Gov. Babagana Zulum Of Borno has inaugurated a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the first index case of COVID-19 in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor, who performed the inauguration at the Government House, Maiduguri on Thursday, gave the committee two weeks to submit its report.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Umar Kadafur, who doubles as the Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force in the state, Zulum said that the investigation had become necessary in order to clear all speculations.
He said: “The first COVID-19 pandemic occurred in Pulka town in Gwoza Local Government area.
“It was when a local staff of Medicine Sans Frontier, otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders, manifested the symptoms and was brought to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for treatment.
“His blood sample was taken for testing to determine whether or not he had the virus. Unfortunately, by the time he tested positive for coronavirus, the patient had already died.
“This was the first confirmed index case of COVID-19 and the first death recorded as a result of the virus in the state.
“To determine whether the person’s nature of work with the international NGO in Pulka, Gwoza, had, in any way, been a factor in contracting the virus.
“To contact some relevant individuals and organisations in Gwoza, including the Emir and the international NGO, in order to determine whether they had any prior knowledge of the event that led to the virus in Pulka.
“Although, he had no record of recent travels, he had manifested the known symptoms of coronavirus which begged the question: “how did he contract the virus?” he said.
Zulum said that the committee would investigate the emergence of the first confirmed index case, considering the fact that the affected person had no record of recent travels or had recent contact with people who had tested positive.
The committee, he also said, would assess the activities and interactions of the victim with his colleagues and relatives between the time he started manifesting the symptoms and the time he was brought to UMTH.
The governor said that the investigation would determine whether such activities had contributed in making the situation worse, especially in the spread of the virus.
Zulum said that findings by the committee would enable the government ascertain and determine the culpability or otherwise of any individual, group or organisation, directly or indirectly involved in the emergence of the virus.
He added that government would apportion blame, where applicable.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Prof. Isa Marte, assured that his committee would complete the assignment within two weeks, as directed by the governor.
Marte, who is also the state Commissioner for Higher Education, said that the assignment was very important, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If this pandemic or virus is not treated very fast, it can have serious effect, not only on the lives of the people but also, on the economy of the state.
“This investigation is very important, even for the record of the government to know how the first index case got the virus and this committee will objectively investigate the matter, without fear or favour,” he said.
Marte said that the committee would not mind to step on toes in its quest at unraveling the circumstances surrounding the first index case.
Plateau State Government Revokes 3 PW Roads Contracts, Says The Contracts Will Be Re-awarded.
Yahaya Idris, Jos.
Plateau state Government has approved the termination of three road projects awarded to a company PW Nigeria Limited, explaining that the contracts were revoked based on request by the company handling the projects.
PW Nigeria is one of the leading construction contractors of roads, bridges, airports, urban infrastructure, dams and water treatment.
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, who spoke to newsmen after the State Executive Council Meeting in Jos said the contracts would be re-awarded.
He said the projects include Shinkwan-Tunkus-Shendan bypass, Mangu bypass and the Tahos-Ganwuri section one roads.
Mr. Manjang said council also approved the scaling down of the Lalong legacy projects by fifty percent.
He said that the state Executive also approved the engagement of a consultant to carry out review of the audit report by the federal inland revenue service on unremitted Tax and VAT by the state MDA’s between 2016 and 2017 .
Commissioner for Finance in the state , Regina Soemlat ,who also spoke to newsmen said the state is set to obtain a loan of One hundred million naira from commercial banks to invest in the education and water sectors.
She said the loan is intended to finance counterpart fundings for the state Universal Basic Education Board and the Partnership for Expanding Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes that will benefit people at the grassroots.
The approval to obtain the bank facility which would be serviced within one year was made during the state executive council meeting presided by Governor Simon Lalong.
The council also approved the printing of booklets of vehicle licence, certificate of road worthiness and general receipts which the commissioner explained that they would be produced in a way that will check forgery.
Fire Guts PeeLinks Electronic Mall In Lokoja
Barely few days of Felele Tanker explosion that left several people dead, destruction of million worth of properties, popular electronic mall in Lokoja, Kogi state has been gutted by fire, razing down multi-million worth of electronic appliances.
According to eyewitness who spoke to Globaltimesnigeria, The incident was reported to have occurred at about 10:47 pm on Friday, The Mall which is located at about 100meters to the office of the fire service couldn’t receive the appropriate attention of the fire service as at the time, the office has closed for its services.
All efforts to provide help by people living around the residence prove abortive.
The people who were greeted by confusion expressed dissatisfaction over the incident, describing it as evil.
The people living at the neighborhood angrily called on the Government to find permanent solution to prevent further occurrence, stating that they have lack of confidence in the present Adminstration, as the government is seen at all times failing in their primary responsibility of providing adequate security of lives and Properties.
It could be recalled that, Pastor Gideon Isah had call for severe prayer for Lokoja, and Kogi state.
BREAKING: FG Obtains Fresh Order To Stop Planned Labour Strike
The Global Times Nigeria reports that the Federal Government has obtained a fresh order stopping the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress from embarking on their planned strike which is to start on Monday.
According to the reports, the restraining order was issued on Friday by Justice Ibrahim Galadima of the National Industrial Court in Abuja, following an ex parte application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
This came barely 24 hours after the same judge made a similar restraining ex parte order in favour of a group, Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association, on Thursday.
The duo of Acting Director of the Department Civil Litigation of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Maimuna Shiru, and Mr Tijjani Gazali, led the Federal Government’s team, who moved the ex parte application that was later granted by Justice Galadima on Friday.
The NLC and TUC had jointly declared to embark on a nationwide strike on Monday to press for the reversal of the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.
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