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Addressing open defecation through collaboration

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Ideally, open defection ought not to be an issue in Nigeria in 21st century. Sadly, contrary to expectation, it is. Logically, it points to bad leadership, abysmal failure of governments for ages. Seriously, the act is a repulsively primordial practice that cuts across all strata of society; gender, status and careers despite its negative consequences, albeit predominant among the underprivileged class.

 

Without a doubt, it sounds comical but a reality. Yes, open defecation transcends homeless, primitive and uneducated people. People of diverse vocations also do fall victims of unexpected stomach upset while on journey. And most times, it is abysmally remedied by the unwholesome practice. Of course, nobody will bravely own up to being a perpetrator if not caught red-handed in the jungle or witnessed by co-travelers.

 

And so, the odious misconduct is practiced by two groups; circumstantial perpetrators and habitual practitioners. Whatever the category, excreting outside toilets is open defecation. Sadly, it begins from habitually peeing outside facilities. Of course, if reasons are necessary, both sides possibly will adduce cogent raison d’êtres.

 

For example, whilst the former may shift the blames to health and nature, the latter will blame penury and governments’ insensitivities. But realistically, what options are available to a traveler that is suddenly under extreme pressure to answer the call of nature where no public conveniences exist? In most cases, any nearby forest plays host to such victims.

 

The reason is simple – lack of functional and safe public toilets in sufficient numbers at strategic locations. Hence, it goes beyond blaming perpetrators but conscientiously, dutifully counting the available public toilets in every neighborhood alongside their proximities which is in the negative. For those that don’t go on long road trips, they may still not escape it at social outings. At most night events in public places, faeces are often spotted littering the surrounding areas by unknown persons.

 

Again, phobia of infections mostly by women majorly contributes to open defecation where there are public toilets but uncertainty about safety. Unfortunately, defecating in the open is critically, hazardous than superficially believed. Suffice to say that providing sufficient public toilets that are convincingly clean and hygienically safe is a necessary remedy.

 

Abysmally, Nigeria, according to global statistics, currently ranks in the first position in open defecation in Africa and second in the world after India. By concerted efforts, India has practically moved away from the position leaving Nigeria to formally step into her shoes before the end of 2019. Funnily, Nigerian lawmakers have been collecting outrageous allowances for constituency projects over the years.

 

The big bad news! Scientific research has proven that human and body fluids including faeces, urine, blood, vomit, spinal fluid, and amniotic fluid can harbour a variety of diseases. In fact, faeces can cause cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, polio, hepatitis and many more. It can also constitute a serious health hazard if it gets into sources of drinking water. And World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that nearly 2.2million people die annually by diseases caused by contaminated water.

 

Instructively, thoroughly hand washing after convenience is obligatory and goes beyond getting rid of smells but hygienically, on health ground for preventing spread of bacteria as people frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth unconsciously in addition to indiscriminate handshakes with people.

 

From UNICEF survey, out of 47million Nigerians who indulge in open defecation, 16million live in the north. It also shows that while 1 in every 4 Nigerians defecates in the open, 1 in every 2 persons in the North Central do so in the open. In percentages, North Central got 53.9%; North East -21.8%; North West – 10.3%. In the southern region, South East got 22.4%; South-South – 17.9% while South West – 28.0%.

 

 

Estimably, a report shows that through UNICEF interventions, about 1.7million people have gained access to improved water facilities while 2.2million people have access to improved toilets. Equally, 3,908 communities supported to become certified open defecation free (ODF) while 1,227 schools and 599 primary healthcare centres equipped with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.

Furthermore, 2.4million people have benefited from general hygiene promotion. Relatively, Nigeria’s population is approximately 200million. Hence, a lot needs to be done by governments.

 

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari signaled to end open defecation in the country by 2025. To actualize this, at least, two million toilets must be added annually. Some state and local governments have slightly keyed into the scheme. For emphasis, the nuisance apart from contributing to scores of deaths of vulnerable children who every now and then are infected with diseases, likewise often result to their low productivity as a result of absences in schools while ailing.

 

Other indirect effects of open defecation are economic loss resulting from frequent episodes of WASH-related illnesses, loss of dignity and high risks of insecurity and violence against women and children in the forests. Thus, governments at all levels; federal, state and local government needs concerted actions towards ending the menace.  Of course, a radical approach by the government through legal mechanism alongside zero tolerance on enforcement is indispensable.

 

From the economic perspective, interventions through massive provision of functional public toilets will robotically boost employment opportunities in the society when public conveniences are actively put in places across the nation. Undoubtedly, having functional and safe toilets in proximities along highways alongside remote areas will boost economic growth since demands for safety and hygiene products will practically raise.

 

Now, the crux of the matter! Charges for using public conveniences must be appealingly near to the ground. High fees will discourage the masses from patronages. In other words, policymakers must ensure that private-operators are encouraged by reducing their overhead costs. Equally, corporate organisations should be active players by supportively, providing public toilets as social responsibilities.

 

Of course, health and sanitations officials must be regularly available for inspections to ensure compliance to WHO standard. Thus, any realistic and sustainable action plan demands expedient collaboration.

 

Umegboro is a public affairs analyst and Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United Kingdom). 08023184542-SMS only

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Attack on Ekweremadu as parody of our reality

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Attack on Ekweremadu as parody of our reality

I call it the Nuremberg madness. I solemnly consider it as grotesquely outlandish. It defies all manner of ratiocination and rationalizations.

 

I had read a number of opinions that tended to either draw some bizarre corollary upon which a general warning was issued to other Ibo leaders and leaders of other ethnic nationalities to beware or that tended to justify the wanton assault in the context of the festering socio-political and economic ferment in Nigeria.

It is a no-brainer to surmise that the act of folly that was garbed as ethnic revulsion or contempt for perceived immersion in government or laissez faire attitude on the part of Ekweremadu to issues that allegedly affect Ndigbo within the Nigerian nation-state was egregiously misplaced. Some had suggested that the attire that Ekweremadu wore that bore the nation’s imprimatur, to wit: the Coat of Arms, and which suggested patriotic support, was the casus belli of the attack.

 

Regardless, whatever precipitated the harsh reaction by those irate folks in Nuremberg, that thing led to the unconscionable violation of the civility in the atmosphere of Germany that provides a catholic liberty, which John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) in his work: “On Liberty”, recognized as both the freedom to act and the absence of coercion.

 

Whereas those Ibo men had the liberty to act in expression of their displeasure, they did not have liberty to coerce or assault Ekweremadu in the fashion they did. In fact, in the realm of domestic approbation and appreciation of social-political values, the physical assault of Ekweremadu offended the republican spirit of the Ibo people.

