August 29, 2014 – Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has expressed deep concern and worry over the new cases of Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) recorded in Rivers State, calling on the citizens to be on the alert and take their personal hygiene and other preventive measures seriously.
Uduaghan who has already set up an emergency committee on the deadly disease in the wake of the index case in the country, condemned the action of the diplomat that spread the virus to Port Harcourt and the doctor that attended to him in a hotel.
Uduaghan in an interview broadcast live on Channels Television on Friday, as part of activities to mark the 23rd anniversary of the creation of Delta State called for increased and sustained advocacy campaign by stakeholders to curtail further spread of the disease.
“I am not only concerned that the virus has entered Port Harcourt, I am worried and we need to step up advocacy programme for people to raise the level of awareness,” the Governor who is a medical doctor by profession said.
“I feel very sad, very bad as a professional that a colleague, a Medical Doctor went to a hotel to treat someone who was suspected to have Ebola Virus, this call for great concern and need for more awareness to be created.”
“It is ridiculous why a diplomat should leave Lagos for Port-Harcourt knowing that he has been in contact with the primary Ebola victim,” adding that Delta State government has set up isolation centres in different parts of the state to ensure proper management of the disease.
While expressing the hope that it would not be spread to Delta State, Uduaghan called on the people to be vigilant since a lot of persons were still migrating to the state from different parts of the country.
Answering question about some persons protesting against the location of isolation centres in their locality, the Governor said such complaint has not been witnessed in Delta State and noted that there was no need for such protest as preventive measures would have been put in place to ensure the safety of those working in the centres and the people living in the area.
He also spoke of the strides recorded by the state since its creation 23 years ago, emphasizing, “at twenty three, Delta State has come a long way, this is time for celebration, time for reflection, time to look at the challenges we had and I can tell you that a lot has been done within the last twenty three years in terms of overall development.”
Uduaghan expressed the confidence that the Delta beyond Oil economical development programme of his administration would free the state from overdependence on oil revenue from the Federation Account.
“The oil economy is not a sustainable economy not only in Delta State but in Nigeria. The United States of America is depending less on oil from Nigeria and again, the oil may not be there tomorrow,” the Governor said.
Governor Uduaghan identified inadequate funding as the bane of local government administration in the country and advocated for more funds for that tier of government to enable it meet its statutory obligation while also calling for a removal of the burden of payment of teachers’ salaries from councils.
“Funding is a challenge for local government councils, for instance, we (Delta State Government) have to augment local government funds with over six hundred million Naira monthly for them to pay salaries of primary school teachers. There is the need to increase allocation to local governments to enable them pay primary school teachers or move their salaries to the states and increase allocations to the states,” he said.