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Flood displaces 100 persons in Anambra’s Ogbaru area



Flood displaces 100 persons in Anambra's Ogbaru area

…As fire leaves more than 900 homeless in S. Africa, after devouring shacks***

The Anambra State Government has begun desilting of drainages in Atani, in Ogbaru Local Government area of the state, following flood menace which already displaced over 100 persons, just as fire leaves over 900 people homeless in Johannesburg’s Pomona informal settlement in Kempton Park.

Mr. Arinze Awogu, Transition Chairman of Ogbaru, observed in Atani, the local government headquarters on Monday that over 100 displaced persons were already taking refuge at the secretariat.

Awogu who said blocked drainages were part of the factor that exacerbated flood in Ogbaru which was natural flood prone, posited that the cleanup which was being spearheaded by the newly created Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, would go a long way to freeing the drains and lead storm water to natural waterways.

According to him, the Obodoukwu Road drainage channel that connects from Onitsha-Owerri Road to Elevant-House, Ojoto Street and Atani were the areas that witnessed the state government led massive cleanup.

“The massive clean-up is coming at a time when the council needed to open up blocked water channels so as to reduce the effect of the flood ravaging the council at the moment.

“We want to thank Gov. Willie Obiano for tackling issues of blocked drainages as most failed roads were as a result of water finding its way into the road because its channel had been blocked,” he said.

Also read:  Flooding: Delta oil community begs Gov’t over urgent for dredging of inland waterways

Awogu, who said that a number of families had been displaced from their homes due to flood, said some of the blocked drains had not been cleaned for more than10 years.

He called on residents of Ogbaru especially the flood exposed areas to stop dumping refuse in drains and engage in periodic clean up exercise to make the flood paths free.

“At the moment no fewer than 100 persons displaced by flood were currently taking refuge at the Atani Holding Camp.

“I call on the people to adopt acceptable ways of disposing waste because the era of dumping waste into water channels was over,” he said.

Chief Augustine Uyanne, a resident of the area said that some of the drainages had been blocked with sand for a long time that whenever it rained, water finds its way to their houses.

According to him, the drainage has been totally covered with sand and stagnant water to the point that we no longer remember that that is a drainage channel.

Also speaking, Chief Chido Obidiegwu, Managing Director of Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, said Obiano was fully committed to addressing environmental challenges in the state.

“The Agency will leave no stone unturned in its determination to make Anambra state clean.

“We want to assure that the Agency will ensure that drainages are no longer blocked and the only way to ensure that drainages are not blocked is to stop anybody that wants to dispose waste the wrong way,” he said.

Meanwhile, more than 900 people have been left homeless, following an inferno which burnt shacks in the Johannesburg’s Pomona informal settlement in Kempton Park.

Ekurhuleni Mayor, Mzwandile Masina however said on Tuesday, that they are investigating what caused the fire which caused extensive damage on Monday night.

“The cause of the fire is not yet established at this stage.

“Three to four hundred shacks were destroyed.

“No fatalities or injuries (are) reported at this stage.

“Our teams are investigating the cause of fire and we should receive preliminary report soon,” said Masina.

He said that 49 taxis had been provided to transfer people to community halls where, “they are being accommodated and given the necessary assistance”.

Masina invited the civil society and faith-based organizations to help those affected by the fire.






NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim’s Families Over Boat Mishap



NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

…As Ali Nuhu says recent deaths in movie industry rob the nation of legendary filmmakers

 The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has conveyed its deepest regret over the unfortunate boat mishap which claimed four lives on Wednesday.

It could not yet be established whether or not, all the passengers wore lifejackets at the time of the incident.

A condolence message by Dakio Horsfall, the Acting General Manager (Marine) of the authority, on Thursday in Lokoja, said the management of the authority condoled with the Actors Guild of Nigeria and the victims’ families over the losses.

The mishap reportedly involved two boars on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta State at about 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday.

The accident, which involved an unregistered fibreglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver, left four persons dead, while seven others were rescued.

Horsfall said: “Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to overspeeding.

“Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site, while 7 persons were rescued.

“Consequently, the Authority commiserates with the families of the deceased persons and pray that the good Lord will repose the souls of the departed”.

He said that upon the receipt of the report of the accident through its community-based structure, the NIWA deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for immediate rescue activities.

NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

According to him, the team and other stakeholders including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since Wednesday.

“As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for.

“Also, the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism to determine the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations,” he said

The manager stressed the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points.

“The usage of life jackets on the waterways is mandatory, avoiding over speeding, and yielding to weather dictates, at all times,” he said.

Horsfall commended the Marine Police, local divers/ fishermen, Maritime Unions and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts.

“Nevertheless, NIWA hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts aimed at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”.

In another development, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Mr Ali Nuhu has said that recent deaths in the movie industry have robbed the nation of legendary filmmakers.

This is contained in a statement signed by Brian Etuk,  the Director of Public Affairs of the NFC in Abuja.

Nuhu described the death of Saratu Gidado (aka Daso) and John Odonwodo,  known as Junior Pope, as heart-wrenching for colleagues and film industry stakeholders.

”Their deaths, which occurred within the week has left  Nigeria’s movie industry in a state of mourning.

”Stakeholders have been pained by the frequent recent losses robbing the country of legendary filmmakers,  who have impacted and contributed greatly to the growth of Nigeria’s film industry.

“Their footprints within the development of the Nigerian film industry will not be forgotten,” he said.

Speaking about the late Gidado, the NFC boss said she caught the fancy and interest of Nigerians, particularly as a lead character in several of Kannywood films,  such as ‘Linzami Da Wuta’ and ‘Gidauniya’.

”She was a Zuma Film Festival(ZUFF)  2023 Life Time Achievers Awardee but sadly succumbed to death in the early hours of Tuesday, April 9.

“Odonwodo’s role in showcasing the professional competencies and screen delivery by actors is remarkable,  as can be found in ‘Honey Money’, ‘Blood Affair’ and ‘Wrong Initiation’ movies in which the late actor acted.

 “While Mr Ibu delivered that evoked laughter and comic relief,  leaving behind a gap to be filled, the refined gentlemen shall be greatly missed,” he added.

Nuhu pledged that the NFC would continue to support the film industry policy initiatives that promoted friendly and safe working conditions,  including medical, health and life insurance schemes for stakeholders.

Nuhu also sympathised with the immediate families, friends and associates of the deceased, as well as the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and prayed that Almighty God grant them rest.

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5  Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident



19 die, 26 injured in Kano auto crash — FRSC

Five persons were confirmed dead in an accident at NASFAT turning on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Wednesday.

Ten others sustained injuries in the accident.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe noted that the incident occurred at 9:56a.m and it involved a Daf truck marked KUT 561 ZZ, a Toyota Hiace bus marked GGE 84 YF, and a Man diesel truck without a registration number.

She said that the likely cause of the accident was dangerous driving on the part of one of the trucks.

”A total of 15 persons were involved, which comprised 11 men and four women.

” Ten were injured (six men and four women) while five persons were killed from the multiple crash,” she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said that the injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital, Mowe, while the deceased were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.

The Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, cautioned motorists on speed and reckless driving, advising them to drive defensively for safety. 

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Customs Suspends Noble Intention To Sell Rice At Rock-bottom Price



Nigeria Customs Service’s noble intention to sell impounded rice to the masses at the rock-bottom price of N10,000 per half-bag has been suspended.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. 

Consequently, according to the Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state. 

Stated Maiwada: “The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on the ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 


“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded”, the Service Spokesman stated, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. 

“We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. 

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. 

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security”, the Imgemaker said further. 

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