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Escape of prime suspect in murder of ex-CBN staff, wife in Ogun

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While everyone is busy thanking God and relishing seeing the brand new year on January 1, 2023, the news filtered in  the afternoon that some suspected arsonists set a couple ablaze shortly after returning from the crossover service held to mark the arrival of the new year. The only son of the couple as well as the maid were said to have been abducted by these assailants.

The corpse of the 25-year-old only son of the couple was later reportedly recovered from Ogun river on the third day of the bizzare incident.

The couple’s names were given as Mr Kehinde Fatinoye, a senior staff of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Abeokuta office as well as Bukola Fatinoye working with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).

The sad incident, which reverberated across the country was said to have occured at the couple’s private residence, located at Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ibara in Abeokuta.

The suspected arsonists were believed to have trailed the couple to their private residence after the crossover service before setting the house ablaze. They were also reportedly said to have whisked away the son of the victims.

A source at the residence of the deceased said the suspected arsonists were reported to have kidnapped the son alongside the housemaid, and threw them into a river along Adigbe-Obada axis of the town.

The victims were burnt beyond recognition with their remains later packed by policemen and other health officials at the scene, and drove to the hospital in an ambulance, while hundreds of sympathizers at the house were seen crying over the sad development.

It was also gathered that number of church members of the couple who rushed to the house shortly after the spread of the news, confirmed that they held the crossover service together at a church located in Okejigbo area of Abeokuta.

The sympathizers from the church said they could not believe their ears on hearing the ugly development, saying they suspected that the arsonists might have trailed the couple to their home to carry out the callous crime

The Acting Vice Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Olusola Kehinde described the death of Mrs. Fatinoye, a senior staff of the University, and her husband as gruesome and a rude shock to the University community, which came at a time when the dawn of a new year is being celebrated globally.

Prof. Kehinde urged security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, unravel and bring perpetrators of the dastard act to justice as soon as possible.

The Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi had confirmed the attack saying that one suspect had also been arrested in connection with the dastardly act.

Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State who was equally terrified by the terrible act had given marching order to the security agencies urging them to fish out those behind the heinous crime

However, over the weekend, one Lekan Adekanmbi, the only suspect arrested in connection with the killing and setting ablaze of the Fatinoyes was said to have escaped from police custody in Ogun State.

After the killing of Fatinoye, his wife and their only son, the police said they had arrested Adekanmbi as the prime suspect in the case. Adekanmbi was the driver of the late CBN staff until the day he was assassinated.

The Ibara police divisional headquarters had allegedly nabbed Adekanmbi and held him in custody to aid their investigation.

Lekan was however allegedly said to have disappeared in a controversial circumstances when the police took him to the hospital for medical care. He was said to have complained of being sick only for him to use this as pretense to disappear into thin air.

According to report, Lekan was said to have fled when he discovered that the domestic staff of the Fatinoyes, who was taken away by the assassins alongside their son, did not die.

He had become restless the moment he set his eyes on the domestic staff, it was learnt.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ibara, Abeokuta, CSP Bernard Ediagbonya, was said to have allegedly been removed for alleged negligence. It was gathered that Ediagbonya has been ordered to resume at the police headquarters, Eleweran, with immediate effect.

It is however disturbing that a criminal suspect of such a disheartening incident could be said to have escaped from the police custody.

This is of course not the first time such a disappointing act is linked to our security agencies but each time such unthinkable happens it casts a  big dent on the professionalism of our security agents and for some citizens, such unforgivable act smacks of conspiracy.

Or how do you justify the wiping out of an entire family by some beasts in human skin and just when everyone thought that just very soon those that were involved will soon keep date with justice, the prime suspect allegedly escaped from the police under a very questionable circumstance?

This is totally unacceptable, unprofessional and stand condemnable by every right thinking Nigerian.

It will be appropriate for the Inspector General of Police to take over the investigation of this dastardly act and ensure that anyone found culpable no matter how highly placed is adequately punished.

It will be very sad if the cold murder of the ex-CBN staff, his wife and their only child is allowed to be part of statistic of unresolved killings in the country.

The expectation of Nigerians is that the Police will shake off this challenge and redouble their efforts to get to the root of this wicked act and bring to justice those who caused the sun of these Nigerians to set at noon.

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Editorial

Articulated vehicles and the scourge of avoidable deaths

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Nigerians across the country continue to die utterly preventable deaths thanks to a lack of political will on the part of its leaders. It is an ugly fate thrust upon its citizens to live in a country whose economy is built upon the blood of the ordinary people, not out of sacrifice, but nonchalance. Articulated vehicles wipe out families, dreams, and human capital in one fell swoop. Press statements from the leaders are not enough. We need the May 2024 immediacy of the Tinubu administration in this sector too.

Last week, a falling container killed a woman in the Ogudu area of Lagos. The woman was inside a car when the fully loaded 40ft Mack articulated truck fell on it, leading to her instant death, according to the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

In October 2023, a businessman identified as Akuma Kalu, was crushed to death by a 40-feet container that fell on his car along the failed portion of Etche-Ngokpala road in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers state.

In September 2023, five women died in a fatal accident that occurred in the early hours of Friday at Odumodu Junction, Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area along Awka Road, Anambra State. As usual, the container of the truck fell upon the bus carrying these people, killing them. We could go on and on. The story remains the same: tragedy upon tragedy.

Every year, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, does sensitisation with little result to show for it because the arm of the law is too short to punish offenders at the root of the problem. The constant assault on the senses has led to a desensitisation on the part of the populace. Month after month, another story of a truck that erases a family, or multiple families because its brakes fail, or its container is overturned. The combination of the death of empathy on the part of leaders and the emotional exhaustion of the citizens will lead Nigeria down the path of a dystopia.

