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Drug Abuse: Lagos Assembly assures NDLEA of support



Drug Abuse: Lagos Assembly assures NDLEA of support
Drug Abuse: Lagos Assembly assures NDLEA of support

The NDLEA Lagos Commander, Mr Ralph Igwenagu, paid courtesy visit to the Lagos House of Assembly on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

… As Rights group seeks support for NDLEA, over Fight against drugs***

The Lagos House of Assembly has assured the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of the state legislature’s support in the fight against drug abuse through appropriate legislation.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, made the pledge when top officials of the NDLEA, led by its Lagos State Commander, Mr Ralph Igwenagu, paid a courtesy call to the assembly on Friday.

Obasa noted that the House had on Aug.19, held a town hall constituency meeting with the theme: “Increasing Wave of Drug Abuse: A Threat to Nation Building”.

The speaker said that the Lagos Assembly had been at the forefront of the fight against drug abuse through various legislations.

He said the collaboration with the agency was important because of the negative effects of drug abuse that led to criminal activities.

The speaker expressed hope that a collective fight against the societal challenge would help to further sustain a safe and well-protected Lagos.

Also read: NDLEA warns Oyo residents against harbouring Indian hemp sellers, users

Obasa said that he was not surprised that Lagos had been described as one of the epicentres of drug abuse in the country, saying with an influx of people from other states, it should be expected.

“I am not disappointed that Lagos has been rated number one. Lagos has become an abode for everybody – the good and the bad – and this has become a challenge to the government.

“That is why it is difficult for the Lagos Government to project. When you project for a certain number of people this year, before you know it, more than three times your projection will enter the state.

“That is why we make efforts to support the Federal Government by equipping the Rapid Response Squad.

“We also set up the Security Trust Fund, the Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and others to ensure that lives and property are protected,” he said.

The Speaker commended the NDLEA officials for attending a recent stakeholders meeting organised by the House to enlighten residents against drug abuse.

Earlier, Igwenagu thanked the House for organising the stakeholders meeting, saying it helped in reaching the grassroots of the state.

“We want to request that you sustain that exercise. We know that with you, it is possible because members of the House of Assembly are grassroots politicians and can reach out to the youths,” he said.

He decried that Lagos had a fair share of the challenges of drug abuse, promising that NDLEA would continue to work with the House to ensure continuous reduction in cases of drug abuse.

In the same vein, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed for support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to enable it rid the country of illicit drugs.

MURIC said that the fight against illicit drugs peddling and intake must be won to save Nigerian youths from drug-induced crimes, self destruction and curbing youths involvement in insurgency.

MURIC made the appeal in a document signed by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in Lagos on Saturday.

The rights group, which commended the drug-fighting agency for its dogged fight against illicit drugs, solicited support for it from the Federal Government (FG), state governments, institutions and individuals to enable it meet its obligation to the Nigerian public.

“We are worried by the increasing wave of violence in the country. More disturbing is the rate of drug abuse among adults, both males and females.

“We see a nexus between the high crime rate in Nigeria and drug addiction. The symbiotic relationship between crime and drug can easily be gleaned from happenings in countries like Mexico, Italy, Peru, Columbia, Guatemala, Venezuela and El Salvador where drug cartels and drug gangs kill at will.

“The Nigerian government must quickly rise to the challenge by giving all necessary support to the NDLEA to save Nigeria from being like one of those drug-infested countries of Latin America and Europe.

The Federal Government should adopt a holistic approach to tackling the monster which threatens to swallow up social order.

“Already, the signs are not so good as the statistics are alarming. Psychoactive substances, particularly cannabis, morphine, codeine and tramadol are consumed with reckless abandon by Nigerians. At least, 14.4 per cent of the total population or 14.3 million Nigerians within the range of 15 and 64 years are drug users, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“Drug abuse is found to be most common among those between the ages of 25 and 39 years. Unfortunately 27 per cent of the users are youths who should face their studies or trainings,” it said.

It noted that the Nigerian authorities should see serious danger in the statistics because it tends to beat world records. Global annual use is estimated at 5.6 per cent among the adult population.

It regretted that drug use was responsible for the increase in criminality in Nigeria. It is also behind high suicide rate in the country. Besides, Nigeria’s efforts at facing the rising challenge of insecurity may remain a pipe dream unless the government tackles the drug saga headlong.

“The Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa-led NDLEA has been doing well and needs to be given all the support to rescue the society.”


Health and Safety

GOUNI: After 18 Years, Varsity May Give Mass Burial To 33 Corpses



…Abandoned In Its Mortuary***

 Godfrey Okoye University (GOUNI), Enugu, has given families of 33 corpses abandoned in its hospital mortuary 21 days to evacuate them, failing which the corpses would be given mass burial.

Some of the corpses had been in the mortuary for more than 18 years.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Christian Anieke, told a news conference in Enugu on Sunday that the ultimatum, given on Nov. 13 became necessary to enable the university to renovate the mortuary.

GOUNI is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu. It recently converted and upgraded one of its hospitals hosting the mortuary to serve as the varsity’s medical teaching hospital.

Anieke said the renovation and upgrading would make the mortuary a fitting one for a teaching hospital.

“We have gotten a court injunction to carry out the mass burial of the 33 abandoned corpses in our teaching hospital morgue.

“Some of the corpses have been in the mortuary for more than 18 years and it is quite challenging as we want to renovate and make the hospital a befitting one for a teaching hospital,’’ he said.

While confirming ignorance of what could be responsible for the long stay of the corpses, he opined that some probably had no relations or they were criminals.

