Connect with us

News

It’s Ridiculous, Erroneous to Assume 5G Gives Coronavirus

Published

on

By Joel Popoola

A lot of people have overtime harboured an erroneous conception that the new 5G technology is harmful, and of course capable of transmitting the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

Well, let me shock you: As one of Nigeria’s leading technology entrepreneurs, it’s imperative I tell that it is actually possible to get the coronavirus from a 5G mast.

How? If you lick it.

And even then, you will only get sick if those masts have very recently been licked by someone who has COVID-19.

So unless you, your friends and your family regularly get together to lick telephone poles, you cannot get the coronavirus from a 5G mast.

But across Nigeria this myth is taking root. And social media is where that root finds the most fertile soil.

From Ogun to Borno, in Whatsapp groups, and Twitter posts and Facebook pages, people are spreading claims that twenty-first century telecommunications are to blame for the deadly worldwide outbreak.

These claims are as dangerous as they are ridiculous.

The myths have been discredited in detail by the Nigerian Communications Commission, who have written:

“Firstly, there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19.

“Secondly, there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three (3) months, and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.”

To put it another way: 5G doesn’t cause the cornonavirus, and even if it did, we wouldn’t have to worry in Nigeria as our communications infrastructure isn’t good enough!

That trial, by the way, was limited to three offices in Lagos, Abuja and Calabar and finished months ago.

Still don’t believe me? Well answer this. Iran is one of the countries hit hardest by COVID-19, with 120 times more deaths than Nigeria. If that pastor on YouTube or the meme your Auntie sent you is right and 5G does give you the cornonavirus, how has that happened to a country which has never had 5G!

Improved telecommunications infrastructure is in fact the cure for the epidemics like the coronavirus, not the cause.

5G will allow Nigeria to fast-track the mass adoption of technologies that is key to our economic future, productivity and quality of life – from artificial intelligence and self-driving cars driving around smart cities to virtual reality, remote surgery and internet-connected domestic appliances.

As President Buhari stated in his televised address to the nation the lockdown is only being lifted “with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors”.

Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of infections. It means rapidly finding everyone who has come close to someone who tests positive for an infectious disease like COVID-19 straight away.

But how can you identify every single person someone has come within two metres of in the last two weeks? It’s not possible.

But it is possible if their phone can record being close to your phone. And 5G technology makes that job a lot easier.
You can also send them an alert or message encouraging them to self-isolate – within seconds.

5G won’t save Nigeria from the COVID-19. But the contact tracing it makes possible could save us from the next outbreak, whatever outbreak that is.

In the meantime, our elected leaders need to take responsibility for standing up to social media myths.

Rate Your Leader, a free app I created, allows voters to identify and connect directly with their elected representatives at the touch of a button, direct from their phone.

At a time when myths about COVID-19 are spreading on social media almost as quickly as the virus itself, and when face to face contact is impossible, this connection is even more vital.

People might tell you that they don’t trust their local politicians, but in reality they are high credibility sources with a unique power and reach to promote crucial health messages through their networks.

Platforms like Rate Your Leader have a vital role to play in allowing accurate information to be communicated unfiltered from reliable sources to the people who might otherwise be panicked into listening to less reputable advice and taking steps which might actually be dangerous or damaging to their health.

Blaming 5G is not the only epidemic idiocy out there online. At Rate Your Leader, we have seen bizarre stories circulating on social media – like how COVID-19 can be cured with sesame oil or shaving.

Local leaders must keep their people safe by rapidly rebutting these harmful fantasies.

Nigeria is not alone in these problems. The United Kingdom saw at least 20 cases of 5G masts being attacked in one weekend alone – including one mast serving a hospital treating people with the Corononavirus.

Nigeria’s telecommunications are behind the times as it is. We cannot cope if people misguidedly destroy the assets we do have, because not enough effort has been made to counter the dangerous misinformation they have been given.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Strange Disease Emerges in Rivers Community, Kills 11

Published

on

At least, 11 persons have reportedly died of a strange disease in the Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Two of those who died as a result of the strange ailment were identified as Pauline and Fubara.

