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Apr 30, 2020

Ondo Government Reinstates Sacked Nurses Who Protested Non-payment Of Salaries

The Ondo State Government has re-instated six nurses sacked recently at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital.

The nurses were sacked in February for embarking on a protest to demand payment of their accumulated salary arrears.  Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

A source at the Ministry of Health in the state said the sacked workers were asked to resume back after a meeting between the ministry, nursing leaders in the state and management of the hospital.  See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: Ondo Government Sacks Nurses For Demanding Payment Of Accumulated Salaries

“I can confirm to you that they have all been reinstated, there is one among them who proved stubborn, he failed to be remorseful nor apologize but he has been told to resume too,” the source said.

See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: Ondo Government Asks Sacked Nurses To Deny SaharaReporters’ Story Before Being Reinstated Into Service



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Quotation of the Day: Pandemic Is Further Eroding France’s Trust in Central Government

By Unknown Author from NYT Today’s Paper

Maggie Haney, Elite Gymnastics Coach, Is Suspended for 8 Years


Goal-Scoring Opportunities

By BY DEB AMLEN from NYT Crosswords & Games

A Strange Dinosaur May Have Swam the Rivers of Africa


Harrison Ford Strayed Onto an Active Runway in His Plane


Prisoner With Coronavirus Dies After Giving Birth While on Ventilator


Irrfan Khan: Mira Nair Remembers Her ‘Namesake’ Star


Corrections: April 30, 2020

By Unknown Author from NYT Corrections

Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today


Delivering Food Under Coronavirus

By Unknown Author from NYT Home Page

The Trump Administration’s Legal Moves to Prevent a Meat Shortage, Explained


Trump Seeks Push to Speed Vaccine, Despite Safety Concerns


Verbal Autopsy Ongoing In Kano To Determine If Strange Deaths Are COVID-19-related —Presidency

Verbal autopsies are currently being carried out to determine if the cause of the deaths recorded in Kano are from Coronavirus, the Presidency has said.

Garba Shehu, Presidential spokesperson, on Wednesday said the result of the autopsies must be accepted by all and not be used to play politics.

He said, "Nigeria is only weeks into our fight against the invisible COVID-19 that earlier this year was unknown to almost every nation in the world. 

"Only earlier this month, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, made clear that ‘We are at the beginning in Africa’. 

"There is much that remains unknown about this virus. What we do know is that global infections rates continue to rise each day, even when in some nations affected some time before Nigeria, the daily rate of infection is now slowing.  See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Panic In Kano As Over 150 Persons Die ‘Mysteriously’ Under Three Days, Sparking Coronavirus Fears

"We know too that there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment, virus testing kits and other medical devices required to fight this pandemic. 

"And we also know that in each and every country there are some cities and regions more severely affected than others. 

"In Nigeria, there are currently verbal autopsies underway in Kano State to identify the precise cause of the sudden and rapid increase in mortality in recent days.  See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Kano Residents Groan As Doctors Turn Patients Away From Hospitals After ‘Mysterious’ Deaths Hit City

"While some may wish to believe that there are other causes at play here like hypertension, diabetes, meningitis, and acute malaria’, there are others who say it is COVID-19.

"We should be prepared to accept the medical and scientific result of the autopsies and work together to confront the common enemy."

He added that if the deaths are determined to be COVID-19, all hands would be required on deck to ensure that the virus is wiped out of Nigeria's most populous state. 

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I‘ll Quit If Jobs Assigned To Nigerians Are Hijacked By Politicians —Keyamo

Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has threatened to resign his appointment if the 774,000 jobs approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the 'masses' was hijack by politicians.

Keyamo disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja while answering questions from journalists during the inauguration of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Extended Special Public Works across the 774 local governments of the federation. 

When asked if politicians won’t hijack the process, the minister said, "This is not for PDP or APC, who will want slot from my local government because I am a politician. I assure you it will not happen. 

