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Boy, 16 Found Dead in Jigawa, With Gorged Eye; UNICEF Laments 96 Chibok Girls’ Captivity

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Gunmen Abduct NPC Commissioner, Aides At Rivers Section Of East-West Road

Police in Jigawa recovered the corpse of a 16-year-old “Almajiri’’ in Kiyawa Local Government Area of the state on Friday.

Assailants had gorged one of his eyes before the police arrived.

The police spokesman in the state, DSP Lawan Shiisu, stated on Friday that the Islamic knowledge teacher of the deceased, Malam Muhammad Mustafa, reported the matter to the police.

“The complainant reported that one of his students, aged 16, went to a nearby bush to fetch firewood at about 8 a.m. on Friday, but did not return home.

“The student was later found in a pool of his own blood with one of his eyes removed,’’ he stated.

Shiisu added that the boy was taken to Dutse General Hospital where he was confirmed dead by a medical doctor.

He stated also that a manhunt had started for the assailants.

In another development, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has described as “nightmare” 96 out of 276 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from their dormitory in Northeast Nigeria who are still in captivity after nine years.

The “Chibok girls” were kidnapped on the night of April 14, 2014, sparking worldwide condemnation and concern.

The UN children’s agency, in a statement on Friday, said conflict in that part of Nigeria had continued to affect girls and boys.

Meanwhile, thousands more girls and boys have been subjected to grave violations amid the ongoing conflict in the region, UNICEF added, underscoring the need to protect children in Nigeria.

On April 7, some 80 children were abducted by militants in the Tsafe Local Government Area in Zamfara State, the UN agency said, citing local media.

Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, says the “nightmare” continues today as many children are still being kidnapped, forcibly recruited, killed and injured.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering of Nigeria’s children. We must do everything in our power to ensure they grow up in safety, with access to education and the opportunity to fulfill their potential,” he said.

Since 2014, there have been over 2,400 verified incidents of grave violations affecting 6,800 children in northeast Nigeria, UNICEF reported.

The most common concern is recruitment by armed groups, followed by abductions, and killing and maiming.

The conflict has had an alarming impact on education, and UNICEF warned that the repercussions would likely affect generations.

Between 2009 and 2022, roughly 2,295 teachers were reportedly killed in attacks, and more than 19,000 were displaced, according to the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TCN).

Additionally, more than 1,500 schools were closed, and 910 were destroyed, due to insecurity.

UNICEF has welcomed the government’s signing of an agency-supported protocol on the handover of children encountered in the course of armed conflict, as well as its commitment to invest more than 314 million dollars towards a financing plan on school safety.

The handover protocol signed last September aims to prevent or reduce the detention of children encountered by military and security forces.

Under the agreement, children allegedly associated with armed groups will be transferred to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development within a period of seven days.

UNICEF called on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and human rights law and to protect the rights and well-being of children.

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Health and Safety

Over 73m People In Philippines Suffer From Tooth Decay

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 At least 73 million Filipinos suffer from dental caries, making the disease a “serious health concern” in the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

“Dental caries is a silent epidemic,” Manuel Vallesteros, a division chief at the DOH’s disease prevention and control bureau, said this after a committee hearing at the House of Representatives.

Vallesteros said the DOH data is based on the 2018 national health survey, noting that the number now is much higher compared to when the COVID-19 pandemic had restricted access to dental services for more than two years.

Merely for illustration…

He noted that eight of 10 Filipino children suffer from “childhood caries” or “decaying baby teeth” because they are fed with sweetened infant formula.

“The oral health status of Filipino children is alarming,” the DOH said, adding the oral disease “continues to be a serious public health problem” in the Philippines.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dental caries is a major global public health problem and the most widespread non-communicable disease. 

– Xinhua

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Health and Safety

5 Ugborodo Communities Picket Chevron Yard In Escravos

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#EndSARS Protest: Hoodlums break into Benin custodial centre

Hundreds of residents of the Ugborodo Community in the Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta on Wednesday besieged the Chevron Yard in Escravos, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the oil company to their plights.

The protesters were drawn from Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho, and Ijaghala Communities under Ugborodo Federated Communities.

The aggrieved protesters, both young and old, were led by the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, Mr. Daniel Uwawah.

They were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as: “We want our PIA as host communities Ugborodo”; “Enough of Chevron Divide and Rule Policies”.

“All local content contracts must be brought to the community through the appointed organ”; “Ugborodo Community demands frequent and regular engagement with Chevron”, among others.

In his remarks, Mr. Terry Atete, the Igbajoh of Ugborodo Community, who spoke on behalf of the Eghare-Aja, said that the federated communities had written several letters to the oil company for dialogue in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

The Act is one of the most audacious attempts to overhaul the petroleum sector in Nigeria.

It seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

If implemented diligently, the PIA will help facilitate Nigeria’s economic development by attracting and creating investment opportunities for local and international investors.

Atete said that since the inception of Eghare-Aja, the Ugborodo Community had also written to Chevron on the Act, concerning the award of contracts and employment.

According to him, the company had deliberately refused to address their grievances.

“We are faulting the PIA process. We are saying that Chevron should come directly and dialogue with our community in line with the PIA Act.

“We are not going to accept it until they come and dialogue with us.

“We will not relent until Chevron comes and dialogue with the host communities, which made up Ugborodo,” he said.

Also, Mrs Oritsematosan Nuko, a Woman Leader in Ugborodo Community, appealed to Chevron and the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the community and shore up the area.

Nuko said that indigenes of the community were almost being chased away by tidal flood.

She, however, urged Chevron to heed to the call and address the demands of the community.

Nuko said the oil company should come forward for a dialogue toward addressing the lingering challenges confronting the federated community, including unemployment and the award of contracts.

Commenting, a Chevron member of staff, who pleaded anonymity, said that all the issues raised by the aggrieved protesters were already being addressed at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.

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Health and Safety

Resident Doctors To Commence 5-day Warning Strike On Wednesday

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… As FG fails to negotiate

Those planning to visit the hospital this week may as well think twice as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), says it will commence a five-day warning strike on Wednesday.

The President of the association, Dr. Innocent Orji, disclosed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen on the outcome of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

According to him, the warning strike will begin by 8 am on Wednesday.

The association had on April 29 issued a two-week notice to the Federal Government to increase the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) or risk industrial action.

It said at the time that the increment should be to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors and also be in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health in 2022 for the review of CONMESS.

According to the association, it observed that in spite of several engagements with the Federal Government on the need to upwardly review CONMESS, which was last reviewed over 10 years ago, there are no changes.

“The Federal Government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken any tangible step in addressing the issue.

“This is against the background of the dwindling economic situation in the country, the serial abysmal decline in the value of the Naira, the imminent removal of fuel subsidy, and the consequent damaging effect on the cost of living in the country.

“There have been previous ultimatums issued to the government by NARD on account of this problem of the review of the CONMESS salary structure.”

It added that the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on CONMESS stated clearly that the salary structure would be due for review after five years, but this has not been done since the implementation in 2014, though the approval was given in 2009.

Orji, however, said that since the issuance of the two-week notice the association had not been called upon by the Federal Government to initiate negotiations.

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