Apr 29, 2020

A New Drug to Treat COVID-19 Has Been Discovered

By Yiro Abari High
New Cure for COVID-19
A drug, remdensivir, has been shown to demonstrate a “clear cut” ability to treat the Corona Virus infection.  The news was broken by Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the US White House Task Force for Corona Virus.

Remdensivir has proven to be better than Placebo, which has been used to treat COVID-19 till now.  While the recovery rate for Placebo is 15 days, it is 9 for remdensivir. The death rate for Placebo is also higher compared to that of remdensivir.

According to the report, remdensivir was developed in the efforts to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, but has not been used to treat any disease till now.

The American authorities have, as a result of the development, swung into action with regard a piece of legislation to authorize the use of the remdensivir to treat COVID-19.  

Apr 27, 2020

Chris Giwa and the Absurdity of Politics

By Yiro Abari  High

Chris Giwa
The name, “Chris Giwa,” isn’t strange in Nigeria, if you mind current affairs in Nigeria. But, in case you don’t know him, he was the owner of Giwa Football Club of Jos, a club whose life was squeezed out because Mr Giwa insisted on a mandate that made him President of the Nigerian Football Federation.

Mr Giwa comes from Kuru, in Jos-South of Plateau State. When he had a chance to speak in his local branch of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Jos-South, he chose to speak about: “The Significance of Giving.” On that day, he revealed that the secret of his wealth is giving. “If you give without complaining or whining, fortunes will follow, unhindered.”

For the past decade and a half, he lived up to this piece of scriptural education. The most visible of his charity work is seen in the payment of tuition for students in secondary schools in Berom communities in Jos-south. This embraces districts like Kuru, Gyel, Zawan, Vom and Du. But he has also roofed giant churches, supported the building of mosques, built culverts and graded roads, hired doctors and support staff to work for poor locals in Kuru.

His philanthropy made him so famous, especially among youths in Plateau State, whose campus activities he supported. Because of his camaraderie with this demography, each time local government elections were to be held, he locked horns with the incumbent administration and fought courageously to protect the prospect of his boys who aimed for political positions in grassroot assemblies.

He has the type of sensitivity and compassion that is expected of a serving politician. It was why close friends suggested he joins politics to climb a bigger stage on which to unleash totally his love of the weak. Thus, in 2011, Giwa rolled out an ambitious and lavish political campaign to become the Governor of Plateau State. The campaign received massive support from key cabinet members of the Joshua Dariye administration in which he held a modest position as the Manager of Plateau United Football Club, after relinquishing his job at Nigerian Telecommunications, NITEL. 

When the ballots were counted, he ranked third, after Jonah Jang, the sitting governor and Pauline Tallen. Curious observers said it, sure, would have been unimaginable for one to think of defeating Jang, who had a long,  shimmering political history. That Giwa came out at the wrong time, especially since Jang’s deeds in the first tenure were stellar. For Pauline Tallen, she was, and is still, a powerful political figure in Nigeria and defeating her would have been a mission impossible.

Then. Senator Gyang Dalyop Dantong, representing Plateau-North at the Nigerian Senate, died in July of 2012, creating a senatorial vacancy in Plateau North. The general belief was that Giwa was going to win that election and become a Senator. But it didn’t pretty work out that way, as late GNS Pwajok won to become the Senator. In the comments that followed the declaration of the result, people attributed Giwa’s lost in the election to the backing Pwajok received from Jang, his political father. In Nigeria, it will always be difficult to defeat a government candidate.

In Nigeria, as elsewhere, elected persons are expected to carry out activities to lessen the suffering of ordinary people and make life worth living. For a majority of Nigerians, a life worthy of living has remained a mirage from as far back as the 1980s. Giwa is a rare Nigerian, doing what elected politicians should be doing, and he does it from his private pocket. It is the reason why he should have received the support of the people. At least, he should have occupied that senatorial seat in 2012.

Mr Benjamin Dalyop, a politician from Kuru explained that the political culture of Berom people is aberrant, at least in the context of Nigeria. It explains why Giwa hasn’t received enough political support among his own tribe. Berom people view the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as a political party that was handed down to them by their ancestors. But Giwa, sadly, has never contested any position under the umbrella of the PDP. He contested the gubernatorial seat under the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and in 2012 he contested the Plateau-North Senatorial seat under the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.  

