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New CP assures Lagos residents of peaceful, credible elections



New CP assures Lagos residents of peaceful, credible elections

The new Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, has assured residents of the state that the elections will be peaceful, secure and credible.

Owohunwa gave the assurance on Tuesday in Lagos while taking over the leadership of the command from his predecessor, Acting AIG Abiodun Alabi at the state command headquarters, Ikeja.

He said that their operations shall be conducted within the dictates of the Revised Code of Conduct for Police Officers on Election Security Duty, which was recently developed by the Inspector General of Police.

“I, however, call on the electorate to cooperate with us and exercise their franchise within the ambit of the law in the electoral process.

“The Command is committed to identifying, isolating and dealing decisively with any person or group that intends to put our resolve to ensure peace within the electoral process to test.

“In this regard, while electoral adversaries will be brought to justice in the swiftest manner, peace-loving and law-abiding electorate will be duly protected and the electoral space fully policed for this purpose,” he said.

On criminal elements in the state, Owohunwa promised that under his watch, the command would be hard on criminals and their networks.

New CP assures Lagos residents of peaceful, credible elections
Acting AIG Abiodun Alabi (right) handing over the Lagos Police Command to the new CP Idowu Owohunwa on Tuesday in Ikeja, Lagos.

He said he would be civil with law-abiding citizens and respectful of their rights.

“This is Lagos. This is the pride of the country.

“Without the buy-in of strategic stakeholders and all spectrum of Lagosians, the journey to policing excellence may be rough and bumpy. In this process, therefore, I solicit the support, guidance, and trust of all Lagosians.

“I will remain open to constructive criticisms, inputs, pieces of advice and above all, critical criminal information that will aid our proactive actions in crime management,” he said.

Owohunwa, therefore, warned his officers and men against unprofessional conduct, stressing that the bond with Lagosians was to keep them safe and secure.

He promised to work assiduously to provide the requisite leadership to Lagos command in a manner that would prioritise discipline, training, capacity development, professionalism and public accountability.

“I promise that under my watch, I will be hard on deviants within the fold of the State Police Command who continually bring us into disrepute and pitch us against the citizens we are paid to serve and protect.

“Such elements are encouraged to embrace the tenets of self-discipline in the common good or be ready for the consequences.

“An undisciplined officer is a threat not only to the policing family but to the community and the state he serves. Hence, my leadership will be founded firmly and strictly on discipline and professionalism,” he said.

The new CP requested the officers and men to return to their jurisdiction and deepen the lecture on this to their men at the Area, Division and Unit levels.

“So let me sound this warning as loudly and clearly as possible. If you perform your duties within acceptable ethical and professional standards, you shall have my back in the line of your duties.

“But if you exceed the permissible ethical and professional bounds, you shall be dealt with firmly. Let no officer be in doubt on this in relation to my leadership,” he warned.

The police boss also emphasised operational efficiency and strong inter-agency synergy with the Military detachments and other State and Federal Law enforcement and public safety agencies in the state.

He commended his predecessor, Acting AIG Abiodun Alabi for providing the requisite leadership which stabilised the internal security space in Lagos State.

Earlier, before the handing over of the command to Owohunwa, Alabi said that there was no major security challenge when he took over the command in 2022.

Alabi said that they were able to check all crimes and criminality due to the commitment and dedication to the duty of officers and men of the command while providing strategic leadership.

He commended the support of the state government through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund and the media for their unbiased reportage and synergy he enjoyed with sister security agencies.

 Alabi was appointed by I-G Alkali Baba as Acting Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 2 Headquarters, Lagos on Thursday

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Health and Safety

650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued



650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued

 About 650 migrants reached the Italian coast in a fishing boat, the latest in increasing attempts to reach the country.

The boat which was about 30 metres long and overloaded, arrived in the southern town of Roccella Ionica, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.

The report said the boat departed from Libya and its passengers had been travelling for five days.

The passengers were all men who came from Syria, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh, ANSA said.

They reached the Calabrian town unaided, without the involvement of the coast guard or civilian sea rescuers.

Thousands of people arrived in Italy over the weekend. Dozens of others died in the attempt or went missing because their boats capsized.

Meanwhile, the aid organisation Doctors Without Borders brought 190 Mediterranean migrants ashore to the southern Italian city of Bari.

The group’s Geo Barents vessel reached the port on the Adriatic coast previously assigned by Italian authorities late on Sunday afternoon, it said.

The ship picked up people on Friday from an unseaworthy wooden boat, including several unaccompanied minors.

However, many people repeatedly try to reach Lampedusa, Malta, Sicily or the Italian mainland by boats from Tunisia and Libya, crossing the central Mediterranean Sea in a potentially deadly journey.

