Seriake Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson is reportedly planning to sanction 500 civil servants in the state for supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the recently held governorship elections.

Dickson is said to be planning to withhold the workers’ salaries for the months of December and January, Punch reports.

According to one of the affected workers, the staff were informed of the development by the accountant in their office.

The situation was supposedly also confirmed by the Head of Service, Peter Singabele.

“After the accountant told us that our names have been removed from the payroll because we had sympathy for the APC, we went to the Due Process, and there, we were told us to go to the HoS,” the worker said.

“On his part, the HoS told us that it is the truth of the matter and that the instruction was from the Secretary to the State Government office,” he added.

Dickson won a second term in office in January 2016 after contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Ruth Munyao, a pharmacist, dispenses anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs at the Mater Hospital in Kenya's capital Nairobi, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The Global Fund, a partnership that sends HIV drugs to poor countries, says it plans to send a 12-month advance supply of antiretroviral therapy to Uganda, after the East African country ran out three months before the end of last year.

Health activists say about 240,000 patients on publicly funded treatment programmes were affected by the shortage, which began last September, forcing them to modify their treatments or stop altogether. Private-sector clinics were not impacted.

The government said a weak currency and insufficient foreign exchange had hampered its ability to finance drug imports.

Some activists said they suspected runaway election spending was behind the shortfall, but officials denied the charge.

President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his three decades in power in the Feb. 18 presidential elections

In Uganda about 1.5 million people, or about 4 percent of the population, live with the HIV virus, of whom about 820,000 receive antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which help keep the patient’s viral load low and prevent transmission.

The Global Fund has already delivered shipments of drugs as scheduled for existing patients and is front-loading an additional 12-month supply of drugs,” Seth Faison, the Fund’s head of communications, said in an email response to questions, adding the 12-month supply would arrive next month.

Faison said the first consignment of the new supply would arrive in Uganda in February. But he acknowledged that front-loading the delivery of drugs, while not increasing the total amount of drugs it sends, was a “short-term solution.”

The government needs to mobilize resources to fill the gaps and find a long-term solution,” Faison said.

The Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a public-private partnership set up in 2002 which has made impressive progress in tackling epidemics of those three deadly infectious diseases.

Uganda has made dramatic gains against HIV/AIDS, bringing the infection rate down from about 18.5 percent in 1992, according to United Nations figures.

But Joshua Wamboga, who heads the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO), said that “drug holidays” – when a patient stops taking prescribed medication – could spur the development of drug-resistant HIV strains and cause patients to be more vulnerable to opportunistic infections, like malaria.

NO ARVs means death,” he said. “If you have a virus that kills you and you don’t get treatment, you die.”

He had also been handcuffed on earlier court dates leading to outrage from PDP members who accused the government of trying to break him and malign the party.

 

Ihedioha made the comment through his media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu and also condemned the scrapping of 19 government agencies in the state.

RT. Hon Emeka Ihedioha

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has described the recent sacking of 3,000 workers by Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, as “most reckless, insensitive and completely lacking in economic sense”.

Ihedioha made the comment through his media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu and also condemned the scrapping of 19 government agencies in the state., Vanguard reports.

“There is no doubt that the Nigerian economy is facing a downturn as a result of dwindling oil revenue but the solution is not arbitrary disengagement of workers and scrapping of key parastatals, such as the Hospital Management Board, Imo Water Corporation, Imo State Investment Promotion Agency, Imo State Library Board, Agricultural Development Programme and others,” Ihedioha said.

“Choosing to sack thousands of workers as the only viable option to tackling the state’s dwindled economic base is unfortunate, senseless, uncharitable and anachronistic,” he added.

Ihedioha also said that Okorocha’s actions were made even more wrong by the fact that he had encouraged the people of the state to look forward to more jobs, employment opportunities and improved working conditions “having anchored his election campaign mantra on job, industry,  factory and employment.”

The disclosure was made today, January 25, 2016, by an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, Nneka Ararume, who said she collected the money from Metuh at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja.

Olisa Metuh arrives an Abuja High court today, January 22, 2016.

A witness in the money laundering case against Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh has said that she received $2 million cash from him to invest.

The disclosure was made today, January 25, 2016, by an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, Nneka Ararume, who said she collected the money from Metuh at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja, Punch reports.

“He gave me the sum of $2m in $100 bills. It was taken to bureau de change operators who would then transfer the money to ARM. From there (Metuh’s house) I proceeded to Mr. Sie Iyenome’s office at Wuse 2 where I gave him the sum of $1m,” Ararume said.

“I also invited Mr. Kabir Mohammed and I also gave him the sum of $1m to transfer the naira equivalent in favour of Destra Investment Limited. Later on the same day, December 2, 2014, Mr. Kabir and Mr. Sie Iyenome confirmed the receipt,” she added.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed charges against Metuh after accusing him of receiving N400 million from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki who is also being tried for corruption.

Adewoye urged parents whose children fall within the age bracket to avail their kids the opportunity of the immunisation.

Osun Govt. partners WHO against measles

The Osun Government, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), will flag-off the ‘Integrated Campaign Against Measles’ in the state on Thursday. The State Health Promotion Officer, Mr Adewole Adewoye, said on Monday in Osogbo at a stakeholders meeting that the campaign would hold between Jan. 28 and Feb.1.

He said children between nine months and five years would be immunized against the disease in all the designated health centres across the 30 Local Government Areas in the state. He said the measles campaign was part of government efforts in preventing the damages caused by measles such as brain damage, blindness, deafness, among others in children.

Adewoye urged parents whose children fall within the age bracket to avail their kids the opportunity of the immunisation. In her remarks, Mrs Adiza Karo, a WHO Consultant, said the organisation was partnering with Osun government in eradicating measles in the state.

Karo said WHO was fully prepared to render the necessary support to make the campaign a success. Also speaking, Mr Muhammed Abubakar, a representative of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the agency was also ready to ensure that the campaign was successful.