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The yellowness of a fever

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The yellowness of a fever

 

 

T

he colour yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It is the colour which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception.  Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.  In the meaning of colors, yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness.  But it can be critical and judgmental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive, being egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex, spiteful, cowardly, deceitful and non-emotional.

 

 

When a fever is labeled yellow, it’s devoid of all the bright sides but entirely the negatives. This recent outbreak is linked to the death of four students of the College of Education, Waka-Biu, Borno. They had gone on a field trip to Yankari Game Reserve, in Bauchi State as part of their course work.

 

 

What it is

 

 

Yellow fever (also called Yellow jack, Yellow plague or Bronze john) is a serious, potentially deadly flu-like disease, it is an acute viral haemorrhagic (bleeding) disease (like Ebola and Lassa fever) transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected with the virus when they bite an infected human or monkey. The disease cannot be spread from one person to another. It’s characterized by a high fever and jaundice. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is why this disease is called yellow fever. This disease is most prevalent in parts of Africa and South America. It is not curable.

 

 

How is it transmitted?

 

 

Yellow fever virus (an RNA virus) is mainly transmitted through the bite of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, but other mostly Aedes mosquitoes such as the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can also serve as a vector for this virus. Like other arboviruses which are transmitted by mosquitoes, the yellow fever virus is taken up by a female mosquito when it ingests the blood of an infected human or other primate. Viruses reach the stomach of the mosquito, and if the virus concentration is high enough, the virions (the infective form of a virus) can infect epithelial cells and replicate there. From there, they reach the haemocoel (the blood system of mosquitoes) and from there the salivary glands. When the mosquito next sucks blood, it injects its saliva into the wound, and the virus reaches the bloodstream of the bitten person. The transmission of the yellow fever virus from a female mosquito to her eggs and then larvae, are indicated within A. aegypti.  This infection of vectors without a previous blood meal seems to play a role in single, sudden breakouts of the disease. The disease cannot be spread from one person to another. However, large numbers of cases (epidemics) can also occur in urban areas when a human with yellow fever infects the local Aedes mosquitoes (mainly Aedes aegypti) resulting in transmission from human to human via infected mosquitoes.

 

 

What may give it away

Yellow fever begins after an incubation period of three to six days. Most cases only cause a mild infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. In these cases, the infection lasts only three to four days.

 

 

In 15% of cases, however, people enter a second, toxic phase of the disease with recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract cause vomit containing blood, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vómito negro (“black vomit”). There may also be kidney failure, hiccups, and delirium.The toxic phase is fatal in about 20 to 50% of cases, making the overall fatality rate for the disease about 3.0 to 7.5%. However, the fatality rate of those with the toxic phase of the disease may exceed 50%.

 

 

Surviving the infection provides lifelong immunity, and normally no permanent organ damage results.

Laboratory catch

 

 

Yellow fever is most frequently a clinical diagnosis, made on the basis of symptoms and the diseased person’s whereabouts prior to becoming ill. Mild courses of the disease can only be confirmed virologically. Since mild courses of yellow fever can also contribute significantly to regional outbreaks, every suspected case of yellow fever (involving symptoms of fever, pain, nausea and vomiting six to 10 days after leaving the affected area) is treated seriously.

 

 

If yellow fever is suspected, the virus cannot be confirmed until six to 10 days after the illness. A direct confirmation can be obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction where the genome of the virus is amplified. Another direct approach is the isolation of the virus and its growth in cell culture using blood plasma; this can take one to four weeks.

 

 

Serologically, an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) during the acute phase of the disease can confirm yellow fever.

 

 

Treatment

 

 

There’s no cure for yellow fever. Treatment involves managing symptoms (in a hospital setting) and assisting the body (immune system) in fighting off the infection by:

getting oxygen

maintaining a healthy blood pressure

getting blood transfusions if necessary

getting treatment for other infections that may develop

Prevention

Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine, which is safe and affordable. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of persons vaccinated. Vector control taking measures to avoid mosquito bites (active in the day) are equally important.

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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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Perspectives

Whither compassionate Nigerian politicians?

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Whither compassionate Nigerian politicians?