The governors of each state have a responsibility to institute laws to protect the indigenes. This, the Federal Government must also do nationwide. The FRSC has rules and regulations for trucks. The Government needs to only enforce these rules. Enough of blaming the trucks themselves because they are not the evil entities. The lack of accountability and a weak system perpetuates the dilemma.

The political class should not wait until Nigeria happens to one of their own before acting as is usually the case. Most cases bear the mark of immediate fatality. By the time a family member experiences it, it would have already been too late. We have hope that this administration will do what it takes to restore hope to the common man. Time to act is now.

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Editorial

Renewed Hope Initiative: Beating back inequality in all spheres

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Nigeria is full of inequalities that its leaders contend with administration after administration. With every President comes a partner who shares in the vision, and does her part to alleviate the pains of the citizens. Oluremi Tinubu has etched her name in the annals of history as one of such compassionate ones.

Recently, in Abeokuta she flagged off the Renewed Hope Initiative for women in agriculture and people living with disabilities nationwide in a bid to achieve this noble goal of equity in Nigeria.

“We are supporting 20 women farmers per state with the sum of N500,000 each. To this end, a draft of N10 million per state for the South West zone will be handed over to the first ladies of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo states who are the Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) state coordinators for onward disbursement to all beneficiaries in their respective states,” she said.

“The Renewed Hope Initiative Social Investment Programme will be empowering 100 persons with disability, small business owners in Ogun State with a sum of N100,000 each to recapitalise their existing businesses.”

In Kebbi, represented by the Wife of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Fatima Tajuddeen Abbas, in Birnin Kebbi, she said, “Agriculture plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development and food security. Consequently, we are introducing ‘Every Home a Garden’ competition to encourage each Nigerian woman to cultivate a garden at home to feed the family and share with neighbours, we want to see food on every table.”

We commend the forward thinking and passion for national growth required for such a herculean task. If emulated in all quarters, it will stimulate the economy at the grassroots. It is well acknowledged that the government cannot do it alone. Private individuals who are capable must rise up to contribute to national growth.

It isn’t alien to the Nigerian condition, after all. The country was able to survive the assaults of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the joint efforts of private individuals under the umbrella of Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID, a Private Sector task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The Renewed Hope Initiative joins the tradition of programmes committed to national improvement. History will look upon it kindly.

 

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Editorial

Increasing access to community healthcare

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Recently the World Health Organisation (WHO) decried the increasing threat to the right to health of millions of people across the world. The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has stated that 140 countries recognise health as a human right. Unfortunately, these countries are not passing and putting into practice laws to ensure that their citizens are entitled to access health services. According to the global health agency, about 4.5 billion people, over half of the world’s population, were not fully covered by essential health services in 2021.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, in her message underscored the fact that health is not only a fundamental human right, but also central to peace and security. According to her, addressing health inequities requires intentional efforts. Considerations of vulnerable groups must be addressed. Their needs ought to be purposefully integrated into health programmes at all levels to accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

‘My health, my right,’ the global agency used the occasion to call for action to uphold the right to health amidst inaction, injustice and crises. The year’s theme, according to the organisers, was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

Moeti noted that many in the African region still need help with access to quality essential health services due largely to unfulfilled rights. She observed that this is further compounded by protracted and ongoing crises such as conflicts, climate change, food insecurity, disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Available figures show that the number of people aged 15 and over living with HIV is still high at an estimated 24.3 million in 2021 (3.4 percent of the total population) compared to 15.6 million in 2015. This underscores the continued transmission of HIV despite reductions in the incidence of people newly infected and the benefits of significantly expanded access to antiretrovirals. Moeti called on member states to uphold the progress towards fulfilling the right to health, agreed by all nations of the world in 1948 and enshrined in the WHO Constitution.

“The right to health is a universal right of all human beings, regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or another status,” Moeti stated.

Nigeria, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, has reiterated the ministry’s commitment to ensure the health and wellbeing of all Nigerians. The minister is of the view that the right to health is not just the ideal, it is a fundamental human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For millions of Nigerians, accessing quality healthcare is a challenge. However, the federal government has mapped out some initiatives to address the challenge. These include Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal and Investment Initiative and strategic partnerships through which the health ministry is ensuring access to health of Nigerians in remote communities across the country.

Unfortunately, the right to health for all Nigerians has not been enshrined in our laws. Therefore, we call on the federal and state lawmakers to make laws that will ensure the right to health of all Nigerians. We need laws that will ensure Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.

Such laws will ensure that every Nigerian has access to quality health at all times. These include having access to potable water, clean air, quality nutrition and quality housing, decent working environment and freedom from discrimination.

While the laws that will enforce the right to health of all Nigerians are being awaited, the government must improve access to health by ensuring that quality healthcare services are provided at the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the 774 local government areas.

If the primary healthcare centres are functional, the nation’s disease burden would have been reduced by over 70 per cent. The government should provide free health services at the PHC level. For Nigeria to increase access to quality health for millions of Nigerians and ensure UHC, the health funding must be significantly increased.

Pathetically, it has become an eyesore that millions of Nigerians living at the grassroots don’t have access to quality healthcare services. This is a wakeup call to the various state Governors and their Chairpersons to reinvest in the health sector, especially the community people.

Most of the health institutions and healthcare facilities are in a dilapidated stage at the rural communities and there is no motivation for health personnel in terms of incentives, knowledge acquisition such as training and retaining of staff, the equipment in various hospitals and clinics are outdated. The federal government in partnership with international donors should reenergise in the health system for the betterment of the masses.

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