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Open grazing law will not be repealed — Ortom



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

No matter the pressure from any quarter, the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of  Benue State Government will not be repealed.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in the State, Engr Titus Uba disclosed the above on Sunday, during a Thanksgiving Mass/ Reception for PDP 2023 candidates held at St John’s Secondary School playground, Gboko.

The Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law was signed into law in 2017 by Governor Ortom.

The Governor, while commending Benue people for standing with his administration despite the challenges, urged them to remain strong, trusting God that the challenges will be surmounted.

Ortom expressed confidence in the capacity of the PDP Governorship candidate to add value to the state when elected to succeed him, noting that his acceptability among the people was a sign of victory.

According to the Governor, the duo of Engineer Uba and Sir John Ngbede as running mate is a wonderful combination of an experienced technocrat and politician who will effectively drive the vision for the development of the State.

He tasked Benue people to massively register for ongoing voter registration to obtain their Permanent Voter’s Card, PVC and be prepared to vote out the APC which he noted has brought unimaginable pains to the people.

In his remarks, the PDP Governorship candidate who is also Speaker of the State Assembly, Engr Uba said his government would consolidate and build on the already solid foundation laid by Governor Ortom and would never repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law no matter the pressure.

He said the party has not made a mistake in giving him the opportunity to fly its flag in next year’s polls, stressing that Benue people will not be disappointed to offer him the opportunity to serve them.

The guber candidate pledged to tackle insecurity to guarantee the safety of people to engage in profitable agriculture.

In a goodwill message, Chairman, Forum of former PDP governorship aspirants, Barr Chile Igbawua maintained that they were fully committed to work for the victory of Engr Uba and all PDP candidates in next year’s general election.

Senator Abba Moro who spoke on behalf of the PDP National and State Assembly candidates also expressed their readiness to work for the victory of the party, pointing out that even though he advocated for power shift to Benue South senatorial district as a party man he respects the decision of the party.

Others who spoke at the reception were the Chairman of CPC, Dr Cletus Tyokyaa, Guest Speaker, Chief Terngu Tsegba, Member PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Mrs Margaret Icheen, State PDP Chairman and Deputy Governorship candidate, Sir John Ngbede as well as Engr Conrad Utaan and Mrs Mimi Adzape-Orubibi for the youth and women respectively.

Earlier in a homily at the Thanksgiving Mass at St John the Baptist Cathedral, Gboko, Bishop William Avenya stressed the need for the people of the State to remain united devoid of tribalism, sectionalism and political affiliations.

Bishop Avenya pointed out that the Feast of Corpus Christi which was being celebrated “challenges us to see one another as having the image and likeness of God and reach out to them so that our talents and gifts will be multiplied.”

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



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



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



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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