D

aily we are regaled with stories indicating how very difficult life is becoming for the average Nigerian. We are treated to truly heartrending tales of how eating three meals a day is becoming a struggle for millions of us.

Apart from the frightening reports in both the mainstream traditional media and social media platforms, physical signs that things are not okay in the country abound all over the place from factories lying idle to the multitude of young Nigerians roaming the streets of major cities looking for the virtually none existent jobs.

 

Even the upsurge in banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminal activity can be directly linked to the prevailing economic situation.

Just a few days ago, a friend called me from Warri to paint a vividly sorry tale of the once very vibrant city.

 

“Old boy trouble dey o!” he told when he had checked into his hotel.

“Imagine driving from the airport into town and many of the companies that once dotted the landscape have all closed down. It’s so sad seeing all the factories just lying idle. I wonder what all those who used to work there are now doing. We are in a big mess in this country o!” he lamented over the phone.

Later in the evening he called again to give me an “update”.

 

“Old boy from my hotel I can see the Warri Refinery the lights are on but nothing is being produced. Tankers are stretched for more than a kilometre waiting for produce that they do not know when it will be produced.”

According to my friend, when he sort to know from the person he had gone to see in Warri what was happening, the businessman told him that that had become the norm.

 

“He told me that the tankers just park along the road to the refinery waiting for the day that they will be able to lift produce. He told me the refinery had not worked for a very long time and yet the tankers are just lined up waiting,” he told me.

 

My friend then went on to ask the million naira question: “So if it (Warri Refinery) isn’t working, who is paying for all the floodlights they have on and those still working there producing nothing?”

 

That is one of the ways that we waste billions of naira in this country spending money for services not rendered or goods not produced.

 

But the Warri example is replicated all over the country. Apapa that was once noted for harbouring such household names like UAC, SCOA, Niger Biscuit, John Holt, and Michelin Tyres and so on has become a ghost town to industries.

 

One no longer sees hordes of young Nigerians heading to the various bus stops making their way home after a hard day’s job at one of the above mentioned businesses.

 

However, despite these very glaring signs that all is not well, our leaders are want to insist that things are very okay and that most of the problems are being exacerbated by the media no longer feeding fat off the land.

 

For them everything is rosy. And even if there are some thorns, they (thorns) will soon disappear once their polices kick in.

 

 

Sadly even those that are supposed to be representing the interest of the ordinary citizens at the National Assembly – Senate and House of Representatives – are not doing the needful when it comes to seeing to the wellbeing of those that voted them into the legislative bodies.

 

 

Rather than ensure that government takes care of her citizen, they are often glove-in-hand with the executive and even often equate themselves as being at par even if not superior to them.

 

 

Which is why the Senate spokesman would argue that if ministers are entitled to official cars, so should the legislators, after all, they are the ones elected to serve the people, conveniently forgetting to also admit that the bulk of the people that voted him into office cannot even afford to buy bicycles talk much less of owning an SUV.

 

The conspiracy of silence, somewhat like the infamous Omerta (code of silence) of the Mafia, between the executive and legislative arms of government has meant that despite the overwhelming indices that things are going down south for most people, they are yet to offer any concrete suggestions to helping the nation get out of the economic mess or even more importantly are yet to even hint at what kind of sacrifice they are willing to make in trying to shore up the economy.

 

Senators are said to be earning about N13.5million a month while their House counterparts take home N12.5million. These sums exclude other perks and yet rather than offering to take a pay cut or not buy the official vehicles – Omerta!

 

Same with the executive, it is yet to be made public that those occupying this exalted position are aware of the biting economic plight of the citizens and as their own contribution to the national emergency are cutting their salaries by 25% or even 50%; and are doing away with their retinue of aides all in an effort to cut down on cost.

 

Even the Presidency is guilty of increasing government’s overhead by increasing the number of ministries from 36 to 42 which will see a corresponding hike in the number of people to not only be paid salaries but also additional expenses for cars, equipping their offices and houses, aides and domestic staff!

 

And yet, government is now saying that in order to pay the already agreed new minimum wage of N30, 000 they will have to downsize!

