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ISSUES: Niger CAN goofed

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ISSUES: Niger CAN goofed

By Abdullberqy U. Ebbo

The government of Alhaji(Dr) Abubakar Sani Bello Governor, Niger State, has frowned upon allegations by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that the administration has been lopsided in favour of Muslims and certain section of the citizenry in the state in respect of political appointments.

The fact that a religious body with large bulk of faithful decided to go public with erroneous but sensitive information is worrying, to say the least!

While the fact still remains that the second term administration of Governor Abu Sani Bello is just taken off, appointments so far made is just four, representing far less than 5% of the total expected bulk, As we write this, the Governor has not constituted his team, comprising commissioners, Special Advisers, and others. Posts including those of Project Managers, Directors-General, Board Chairmen and members, Coordinators, Assistant Coordinators, and Senior Special Assistants have not been filled!

From another perspective, it is good to inform Christian body that the Governor himself, being a beneficiary of catholic school – a purely Christian organization – cannot shortchange Christians. This is what he did not do even in his first term. The governor has repeatedly emphasised being a Governor of the entire state and, politically, father of all – irrespective of religion, or party affiliation.

Even his political critics admitted openly that Governor Abu Sani Bello sites his projects and executes works based on peoples needs and never where certain political elements or religious personalities come from. So far, the Governor has lived up to expectations of being dispassionate and fair in his dealings and conducts as state Governor!

The Governor does not look and has never looked at someone’s religion before giving him/her appointments; he is for credibility, competence and character, and whoever he finds as having these, he awards positions.

The question is, only about 4 appointments have been made so far not even up to 5% of the appointments to be made and they’re already crying foul? This is not the way to go about the business of coordinating Christians in the state for meaningful and cohesive participation, as a religious body.

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Perspectives

Calabar stands still for late Major Eyo Esua

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Calabar stands still for late Major Eyo Esua

October 12, was one day that Calabar stood still for one departed soul. The very large number of personalities that flooded the city to commiserate with the family of the late Major Eyo Ita Esua (retired) during funeral activities marking his departure confirmed that he touched many lives in his life time. Human and vehicular movement were practically shutdown around Beecroft Street, where the funeral service held at Wesley Cathedral of Methodist Church, Nigeria; Esua’s compound on Oma Street and Marian Road, which passes by the “Dome” reception venue on Calabar Municipal Council premises.

“Having passed away 45 days short of his 92nd birthday, he was not young but we know that you will all miss him – his voice, his mannerisms and his good judgement. His was a prominent name in Lagos medical circles, especially Surulere, Lagos Mainland where he tended to the health needs of a horde of people as the sympathetic physician, who lived up to the Hippocratic oath.”

That was part of the brief but very touching condolence letter that Baptist Academy Old Students Association (BAOSA) Obanikoro, Lagos, sent to Esua’s family. Titled “An illustrious old student”, the letter spoke the minds of thousands.

They said he was their doctor, their model, their judge and one that provided them with living water – a reference to his Blue Rose Water Project. The story of his life and times is interesting. The late Eyo Ita Eyo, chairman of Federal Electoral Commission 1964/1965 and secretary of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) was his father.

His mother’s name was Ada. Born on October 12, 1927, he began his kindergarten education in 1933 after which he attended Baptist Academy on Broad Street, Lagos, for his primary and secondary education. In 1950, he sailed in a mail boat to United Kingdom for the pre-medical programme of University of Durham.

His successful performance there helped him to proceed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne Medical School, which was then a college of the University of Durham. He later in 1957 undertook his housemanship in Surgery at the Park Hospital, Davyhume, Manchester University and in Medicine at the General Hospital, Altrincham. Esua returned to Nigeria in 1959 and worked with the Federal Ministry of Health, which posted him to Apapa Dispensary, General Hospital, Creek Hospital and Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

In 1962, he joined the Nigerian Army Medical Corps in the rank of a captain but left as a Major in 1965 to establish Ada Hospital in Surulere area of Lagos. The hospital became one of the most famous privatelyowned medical facilities in Lagos on account of his commitment to efficient medical care, availability of competent workers and consultants and willingness to treat some very poor people who could not settle their bills.

However, the brilliant doctor was compelled by advancing age and the fact that none of his children followed his footsteps into the medical profession, to retire from active medical practice and to sell Ada Hospital franchise to a younger doctor in his employ. On his return to Calabar, he decided to contribute to development of Cottage industry in Cross River State by establishing Blue Rose Water in 1996 – the first brand of table and sachet water in the state.

The product became very popular in homes, workplaces and hotels. “If you have not drank Blue Rose Water, then you don’t know Calabar or even Cross River State”, Pastor Okon Ndiok, a staff of University of Calabar, told this writer. Luckily, his widow Theresa has assured that the water project will continue.

“By God’s grace, we will maintain your wish to provide good clean water for human consumption and also provide jobs for our youths”, she said in her tribute to the husband. Late Dr. Esua was also a good judge. One of his relations, the proprietor of Ikpeme Medical Centre on Ambo Street, Calabar, recounts when one-time head of Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar, wanted to cause another medical facility to take over the retainership he had with the CBN over “some trivial matter” and he informed Dr. Esua, who contacted the chief medical director of CBN that arrived Calabar to handle the investigation himself and he got back his retainership.

Dr. Esua was also known to be a devout Christian and a pillar both in the Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo, Lagos, where his father is said to have been instrumental to the establishment of English Language Service and the Calabar branch where he had the position of patron of the church and of the men and women fellowships. A lover of Christian music and hymns, the last song Major Esua was heard humming before his passing on August 28, was “Lead, kindly Light, and the encircling gloom”

 

 

  •  Akpaekong wrote in from Calabar
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Perspectives

Of journalist, journalism, grateful and ‘greatful’

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Of journalist, journalism, grateful and ‘greatful’

Two incidents aroused my interest of recent: the first was the banner carried by some officials of the Federal Ministry of Education during a march past to mark Teachers’ Day last Saturday. The banner reads: ‘FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY MATCH PAST.

The problem is the word “MATCH.” The appropriate word is MARCH not MATCH.A lot of Nigerians were taken aback by this error and wondered why nobody in the ministry that supervises and perhaps formulates our education policies did not spot the error before it became a national embarrassment on a day meant to celebrate teachers worldwide. Just a few days after the ministry’s World Teachers’ Day banner with the error went viral on the internet with its attendant backlashes, came another one from the judiciary workers in Akwa Ibom State.

