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COVID-19: We’re Far From The End Of This Outbreak —- FG




The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has noted that the fight to free Nigeria of the outbreak was far from being over.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF, Mr Boss Mustapha, who declared this during Monday’s edition of the daily press briefing on the task force, cited the increasing number of confirmed cases on a daily basis as the reason for the conclusion.

He, however, charged Nigerians to join the PTF in its focus to see that the national response efforts yield the desired results, which he said were both reducing the impact of the disease across all the states and taking the nation back to a healthy economy.

“Given the increase in the number of confirmed cases in the last week, the PTF remains conscious of the fact that we are far from the end of this outbreak in Nigeria. We, therefore, must focus even more vigorously on our strategy of increasing testing, isolating confirmed cases, following up with contacts of cases and managing confirmed cases to recovery.

“The significant increase in the number of cases and distribution across states underscore the importance of remaining focused as citizens and as a nation because of the enormity of the challenges ahead.

“This is the time for all hands to be on deck so that the PTF can improve on its delivery. We must all come together because we face a common enemy and potential risk. We must flatten the curve at all cost and restore our country to full activity”, he charged.

The Chairman of the task force, however, regretted the heavy toll the outbreak had taken on Nigerians in terms of the number of lives already lost, particularly noting the passage over the weekend of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, recalling that he had spurred the national efforts and challenged the PTF to its responsibilities.

He also expressed regrets over the occasion of non-compliance with set COVID-19 regulations for managing crowd and activities, apologizing and promising a more coordinated in future engagements of the task force.

“The PTF recognizes, regrettably, the unintentional violation of the principles and protocols that form the core of our message to Nigerians, at the funeral of the late Chief of Staff. These principles for emphasis, include the guidance provided on mass gatherings; social distancing; Personal Hygiene; and restriction of movements.

“Lessons have been learnt and appropriate measures have been taken to close all gaps. We assure all Nigerians of their safety and the determination of the PTF to combat the pandemic”, he said.


JUST IN: Police Re-Arrest Four Edo Escaped Prisoners




The Nigerian police have announced the re-arrest of four prisoners who escaped from the Oko Prison during the #EndSARS protests.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, made this known on Monday during a parade of suspects at its tactical unit in Abuja.

Recall that we reported how armed men, last month, stormed the correction facility in Oko, popularly known as the Oko prison.

The prison authorities first had an inkling of what was to come as early as 9 a.m. on the day of the incident and called for reinforcement, but none came despite two other repeated attempts.

Mr Mba while parading the over 15 suspects said they were linked with cases of armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, illegal dealing, and selling of weapons.

He gave the names of the escaped prisoners as Adebayo Opeyemi, Oloride Benjamin, Peter Osas, Hudu Musa, and Frank Odion.

While Mr. Opeyemi is a dismissed soldier, Mr Benjamin was convicted and sentenced to death and Mr. Musa had nine months remaining to serve out his prison term.

He said the convicts have snatched a total of four vehicles since their escape.

He also said Mr Benjamin snatched a vehicle 30mins after he escaped because he needed to leave Benin City.

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My Leg Was Amputated After I Was Shot By Soldiers At Lekki Toll Gate, Rejected By Vedic Hospital — 23-Year-Old Cobbler [PHOTOS]




Twenty-three-year-old Olalekan Faleye, a survivor of the shooting that attended the peaceful #ENDSARS protest at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, says he has become an amputee after the gunshot injuries he sustained to the leg on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

He had undergone surgical amputation of his bullet-ridden right leg.

The shooting incident had attracted national and international outcry, with the Lagos State and Federal governments being urged to unravel the identity of the shooters and who deployed them.

Speaking exclusively with PUNCH Newspaper a few days after he was discharged from the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Olalekan said until the Lekki shooting, he had temporarily worked as a labourer with a construction company in Ikoyi to raise money for his ‘freedom’ as an apprentice cobbler.

He also planned to use whatever was left after his freedom ceremony to rent a shop where he could carry out his cobbler trade.

“Any time we had little or nothing to do at the construction site, I would join the #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate to demonstrate against Police brutality and bad governance.

“I recalled attending the protest on three different occasions (October 15, 16 and 17) before the soldiers’ invasion on October 20,” he said.

