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Govt. takes over Presbyterian Mission Hospital in Ebonyi



The Ebonyi State Government says it has shut down and taken over the Presbyterian Joint Hospital Uburu, Ohaozara local government area of the State.

According to the government, the action followed a petition by the community over the expiration of the 100- year lease.

The community also alleged misappropriation of funds, high medical charges on indigent patients, use of obsolete equipment and absence of qualified doctors, urging the state government to takeover management of the hospital.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike announced the shutdown and takeover of the management of the hospital in Abakaliki on Monday.

He said the State Government had to revoke the right of occupancy of the hospital, which was established in 1912 for overriding public interest.

Dr. Umezurike said that apart from the high extortion, there were further allegations of poor clinical services, mismanagement of funds generated locally and grants from government leveled against the hospital management

According to him; “Uburu people donated the land to church of Scotland Mission in 1912 not to Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.

“When the church of Scotland was leaving, the Presbyterian church of Nigeria came in probably because most of the workers are members of the church especially the then Governor of the Old Eastern Region, Late Ezeogo Dr. Akanu Ibiam but ownership was never transferred to them.

“The hospital was offering qualitative services until in the 90s when the church of Scotland stopped sending expatriates from Netherlands and the clinical services and management became completely indigenous with attendant deterioration.

“The host community Uburu complained about the ugly trend in the hospital. There was no corporate social responsibility, failure of Presbyterian Joint Health Institute which was established by the hospital but could not secure accreditation for years before it was closed down and students moved to EBSU where they graduated.”

Dr. Umezurike noted as a function of law, the lease of ownership expired in 2011 , having lasted 100 years adding the community waited patiently until the lease of ownership expired before the agitation to quit started.

The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Health said the Presbyterian Church or any other body linked with the ownership failed to apply for the renewal of the lease of ownership.

He added that to forestall total breakdown of law and order, the State Executive Council, had on the 14th of July 2020, in accordance with the Land Use Act (Cap L.5 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004] revoked the right of occupancy for overriding public interest.

He noted the House of Assembly affirmed the revocation, adding that the ownership of the land and whatever property consequently reverted to Ebonyi State government.

He announced the hospital would now be designated as Ebonyi State University Community General Hospital serving as the community medicine rural practice area of the state University Teaching Hospital Uburu.

He said while the hospital will remain shutdown for two weeks, the State Government would, among other things, take inventory of the hospital, do staff auditing and verification and carry out minor renovation of the hospital to give it a befitting facelift.

Umezurike asked the management of the former Presbyterian Joint Hospital Uburu to immediately step aside until all the task by government are completed.

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Enforce Public Procurement Laws – CSOs tells Buhari



Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has called for the enforcement of public procurement laws in all contract bidding especially one that has to do with international organisations.

Citing the Process and Industrial Developments Limited P&ID case, the agency said the international scam would not have been possible if due diligence was followed and public officials, patriotic and honest.

The agency also decried the connivance by Nigeria public officers with foreign companies to defraud the country of monies that could be spent on providing basic amenities for the citizens.

While lamenting the non interest of National Assembly in the case, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa expressed regrets over efforts by the lawyers representing the country to frustrate the case.

The CSO commended the proposed Database for recovered assets, but however called on the government clarify if the database will be accessible to the ordinary citizens.

CISLAC therefore called on citizens to continue to hold public officers accountable.

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Nigerian Navy deploys 6 warships, 60 gunboats for operation in 4 States



The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday deployed troops on board six warships and 60 gunboats for a special military exercise.

The drill targets pirates, oil smugglers and other criminalizes in the nation’s waters.

Rear Admiral David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Calabar, made the announcement.

He spoke at the flag-off of the exercise in Onne, Rivers State

The operation code-named, ‘Exercise Sanga Sung,’ means ‘Safe Transit’ in Ibibio dialect.

The States to be covered are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Rivers.

The commander explained the operation would consolidate ‘Exercises Bekan Mmon I and II’

Adeniran added that the purpose was to train personnel and check the state of preparedness of fleets.

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Buhari reports Boko Haram, bandits to UN



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told the international community that Nigeria was still battling Boko Haram and bandits.

Buhari’s message was contained in his pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He urged countries to take a strong action against illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.

“Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits,” he said.

He noted that Nigeria counts on cooperation with neighbours and UN counter-terrorism bodies to overcome terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

The President said his administration will sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East.

On COVID-19, the Nigerian leader added his voice to supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all.

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