The plaque on the wall of the staff clinic “commissioned by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom, on Tuesday, the 8th of October, 2019, has Judiciary spelt as ‘Juduciary.’ Surprisingly, nobody saw it before the clinic was commissioned by the governor.

Expectedly, Nigerians feasted on it on social media. Some even blamed the governor for the error. But for me, that is politics. But if I were the governor and saw the error, I would have pointed it out and possibly give a short deadline for it to be corrected. It may be the fault of the sign writer and it is possible that the ‘Juduciary’ workers did not pay attention to the embarrassing error and got carried away by the frenzy of the governor coming to commission the project and preferred to dissipate energy on how to impress the governor as good hosts.

The problem might have been caused by a man who dropped out of school and found a vocation in sign writing or the plaque was made by somebody who assumes he knows when he is only intoxicated by his half knowledge. This may even be the case with the maker of the Ministry of Education’s banner.

I often tell people that as second language speakers of English Language, we are bound to make errors due to a lot of factors, which have been highlighted by socio- linguistics experts. But some errors should get us worried if they are made by university graduates or people in some professions who use English language as a mode of communication. It’s even more worrisome when such people assume they know when in actual fact they are ignoramuses. I cannot forget in a hurry the experiences I had with two ladies at different places last year.

I went for an event somewhere on the Lagos Island. A lady was asked to register attendees. She had a paper and a pen to register us. There was a column where occupations of attendees should be written, she asked for my occupation and I told her ‘journalism.’ She gave me a disdainful look and shook her head.

I couldn’t fathom what she was up to. I initially thought may be journalists were not expected at the event. I quickly checked my phone to be sure I was invited for the event since the invitation was sent to my phone. But before I could stop fiddling with my phone, she yelled at me:

“Oga, your occupation?” I responded:”journalism.” She rudely interrupted me and yelled again: Journalist not journalism. I did all I could to differentiate between journalism and journalist. I even used some other professions to explain the differences between occupations and those who practice them. I remember talking about teacher and teaching, police and policing, nurse and nursing etc. however, she had made up her mind she was right and I was wrong.

Perhaps, she would have rated me as the worst “Alakowe” (educated person) she had ever seen in her entire life. Since she had the yam and knife, in form of the paper and pen, she had her way and wrote that my occupation is journalist. She missed the opportunity of learning what she didn’t know.

Such person won’t get home and check the dictionary to know if she was right or wrong because she assumed she knew what she was talking about. Last year, I went to a fast food place and asked that a cake should be made to celebrate my birthday.

After making payment, the cashier, a young lady, asked if I wanted to inscribe words on the cake. She later handed a paper and a pen to me. I wrote: ‘A grateful heart’ on the paper. After reading it, her countenance changed. But I already knew where the problem was.

As I was descending the staircase with my wife, who had accompanied me to the place, I told her that the word ‘grateful’ would be misspelt and I gave her my reasons. I knew she didn’t believe me and might have felt I was unnecessarily underrating the girl. In fairness to my wife, she didn’t overtly say she doubted my rating of the girl.

However, when I went to pick the cake a day after, ‘grateful’ has been changed to ‘greatful’ boldly inscribed on the cake. I screamed and this attracted the manager of the eatery. He approached me and wanted to know what the problem was.

I demanded to see the girl whom I gave what I wanted written on the cake so as to compare my ‘grateful’ with her ‘greatful.’ But she wasn’t on duty. After the manager apologised, I suggested that the inscription should be scrapped from the cake.

However, I was convinced that doing so would deface the cake. I was confused because I didn’t want to take it to the newsroom. I was afraid some of my subordinates might think their editor didn’t know the spelling of ‘grateful’. I grudgingly took the cake with the error. What saved the day was that my colleagues in the office made another cake for me.

This was the cake I eventually cut in the office. So, I took my ‘greatful’ cake home where I knew I can have the luxury of explaining the error if I was asked. My wife was shocked that what I envisaged truly happened. But I wasn’t surprised because I am a journalist and my profession is journalism.

So, I often come across situations like that. I witnessed another one a few days ago on a WhatsApp platform group. A colleague mixed up “tasking” and “taxing.” He wrongly assumed that the correct word in the context was “tasking” and not “taxing” as correctly used by the writer. He thought and even argued that “taxing” is about “tax” and “taxation.”

When he was told the writer was right and he was wrong. He wouldn’t take such. When he was advised to check the dictionary for the meanings and usages of the closely related words in sound and written forms. His response was that at ‘his level’, he should not be checking the dictionary for such words. Of all my English Language teachers, Prof. Oko Okoro of the University of Lagos, stands out. But at his level, he didn’t enter our class as ‘Masters students’ without coming with his dictionary.

On a few occasions he forgot, he would ask one of us to go to his office and bring his dictionary before teaching. He said one thing he discovered was that he learnt new things each time he opened the dictionary. So, when in doubt, checking the dictionary is not a bad idea instead of assumption. It wasn’t a surprise that whenever a student said anything that sounded strange, Prof. Okoro would always insist on using the dictionary to either fault or corroborate that “strange” thing said by a student in the class. He always advised that we should not assume we know but should always rely on the dictionary.

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Abia North; Senator Kalu, employing utilitarian jurisprudence to reform representation to the right perspective

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Abia North; Senator Kalu, employing utilitarian jurisprudence to reform representation to the right perspective

Majority of Abia North constituents no longer swallow any narrative, hook, line and sinker, without efforts at fact- checking same, our people now live by rational, objective and empirical observation therefore efforts at hoodwinking and bamboozling us shall surely prove abortive.

One does not even need to go very close to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to understand that he is a social utilitarian who is always seeking the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons and any person who understands his believe system also should expect his style of law making to be embedded in the jurisprudence of utilitarianism, given also his non- elitist, listening and open door nature.

While appreciating the fact that many of our people are now waking up to the fundamental and common obligation of general political cognizance which is what some of us have prayed as this shows we are now ready to come out of legislative obscurity with Kalu, some of us who have been in this field for long and are well acquainted with important and verifiable facts concerning the representation of Abia North, shall always offer to decorously and respectfully ensure that people are properly guided so that no person misrepresents salient facts as a result of inadequate knowledge and or misconstruement of issues, as this may be misleading those who rely on such persons for proper guidance and political decisions,we shall always seek to represent facts correctly for the overriding general interest of our people.

