• COVID 19 Delta Variant-Govt not doing Enough-Ex-Officio TUC

    Govt 8The Government at all levels is not doing enough to preventing the third wave of the deadly coronavirus(Indian variant) from causing avoidable havoc.
    This assertion was made in a chat with Poverty Line on Monday by an Ex-Officio of the Oyo State Council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), who is also a former Chairman of the union, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
    ''Considering the devasting effects of the coronavirus, the Indian variant, the government at all levels in Nigeria has not been proactive by ensuring that enough is done to avoid a crisis situation of casualties. Similarly, Nigerians are also complacent by refusing to abide by the stipulated protocols, we must change this attitude and guard against the fatal health condition'', Comrade Emelieze warned.


  • COVID 19-Turkey Vaccinates 462,000 Health Workers

    Tu 2Authorities in Turkey have administered COVID vaccines to 462,000 of its health workers.
    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, as the country commenced the mass COVID-vaccination campaign.
    Furthermore, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was the first person to receive a Chinese vaccine jab in the country after Turkey’s official drug and medical equipment body Wednesday approved CoronaVac for emergency use against the novel coronavirus.

    Following the minister, members of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board were vaccinated as well.

    The Health Ministry stated that  Turkey has 1.1 million health workers who will be vaccinated within a month.
    Two doses of the vaccine shall be administered 28 days apart. Those who recovered from COVID-19 will not be vaccinated in four to six months following their recovery.


  • Coronavirus- Govt Should Test Students in Reopened Schools-AWC

    Oyo 2State Governments in Nigeria which have reopened schools in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic  have been called upon to commence tests for the coronavirus among students, teachers and other staff.

    This call was made by the All Workers Convergence(AWC) through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze, in a chat with Poverty Line.

    ‘’Now that some state Governments have reopened schools, it is very necessary for these governments to conduct COVID 19 tests among teachers, students and other staff in the various schools that have reopened in the states. This is what is expected of governments which project and are not ready to risk the lives of their people. As a matter of fact we need not remind these state governments to conduct the tests, if the intention of reopening schools was not to perform unnecessary experiment with our students or put their lives in jeopardy’’, Comrade Emelieze concluded.

  • Rot in Worship Centres Militating Against COVID 19 Eradication-Prof. Olagoke

    IndexThe rot in worship centers in Nigeria has been identified as one of the major factors militating against the eradication of the coronavirus pandemic.

    This assertion was made  in a Ed El Fitri message by the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke.

    ''Religious practice in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam inclusive has become a mere gimmick for extortion, making the houses of God to become haven for fraudsters and deposit base for looted blood money, with impunity and without control. This has relegated to the poor second, religious houses interventions in controlling the spread and evolving of solution to COVID 19 pandemic leaving government to the poor mercy of mere physical and medical precautionary measure which all must abide with'', Prof. Olagoke stated.

  • Coronavirus-Workers should not Despair-AWC

    WorWorkers across the globe have been called upon not to despair as a result of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

    This call was made by the All Workers Convergence(AWC) through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.

    ‘’Workers allover the world are urged by the AWC not to despair in the face of the global corona virus pandemic, nothing is permanent, we shall overcome. The coronavirus pandemic is not an exception, we shall overcome’’, Comrade Emelieze concluded.


  • Coronavirus-Govt should Enforce the Use of Face masks-Eze(Dr.)Anozie

    EzeFederal and state Governments in Nigeria have been advised to enforce the use of face masks as a step towards curtailing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

    This advise was given by the Ezendigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state, Eze(Dr.) Alex Anozie.

    ‘’My advice to the Federal and state Governments towards our battle against Coronavirus is that Government should make the use of face masks compulsory and automatic throughout the nation for the next one month. Also, Government should relax the lock down a bit to enable Nigerians fetch their daily bread, but they must put on face masks. Everybody, Okada riders, taxi drivers, Journalists and everybody who is coming out from his or her home to the public must put on face mask for the next one month. In addition all barbing and hair dressing salons must remain closed for now. Anybody seen on the streets without face mask should be arrested, prosecuted and made to pay a fine’’.