Fanatical observers of Nigerian politics would understand Giwa’s predicament. The PDP, as the ruling party, had always been hijacked by contestants that have government backing. It would have been impossible to contest and win the primaries against Jang under the PDP. Even late Senator GNS Pwajok was a mainstream member of the PDP and obviously had all the government backing. So, the only party available were the other, mostly weaker, parties. 

Giwa has a set of triplets that include two boys and a girl. They were born eight years ago. Before then, relations had given up hope of Giwa ever having kids. Thus, Mr Giwa is vindicated in his belief that when you give, God pays you back manifolds.  Thus, he’s undeterred in his given. Most recently has been the resumption of fee payments for indigent students in Kuru. It involved paying fees for four kids from each of the fifty-six communities that make up Kuru. This is in addition to N10, 000 given to every one of five women from each of these communities.

Giwa may not have won a mundane political position, but he has won, countless times, when it comes to teaching by example. He’s probably God’s candidate.

Apr 21, 2020

President Buhari Won’t Dream of Making Me Chief-of-Staff –Isa Funtua.

Isamila Isa Funtua. Picture source: mainstream.com.ng
Following the death of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief-of-Staff (COS), Abba Kyari on April 18th, a number of successors have been speculated. Among these names, is Ismaila Isa Funtua, a former Minister in the Second Republic.  

When a BBC Hausa reporter contacted Funtua and asked if he knew that his name is getting a mention as a potential COS. This is what he said: “Yes, I have heard.” When asked how he felt after his name was mentioned, Funtua said:

“I felt those people calling my name were not being fair to me. Why? Because I had worked with the Native Authorities, I have worked as a civil servant, and I have been a politician to the point of becoming a minister in this country. It surprises me, today, that some people would link my name to this post. Do people even know what the Chief-of-Staff mean? Is it because that office is being abused, by people doing as they wish? You are talking about a Chief-of-Staff, mind you! How long is it from 1983, when I was a minister?”

The reporter answers, “close to forty years.”

“And you go talking about me getting an appointment?” he continues. “What kind of appointment? I am over-qualified for that job. I am an employer; I have created places of work so that people and their families can find a means of livelihood.”

“But people are making this speculation because of your intimacy with the President,” the reporter insists.

“Many such people are being satanic in their thoughts. You have to look at the things I had done in the past and see whether or not I am over-qualified. They should also consider if I have the chance to work or not. I am overqualified! That type of job is for people like you and our children. And, if people like us will continue to expect the government to give them jobs, where would our own children turn to? Imagine someone like me getting up to go to work by 8.00 am or 9.00 am! Nigerians, we should be fair to ourselves.”

“Would you take the job if President Buhari should offer it to you,” the reporter pushes.

“He himself wouldn’t start, because he knows I wouldn’t take it. If, however, he wants a piece of advice and sets up a committee that brings people like me and younger persons, we could come, advice and find our ways home. But I can’t take a full-time job, taking salaries. I don’t expect this from you, people! Nigeria’s situation hasn’t worsened to that point. The leadership of a nation isn’t like playground matters,” he concludes.

Apr 15, 2020

Is Bill Gates Truly Trying to Cut Down the Human Population?

Bill Gates. Source: the www.guardian.ng 
Conspiracy theories have often been around to interpret major events affecting the Planet in their deviant ways.

Since the outbreak of the Corona Virus, aka, COVID-19, there have been all manner of conspiracy theories aiming to discredit the truth. I have read a lengthy story from someone who claims to be a member of the inner caucus of the Chinese Communist Party. The author of the report claims that Corona Virus was a design of the Chinese Government to control dissent that tends to undermine the Communist Government. He claims that the Chinese Government wanted to use it against the demonstrations in Hong Kong that aimed to frustrate an extradition bill to send certain criminals for trials in China.

The author of the masterfully crafted report claims that the United States wanted to buy the biological weapon from China so as to use it in Venezuela, but the Chinese government declined the proposal, seeing that weapon turned out more deadly than they had anticipated. According to this author, while the Chinese Government turned down the US, the US tried to get it through a Chinese traitor. Sadly, there was an accident leading to a spill in Wuhan, where the CIA had gone to receive the parcel.

Another conspiracy theory said the problem is caused by the 5G network that is already in use in China and other nations.