With most due respect, it totally fails the objective test of ripeness, and rather inchoate, premature and unwarranted given the fact that Senator Kalu has just spent about four months in office out of four years, it is also unfair,imbalanced,biased,prejudiced and unarguably incorrect for anyone to begin to make averrments of improper and or inadequate representation or begin to draw a comparator between him and his predecessors given the fact that within this short period senator Kalu has made very remarkable contributions that are already being felt in Abia North and Nigeria as a whole, inter alia, towards the revival of the oil palm industry in Nigeria which is the greatest endowment in Abia North and at present among the most needed commodities all over the world following more discoveries on the usefulness of the product,he has also made a laudable, bold and giant move to tackle the ecological issues that had been challenging Abia North which the other senators before him were not able to attract proportionate remedies, if they did their supporters will not be representing the problems in the manner they are doing, as if they started to exist in this current tenure which is targeted at evading the negligence and blameworthiness of their masters, the African Continental Free Trade Area(AFCTA), the Deplorable state of Akwa-Ibom and Abia State link-high way, Domestic Refining of Petroleum Products,need to check illegal mining activities, it is very rare to achieve this within this short period this shows vigilance and proactiveness.

It is beyond reasonable doubt that we have gotten it right this time. We have already departed from the era of permutations, probabilities, imprecision and uncertainties in relationships with our Senators to the era of certainty, predictability and stability.

From the era of elitist, toffee-nosed and inaccessible senators to the era of egalitarianism, accessibility and easily approachable senator for the first time, this is what our people had craved for, and without this no person can validly lay claim to Senators knowing the problems of their constituents and making laws that positively affect their lives, nemo dat quod non habeat, no one can give what he does not have. Nothing can be farther from the truth, any person making allusions that any of our former Senators had any better approach than Senator Kalu is obviously standing facts on their heads and taking the wrong position,how could they had spoken or worked satisfactorily for those they severed common fraternization with as almighty senators in their display of classical egoistic and elitist character? which was evidently and conspicuously displayed and imposed on us as the norm.

It may also be viewed by rational thinkers as an effort to hoodwink gullible persons, if any person should hold the opinion that past senators attracted whatever eldorado projects in Abia North, we should be able to point at them without scratching beyond the surface,if they did our people could not have overwhelmingly, vigorously and massively clamored for Kalu who we believe so much in his abilities to command changes in the system and our people stopped at nothing to effectuate their desires at the polls, at least we are reasonable enough.

Talking about attracting projects by past senators seems vague as such projects are not built in abstractism and illusionment rather in the physical for the use of the people except we are talking of stomach projects. While I totally agree that Abia North is the primary constituency of Senator Kalu, I also know, it is not correct and a bit myopic expecting that the only thing our Senator will give attention to must be problems domiciled only within Abia North as if we exist in isolation, this is because of some undeniable facts,(1) there are problems our district also share in common with other Nigerians (2) we should consider the level of political exposure of our Senator (3) being the Chief Whip means he is a principal officer of the Nigerian Senate and has a wider jurisdiction (4) that he is standing in the gap for the entire southeast from the governing APC (5) that he is under a constitutional obligation to legislate for all Nigerians, referencing section 4(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) which we are also beneficiaries, vibrancy and being vocal must not denote sectional and tribal aggressiveness.

Our major concern should be whether he is attending to our problems? the answer is a conspicuous YES, and every unbiased person in the world is attesting to this fact. What he requires from Abia North constituents is to make every possible and relevant information available to him, he is sure to deliver and he has reiterated this severally, every person in this world who knows Senator Orji Uzor Kalu knows that he has the capacity in all ramifications to deliver and he shall surely deliver.

 

Noble Agbaeze

Abia North Constituent.

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Perspectives

Have you forgotten what your spouse did?

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Have you forgotten what your spouse did?

Are you one of those who have come to perceive your spouse as a devil just a few years after marriage?

Some years ago when you met, your current spouse (or the one you pushed away) was a darling indeed. Your then fiancée or fiancé did just whatever you wished and you acted the same way. Your wish was his or her command. You could not sleep without speaking on phone (if it was post mobile-phone period). You cherished hanging out with him or her. Life with the person was just fun. You were ready to sacrifice anything to make him or her happy. The person had brought a long desired peace into your life suddenly.

Of particular importance was the fact that this person sponsored your education, helped you get a job, made your family happier, comfortable, gave you economic empowerment or helped you acquire a skill. The person picked you up from the gutter financially and made you a palace occupant, restored your lost self esteem or gave you a non-existent one. Maybe he or she gave you children, a lacked care and love or gave you hope and courage to move beyond your premarital financial, social, spiritual or psychological status.

Today, for whatever reasons, you are wishing you never married this person. You are even blaming all your perceived failures in life on this person. You have forgotten your spouse’s contributions to your personal development years ago. You have forgotten anything positive about your spouse.

My dear, you are in error. Forgetting the good that your spouse has done to your life is an error.

“But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, though we thus speak. For GOD IS NOT UNRIGHTEOUS TO FORGET YOUR WORK AND LABOUR OF LOVE, WHICH YOU HAVE SHEWED toward his name in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister” (Hebrews 6:9-10).

“God is not unrighteous to forget” means that forgetting good deed that was done to you by someone is an act of unrighteousness. Forgetting the good deed that your spouse has done to your life and destiny is an act of unrighteousness.

The work and labour of love that your spouse has offered to your life must always be remembered to renew your passion for your spouse. Forgetting those good deeds is an act of unrighteousness. This explains why the Bible talks about God remembering people because of their good works. For instance, God remembered Abraham because of his display of faith, counted unto him for righteousness. God remembered dead Dorcas for her good works and Jesus brought her back to life based on mercy, after testimonies from people she blessed while alive.

My brother! My sister! I want you to recall all the good works and labour of love that your spouse has offered to your life. You have to constantly do so because it is part of the “THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION” (if you are or claim to be born again). You are not permitted to forget about your spouse’s good works.

There are actually things that you are permitted to forget about your spouse. Every act of your spouse that upset you since you married him or her must be forgiven. After forgiveness, efforts should be made to forget offenses. This is what makes any marriage work.

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: But until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).

“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).

“But if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

“Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hateth his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:21-29 KJV).

Forgetting the positive contributions of your spouse to whatever good personality you have become today is an act of unrighteousness. So, don’t ever forget the blessings that your spouse has brought to your life, your history, your destiny, your character, your personality.