“I am appealing to those who have corpses in the mortuary to come and remove them.

“We are talking about human beings here and not animals. Go and check if your relationship is there,’’ he admonished.

Anieke added that in Igbo tradition, families have to give a befitting burial to the deceased.

“`It is believed that if the dead is not given befitting burial it will have bad consequences on the family,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the teaching hospital, Prof. Cajetan Nwadinigwe, said many of the corpses did not have name tags, while about 14 of them bore the same name.

He said there were no records of dates in which some of the corpses were deposited at the mortuary, while it was evident that some had been there for more than 10 years.

“This is our basis of approaching the court and advertising the warning in newspapers for families to see,’’ Nwadinigwe said. 

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Health and Safety

Kidnapped UNTH Doctor Escapes From Abductors’ Den – NMA Confirms



…First crawled, then trekked a while before breaking into a run…!

Those who think educated doctors are weaklings would be shocked as the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) confirms the escape of an abducted resident doctor, Dr Orockarrah Orock attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.

The kidnapped doctor who has now rejoined his happy family gave an account of how he first crawled like an agile soldier, before trekking miles, like a Spartan, to escape and secure freedom.

The Maritime First learnt that Orock attached to the Anesthesia Department of the UNTH was on Saturday night kidnapped within the hospital premises, while on call duty.

The Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr. Celestine Ugwoke, who gave the confirmation to newsmen in Enugu on Monday, stressed that Orock miraculously made his escape after the kidnappers felt satisfied with the agreement by his wife to pay the ransom demanded,  decided to go and have a “nice time with their weeds and spirits and fell into a deep sleep”

Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr Celestine Ugwoke

The abducted doctor thereafter, “”gradually crawled away from the spot he was kept in the kidnappers’ den and later trekked and ran a distance before sighting human activities”, before finally coming out, near the Four Corner Junction of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

“He called his wife and the wife called the UNTH chief security officer that picked him up that midnight of Saturday. We are profoundly grateful to God for his miraculous escape,” he said.

The chairman, however, said that doctors had become endangered professionals in the state, as kidnappers always target them especially those working in tertiary health institutions in the state.

“We are really in trouble as doctors are now their target and we are living in fear as the kidnappers now chase us as if they are chasing rats,” he said.

The chairman said that any more abduction of any doctor in UNTH again, doctors in the teaching hospital would totally down tools adding that this warning would be extended to other tertiary hospitals in the state.

Ugwoke said that the association would be meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UNTH to mandate to release of security protocol for the hospital, to ensure the safety of all doctors, management staff, staff, and patients in the hospital.

“We also want the hospital management to beef up security within the hospital, ensure adequate perimeter fencing of the entire hospital, and installation of Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and its monitoring base within the hospital.

“As an association, we have previously met the state’s Commissioner for Health and the Commissioner of Police on the spate of insecurity our members face even in the discharge of their life-saving professional duties.

“All efforts through official letters and other means to pay a courtesy call on Gov. Peter Mbah and intimate him on the vital issue of doctors’ security in the state had proved abortive.

“Maybe, the government wants doctors to leave their duty posts and carry placards to the Enugu Government House before listening to us. This will be very bad if allowed to drag to this point,” he said.

Efforts made to get the Spokesperson for Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, to speak on the matter proved abortive as he did not pick up several calls made to his cellphone.

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Health and Safety

Lagos Rallies Volunteer Groups On Environmental Conservation



Sanwo-Olu tasks MSMEs on digitalisation to harness AfCFTA benefits

The Lagos State Government rallied environmental groups to collaborate with it and explore innovative solutions to achieve environmental conservation.

 The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji during a workshop for Coalition of Lagos Environmental Group (COLEG) at LCCI Building, Ikeja,  said the objective of the workshop is a commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment.  

Gaji, represented by the Deputy Director of Sanitation, Mr. Jide Adeoye said the Coalition of Lagos Environmental Volunteer Group (COLEG) is a coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations that offer non-profit voluntary services and intervention exercises across the State.

He mentioned that the group was created by the Ministry as an umbrella body to coordinate and regulate the activities of the group to check abuses as well as to ensure interventions carried out by the group are guided and focused to achieve maximum environmental gains.

“Consequently, this technical workshop will focus on training environmental NGOs registered as COLEG; cover expectations of the Ministry for the groups which includes proper processes for carrying out environmental interventions in the State as well as compliance with rules and regulations”, he said.

The Permanent Secretary said the duty of non-governmental organisations in the field of environmental conservation is truly invaluable, each playing a vital role in the collective effort to address various environmental challenges, adding that they are the driving force to provide innovative solutions, public awareness, and advocacy for achieving a sustainable future.

LASG Announces Traffic Diversion At Second Rainbow

*Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor, Lagos State

He highlighted the environmental challenges faced in the state to include improper solid waste management, littering of public places, inadequate waste sorting and removal of recyclables leading to littering of the environment with PET containers as well as the impact of climate change and pollution, saying “All these are responsible for reducing the aesthetic and tourism potentials of Lagos State”.

The Permanent Secretary also gave the assurance of the government’s support, stressing that the present administration recognises the significance of NGOs in shaping environmental policy, implementing initiatives, and being the voices of conscience for the planet.

In a lecture, titled: “Process and Procedure for Environmental Interventions and Compliance with Lagos State, Rules and Regulations”, the Guest Lecture, Mr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu pointed out all areas where the NGOs can effectively partner with the Government, adding that the NGOs need to be a voice for the Environment.

He charged the NGOs and others, on the need to stop provoking the earth, adding that most waste can be used as raw materials for other products.  

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