“I will leave this job, if they want to insist that it will happen. 

"Mr President is targeting ordinary Nigerians who are neither PDP or APC or just anything. They just want to get jobs, they just want to feed their family.

"This is not a time for us to empower our followers as politicians. We are going to dig deep, it is one of the recommendation.”

Keyamo maintained that the programme would be benefited by those targeted.

The pilot scheme was approved to be implemented in five local government areas in eight states of Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Labour Congress Warns Governors, Employers Against Salary Reduction

The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned state governors and employers against any reduction in the salaries of workers in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued by the President of the union, Ayuba Wabba, on Wednesday, the NLC said workers’ salaries were core elements of employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements. 

He said the labour union had directed workers in the country to resist any form of salary deduction or stoppage by any employer as a result of Coronavirus.  File Photo

He urged the leadership of the union at all levels to be on guard to protect the income and livelihood of workers at these trying times.

He said, “We wish to state that any move to deduct the salaries of Nigerian workers anywhere is illegal.

“Salaries are core elements of employment contracts and most of the times products of collective bargaining processes. 

"It is therefore illogical and illegal to deduct a worker's salary for any reason whatsoever without the consent of the worker involved." 

He said celebration of this year's May Day would be quiet as result of the Coronavirus outbreak.


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COVID-19: Fear Grips FCT Residents As Kano, Kaduna Returnees Flood Abuja

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory are now living in fear as strange faces believed to be from neighbouring states including Kano and Kaduna have flooded the nation's capital.

Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, had last week raised an alarm over the influx of destitute into the territory from neighbouring states despite the current lockdown in Abuja.

Findings by SaharaReporters showed that returnees from Kano and Kaduna states have migrated into the suburbs of the territory. 

There have been cases of hijack of food items and attack on members of palliative committee by thugs during the distribution of relief materials to residents in the city.

Security agents drafted to the entry points of the city centre to enforce interstate movement restrictions were not helping matter as many of them took advantage of the situation to feather their own nest.

A Kano returnee, who arrived few days ago, said that coming into Abuja had never be a challenge for him, adding that he knows how to appease the security agents on the road.

Truckloads of destitute and street urchins from Kaduna axis were said to have been emptied into the FCT and Niger State, which harbours all manners of people.  See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Lockdown: Abuja Residents Defy Mobile Courts, Move Around City Freely

It was gathered that the fleeing destitute sensed that they may run into trouble at the military checkpoints in Deidei but decided to disembark at Tunga-Maje along Kaduna Road.

The porous nature of the FCT borders may expose many residents living in satellite towns to the community transmission of COVID-19 pandemic.

With the current situation in Kano where many people have died under strange and mysterious circumstance, the latest development leaves much to be desired.

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Nigerians Mourn Death Of Covenant Varsity Graduate Whose Surgery Abroad Was Delayed Due To Lockdown

An entrepreneur and graduate of Political Science from Covenant University, Judith Omonua, popularly known as Ghunu, has died after battling a heart condition for years.

Omonua was 24 years old at the time of her death.

She was supposed to undergo a heart surgery abroad but owing to the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of Coronavirus she couldn't travel for the surgery.

The young lady died on Monday after battling the ailment for three years.  Judith Omonua

Omonua was the Chief Executive Officer of Ghunu Effects, an organic skincare brand. 

SaharaReporters had last week reported how with no alternative, Nigerian patients billed for elective and emergency surgeries in India and other developed countries had to cancel their plans and seek care at home.  See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Lockdown: India Hospitals Count Loses As Nigerian Patients Turn To Local Doctors For Treatment

In a tribute to her by her sister, Obehi Omonua, the deceased was described as one, who risked her health to support others.

The tribute read, “She supported the launch of so many brands and was the technical adviser to many. She planned so many weddings for friends and family, travelled when necessary for all her friends’ weddings knowing fully well that it would take a toll on her health because on her return, it would land her in the hospital.”