 

In spite of their utmost frustrations, those folks were they resident in Nigeria, and knowing full well that they have the power to vote out leaders in elective offices who fail to provide them with the kind of leadership they desire, should have waited for another general election to vote out leaders who have failed to perform or align with their aspirations.

 

Instead of the global opprobrium that they had attracted to Ndigbo by their act of idiotic indiscretion, they should have embraced a mature way of passing across their displeasure. For instance, they could have embarked on a systematic campaign of naming and shaming Ibo leaders who have betrayed their people on the altar of filthy lucre; or who have compromised the ideas of Ndigbo for personal aggrandizement with a view to denying them the people’s votes whenever they seek revalidation of their mandates.

 

That would have been much better than the great disservice to their individualities and, generically, to the pristine tradition of Ndigbo as a politically sophisticated and self-respecting people. Those who attacked Ekweremadu have lost the moral high ground. They have become vermin of a brutish culture that tended to misrepresent the Ibo people as bellicose and sanguinary.

 

Indeed, it is this kind of combative attitude of both leadership and followership alike, a throwback to the failed attempt to Biafranise Nigeria that has contoured public perceptions of the Ibo persona and mentality within the framework of the Nigerian nation-state as aggressive and aggravating. Having used force and war to no avail to claim their rightful position in the political configuration of the country, a counter strategy of stooping to conquer could have been salutary this time round rather than the continued resort to ballyhoo.

 

Even if the strategy must be to deploy force in correcting the structural imbalance in the Nigerian federation or addressing Opinion the existential problems facing the ethnic nationality, the Ibo would be committing a greater mistake, given their numbers, to push the frontiers of “freedom” as a fractious and separated ethnic nationality of disparate drum majors.

 

That was the point that the Ibo self-acclaimed salvation group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), missed by its alleged directive to its members to humiliate Ekweremadu. The group’s action was pathetically counter-productive.

 

It gratuitously assaulted one of the leading lights of Ndigbo and by, so doing, suffered a self-inflicted ignominy. Ekweremadu had, without a doubt, been a victim of physical assault by his kinsmen who should have protected him from harm’s way in Nuremberg. But they decided to drag him in the mud to satisfy a fit of anger. But were they given a trophy for so doing? No! Did they receive any well-meaning or well-intentioned accolades? I doubt.

 

The accolades that appeared to support the Nuremberg madness were wrapped in chicanery by conspiracy theorists merely to promote or champion the advocacy for a civil disorder rather than constitutional means that will upend the nation’s civil authority that is perceived to have failed to address a number of issues to the utilitarian benefit of the Nigerian people. But, to be sure, that act of folly in Nuremberg parodies our reality as a people. It is a travesty of our collective obscurantist predilection to raise all manner of issues that support our biased positions and suppress those that negate the same. Interestingly, the question now, and this clearly speaks to the perceived irritability of Ndigbo, is why was it that those Ibo folks chose the platform of unity, which the annual yam festival typified for the ethnic nationality, to brutalise a rallying and unifying personality, thus damaging the fulcrum of unity?

 

Ekweremadu may not have been the best or perfect paradigm of leadership that has been in a position to be able to minister to or address critical existential issues of the Ibo; there is also no justifiable basis to dismiss him as a selfish leader who, outright, did not promote the interest of Ndigbo. If he had been an all-round failure in the praxis of pragmatic leadership, let Ndigbo speak out.

 

Even where and when such allegation of failure cannot be rebutted, nobody, not even the IPOB or any other Ibo group for that matter, has the right to abridge Ekweremadu’s rights of movement, association (in this case, he was invited to attend the event) and expression, let alone the rights to assault him in the sordid way and manner those Ibo folks dealt with him in Nuremberg. I dare say that it was the collective shame of Ndigbo.

 

In rounding off, I share the position of Nigerians who have condemned, in the strongest terms, the unconscionable assault. I particularly concur with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Nigerian Ambassador in Germany should work in concert with the German Government to take “appropriate decisive action on the matter”.

 

Those Ibo folks must be dealt with in line with the laws of Germany. I also agree with the opposition party that the Federal Government should “take urgent comprehensive steps to address issues leading to acts of resentment and agitations by Nigerians within and outside the country” on the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Nuremberg saga may just be a wake-up call to advert the attention of the Federal Government to do the needful to douse the rising tension in the country that is triggering harsh reactions from and by “Diasporic Nigerians”.

 

 

Ojeifo writes from Abuja via ojwonderngr@yahoo.com

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Computing and ICT in formal settings

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Computing and ICT in formal settings

Computing has presently proven to be the best way a job could aptly be done in the office or any formal setting anywhere across the global community. By the above assertion, it suffices to say that any establishment that’s yet to appreciate the essence of computing, or Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in particular, is still lagging behind. Computing is simply the activity of using a computer and writing programmes for it.

 

It can further be described as any goal-oriented activity that requires as well as benefits from a mathematical sequence known as algorithm, through the use of systems (computers) among other devices alike.

 

It’s noteworthy that the major fields that involve computing include: Computer science, system engineering, software engineering, and information technology. Computing – particularly Information Technology (IT) as it’s fondly called – has become a veritable and integral part of every business plan coupled with day-to-day office works.

 

From multinational firms who maintain mainframe systems and databases, to small establishments that own a single computer, IT obviously plays a key role. The impact of computing on everyday activity in the office is so vast. Adequate use of computing can enable any firm, regardless of size or status, to handle its human resources effectively.

 

A sound computing would enable the firm to boast of viable and reliable database of the overall staff alongside their designations. It would also help the company to update the database in terms of death rate, employment, transfer, maternity leave, or what have you. By so doing, the establishment would invariably realize the worth of its workforce towards boosting efficiency and job control.

 

The human resources of a state or Nigeria at large, for example, can only be aptly handled via computing.

 

Similarly, with a proper use of computing, employment process would be carried out expressly by the human resources department. With IT, also known as information systems, job seekers can apply without getting to the firm/office involved, thereby avoiding foreseen congestion that could compound office stress or workload. And, having applied, the various applicants can be easily and properly assessed via the use of computing.

 

We must acknowledge that manual system of interview is no longer in vogue if we intend to get it right, especially in the area of Aptitude Test. Management coupled with communication among the staff or between the existing branches of an establishment cannot be overlooked while discussing the essence of computing. Part of management is gathering and disseminating information, and IT can make this routine more accurate by allowing managers to communicate rapidly.

 

Emailing is quick and effective, but the managers can use information systems even more efficiently by storing documents in folders that they share with the employees who need the information. Such activity can be aided with adequate use of networking system. Furthermore, how you manage your firm’s operations depends on the information you have. Information systems can offer more complete and recent info, allowing you to operate your firm/office more efficiently. You can use IT to gain a cost advantage over competitors, or to differentiate your firm’s content by offering better customer service.