    ‘’However, banks and all health institutions must remain functional, and the workers concerned must put on face masks. Social distancing should continue including hand washing and sanitizing the hands. With all these in place, I am sure that we shall win the war against coronavirus. In addition, Government should hasten the process of providing palliatives for the people. After one month, Government should sincerely, review the present situation based on reliable information across the country’’, Eze(Dr.) Anozie stated.


  • Action Program – How the Poor Will Survive Covid-19

    Covid-19 or the Corona virus is turning the world upside down. The
    response from the corrupt elite is for a lockdown until the virus goes away,
    but it could be 12-18 months before a vaccine is developed and distributed.
    Who can survive at home for that long? The priorities for the poor majority
    remain the same – how to obtain food, water and housing for their families
    and friends. We also need electricity and data to stay in touch with our
    friends, families and colleagues. We need mass testing and tracing of
    contacts to contain the virus and free healthcare for all with protective
    equipment for all health workers. We are however amazed that the World
    Health Organisation has not recommended the Cuban drug, Interferon 2B,
    for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic. It has so far proved to be the
    most effective drug in combating the virus. It is one of the drugs approved
    by the Chinese Government in containing COVID-19 pandemic.
    We need the power of the NLC/TUC to push for this Action Program. That
    will ensure that the poor majority of Nigerians do not suffer so much from a
    disease that was brought here by the corrupt elite flying in from London,
    Paris, New York and other places.
    We have a particular duty to safeguard those who are most vulnerable,
    those who are already living with hunger, weakened immune systems and
    poor access to healthcare. Greater restrictions and shutdowns may be
    necessary, but they will only work if full support is provided to working-
    class and poor communities. Comprehensive measures are needed if we are
    to avoid disaster. Each of us must act now with our workmates and in our
    communities.  In a society as unequal as ours, we must work together to
    ensure that all safety measures are shared equitably.  
    Income security for all
    In order for people to remain at home, there must be income security for
    all. Government and private sector employers must continue to pay salaries
    or grant sick leave. All retrenchments should be stopped during this time.
    Self-employed, informal workers and those whose income is suspended at
    this time must be supported by the government with cash grants. This is to
    prevent movement by job-seekers and to stop people having to take the
    virus back to their villages. 
    Social protection must be extended to ensure the direct transfer of cash to
    households during this precarious time (with clear safeguards to minimise
    corruption). All defaults on rent, electricity and debt repayments should
    not result in penalties or sanctions. All evictions and electricity or water cut
    offs must be banned. A bold economic stimulus package will be required in
    the coming period. These measures must be developed in consultation with
    the NLC/TUC and other trade unions.
    All households, residential institutions, the homeless and the
    informally housed must have easy access to water, safe washing
    facilities and sanitation
    There must be an immediate mass-provision of safe water access points
    with unconstrained flow in areas where there is limited household access to
    water. We also need mass-distribution of safe washing facilities in
    community housing areas. All of these sanitation points must have access
    to free soap and information on the prevention of the virus. Where
    necessary governments should provide tankers with safe drinking water
    and to remove sewage.
    All households, residential institutions, the homeless and the
    informally housed must have access to food
    If we are to stay at home during this time, access to nutritious food is
    fundamental. The absence of the School Feeding Programme due to the
    closure of schools will hit many children and their families hard. A
    coordinated and safe roll-out of free food packages directly to distribution
    points in food-stressed neighbourhoods must be implemented – as has
    been suggested by the Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and for
    Lagos State. Schools could distribute food parcels to their registered
    pupils. The poor and vulnerable, elderly, refugees, IDPs, persons living with
    disabilities, trafficked persons and petty traders should all be included.
    Essential private facilities must be appropriated for public use to
    provide a unified and fair distribution of essential goods and
    services to all
    Federal and state resources need to be focused and deployed in order to
    combat the epidemic. Essential services – health centres, food services,
    water and sanitation etc – should be identified for urgent support and
    extension. This may require the conversion of factories and other places of
    production to produce protective clothing, water tanks, soap, food parcels,
    ventilators and other essential medical equipment. The public and private
    health systems need to be regarded as one health system and coordinated
    in the national and public interest. This may require private facilities being
    taken over by the state, as happened in Spain. Finances may have to be
    mobilised through unconventional means. The rich may have to pay higher
    taxes and empty homes may have to be used to home the homeless or over-
    crowded. Regulations to stop price hikes should be implemented. 
    There are hundreds of thousands of unoccupied houses and other
    buildings. Internally displaced people (IDP) and homeless people should be
    resettled in these buildings. They should also be made available for people
    living in over-crowded accommodation.
