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Adamawa: #5b loan for campaign or for settling salaries? Student cry #25M Extortion



ADAMAWA: N5b Loan For Campaign Or For Settling Salaries? Students Cry N25m Extortion

By Adamu Muhammad Dodo Yola 10/12/2018

The salary arrears and other entitlements of the health workers and public servants with local government authorities in Adamawa state Nigeria, are yet to be paid by the Bindow led government, weeks after having granted a loan of five billion naira requested, primarily intended for for that purpose, the Periscope Global Investigate would reveal.

It could be recalled that the unanimous voice vote approval of the N5b loan by the Adamawa lawmakers, followed a request for such window, sent to the state house of assembly by Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibirilla Bindow and read on the floor of the House by the Speaker Kabiru Mijinyawa during plenary session, because the LGA went fallow as workers wallow in abject poverty, a sorrowful devastation, lacking any strength to think about any meaning in democracy rather than demeaning the public service and destroying any confidence in governance.

The inability on the part of Bindow led government to fulfill the promise of bringing back the long gone happiness on the faces and to the families of the public servants by settling their salaries and other arrears of entitlements, gave room for rumour and information from yet to be verified sources that the money would be meant for campaign rather than for payment of workers’ entitlements.

“Bindow would forever fail to settle the workers’ salary, for once declaring that he couldn’t source for loan simply to settle salaries of the public servants,” a critic argued.

“In spite of the bailouts, the repeated Paris Club refund funds, the monthly allocation, other sharing formula and the improved internally generated revenues, governor Bindow could not bring succour to the civil servants, especially, with primary health and local government authorities. What makes you think it’ll be any different with the N5b sourced loan?” A public servant lamented.

“It’ll be money politics in Adamawa this 2019 elections than ever before. The governor has to provide means to be able to blend. Loan is probably one alternative among other possibilities. The point however is that the public servants will not be required for any mediation with a view to getting the loan sourced. So, why should they be seen, heard or be pleased in the sharing formula, lacking the capacity to impeach or implement any favourable action?” A political analyst would say.

“You see, the trade unions leadership could not react to such unfortunate treatment because, as was strongly insinuated, union dues have been paid upfront and up-to-date, with no arrears of any entitlement. Union members are betrayed, left alone to sail the ocean of wave rather unguided,” a public servants analysing the weakness of trade union in the state, would say.

However, the silent voices of elders in rural areas who are directly affected by the economic decay in their various communities owing to the inconsistencies associated with payments of salaries, revealed to the Periscope Investigate that the “markets are barren with no buyers for a brilliant selling. Children remain playing at home because parents can’t pay school fees. We only pray that we don’t fall sick.

“Politicians should remember us not only during the time of campaigns when must of us would have been claimed by insecurity of poverty as a result of misrule.

“The other day some of our children in tertiary institutions of learning, whom we have to sell our farm produce, even before harvest, to be able to raise their school fees, sent some of them to get them N500 each for scholarship form.

“Some parents were able to raise the amount, while some parents from among us could not secure even a loan, sent message to their children to be patient and commit the condition to prayers.

“Our children who paid the N500 for scholarship form, are eventually, left lamenting that it was a hoax for extortion, a kind of senior indigenes exploiting indigent students, while their children are better favoured as students. This is a reincarnation of apartheid in the state.

“That’s how best we know how we can tell a story, calling for redress,” the famished looking elders would lament.

Adamawa state students lamented that they were robbed of over twenty five million naira by the government that ought to have sponsored their education in an ideal situation.

“We suddenly fail victims of deception, exposed to exploitation.

“We were asked to purchase scholarship forms at an exorbitant amount of N500. Over fifty thousand students paid for the forms and amount raised was a whopping some of over N25,000, 000.

“It summarily went down the drain. Come to think of it, why must students have to pay any fee for scholarship form?

“We’re actually advised to institute the case before EFCC or the court of law. We’re working on a superior alternative against betrayal of trust, extortion, exploitation, deception and financial oppression, suggestive of financial crime.

