Nigeria’s presidency has accused some traditional rulers in President Buhari’s home state, Katsina, of being responsible for the spike in violent attacks. Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that the traditional rulers had been found complicit in collaboration with the bandits to harm their own people in the state. He said quite a number of emirs and district heads in neighbouring Zamfara state have been swept out of office. Shehu said during the height of violent conflicts in Zamfara State, the Nigerian Air Force stationed aircraft in Katsina airport from where they could launch attacks against bandits in Zamfara. He said once the aircraft take-off, unscrupulous elements in Katsina would quickly inform the bandits in Zamfara State that an attack was imminent, giving them ample time to take cover. At some point, the Nigerian Air Force had to put a number of aircraft in Katsina as the authority realised that once aircraft took off from Katsina airport before it got to Zamfara for operation, telephone calls would have been made and targets would have disappeared, the President’s spokesman added. The choice left at some point was to be flying from distant places like Kaduna and Kano in order to undertake operations in Zamfara.
Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors have embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike following the virtual extraordinary National Executive Council meeting of the association held on Sunday. NARD President, Aliyu Sokomba, announced this Monday while addressing a press conference Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Though the union has decided to exempt its members working in various coronavirus isolation and treatment centres across the country, he said. However, exemption of the members attending to COVID-19 patients was for two weeks before they join the industrial action, Sokomba noted. The decision of the union is as a result of the failed series of meetings between the doctors and the Federal Government in the last two weeks. The NARD president said the meetings have failed to resolve the lingering industrial disputes which include the non-payment of special allowances for the resident doctors as he also decried the deplorable state of hospitals and the lack of protective equipment for members of the union treating covid19 patients. The industrial action is coming after the doctors warned last week that they would take what they described as “the painful decision” following the inability of the government to meet their demands. All resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer, and House Officers across all the Federal and State Hospitals in Nigeria are expected to join the strike as the union asked the government to make alternative arrangements for the care of patients, including those at the Covid19 isolation centres as its members there would join the industrial action in two weeks’ time. Its demands among other things include the provision of adequate PPE for all healthcare workers and immediate reversal of the disengagement of all 26 resident doctors at the University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Nigeria’s power minister, Sale Mamman, has asked the MD of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, Marilyn Amobi, to proceed on terminal leave. This is to give way for the company’s general counsel and secretary, Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, to assume the role of MD/CEO, according to the special adviser to the minister, Aaron Artimas. President Buhari had earlier approved the recommendation to this effect. According to Artimas, Eweluka, a lawyer, assumes the new position with more than 20 years’ experience, spanning private practice, academics and the power sector. He is a specialist on privatisation and legal energy reforms as well as a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration.” Mamman had asked Amobi, on 24 December 2019, to step down amid allegations of fraud levelled against her. He ordered an investigative panel to look into the allegations “with the view to restoring sanity in the management of the company” and appointed Ewelukwa as the acting managing director. Buhari, however, reversed the order and also moved NBET from the ministry of power to the ministry of finance for supervision.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said the country’s health minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu has contracted the new coronavirus. The minister is, however, in a stable condition as he contracted the pandemic while in the line of duty, Akufo-Addo said in a broadcast, giving an update on the pandemic situation in Ghana. The health minister, who has been leading the public education on observing the disease prevention protocols, became the latest Ghanaian government official to have tested positive for the virus. The president also announced the death of Kobina Sam, mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi, as a result of COVID-19 related complications. According to Akufo-Addo the final year students in secondary schools and universities would resume classes on Monday as the West African nation pursues its phased lifting of restrictions that were put in place to curb the pandemic. The country has recorded 11,964 positive coronavirus cases, one of the highest in the region, but has also carried out one of the highest number of tests in the continent at 254,331 and has one of lowest number of deaths from the virus. With 54 deaths reported thus far in Ghana, the ratio of deaths to positive cases stands at 0.4%, compared to the global average of 5.5%, and the African average of 2.6%, Akufo-Addo said.