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Renewed Boko Haram attack; Gov. Zulum goes spiritual, calls for fasting, and prayers on Monday

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Renewed Boko Haram attack,:, Gov. Zulum goes spiritual, calls for fasting, and prayers on Monday

By Madu Mohammed, , Maiduguri

The Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has declared Monday, February 24, 2020 for statewide fasting and prayers to combine with intensified offensive by Nigeria’ military and volunteer forces against boko haram insurgents.

Governor Babagana Zulum made the declaration in a six-minute broadcast to the people of Borno State. He however said there will be no public holiday on the coming Monday said “Let us pray to Him with the purest intention, total devotion, submission and unwavering faith.”, he also appealed

He urged both Muslim and christian faithfuls to fast and pray in seeking God intervention in ending the decade king insurgency, adding that the insurgents have lately resumed serial attacks on communities in different parts of Borno state with the latest in Chibok on Tuesday after previous one in Auno last Sunday.

The Governor while enumerating ongoing collaboration with the military, mass recruitment, equipping and deployment of thousands of volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, said his call for prayers was a strange but necessary decision made based on popular wish of Borno people.

He said “even though this decision is based on the popular demand of our people, some observers may rightly argue that it is a strange call. But then, Borno has been befallen with a strange evil since 2009, and sometimes, strange ailments require strange approaches”.

“As your Governor, I hereby declare Monday the 24th of February 2020 as a day of devotion to pray for the return of peace in Borno. I intend to fast on that day and I appeal to every one of us in Borno, who can, to join in that simple, but pricelessly rewarding spiritual endeavour. I also appeal for the sacrifices of all other well-meaning friends and associates of Borno who can, to join us in fasting on Monday, insha’Allah, for the restoration of peace in Borno State and rest of Nigeria,” the governor added.

Prof. Zulum further stressed that “I urge all of us to be steadfast in prayers. But in doing that, we certainly do not need to congregate in open fields for dramas.. It would also not matter whether we are within or outside Borno State and whether we are at work places, markets or not. There will be no public holiday, after all, God is everywhere, at home and at work.”

“His eminence, the Shehu of Borno has assured me of his call on imams of all mosques across the 27 local government areas of the state to recite the Qu’ran  throughout the five congregational prayers on Monday. Leaders of the Christian community have also assured me of special prayer sessions in churches.However, as citizens, we are all free to pray in the best ways we prefer” he further stated..

While recalling recent security threats , Gov Zulum said “Fellow citizens, in the last couple of days and weeks, Borno has faced resurging attacks from Boko Haram: Borno Governor declares Monday fasting, and prayers. The latest of these attacks happened around Chibok yesterday while the most horrific took place at Auno town in Konduga. Fellow citizens were atrociously set ablaze, amongst them, an infant and nursing mother. ”

I” share the grief of fellow citizens who have either lost their loved ones or confronted the agony of watching loved ones on hospital beds. I feel the trauma of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens who have lost everything and have been forced to live on makeshift shelters and rely on food and non-food aid as internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries” Zulum.said.

While assuring the people of Borno that they have never for one second, ignored constitutional and moral obligations towards the good people of Borno State, Zulum saud “as your Governor in the last nine months, I have lived, slept and woken up with a constant reminder that where I deliberately fail to do my utmost best in trying to secure lives, Allah will hold me accountable at His appointed time.”

He further said “Fellow citizens, security of lives and property is the number one essence of government.. We are continuously giving support to our gallant and patriotic armed forces in both logistics and mobilisation of community intelligence.We are constantly increasing, equipping and motivating thousands of volunteers who make unquantifiable sacrifices in joining the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes to defend our communities across the 27 local government areas”.

“Fellow citizens, we are more than determined to continue deploying and sustaining all lawful and necessary measures in our desperate search for enduring peace in Borno State.. These notwithstanding, this time around, I will like us to seek Allah’s intervention, not as individuals and groups, but as an entire state” he said.

Governor Zulum urged citizens to pray for those killed by insurgents, armed forces and volunteers who died fighting the insurgents and troops currently in battle fronts.

