The European Union is allocating an additional €300 000 (N102m) in humanitarian aid to provide life-saving treatment to undernourished children in Nigeria’s northwestern states of Sokoto and Zamfara, where violence and forced displacement are leading to a further deterioration of the situation.
The funds will allow UNICEF to provide undernourished children and their mothers with immediate nutrition treatment. Furthermore, mobile health teams will be sent out to strengthen the capacity of health facilities in delivering comprehensive basic health care services, including supportive medical supervision.
“The EU is stepping up its humanitarian assistance in Nigeria to help in addressing without delay the child undernutrition emergency that the northwest region is facing. Our funding will contribute to deliver the much-needed treatment for children and improve access to basic health care. Timely help from the international community is essential to save children’s lives,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
As many as 280,000 children under five years of age across the states of Sokota and Zamfara are estimated to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which is a life-threating condition. Children are particularly vulnerable given the low vaccination rates against common childhood illnesses. In addition, both states regularly face cholera, yellow fever and meningitis outbreaks, while malaria is endemic and measles is recurrent.
Northwest Nigeria has seen an increase in violence over the last months that has exacerbated the already existing dire nutrition situation. Recurrent clashes have driven people to flee their homes in search of safety. These people leave everything behind, including their fields and their main source of subsistence. With communities in the region already struggling with the seasonal depletion of food reserves in-between harvests, the current lack of access to their fields means that they are likely to miss the next harvest, thereby putting further pressure on already strained food resources.
Medical facilities in the area are already working at maximum capacity to deal with cases of severe acute malnutrition. Mortality rates in such facilities are very high, as medical care is sought late, while many facilities are no longer running and/or are no longer accessible due to increased insecurity.
The European Union is one of the leading contributors of humanitarian aid in Nigeria. Since 2014, the EU has allocated almost €245 million to help the people in need in the country, including €28 million in 2019. EU humanitarian aid funding provides immediate assistance to cover the basic needs of the most vulnerable internally displaced people and host communities in Nigeria, and of refugees in other countries affected by the Lake Chad Basin crisis, namely Chad (Lake region), Niger (Diffa region), and Cameroon (Far North region).
FRCN denies harassing NUJ President in Ibadan
Chairman, Nigeria Union of journalists, NUJ, FRCN, Ibadan Chapel, Alhaji Nafiu Busari on Wednessday urged the public to disregard an information making the round that his members assaulted the union’s president, Chief Chris Isiguzo.
The chairman described the report as unprofessional and barbaric in nature, just as he implored the group that wrote the story to take time to upgrade their journalism skills to avoid dishing false information to the public.
In a statement made available to Mega Icon Magazine, Busari explained that the national president, Chris isiguzo and his entourage had earlier informed the management of their intentions of paying courtesy call on Tuesday, 25th February.
” On arrival, they came with Demola Babalola who has been facing legal charges on his eligibility to participate in NUJ election.
” My members held a congress earlier in the day and resolved that Babalola, and other syndicates were not expected in the station”, he said.
Busari added that the president with his entourage were welcomed by the FRCN management while others were politely informed that they were not welcomed.
“The Zonal Director, Alhaji Muhammed Bello gave a warm welcome to NUJ President and the meeting was fulfilling as Isiguso described Alhaji Bello as a good union man.
“If there was any rancor, it would be reflected in the pictures, NUJ delegation were comfortable as they even left with souvenir of FRCN.
” My members are decent and professional, I understand where the story is coming from and I understand their plights.
“We have a matter in court and we are determined to see that justice prevails. No matter how long.
“The public should disregard the information, the reality will soon be revealed to the public”, the statement concluded.
Unruly FRCN reporters harass NUJ President, Isiguzo, others in Ibadan
Some staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan Office on Tuesday displayed their unruly behaviour to Chief Chris Isiguzo, the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other members of his entourage.
The delegation led by the president had visited the station as part of his ongoing official visit to Ibadan.
The members of staff led by Mr Adedayo Adelowo(Associate Member), Laolu Fawole(Suspended Member) and Mrs Abisola Oluremi (Associate Member) had besieged the gate harassing members of the delegation.
Some members of the delegation were later allowed into the premises leaving others who could not stand the harassment to leave the premises.
However, a top official of the station who craved anonymity, said the members of staff have just caused the station corporate embarrassment, saying they would pay dearly for the act.
It would be recalled that Mr Adewunmi Faniran, a staff of the station and immediate past Chairman of NUJ in the state had lost his re-election to Mr Ademola Babalola in the last election held on Dec. 18, 2019.
Faniran, who is from the FRCN chapel, one of the 10 existing chapels in the state had only six votes to the 179 votes polled by Babalola in the election.
Babalola and Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West) in separate interviews condemned the act, saying such act was not good for the image of a government institution like FRCN.
The duo in their reaction said that the members of staff should have sought a better civilised way of channeling their grievances than resorting to self-help in the form of harrassment and hooliganism.
Babalola called for calm, saying they are yet to come to terms with the reality on ground.
“They are my members and you can understand when one of them came to plead for my understanding that they were acting on the orders of their boss.
“I know they are still suffering from the defeat of their boss but they should understand that power comes from God and only Him enthrones whosoever He wishes.
“They are my members and I will welcome them back to the fold anytime they are ready. For us, one out of existing 10 chapels in the State cannot hold the union to ransom,” Babalola added.
A text message sent to the Zonal Director of the station to get his reaction was not replied as at the time of filing the report.
On the entourage of the president were Mr Cosmas Oni, Vice-President(South West), Chief Wilson Bako, Vice President (North Central), Mrs Bimbola Oyetunde, SSA to the NUJ President, who is also General Manager, Bronze FM.
Also on the delegation are Alhaji Alli Atabor, National Trustee, Mr Silva Okereke, National Trustee, Mr Abiodun Olalere, Former Chairman, NUJ Osun Council, Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West).
Others are Babalola, Oyo NUJ Chairman, Mr Sola Oladapo, Oyo NUJ Secretary and Mr Akeem Abas, Oyo NUJ Treasurer.
Kano govt. to continue N3.4bn probe against Emir Sanusi
The Kano State government has reaffirmed that it will continue the investigation into the alleged financial misappropriation of over 3.4 billion naira against Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The government through Mr Muhyi Magaji Rimingado, Executive Chairman of Kano State public complaints and anti-corruption commission stated this while reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Kano that quashed the interim investigation report.
Mr Rimingado at a press conference on Monday, said though the court has nullified the report on the basis of non-invitation of the Emir,but his commission will go ahead with its investigation and invite Emir Sanusi in compliance with the court ruling.
He added that another option available to the Kano State government is to appeal the judgment as there are numerous grounds for appeal.
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