Top council officials in Borno absent as Governor Zulum pays unscheduled visit to Chibok, Bama, Gwoza, Askira,Uba , others
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
Top council officials including local government secretaries who are currently over seeing their various councils were absent when Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state paid a surprise visits to Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Askira/uba, Chibok and Damboa local government to ensure the restoration of civil authorities.
The Senior officials of local government areas including some secretaries who currently oversee affairs of their councils, directors and head of departments, were absent and secretariats mostly empty when Governor Zulum undertook a two days surprise tour of six local government areas in central and southern parts of Borno state to monitor the quality of governance at the grassroots and to assess ongoing projects.
The Governor departed Maiduguri on Wednesday With no one guessing his destination, drove to straight to Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Damboa, and Askira-Uba where he passed the night before heading back to Maiduguri on Thursday evening.
“None of the heads of department is around, neither the Secretary nor the other principal officers are reporting to duty. Look at the Secretariat, termites all over, an indication that nobody is operating in the Secretariat. Government cannot allow this situation to continue. We came from Maiduguri to determine the presence of senior public servants at their places of work. We have been pleading with them for quite sometime, to be operating from these local government areas so that citizens will feel the impact of governance at the grassroots but from all indication, many are not listening. We will take punitive measures because we cannot allow this system to continue” Zulum said at one of the LGAs.
It could be recalled that the State Government had two weeks ago, directed top government officials and senior civil servants to report to work after easing its lockdown to prevent spread of coronavirus. Even before COVID-19 outbreak, senior officials at local government areas in Borno are notorious for abandoning their local government to operate in Maiduguri only to return there for few days when FAAC allocations are received, or when they know the Governor is heading there.
Zulum took the clever officials by surprise this time because not even his security details thought he was travelling far from the state capital under the Ramadan and with Sallah around the corner.
During the visit, Governor Zulum had in each of the six local government areas, visited council secretariats and took roll call of absentee secretaries, heads of department, directors and other ranking officials.but however did not announce punishment yet.
While doing roll call on Wednesday, Zulum inspected projects being carried out by the state government in Konduga, Bama and Gwoza. In the three places, ranking officials were mostly not on ground. Gwoza’s new secretariat, which the Governor commissioned few months ago, was even locked.
Zulum’s next destination was Askira town which is the headquarters of Askira-Uba LGA. He passed the night there. Following day, the Governor moved to Chibok and Damboa towns. About 16 projects at various levels of completion were inspected by the Governor during his two days across the six LGAs.
During the suprise tour, of the Governor,Emirs of Bama, Gwoza, Uba, and Askira Emirate councils were all on ground during the Governor’s impromptu visits to their palaces. Zulum paid them homage to encourage them.
While at the Shehu of Bama palace, Governor Zulum in a brief remark announced that any house in Bama not occupied in two weeks will be temporarily allocated to IDPs pending when the owners are ready to occupy them.
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.
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.
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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