Obehi said she had regularly been on oxygen mask since 2017 and was being treated at a private ward at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

She added, “Judith was one of Nigeria’s best makeup artists but had to give up that career when her health started declining in 2017. Several hospitals stays, countless injections, drips and oxygen mask marked Judith’s life from 2017 till 2020.

“On several occasions, she passed out but our prayers brought her back. LASUTH became used to her and always reserved a private ward for her but Judith was known to work from her sickbed.”

Mourning her death, Nigerians described her as a hardworking and loving lady, who died when she was just rising to fame.

Joke Oshodi said, “Why...someone who accomplished so much so young... already an independent business guru and very beautifully and wonderfully made? So many questions but we cannot question Almighty God, for only He holds all the answers. May her soul rest in peace with God. Amen.”

Tosin Ola wrote, “RIP. The most intelligent and hardworking girl filled with wisdom. Angels rejoice over your beautiful soul.”

Adebola Fayeun, who identified herself as Judith’s cousin, said she was a loving person and also attested to her kind nature.

She said, “Judith is my cousin (I can't even bear to address her in the past tense as I can't believe she's gone).

“She was loved, adored and admired. It gives me great comfort and joy to hear of her glorious achievements and to know that she was loved because she touched lives beyond measure.

“I'm so deeply hurt at her passing. I am still trying to make sense of it. Thank you all for your beautiful tribute to her.”

Eweka Patricia Iyos said, “This is so sad, oh my God. You left at the peak of your career, at a time you started making an impact and your name becoming a household name. Ghunu effect, may your soul find rest.”

On Twitter, @Bubble_minakie recounted how Judith sent her money for her birthday cake in 2019.

She said, “She sent me money for my birthday cake last year and she barely knew me, I was always stuck on her page, she was so lovely.

“You will never ever know she was going through something like this. May Ghunu rest in peace.”

@Betty_Ekems said, “I’m in disbelief, how she always stayed strong, happy and ever hardworking. I would never have imagined she was battling a heart condition. I’m in so much shock.”

@Igu_chioma tweeted, “I’ve found it really hard to accept this news since I saw the news yesterday. She was a bubbly person, so full of life. She’s resting now. The earth lost one of her angels.”


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Group Raises Alarm Over Detention Of Akwa Ibom Journalist By DSS, Condemns Bail Conditions

Civil rights group, People's Alternative Fronts, has condemned the detention of a sports journalist based in Akwa Ibom, Mr Kufre Carter, in prison custody for allegedly defaming Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Dominic Ukpong.

The group condemned the bail conditions attached to the release of the journalist by Magistrate Winifred M. Umohandy of the Magistrate Court, Uyo, who presided over the case.

In a statement by Secretary of PAF, Eze Aloysius, the group said, “On Wednesday, 29th April, 2020, a sport's reporter in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Kufre Carter, was surreptitiously taken before a Magistrate Court in Uyo presided over by Magistrate Winifred M. Umohandy, where he was arraigned on a three-count charge bothering on defamation of character. 

“Mr Carter is accused of defaming the Commissioner for Health in Akwa Ibom State, Dr Dominic Ukpong, in a purported private phone conversation with a certain medical doctor in which the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state was allegedly criticised.  Kufre Carter

“We are however alarmed by the bail conditions imposed on Mr Carter by Magistrate Winifred which are not only obnoxious, unreasonable and embarrassing, but amounts to a total mockery of the judicial system.

“Magistrate Winifred Umohandy granted Mr. Carter "bail" in the sum of N3m with a surety in like sum.

“As if that was not excessive enough, the magistrate insisted that the surety must be a Permanent Secretary with the Akwa Ibom State Government.

“Not done with her outlandish conditions, the magistrate also demanded that Mr Carter should bring "a letter of identification" from his village head to the court as part of his bail conditions.

“It is also reported that the magistrate descended into the arena and openly showed bias when she expressed anger in open court over the way people now write things against government officials on Facebook and other social media.

