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INSECURITY: Gov. Zulum confirms killing of 81 persons by Boko Haram in Borno

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Zabarmari massacre: Govt committee distributes foodstuff, cash as farmers demand security

…As Gunmen kill 2 persons, abduct many on Lokoja – Abuja road***

Any hope of enduring peace in the Northeast may still be daydreaming as Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno confirmed the killing of 81 persons by Boko Haram terrorists, who invaded Faduma Koloram village, in Gubio Local Government Area (LGA), on Tuesday.

Zulum, disclosed this on Wednesday when he visited the scene of the attack to commiserate with survivors.

He said that 13 persons were injured while fleeing the attack, while seven others sustained various degrees of injury.

The governor further explained that 49 of the deceased had already been buried before his arrival, while 32 bodies of the victims had been taken away by their families.

Zulum recalled that the terrorists, who attacked Gajiram LGA some months ago, were the same ones who carried out the attack; describing it as “very unfortunate”.

The Governor said that the only positive option to end the massacre on the vulnerable communities was to dislodge the terrorists in their stronghold, in the shores of Lake Chad.

“We have been advocating for this for a very long time. The Tumbus and other shores of Lake Chad must be cleared completely, then people will get rest of mind. Anything less than this is a temporary measure.

“That requires a lot of support from the Federal Government such as blocking of the leakage from our neighbouring countries by the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF),” he said.

Zulum said that the state government on its part, would adopt measures to protect the people from further attacks, including merging smaller communities with larger ones, where they could be provided with effective security.

“This village from Gubio town is over 35 kilometers. Due to the nature of the vast land, the insurgents can easily sneak into the community to cause havoc. The military can come here and relocate them, but at the end, they may come back,” he said.

Also read:  ZAMFARA: Police restores normalcy to Talata Mafara and Maru LGAs

Modu Gana, a survivor, had earlier told the governor that the community was attacked three times by the terrorists within the last one month.

Gana said that the attackers stormed the village in three Hilux vans and motorcycles, telling them that they came to preach the word of God to the people.

“They asked us to remove all our charms, cutlasses, bows and arrows, as well as other spiritual protection for special prayers.

“Immediately we did that, they began shooting at us from different directions,” many people escaped with bullet wounds, while seven others, including our village head, were abducted by the terrorists,” he said.

Gana said that more than 2,400 livestock had been rustled by the terrorists.

A mass burial was conducted for the deceased, while five of the victims, who were severely injured, were taken to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital for treatment by the state government.

In another development, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Wednesday killed two persons and abducted unspecified number of people on Lokoja – Abuja road in Kogi State.

Those killed included Mr Nicholas Ofodile, proprietor of the popular Chuks Supermarket in Lokoja, and a commercial taxi driver.

Ofodile was driving towards Abuja in his Lexus Jeep car with registration number Kogi LKJ 658 PU when he was shot dead by the suspected kidnappers between Aseni -Etegi communities near Gegu town.

Also, the second victim, a commercial taxi driver, was also killed behind the wheel of his vehicle while conveying passengers to Abuja.

The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP William Aya, confirmed the incident.

He said that the actual number and identity of those kidnapped were unknown as many vehicles were involved.

Aya, however, said that police have started combing the bush with the aim of rescuing the kidnapped victims.

He said that the kidnappers struck twice at two different spots on the road between 6:40 a.m. and 8:a.m.

Also commenting on the incident, Mr Emmanuel Abe, the state Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said his men were at the scenes to assist the victims.

He said that the corpse of Ofodile was taken to the mortuary of Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, while that of the second victim was handed over to his relations.

He said that eight vehicles, including a luxury bus, were flagged down by the suspected kidnappers.

According to him, all the vehicles were heading to Lokoja when the incident occurred.

He said five of the vehicles were in police custody at Gegu, while the commercial Volkswagen station wagon was handed over to the relations of the driver who died in the incident

 

Health and Safety

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

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…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

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…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

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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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