 

For instance, sales’ data give you insights about what customers are purchasing and let you stock or produce items that are selling well. Hence, with guidance from the IT, you can streamline your operations.

 

Additionally, apt use of IT would enable the firm to easily reach out to the public via advertisement, thereby boosting sales or services, as the case may be. Computing can equally help you make excellent decisions by delivering all the required information.

 

Decision-making involves choosing a course of action from several alternatives and carrying out the corresponding tasks. If you can boast of accurate and up-to-date info, you can make a choice with confidence. If more than one choice seems appealing, you can use the available information system to x-ray different scenarios. For each possibility, the system can calculate key indicators such as costs, sales/ services, and profits, toward helping you determine which channel gives the most beneficial result.

 

Record purposes are not left out. Your establishment needs records of its daily activities for financial and regulatory purposes, and for ascertaining the causes of problems towards taking corrective measure. Computing enables the firm to store the needed documents as well as revisit histories, communication records, and operational data.

 

The trick to exploiting this recording capability is organizing the data and using the system to process and present it as useful historical information. You can use such information to prepare cost estimates and forecasts, and to analyse how your actions affected the key indicators of the firm.

 

Even in our virtually every day private lives and activities, computing or IT has apparently become inevitable. This is to say that the mechanism embedded in the said technology is presently needed in all sectors of human endeavour.

 

Existing entities and individuals must be made to fully acknowledge that computing is gradually overtaking the ancient use of manual gadgets especially in the areas of research, networking, finances and what have you.

 

Hence, it’s high time it is duly inculcated in all our professional doings. However, though the roles of computing in office works can’t be overemphasized, it’s worth noting that a wrong use or application of it can cost the user an untold loss. Thus, every establishment enjoying the services must endeavour to regularly consult professionals as well as train its staff on various computer/IT skills.

 

The impact of computing on the present days’ society remains inevitable, but its wrong use ought to be avoided at all cost towards averting imbroglio that might result in colossal crisis. Think about it!

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The Army-Police war: Where is the NSA?

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The Army-Police war: Where is the NSA?

“Our country is bedevilled… (by) multifarious security challenges by which each agency must bring its wealth of experience and comparative advantage to compliment the effort of another” – DG DSS The current Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi Magaji, made the above remarks in his keynote address, while hosting the meeting of the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) on April 24.

The Forum was established in 2013 by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to enhance synergy and collaboration amongst critical institutions that deal with issues of security and its challenges in Nigeria. As a sensitive security organ, the ONSA is statutorily empowered to coordinate the activities of military, security, intelligence and response agencies in combating terrorism, cybercrime and major issues affecting the wellbeing of the state in Nigeria.

It is a known fact that during the previous administration, the ONSA hosted regular meetings of security and service chiefs in addressing issues that could create conflict in society. While the meeting of the security chiefs was held almost every other week in ONSA, the meeting of FOSSRA was held rotationally among member-agencies every month until June 2015. It is of utmost importance to highlight some instances when FOSSRA’s interventions doused tension and stabilised the polity within a climate of heightened agitations and security concerns in the country.

In June 2014, the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki officially tendered an apology to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who was allegedly harassed by joint-security operatives at an international summit on Farmer-Herder Crisis in Kaduna.

Both the former NSA and the Speaker are from the same royal family within the Sokoto sultanate, even if of different statuses. Similarly, in one of the Army-Shi’ite altercations in Zaria, also in July 2014, during which some members and children of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky were killed by Nigerian soldiers, the Chairman of FOSSRA, who was then the Director of Defence Information, General Chris Olukolade, promptly issued an empathic statement, expressing regret over the incident and announcing that a panel would be constituted to unravel the remote causes of the fracas.

The statement played a magical role in nipping the controversy in the bud. The following month, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and two operatives of the Corps were allegedly disrespected and manhandled on different occasions by the Police.

As the media were feasting on the controversy, the then spokesperson of the Nigerian Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi, hosted the monthly meeting of FOSSRA in September 2014, where the erstwhile Police spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu walked to the NSCDC spokesperson, Emmanuel Okeh and issued a joint statement which doused the tension. Meanwhile, since the appointment of Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) as the National Security Adviser (NSA) by President Muhammad Buhari in 2015, he has neither shown keen commitment to nor hosted the meeting of the FOSSRA to guard against inter-agency rivalry. The meeting of the Forum, which has become occasional, is now being hosted by the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) and other security agencies that value synergy and collaboration in information management.

If FOSSRA, which is domiciled under the ONSA, is very active, the current acri-mony between the Nigerian Army and the police over the killing of the Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) operatives by soldiers in Taraba State could have been averted. There would most likely have been an existing synergy and a more cordial relationship between these two prominent actors within the Nigerian security architecture and system. It was alleged that soldiers of the 93 Battalion shot the IRT operatives – including Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa – dead after they had arrested a notorious kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala Wadume, who is now on the run.

The Army claims that the police officers were shot after being mistaken for “suspected kidnappers” and blames the attack on a communication gap. The initial statement from the Police spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba and immediate response by the Army spokesperson, Colonel Sagir Musa, would have been needless if an effective mechanism of inter-agency collaboration, as exemplified by FOSSRA, had been adhered to. There are trending videos, audios and sponsored stories on the fracas that need to be contained before they further exacerbate the present situation and persist as drivers of tension.

It is quite unfortunate that many Nigerians on the social and mainstream media have continued to react to the incident through inciting, inflammatory and embarrassing innuendoes. It may not be surprising if the two public relations officers of the security organs involved were actually taking orders from their principals, rather than abiding by the ethics of crisis communication management, which guide professionals on their temperament, conduct and how to shape their messages during periods of high volatility.

As spokespersons of security agencies, they are expected to be courteous, restrained and conscious of the need to show great human understanding and empathy in their public communications, at this sort of time when such really matters. It is also very important that their messages, like press releases, should be clear, concise, concrete, correct and complete, without allowing for any form of ambiguity in communication.

In all these, the absence of strategic leadership in dousing the tension, beyond the critical levels of the individual service chiefs, merely escalates the inter-agency antagonism and fuels the heated debates and fury pervading the media from visible and anonymous sources. Is it not embarrassing that different panels were allegedly constituted to investigate this incident? While one is said to be chaired by a military officer in the rank of a major general, the other is noted as being headed by a security officer in the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police.

As the coordinating organ of government on security matters, ONSA should step in and manage this crisis, more professionally and with experience, especially in the absence of a federal cabinet, as the Ministers of Defence or that of Interior are yet to be sworn in.

The NSA can advise the Army Chief, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and Police IG Mohammed Adamu on the need to urge their officers to exercise restraint. In the alternative, the Presidential media adviser should intervene by calling on the spokespersons of the agencies to sheath their swords in this attrition and highly unfortunate media war.