“The most unfortunate, a near inhumanity, is that the parents or guardians of some of us are primary health workers and public servants with local government authorities, who are yet to be paid arrears of their earned salaries and other entitlements,” some of the students’ union leaders lamented.

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Again Boko Haram Attacks Babbangida, Yobe State



Again Boko Haram Attacks Babbangida, Yobe State

By Mohammed Usman Damaturu

Armed men suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram, on Saturday attacked Babbangida community in Tarmuwa Local Government Area of Yobe.

The State Police Public Relation Officer, Dungus Abdulkareem, who spoke to newsmen in Damaturu, said the incident occurred around 4 pm and the insurgents came in four Hilux vans, disrupting the market with sporadic gunshots forcing the Divisional Police Officer and his men to make a strategic withdrawal from the area.

The PPRO also disclosed that he later lost contact with his DPO in the area, who he suspected ran for safety where there was no telephone network.

“The preliminary report I got from our DPO in Babbangida was that Boko Haram came into the town loaded with four Hilux vehicles and opened fire causing pandemonium in the village market.

“My DPO was later unreachable and I suspected he had to look for safety. I later got him and he told me that he saw the town in smoke from where he was and therefore could not give me the extent of damage in the area,” Mr Abdulkareem said.

Mr Abdulkareem also said that “I gathered that an air force jet came around 5.30 pm but the boys rather hibernated inside the town and refused to leave. I don’t have details of the exploits of the jet but I will furnish you with every necessary information as soon as I have it,” Mr Abdulkareem said.

Adamu, a driver who was transporting bread to Babbangida, also confirmed the incident saying that he abandoned his vehicle loaded with bread and ran for safety.

I heard the gunshots and later saw the insurgents approaching us as I was approaching Babangida from Damaturu. I immediately stopped and left my car full of bread and ran into the bush,” he narrated.

Babbangida is 50 km northeast from Damaturu, the state capital and has come under attack by the insurgents, many times.

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Medical Association Urges Full Implementation of Medical Residency Training Act to Address Challenges in the Health Sector in Borno



Medical Association urges full implementation of Medical Residency Training Act to address challenges in the health sector in Borno

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Borno state chapter has urged for the full implementation of Medical Residency Training Act in addressing numerous challenges in the health sector in the state.

The President of the NMA in the Borno state chapter, Dr. Ali Mohammad-Ramat who disclosed this at the 2020 Annual Physician’s Week on Tuesday in Maiduguri said that the call was imperative to address the challenges bedevilling the health sector especially in getting skilled human resources.

Dr Ramat said that the physician week was an annual long week events of the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), to celebrate medical personnels contribution to effective healthcare services delivery and research in Nigeria.

Mohammad-Ramat explained that it also provided an opportunity for medical personnels to review events of the health sector during the past twelve months and identify areas of possible improvement.

He said that the NMA in this year’s Physicians week celebration was deeply concerned with the increasing trend of suicide among Nigerians and the mortality ravaged by the COVID-19 pandamic.

“It is for this reason that the 2020 physician week celebration themed Strategies for Health System Recovery During COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, while the Sub-theme is Dental caries,”, Dr Ramat added.

He lamented that the COVID-19 pandamic has been spreading rapidly globally, with a considerable impact on the global morbidity, mortality and healthcare utilisation as well as social and economic dislocation of families, communities, state and country’, stressing that the implementation of the medical residency training in the state teaching hospital would go along way in mitigating the impact pose by the challenges.

Mohammad-Ramat also explained that another neglected public health diseases in Nigeria was the burden of dental services, despite advances in the practices, adding that the number of workforce of health personnel’s in the state was a clear indications that they are inadequate to achieve the Universal Health Coverage in the state.

The NMA therefore, urged the federal government to redeemed it pledge of allocation 15 percent of it budget allocations to the health in order to address challenges in the sectors.

Also speaking, Dr. Joseph Jatau, a former Chief Medical Director, said that the residency training when fully implemented in the state would produce a great number of Specialist in various fields which would go along way to alleviate the problems militating against the provision of modern and sound healthcare services to the people.

