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Apologise to Benue people – Ortom tells Atiku

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has called on Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to retract and tender a public apology for his comments against him and Benue people over the killings in Gbeji, Ukum Local Government Area of the state by suspected herdsmen.

The Governor also expressed disappointment at the lies said against him by Atiku that he profiled Fulani herdsmen while alleging that Benue people have been stealing cows from his farm.

Ortom made the call in Government House on Wednesday when Youths from Jemgbagh comprising of Gboko, Buruku and Tarka Local Government Areas held a solidarity March to his office.

Ortom  declared that he is and would remain an obedient servant of the Benue people told Atiku tender a public apology to the Benue people if he still wants the support and vote of Benue people.

“I vehemently condemn the statement against me by Atiku. When it got to ,me, I protested to him through a WhatsApp chat and he apologized to me but I told him that message did not go down well with my people and he should make it public he decline to make a public apology.

“You cannot under dress an elder like me in public and come back to dress me in the room. I told him it was wrong. Let it be on record that at no point did I tell him that some of my brothers, the Benue people were stealing my cows. He lied against me and I take exception to this and demand an apology. It is unbecoming for a Presidential candidate to be telling lies.

“I never also profiled Fulanis as a whole and did not say all of them are bad. They are my friends, they can even go into my bedroom. I have never sent any Fulani man away. But I’m against the Fulani terrorist coming from Niger, Chad, Senegal,Mali. They are killing our people and I cannot keep quiet.

“He must do a retraction. If he does not, on the day of election we will vote according to the election. We cannot vote a president who will continue the carnage against our people.

“You have committed sacrilege against Benue people. Please apologize to us if you want us to remain in the same party and vote for you”, he said

Ortom who lamented the over 2million IDPs in Benue were unacceptable insisted that Benue cannot bring an enemy who will continue with the carnage.

He thanked Benue youths for understanding the issues and for standing with him urging them to desist from any act that will create a bad name for the state.

The youths under the Coalition of Jemgbah Youths had earlier asked Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to apologize unless he does not require the votes of the Benue people to actualise his Presidential ambition.

The youths say they will not stand those who want to put a clog in the development of Benue state and Jemgbah in particular.

They assured o their continued support to enable him emerged victorious at the senatorial election saying he has done well for their zone and deserves nothing less than the mandate to represent people of Benue North West at the National Assembly.

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Abuja ‘one chance’ victim brought in dead to hospital — Panel

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The investigative panel on the death of the late Ms Greatness Olorunfemi, a victim of ‘one-chance operators’ in Abuja, said she was brought to the Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, dead.

The chairman of the panel, Dr Mohammed Mohammed, who is also the President, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), revealed this on Wednesday in Abuja during a news conference on the outcome of the panel’s findings.

According to eyewitnesses, Olorunfemi died following an alleged refusal by Maitama District Hospital to treat her after being pushed out of a moving vehicle by ‘one-chance operators’ on Sept. 26.

Mohammed said that the panel, which was set up on Oct. 5, concluded that she was brought in dead after investigating the events of the day.

He added that the panel got confirmation from the CCTV footage at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital and interviewed eyewitnesses and all parties involved in the issue.

“So, on whether she was brought to Maitama District Hospital alive, the casualty nurse and the house officer in the emergency attended and examined her.

“The casualty nurse first attended to her within 40 seconds of her arrival, and then there was also a doctor that was passing by who attended to her within three minutes.

“They all testified that she was brought in dead, as the casualty officer confirmed it and accordingly notified the good samaritan who brought her to the hospital.

“The house officer also examined the patient’s pulse, respiratory, and pupillary reflexes, which were all absent, signifying brain death at the time of arrival.”

The panel chairman also said that the pre-autopsy examination by the pathologist at the hospital and physical inspection of her corpse by the panel members did not find any conclusive evidence that Olorunfemi was alive at the time of her presentation at the hospital.

He added that “on whether she bled to death while waiting at Maitama District Hospital, the pre-autopsies conducted, physical inspection, and photographs of the corpse revealed signs of strangulation with a head injury and a little stain on her cream-coloured cloth.

“Her cream-coloured cloth would have been drenched in blood if she was actively bleeding or if she bled to death.

“The good samaritan driver who conveyed her testified that he only saw a little stain of blood on his vehicle after she was removed and transferred to the mortuary.”

On the issue of a request for a medical report from the police, before she was attended to, there was no such thing, as revealed by the CCTV footage.

Mohammed said that the hospital CCTV footage showed that the medical team promptly examined her without first interacting with the people who brought her.

He added that “if there was such a request, she would not have been attended to promptly. When they came, they went straight to the body without interacting with the Good Samaritan, which they couldn’t have asked for a police report.”