“The People's Alternative Fronts is seriously disturbed by the development in Akwa Ibom State. We are aware of the escalating attacks on critics of the state government and the use of the DSS and the olice to clampdown on dissent.

“While we respect the institution of the judiciary, we are shocked that a magistrate who swore to uphold the constitution of Nigeria will allow herself to be used by questionable political actors in Akwa Ibom State to suppress the rights of citizens.

“The DSS from our investigation did not inform the lawyers to Carter that their client was going to be arraigned in court. The lawyers only became aware by a tip- off.

“It is remarkable that the state Attorney-General, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, was sighted within the court premises before the court sat. It is also of interest to us that the Director of Public Prosecutions in Akwa Ibom, Mr Joseph Umoren, personally appeared in court to prosecute Mr Carter.

“All these clearly show that the Akwa Ibom State Government is not pursuing any sincere case against Mr Carter who has been a critic of the government but is rather manipulating the judicial process to punish Carter for his critical views.

We strongly condemn these actions. We call on His Lordship, the Hon. Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Godwin Abraham, to urgently rescue the state judiciary from the vicious and manipulative grip of politicians.

“We ask the judiciary to assert its independence and not allow its reputation to be further ruined.

“The bail conditions are outrageous. The conditions are contrary to established precedents of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to the effect that bail conditions should be liberal.

“Mr Carter should be allowed to enjoy his constitutional right to presumption of innocence until he is proven guilty.

“Sadly, it appears Magistrate Winifred Umohandy has already convicted him.”

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Court To Hear Case Against Top Government Officials Who Violated Safety Precautions At Abba Kyari's Burial

The criminal complaint against government officials, who violated safety precautions at the burial of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, has been assigned to a magistrate for hearing.

Magistrate Zubairu Mohammad of Court 1, Magistrate Court, Wuse 2 FCT, Abuja, is to hear and determine the complaint.

Human rights lawyer and activist, Mr Tope Akinyode, who instituted the criminal proceeding, argued that a fiat of the Attorney-General was not needed to institute the case. 

The lawyer said since government had refused to prosecute its own people, he had decided to take up the matter.

The criminal complaint is against Garba Shehu, Boss Mustapha, Ahmed Bashir and nine others.

The court is yet to give a date for the hearing of the matter.  See Also Sahara Reporters Lawyer To Institute Suit Against Presidency Aides For Violating Social Distancing Order During Abba Kyari’s Burial

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COVID-19 Lockdown Could Lead To Seven Million Unintended Pregnancies –UN

A new data by the United Nations has revealed that with the ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, there could be about seven million unintended pregnancies in the coming months.

The data released on Tuesday by the UN Population Fund and partners estimated that the number of women unable to access family planning or facing unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and other harmful practices, could “skyrocket” by millions.

The data also revealed that 47 million women may lose access to contraceptives if the Coronavirus lockdown carried on for six months.  Pregnant women

The research was conducted by UNFPA in collaboration with Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and Victoria University in Australia.

“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally,” said Dr Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director.

“The pandemic is deepening inequalities and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health,” Dr Kalem added.

The data also shows that globally, around 450 million women across 114 low and middle-income countries use contraceptives, according to UNFPA and partners.

“There also will be 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence during the same period, with a further 15 million more cases expected for every three months the lockdowns continue.

“The pandemic has also affected programmes to prevent female genital mutilation and the experts estimate two million FGM cases may occur over the next decade that could have been averted.

“Similarly, an additional 13 million child marriages could take place this decade as the crisis has disrupted efforts to stop this practice,” the data shows.

In response, the UNFPA is working to strength health systems, procuring and delivering essential supplies to protect health workers, ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services, and promoting risk communication and community engagement.

“Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs.

“The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported,” said Kanem.