A source in Bonny, who identified himself as Ezekiel, told one of Punch correspondents that while Pauline died on Friday, Fubara died of the ailment on Saturday.

Ezekiel explained that some officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control moved into the area on Saturday with a view to finding out the cause of the recent deaths in the place.

The resident said, “Fubara died yesterday, Pauline died a day before yesterday. Within two weeks, there are up to 11 persons who have died.

“As of today (Sunday), the NCDC officials are in town and taking samples from volunteers to test for COVID-19 and will soon make their findings public.

“A lot of people in Bonny now have malaria and typhoid. Again, over the past one week, many people have lost their senses of smell and taste. That is the worry we have. The next thing we saw after that incident is that some young men started dying.

“For the past two weeks, we have lost 10 men; one of them who worked with Saipem died yesterday; his name is Fubara. It is very painful. We cannot trace this one because the NCDC just entered town on Saturday to ascertain the causes of death and loss of taste and smell.

“Some are saying that the loss of taste and smell is associated with COVID-19. Besides that, the rate of pollution in Bonny has increased. In fact, you cannot drink our underground water because the pipes that enter the water have polluted the water. There is fear everywhere.”

Earlier, a statement from the Bonny LGA sighted by one of our correspondents on Sunday indicated that there had been an increase in drug-resistant malaria in the past two weeks on the island.

The statement signed by Omoni LongJohn, Secretary of the Bonny LGA; and Pafuro Tolofari, Supervisor for Health, showed that about 50 per cent of patients complained of dizziness and bitter taste in the mouth.

“There has been an increase in drug-resistant malaria in the past two weeks on the Island. There is also an increase in the cases of typhoid fever in the same period. About 50 per cent of the patients also complained of dizziness, bitterness in the mouth, lack of sense of taste and smell.

“The resistance to normal malarial drugs results in patients returning almost immediately with the same complaints, resulting in the administration of intravenous injections. This treatment shows 100 per cent improvement in the health of the patients.

“Patients with loss of taste and smell are given allergy drugs and they report improvements, as majority of them do not show symptoms of cough and catarrh.

“There has been no death as a result of these illnesses in any of the hospitals/clinics on the island in the past one month. There have been less than six in-patient deaths in all the hospital/clinics on the island in the past two weeks and they all have chronic medical history.

“There are about six cases of dead patients brought to the hospital/clinics for confirmation. They also have compromised health situations beforehand, on inquiry to their families by the doctors.”

The Punch

Continue Reading

News

Why Nigerians Find Fault with Corruption Fight Amid Buhari’s World Acclaimed Efforts

Published

on

By Joel Popoola

Here’s irony for you: Nigerian politics has a better reputation with international experts than it does with Nigerians.

We all know that when it comes to reputation, the Nigerian government can be its own worst enemy.

Whether it’s accidentally appointing dead men to government commissions, or copying entire laws off the internet like a naughty schoolboy, our political class has kept us laughing for longer than Papa Ajasco!

That’s why many Nigerians will be surprised to hear of research from the University of Edinburgh Global Integrity’s Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) programme, which shows how much better Nigeria is getting at tackling corruption.

The study reports that the prosecution of high-level corruption cases in Nigeria has noticeably improved in recent years with “key legislative reforms, as well as innovations and pragmatic adaptations undertaken by prosecutors and investigators (underpinning) much of this progress”.

The international academic observers even describe the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “a robust and effective agency”.

The report concludes:

“By looking at evidence of what is actually happening, rather than relying on apocryphal accounts or worn-out stereotypes; policymakers, practitioners, civil society and international partners can work together more effectively to support effective anti-corruption law enforcement practice in Nigeria.”

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration obviously understand how important these changes are to the government’s national and international reputation and performance. It is therefore, believed that the government will prioritised these changes in the coming days.

Sadly, Nigerians themselves are not as impressed with the progress being made.
The Pew Research centre reports that more than seven-in-ten Nigerians (72%) believe the statement “most politicians are corrupt” describes our country well, and six-in-ten say it describes Nigeria “very well.”

