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#EndSARS: Hoodlums Attack Nigeria’s Benin Prison, Free Inmates (Video)

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Unknown gunmen on Sunday attacked a correctional centre in Benin City, the capital of Nigeria’s Edo State and freed several inmates in one of the cells.

Prisons officials were said to have engaged the hoodlums in a gun battle, injuring some.

According to reports, the hoodlums – who pretended they were #EndSARS protesters – gathered along Sapele Road beside the prison as early as 7 am setting bonfires and sending back road users.

They launched their attack when their number had swelled considerably, broke a part of the wall while some climbed the fence into the prison yard.

The hoodlums also vandalised the High Court 4 which is beside the prison.

Youths across Nigeria have been protesting against a rogue police unit for over a week. The police unit, the Special Anit-Robbery Squad (SARS), has since been disbanded by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) but the protests continued.

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Health

COVID-19: World Bank Pledges 30 African Countries Vaccine Grants

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Not less than thirty African countries will be helped by the World Bank through emergency funding for the procurement of vaccines.

Many African countries are yet to start vaccination programmes although Western nations have already vacccinated millions of people.

A larger percentage of African nations rely on the WHO-backed COVAX facility which has shipped vaccines to three African countries already; Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

The World Bank says funds are being prepared for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Mozambique, Tunisia, eSwatini, Rwanda, Senegal, amongst others but failed to reveal how much they will be getting to aid their vaccines procurement.

The bank has said the funds are available and will be given out as grants to African countries or on highly concessional terms.

A spokesperson of the World Bank said it is the first time the bank will financially back an immunisation plan.

Africa is not as ravaged as the rest of the world but with more than 100,000 deaths recorded so far, the CDC has said it is not in a good place.

Dr. John Nkegasong, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control noted the continent has no business recording as many deaths as it has done.

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UN Agencies Make $266m Appeal to Feed 3Million Refugees in East Africa

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Two UN agencies – the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) – has made an appeal for about $266 million to end food rations for over three million refugees in East Africa.

Michael Dunford, the WFP Regional Director for Eastern Africa, made this remark in a joint statement with the UNCHR in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

He noted that funding shortages had forced cuts up to 60 per cent while growing risks include increased malnutrition
and anaemia as well as stunted growths in children.

Dunford admits the agencies have never had such a terrible funding situation for refugees. They now have a 266-million-dollar shortfall for the next six months for
refugees’ minimum needs.

There are deep concerns that if cuts continue, refugees will be forced to choose from very difficult decisions; stay in the camps where food and security are deteriorating or risk going back home where it is unsafe.

The immediate priority must be to restore assistance to at least minimum levels for refugees, many of whom lost the lifeline
of remittances due to the global impact of COVID-19.

According to the UN agencies, funding shortfalls have forced WFP to slash monthly assistance for refugees by up to 60 per cent in Rwanda, 40 per cent in Uganda and Kenya.

There was also a 30 per cent slash in South Sudan, 23 per cent in Djibouti and 16 per cent in Ethiopia.

The agencies say the impact of the funding shortfalls on refugee families is compounded by COVID-19 lockdowns and measures to contain spread.

This has already reduced the availability of food in markets in refugee camps and wrecked many refugees’ hopes of supporting their families through casual labour and small businesses.

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Buhari to be Vaccinated on Live TV Saturday – Mamora

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at his Aso Villa residence and that will be shown live on television.

Mamora made this disclosure while he appeared as a guest on News Central’s signature news show, Village Square Africa.

Among other things, he remarked that the strategic leadership of the country will be vaccinated, in order to reinstate the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines to Nigerians.

Nigeria, through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has put mechanisms in place to ensure that the vaccines are not found in stores where they’ll be sold to Nigerians.

Several agencies, including the Department of State Services (DSS) will be involved in ensuring the accountability of the vaccines.

Mamora pointed out that vaccination will begin on Friday, beginning with frontline health workers in hospitals where the disease is being battled.

Before vaccination commences, the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will run an analysis on the vaccines in line with the dossier earlier provided, the Minister noted.

Other leaders in the country will receive their shots on Monday at the National Hospital while other Nigerians will have to be registered in order to get vaccinated.

People with comorbidities will be prioritised, alongside individuals who are older than 50 years.

Internationally recognised bar codes will be created for registered people who take the shots.

South African Strain and AstraZeneca

Mamora said the B.1.351 strain which has been found to be highly infectious has not been discovered in Nigeria, revealing that vaccination will go on with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which regrettably lacks potency against that strain.

Nigeria received almost 4million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday through the COVAX facility, joining Ghana and Ivory Coast as the only three countries to have received the vaccines through the facility so far.

By getting vaccinated on live TV, President Buhari will join Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as leaders who have encouraged the citizens by being exemplary.

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