Your marriage shall be a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name.

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Perspectives

Police corruption expose: A recurring decibel in Nigeria

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Police corruption expose: A recurring decibel in Nigeria

During the week, online newspaper, TheCable published an expose on the rot and other shady deals that take place at police stations.

Although they zeroed in on a particular police station in Lagos, however, what they exposed is what is happing at the various other police stations dotted across the length and breadth of this country.

In the story, captioned: ‘UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION (I): Bribery, bail for sale… Lagos police station where innocent civilians are held and criminals are recycled’, TheCable wrote in their intro to the piece: “Investigative journalist ‘FISAYO SOYOMBO spent two weeks in detention — five days in a Police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison — to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system, beginning from the moment of arrest by the Police to the point of release from prison.

“To experience the workings of the system in its raw state, Soyombo — adopting the pseudonym Ojo Olajumoke — feigned an offence for which he was arrested and detained in police custody; arraigned in court and eventually remanded in Prison…he uncovers how the Police pervert the course of justice in their quest for ill-gotten money.”

TheCable then goes on to give a vivid account of what transpires at the Pedro Police Station and even Ikoyi Prison through the first-hand experience of their undercover reporter.

In one instance, ‘Ojo Olajumoke’ wrote: “The complainant was already registering the case with a policewoman by the time we returned, and soon after they were haggling over the fees. Chigozie Odo, the policewoman, had rejected his offer of N500. After some five minutes of talking, he handed her a N1, 000 note.

“Odo stripped me of my shirt, singlet, belt, wristwatch, shoes and cash. ‘Look at his hair; na you gangan be Ruggedy Baba,’ she said as she unlocked the cell and bundled me in.”

This report was only published during the week, but sadly, I can point out that this has been the pattern for decades; because I have also personally experienced it.

In my own case, it was not an attempt to expose the rot through fine investigative reporting, but rather I was a forced participant because a then military governor wanted to “deal” with my then medium, The Guardian.

I have actually written the story before in a piece I titled “How Champions League landed me in Kirikiri Prison”, which I wrote to commemorate the 25th  year that I and three other colleagues, Bayo Oguntimehin, Taiwo Akerele and Ben Akparanta (now late) were hounded into detention for about 16 days, first at Alausa Police Station and then Motor Traffic Division (MTD), both in Ikeja, Lagos, before ending up in Kirikiri Medium Prisons, just because the then governor Col, Raji Rasaki (rtd) had some bones to pick with the ‘flagship’ over The Guardian’s critical position on some of his actions as governor of Lagos.

Our ordeal began on May 29, 1991 when the then governor made his move leading to the closure of The Guardian by the state government.

At both Alausa and MTD, we witnessed first-hand how the police who claim to be “our friends” interact with those who come to the station to either lodge complaints or are brought in for allegedly committing and offence.

They (police officers) were mostly unfriendly towards such people and more often than not were ready to either bend the law or dish out favours following the receipt of some form of gratification.

For instance, on the first night of our detention after our management had “spoken” to the officers on duty, we were not immediately shoved into the detention cells with other suspects.

Instead, we were kept outside until about midnight before we were told we had to be put into the cell because it was against the law to allow suspects spend a whole night outside the holding bay.

But of course, before sending us into the cell, they (police) had spoken to the “president” to ensure that we (journalists) were not given the traditional “welcoming” which is often a severe beating.

And just like Ojo Olajumoke wrote, I still recall having to remove my belt, watch and other valuables on me and when I jokingly asked what would happen should my trousers not stay up without a belt, I was told if that be the case, then I would have to hold my ‘sokoto’ because I could not enter the cell with a belt so that I don’t use it to commit suicide or as a weapon!

Those in the holding cells were a sorry sight to behold with many of them complaining that they had been thrown in on trumped up charges and would only regain their freedoms as soon as they “settled”.     

Many of them were brought in for “wandering”, which was then an “offence” that the police exploited very well in apprehending people.

Although it is often said lightening does not strike twice, however, I have been an exception; and six years after my Kirikiri trip, I was again a forced guest of the police, after I and my two other co-tenants were arrested for armed robbery and gun running.

Incidentally, I had just arrived in the country from Egypt, where I had gone to cover the FIFA U17 World Cup when this fresh incident occurred.

This time we were “lodged” at the Adeniji Adele Police Station, while we battled to extradite ourselves from the case, which if not properly handled could see me face the death penalty.

Sadly, during the course of our investigation, we were told by our fellow detainees, that we had actually been setup by one of our fellow tenants, who was the only one not with us in detention.

We were told that he (the tenant) had come to the police that he could make money for them by writing a petition that he knew of some armed robbery suspects who once caught would be ready to cough up money in order to free themselves and it was this money that they (the tenant and police) would share.

Unfortunately in the end, the police doubled crossed him on the grounds that the money they made was not as much as he had claimed they would make.

Both stories were subsequently written, but here more than two decades after, we are reading the same story all over – a clear indication that absolutely nothing had changed!

And this sadly is one of the biggest problems we face in this country – failure to tackle issues head on in order to improve as a nation. 

Instead we will all complain about poor governance and yet still vote for the same people that are the hindrance to the nation having decent governance.

At the end of the day, the path to a decent society lies with us as a people, who must then decide once and for all that enough is enough and we are now ready for real change and not just “mouth change”.

Unless this happens, I can bet that two decades down the line another “Ojo Olajumoke” will write another expose on virtually the same issue.

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Convulsion caused by a fever; the harmless horror

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Convulsion caused by a fever; the harmless horror

Scene 1

She has been coughing over the last 5 days with the nose runny and recurrent sneezing. 2 years old OZK has also been having a running battle with fever which has been on and off in pattern. For each time the fever spikes, her eyes were red and she was restless. On the evening of a particular day, she went into a fit, people around thought she was dying, then within 1-2 hours she was up and about again!

Scene 2

10 months old Baby LTF was born in the slum to artisan parents. He has been having foul smelling yellowish discharge from the left ear for the past 2 months. This was associated with fever. He threw a fit during breast feeding and narrowly escaped been choked. The neighbours came, alerted by the cry for help; some shook him, some drenched him in water, another used an adult sized spoon to gag his mouth. In came an elderly woman with a burning stove and a liquid (which later turned out to be cow urine!). She grabbed the boy’s foot and held it over the flame and at the same time got someone to pour the cow urine in his mouth, the poor young man screamed in horror. After the dust had settled, he had multiple lacerations to the mouth and severe burns injury to the right foot in the short term but in the long term, disability and loss of function of same.