Now, a most recent conspiracy theory has to do with the suggestion that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, who said that the best way to deal with Corona Virus is through massive vaccinations. Some conspiracy theorists, in a video report, claim that Mr Gates intends to cut down the global population through sponsoring a research for a deadly vaccine whose aim will be to cut down the global population. The video claims that Gates is part of a line of people who, for decades, have suggested ways by which the human population can be reduced and that these people have a strong western backing.

How would reducing global population benefit Gates, who is 65 years of age? He has been a philanthropist helping people in different nations to live better lives. His philanthropy cuts across many areas, including education, health and poverty reduction.

Vaccines have been around and have been the reason why so many diseases were exterminated throughout the history of mankind. Each time a child is born, a series of vaccines are administered to give the child a greater chance of survival. If you are a father, how many of your children did die because they had received these vaccines? If the West wants to cut down our population, they would have done it a long time ago through these vaccines.  

Finally, I think that the maker of the video, claiming Mr Gates wants to cut down the human population is actually that person who wants to cut down the population of mankind. In Africa, for instance, if his story is believed, it will be the reason why people will reject any vaccine that comes. What would happen? We will all die of Corona Virus.

Apr 9, 2020

Minimum Wage Suspended in Plateau

Dan Manjang
Dan Manjang, the Plateau State Commissioner of Information and Communications has spoken to the News Tower magazine regarding the one-week curfew, kicking off from 11 PM on Thursday and lasting one week when the state authorities intend to fumigate the streets of Plateau to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. So far, no one in the state has been diagnosed with the virus, despite its presence in the neighbouring Bauchi State

Mr Manjang disclosed that the administration understands the difficulty the lockdown will cause citizens; some don’t eat any day they are unable to go out. But that the difficulty is the price citizens will have to pay to avoid regretting subsequently when the disease would have started killing people, as we have seen in other parts of the world. He said that since the government has given a three-day notice, it is expected that citizens should have bought enough in preparation for the lockdown.

Mr Manjang said that local governments have been directed to arrange mitigation initiatives in their respective domains to help the poor. This is in addition to the Social Intervention Scheme of the Federal Government, which in Plateau State, is chaired by Dr Sumaiya Hamza, who is the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Plateau on the Social Investment Program (SIP). Through this program, monies have been shared to people, based on a model the Federal Government uses. The Plateau State Deputy Governor, Sony Tyoden, is also heading a committee shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring the spread of the palliative is fair.

The Commissioner expressed sadness that in Nigeria when it comes to sharing something for free, even people in abundance often pretend they are indigent. It is the reason why it will be unfeasible to reach everybody. He said, however, that if the rich could be compassionate enough to offer their shoulders so the poor can rest on, the possibility of protecting Plateau State from the infection would be high. Whoever helps another, he says, should know that it is all in a bit to keep the virus outside the perimeters of Plateau State.

When asked what civil servants should expect, Mr Manjang said the economic spin will affect everyone. Since the global economy is interwoven. The Federal Government, he says, is cutting this year’s budget by N1.5 trillion, for instance. In Plateau State, the monthly allocation from Abuja bounces between N3 and N3.5 billion, but last month (March), it dropped to N1.2 billion because the price of crude oil in the international market has plummeted to $18 per barrel from the over $60 that it was before the outbreak of the pandemic. The government has to borrow to pay salaries since the salary bill in Plateau State is about N3 billion every month. The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) often bounces between N800 million and N1.2 billion. The irony is that even the IGR rests on the payment of salaries since it is only when salaries are paid that the government deducts the seven per cent Pay as You Earn that builds the IGR. 

In a bit to save the situation, he says, all members of the cabinet, from those in the Executive to those in the Legislature, have agreed to cut their allowances by a staggering 50%.
Mr Manjang said that the administration of Simon Bako Lalong has discussed with Labour and together they have agreed that the idea of the minimum wage should be suspended for now, until things improve.

Mr Manjang, who was an Adviser to the Governor on Press Matters in both the current and the preceding administrations, said that the federal government has not done anything to help the state governments pay the new minimum wage. Rather, state governments are hoping the federal government suspends certain deductions from their revenues. In Plateau State, the government is also hoping that the Nigerian President directs the Federal Ministry of Finance to reimburse the state for federal roads that have been rehabilitated by the state government, particularly the road from the heart of the city to Maraban Jama’a. If this is done, it will give the state the strength to look at the possibility of commencing the execution of the new minimum wage. 

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