Struck By Soldiers’ Bullet

Looking pale and sad, he struggled to recollect the incident of the Black Tuesday, saying the whole episode still feels like a bad dream.

“They (soldiers) arrived in a group and, without warning, started shooting at us. As people ran helter-skelter, I recalled hearing the protest coordinators screaming, ‘Don’t panic, sit on the floor together and keep waving the Nigerian flag.’

“But it was too late. People panicked when they saw the soldiers advancing and shooting at us.

“In the panic that ensued, I was hit on the right leg by a stray bullet. The force of the shot was so intense that I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain and with so much blood gushing out of my leg.

“I was there for some seconds, feeling weak and fatigued before some fellow protesters came to my rescue. I was held by both hands and legs as they continued running while also dodging the flying bullets,” he said.

Olalekan disclosed that after his bullet-riddled leg was tied up with what looked like a shirt, he was rushed along with three other victims of the shooting to Vedic Hospital in Lekki.

“At Vedic, I was denied admission when the medical official saw the state of my bloodied leg,” he alleged.

The 23-year-old said he kept getting weaker as he was being conveyed by the rescue team in search of another hospital.

“That was how I ended up at Grandville Trauma Centre. After examining the leg, one of the doctors who attended to me announced that my limb was in a sorry state because the high-velocity projectile forcefully pierced through the muscles and blood vessels in my leg from one end before coming out at the other end.

“Consequently, I was asked to drop the contact of my parent or guardian because of the complex nature of my case,” he said.

Olalekan’s Diagnosis At Grandville

Olalekan’s medical statement, which was written on Grandville’s letterhead and secured by our correspondent, states, “To whom it may concern, OLALEKAN FALEYE MALE/23 years. The above-named patient presented to our facility four days ago (20/10/2020) around 23.28 pm due to a gunshot injury to his (R) leg in about 2 hours after the incident.

“He sustained this injury as a result of his involvement in the #ENDSARS protest that occurred at the Lekki toll gate.

“He was initially taken to Vedic Hospital and then brought in here for further management.

“On presentation, GCS 15/15 O2 Sat; 98% pain and severe bleeding from the gunshot site with a point of entry and exit of the bullet. He was unable to lift his leg and move his toes.

“Diagnosis made was (i) leg injury from gunshot (ii) imminent compartment syndrome.”

The medical paper which was signed by a certain Dr. Adebayo and countersigned by Dr. Umukoro further reads, “An exploratory fasciotomy was done on the right lower limb to litigate severed blood vessels. Five units of packed RBCs were transfused over the course of admission as the patient came in with Hb of 5.6g/cll. No pulse (dorsal pedis, tibia post and ant. Arteries) was felt.

“Patient was placed on antibiotics (IV Rocephin, IV Flagyl, treated for malaria (Im arthemeter 160mg) and analgesics.

“Patients relatives have been counselled on the need for an amputation of the patient’s leg but they would need a second opinion. For further clarifications and enquiries, kindly call the hospital.”

Experts say a fasciotomy or fasciectomy is a surgical limb-saving procedure when used to treat acute compartment syndrome.

At Igbobi Hospital

After four days of admission at Grandville Trauma Centre, the patient was given a referral letter to a federal teaching hospital in Lagos for intensive treatment.

“My admission request at the teaching hospital was rejected by the management over inadequate bed space. They, however, recommended a private amenity ward within the same facility.

“When we got there, the officials said I could only be admitted if my people made a down payment of N50,000. Consequently, my mother had to secure an ambulance that took me down to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos,” he said.

“Before then, I recalled hearing the doctor at Grandville saying that my leg might likely be operated. That was the same comment I received again on the day the ambulance brought me to Igbobi. My mother screamed ‘God forbid!’

“I was completely dejected. I kept looking at the affected leg, wondering if that would be the last time I would see it. However, I braced up myself and signed the consent form against the will of my mother. It was like a death sentence and I feel it would forever remain the worst decision of my life,” he added.

PUNCH HealthWise visited NOHIL on Wednesday, and requested to speak with the medical director of the hospital, Dr. Mustapha Alimi; but he was said to have travelled out of Lagos for a conference.

