Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thousands Honour Slain Tao FM Radio Staff as Markets Close in Okene

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Okene, Kogi State, on Tuesday to protest the killing of four staff of Tao FM radio in a terrorist bomb blast.

The spontaneous protest march was followed by the closure of all markets, banks, offices and commercial ventures in Kogi Central Senatorial District in honour of those killed and injured in the deadly night attack on the popular community radio.

Protesters called on the federal and state governments as well as the security agencies to fish out those behind the attack.

"We will not allow this to be swept under the carpet again like other unsolved killings in the area in the past", said a female protester who did not give her name.

"We must find and punish those behind this crime. Enough is enough. This land belongs to all of us. No one can terrorize us".

The protesters later marched to the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebira, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, in Okene. They pleaded with him to do something to end the terrorist acts in his domain. The Ohinoyi promised to do all in his powers to end the killings.

The attack on the radio station on Monday night in which four staff died, one was injured and broadcast equipment and the building housing the station, has led to an outpouring of emotions and pledges of support for the station with some people demanding that an account be opened for donations to bring back the influential Tao FM radio station.

Tao fm releases dedicated bank account to receive donations

The Board of Directors of Ovidi Communications Ltd appreciates all An'Ebira, friends and well wishers within and outside Ebiraland who have expressed desire to help Tao 101.9 FM Radio.

The following dedicated bank account has been opened for the purpose:

Bank: GTB
Account Name: Ovidi  Communications Ltd.
Account No: 0169118744.

Please NOTE that the above account details replace the earlier one posted.

Thank you all. God bless and do help us pass the information to others who are interested in helping Tao Radio.


Job opportunities at LUCAF


Lift Up Care Foundation is a non –governmental, non -profit making, non-religious and non-political, charitable organization. It was established  and registered in 2006 with aim of ensuring societal development in the area of Health, Education, Vocational training, Economic Empowerment with focus on children, women and other vulnerable groups.

Job Description

Position: Care & Support Officer (HIV/TB) in Lokoja and Ankpa
Report to: Program Manager

The purpose of this position is to provide technical guidance and ensure the implementation of technical program activities for community based HIV Care and Support in the SMILE Program.  S/he will collaborate closely with the SMILE HIV Prevention, Care & Support Specialist to roll out and implement an integrated and holistic community based response to HIV/AIDS towards scaling up access to HIV prevention and care services for vulnerable children and their caregivers.  

General function:
The Care and Support Officer (HIV/TB) will be responsible for working closely with the SMILE Prevention, Care & Support specialist to achieve the strategic objectives of the program – focusing primarily on HIV prevention, Care & Support but also supporting cross-cutting themes and integration efforts across the project with other areas of OVC programming including Household Economic Strengthening and Nutrition. S/he will assist in strengthening the capacity of community volunteers and PMT in community based HIV response in line with operational strategies for achieving project aims, results and performance expectations through adherence to high standards of programmatic and management quality.

Major Responsibilities:
S/he will provide technical and programmatic support primarily in the areas of HIV prevention, Community based HIV Care & Support for project beneficiaries affected by AIDS. S/he will be responsible for implementing strategies designed to strengthen the linkages between the community based care activities and health facilities providing HIV care and treatment towards ensuring a continuum of care. S/he will also support in the area of HIV prevention awareness creation, community mobilization for HIV counselling and testing, HIV/TB care and support, PMTCT and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), improving referral and counter-referral systems between communities and facilities. In addition, S/he will support the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed at addressing HIV risk behaviours, HIV transmission, and gender-based violence with a focus on adolescent girls and young female caregivers. 