What it is

Febrile convulsion aka febrile seizures aka febrile fit are caused by a fever, usually those greater than 38 °C.  A high temperature is a sign of infection somewhere in the body and is often caused by a virus or bacteria. A high fever does not necessarily mean the child has a serious illness. Fever is not known to cause damage to the brain or other organs. Most children with fever suffer only minor discomfort, however one child in 30 will have a febrile convulsion at one time or another. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Febrile convulsions are not harmful to the child and do not cause brain damage (a harmless horror!)

Most children who have a febrile convulsion will only ever have just one. Some children will have one or more seizures, usually during illnesses which cause a fever. However, febrile fits are usually harmless and almost all children make a complete recovery afterwards. It is not the same as an epileptic seizure.

Causes

The cause of the fever is often a viral illness. In most cases, the high temperature is caused by an infection. Common examples are chickenpox, flu, a middle ear infection or tonsillitis. It has also been associated with vaccination such as measles/mumps/rubella/varicella, diphtheria etc. There may also be a genetic link.

What may give it out

A febrile seizure usually lasts for less than five minutes, the child will:

become stiff and their arms and legs may begin to twitch

lose consciousness and may wet or soil themselves

may go red or blue in the face

They may also vomit and foam at the mouth, and their eyes may roll back.

After the seizure, the child may be sleepy for up to an hour or two. A straightforward febrile seizure like this will only happen once during the child’s illness.  Occasionally, febrile seizures can last longer than 15 minutes and symptoms may only affect one area of the child’s body. These are known as complex febrile seizures. The seizure sometimes happens again within 24 hours or during the period in which the child is ill.

What to do

The parent may not be able to make the convulsion stop.

The most important thing is to stay calm – don’t panic.

Place the child on a soft surface, lying on his or her side or back.

Do not restrain the child from convulsing

Do not put anything in their mouth, including sticks, spoons or your fingers. Your child will not choke or swallow their tongue.

Remove or move any objects that might harm them during the convulsions (furniture, sharp items, etc.)

Try to watch exactly what happens, so that you can describe it to the doctor later.

Time how long the convulsion lasts.

Do not put a child who is having a convulsion in the bath he may drown being bathed for because he is not in control.

Care after the convulsion

Occasionally, children who have long convulsions need to be watched in hospital for a while afterwards. This is usually to work out the cause of the fever and watch the course of your child’s illness. The child may be a little cranky for a day or so, but this will pass. Put the child to sleep at the usual time, in his or her own bed. Most children who have febrile convulsions do not have any long term health problems. They are normally healthy and grow out of them by the age of six.

The catch

Adequate history taking, examination and investigation appropriately directed.

Treatment of the fever

Once fever is noticed it is appropriate to expose the child and tepid sponge (wipe their skin with a washcloth or sponge soaked in water at room temperature to cool them down), paracetamol may further help.

Advice

See a doctor as soon as any fever causing ailment is noticed.

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Perspectives

Liad Tella: The man the cap fits

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Today, the 12th of October, 2019, all roads lead to Iwo, the Senatorial District Headquarters of Osun West in Osun State of Nigeria and birth place of Alhaji Liad Tella. This day, the retired Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, and former Federal Commissioner at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), will be turbaned as the Asiwaju Musulumi of Iwo.

 

The selection of Tella for the religious title by the League of Imams and Alfas in Iwo in conjunction with the Paramount Ruler of the ancient town and Deputy Chairman of the Osun State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Rulers, Oba Abdurasheed Adewale Akanbi, is unequivocally without contention. This is because, as an Arab poet once described Tella’s ilk, he is so eminently qualified for the position just as the position is profoundly befitting to him. That Tella is being honoured as Asiwaju Musulumi now is a belated recognition for someone who has been a vanguard of Islamic propagation and activism for the past five decades.

 

As one of the pioneers of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) as well as a veteran representative Islam as well as Muslim icons and scholars such as Chief MKO Abiola and Sheikh Adam Abdullah Al-Ilory (May Allah repose their souls) in Islamic functions both at home and abroad, I will say that his recognition as a symbol of Islam is long overdue though it is better late than never.

 

My path first crossed with that of Tella within the premises of the famous Markaz Arabic Training Centre, an Arabic citadel established by the renowned legend and internationally recognised Islamic scholar, Sheikh Adam Al-Ilory, whom I later served as Private Secretary in Agege, sometime in 1987. I had arrived Agege from Iwo in December 1986 to further my Arabic and Islamic education at the Tawjihiyyah/ Thanawiyyah level after my Idaadiyyah and secondary education at Markaz Shabaab-il- Islam (Islamic Youths Center) and St. Mary’s Grammar School, Iwo respectively. About three months after my arrival on a particular Friday, Tella came as usual to observe the Jumaat prayers at Markaz.

 

He used to be in company of Alhaji Femi Abbas, the well- acclaimed columnist with The Nation newspapers and Chairman, Media Committee, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Alhaji Abbas is an alumnus of Markaz and former student of my father’s Arabic Centre, Markaz Shabaab-il-Islam, Iwo. Both Tella and Abbas were acquaintances to Sheikh Adam.

 

The duo had been regular visitors to Baba and everyone in Markaz Agege as teachers or stu   dents recognised their position as two gentlemen in whom Baba was well pleased. On this particular day, Tella was not in Markaz with Abbas but with one of his younger brothers, Alhaji Fatai Tella. Alhaji Fatai knew me very well in Iwo as one of his boys in the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Iwo Central Branch, which he headed as President. Unlike Liad, who was Lagos-based, Fatai knows everyone in my father’s household more so as we prayed in the same Masjid at Aroworeki’s Compound, a stone throw to Belewo’s Compound where he lived then. It was Alh. Fatai who called me out when he saw me among my mates that hot afternoon after the prayers. Unknown to him, I had been nicknamed “Olooko” (the namesake) at Agege in deference to Baba Lagege who named me at birth after himself.

