The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly. The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has since activated its national Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures. “I wish to assure all Nigerians that have we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case. “We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria. Please be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses. All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below: 1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. 3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd. 4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. 5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication 6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health. Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria,” announced Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Hon. Minister of Health. As at the time of filing this article, over 9,000 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria, over 3,000 cases have been discharged and about 300 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, having carried out 48,544 tests. AKWA IBOM COVID-19 INDEX CASES -Dr Otobong Asuquo, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, after recovering from the disease at Ibom Specialty Hospital. As at April 1, 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 5 cases of the disease in Akwa Ibom State, and Dr Otobong Asuquo, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was one of the cases. Dr Asuquo, in his detailed account after recovering from the disease at Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo, said he received a call immediately from the state COVID-19 team to get set that an ambulance would be coming to pick him. Different thoughts went through his mind: his dear wife, children, and when he saw how others in different parts of the world were passing away, he thought his end was near! At the isolation centre, Dr Asuquo said he enjoyed his stay because of the privacy, the modern facilities, and equipment at the hospital. “You don't know what is happening and who is in the next room. Constant water and light, it's like having the U.S. in Akwa Ibom,” he said in a video chat. He added that he was surprised to know that all the rooms there are equipped with Television sets (with DSTV) and that there's free WIFI for browsing the Internet, which made him stay updated and worked on his personal project. Although he was silent on the treatment he received that led to his recovery in less than two weeks, he was thankful to the state government for a job well done. “I want to give kudos to the Akwa Ibom State Government because I know without them, this wouldn't have been possible and also for the [COVID-19] team.” Akwa Ibom State so far has 35 active cases of the disease, with 2 deaths and 14 recoveries of which Dr Asuquo is one of them.
The major inspiration behind the choice of the name CREEK news stems from the experience that was gathered from the political campaign trail of Rt. Hon.Francis CharlesUduyok for his reelection to the Green chamber of the National Assembly.
Francis Uduyok has had the rare privilege of serving his Local Government Area, Eastern Obolo of Akwa Ibom State twice as an Executive Chairman. Prior to his duration of service, the area was synonymous with political violence and other social elements of instability.
Francis, once described as a jean boy in the early days of his political ambition for Chairmanship because of his age then and the believe that the job was an exclusive reserve for the big boys. In reality, hardwork and providence saw him to the driving seat of the affairs of his Local Government for six years of two terms.
The dividend of his superintendence over Eastern Obolo affairs were peace and stability and development. Everyone, even his worst critics acknowledged his landmarks. The feat of enduring peace is realizable in eastern obolo because he saw every demography across the local government as potential stakeholders and co-travelers in the pains and gains of the land.
The landscape of Eastern OboloLocal Government Area is difficult for a light investment in development. It is a typical riverine settlement with a greater proportion of its population living in the creeks. Therefore, to embark on an adventure called ELECTION in such a terrain is costly-not just in material or financial terms but understanding the pain the people pass through. To meet their needs is not unrealizable but concern, empathy and responsiveness can give answers to their craves.
The lawmaker has done the round across the place he shows so much love and concern, for first as an indigene and as a community leading servant repeatedly. He has always given the people hope and earned their support because he never fails them with the little that comes to the table. He has earned the trust and confidence of his people who deserve more from government.
As a first timer in the National Assembly,his privileges were lean but his performance and representation are robust and satisfactory; he engages his spirit of persistence and curiosity for service to moving motions that would influence INEC’s need to create more state constituencies; revitalization of ALSCON and fourteen (14) other motions alongside sponsorship of seven people oriented bills.
Furthermore, records available has it that, the action oriented Francis during his first four years of representation has initiated and facilitated projects that number about eighteen across IKOT ABASI\MKPAT ENIN and EASTERN OBOLO FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY that he speaks for: IkotAkpan-Iffe road in MkpatEnin, construction of mini stadium in Eastern Obolo and construction of a five classroom block and market in IkotAbasi and other projects.
His efforts, determination and upbeat are not enough to change the story of the people in the creek who have contributed in no small measure to the economic fortunes of the nation.
Contrary to the wrong impression peddled by people who have never visited the creeks, the population there is much. The people are hardworking, self-reliant and proud of their heritage. They come out hilariously to celebrate their own and through engagements, they express their frustrations which are self-evident.
In the face of their deprivation, the people still have hope, in as much as one of their own is with the paddle-Uduyok.
From Okoroette through Ayama Jetty and Okoroette creeks to Ikonta via Obianga creek, honestly, the people are living in absolute denial. The communities along the water ways of the creeks do not have schools, health care facilities while electricity and sewage disposal are luxury and nonexistent, they sleep on water but none is good enough to drink. Sad.
Francis Uduyok in his trajectory shares his thoughts, prayers and dreams for the people. The people believe him because he has been tested and trusted by his people. He represents hope to his people.
It is certain that our leaders in the state and nation have never been exposed to the true realities of the creek and hence their response might not be as rapid as the urgency of their needs. It is because of the need for them to have a voice that this news magazine is enthused.