Specific Responsibilities:
  • Provide technical support and ensure program activities improve access to HIV prevention and care services amongst project beneficiaries and their caregivers in project communities
  • Work with other project staff to ensure adherence to technical standards, best practices and SMILE guidelines for all HIV Prevention Care & Support activities of the project.
  • Support strategies towards ensuring that project activities are built on strong behaviour change principles, and build the capacity of Community Volunteers and relevant project staff in effective implementation and monitoring.
  • Work closely with LGA health unit and LACA in identifying and capitalizing on leverage points for improved linkages and referral coordination at the community level and  for integration of HIV Prevention Care & Support elements into other OVC areas project activities and vice versa.
  •  Attend all relevant central trainings and HIV CoP meetings organized by SMILE and submit training reports to Program Manager.
  •  Step-down all central trainings to community volunteers, PMT and other relevant stakeholders at the LGA and community levels.
  •  Ensure proper documentation of all program activities implemented including ensuring beneficiaries provided with relevant HIV services are entered into NOMIS.
  • Support the formation and regular meeting of beneficiary support groups in project communities.
  • Perform any other task as may be assigned by the ED or the Program Manager or his designee.
Qualifications and Skills:
  • HND/BSC in a relevant health degree plus a minimum of 2 years technical experience with community-level HIV prevention, Care & Support  programs
  • Experience in supporting HIV Testing and Counselling programs in health facilities, mobile units and community outreaches.
  •  Knowledge of Government of Nigeria HIV Care and Treatment guidelines (Paediatric & Adult)and experience working with HIV programs
  • Familiarity with OVC programming and principles.
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills required.
Method of application: Suitably qualified candidates should forward their application with resume and a cover letter (not to exceed two pages) addressing each of the competency requirements for the desired position to using the position of interest and location as the subject of the mail. Submission of hard copy of application package is also encouraged.
Applications should be addressed to:
The Executive Director,
Lift Up Care Foundation (LUCAF).
GP 705 Michael Olobayo Housing Estate,
Behind ‘C’ Division police station Gadumo,
 Lokoja, Kogi State.

DEADLINE: 4pm 15th of May, 2015. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
NB: All applicants MUST be computer literate and able to use basic computer packages effectively, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Abandoned renovation work at Okene general hospital resumes

By Ismail M. Kabir

Following the recent outburst on Tao FM radio station on the pitiable condition of the Okene general hospital, the long abandoned renovation work has commenced again.

Workers were on site when our team visited the hospital on Tuesday, 28th April, 2015. Most of the roofs have been replaced on the admission wards while the staff car park was undergoing repair as at the time of our visit.

It could be recalled that the hospital renovation contract was recently awarded by Kogi State government to a yet to be identified company which later abandoned the job after the removal of the old roofs over most parts of the hospital building.

This led to the destruction of some of the hospital equipments and facilities including items donated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The hospital workers have been on strike since December 2004 following the failure of the state government to meet up with the some demands made by the Health workers union in the state.

The industrial action paralyzed the activities of the once busy hospital. Patients have deserted the hospital as there are no medical personnel to attend to them while the premises is covered in bushes.

The hospital which was upgraded to a zonal hospital by the state government in recent years is the major health center in entire Kogi central district.

No staff was available to speak with us on the strike but a casual staff who preferred anonymity lamented the insensitivity of the state government about the plight of its citizens. He said the unmet demand of the workers that led to the strike was far less than the monthly revenue generated from the hospital to the state government.

"Since the strike started in December last year, the revenue we generate to the state government which is never less than N5million monthly has since stopped. Yet, the governor is not bordered about it", he said.

Four over four months, the zonal hospital has remained inaccessible to the sick and people with various medical needs. To say that the hospital is the hope of the common people in the community who can hardly afford the private health center leaves much to be imagined.

Since no resumption date has been announced for the striking workers, the chances of the ordinary people in the community to survive health issues remain largely on hope.

Photos of on-going renovation work at Zonal Hospital, Okene:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


A Media Arts lecturer at the University of Abuja, Dr Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, has strongly condemned the bombing of Tao FM radio station in Okene, Kogi State, calling it "an attempt by some evil forces to silence the voice of the people".

"Since it started operation about three years ago, Tao FM has been a powerful medium through which the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District share news and information about their own community and about the rest of Nigeria. It has created a vibrant, committed and united community of listeners", Onukaba said in a statement he personally signed and released in Abuja yesterday.

"Tao FM, a privately owned radio station dedicated to serving and uplifting the community, has had within so short a time a profound impact on the people of Kogi Central. Its programmes have kept the community well informed, educated and entertained. It has been used to mobilize the community for the attainment of political, economic and social goals. The station contributed in no small measure to the peaceful, violence-free polls witnessed in the area recently".

Onukaba, a former managing director of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc and media adviser to ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, called the Kogi State Government and security agencies in the state to find, arrest and diligently prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.

He called on the state government to assist the station to replace its bombed broadcast equipment and repair the damaged building and compensate those who lost their lives.

'Kogi State needs Tao radio. Nigeria needs its powerful voice to galvanize the people towards achieving national development objectives. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. Whoever disagrees with any of the station's programmes should express his/her views peacefully and in a civilized manner without recourse to violence", Onukaba added.

He prayed for the souls of those who died in the attack and for the quick recovery of the injured. He asked the owners of the station not to be discouraged by this temporary setback.

"We should do everything humanly possible to bring the station back in operation with tighter security around its personnel and equipment. Tao FM cannot be silenced. It has become a Kogi Central institution. It must not be allowed to die."

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