He explained that the residency training would also save the state government alots of funds used to sponsor doctors for specialised in various fields abroad which had brought huge financial burden to the state, stressing that the huge resources saved in the trainings could be use to further improve the health institutions or re-channeled to other people’s oriented projects thereby making healthcare available to all.

“The residency training will also open room for research activities, especially in collaboration with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, where postgraduate students will be trooping into the institution for knowledge oriented programmes.”, he added.

He lamented that mal-distribituon, poor skills-mix, and limited capacity were other challenges faced across the different health workers categories and cardres in addition to gross urban and rural disparities existing in the distribution of available human resources between LGAs, adding that the worsened security challenges and lack of requisite manpower, particularly doctors, worst of which was the unavailability of the required specialist and consultants.

“Borno has a projected population of 5,860, 200, million, according to the 2006 National Population Commission’s census. More than half of this population are women (50.8 percent), 20 percent are under 5, 22 percent are women of child bearing age (15-49) and five percent are pregnant women.. The state has also total fertility rate of 6.1 percent while frequent unplanned pregnancies pose high risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality due to a weak health system and protracted crises situation in the state”, he further pointed out.

He said “People of the state over the past decade have surffered serious security challenges culminating in Humanitarian crises ranging from displacement, economic hardship unemployment which has imposed public health issues on the population.. These problems have led to increased demand on health needs of the people and this requires concerted efforts toward rebuilding and sustaining the health resources of the stage.”

“Luckily, sound healthcare service to the citizenry is on the very top priority of the Borno Government to ensure that no citizen is left out of the sound health care services, through the establishment of the Contributory Healthcare Scheme,”he said.

Jatau said that Borno state has been among the leading states in terms of meeting the existing health facilities but it’s efforts were compromised by inadequate staffing, adding that Based on the RAMS 2018 report, the state has about 810 facilities, comprising of about 85 Primary Health Care Hospitals, 317 health clinics, 294 health posts, 57 IDPs clinics, 3 Tertiary Hospitals and 53 Secondary Health Facilities but lamented that only 424 of the Health facilities were fully functional, nothing that 64 percent hospitals were damaged by the insurgents.

While listing four dimension of achieving a sustainable health care workforce which included availability of competence, responsiveness and productivity, he said “Looking at the health indices in Borno state, there is a need for delibrate policy for achieving both number and quality of Specialist for qualitative and affordable healthcare to the growing population of the stage.

He commended Gov. Babagana Zulum for constituting a high powered Committee to develop a blue print for an establishment of a State University Teaching Hospital with a view toward providing effective, qualitative and affordable healthcare to the people of the state.

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Taimako, CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building



Taimako,_CDI, Engages 150 Youths On Peace Building

By Baba Saleh, Damaturu

Taimako Community Development Initiative in conjunction with European Union, British Council Managing Conflict programme in the Northeast have engaged 150 youths in lesson sharing workshop on peace building.

Speaking at the workshop in Damaturu the Executive Director Taimako_CDI Gambo Garba Muhammad disclosed that the training was aimed at increasing the knowledge of the youths on conflict management and peace promotion.

He said the project was to support implementation of initiatives that will address local drivers of conflict such as drug abuse, sexual and gender based violence and other form of anti social behaviour.

Under same project, he said about 7 dialogue sessions were earlier held in the three targeted LGA’s of Bade, Damaturu and Geidam all aimed at shaping the minds of the youths to shun any form violence and avoid been recruited by the insurgents.

In their separate remarks at the occasion the Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashimi II represented by the village head of Gwange, Alhaji Muhammad Ramat and The state commissioner of police Yahaya Sahabo Abubakar thanked Taimako_CDI for carrying the youths from both genders on peace building inititives.

The commissioner of women affairs represented by the Deputy Director Human resource, Zanna Bura Aji Baitu has charged the participants to keep to the lessons learnt and continue to strive for peaceful coexistance in all their dealings.

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