    Most prisoners should be released. All the cases that have been delayed
    must be hurriedly addressed. All prisoners on remand before their trial to
    be released – they are innocent until proved guilty.
    Community self-organisation and local action is critical, as it our
    representation in national coordination
    Civic organisations, community structures, trade unions and faith-based
    organisations will be extremely important in organising on the ground
    during this emergency. We must all take action where we are. Local trade
    union structures must be engaged, supported and given representation on
    state and Federal planning bodies. The distribution of reliable information,
    essential services and care for our people will require a massive coordinated
    effort from trade union and community leaders. Volunteers must be trained
    and organised for safe, coordinated, campaigns at street-level and for those
    living in institutions. Middle-class and wealthy communities and
    organisations have an obligation to make resources available to poor and
    working-class communities. 
    We must identify strategies to calm tensions and divert violence
    in our homes
    Corona virus mainly kills the old and the ill. The death rate for those with
    the disease is probably around one in 500. We do not need to panic. But
    home-based quarantine will escalate family and relationship tensions, and
    may likely lead to more violence against women, children and others most
    marginalised in our families and communities including non-indigenes and
    foreign nationals. We need to identify strategies to calm tensions and divert
    violence in our homes and communities over this time. We need a strong
    education campaign against all forms of violence, especially domestic
    violence. We need to strengthen safe responses from existing
    neighbourhood, regional and national organisations supporting women and
    We also need to ensure that existing ethnic and region tensions are
    addressed and minimised. It is all too easy to blame the foreigners and
    non-indigenes but we all need to work together to address this crisis.
    Communication must be free, open and democratised
    There must be an immediate distribution of free phone data to all, so that
    people are able to receive good information, contact loved ones during
    isolation and quarantine, and understand the measures that are in place to
    create safety. Access to the best international research should be free and
    public. There must be daily national press conferences from government
    leaders alongside scientists and professionals who can keep all of our
    people informed about the emerging situation. 
    The inequalities within our educational services need to be
    carefully considered, and mitigated, when moving to remote
    Data and free website content must be made widely available by
    educational institutions for continued learning. However, there is massive
    inequality of access to resources such as computers, electricity, wi-fi and
    learning space, as well as difficult home situations that disproportionately
    affect poor and working-class learners, students and educators. The move
    to online learning should be made carefully, and as a temporary measure.
    We should not extend the inequalities in the education system by affording
    remote education to the few. Schools and universities should consider their
    collective role as community educators and developers facing an
    unprecedented shared experience. Schools, residences and dormitories
    should be understood as a public resource during this time, including for
    the safe distribution of food and other essential services interrupted by
    school closures. 
    We must prevent a nationalist, authoritarian and security-
    focused approach in containing the virus.
    We must guard against the quick deployment of the military and police that
    may create insecurity in our communities and would spread the demanding
    of bribes. We must also prevent creating scapegoats to blame for the
    current crisis. Instead, we must ensure that care and resources are provided
    for the safety and protection of all who live in our country and in our
    How each of us responds to the Covid-19 pandemic will determine who we
    are as a society. The better we respond now, the better we will be after the
    pandemic. We must follow international best practice and the science that
    we have available to us to build an assertive response that works for the
    context of our own history and society. Our response must be just,
    equitable, and redistributive if we are to meet the needs of all our people. In
    times of physical distancing, social solidarity is key. 
    This Action Programme is being supported by the following
    organisations and individuals:
    African Action Congress (AAC)
    African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
    Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association Of Nigeria (ATSSSAN)
    All Workers Convergence
    Automobile, Boatyards, Transport Equipment and Allied Senior Staff
    Association (AUTOBATE)
    Center for Awareness Reorientation and Empowerment (CARE), Africa
    Centre for Human Rights and Social Advancement (CEFSAN)
    Centre for Labour Studies
    Civil Liberties Organization ( CLO) Bayelsa State Chapter
    Civil Rights Council (CRC).
    Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/ Transparency
    International in Nigeria
    Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR)
    Femi Falana, SAN
    Green Peoples Environmental Network (GREPNET)
    HipCity Innovation Centre (HipCity Hub)
    Human Rights Agenda Network
    Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER)
    Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP)
    National Conscience Party (NCP) 
    Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC)
    Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Oyo State
    Pegarsus-Zion Community and Environmental Health
    Peoples' Alternative Front (PAF)
    Social Accountability & Environmental Sustainability Initiative
    United Action for Democracy (UAD), Kano