 

  • Shuaib, author of An Encounter with the Spymaster, writes via yashuaib@yahoo.com
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Is Victor Oye the new face of APGA?

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Is Victor Oye the new face of APGA?

Since the great Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, the famed Igbo leader joined the ancestors, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) which he led has been in search of identity, and it appears it has finally found a new face in the person of Chief Victor Oye, the party’s National Chairman.

Ironically, while Ojukwu is loved and revered even in death, Victor Oye is hated and despised. Ojukwu’s widow reportedly called him ‘ekperima’ – an Igbo colloquial for ‘thief ’. I see Ojukwu turning in his grave seeing the caricature his legacy has become. Anyone that knew Ojukwu knows that apart from being colourful, cerebral, and inspiring, that he had zero tolerance for corruption.

Why then are his disciples settling for a face with zero leadership and corruption? The answer lies in the fact that those running the party today from the lone governor to the National Chairman were never foundation members of the party. Obiano, for instance, became a member at the eve of him being imposed on the party and the people by former Governor Peter Obi and Oye’s membership card of the party only obtained few hours to his being imposed as National Chairman by Chief Obiano.

His only qualification being that he was recommended by the Catholic bishops who themselves maintain overwhelming influence on the party. Whether new or old, there is an absolute need to close ranks in the interest of our people. I have written consistently about APGA unending crisis in recent times out of love and because

I see the party as the political arm of the Igbo consciousness and Ohanaeze as her cultural renaissance. I believe APGA, IPOB and Ohanaeze can effectively work together to lift and advance the Igbo cause. The question is how this integration will occur? In the South-East, precisely Owerri, there is a new game among the youth called ‘dart game’.

The unique thing about this game is that it has the face of Chief Victor Oye, the APGA National Chairman as the shooting target. All you need to score a win is to aim an accurate hit on any part of the vital body of the APGA chieftain. Hitting the forehead, eyes, nose or mouth scores the big win. I personally don’t like the game.

We don’t need such a hate evoking game even though I understand the people’s frustration with our political elites. Many of our political actors are not doing enough to com-mand the respect of the people. Hear what these young men said to me: “We target Oye’s face because we don’t like him; he wrecked APGA with his greed. Anyone that wants APGA dead will first die as the dews does with the sunshine and we will happily live inside our party when they are all gone,” their leader said.

I managed to tell them that APGA is not about to die and will not die. But woe onto that man by whose hand the death of APGA will happen for it will be better that he or she is not born for he will not have a grave marked in his name. If our leaders in APGA are hearing what I am hearing, if they are seeing what I am seeing or feeling what I am feeling, especially if they have taken the pause of our people, they should by now begin to converse seriously on how to save the party from possible death. With Chief Oye as the Face of the Party, the party will die. Majority of the people do not want his continued leadership and they are not hiding their anger against him. They want him out as minimum condition to wash away the sins of the past for a new beginning.

As it happened to PDP, APGA may lose its long hold on Anambra governorship due to impunity and imprecise political thinking. A chieftain of the major opposition party in the state confided in me that the best thing that will happen to the opposition in Anambra will be for Chief Oye to remain the Face of APGA by 2022 when the state will be going to the poll for the governorship election. He predicted it will become a walkover as the opposition can field anyone and win a landslide.

This is how bad Oye’s travail will hurt the party. How did Chief Oye become the most disliked politician in the South-East? In a leaked email to Governor Obiano by the former National Chairman, Senator Victor Umeh, he had complained of the activities of Oye which he said was reported to him by aggrieved members of the party from Imo State. From the narratives in the said email it was alleged that the party national chairman traded with the governorship tickets of APGA in the South-East.

These allegations are serious moral issues which may hurt the party as it prepares for another crucial election. With Oye as the face of the party, and dogged by fraudulent allegations, the party will be badly hit. Already there is a mass exodus of people leaving the party on account of the allegations against the national chairman. While it is possible that he may be innocent, it is difficult to know the truth without a thorough investigation which unfortunately is being stalled by Oye and his supporters.

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Laurels for Afe Babalola, ABUAD

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Laurels for Afe Babalola, ABUAD

Yet another feather was recently added to the already crowded cap of the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), when the General Assembly of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) nominated him for the Premier Continental Ambassadorial Award titled “African Role Model and AU Agenda 2063 Ambassadorial Award.”

 

 

This is in recognition of what it described as Babalola’s “iconic Pan African and philanthropic orientation as well as immense contributions to the realization of African Union Agenda 2063” which, according to AU-ECOSOCC, is “specifically predicated on the guiding vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa …in the international arena.”

 

 

The cheering news came vide a letter signed by Dr. Tunji John Ashaolu, the Nigerian Representative/Chairperson, Committee on Social Affairs & Health at 3rd Permanent General Assembly of the AU-ECOSOCC & Member, African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee.

 

 

Ashaolu noted Babalola’s contributions to the implementation Agenda 2063. He said: “The AU is aware and it is on record that your institution performed three Open Heart Surgeries/Interventions a couple of months ago. You have made us proud and we are so happy about this and of course we are equally happy about the other successes which your university has achieved over the years.

 

 

“You have also established the implementation of Agenda 2063 particularly Aspiration Number 1 which deals with ‘A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development’ and Aspiration Number 2 which relates with ‘An African whose people development is purpose-driven, relying on the potentials of African people’.”

 

 

Reacting to the development, Babalola thanked the AU-ECOSOCC for taking note of his modest contributions through his various humanitarian programmes and for nominating him for the prestigious Premier Continental Ambassadorial Award.

 

 

He said his modest contributions to the educational landscape of the country is a dream come true and expressed happiness that this is happening in his life time, pointing out that his decision to set up a university was informed by his experience during his seven-year stint as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at the University of Lagos during which time he was able to see, first hand and bare-facedly, the decay and rot in the nation’s educational system.

 

 

Together with his colleagues in Council and the Management of UNILAG, he recalled that they were able to do the little they could do then as a result of which the university was not only voted the best in the country then, Babalola was twice voted the Best Pro-Chancellor. But because he  did not believe that was enough and to prove a point, he sold virtually everything he had, including choice properties in Lagos, Abuja, and United Kingdom as well as in the United States to establish ABUAD to show Nigerians how a university should be run and how it should not be run.

 

 

He noted with relish that the beautiful and commendable things AU-ECOSOCC said about him in its letter of nomination dated August 5, 2019 are equally being noticed by reputable universities and organizations around the world.

 

 

The stuff his university is made of started showing almost immediately it commenced academic activities on Monday, January 4, 2010. For example, on April 10, 2014, the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, invited ABUAD to participate in a symposium titled “Global Higher Education in the 21st Century”, at Balliol College, University of Oxford from August 27-29, 2014.