 

 

Of course this exercise if carried out will not affect our politicians but rather mainly civil servants whose take home in one year is a fraction of what ministers or NASS members take.

 

 

But why can’t our politicians take a cue from what obtains in other lands equally going through difficult times?

 

 

For instance, Italy which has been grappling an economic crisis for years finally decided to take the bull by the horns and got their politicians to show their own commitment to the cause by willingly downsizing parliament.

Last Italy’s parliament voted to cut the number of representatives in both houses by more than a third.

 

 

The lower house approved a law to reduce the number of MPs from 630 to 400 and senators from 315 to 200.

 

 

In doing so it is said parliament will help the nation save €1bn (£897m) over 10 years. So why will the average Italian grumble if told to tighten his belt when he can see the action taken by his parliament.

 

 

Recently, the Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha suggested that Upper Chamber should produce just one instead of the three senators currently on the books in an effort to cut down on costs. But I’m very certain that the suggestion was dead on arrival because his colleagues will never support him.

 

 

But sadly the nation cannot continue along this path and we all have to make sacrifices if we want things to improve.

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Pay TV: Signal theft and fake nationalism

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A favourite trick of wrongdoers, especially those inclined towards crime, is an appeal-often shamelessly desperateto emotions. This takes various forms, most notably victimhood, all in a bid to avoid cold scrutiny and avoid responsibility.

 

This has been my reading of the ongoing saga between three Port Harcourt-based cable television operators and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). On 8 October, operatives of the commission raided the offices of CAN TV, Metro Digital TV and Communication Trends Limited (CTL), following receipt of intelligence that they were pirating pay television broadcast signals belonging to MultiChoice, StarTimes and Bein, the Qatari broadcaster.

 

During the raid, according to the EFCC, nine members of staff of the three firms were arrested, while equipment allegedly used for the broadcast were confiscated. Four of the nine people arrested have since be released, with five remaining in detention. That, to my mind, is akin to me claiming I can freely sell parcels of land belonging to another person and pocket proceeds from the sale despite having no authority to sell.

 

There can be no doubt that if I did this, the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and/or the EFCC would take an interest in me. But in the bizarre world of the three errant television firms, this would be justifiable because the rightful owners of the land should not exclusively own such a prized asset to the exclusion of others. They would have argued that the proceeds from the sale would be used to provide cheaper plots of land to less privileged members of the community, so that wealth-stolen-could be redistributed.

 

Speaking through their lawyers, the three firms, which are members of Association of Cable Operators of Nigeria (ACON), claimed that the EFCC should have no role to play in the matter, as the alleged offence for which they were arrested was not financial in nature. But the EFCC countered that it is empowered to investigate both financial and economic crimes, saying the law setting it up views what the cable TV operators have been accused of amounts to economic crime. In support of its position, the EFCC pointed to Section 40 of the EFCC Act, which defines defines economic crime as any illicit activity, not involving violence, carried out with a desire to earn wealth illegally. Such, states the Act, includes all intimations of fraud, trafficking of illicit drugs, money laundering and intellectual property theft or piracy.

 

Remarkably, the suspected pirates did not attempt to deny that they have been stealing other broadcasters’ content and redistributing on commercial scale to subscribers. Instead, they argued that the laws of the country allow them to sell, without authorization, what is not theirs, according to the letter their lawyers wrote to the EFCC. Their lawyers claimed that MultiChoice, in 2015, approached the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), seeking to protect its broadcast properties from pirates. They also claimed that they approached MultiChoice with a request that they be sub-licensed to redistribute and expected MultiChoice to name its price, but it did not. Subsequently, they approached a court with the prayer that MultiChoice be compelled to sell rights to them. The matter, they said, is yet to be legally determined.

 

But in the meantime, they convinced themselves that it is a terrific idea to keep pirating MultiChoice’s content and charging subscribers between N3, 000 and N5, 000 monthly. MultiChoice, expectedly, disagreed with that.

 

So did the EFCC, which has a responsibility to deal with matters of such nature. Apparently realizing that legally, they are walking on thin ice, the three firms launched a campaign aimed at presenting themselves as victims of a foreign-owned behemoth (MultiChoice) as a means of getting Nigerians to support their blatantly criminal activity. In addition to the claim they seek to provide cheaper pay television service to low income-earning Nigerians, something to which MultiChoice is allegedly opposed, they also alleged that MultiChoice is keen to kill competition.

