaboration with European Union and Free Press have helped push for participatory development to ensure that the needs of the communities were met.

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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