 

 

In the same vein, during ABUAD’s maiden convocation on October 21, 2013, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for African Development, Dr. Lalla Aicha Ben Barka, in appreciation of the monumental achievements of the university promised UNESCO’s collaboration with the university on issues related to education, particularly on the Flagship Programme 2 of Operational Strategy for Priority Africa (2014-2021) titled “Strengthening Education Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa: Improving Equity, Quality and Relevance”.

 

 

Ben Barka also volunteered “to publicize UNESCO-ABUAD initiatives on UNESCO’s website”, thereby ‘portraying the university as one of the shining beacons of excellence in its endeavour to be one of the best universities in African and the world’.

 

 

Again, through its letter of March 25, 2014, UNESCO picked ABUAD, ahead of other older universities, to play host to its first ever Regional Retreat during the 2014 summer.

 

 

The university recorded another milestone achievement in July last year when all the 43 pioneer medical students presented for the final MBBS Examination recorded 100% Pass with Eight Distinctions. Their superlative performance has thus made ABUAD the first university in Nigeria to produce its first set of Medical Doctors within six-and-half years.

 

 

This was followed closely in August last year with the mindboggling performance of ABUAD Law Graduates during the 2018 Bar Examination conducted by the Council of Legal Education where they recorded 100% Pass, with the Overall Best Student coming from ABUAD. In addition to these uncommon accomplishments, ABUAD Law Graduates won 24 out of the 36 available Prizes as a result of which many of the much older universities have been congratulating the institution.

 

 

It must be in appreciation of all these national and international recognitions and encomiums that the university, which was then less than five-year old was in 2014 appointed as the ‘Mentoring tertiary institution and affiliate’ to the new College of Industrial Development (UID), Accra, Ghana. Two years later in 2016, one of the oldest state universities in Northern Nigeria approached ABUAD to be mentored. This was followed by the 14-year-old International University of Grand Bassan, Cote D’Ivoire, which visited ABUAD in July 2019 for mentorship and partnership.

 

 

• Olofintila writes from Ado-Ekiti

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Kogi 2019: Another Zamfara, Rivers in making

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Kogi 2019: Another Zamfara, Rivers in making

K

ogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is looking set to attain the unenviable status of its counterparts in Rivers and Zamfara during the 2019 general election: disqualification from fielding a candidate in the November 16, 2019 governorship poll.

 

 

In the February 23 and March 9 National Assembly, and House of Assembly and Governorship elections, respectively, the courts banned the Rivers chapter from fielding candidates, and turned over the party’s wholesale victories in Zamfara to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

 

What was the offence of both chapters of the APC? They failed to conduct valid primaries, in line with the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended); the party’s constitution; the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended); and the guidelines for the general election issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

 

The Kogi chapter bears imprints of the political rumbles that ensured the party lost in its strongholds, and promising terrains: unbridled ambition of incumbent or former officeholders; desire of big wigs to enthrone cronies; and opposition by other aspirants.

 

 

The result was a plethora of court cases prior to and after the conduct of cantankerous primaries across the country. Some of the cases are still running alongside election petitions initiated after the polls in February and March.

 

As it’s in Zamfara and Rivers, several court cases, filed within and outside Kogi, have dogged the APC primaries scheduled for August 29. The party may be playing with breaching court injunctions!

 

 

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, as the organ mandated to pick the mode of primaries, and conduct same accordingly, has chosen “indirect” primaries for the Kogi chapter. But about 20 “aspirants” are opposed to the process, and call for a “direct” primary contest.

 

 

The opponents of “indirect” primaries argue that it favours Governor Yahaya Bello, who’s seeking re-election. And they allege of plans by the governor to substitute the delegate list for the primaries.

 

 

But over 30 “aspirants” are in support of “indirect” primaries, as a method they claim has brought victories to the Kogi chapter in elections since 2015, and as such, “you don’t change a winning formula.”

 

 

Whereas the indirect election is by delegates chosen in ward and local council congresses, who vote to pick the candidate at a state convention; the direct primaries involve all card-carrying members casting ballot at the wards to return a candidate at the convention.

 

 

The real headache for the APC in Kogi isn’t the conduct of the “indirect” primaries per se, but how the delegates would be chosen, as there’re two factions laying claim to the leadership of the chapter.

 

 

Besides the “aggrieved aspirants” getting the court to put the APC on notice for a hearing on an injunction to stop the primaries; some “stakeholders” have also dragged the party to court, to determine the authentic State Executive Committee (SEC) of the chapter.

 

 

Among issues canvassed are: Whether, during pendency of the suit, the APC, through persons claiming to be members of the Kogi SEC, can adopt indirect primaries; whether the party can ignore the suit, which seeks to determine the authentic members of the Kogi SEC; and who constitutes the delegatesto the primaries.

 

The implication of this case, with the hearing adjourned to October 2 – four days after the primaries slated for August 29, is obvious: Any primaries conducted before the court day would be in breach, and contempt of the court order.

 

 

Will the APC abide by the order, and save the Kogi chapter the odium of being disqualified from fielding a candidate for the governorship contest billed for November 16?

 

 

During their protest to the APC secretariat in Abuja, the dissatisfied aspirants drew the party’s attention to an untoward fallout from using a delegate list from an “illegitimate” state executive.

Their spokesperson, Mohammed Ali, said: “Arising from the pendency of the various suits to determine the legitimate party executive council in the state, the use of any factional delegate list may amount to an exercise in futility.

 

 

“And lastly, we may have unconsciously set booby-traps for our party and the stage for the replay of the unfortunate Zamfara scenario.” The APC can ill-afford a repeat of that occurrence!

 

 

The main problems in the Kogi chapter, as in all other APC chapters nationwide, are: The adoption of one of three methods of conducting primaries; indiscipline and impunity among powerful members; and failure of the party leadership in dispute resolution.

 

 

The constitution of the party recognizes consensus, indirect and direct methods of primaries, and it empowers the NWC to pick any of the modes for each election.

 

 

Direct method is popular with the majority of party members, but unpopular with incumbent and former governors, who lobby to get consensus or indirect primaries, or impose same on the members.

 

 

In the Kogi example, it’s alleged that Governor Bello, through stakeholders of the chapter, got the NWC to approve “indirect” primaries for the November poll.

 

 

Though the governor has denied such indiscretion, and said he’s ready to contest under any method picked by the party, the aggrieved “aspirants” have insisted there weren’t adequate consultations for the adoption of indirect primaries.

 

 

The die is cast, and as usual, the APC leadership is found wanting at resolving the Kogi logjam. The party’s failure to intervene, or as some alleged, intervened and sided with one faction against the other camp, led to its loss of several Government Houses and State Assemblies in the 2019 general election.