 

This saw them attributing the collapse of Hitv, FStv, DAARSat to MultiChoice. Similarly, they claimed that MultiChoice launched its digital-to-home platform, GOtv, in 2011 to kill StarTimes, whose content they pirate alongside that of MultiChoice.

 

Just so that Nigerians could fizz with anger very quickly, the pirate operators referenced the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the parent of country of MultiChoice. Being conscienceless, they failed to see broadcast piracy as a huge danger to the country’s economy, one which the country’s copyright laws were enacted to address. The NCC, which enforces the copyright laws, media reports show, consistently cracks down on illegal broadcast activities. Section 51(1) of the Copyright Act defines broadcast piracy as the redistribution of copyright-protected broadcast content on commercial scale without the permission of the owners.

 

Between 2012 and 2013, the NCC reported that it seized illegal broadcast equipment worth N42million and the arrest as well as prosecution of many suspects for broadcast piracy. One Godwin Kadiri was sentenced to two years imprisonment by Justice AA Okeke of the Federal High Court, Benin, in December 2012. Kadiri was sentenced under Section 20(3) of the Copyright Act for having in his possession contrivances such as three Strong decoders, one Hitv decoders, splitters for illegal rebroadcast ( for commercial purposes) of Hitv channels to 100 subscribers without the content owner’s consent.

 

Last year, the NCC arrested one Idoni Joseph Osagie in Osogbo, Osun State, with similar equipment. Also last year, the commission warned two Kaduna-based cable television operators, ABG and QTV, to desist from unlicensed broadcasting or risk suspension of their licences. The NCC was moved to act following receipt of formal complaints from Bein, Canal Plus and Aljazeera their content was being redistributed illegally.

 

The commission wrote a strongly worded letters to the two rogue broadcasters, threatening them with suspension. “After doing vigilant surveillance and investigation, we have found out that the original and rightful owner of the content you are transmitting is MultiChoice. But ABG has gone behind without getting due licensing from MultiChoice to continue to operate on the cable of MultiChoice. The only people with the exclusive license to broadcast English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, LaLiga among others is MultiChoice Nigeria. So, we are here to issue a very stern warning to you to desist from this illegal act or run the risk of been shut down,” the NCC wrote. Has the law changed? Not yet.

 

•Erinfolami, a media analyst, writes from Akure

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Excessive sneezing

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Excessive sneezing

The scene

He has an interesting alias ‘’Mr Sneeze’’; real name is ‘’LKR’’ but over the years the nickname had stuck like a leech. He sneezes at least once in about 10 minutes, this becomes more disturbing when he gets exposed to some particular triggers. According to him, he once lost a promising job because of this condition; the interview process was seamless in the air conditioned room until there was power outage, with the generator being dysfunctional, the stage was set for the conspiracy of factors. One of his identified triggers is ‘’stuffiness’’ which engulfed the room at that point. He could not even utter a word after the tsunami of sneezing ensued, with red eyes emitting tears…

Myths

The heart stops beating when you sneeze. NOT TRUE!!

Eyes pop out of your head when you sneeze.   Most people naturally close their eyes when they sneeze, but if they are able to keep them open, their eyes stay firmly planted in their heads where they belong!!

The soul departs your body when you sneeze if you aren’t promptly blessed afterward. NOT TRUE!!

What it is

A sneeze is the powerful, involuntary (uncontrollable), expulsion of air through the nose due to irritation in the nasal passages. It is not always bad; in fact, your body uses this to eliminate irritants from your throat or nose. It becomes quite disturbing when you have to deal with sneezing persistently. Even though it’s not the result of a serious health issue, excessive sneezing can still be quite irritating. The less-than-desirable part of sneezing involves the spitting out of phlegm, saliva, bacteria and microbes from the nose and/or mouth.

Sneezing as a ‘’rebooting’’ mechanism

This is because sneezing expels things that are irritating the passageway with such force that little gets left behind. This means your nose is back to normal and able to perform its intended function of keeping certain things from moving past the nasal passages to cause problems with your health.