Further attempt to see the facility spokesperson, Mrs Ayo Adenike, also proved futile as she was also not available.

However, one of the consultant surgeons on duty agreed to speak with our correspondent on condition of anonymity.

Olalekan’s Mother Breaks Down In Tears

Back home at her one-room apartment in Alimosho Local Government of Lagos when PUNCH HealthWise visited, Olalekan’s mother, Mrs. Temitayo Faleye, struggled to put up a smile and gently roused her son from sleep.

A popular noodle seller in the community, Mrs. Faleye told our correspondent that she sensed something was wrong with her son on the night he was shot.

“I was feeling uncomfortable throughout the night. At a point, I had to rouse myself from sleep to pray against perceived evil or demonic attack. It was shortly after the supplication that I received a call that Lekan had been shot at the toll gate and hospitalised somewhere in Lekki.

“At first, I feared he had probably died and that people were not willing to tell me. I headed to the health facility around midnight just to be sure he was still alive. That was the first time I would be in Lekki in my entire life,” she said.

N206,000 Medical Bill At Igbobi

The woman said she almost fainted when she was presented with a bill of N 206,000 at Igbobi.

She protested that her son was a survivor of the #ENDSARS protest and shouldn’t have to pay for his treatment.

“The medical team didn’t believe me and wanted to know why he didn’t present early at the facility that fateful night or the day after. It wasn’t until they saw the Grandville’s medical record that they agreed to reduce the bill. That was in addition to some injectable and pints of blood donation that we secured.

She said the crutches currently being used by her son was donated by some sympathetic workers at Igbobi.

My Son Now Miserable, Temperamental

When asked how she was coping with the challenges of having to bathe, feed and cater for her son all over again, Mrs. Faleye broke into tears.

“This trial is too much for me, considering the fact that his father has been down with stroke for seven years.

“Sometimes, I spend as much as N15,000 on transport fare to convey him [her husband] from Alimosho to Igbobi or Island General Hospital for a check-up and back again.

“Worse still, my son has never remained the same ever since he lost his right limb. Olalekan has become miserable and temperamental. He won’t talk to anybody and prefers staying indoor.

“Imagine somebody who used to love running around, playing football and attending to his shoe cobbling business now confined in one place. Of course, I understand his frustration. He is no longer a happy man,” she said.

She lamented that the October 20 tragedy could, perhaps, have been averted if she had worked harder to raise enough money to pay for her son’s ‘freedom’ and secure a shop for him.

She said the 23-year-old was adept at making shoes, belts, bags and leather sandals and had dreamt of starting his own shoemaking company someday.

“All those dreams are gone. Now, he finds it difficult to adjust to his new life. He felt sorry for everything that had happened. Sometimes, he would look at me, shake his head and say he is sorry for everything.”


Credit: PUNCH

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43 Rice Farmers Killed By Boko Haram Didn’t Get Military Clearance —– Presidency




The Presidency has blamed the 43 rice farmers killed in Borno over the weekend for not getting military clearance before going to their farms.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu told BBC on Monday that the farmers should have waited for military clearance before proceeding to the farms.

He explained that though the military is in “full control” of all parts of Borno, the farmers and residents ought to get clearance before visiting certain areas.

No fewer than 43 rice farmers were killed by Boko Haram in Zabarmari, about 20 kilometers from Maiduguri, at the weekend.

The attack was described by the United Nations as “the most violent attack” targeted at civilians in 2020.

Shehu, however, blamed the farmers for the incident, saying they shouldn’t have gone to the farms without clearance.

According to him: “People need to understand what it is like in the Lake Chad area. Much of those areas have been liberated by Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced.

“Ideally, all of these places ought to probably be allowed to pass the test of military clearance before settlers or even farmers resume activities on those fields.”

When the BBC clarified if he was blaming the farmers for the attack, Shehu said: “Not exactly, but the truth has to be said. Is there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activities? I have been told by the military leaders that they have not been so advised.”

He argued visiting certain places in the north-east, which has come under the weight of the Boko Haram insurgency for more than 10 years, is “a window that the terrorists have exploited”.

“The military is not present on every inch of space in that area,” he said, adding: “Even if the people are ready to go back, some of these areas have been mined and mine clearance has to be carried out first.”

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