 

 

So, is fictionalization in the Kogi chapter a recipe for poor outing at the poll? Or, in the worst case scenario of conducting yet invalid primaries, get slammed by the courts or INEC with zero participation in the franchise?

 

 

Whatever the outcome of the election, it would be to the eternal good of the APC to adopt one method of primaries – preferably the direct process – for all chapters, and for all elections.

 

 

Direct primaries allow for mass participation, and provide ordinary members, who are actually the voting blocs, a say in the choice of candidates for elective offices. Any other method is subject to hijack and manipulation by the powerful and mighty in the party.

 

 

Adopting the direct primaries would curtail, if not curb their scheming excesses, and thus enhance party supremacy, which has suffered incalculable disregard and disrespect in its barely six years of existence as an “agent of change.”

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Chief Obasanjo’s love for Nigeria knows no bounds

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Chief Obasanjo’s love for Nigeria knows no bounds

 

On January 20, 1961, when John F. Kennedy took the oath of office to become America’s 35th president, he made a memorable statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” This quote pretty much sums the person of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

As a vastly traveled medical doctor, who has trained and worked at different levels in three major continents of the world; Africa, Europe and North America (USA and Canada) especially in Public Health, I have interacted with many people including leaders, but none has impressed me as much as former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom I have known at close quarters in the last five years.

 

 

One thing that stands out is the confidence with which he talks about Nigeria, to him it’s like the best product in the world yet under-marketing it. Baba (has Chief Obasanjo is fondly called) oozes confidence when he talks about the prospect in the country, be it, natural resources or human resources. For those who know him, Nigeria is the only project he knows and he has proven beyond reasonable doubt, his unflinching love for the country.

 

 

In Africa and internationally, Baba is talked about only in the same sentence as President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. He is revered and respected not only because he has ruled Nigeria but because of his love for the country, Nigeria.

 

 

He thinks, he talks, he eats, he drinks and he sleeps Nigeria. I have never met anyone who is more concerned about his country than his personal self. Having served Nigeria as a military Head of State and also as a civilian President, Chief Obasanjo has seen it all but nothing gives him more joy than when Nigeria thrives.

 

 

So, when I read on Saturday, 3 August 2019 that he had met with some Fulani cattle breeders, I was not surprised. He is a man who will stop at NOTHING to ensure that Nigeria succeeds. He has seen it all, he knows what it means to go to war and he also understands what it means to live in peace.

 

 

During his meeting with Fulani cattle breeders in the Southwest as well as Kogi and Kwara states, something stood out, and that is his continuous call for everyone to live in peace irrespective of where they find themselves in Nigeria.

 

Speaking to the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), Baba said that Yorubas wanted peace, harmony, wholesomeness and progress in the region, stressing that the time had come for everybody to acknowledge that “bad things are happening” in the Southwest and which have been attracting bad names to the Fulani in their midst.

 

 

But one thing that stunned me is the fact that the action by Chief Obasanjo did not grab the front page of all the newspapers. Many Nigerians have often wrongly accused him of always writing letters to Presidents and leaders when in the real sense of it; he is carrying out more actions than even the government.

 

 

The traffic at his country home in Abeokuta is a testament to this. People from all works of life and across the world are always there waiting to see him. How he manages to attend to everyone person or group shocks me. He is always willing to listen to anyone who has a plan or thought about improving Nigeria.

 

 

Nothing catches Baba’s attention like the name ‘Nigeria’, he never jokes with it, he loves Nigeria so much that one doubts if he can actually stay out of this country for more than one week but what he loves even more are the people.

 

 

He is always constantly seeking new ways of improving the lives of Nigerians, he is seeking new ways of ensuring that Nigeria lives up to its billing as the ‘Giant of Africa’ and he is always seeking peace in this country. For those who have forgotten, when he became President in 1999, he assembled the most balanced, most intellectual cabinet this country has ever seen. Technocrats after technocrats where appointed to key political positions.

 

 

Names that readily come to mind are those of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dora Akunyili, Charles Soludo, Oby Ezekwesili, Nuhu Ribadu, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, amongst others. His cabinet caught the ‘Nigeria First’ bug from Obasanjo and were willing to deliver and indeed delivered. Nigerià then was more or less a pariah state owing so much because of bad governance.

 

 

But Chief Obasanjo’s sterling leadership turned the situation around. He paid or got relief for Nigeria’s humongous outstanding debts, introduced a lot of reforms including banking, telecommunication, shipping/marine and other reforms which we now enjoy in Nigeria today. Anti-Corruption institutions such as EFCC were not only instituted but war against this cancer was fearlessly and honestly waged without caring whose ox is gored.

 

 

Baba is fearless. He only fears God. He talks where others keep ominously quiet. He succeeded in rebranding Nigeria in the international community of nations. But it is either Nigerians’ memories are too short, or many deliberately forget all these great achievements of Dr Olusegun Obasanjo a world leader and indubitable father of modern Nigeria with spurious disparaging comments.

 

 

As President, Chief Obasanjo ensured that both internal and even external security were top priority. The Nigerian military was even named the best in Africa which led to him winning international praise for Nigeria’s role in crucial regional peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

 

Baba even earned praises from the UK and US government for being the first African ally to openly criticize the abuses committed by former Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe. This should be resounding to Nigerians who didn’t know much about his Presidency.

 

 

He has never been afraid of speaking to power, once the government is working against the wishes of the people, he speaks up, he says it as it is and he does it without any fear or favour. So when he writes letters to serving Presidents, he does so because he wants the best for the country.

 

 

Listing his achievements as president will make this write up endless. A simple Google of his achievements as President and after his Presidency will turn out hundreds of pages. Or do we want to speak about his international engagements?

 

 

Obasanjo was appointed as Special Envoy by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. He held separate meetings with DRC President Joseph Kabila and rebel leader Laurent Nkunda. The result of those engagement was peace.

 

 

During the Zimbabwean election of July 2013, Obasanjo headed a delegation of African Union election observers and has embarked on many more since then and that is why Nigerians must understand his urge to fix his own country.

 

 

For him achieve great exploits across Africa and the rest of the world, yet his home country is ridden with all sorts of security problems? This makes Baba very sad and that is why I make bold say that Baba’s love for Nigeria knows no bounds.

 

 

Dr Joseph Onigbinde, DMD, PhD, Public Health Consultant writes from Lagos

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When Dapo Abiodun read the riot act to criminals

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When Dapo Abiodun read the riot act to criminals

The people of Ogun State may have good reason to remember the just concluded Eid-el-Kabir festival. Beyond the spiritual notes and gaiety that usually attend the festival, this year’s Sallah festival had so many mementos to cherish. Apart from the fact that the festival was celebrated in a convivial atmosphere, reinforcing the bond of brotherliness and good neighbourliness that exists among the people of the state, the celebration was devoid of any unsavoury event.

