…Describes PH Court Injunction As ‘Litigation Tourism,’ To Be Appealed
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has vowed to deny unvaccinated persons access to large crowd in the state from the middle of this month in spite a Port Harcourt Federal High Court order restraining him, the Edo State Government from making vaccination compulsory for residents of the state.
Obaseki, who reiterated his last Friday’s directive on the issue as sacrosanct, maintained that while nobody would be forced to take the COVID-19 jabs, those who chose not to be vaccinated could as well kiss their attendance of large public gatherings goodbye, vowing that the government would enforce the earlier directive in the overall interest of the people of the state.
He also threatened that the state might be forced to implement a lockdown if there was a failure to follow the directives for vaccination and compliance with the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPIs) in order to halt the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is currently raging within the state.
The governor, while addressing a press conference at the Government House on Wednesday, described the litigants in the Port Harcourt court as embarking on “litigation tourism”, vowing that his administration would do everything legally possible to challenge the injunction in the appellate court.
He stressed that he owed it a responsibility to protect the larger population against a very few who felt no need to take the vaccination.
He hinged his insistence on denial of access to large crowd and public places to unvaccinated persons on the alarming rate the third phase of the Coronavirus is ravaging the state, disclosing that within a spate of two days,one of the front line doctors working with the state’s COVID-19 team, was rendered orphan by the pandemic as the medical personnel lost both parents.
Obaseki added that at best, the court injunction, asking the state government to maintain the status quo was at best, “speculative and preemptive”, as the directive would not become effective until the middle of September.
“To the best of our knowledge, the order is at best speculative and pre-emptive as the scheduled date for the commencement of the enforcement of the directive by the state government is the second week of September, 2021.
“It must be stated that there is an obvious misconception that the directive issued by government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.
“Although the State Governor, in truth, has the power to make such an order under the Gazetted Quarantine Regulations, this directive is actually only a denial of access to public places of persons who chose not to be vaccinated.
“We believe government’s overriding concern is the safety and health of its citizens.
“We are currently confronted with a situation wherein the Case Positivity Rate (CPR) for COVID-19 hovers between 15 and 25 percent as deaths are consistently being recorded daily from COVID-19, with unvaccinated persons accounting for 100 percent of deaths in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Government, therefore, finds it strange that some persons in purported pursuit of their fundamental human rights would embark on litigation tourism outside of our state, seek to become a source of public health danger and put at risk the safety and health of the larger population.
“Government owes a sacred duty to the populace to take all actions necessary to protect the health of the majority of the citizens and in this connection, an even greater quantity of vaccines is being secured for the use of the people of Edo State.
“The Edo State Government has, therefore, instructed its Lawyers to vigorously pursue and challenge all such orders in the courts from where they emanate and if necessary, at the appellate level, while affirming its position as a law-abiding government.
“It must be made clear that the Government shall continue to pursue all legal and administrative options available for the protection of the best interest of the good people of Edo State.”
“We want to reiterate that our directives on vaccination stands and so people who are planning social, religious, political or business events after the second week of September should ensure that both themselves and their guests are not only vaccinated but possess vaccination cards as proof of vaccination, as anyone without this proof will not be granted access to crowded facilities”, Obaseki emphasised.
In addition, he said that the government “is commencing intensive enforcement of use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to curb the current spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths”.
“These measures include compulsory wearing of facemasks, regular washing of hands under running water and/or use of hand sanitisers, and maintenance of recommended social and physical distancing in public places, among others.
“Consequent on the rapid rise in infections and death from COVID-19, government may be forced to implement a lockdown if there is a failure to follow the directives for vaccination and compliance with the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPIs) in order to halt the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is currently raging within the state”, Obaseki warned.
Drogba Returns, Scores Hat-trick Against Arsene Wenger’s Team
Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, on Wednesday night, returned to action to score a hat-trick against Arsene Wenger’s UNICEF XI team in a charity match.
Wenger returned to management to lead a UNICEF XI out against Marseille legends.
Wenger’s side moved into a 2-1 lead at the Stade Velodrome in his first.
However, Drogba stole the show with his trio of goals for Marseille legends.
The Ivory Coast legend found the net twice and then even dusted off his infamous celebration for his third goal.
Marseille legends triumphed 7-4 against UNICEF XI.
Formula One hotshot Pierre Gasly was also on target in the enthralling game.
Meanwhile, Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann, Mathieu Flamini and Samir Nasri, all Arsenal legends under Wenger, made appearances last night.
EFCC Bursts Internet Fraudsters Hideout, Arrests 22
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Command, has arrested 22 “Yahoo Boys” for alleged involvement in internet fraud.
The suspects were identified as Akintunde Ibrahim Olajide, Yusuf Taiye Afeez, Jimoh Idris Okikiola, Adeyemo Wariz Adegoke, Ademola Olalekan Saheed, Anif Abayomi Busayo, Oriade Sunday Oluwatobi, Ajadi Opeyemi Damilola.
Others include, Peter Akanji Blessing,Olaoluwa Felix Oguniran, Agbei Shola Peter, Toheeb Adeagbo Tola, Ajayi Akinyinka Umar, Ibrahim Opeyemi Ishola, Samson Shonubi Oluwafemi, Oki Kayode Oluwadunsi, Durosamo Temitope Dickson, Akinremi Ridwan Abiodun, Ahmed Ogunyele and Olawore Ridwan Olalekan.
They were apprehended during an operation at their hideout in Ogbomoso, Oyo State based on intelligence on their alleged criminal activities.
At the point of their arrest, five cars, several mobile phones, laptops and other incriminating documents were recovered from them.
READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests 11 ‘Yahoo Boys’ In Edo
The Commission said twenty of the 22 suspects have been indicted by investigation.
It added that they would be charged to court as soon as the investigation was concluded.
Six Parties Ready To Merge, Contest Against APC, PDP – Moghalu
A former presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Kingsley Moghalu has claimed that at least six political parties have indicated their interest to merge and form a mega party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Moghalu stated this when he hosted Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, the candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) for the November 6 governorship poll in Anambra State.
The ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who recently defected to the ADC, also called on Nigerians to register in order to be eligible to vote in 2023.
DAILY POST quoted him him: “We hope to be a key part of a much larger third force that is building up for the presidential elections which will include a merger of about six or seven or more parties.
“So, I believe that in the 2023 elections the citizens of Nigeria should not allow it to be a contest between two sides of the same coin because there is no difference. It should be a battle between the old and the new – between the old Nigerian and the possibilities for a new Nigeria. That is what 2023 should be,” Moghalu said.
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