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‘Misplaced priority,’ Nigerians slam FG’s decision to reinstate old national anthem

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The decision by the government to revert to the old national anthem in Nigeria has sparked a range of reactions among Nigerians.

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, signed the National Anthem Bill 2024, seeking to reinstate the old anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” into law, shifting from the “Arise, O Compatriots.”

The “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” anthem was used from 1960, when Nigeria gained independence, until it was replaced by “Arise, O Compatriots” in 1978.

Reacting to the news of the reinstatement of the old national anthem on X (formerly Twitter), a former Minister of Education, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili, said she would not revert to the old national anthem.

According to her, no one can suppress her right to dissent from what she described as an “obnoxious law” repugnant to all who are of good conscience in Nigeria.

Other Nigerians have also taken to social media to express their displeasure with the new law.

One Abiola, who uses the handle #AbiolaMaylaw on X  (formerly Twitter), wrote, “What will this return to the old anthem do to Nigeria and Nigerians? Why are they quick to pass this bill into law?”

Another tweep, Lawrence Ohineme, who identifies as #LOhineme, commented, “It appears that this government wants to distract Nigerians from focusing on the hardship they are battling with by forcing us to learn an old national anthem. This is a misplacement of priorities.”

Similarly, #SamFomwul, who tweets anonymously, asked, “How is this supposed to improve the welfare of the masses? Na wa oh!”

Another X  (formerly Twitter) user, tweeting anonymously as #charlycity, wrote, “Nigerians never agreed to this; the Reps and senators never consulted with their constituencies before going ahead with this retrogressive and inconsequential bill.”

“Why go back to the old national anthem when we can ask our creative songwriters to give us something better than the existing old anthems?” Gbenga Akeju, tweeting as #GbengaSegu23029, asked.

Kingsley Ibietela, tweeting with the handle #Iamkingsleyf, also asked, “Please, can you guys hurry like this and bring back the 1963 constitution?”

On Facebook, Adegboyega Adeyemi wrote, “This is nothing but a backward integration. When will Nigeria be free from colonial mentality? Here, we are sacrificing a homegrown national anthem for a colonially imposed national anthem.”

Nelson Oriarebun commented, “This particular move by this government simply tells you that they don’t have regard for the opinions of Nigerians on any issue, because based on popular opinion, changing the national anthem is not our priority for now, and it’s not the reason why Nigeria is not working.”

Olayemi Salami wrote, “I’m 42 years old now; it took me 40 years to learn our national anthem, and now you’re introducing a new one, which will take me another 40 years to learn. God will judge you people.”

Despite the multitude of knocks trailing the new law, one Simeon Simeon on Facebook had a different opinion as he supported the change, describing it as a positive move.

He wrote, “A welcomed development. I have always said if I were president, I would change the Arise o compatriots thing. Thank you, Mr. President for a clear vision.”

Recall on Friday, many Nigerians on social media questioned the relevance of the move by the House of Representatives to revert to the old national anthem, wondering if it would help salvage the nation’s economy, being Nigeria’s biggest challenge at the moment.

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Tinubu appoints Olatunji Bello CEO, Vice Chairman of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, pending confirmation by the Senate.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media aide, noted that Mr. Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist.

He is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mr. Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor, Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor of National Concord.

He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.

Ngelale said the President expects that the new CEO of this important agency will ensure the holistic realisation of the commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

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NCDC reports 1,598 suspected cholera cases in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

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NAFDAC alerts public on unregistered B-GAG syrup

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has notified Nigerians about the illegal production and sale of unregistered B-GAG mist pot CIT syrup.

The alert is contained in a public notice No. 023/2024, issued by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday.

The unregistered product is alleged to have been sold by a company named Babban Gida Agalawa General Enterprises.

According to the statement, the product, being presented in a pet bottle, was discovered during a surveillance operation carried out by the NAFDAC Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate Officers in Maiduguri, Borno, and Keffi, Nasarawa States.

It said that the product was found to be without a NAFDAC registration number and a misleading label.

NAFDAC in the statement said that illegal marketing of medicines or counterfeit medicines posed a risk to public health.

Adeyeye noted that without compliance with regulatory provisions of safety, quality, and efficacy of such products were not guaranteed.

The agency gave the batch number of the fake product as 0070, the manufacturing date as 01/02/2024, as well as the expiring date as 01/02/2027.

Adeyeye also gave the address of the manufacturer as No. 883/884 Western Bypass Ring Road, Kumbosto Local Government, Kano State.

Adeyeye further said that NAFDAC Zonal Directors and State Coordinators had been directed to carry out surveillance to mop up the illegal products within the zones and states.

She advised consumers and caregivers to avoid the use of the product, adding that all medical products must be obtained from authorised and licensed suppliers.

Adeyeye said that products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked before buying.

She also advised healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of either the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Adeyeye called on the public to report any adverse reaction to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email: [email protected].

She encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products through NAFDAC E-reporting platforms.

The e-reporting platforms, according to her are: www.nafdac.gov.ng, the Med- safety application available for download on Android, and IOS stores or via e-mail on [email protected].

She said the notice about the product would be uploaded on the World Health Organisation, Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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