 

 

Also, on that day, the industrious Ogun people received a very reassuring gift from a man who had sworn to protect their interests always, the governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun. And this gift was none other than the renewal of his vow to ensure the safety of all residents in the state no matter their status, when he made a bold declaration that outlawed criminals in the state. In other words, the Ogun State governor was emphatic when he read the riot act to criminals who might be planning to carry out their ignoble activities in any part of the state.

 

 

Governor Abiodun, who did not hide his aversion for criminals who have been marauding and terrorising people all over the place, seized the unique Sallah event to pass his message when he played host to leaders of the Muslim community in Remoland at Iperu, his home town.

 

The Muslim leaders, League of Imams, led by the Chief Imam of Remoland, Sheik Junaid Abdukadiri, was at Iperu to felicitate him on the occasion of Sallah and also offered prayers for him and the state, especially on the pervading insecurity in the country. The governor had in the spirit of the occasion reassured the Muslim leaders of the strong resolve of his administration to ensure that lives of Ogun indigenes and other residents in the state matter.

 

 

Abiodun’s avowal to protect of life and property of the people under his charge is viewed generally as the perfect elixir for this troubling times. With growing insecurity across the nation, made more strenuous by incidence of banditry and kidnapping, many a Nigerian now lives perennially in fear. From the far North to the edge of the South, and indeed the South-West, where life and living used to be luxuriant, the situation has changed drastically.

 

 

There is hardly a day that the news media would not be awash with reports of either deaths from banditry, unknown gunmen or kidnappings on the nation’s highways. Ogun had its own share recently when some hoodlums struck on the highways in the state. Seven persons were abducted. Though the victims, with the concerted efforts of security agencies in the state, have now regained their freedom, the Ogun governor had referenced those incidents in his response to the Muslim leaders’ apprehension and vowed that such incidents would never be allowed in his domain again.

 

 

“You will recall that there were two cases of kidnapping along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, involving seven victims in all. That was between the 23rd and 24th of July, and another one on Thursday, 1st of August, 2019, along Sagamu-Benin- Ore Expressway, involving five victims, including Deaconess Chidinma Ebeleji of the Redeemed Christian Church of God,” Abiodun recalled, while appreciating the Ogun State Police Command and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Bashir Makama and the state Director of the Department of Security Services for their professionalism in ensuring that those abducted were rescued unhurt.

 

 

“However, we give all the glory to the Almighty God that the quick intervention of the men and officers of our security agencies have brought this to a positive conclusion. All victims of the two cases have been rescued unhurt, while most of the suspect have been arrested…

 

 

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, these incidents are a test of our resolve and we have demonstrated in clear terms our strong commitments to ensuring that our their state will continue to be secure for our people and all those who have made our dear state their home…

 

 

“Let me state in clear terms that no part in Ogun State is a safe haven for criminals and criminality in whatever form. Whether on the Lagos-Ibadan, Sagamu- Benin-Ore, Abeokuta- Sango-Lagos expressways or even our township roads or interstate roads, we shall smoke them out. We shall arrest them and hand them over to [face] justice,” Abiodun had vowed, declaring Ogun a no-go area for men of the underworld and their collaborators while also giving strong warning to landlords and those who might give them cover.

 

 

However, Abiodun did not lose sight of the state he is superintending over as one of the most strategic economic nerve points of the country and why his government viewed security as critical to the survival of the state and the people, just as he assured those with legitimate business that the government would not spare any effort to protect their investments.

 

 

“We occupy a unique position in our country,” he stated. “We are a gateway to the fifth biggest economy on the continent and also the gateway to the rest of this country. So any issue that pertains to security, it is of extreme importance to us in Ogun State…

 

 

“For people with legitimate businesses, let me assure you that Ogun State will continue to be a paradise; however for people with criminal tendencies, hell, for you, will be a child’s play. All of us who have decided to make Ogun State our dear home will have to cooperate and collaborate with our law enforcement agencies. We also have to support our agencies by giving them information on any suspicious movement of people. These criminals are not ghost; they are not spirits. They are human beings. They live with us; they live within us. We should and we must fish them out.”

 

 

With that assurance and insurance of safety from the governor, the Muslim leaders expressed satisfaction with the government of the state, acknowledging the efforts that had been made so far and promising to take the message of war against criminals by the governor to the people. Sheikh Abdukadiri, who delivered a sermon on the occasion, urged the people to support the Abiodun-led government which he described as the will of God.

 

 

Onasanya works with the Ogun State Information Ministry

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Taraba killings: Time to invoke esprit de corps

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Taraba killings: Time to invoke esprit de corps

On Tuesday, many Nigerians were aghast on hearing the news of the shooting deaths of three police officers, and a civilian, by men of the Nigerian Army.

 

 

Ideally, the incident which happened in Taraba State, where men of the Nigerian Army are involved in counterinsurgency operations, might not have ever happened but for the perilous state of insecurity across the nation, which has now meant that the military has had to be drafted in to help their fellow uniformed personnel, in the form of the police, carry out their own duties.

 

Had the situation not degenerated to such appalling levels, the police, who have the statutory function of handling internal security, would not have been shunted aside for the better equipped and trained khaki uniform wearing soldiers. In truth, it was only a matter of time for what in military parlance is called ‘friendly fire’ to happen, especially since dating back to the time the military called the shots at the center, the police had always played second fiddle.

 

Repeated efforts by Inspectors General of Police to beef up their force had always been stonewalled by the military, who according to reports were afraid of having another force that could rival them.

 

Thus, over time, while the Army had been readily able to train her men and officers to an appreciable level, the same cannot be said of the police force, which directly deals with civilians.

 

 

Even just looking at the barracks from which both operate from shows the vast dichotomy between the two – most police barracks are completely run down, while those of the military, while not ideally what they should be, are still in the main much better than their police counterparts’ own.

 

 

Equally, the uniforms worn by the two security arms of the government cannot be compared. While it is very common to see policemen in tattered or threadbare uniforms with equally battered shoes or even no police shoes at all; hardly would one see the same thing amongst army personnel. What is, however, of big surprise is that while the men in uniform have handed over power more than 20 years ago, the situation for the police had barely improved in all this time!

 

Now back to what happened in Taraba, according to the police account, an undercover team of the Inspector General’s crack Intelligence Response Team (IRT) had gone to successfully effect the arrest of a notorious kidnapper, one Alhaji Hamisu Wadume and were taking him to the state headquarters in Jalingo when they were attacked at a military checkpoint.

 

The police officers had no time to react as the bus they were riding in was riddled with bullets from their assailants, who sadly were supposed to be on the same side with them. By the time the smoke had cleared, three of the IRT team lay dead while some of them managed to escape with bullet wounds; while the kidnap suspect was released by the soldiers!

