NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this on Monday during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The comment comes even as the NCDC is yet to officially report a case in Cross River state, as of Monday afternoon.
Mr. Ihekweazu was responding to a question about states who were discharging patients and declaring themselves COVID-19 free.
“No state, no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one,” Mr. Ihekweazu said. “No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand, that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any.”
He continued: “We can’t separate ourselves from the rest of the country. We live in a context, viruses spread, it’s the nature of them, so right now no state is COVID-19 free. That’s why we have to keep doing this work that we are doing, testing people, finding out if they have it.”
Don’t Be Afraid Of Testing
The PTF also asked Nigerians, on Monday, not to be scared of undergoing COVID-19 tests.
According to PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, it is important for Nigerians to carry out the tests to ascertain their COVID-19 status, especially since the virus is not a death sentence.
“I, therefore, urge Nigerians to make use of these facilities and get tested. Similarly, I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test.
“Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test, especially when symptoms are evident could result in death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full-blown.
“The loss of any Nigerian is not only painful but most avoidable provided we seek help early,” the SGF said.
Mustapha also reacted to the arrest of two foreigners by the Nigeria Immigration Service, noting that the PTF is aware of the possibility of illegal entry into the country.
While commending officials of the service for their prompt response, Mustapha explained that the feat was achieved following their vigilance on the nation’s borders.
“The PTF is also not unmindful of the possibility of imports, especially through our land borders. For this reason, our men and women of the Nigerian Immigration Service remain vigilant and this has resulted in the apprehension of two foreigners who tried to enter the country illegally over the weekend. This commendable effort is appreciated,” he said.
Not Taking Responsibility
The PTF, at the Monday briefing, also decried the lack of public adherence to government measures designed to halt the coronavirus pandemic.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said, based on observations from a national sensitization program, many Nigerians are “letting down their guard.”
Dr. Aliyu noted that despite the increase in cases and the likelihood of contracting the virus, many Nigerians were paying less and less attention to health guidelines.
He added that the PTF will continue to collaborate with security agencies and state governments to ensure the guidelines are obeyed while enjoining citizens to play their part.
“Some of the observations that have arisen from these activities (the national sensitisation program) include the fact that Nigerians have continued to show persistent and remarkable lack of compliance to COVID-19 prevention protocols, which is quite worrying,” Dr. Aliyu said.
“In the cities where adherence to these protocols was high in the first two weeks of the ease of lockdown, progressively, over time, citizens are letting down their guard and this remains a great concern.
“There is partial to total noncompliance with facemasks and physical distancing protocols by the public. Many Nigerians only use face masks to avoid security agents, where enforcement exists or where they are told to do so.
“There is also significant disbelief in the danger and impact of COVID-19. In parts of the south-east where we did a recent survey, 60 per cent did not believe that Covid was an issue at all. We clearly are not taking the pandemic seriously enough.
“There are also many myths that also continue to exist within the social media platforms, ranging from conspiracy theories to get-rich-quick to claims of treatment of herbal concoctions, all of which appear to be putting our sensitisation efforts at risk.”
Dr. Aliyu continued: “Now, you are more likely to contract COVID now if you go out and don’t observe the strict measures that we recommend far more than when this problem started three months ago, simply because of the numbers we are currently having.”
He also lauded state governments who have been diligent in reporting positive cases, noting that “there is no shame in having positive results in your state. If we do not know the true state of the pandemic in your state, you are putting the lives of your citizens on the line.
Agric Minister Shield’s Factional AFAN Leader From Police Invitation
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, on Friday, 17th June, 2021 at the ICC (International Conference Centre), in Abuja prevented policemen on duty from taking factional leader of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Mr Farouk Rabiu for questioning on fraud related matters.
According to reliable sources and eye witnesses at the scene which was the venue of the 2021, Council on Agriculture, the police were there to invite Farouk to Force headquarters following a petition against him for acts that bordered on criminality.
Recently a federal high court sitting in Abuja had cautioned the renegade group led by Farouk through their lawyer, on Wednesday,15/2/2021, against parading themselves as leaders of AFAN until the matter is determined in court.
Farouk had been accused of defrauding investors using the name of AFAN Kano branch which he illegally registered, a matter which had been brought before the Corporate Affairs Commission, who revoked the registration.
However, Farouk has been continuously recognised as the leader of AFAN, by the Minister who hails from the same state with him despite several petitions from the Arc Kabir Ibrahim led executive.
The minister’s actions in siding with Farouk despite a case in court to resolve the leadership tussle of AFAN, has been allegedly linked to the minister’s shameful removal as chairman of AFAN Kano, long before he became appointed minister.
Witnesses at the scene stated that the minister after frantic efforts to get the Inspector General on phone to call off his men failed, resorted to giving an unhindered exit to Farouk in his official car, tantamount to obstruction of justice, much to the chagrin of the police officers.
A reliable source further disclosed that the policemen declined to follow the minister to his office.
Three Soldiers Injured as Troops Kill ISWAP Terrorists in Borno
Troops of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Hadin Kai have killed several ISWAP Terrorists in Dikwa town, Borno State.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the gallant troops decisively dealt with the terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate the town on Tuesday.
The terrorist elements were said to have mounted five gun trucks, others mounted motorcycles, while others moved by foot.
They were, however, met with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.
“The marauding terrorists were thoroughly vanquished forcing them to withdraw in high state of confusion abandoning their truck, guns and ammunition,” the statement read.
“During the encounter, six members of the terrorists groups were neutralized, several others were severely injured while the survivors withdrew in total disarray leaving behind their deceased colleagues”.
Three soldiers, however, sustained various degrees of injuries but have now been stabilised.
Items recovered during the encounter included one gun truck, eight AK 47 rifles, 40 rounds of 7.62mm Special, 39 special ammo, three motorcycles and six magazines.
To mop up the area, troops conducted exploitation in the early hours of Wednesday in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters along the terrorists’ withdrawal routes and recovered 90 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 on links belonging to the fleeing terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has commended the gallant troops over the feat and charged them to remain resolute and steadfast.
He urged them to maintain the tempo in order to ensure total obliteration of terrorist groups within the North East region.
Onion Marketers Threaten to Stop Supply to Southern Nigeria
The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria has threatened to stop the supply of onions down to the South from June 7, 2021.
The group said it would carry out the threat if the government fails to compensate its members who have suffered losses in recent times following attacks in some parts of the country.
President of the association, Aliyu Umar, made this known to journalists at a press briefing on Sunday in Sokoto State.
He explained that the government under a committee led by the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello had promised to compensate their members, many of whom suffered huge losses in Abia, Imo and Oyo States during the #EndSARS and Shasha market crisis.
However, according to him, the promise has not been kept and the members have reportedly lost over 4 billion naira.
“We are calling on the state and Federal Government to restore law and order in the state, and we are calling on the good people of the southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace as we are only there for our lawful businesses,” Umar said.
“We also call on state governments to collaborate with fed govt to set up a committee to investigate the incident that led to the loss of lives and property of the Onion Association members.
“Furthermore, if the government fails to adhere to what we are saying, we are shutting the supply of onion to the entire south by Monday the 7th of June 2021”.
In recent times, the price of Onions skyrocketed from just about ₦20,000 to nearly a hundred thousand, in less than a year – a situation which quickly gave it the reputation of ‘new gold’.
While the price hike could not be understood by many, some traders have attributed the increment to seasonal fluctuations, a general increase in prices of fertilizers among other items, strike actions as well as insecurity arising from the #EndSARS protests.
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