Some people sneeze in twos or threes. That’s because the particles the sneeze is working to expel didn’t all make it out with the first sneeze. When this happens, two or even three sneezes in a row may occur. Sometimes even more.

Ultimately, sneezing is a response from the body to irritation in the lining of the nose. It’s something that you can’t control, and probably shouldn’t.

Holding back a sneeze?

One man damaged his pharynx (throat) by trying to prevent a sneeze by pinching his nose and holding his mouth shut, leading to a one week stay in the hospital while the tear to his pharynx healed enough so that he could eat and drink without the food or liquid leaking out of his pharynx. What advice did the doctors give upon leaving the hospital? Don’t pinch your nose when sneezing. HENCE, TRYING TO HOLD A SNEEZE CAN HAVE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES!

Causes

1. Allergies

Most of the time, the reason behind continuous sneezing is some type of allergy. This usually happens when one suffers from allergic rhinitis, which may affect you in specific seasons or hurt all year round. Sometimes, one may also be allergic to specific foods, such as dairy.

Sneezing fits are the most common symptom that you have allergic rhinitis. You may experience bouts of sneezing after you wake up in the morning. Other common symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy or watery eyes. This could also be due to seasonal rhinitis, which is characterized by frequent attacks of sneezing. If you’re a victim of perennial rhinitis, you’re more likely to experience symptoms when you inhale specific antigens, such as house dust mite, pet hair, and fungal spores.

2. Infections

Sneezing may well be a symptom of an upper respiratory tract infection due to viruses, bacteria and even fungi (in people with weakened immune system

3. Irritants

Airborne, systemic and ingested irritants may cause persistent sneezing if there is constant exposure to it. Some of the triggers include :

Environmental pollution (like smog)

Organic and inorganic dusts

Cigarette smoking (secondary smoke inhalation)

Strong odors from perfumes and spices

Spicy foods

Dry weather

Hormonal changes – pregnancy or contraceptives

Physical irritants such as bright sunlight can also cause sneezing, which is called the ‘’nasoocular reflex’’. This involves a reflex connection between the eyes and nose, which causes stimulation of nerves within the nasal mucous membranes, resulting in sneezing.

4. Medication

Using certain medications may also lead to drug-induced rhinitis and cause continuous sneezing. Some of the culprits are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, nasal decongestants, hypertension drugs like beta-blockers and diuretics, antidepressants, sedatives, drugs for erectile dysfunction, and oral contraceptives.

5. Other Causes

Nasal polyps

Neurological conditions

Exposure to chlorinated pool water

Cocaine sniffing

Tobacco sniffing (snuff)

Professional swimmers (chlorinated pool water)

What to do

Best treatment would be to find allergens causing symptoms and to avoid it, a hospital visit to the general practitioner and/or the ENT expert would surely be beneficial.

Prevention

One needs to understand that it is going to take a few days to clear symptoms if they are caused by the flu or another infection. When you’re indoor, do the following:

Be sure to keep your home dry by allowing fresh dry air regularly or use a dehumidifier where available

Keep your pets clean by washing them regularly

Take steps to reduce mold and dust in your home

When outdoor, do the following:

Don’t go out in extreme dry weather

Avoid cutting the grass in allergy season

Be sure to buy yourself a face mask and wear it when going outside

Take a shower every time you return home after spending time outdoors.

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Nigeria: A land of failed promises

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Nigeria: A land of failed promises

Only four days ago, Nigeria celebrated her 59th Independence anniversary; but I’m sure many of her close to 200 million citizens would have been wondering if there was anything really to celebrate. For the fast fading class of those old enough to remember how the nation was back in the day, many of them will no doubt be gnashing their teeth and scratching their heads lost as to how to explain how their unbridled delight at becoming a self-governing nation has derailed so spectacularly. Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa on whose shoulders the mantle of piloting the nascent nation fell, clearly had an inkling that the initial take off would be far from smooth when he told the audience that had gathered at the Race Course (now Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and venue of the hand over):

“When this day in October 1960 was chosen for our Independence, it seemed that we were destined to move with quiet dignity to our place on the world stage. “Recent events have changed the scene beyond recognition, so that we found ourselves today being tested to the utmost. We are called upon immediately to show that our claims to responsible government are well-founded, and having been accepted as an independent state, we must at once play an active part in maintaining the peace of the world and in preserving civilisation.