 

Calling someone Adam is like a taboo within Markaz premises and so everyone looked at Alh. Fatai with scorn and bewilderment! Alh. Fatai thereafter introduced me to Alh. Liad as the son of Baba ile Aroworeki, Sheikh Ahmad Adedimeji, the Otun Imam of Iwo and since then, I became one of Alh. Liad’s close protégés who usually visited him especially on weekends at his residence then at Alade Close, Jungle Bus stop in Iju Area of Lagos. Alh. Tella thus took me as son and I too adopted him as father and the relationship has been highly beneficial. At Concord where Alh. Tella was then Group News Editor and later Deputy Editor Daily, his office became a meeting point not only for Concord Muslim staff but also all Iwo/old Oyo State young men and women who recognised him as mentor and role model that he was. Besides, his home at Alade Close, Iju, too was a rallying point for those of us who saw him as a benefactor of immeasurable value. Alhaji Kunmi Olayiwola was Alh. Tella’s neighbour at Alade then as his flat was directly opposite that of the Tella’s. Olayiwola was to later become Concord newspaper’s Abuja Beareu Chief and now into media consultancy and insurance marketing.

 

 

Those of us who usually thronged his office and residence then include Abdulfatai Oladehinde, Abdulwarees Solanke, Tunde Akanni, Mojeed Jamiu, Semiu Okanlawon, Bayo Adeyinka, Engineer Mudasiru Abisoye, Yinka Tella, Abdullahi Adam Al-Ilory, Rasak Bamidele, Qasim Akinreti and Kayode Awobadejo among others too numerous to mention. I remember after my graduation from Markaz Agege and retention as both tutor and PRO for Markaz, I was fond of visiting him at home and office more regularly than before.

 

It was during one of the visits that he introduced me to the Concord Managing Director, Dr. (Mrs) Hamidat Doyin Abiola, who was then looking for an Arabic and Islamic teacher for her daughter, Doyin Junior. I started the lesson with Doyin but other Chief MKO Abiola’s children later joined, particularly children of Alhaja Bisi Abiola whose flat was then directly opposite Dr. Doyin’s. The children of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola (of blessed memory) also joined my class. If today I’m proud to say I was once a private tutor to many of MKO Abiola’s children, the credit should go to Alh. Liad Tella who facilitated my connection to that wonderful family. I also remember that on many occasions, Chief Abiola would walk pass the corridor in the building of his palatial house off Toyin Street, Ikeja, where we usually had the lessons and ask me if his children were coping well with their Arabic and Islamic lessons.

 

In fact, there was a day he walked in with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, who was his running mate in the ill-fated 1993 General Elections and after both of them exchanged pleasantries with me and the children, Babagana Kingibe dipped his hands into his pocket and gave me a substantial amount of money in appreciation of my work and care to his principal’s children. It is also interesting that my part-time job as private tutor culminated in Dr. Doyin Abiola’s sponsorship of my first Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia) in 1993, the same year I got admitted into Bayero University, Kano   (BUK) to study Common and Islamic Law.

 

It was such a wonderful trip with Alh. Tella as Chairman, Osun State Pilgrims Welfare Board that year. Other pilgrims became envious of us close to him, the Chairman’s boys. One of the peculiarities of Alh. Liad Tella is that he is a pioneer and pathfinder of a rare breed in Iwo. He started something that is very uncommon among the Yoruba by adopting the name of his compound/ neighbourhood as his surname. Many people will not dispute the fact that the practice is uncommon among the Yoruba and Southerners generally unlike the Hausa who culturally adopt the names of their villages and towns as surnames.

 

Though examples are legion, names like Hassan Usman Katsina, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Abubakar Rimi, Maman Kotangora, Sani Kamba, Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta among Northerners are illustrative.

 

By adopting Tella, the name of his compound in Iwo, Alh. Liad succeeded in publicizing Tella compound and setting precedence in the annals of Iwo. Meanwhile, other prominent Iwo sons and daughters have since taken after him, such as Professor Lai Olurode from Olurode’s Compound. Olurode was the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos and former Federal Commissioner in charge of Training and Education, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Professor Attahiru Jega’s headship of INEC. Others who adopted the practice include Honourable Gafar Akintayo Amere from Amere’s Compound, immediate past member of the Federal House of Representatives who represented Iwo/ Ayedire/ Ola Oluwa Federal Constituency in the 8th Assembly as well as my present principal, who I was introduced to by no one other than Alh. Liad Tella, Distinguished Senator Adelere Oriolowo from Oriolowo’s Compound, the Senator representing Osun West Senatorial District in the 9th Senate.

 

Alh. Tella has lived a fulfilling life of service to Allah, to community and to humanity at large. He is a magnetic personality and devout Muslim whose lifestyle shall continue to inspire generations of Muslim professionals for many years to come. He has been a Muslim leader and now that he is formally proclaimed as such by the Iwo community under the Oluwo, I wish the man the cap perfectly fits many years of dedicated service to Islam, Iwo and humanity.

 

 

  • Adedimeji is the Senior Legislative Aide (SLA) to Senator Adelere Adeyemi Oriolowo

 

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Perspectives

Lagos, rains and road infrastructure

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Of late, in Lagos, the rains have been torrential with its attendant effects on the state of the roads and traffic gridlocks.

 

The roads under construction are worse hit, as they are heavily flooded. Understandably, the ever mobile Lagosians are not pleased with the mostly rain induced traffic situation. Plausibly, when flash flooding occurs, one of the negative effects is that it washes away the surface of the roads, thereby making them almost impassable. This often results into avoidable gridlocks that make commuting a dreadful experience.

 

Flash flooding; which is mostly a consequence of Lagos’ peculiar topography is, therefore, one of the factors responsible for frequent damages of Lagos roads. Fortunately, the ever listening Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo- Olu responded by directing that palliative measures should be carried out to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Consequently, over 150 failed portions of roads across the state have been worked upon. But then, the torrential rains won’t let the respite last.

 

In view of this, Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu has promised mass rehabilitation of roads immediately after the rainy season. He pleaded for time to ensure that the intervention would stand the test of time, as not much could be achieved while the rains still persist. Towards this end, two critical agencies of the state government, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure as well as the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, have been working round the clock to make real the pronouncement of the governor. It will be recalled that in order to under score the recognition of the importance of free flow of traffic on the socio-economic development of the state, the Sanwo-Olu administration made traffic management and transportation the first pillar of its development agenda termed “THEMES”. Thus, one of the earliest tasks of Governor Sanwo-Olu was to issue the very first Executive Order on Indiscriminate Refuse Dumping, Traffic Management and Public Works.

 

This is quite germane to the issue at hand. Granted that the government has the responsibility to ensure that the roads are motorable round the year, the people also owe the responsibility towards taking ownership of public infrastructure in their domain. This will ensure that development is extended to all parts of the state, since less is spent on avoidable repairs.