Just 39% of Nigerians are satisfied with the way democracy is working in our country – with 60% not satisfied – and 57% stating their belief that no matter who wins an election, things do not change very much for Nigerians.

And as Nigerians, we have to face facts; there’s a reason people feel this way. The international Corruption Perception Index (CPI) still ranks us 146 out of 180 countries, making us the 34th most corrupt country on Earth. One online poll even suggested that 80% of Nigerians think that placing is deserved.

As the Acting Chairman, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, stated recently that: “Corruption is a huge burden to our nation. It has spread to insecurity, poverty, unemployment, falling standard of education, weak access to affordable health care, falling infrastructure and so many others.”

What is to be done?

Well, the ACE study recommends that Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agencies; the EFCC, ICPC, and CCB should “increase transparency as well as intensify collaboration and information sharing with other government agencies and non-governmental partners”.

I believe that this recommendation should be followed throughout Nigerian government. And that’s where technology comes in.

Nigerians need to see the progress that is being made. And in the twenty-first century, people increasingly find information they get from their peers to be the most credible. But to many Nigerians, the political class feels far away and irrelevant. It doesn’t have to be that way. The power to change is in our hands. Literally!

26 million Nigerians voted in the last presidential election. 24 million have social media accounts.

39% of Nigerians voted in the last presidential election. 46% have a Facebook account.

Online and on handheld devices, are increasingly where connections are made in modern Nigeria.

My Digital Democracy project was established to make electors and elected true peers, connecting people with their elected officials via their phones using our free Rate Your Leader app. The app also allows leaders to explain direct to the people they serve– without any sort of spin or fake news distortion – what decisions they have made, why they have made them, and how it affects local people.

This in turn leads to greater levels of trust in a political class that the voters can see are working for them, and accountable to them.

Another survey reported that almost half of Nigerians believe that corruption cannot be defeated.

It can, but not before our political class takes important steps to improve its image through greater accountability and transparency.

But thanks to smartphone technology, that can be done from the comfort of their homes, with the touch of a button.

Joel Popoola is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur, digital democracy campaigner and creator of the Rate Your Leader app.

Continue Reading

News

Food for Living: Elevate Your Game

Published

on

By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friend,

In the journey of life, everyone’s goal and desire is to constantly elevate their game. Elevating games means several things to different persons. To some, it is going up the ladder of success, while to others, it can be stepping up their game plan by scaling it up. Most of us are driven to succeed, yet it is amazing how many of us view the process of getting to where we want to go as a chore, rather than as the greatest, most fulfilling adventure of a lifetime.

The pursuit of success is our greatest gift, as it is exactly what develops our character and makes our lives extraordinary. When we have a goal in mind, we are instantly purposed. Succeeding comes down our mindset. Our mindset must be driven to succeed, to sacrifice and to have the resiliency and patience to chart our path.

In today’s business world, the only entities that will stay relevant are businesses and people who are willing go the extra mile to gain not only theoretical knowledge, but practical knowledge through learning, unlearning and relearning. In an evolutionary point of view, those who are not adaptable to change will not survive. This is the most reliable way of elevating your game. It’s quite unfortunate many corporate organizations don’t take time to learn contemporary skills and certification which will enable them to be ahead of their competitors. The same philosophy is applicable to progressive beings who don’t take time to improve themselves. When you elevate your game plan, opportunities will locate you. This is because you have set yourself apart from your contemporaries.

In elevating your game, it is important to mind who you spend time with, your network of friends, the books you read, the associations/organizations you relate with, and most especially, your mindset. It is instructive to note that you cannot achieve more than your imaginations can assimilate. According to Henry Ford, if you think you can and if you think you can’t, either way you’re right. It is pertinent to note that who you spend your life with will determine how your life will be. You cannot hang out with chicken and expect to soar. Isn’t it true that your friends can make or mar you? It is widely believed that, if you hang out with nine millionaires, you’ll be the next millionaire. Therefore, today, I charge you to look at your friends and see where you are likely to be in five years.

