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We aren’t sure we’ll take COVID-19 vaccine —Kogi senators, reps

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We aren’t sure we’ll take COVID-19 vaccine —Kogi senators, reps

Serving senators and members of the House of Representatives from Kogi State have said they have not made up their minds on whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or not.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, took his own vaccination on Tuesday and announced a two-week schedule for other senators to have the vaccine.

But speaking with our correspondent on behalf of his colleagues on Friday, the leader of the Kogi lawmakers’ forum in the National Assembly, Smart Adeyemi, said the federal legislators from the state had yet to take a decision on the matter

Adeyemi, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, said all the 12 National Assembly members from the state were solidly behind the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who has been insistent that there is no COVID-19 in the state.

He said the only consideration that could make them go for the vaccination would be to prevent them from infecting their constituents in the state in the event that they travelled home.

The senator said, “The Kogi State legislators in the National Assembly have not thought of taking the vaccines yet, but if ever we will take it at all, it is because we are in Abuja where there is COVID-19 but there is no COVID in our state.”

He cautioned those who were castigating the governor for claiming that the disease was not affecting his people in the state.

Adeyemi said, “I don’t know the magic in Kogi State because the coronavirus is not killing our people. If it is leading to deaths in the state, I would be the first person to cry out and disagree with our governor but our people are not dying and they are not falling ill.

“I agree with our governor that there is no COVID-19 in Kogi State. If the disease is there, people would have been dying. It appears COVID-19 is afraid of the Kogi people. To a large extent, we are convinced that our governor knows what he is doing and saying.”

The senator added that even Ministry of Health officials told him that they did not know what was happening in Kogi that was keeping people from dying from COVID-19.

“We cannot be killing our people just to justify that the disease is real. We are not just saying yes to our governor but we are also saying yes to him because nobody has died of the disease.

“We cannot disagree with our governor. How do we disagree with a man who maintains a position and stands by it and you don’t have any contrary fact to fault him? Our people are not dying and we should not be hypocritical about it.

“Governor Bello is a highly courageous person. He takes a position the moment he knows what he is doing is in the best interest of the people. If our people are dying, we would have spoken against it,” Adeyemi said.

According to him, nobody should love Kogi more than the indigenes, including the governor and elected lawmakers.

“If the people are dying, we will shout but we are not talking because our people are not falling sick and we are not recording deaths as a result of COVID-19. Only the aged are dying of age-related ailments,” the senator added.

Culled from the PUNCH.

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD) on Saturday suspended its 10 days old strike after sustained pressure mounted on them to shelve the strike by stakeholders.
The National President of the Association, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi said the strike was suspended after series of long hours of meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
He said based on their responsibility to Nigerians and the fact that the Federal government has met some of their demands they have no option but to call off the strike.

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

The Senate committee on health has faulted the strike action embarked upon by the resident Doctors which is having a telling effect on patients.

The chairman of the committee Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe said Nigerians would hold the resident doctors responsible for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action.

Oloriegbe spoke at the public hearing  of the bill entitled  “Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021” sponsored by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) 

According to him, the National Assembly made every effort to avert the doctors ongoing strike to no avail. 

“We had a marathon meeting just before Easter on March 21st specifically and we agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors.

He said there three Germain issues which included the payment of salary to house officers which as at that time they also agreed had been essentially been cleared which was the major reason they wanted to go on strike.

“The second one was what they claimed to be payment to local resident doctors, which was an aberration where there was not supposed to be local but the government agreed to commence payment which has started to be done.

“Those are the two critical ones that were germane most of the other issues that were raised were not even issues within the purview of the federal government because they were issues of state governments that owed salaries or something. 

He said they are issues that relate to things that were in 2014, 2015 which was as at that meeting, the Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed that a committee has been set up to look at the other aspects. 

“So we are surprised that the resident doctors went on strike. However, we are not reneging, my counterparts in the house of Representatives are meeting with the resident doctors.”

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

The Nassarawa State Government has raised the alarm over shortages of essential supplies of COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens who are yet to access the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination particularly the vulnerable persons in the state.

This state commissioner of health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba-Yahaya made the disclosure during the World Health Day in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital on Wednesday.

According to him, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the light on the inequalities among the citizens amidst shortages of essential supplies, poor people have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits in the state.”

He continued: “There are several shades of inequalities, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity and disability to disadvantage of the vulnerable populations across the state.”

He, however, emphasized that there was need to start to act on the social and economic determinations of the people, by working across sectors to improve living and working conditions, particularly the marginalized groups.

While reacting on the challenges being faced by the vulnerable persons in the state, he urged leaders at various levels to work together to address inequalities in their respective countries, specially on COVID-19 vaccines.

The commissioner of health also admonished pharmaceutical companies to expand their manufacturing capacity to overcome current supply shortages in the state, urging wealthy individuals to partner with the state government so that the most at risk populations in all countries could be protected.

Also residents in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, Awe, Keana and Obi local government areas and others in the state have expressed worry over lack of access to COVID-19 test in their locality.

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. John Daniel, said they could not access the COVID-19 test in their community, owning to the fact that the health workers trained by the Primary Development Agency in charge of administering COVID-19 tests are focussing on tge rich in the state.

He said: “We are poor people. We have been relegatedto the background because we are not government workers.”

Also speaking to our correspondent, Ovey Timothy, said since the state government commenced the COVID-19 test the health workers have not be able to reach their community.

His words: “We are calling on the state government to urgently intervene and come to their rescue.”

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