 

Therefore, the appropriate question to ask is: After the government has achieved the rehabilitation of bad portions of the roads, what next? Are we going to take deliberate measures as a people and government to say never again shall we leave our roads to this level of deterioration? That, indeed, is the crux of the matter. By topography, Lagos State has a very high water level, as the Ogun River and her estuaries empty into the Lagos Lagoon to further increase the volume of water the smallest state in the country could cope with. The state’s largely swampy parcel of land makes road construction and rehabilitation a little more challenging and costly.

 

The ever increasing population of the State leads to increasing demand for property development for residential and commercial purposes. Many of such developments are on poorly reclaimed wetlands. Presently, new communities are springing up across the state, especially in Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry corridors where land is still available. The implication of this is that, instead of infrastructure development coming before properties are built, infrastructure come after communities have been founded mostly with little or no regards for Physical and Urban Development plans of the state.

 

Thus, as pressure mounts on government to provide infrastructure in the new communities, the existing ones in existing communities are subjected to abuse, resulting in quick deterioration of such facilities and the need to re-fix them.

 

This is the bane of the Lagos road infrastructure. We must, therefore, make concerted efforts to educate and enlighten our people on the dangers of turning the drainages into receptacles of refuse. For instance, the notion that the storm water will wash away refuse is wrong and misplaced. Irrespective of the velocity of the flood, it will not carry the refuse farther than the downstream. The moment the drainage channel is silted or clogged anywhere and inhibits the free flow of water, it stays on the roads for unnecessarily long time and affects the pavement of the road. In essence, our indiscriminate waste disposal is a major threat to road’s lifespan.

 

The quest for land has also led many to compromise drainage channels and canal bank ways; thus making drainage cleaning difficult. Also worthy of mention is alleged destruction of the roads by in- traffic- hawkers to slow down traffic to enable them ply their trade. It has been severally alleged that some hawkers dig the pavement of the roads at nights. Roads rehabilitated during the dry season have been found to develop craters overnight without any rainfall.

 

This act of sabotage is part of the heavy price we all are paying with dire consequences for time and health management. One only hopes that appropriate security agencies will be on the lookout to deal with such unlawful acts and bring the perpetrators to book. Evil triumph when evil doers are not brought to justice. Indiscriminate parking of vehicles on our roads is another threat to the lifespan of the roads because apart from inhibiting free flow of storm water into the drains, the portions of pavement that fall under the vehicles take time to dry, thereby weakening the asphalt.

 

Therefore, it has become obvious that we owe ourselves the responsibility of helping the government to make life easier for us to live by playing our parts in the management of public infrastructure and utilities. For now, one hopes that the rains subside early enough for comprehensive road repair works to commence. But then, we all need to work assiduously towards preserving public infrastructure across the state.

 

 

  • Ogundeji is Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Works & Infrastructure, The Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perspectives

Dryness of the skin

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Dryness of the skin

Miss LTF has had an age long struggle with dry skin. She’s a fashion freak just like her mum and acquisition of ornaments is actually her passion.

 

There is a particular brand of lotion that’s been just fine on her skin over the years, but the fashion adventurer in her craved for something new.

 

This craving got a push from her friend who introduced her to a ‘’much more better fragranced moisturizer which keeps the skin glowing all day’’.

 

She started the application almost immediately and all was well until 2 months after when she started noticing dry flakes all over her body!.She discontinued the usage subsequently but the flakes have refused to disappear despite using several suggested brands, she just does not know where to turn to…. What it is Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition marked by scaling, itching, and cracking.

 

It can occur for a variety of reasons. One might have naturally dry skin. But even if the skin tends to be oily, you can develop dry skin from time to time. Dry skin can affect any part of the body. It commonly affects hands, arms, and legs. Types of dry skin Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin.

 

There are several different types of dermatitis. Contact dermatitis Contact dermatitis develops when the skin reacts to something it touches, causing localized inflammation.

 

Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin’s exposed to an irritating chemical agent, such as bleach. Allergic contact dermatitis can develop when your skin is exposed to a substance you’re allergic to, as seemingly simple as the common plaster that cover wounds (it contain zinc oxide). Seborrheic dermatitis Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when the skin produces too much oil. It results in a red and scaly rash, usually on your scalp.

 

This type of dermatitis is common in infants. Atopic dermatitis Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema.

 

It’s a long term skin condition that causes dry scaly patches to appear on your skin. It’s common among young children.

 

Causes

 

Dry skin often has an environmental cause. Certain diseases also can significantly affect the skin. Potential causes of dry skin include:

 

• Weather. Skin tends to be driest during harmattan/winter, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet.

 

But the season may not matter as much if one lives in arid regions.

 

• Heat. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.

 

• Hot baths and showers. Taking long, hot showers or baths can dry your skin. So can frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.

 

• Harsh soaps and detergents. Many popular soaps, detergents and shampoos strip moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil.

 

• Other skin conditions. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) psoriasis or diabetes are prone to dry skin.

 

• Using the wrong moisturizer • Other conditions, such as psoriasis and type 2 diabetes, can also cause the skin to dry out. Risk factors Anyone can develop dry skin.

 

But you may be more likely to develop the condition if you:

 

• Are in your 40s or older. The risk increases with age — more than 50 percent of older adults have dry skin.

 

• Live in dry, cold or low-humidity climates.

 

• Have a job that requires you to immerse your skin in water, such as nursing and hairstyling.

 

• Swim frequently in chlorinated pools.

 

• Medical history. You’re more likely to experience eczema or allergic contact dermatitis if you have a history of these conditions or other allergic diseases in your family

 

• Season; Dry skin is more common during the harmattan/fall/winter months, when humidity levels are relatively low.

 

In the summer, higher levels of humidity help stop your skin from drying out Complications Dry skin is usually harmless. But when it’s not cared for, dry skin may lead to:

 

• Atopic dermatitis (eczema). If you’re prone to develop this condition, excessive dryness can lead to activation of the disease, causing redness, cracking and inflammation.

 

• Infections. Dry skin may crack, allowing bacteria to enter, causing infections. Treatment This is usually done by the primary care doctor or dermatologist. It is advisable to seek help if you experience the following;

 

• Dry skin that doesn’t respond to initial prescription treatments

 

• Severe itching that interferes with the ability to work or sleep • Dry skin that cracks and bleeds, or becomes red, swollen and painful Prevention Try these tips to keep skin from getting excessively dry:

 

• Moisturize; Moisturizer (immediate application after bath) seals skin to keep water from escaping.