“I promise you, we shall not fail for want of determination. And we come to this task better-equipped than many.” Sadly, despite his best efforts, he was unable to steer his plane clean of the turbulence that engulfed it, so much so that when the politicians failed to put their house in order, the men in uniform decided to take charge of the plane barely six years after it had taken off.

But even they found that flying would not be as easy as they thought as simmering ethnic divisions finally bubbled to the surface, ensuring that military discipline alone would not be enough to keep it in check. And thus, when the centre could no longer hold, an attempt was made to break up the nation, just one year after the military take over.

A subsequent 30-month Civil War ensured that this dream did not materialise and the talk of keeping “Nigeria one” was successfully done. At the end of the bloody conflict the Federal Government came up with a very catchy jingle in an effort not to gloat and further drive a wedge between the combatants by saying: “no victor no vanquished”.

But alas, like the recurring pattern in this country, it was mainly talk without corresponding action to back it up; which is why 49 years after the Civil War people are still complaining of being marginalised. It is this feeling that has once again led to fresh agitation for the right to selfdetermination.

But while this is a legitimate right, however, for those toeing this route, what is the guarantee that even if they do achieve their dream, it will solve once and for all the issue of marginalisation and being left out of the scheme of things? Even though it is very easy for politicians and others to blame the military for many of the nation’s current woes, I believe this is not exactly right. I went to school in the East during the military area and I can attest to the massive infrastructural developments that took place during that time.

Benin-Sagamu, Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt expressways were either completed or nearing completion when I was at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I often left school to go and visit friends at the Obafemi Awolowo University (the University of Ife) on very impressive roads. Now the roads are no longer that good – under whose watch did most of them deteriorate so badly without any concrete efforts at their proper maintenance or rehabilitation? Civilian rule of course!

Amazingly the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that was conceived, built and completed during the 43-month regime of then Military Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (he commissioned it in August 1978) is still undergoing renovation more than 12 years after Obasanjo (who was elected civilian president in 1999) reawarded the contract for its renovation! We have now been told that the work on the nation’s first and busiest expressway will not be completed till 2021.

The billion naira question is so where exactly has all the money that have been voted for roads gone too? If the monies were actually used for what they were cited for then the roads will not be as bad as they are right now all over the federation.

It’s the same things with power! We have been told that a certain administration spent over $20 billion on its attempt to give the nation decent electricity; but as I am penning this article there has been no power so I was unable to either listen to the President’s October 1 speech or watch the Independence Day festivities which took place at the Presidential Villa! And I very sure I was not the only one kept in the dark on such an auspicious day in the nation’s calendar. Ironically the inability of our political leaders to keep their promises is one of the major reasons for our woes as we enter our 60th year as an independent nation. Both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party before them, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) promise so much but end up doing virtually nothing for the people they sort their votes.

They are often quick to condemn the actions or inactions of previous governments and yet when they also leave, they leave the citizens worse off than when they took over. Of course they (politicians) can get away with this because we the governed do not hold them accountable for either their actions or inactions.

They (politicians) know that when it’s time for elections all they need to do is to splash some cash and they will continue to live lavish lifestyles while the majority of Nigerians live in abject poverty. Unless we have a major rethink, this time next year we will continue our lamentations praying for a better society but not really ready to change our attitudes by making our elected officials accountable to the citizens in order to realise the nation of our dreams!

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Things God cannot do in your marriage (Part 2)

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Things God cannot do in your marriage (Part 2)

God can never change because of you. When Saul disobeyed God’s instructions about Amalek, God took away the kingdom of Israel from him despite God’s love. When Ananias and Saphira conspired to lie at the altar of God, they dropped dead, despite God’s love for them. When Moses who spoke with God face to face violated God’s instructions, he was denied access to the land of Canaan that he had worked for all through the years. Their God is the same God that owns you and he cannot change. God is no respecter of persons and cannot change because of you. He remains the same from generation to generation and his word remains the governing authority. God’s disposition towards sexual immorality has not and can never change. His instructions on wife’s submission to husband remains the same forever. No human rights agitation or human wisdom can alter God’s instructions.