According to official figures, Italy has already registered more than 21,000 boat migrants since the beginning of January, or more than three times the number of migrants seen in each of the two previous years, when about 6,000 per year arrived.

– dpa

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Health and Safety

African migrants stuck in Tunisia say racism persists, following weeks of crackdown



African migrants stuck in Tunisia say racism persists, following weeks of crackdown

African Migrants in Tunisia have urged their government to evacuate them, saying the country is no longer safe as racism still persists.

Outside the United Nations refugee agency in Tunis, dozens of African migrants stood protesting this week in the temporary camp where they have lived, including with children, since authorities urged landlords to force them from their homes.

Weeks after a violent crackdown on migrants in Tunisia that triggered a perilous rush to leave by smuggler boats for Italy, many African nationals are still homeless and jobless and some say they still face racist attacks.

“We need evacuation. Tunisia is not safe. No one has a future here when you have this colour. It is a crime to have this colour,” said Josephus Thomas, pointing to the skin on his forearm.

In announcing the crackdown on Feb. 21, President Kais Saied said illegal immigration was a criminal conspiracy to change Tunisia’s demography, language the African Union described as “racialised hate speech”.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf told Reuters on Thursday that Saied’s comments had unleashed “attacks and a tidal wave of racist rhetoric”, with rights groups saying hundreds of migrants reported being attacked or insulted.

Saied and Tunisia’s foreign minister have rejected accusations that he or the government is racist and they announced steps to ease visa regulations for Africans and reminded police of anti-racism laws.

While the official crackdown appeared to end weeks ago, migrants say they still face abuse.

“People told me ‘since you are in our country after the president’s speech, don’t you have any dignity?’ I kept silent and they told me I am dirt,” said Awadhya Hasan Amine, a Sudanese refugee outside the UNHCR headquarters in Tunis.

Amine has lived in Tunis for five years after fleeing Sudan and then Libya with her husband. Now 30, she has been living on the street outside the UNHCR headquarters since local people pelted her house in the capital’s Road district with rocks.

“We want to live in a place of safety, stability and peace. We don’t want problems in Tunisia,” she said.

Although some West African countries evacuated hundreds of their citizens earlier this month, many remain stuck in Tunisia, unable to support themselves let alone afford passage home or pay smugglers hundreds of dollars to ferry them to Europe.

“Tunisia is an African country. Why do they do racist things to us?” said Moumin Sou, from Mali, who was sacked from his job working behind a bar after the president’s speech and was beaten up the next day by a man in the street who stole his money.

Sou wants to return home, he said, but many others are determined to travel on to Europe.

In the wake of the crackdown, in which police detained hundreds of undocumented migrants and authorities urged employers to lay them off and landlords to evict them, smuggler crossings to Italy have surged.

Tunisian National Guard official Houssem Jbeli said on Wednesday that the coast guard had stopped 30 boats carrying more than 2,000 people. On the same day and the following day four boats sank, with five people drowned. 

– Reuters

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Health and Safety

NAFDAC urges journalists to join in fight against circulation, use of bleaching creams 



NAFDAC urges journalists to join in fight against circulation, use of bleaching creams 

 The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists to collaborate with the agency in the fight against the circulation and use of bleaching creams in the country.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General (D-G), NAFDAC, made the call while sensitising journalists in the North Central States on the dangers of bleaching creams.

She made the call at a North Central Zonal Media Sensitisation Workshop on the dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory controls which was organised for the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists on Friday in Jos.

Adeyeye said the workshop was aimed at educating and challenging health journalists in Nigeria to play frontline role in the agency’s effort to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams.

The D-G was represented by Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research of the Agency.

 “Bleaching creams damage vital organs in the body, cause skin irritation, allergy, skin burn, rashes, wrinkles and prolong the healing of wounds.

“Black is beautiful, we don’t need to change our color.

“NAFDAC will constantly engage the mass media as we strive to bring down to the grass root levels positive impact of our regulatory activities,” she said.

On his part, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director,  Public Affairs of the Agency, said: “The workshop was meant to educate the mass media with the right information and campaign against the use of bleaching creams in Nigeria.

“Public ignorance is not an excuse before the law. The role of the mass media in the promotion of public health is very important not only for cosmetics and all other NAFDAC regulatory products”. 

In a remark, Mr. Hassan Zaggi, President, Association of Nigeria Health Journalists, said: “Skin bleaching cream is a serious concern among the citizens in the country.

“Why would somebody use his hard-earned money to buy a cream that will endanger his skin?.

“As journalists, we have a responsibility to educate people on the dangers and as well shape the opinion of the people,” Zaggi said.

He appealed to the journalists to pay attention to the workshop for onward circulation of learning outcomes to members of the public. 

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