 

• Use a moisturizer that is good for you • Pat, rather than rub, wet skin dry with a soft towel

 

• Limit water exposure. Keep bath and shower time to 10 minutes or less.

 

Turn the dial to warm, not hot

 

. • Skip the drying soap. Try cleansing creams, gentle skin cleansers and shower gels with added moisturizers.

 

• Cover as much skin as possible in cold weather. Winter can be especially drying to skin, so be sure to wear a scarf, hat and gloves when you go out.

 

 

• Wear rubber gloves. If you have to immerse your hands in water or are using harsh cleansers, wearing gloves can help protect your skin.

 

• Avoid itching or scrubbing dry skin patches • If you are an athlete, shower off quickly after a workout or game.  Use warm water, and bring your own mild soap, since heavy-duty “gym” brands may be too strong.

 

• Avoid overusing antiperspirants and perfumes, since these products can dry the skin.

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Perspectives

Thank you, ‘mummy’ DPO!

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Thank you, ‘mummy’ DPO!

A 25-year-old orphan, Friday Ajabor, is a lucky man. He would have been added to the long list of Nigerians who had been victims of avoidable deaths, no thanks to our deplorable health facilities and lack of compassion by fellow Nigerians who will rather use their mobile phones to record accident scenes or someone in distress instead of rescuing the victims. This is compounded by doctors who flagrantly jettison their ‘Hippocratic Oath,’ who place a high premium on money at the expense of saving of human lives. Love for money, fame and prestige appear to be the driving forces why some young people study medicine.

 

Ajabor lives to tell his story because a compassionate police officer,Mrs. Celestina Kalu, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogudu Police Station, Lagos, was the lifeline that brought Ajabor out of the valley of the shadow of death. Ajabor, a 25-year-old orphan from Edo State, and his friend were attacked by a twoman robbery gang on September 19 around 8pm at a park in Ojota area of Lagos. While his friend escaped, Ajabor was so unlucky

 

He was shot in the stomach and left for dead by his assailants who fled the scene immediately. Ajabor was alone in excruciating pain. While hanging on to life and looking for divine help, time was running out. He was bleeding profusely.

 

About 30 minutes after the incident, a team of policemen led by Mrs. Kalu, a Superintendent Police, arrived at the scene. The young man narrated his ordeal to the police.

 

That the police believed his story and decided to help him was the first miracle of how Ajabor cheated death. But the inclusion of the DPO in the police team appeared to be the miracle that made everything to work in Ajabor’s favour. I doubt if the other policemen would have handled it in a similar way if the DPO was not with them. The police, it was learnt took Ajabor to two different private hospitals where he was rejected for lack of bed space.

 

I would have rejected this excuse that is as common as stones on the streets in public hospitals, as a bunkum talk except that Mrs. Kalu said she had actually confirmed that there were no bed spaces in those facilities. At that point, the DPO could have given up. But she won’t allow the young man who already pleaded with her that: ‘Mummy, please don’t let me die.’ She soldiered on to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

 

And the young man was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of LASUTH. Except for the presence of the DPO, the gunshot victim would have been treated like a leper. Doctors will always insist on police report before treating such patient as that’s the only guarantee that they won’t fish in troubled water of the police. But the police will tell us that doctors don’t need police report before treating gunshot victims because they could be victims of armed robbery attacks. What’s important is that such victims must not leave where they are being taken care of before the police arrive at the hospitals to do necessary profiling. Many had died in this circumstance.

 

 

When Ajabor needed blood to replenish the one he had lost for about three hours after he was shot, Mrs. Kalu donated her blood. This compassionate woman went ahead to pay the necessary bill that facilitated the victim’s access to medical care. This true Nigerian doesn’t know the victim from Adam and could not have asked where the victim comes from. This is the essence of humanity. This should be the true spirit of brotherhood.

In tongues and tribes, we may differ. But the same blood runs in our veins. Mrs. Kalu typifies what a policeman or policewoman should represent: a true friend, a compassionate being, a classic example of mentorship and role model worthy of emulation. She played the role of mother figure to Ajabor. This is big. There are no compelling reasons for her to do what she did except that the humanity in her was at work. She could have asked her subordinates to see to care of the young man. I doubt if the same result would have been achieved if she had entrusted Ajabor’s care with her subordinates. She could have given 100 excuses why she couldn’t risk donating her blood to a total stranger after preliminary laboratory test confirmed that her blood matched Ajabor’s. There are still a lot of misconceptions about blood donation. Some see it as a matter of life and death. So, they can’t donate blood for anybody. Such people will suggest coughing up money even if donating blood is a better option. I have seen a scenario like that.

 

Ajabor was between life and death. And death was even closer to a man who has lost so much blood before help finally came because Mrs. Kalu refused to give up and be discouraged by our healthcare system. Mrs. Kalu has changed the narrative of how we perceived the average Nigerian policeman or woman. She has demystified the age-long belief that the average Nigerian Policeman or woman is only interested in what he or she can milk from the average Nigerian instead of what he or she can do for the average Nigerian. That the DPO donated her blood is noble. That she used her money to treat the man was exemplary.

 

This is a rare gesture that should be celebrated. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has celebrated Mrs Kalu. He described her as a “humane police officer” whose “matchless trait of compassion ” saved the life of an orphan. In the words of the governor, “we usually don’t get to witness such an act of kindness, because everyone one of us is too overwhelmed by the myriad of personal challenges.

 

When we see law enforcement officers giving us reasons to be kind, we need to appreciate and recognise such action.” If we rebuke bad eggs among law enforcement officers, we should also celebrate the good ones like Mrs Kalu. She didn’t do what she did for Lagos. She is not working for Lagos State government but for the Nigeria Police. She is a good ambassador. Her likes may not even be many in the police. For this reason, her immediate employer should also celebrate her. If I were the Inspector General of Police, I will celebrate Mrs. Kalu because I would have punished her if by her action, she had brought shame to the organisation she represents.

 

She should be encouraged and appreciated so that others can know there is reward for exemplary character. This is beyond a mere handshake from the IGP. It won’t be a bad idea if people like her are included in national honour roll call. The national honour list needs not be peopled by politicians alone. People like Mrs. Kalu will give credibility to list of honourees on our national list even if politicians dominate it.

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