 

A video of the incident makes for very painful watching showing the depravity to which we have descended as a people as one of the surviving police officers were then attacked and killed by the blood baying mob.

 

 

But the army swiftly disputed the Police Force’s version of events, insisting that they had received a “distress” call that kidnappers were making away with someone they had abducted, which prompted the men of the 93 Battalion to swing into action and “stop” them from carrying out their operation.

 

I am yet to see where the army also explained how the notorious kidnapper in question was not only able to escape being hit by the bullets fired by the army personnel, but also had both his handcuffs and leg chains removed, and later disappear into thin air!

 

Another question floating around is, even if they (army) thought the bus conveying the occupants belonged to the “suspected kidnappers” would it not have been more proper to have demobilised the bus and capture the occupants in order to interrogate them?

 

But of course, we all know the popular adage “dead men tell no tales” so killing them would ensure that they would not be alive to tell the whole world what had truly transpired on that faithful day.

 

Predictably the police hold the moral high ground having clearly been victims in this case, although they too have often left “sorrow, tears and blood” in their wake as last Saturday’s incident in the Ijegun area of Lagos shows when a bullet fired by one of them struck and killed an innocent woman, Busayo Owoodun, in her shop.

 

The simmering anger, people have towards them (police), exploded into violence which left an Assistant Superintended of Police (ASP), Victor Ugbegun dead and two others brutalised after they were attacked by people in the victim’s neighbourhood.

 

However, although the back and forth between the two government outfits have been going on for a time, it is the alarm raised by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai that should send shockwaves through government and ginger them to take more decisive steps to put a lid on the face-off. Although President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the Taraba incident, with passions running high, the move has obviously not done anything to stop it. Buratai’s fear that his men could become the victims of reprisal attacks from policemen add a new frightening dimension to the whole sordid saga.

 

 

The President needs to deal decisively with this latest problem since if the COAS’ fears do come true there is every chance that civilians may again be caught in the crossfire between two weapon-carrying government agencies. Already they (citizens) are dealing with a lot on their plates, including general insecurity, poor economic among other issues to now become cannon fodder for the rampaging men in uniform. As Commander in Chief, Buhari just has to reign in both parties before it blows into a full-blown crisis of which no one will know how it will end.

 

Besides, with so many things he is already contending with, he should know that this is one more problem he must avoid.

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How silent is the silence of the silent killer? (1)

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How silent is the silence of the silent killer? (1)

The scene Mr JJ is the Executive Director of a multinational corporation, he’s had about 20 years experience on the job and he’s been happy doing it because it’s been very rewarding.

 

He sits an average of 9-10 hours at his desk, seldom visits a hospital because he always has this overwhelming feeling of wellness.

 

A day came like every other, he was active at his desk as usual, but suddenly…suddenly, he felt a coldness/heaviness on the left side of his body, he tried to lift the left hand and leg, alas! he could not. He moved the entire body to get up but fell since there’s no functional ‘’left body’’ to balance the movement.

 

Then, he tried to shout, but his speech was slurred with saliva drooling, the mouth having been deviated to one side.

 

The hard working JJ just suffered a Stroke! For him, this was the first and only indication of being hypertensive (the blood pressure was severely high when checked).

 

Why is hypertension a “silent killer”? Most of the time, high blood pressure ( or hypertension) has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. But why the ‘’silent killer’’ appellation?

 

• Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. Often the signs and symptoms are misunderstood.

 

• High blood pressure develops slowly over time and can be related to many causes.

 

• High blood pressure cannot be cured. But it can be managed effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication. Is hypertension an absolutely silent killer?

 

Though most patients with high blood pressure have no symptoms to alert them to the elevated pressure, over time, high blood pressure jettisons its silence by displaying tell tale signs on its victims such as ones of stroke, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and kidney failure.

 

What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries .

 

This pressure depends on the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work What is high blood pressure?

 

High blood pressure is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Classification of blood pressure for adults Blood Pressure SBP DBP Classification mmHg mmHg Normal <120 < 80 Pre hypertension 120–139 80-89 Stage 1 Hypertension 140–159 90-99 Understanding blood pressure readings

 

Two numbers create a blood pressure reading:

 

• Systolic pressure (SBP): This is the first, or top, number (numerator). It indicates the pressure in the arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.

 

• Diastolic pressure (DBP): This is the second, or bottom, number (denominator). It’s the reading of the pressure in the arteries between beats of the heart. Key facts (WHO)

 

• Hypertension – or elevated blood pressure – is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risks of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases.

 

• An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, most (twothirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.

 

• In 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension.

 

• Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control. • Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide.

 

• One of the global targets for noncommunicable diseases is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 (baseline 2010)

 

Types For about 95 percent of people with high blood pressure, the cause of their hypertension is unknown — this is called essential, or primary hypertension.

 

When a cause can be found, the condition is called secondary hypertension.

 

• Essential hypertension. This type of hypertension is diagnosed after a doctor notices that your blood pressure is high on three or more visits and eliminates all other causes of hypertension. Usually people with essential hypertension have no symptoms, but you may experience frequent headaches, tiredness, dizziness, or nose bleeds.

 

Although the cause is unknown, researchers do know that obesity, increasing age, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, diet (junk and high salt intake), and heredity all play a role in essential hypertension. • Secondary hypertension. The most common cause of secondary hypertension are diseases of the kidneys.

 

Other causes include airway obstruction during sleep (sleep apnea), diseases and tumors of the adrenal glands, pregnancy, hormone abnormalities and thyroid disease, congenital heart disease and long term alcohol consumption.

 

Drugs can also cause secondary hypertension; cocaine, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, steroids etc Diagnosing hypertension It is done mainly by measuring the blood pressure.

 

Measurement technique Poor technique is the main cause of misdiagnosis. Blood pressure measurement should be done in a quiet room (applies to both manual and electronic measurement) so the medical professional checking the blood pressure can hear the appropriate sounds;

 

• Proper blood pressure measurement requires the person whose blood pressure is being measured to sit quietly for at least five minutes which is then followed by application of a properly fitted blood pressure cuff to a bare upper arm.

 

• The person should be seated with their back supported, feet flat on the floor, and with their legs uncrossed.

 

• The person whose blood pressure is being measured should avoid talking or moving during this process.

 

• The arm being measured should be supported on a flat surface at the level of the heart. The blood pressure cuff should be deflated slowly (2-3 mmHg per second) while listening for the appropriate sounds (applies to manual measurement).

 

• The bladder should be emptied before a person’s blood pressure is measured since this can increase blood pressure by up to 15/10 mmHg.

 

• Multiple blood pressure readings (at least two) spaced 1–2 minutes apart should be obtained to ensure accuracy.

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