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U.S donates 200 ventilators to Nigeria

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The U.S. government on Tuesday donated 200 life-saving ventilators to Nigeria as a fulfilment to help Nigeria in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the 200 ventilators being transferred are compact, portable and can easily be mobilsed to reach patients with the most severe symptoms of COVID-19

The U.S Ambassador said earlier this year, following a discussion with President Buhari, U.S President, Donald Trump has promised to assist Nigeria in fighting the pandemic,

“This donation consists of 200 ventilators, which, as we all know by now, are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection.

“They will certainly be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria and I wish to convey the appreciation of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“And of the government of Nigeria, to President Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture.

“Our support includes training on the use and maintenance of this equipment, ensuring that the ventilators can address other respiratory illnesses in the years beyond the virus.

“USAID will work very closely and energetically over the next couple of weeks with the Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force to bring these ventilators across each of Nigeria’s states and the FCT.

“In fighting the COVID pandemic, it is critically important that doctors have adequate access to medical oxygen, as these ventilators depend on a reliable supply to be effective in treating patients with severe symptoms.

“The United States has been pivotal in supporting Nigeria’s membership in the ‘Every Breath Counts’ Coalition. Nigeria is now one of just two countries in Africa to have an “oxygen roadmap” that seeks to fight against pneumonia, hypoxemia, and now COVID-19,” Leonard said.

Leonard lauded Nigeria’s effort in combating the virus and efforts of the country in taking early action to combat and mitigate its spread.”

“I hope to see Nigeria continue this trajectory as an example for other nations to follow,” Leonard added.

She said the American people remain committed to working with Nigeria to implement effective disease surveillance efforts and to improve its capacity to safely isolate and treat confirmed cases as we look ahead to a virus-free Nigeria.

Receiving the ventilators on behalf of the Federal Government, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the ventilators were valuable equipment to support Nigeria in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ehanire said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), acting on behalf of the United States Government, invited him to receive the ventilators on behalf of the Government of Nigeria.

The Minister noted that the delivery of the medical ventilators, courtesy of the President and people of the United States of America, will help boost Nigeria’s intensive care response capability.

“We have worked hard to cope and, where necessary, adjust to the changes.

“The Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health Agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges.

“Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to COVID-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services.

“I believe they, and the people of Nigeria, are encouraged and reassured by the arrival of these ventilators to facilitate critical care aspects of treatment.

“I wish to also commend the United States Agency for International Development, the US Center for Disease Control and the US Ambassador to Nigeria – Her Excellency Mary Beth Leonard, for their interest and engagement in Nigeria, even beyond the advent of COVID-19.

“Her Excellency has demonstrated personal concern by paying a solidarity visit to the Federal Ministry of Health,” Ehanire said.

Ehanire however called on the United States Government to lend its full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralize the threat of COVID-19 to the global community and to guarantee fair allocation to all countries and people.

“The speed and ease with which COVID-19 has spread across the globe clearly shows that it is a threat to mankind.

“Without thefull collaboration of all nations, the threat of COVID to any one part of the world is a threat to all,” Ehanire also said.

“We appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the United States is also fighting its own fierce battle against the COVID-19 plague. We wish them the very best in this challenge,” Ehanire said.

Ehanire further said the nation witnessed the severity of the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on health systems, economy and social structure of all nations, especially on low and lower middle-income countries of the world.

Also speaking, the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the more the ventilators, the more chances for people to survive COVID-19.

Ihekweazu who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Lab Services, Mrs Nwando Mba said the additional ventilators will support Nigeria’s response to not just COVID-19 but also intensive care.

The NCDC D-G said most of the COVID-19 related deaths were as a result of respiratory complications as he reiterates the benefits of the additional ventilators.

Ihekwazu also appreciated the U.S government for its many support and the donation of ventilators.

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Military in Burkina Faso takes over government, announces on live TV

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More than a dozen mutinous soldiers on Monday announced that a military junta now controls Burkina Faso after they detained the democratically elected president following a day of gun battle in the capital.

A junior officer announced the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of the government and parliament, and the closure of the country’s borders from midnight Monday, reading from a statement signed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

Announcing that a new Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR) would re-establish “constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”, the soldiers blamed the takeover on the civilian president’s failure to contain an Islamist insurgency.