You can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result. Always make it a point of duty to set new record for yourself. In setting a record, you have to be on the lookout for certain qualities you’ll like to learn. You can also check out the qualities you can learn from your friends. Whatever qualities your friends have is likely going to rub off on you. Just like spirits are transferable, bad friends can influence you with their character

Set Boundaries

In order for you to elevate your game, you need to set boundaries. For instance, If you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to step up your game by raising the bar for only a select group of people who identify and share in your vision. You need to ask yourself hard questions on what you really want. Inferior minds are always concerned with what they’ll lose if they cut off from certain boundaries/person. They fail to ask themselves, like what is important to them? Money, fame, value or vision. If you are among these categories of people, who always ask what if I lose my business? I have a simple question for you, what if you miss your destiny?

When you’re in the process of elevating your game, what you’re unwilling to separate from, will continue to follow you. The law of the group says, we associate with people with the way we see ourselves. Happy people hangout out with happy people. What most people don’t know and understand is that twenty years from now nobody will care about your friends. It’s not about quantity if your friends but quality. A one loyal and impactful friend is better than ten general friends.

You shouldn’t apply sentiment in business. Don’t mix family and business together. It’s not a good business idea to do business with only people associated/connected with you, because they may not have the same spirit unlike strangers. Treat them with respect but relate from a distance.

In the journey of life, your joy is your joy, none can share it with you. What this really means is that your success and failure lies with you. If you don’t get the wrong people out, the right people won’t come.

How Can We Elevate Our Game

It is generally believed that one’s entrepreneurial journey won’t be such a grind if they learn to take joy in your growth along the way.

1.      Start a personal project. Define a specific goal/project to realize in a specific period. It should be something that you absolutely feel is yours.

2.      Get trusted advisors. It is time for you to stop taking suggestions from anyone who has an opinion. Search for a mentor who has the expertise in the industry you are passionate about.

3.      Read as vast as you can. Trying to have knowledge about almost every aspect of life. In that way, it makes you to position yourself very well.

4.      Run Your Race

To get to our next level we must focus on our own race. We must not succeed for anyone but ourselves. We must not pursue success to show up, get revenge, or take someone down that we fear is better. The reason race horses have blinders on their eyes is so they don’t get distracted by the other horses when they’re racing. The blinders do not allow the horse to see anything but what is in front of them. It forces the horse to stay focused on their own race. We must do the same thing. We all saw what happened in the Olympics with the South African swimmer and Michael Phelps. The South African was watching Phelps, and Phelps was watching the finish line. It’s no wonder Phelps won. We must each focus on our own finish line.

5.       Keep the faith.

To elevate our game, we must always hold a vision of the next step in our process. The vision we hold is the picture of success we chase. We must drive, dig, grind and then let go, and have faith, as we witness how the results of our actions land. Every single day our eyes open in the morning, we must make sure we’re clear about what we want. We each have control over how hard and how smart we work; the rest comes down to having the faith that our efforts will pay off in the ways we want. The large majority of successful people work from faith. Faith is the energy that funds belief. Without belief, success isn’t a possibility.

6. You must believe.

The more we push ourselves beyond our perceived limits, the more we expand our belief in ourselves. This is exactly how we elevate to the next level. If we see a door that has a sign that says “limit,” “fear,” “I can’t,” “its not possible,” or “who are you kidding?” on it, we must take it upon ourselves to push through every single one of those doors. The majority of the time we will find that the signs on those doors were lies we’ve been telling ourselves. When we walk through them and achieve the “impossible,” we build our character and greatly increase the confidence we have in ourselves. The more confident we are, the more we elevate our game.

7. Be a team player.

One of the most important ways to elevate our game is to be inclusive. Success is a team sport. There’s an  African proverb that says if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to far, go with a team. If we are selfish, and we try and hoard or hide our success, we won’t get nearly as far as when we choose to include others in achieving our goals. It’s teamwork that makes the dream work. When we’re on our mission and we see anyone on our team wearing thin, we must partner up and bring them along, and expect the same in return. We must drop our egos, and ask for help whenever and wherever necessary. We are much more resilient when we have a community of support to turn to.

What are you doing to elevate your game?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

Continue Reading