The governor said “In our prayers, we should be kind to remember thousands who were killed in this unfortunate crisis, and those who gave their lives fighting it. We should also be very deliberate that Monday, in giving help, particularly of food, to our nearest in need. Fellow citizens, we should fervently pray for our armed forces and volunteers, who right now, are in battle fronts risking their lives to keep us safe.”

These gallant fighters and those who died fighting, are the true heroes of Borno. We shall remain endlessly grateful to them” Zulum said.

The Governor while calling on citizens to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari said “We should pray for our President, Muhammadu Buhari, whose sincerity in the fight against Boko Haram has never been in doubt.”

Prof. zulum Fellow citizens, as your Governor, I testify that President Buhari is supremely dedicated to ending the Boko Haram insurgency. The evidence of the President’s dedication is the military’s freeing of thousands of abducted citizens and the liberation of many communities in Borno State hitherto under the sovereign administration of insurgents. Majority of these communities were rebuilt and are now occupying the house.

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

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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

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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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BOSG Reintroduces Common Entrance Examination Before Gaining Admission to JSS 1

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BOSG reintroduces common entrance Examination before gaining admission to JSS1

.‘No common entrance, no JSS 1- Governor Zulum

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Borno state government has directed for the immediate reintroduction be of Common Entrance Examination to primary six pupils, before proceeding to Junior Secondary schools across the state.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state who disclosed this while having a meeting with the Principals of 84 secondary schools in the state which held at the Multi Purpose Hall of the Government House, Maiduguri said ‘no common entrance no JSS 1 “.

Governor Zulum also directed the enforcement of a qualifying policy that henceforth, only pupils who pass the examination by securing a cut-off mark, should be eligible for admission into the first year of junior secondary schools (JSS 1), as against giving admissions to all pupils regardless of common entrance criteria.

The governor also directed that school authorities must henceforth take all qualifying and promotional examinations seriously as Government will monitor all conducts

During the meeting with the 84 principals of all public secondary schools in the State, Governor Zulum conditioned them to be honest in telling him the realities of challenges in the system, rather than cover-up for fear of victimization.

The Governor,is, who is also a university professor himself, gave the condition in his opening remarks said “I have been to several schools, and each time I asked, some of you principals found it difficult to explain the problems in your schools. I was later made to understand that if you tell me truth, you would either be transferred somewhere you wouldn’t like, or somehow be victimized. Please I beg all of you to tell me the truth. Let us tell ourselves the truth so that we can improve Borno’s public education from where we are now.”

“I am pleading with you to please be upright, be honest. Education is the bedrock of any development. Without functional educational system, we shall continue to experience this Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. Look at the kind of students we are graduating from our public secondary schools, most of them do not qualify for admission into universities, even those who get admitted find it very difficult to cope. I assure you that telling me the truth will not lead to anything happening to any of you by God’s grace” Zulum told the principals.

The Governor who went down memory lane to remind the principals of glorious days, and the need for all stakeholders to regain quality in public school system said ““I can recall that twenty years ago, principals were not willing to even become permanent secretaries because of job satisfaction. Today, that satisfaction is longer there. There is general decline in the standard of education in public institutions all over the country.”.

“There is the lack of qualified teachers, inadequate teaching facilities, poor maintenance culture, general decay of infrastructure, Government’s inability to ensure monitoring and evaluation, centralized control by the Ministry, unnecessary bureaucracy, and irregular training and retraining of teachers and other essential staff. There is poor data management and indiscipline amongst the major problems affecting the public school system” Zulum enumerated.

The Governor assured that measures will continually be adopted to improve the training and welfare of teachers and administrators of public school system to motivate high performance while supervision will be drastically changed for the purpose of punishing those unready to change.

After the Governor’s remark, the principals took turns to voice out problems of the 84 secondary schools across Borno’s 27 local government areas.

Most of the principals complained about poor quality of primary school graduates who come into secondary schools without strong foundation. They urged the Governor to critically look into reintroduction of common entrance examination at primary six levels, which should be yardstick for admission into secondary schools.

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