His instructions to husbands to love their wives and otherwise, face hindered answers to prayers cannot change (1st Peter 3:7). If you have stolen or are about to steal someone’s husband or wife, you are God’s enemy because he has instructed in Exodus 20, “though shalth not steal.” “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13) Are you looking for justification to divorce your legally married spouse? Sorry! God cannot change because of you. He hates divorce and anyone who does so is covering violence temporarily with a garment (Malachi 2:16).

With time, the violence will manifest and catch up with the person. God can never change just because you are going through stuff in your marital relationship. Instead of deploying your energy towards looking for justification for your anti-God plans, actions or responses to your challenge, why not open up your heart to God’s word and allow him to deal with the situation in his own way, based on his word? There is no solution to any marital problem outside Jesus Christ because marriage is more of a spiritual phenomenon. Marriage is a great mystery.

How do I know this? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is A GREAT MYSTERY…”, (Ephesians 5:31-32). Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions manifested in physical experience and application.

You may choose to believe or not believe this truth. It doesn’t change what the truth is. Even when you decide to redefine truth, moving outside God’s perspective, it does not change what the truth is. This is why even when science for instance, has discovered how to convert a man into a woman, it happens. Yet, everyone retains the truth that this man is a man but merely wears attributes of a woman. Jesus Christ is the truth and nothing can change the truth. Your marital challenge has a solution.

The solution is in Jesus Christ. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:11). 3. GOD CANNOT FAIL: If you have a challenge in your marital relationship, it does not in any way mean that God has failed because it is not possible for him to fail. Nothing takes him by surprise.

Your situation could mean that God is saying something that you are not hearing or even listening to. It could mean that God has only allowed the devil to try your faith like he did to Job, just to see your reaction before taking you to designed destination. God is a living and not imagined God. So, he is always saying something through the Holy Spirit. It has been so since Jesus Christ ascended after resurrection.

He said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). The question is: “Have you made the Holy Spirit you consultant over life issues? Do you even know him? For instance, you did not remember God when you made a choice of your course of study in school, the house to rent and settle down, the job you are doing, and so on.

Now, just because you want to marry, you are going from church to church, pastor to pastor, prophet to prophet for prayers. You want to ‘use’ the Holy Spirit and dump him? No way! As a married person, maybe when you were trying to choose a spouse, you did not only avoid God.

You avoided Christians, pastors and anybody that had anything to do with the Holy Bible. Now, you are suffering domestic violence, delayed fruit of the womb or some other marital challenge. You are looking for indirect speech from God, disturbing pastors and prayer warriors, and even blaming God for your failures. God can never fail. He is always speaking to his creatures but many are not listening. When you pray and ask God for something, because he owns you and knows the best for you, his answer is either YES, NO or WAIT.

If you have chosen your own path that can fail and gone far on the wrong ladder before remembering God, you can hardly get his endorsement. This is because he owns you and his purpose of sending you into this world must be accomplished at his own terms. This is why a personal relationship with God is a must for everyone. If you have been accusing God of failing in your marital relationship because of one challenge you have been going through, you need to beg him for forgiveness because God can never fail. Why are things the way they are? Read next edition.

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May our roads never be this rough again

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May our roads never be this rough again

Last week Friday, I travelled to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to attend a social event. I had thought going to Ibadan by road won’t interest me for anything due to the perennial gridlock in the Mowe area of the road. But this was an important journey that I could not afford to miss. So, I opted to connect Ibadan through Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.So, we hit the road early enough. This was a wise thing to do if we wanted to arrive our destination on time. It’s also a wise decision to travel from Lagos to Abeokuta first before going to Ibadan.

By implication, it means one has to do two journeys in one. This doesn’t make economic sense at all. One will spend over two hours for a journey that ordinarily should not take more than an hour. It means more fuel will be consumed and sadly, more risks will be involved.