  • Coronavirus-Lock Down has its Disadvantages-Prof. Olagoke

    IndexThe coronavirus has brought in its wake economic, social and religious problems. Reports of crime and criminality, domestic violence inclusive are everywhere in the media space. In this interview the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the restriction of movement by the Federal and State Governments shall result in the spread of other diseases, sexual abuses and other social and economic problems. Excerpts :

    What do you think are the problems trailing the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria ?

    The records of the quality of governance has always been tales of woes of declining profile, whereby the quality of life is always on the depletion side. Even till date, Nigeria rely more on foreign aids for its its people to enjoy products of Science, and Technology, making us to believe not in ourselves as a nation and not in our people as instruments of development, that should be encouraged to compete with global best practices. This is a nation wherein employment is based on knowing the people who matter and where most graduates roam about to manage the irritating new national minimum wage. Poverty and hunger are already like plagues in the lives of millions of Nigerians., adding coronavirus to it, would surely make things worse for our social life. The Federal Government took actions when the virus had successfully entered the country and started its damage. Everybody is susceptible irrespective of social status. The Federal Government is expected to look into the areas of weaknesses emanating from lack of ethical ways of doing things to the various instance of under funding characterizing government culture of providing social amenities and infrastructure including Research Institutes which are solutions to alert the nation of the need to take first aid cover up, in order that the spread of the deadly virus is appropriately controlled.

    However, wealthy Nigerians must realize that this is not the period to keep their wealth on selfish grounds, but to spend it now in the cause of preventing the spread of COVID 19 and curing the victims now.

    Beside this, confining people to their homes and curtailing their movements through curfew as well as preventing interstate entries for a number of days may provide the needed magic.

    But we must realize that there would be unnecessarily rowdy effects in the home front, which could result in various other diseases among the people, while at the same time promoting the spread of COVID 19. If there is no way to monitor them on compliance with the rules of hygiene. Idleness on the other hand may breed socio-psychological problems which must be effectively controlled. For example surveillance must be on to prevent pedophilia, sex abuses, incest, isolation that may even breed depression and consequent suicidal attempts must be looked out for. Effective control of these equally depends on the provision of social welfare and financial packages to remove the probable state of hopelessness which may be brought forth through debts by individual. For the purpose of survival, Government’s directive for Houses of God to close up, is in the right direction to prevent the spread of the pandemic. However, at home the culture of doing things aright must be learnt and we must realize that without good attitudinal change no prayer of any adherent can be answered as referenced in Koran 13 : 14 and the Bible James 5 : 16, while at home adherents must turn towards God to help reduce the eight months scourge of COVID 19 as spiritually revealed to the barest minimum for the wholesome cleansing of the lad to be realized and for the right vaccines to cure the victims to be discovered on time.