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Mixed reactions greet Tinubu’s broadcast in Kogi



Mixed reactions have greeted President Bola Tinubu’s broadcast with some stakeholders applauding and some berating his policy statements on the nation’s economy.

Prof. Alewo Akubo, the Vice Chancellor of Salem University, Lokoja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Tuesday that aside of “dowsing the tension and anxiety in the hungry and angry citizens”, the speech lacked the desired substance.

Akubo said that the quick manner the president addressed the nation in the face of the biting economic hardship was apt and commendable.

“Unlike the former president Muhammadu Buhari, who hardly bother to address critical national issues on time, Tinubu has shown some level of maturity and understanding of the plights of the citizens.

“What his speech lacked was deliberate and biting actions that could raise the hope of the common man, especially on the comatose refineries and the high price of petrol.


“What most people were expecting was a reversal of pump price of petrol to N540.00 per litre to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, but to no avail,” he said.

While noting that Nigerians expected actions that can change the hard times without much delay, the vice-chancellor advised the president to throw something tangible on the people rather than promises.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Onoja, the Kogi Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), described the president’s speech as “good” and “straight to the point”.

Onoja praised Tinubu for showing Nigerians and the international community that he is worried over the economic hardship being experienced in the country.

“To me, the speech is a symbol of hope to all citizens looking at the transport, health, education, economic sectors he promised to address their challenges for the good of all,” the APC scribe said.


On his part, Mr Eleojo Opaluwa, the state Vice Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the broadcast was far from the reality of things.

Opaluwa said: “If we carry out a research on the cause of the pain in Nigeria today, it is nothing but the non-functionality of our refineries, leading to the import of refined petroleum products.

“Unfortunately, in Mr President’s speech, there was no where that he made reference to how our refineries can be made to function soon.

“I believe that once we start refining our crude locally, it will force down the price of PMS, and the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, will significantly reduced.

“To sum it all, president Tinubu’s speech has not addressed the real issues,” he said.


Amb. Idris Muraina, the Chairman, Kogi Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (KONGONET), described the national broadcast by the president as an interesting message.

Muraina said that the speech goes to show that he is listening to citizens concerns, which longed for government from local, state and national levels to address.

“Secondly, the contents of the broadcast are strategic and well outlined, only that I have a great deal of concern with the monitoring mechanism that the government will employ.

“The president would have done well to mention names of stakeholders to be engaged to monitor effective and smooth implementation of all the initiatives he outlined.

“It is on record that the past government gave an order for 50,000 tonnes of grains to be distributed across the country as a palliative for COVID-19, which we at the civic space never saw how it went especially at the state level.


“We are always worried that when lofty initiatives of this nature are floated, it always hit the rock at the state and local government levels largely due to poor monitoring mechanism,” he lamented.

Dr Joshua Silas, the branch Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University Lokoja (FUL), said that the president’s speech lacked biting teeth.

Silas noted that the speech was also deficient of concrete actions on some of his (Tinubu’s) policy statements and “therefore fell short of the expectations of Nigerians”.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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