Mohammed, however, said that the panel observed that the hospital staff, upon confirming that she was brought in dead, delayed in removing her corpse from the car.

This, he said, could be attributed to a shortage in manpower at the morgue and systemic inadequacy in care for the dead.

The report, therefore, recommended the need to sensitise the public about the National Health Act 2014 and the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots Act of 2017.

According to Mohammed, the act did not say that gunshot victims should not be attended to in the hospital but that the police should be notified after the victim has been treated.

He said that the report also recommended that police outposts be stationed in major hospitals to forestall future occurrences of such.

Also, an autopsy will be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death to aid investigation.

The Mandate Secretary, Health Services and Environment, Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, said that the death was avoidable and that the FCT Administration was looking into all the inefficiencies in its system to find lasting solutions to them.

She also said that, in line with the panel’s recommendation to have police outposts in hospitals, the department was already working towards it.

She added that the department was making provision for more stretchers and expansion of mortuaries.

Fasawe apologised to the Olorunfemi family over the way her corpse was treated, adding that “a human corpse is supposed to be treated with respect.”

She, however, assured that going forward, such an occurrence would not be repeated in FCT hospitals.

The 10-member panel was made up of delegates from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Association of Pathologists of Nigeria (ASSOPON), and the President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

Others are the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), FCTA, members of the Health Services and Environment Secretariat, and the National Youth Council of Nigeria.

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Minister commends Zulum for efforts in securing Borno state

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The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar has commended Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum for his efforts in securing Borno State as the Chief Security Officer.

The Minister spoke on Tuesday at the council chamber of the Government House in Maiduguri.

“My brother (addressing Governor Zulum), the troops here in Borno and indeed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) asked me to send their appreciation to you for all the support that you have been rendering to the military. You have been supporting us in all our operations, thank you most sincerely. Sometimes you even risk your life supporting and encouraging our personnel, we appreciate you,” the Minister said.

The Minister noted that their visit was at the instance of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assess the security situation in the theatre of operations in Borno State in order to see the end of the over one decade of insurgency.

The Minister spoke in the presence of his colleague, the minister of state for Defence, Dr Bello Mohammed Mutawalle, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, all of whom were on the trip to Borno State.

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in response to the minister and his delegation, reiterated commitment to his continued support for the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency across the northeast.

“As Governor of Borno State, In Sha Allah, I will continue to support the Nigerian military with a view to achieving our objective of bringing lasting peace and stability to Borno and by extension, Nigeria. I will continue to provide the political will needed to achieve this objective,” Zulum said.

The Governor noted that the security situation in Borno has tremendously improved.

Zulum however charged the military to root out the remnants of the insurgents from Sambisa forest, Mandara Mountains and the enclaves in the Lake Chad Basin in order to completely end the insecurity.

The Governor added that stability in the Lake Chad Basin will allow Governments from all levels to harness the agricultural potential of the Lake towards achieving President Tinubu’s food security initiative.

Zulum expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the leadership he has been providing to address the problem of insurgency in Borno and other security challenges across the country.

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Vitafoam donates four blocks of classrooms to school in Borno

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Vitafoam Nigeria PLC has donated a block of four classrooms and 40 sets of furniture to Budum Primary School, Maiduguri Metropolitan Area Council.

The recent corporate gesture is consistent with Vitafoam’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy which places a premium on Education and Healthcare among others.

“We recognise the effort of state Governor, Babagana Zulum in trying to bring back education because everybody has realised that basic education is very important to the development of any child. And that’s why the investment around education is vital to growth and development.

“You will be sure that the harm on children on the streets or joining terrorists to cause mayhem all over the place will be drastically reduced if we are able to get these little ones out of the streets and those ones (terrorists) would not be able to have them for nefarious activities. 

“We have built four befitting blocks of classrooms, with desks and learning materials for pupils in Budum Primary School and we are trying to support the efforts of the state government,” said Vitafoam’s  Group Managing Director, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi.

Adeniyi, who applauded the efforts of the administration of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State to revamp education, explained that the school project was also in honour of an illustrious son of the state, the late Abbagana Abatca, who until his death, served Vitafoam meritoriously as the Technical Development Director.

The Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Kadafur, commended the Company for its CSR initiatives that led to the successful construction and handing-over of the four befitting blocks of classrooms at Budum Primary School in Maiduguri.

Kadafur, who represented the State Governor, appealed to other companies to emulate Vitafoam’s  good gesture towards the development of education in the state, especially at this trying time of the recovery process.

He also appealed to the Company to expand its base in the state to provide job opportunities for the indigenes

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