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Palliative: Gov. Mbah begins distribution of 104,000 bags of rice, maize to rural poor in Enugu

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Peter Mbah

 

Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State on Wednesday flagged off delivery of 52,000 bags of rice and 52,000 bags of maize as palliatives to the urban and rural poor in the state.

A breakdown of the palliatives showed each of the 260 wards in the state will receive 200 bags of rice and 200 bags of maize.

Mbah, however, said the palliatives were part of the short-term strategies to fighting poverty, saying the medium and long-term plans of his administration remained to eradicate poverty in the state in line with his manifesto.

“Part of our vision is to eradicate poverty in Enugu State and we knew that at the time we were saying that, there was a high rate of poverty in the state.

“But, a few days into our administration, we have had to contend with a number of policies initiated by the Federal Government such as the removal of the petrol subsidy, and also the unification of the foreign exchange rates.

“What that meant was that the people we have in our poverty bracket suddenly expanded because their purchasing power declined drastically,” Mbah said.

Mbah said that as government that was pro-people, they had to embark on short-term strategy to reduce the pressure on the people, while still bearing in mind the long-term goal of eradicating poverty.

*We are making sure that we introduce strategic programmes that would in the long run get our people constructively engaged, and make a living from such engagements.

“So, what we have simply come to do here today is to present palliatives to the people of Enugu State, particularly our rural poor, urban poor and our downtrodden.

“We have also put a structure in place to make that happen by decentralising the distribution, involving local council leaderships, the town unions, the religious institutions, among others such that once we leave here, these items will begin to get distributed across the 17 local governments,” he said.

The governor also announced the procurement of buses to subsidise transportation and enable the people to go about their socio-economic activities with ease.

 

He recalled that his administration had earlier set up committees to verify and clear all arrears of pensions and gratuities owed public servants in the state.

This, he said, would ensure that the elderly and most vulnerable were able to live a meaningful life in the midst of the economic hardship.

Also speaking at the event, Okechukwu Edeh, the Chairman of the Enugu State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), who is also a member of the state palliatives committee, promised that the items would trickle down to the poor immediately.

“As the ALGON Chairman, I promise you that I will work with my colleagues to make sure that these get to the downtrodden.

“It is not for everybody; it is for the poor, and it must get to them based on the expanded social register that has been compiled,” he said.

Meanwhile, different sections of the beneficiaries have commended the Enugu State Government for transparency and inclusiveness in the management of the palliatives.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Enugu State chapter, Onyebuchi Mbah, said: “I wish to say kudos to the current administration in Enugu State because they deemed it fit to practice inclusiveness.

“They involved most vulnerable groups, persons with disabilities in this exercise. I want them to continue in that direction.

“Let me also say that in the exercise so far, the state governor has played his own role and we hope that the directives he has given will be followed so that these items will get to the most vulnerable population”

Also speaking, Mrs Chika Nwankwo, Councillor representing Awgu Ward I in Awgu LGA described the palliatives as “sweet news to the poor in the rural areas where I come from.

“The poor, the sick, and many who cannot afford one square meal in a day are eagerly waiting for us to return with the goodies,” she stated.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Lassa Fever Kills 150 In Nigeria — NCDC

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), 150 people died from Lassa virus in 125 local government areas throughout 27 states in the federation between January and March 2024.

The NCDC reported that the deaths were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% overall from week one to week thirteen, 2024. This is higher than the CFR for the same time in 2023 (17.5%).

In its Lassa Fever Situation Report Epi Week 13, which was released on March 25–31, 2024, the agency revealed that 806 of the 5,295 suspected cases that were recorded were confirmed. Eyes Of Lagos reports,

According to the report, in week 13, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 25 in Epi week 12, 2024 to 15. These cases were reported in Ondo, Bauchi, Plateau and Edo states.

 

In total for 2024, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs, even as 62 percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 38 percent of cases were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 62 percent confirmed cases, the NCDC said Ondo reported 24 percent, Edo 22 percent, and Bauchi 16 percent. The predominant age group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32years), with a male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases of 1:1.

From the report, the number of suspected cases (5,295) increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (4,338).

The agency confirmed that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 13, the report noted.

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