There are so many roads that cannot be connected straight on except one goes round before getting to one’s destination. Most inter-states roads are bad and the intrastates ones are not good either.The roads have become dreaded and nightmarish. Arrival at destinations is no longer predictable because of gridlocks caused mainly by bad roads. Our roads have become rougher, bumpy, steep, treacherous and difficult to travel on.

They are getting worse by the day because they have been neglected for too long. While new roads are not being built, the existing ones are not being maintained. As a result, people waste a lot of man-hour on the roads. In a country where workers are being paid based on man-hour calculation, a lot of workers in Nigeria will be most of the time poorly remunerated because of time they will be wasting in traffic on a daily basis.

Interestingly, it requires just fixing of mere potholes to repair some of the roads. But because they were not attended to on time, these potholes have become craters over time and they now require major repairs to fix them. The World Bank has repeatedly emphasised the importance of good roads to economic development and growth. “Roads make a critical contribution to economic development and growth and bring important social benefits,” the bank reportedly said at a time.

The important roles good road networks play should not be lost on a developing nation like Nigeria that still largely depends on road transportation to move its people, goods and services. But the reverse remains the case. Apart from man-hour losses, which is being estimated at billions of naira every year, staying in gridlocks comes with its health challenges while bad roads have telling effects on our vehicles with its cost implications. People have on many occasions been robbed in traffic.

Whatever we gained with our two journeys in one on our way to Ibadan last week, we lost on our way back to Lagos going by the gridlock we experienced due to bad roads. Yet, we were still happy because going through Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would have been worse because of the ongoing road construction that is taking years to complete as if it’s being built newly.

I pity those who work or live in that axis. Residents in that area are now relocating to the Island or Ikeja areas, while some men now go home on weekends and will stay indoors until Sunday or leave that area very early on Mondays. Yet, some are taking refuge in churches outside the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari instructed the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to tell governors not to fix federal roads if they will ask for refund after repairing those roads. The reason being that some states exaggerate what they spent to fix federal roads. According to the minister, states submitted a bill of almost N1 trillion when the president was elected.

But when the president instructed that the entitlement should be worked out, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) ” certified about N454 billion. ” Some states don’t even have documented evidence to back up their claims on what they spent to fix federal roads in their state. How does that add up? There is a huge difference between N1 trillion claim and verified N454 billion. Going by this revelation, some governors mght have turned these road repairs into a business venture. One can then imagine what such governors do with road contracts in their states.

“He (president) said ‘Tell them not to fixmy roads again if they are going to claim compensation. If you want to fix it and not ask for compensation, go and mind your business while I mind my business. This is because I have inherited enough debts,” Fashola reportedly said. While giving a breakdown of the roads, the minister said federal roads constituted about 18 per cent of national road network, covering about 200,000 kilometres. He said the remaining 16 per cent belong to the states and 64:per cent to the 774 local governments.

The former Lagos State governor, who popularised the signpost: “This road belongs to the federal government, please, bear with us!” usually erected on bad federal roads during his tenure as the governor of Lagos State, perhaps to let Lagosians know who to hold responsible for bad roads in the ” centre of excellence ” under his watch, made it clear that his pronouncement was on the president’s directive. He also added the amount of inherited debts was more than the budget of the ministry. So, we can guess that there are still tough months if not years shear for road users. While I share in the plight of the minister, I pity the road users who are mainly poor Nigerians. We may never know, which are federal roads, those for the states and those that belong to the local governments.

In other words, we may never know whom to hold responsible for repair of bad roads in the country. While we are being pushed by the federal, states and local governments in the expected blame game, it’s the masses that will bear the brunt of governments’ irresponsibility and ineffectiveness. Some governments’ officials will never ply these roads. They have options. So, they won’t experience or understand what it is to be held up in traffic. They don’t have to go to Abeokuta first to connect Ibadan from a place like Lagos.

They don’t wear the shoes, so where the shoes pinch is not and can never be their headache. Fixing of bad roads is governments’ responsibility. Governments should not shirk their responsibilities. We know there were problems before we voted them in and we expect them to solve those problems. Bad roads are one of the problems. How they solve the problems is their business. May our roads never be this rough again.

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