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"He Speaks From Both Sides Of His Mouth", Virology Professor Tackles Cross River Governor Over Production Of Coronavirus Vaccine

Nigerian professor of virology, Oyewale Tomori, has faulted claims by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State on the usage of anti-bodies of survivors of COVID-19 to create a vaccine for the disease.

Tomori posited that Ayade's solutions were contradictory.

Ayade, in a trending video, had said that the government could use the serum of those, who had recovered from COVID-19 to produce the vaccine.

The Cross River governor obtained a doctorate in Environmental Microbiology from the University of Ibadan.

Ayade said, “It is not vaccines, it is healthy living. I am talking from a sound intellectual and scientific background. There is no vaccine today; there is no established approved international treatment protocol. 

“However, those people who have recovered, why don’t you go and take their serum. If they have recovered, they now have the antibodies against the virus, take their serum, do a synthesis of their serum based on electrophoresis and synthesise and mass-produce the vaccine.”

Tomori described Ayade’s recommendations as “bullshit”.  L-R: Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Professor Oyewale Tomori

He said, “On Ayade, he started by saying it is not vaccine (that is the problem) and ended up by saying ‘make vaccines from the serum’.

“He speaks from both sides of his double mouth. Then he says PCR is not reliable for diagnosis...sorry to use such a word as bullshit.”

Tomori, also a former Vice Chancellor of Redeemer's University, said Nigeria had the human resources but lacks the enabling environment to come up with a vaccine at this time.

He added, “We have the human resources but we do not have the basic enabling environment – regular power supply, water supply, appropriate communication technology.

“Research institutes in the country operate on the ever-dwindling annual budget which is irregularly disbursed and often spent with opaque accountability.”

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REVEALED: Policeman Who Threatened To Kill Activist Arrested In Kaduna For ‘Insulting Prophet Muhammad’ On Facebook Uses Social Media Pages To Promote Hatred For Christians, Shiites

The identity of the policeman, who threatened to kill Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, for ‘insulting Prophet Muhammed’ on Facebook, has been revealed.

Bala was arrested by the police in Kaduna for blasphemy and had been receiving death threats from extremists including the serving policeman identified as Abdulsamad Adamu.

SaharaReporters investigations revealed that Adamu is a sergeant attached to the Bauchi State Police Command.  Abdulsamad Adamu

Further investigations showed that Adamu is notorious for using a fake named – Datti Assalafiy – on Facebook to spread hatred and religious bigotry – where he encourages his over 160,000 followers to execute Christians and others, who don’t share in their extreme ideas.  Sergeant Abdulsamad Adamu takes selfie in uniform

He is also known for attacking people, who criticise the Nigerian Government and Muslims, who are not fanatics like him.

He has threatened to kill many people on different social media platforms for not sharing in his ideology. Adamu threatened to kill Bala in a Facebook post

SaharaReporters gathered that in May 2019, Adamu threatened to kill one Zainab Naseer Ahmad for her feminist views.  Zainab Naseer Ahmad

He called her lesbian and asked his followers to attack her wherever they came across her.

Also, one Muneera Abdulsalam, who runs a popular sex education scheme on YouTube in Hausa language, was in the past threatened to be killed by this same policeman. Adamu threatened kill Muneera in a Facebook post

SaharaReporters also discovered that Adamu is known for calling for the killing of Shiites members while also using his Facebook page to promote President Muhammadu Buhari, Ali Pantami, Minister of Communication, and a famous policeman – Abba Kyari. 

Bala, who is already being taken to Kano to be prosecuted by the police for his alleged act, could be executed if found guilty under Sharia law.  See Also Free Speech Activist Arrested In Kaduna For ‘Insulting Prophet Muhammad’ On Facebook Receives Death Threats From Imam, Police Officer

Adamu is notorious for using a fake named – Datti Assalafiy – on Facebook to spread hatred and religious bigotry

See Also Free Speech Activist Arrested In Kaduna For ‘Insulting Prophet Muhammad’ On Facebook

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