They also announced that a nationwide nightly curfew would be enforced. The soldiers said the takeover was carried out without violence and those detained were in a secure location.

The statement read;

“MPSR, which includes all sections of the army, has decided to end President Kaboré’s post today.

“The constitution has been suspended. Secondly, the government has been dissolved. Thirdly, the national assembly has been dissolved. Fourthly, land and air borders have been closed from January 24, 2022. Lastly, a curfew has been imposed from 9pm to 5am.

Kabore has been in power since 2015 and reelected in 2020 on a pledge to prioritize the fight against the insurgency. He has faced rising public anger over his failure to stop the bloodshed in the poor, landlocked country.

On Monday, the People’s Movement for Progress ruling party said Kabore was the victim of an “aborted assassination attempt”. A government minister, who was not named, also survived an attempt on his life and the president’s home was ransacked, it added.

The party said the presidential palace had been “encircled” by “a group of armed and masked men” and the national radio and television “occupied”.

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Soun, Alao-Akala’s deaths: UNILORIN V-C leads NYSC Board members on condolence visit

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has described the death of the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, as a huge loss not only to the people of Ogbomoso, but also to the entire mankind.

According to the University of Ilorin’s bulletin issued on Monday, Abdulkareem, made the statement when he led a four-man team of the Board on a condolence visit to the Soun’s Palace.

The Vice-Chancellor, who is also a member of the Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), also condoled with the people of Ogbomoso on the death of Chief Christopher Alao-Akala, a former governor of Oyo State.

He described the late Oba Oyewumi as a well-recognised industrialist and a renowned traditional ruler.

He said that Oyewumi’s tentacles were spread beyond political, religious and tribal affiliations before and during his 48 years of reign in Ogbomoso land.

While eulogising the late traditional ruler, Abdulkareem said with the progressive development in the town, reported, seen and testified to, the Ajagungbade III lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation by all.

He condoled with the entire people of Oyo State, especially the indigenes of Ogbomoso, over the demise of the traditional ruler, as well as the recent loss of their illustrious daughter and sons.

He also described as sad the demise of Prof. Taibat Danmole; the eldest daughter of the late Soun, who was also a former staff member of the University of Ilorin, Chief Christopher Alao-Akala and Prof. Alex Gboyega of the Political Science Department, University of Ibadan.

Abdulkareem prayed for the peaceful repose of the departed, and the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss for the families, and the entire Ogbomoso people.

In his response, Prince Oyekunle Oyewumi, the surviving eldest Prince, and a member of the National Board of NYSC, who spoke on behalf of the royal family, commended the team for commiserating with the royal family.

He added that the entire people of Ogbomoso and the royal house had taken solace in the fact that the Crown lived well.

Similarly, the team also paid another condolence visit to the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who is also a prominent son of Ogbomoso, and whose Ministry oversees the NYSC.

While welcoming the team, the Minister, who is also the `Agbaakin’ ( a traditional chief’ of Ogbomoso land, thanked them for their thoughtfulness by identifying with Ogbomoso land during the dark time of mourning, saying it is best known to God.

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UK orders probe into Islamophobia claims by conservative lawmaker

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into conservative lawmaker, Nusrat Ghani claims that she was sacked as a junior minister in 2020 over concerns that she was a Muslim.

A Downing Street spokesperson announced on Monday in a brief statement to reporters that “the Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP.’’

In an interview published by the Sunday Times, Ghani said that she was dismissed as a junior transport minister in February 2020.

She said following her dismissal a senior Conservative lawmaker told her that her Muslim faith made colleagues “uncomfortable” and that her career would be “destroyed” if she tried to complain.

In a subsequent statement on Sunday, she said that she had directly informed Johnson about the matter but that the prime minister wrote to her that he could not get involved and suggested that she use the internal Conservative party’s complaint process.

Reacting to the launch of a probe, Ghani wrote on Twitter that she welcomed the decision and asked that all that was said in Downing Street, and by her senior Conservative colleague be included in the terms of reference of the inquiry.

“As I said to the Prime Minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate,’’ she added.

The Islamophobia claims came as Johnson was facing calls to resign over a string of parties that were allegedly held in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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