Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Dr Sidie Tunis
has encouraged community citizens to take COVID-19 vaccines and shun all forms of conspiracy theories because all vaccines are very safe.
Tunis, made the call in Winneba, Ghana at the opening of the Second Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft Budget for the year 2022.
He said that the call for the citizens to get vaccinated was coming as cases continued to surge across the sub-region.
“As it stands, the third wave of the pandemic seems to be stabilising across our States, but cases are still high.
“With the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) reporting a total of 649,077 cases across the region as of Oct. 14, 2021.
“On the vaccine front, more doses are getting into arms daily.
“And we seize this moment to appreciate our partners under the COVAX initiative and friendly Governments that have donated doses to African Countries.
“However, the percentage of African population fully vaccinated, which is a little over 2.47 per cent, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control, is appallingly low, compared to those unvaccinated.
“Much as the unavailability of the vaccine is an issue to consider, we also frown at the conspiracy theories that have created fear of the vaccines in our population.
“I therefore, wish to use this podium, as I have always done, to send a clear message to our citizens that the vaccines are safe and should be taken once they are available,” Tunis said.
Tunis said that the Parliament had continued to examine the COVID-19 pandemic more closely and very concerned about the region falling deeper into recession as a result of the pandemic.
This, he added would ultimately erase the progress we have made over the past two decades.
Hon. Alban Bagbin, Speaker, Ghanaian Parliament urged Members of Parliament to recommend programmes that would alleviate the sufferings of the citizens, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while considering the budget.
Babgin, who was represented by Hon. Joesph Osei-Owsu said that the recommendations would largely influence the budgetary implementation for the proposed programmes and activities of the institution.
“I wish to emphasise that your programmes should alleviate the sufferings of the citizens and reduce their burdens in these trying times.
“Especially those adversely impacted by the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must continue to address poverty in its entire ramification and create job opportunities for the people,” Babgin said.
Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President
William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth post-independence president at a pomp-filled ceremony on Tuesday, after his narrow victory in a bitterly-fought but largely peaceful election.
He was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.
“I William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the public of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve and protect this constitution of Kenya,” he said.
Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.
The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.
His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.
Foreign allies and independent observers praised the conduct of the vote, which was largely peaceful and free of the violence that has marred past elections in the country of 50 million people.
Ruto won by only around 200,000 votes out of 14 million but the Supreme Court on September 5 upheld his victory, dismissing his opponents’ claims of fraud and mismanagement.
Outgoing head of state Kenyatta, who in a stunning turn of events had backed his longtime arch-rival Odinga in the election race, has promised a smooth transfer of power.
Kenyatta finally shook hands with Ruto at a meeting at the presidential residence on Monday after pointedly failing to publicly congratulate his deputy for several weeks.
Ruto has struck a conciliatory tone, extending a “hand of brotherhood” to his rivals and their supporters.
“We are not enemies. We are Kenyans,” Ruto said after the court’s decision.
But Odinga turned down an invitation to attend Tuesday’s ceremony and instead travelled outside the country, charging in a statement that the election body did not conduct a “free and fair” poll.
Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96
The United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has died
The Queen died at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.
Family members gathered at Queen’s Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
A statement by the Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.
Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000
The death toll from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.
The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.
Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.
The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.
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