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Health and Safety

Ooni of Ife urges NAFDAC to intensify campaign against fake drugs



Olojo’ Festival: Ooni goes into 7-day seclusion

… As FG want youths to engage in continuous digital skills learning***

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control  (NAFDAC) to intensify campaigns against fake and counterfeit drugs in the country.

Oba Ogunwusi made the remarks when the management of the agency paid him a courtesy call at his palace on Wednesday, in Ile-Ife.

The Ooni commended the efforts of the agency in sensitising the general public on necessary steps to take on proper medication.

According to him, NAFDAC has been contributing their quota to the development of the country by orientating the citizenry on steps to take to safeguard their health.

The Royal Father called on stakeholders in the health sector to join NAFDAC  in the fight against fake drugs.

Oba Ogunwusi pledged his support for the agency in the campaign against counterfeit and fake drugs.

Earlier,  the Director of Special Duties in the  Agency, Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, described the Ooni as a “philosopher of this era”.

Jimoh, who represented  NAFDAC Director-General,  Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, lauded Oba Ogunwusi for his fatherly role, especially during the upsurge of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

He said the fumigating machines distributed by the traditional ruler in all the 36 states and FCT, was a sign of his genuine interest in the health of the people.

Jimoh said that NAFDAC had intensified campaign against hawking of drugs, drug abuse, loading of groundnut oil in kerosene tankers, among others.

According to him, the agency is also campaigning against the use of carbide to ripe bananas and plantain, which can result in cancer of the liver.

Jimoh advised nursing mother on six months exclusive breastfeeding, to ensure healthy babies.

He warned the youths against the use of of codeine and tramadol, adding that the drugs have adverse affects on their health.

In a related development,  the Federal Government (FG) on Wednesday called on the youth to engage themselves in continuous digital skills learning to be relevant in the post-COVID job era and digital world.

Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made the call while launching the Batch 11 of the Digital States Programme virtually which also held concurrently with the celebration of the International Literacy Day (ILD).

Also read: Don’t allow politicians to use you, Governorship aspirant advises Ekiti youths

The Digital States programme and ILD, hosted by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), had the theme as “Literacy for a Digital Nigeria”.

Established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1967, ILD was set up to remind the public of the need for literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.

The day was also to advance literacy agenda toward a more literate and sustainable society.

The programme had 6,625 youth participants drawn from some states of the six geo-political zones of the country.

Represented by Mr Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Pantami said that literacy was the ability to learn but the meaning had evolved overtime.

He said that literacy was a vital component of development in every sector, while digital literacy was acquiring skills needed in the IT world, like on internet platforms, for social media engagements, among others.

He also said that emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 5G Network, 3D Printing were advancing digital literacy, hence the need to keep learning.

“Learning is an ongoing process and there is need for you to keep learning, unlearning and relearning your digital skills to be relevant in the digital world.’’

He reiterated that the FG was targeting 95 per cent digital literacy among citizens by 2030 and had engaged in different projects and trainings to build human capacity towards accomplishing the agenda.

Pantami mentioned that there had been training of over 400,000 public servants, different groups in 36 states of the federation focusing on digital marketing, content creation and other areas.

He added that the ICT sector had contributed tremendously to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product of the country and the FG’s projects would promote innovation, provide jobs for the youth and enhance digitalisation.

He, however, adviced the youth that digital literacy was an interception of problem solving skills and online responsibility and they should endeavour to align themselves to the idea.

The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said the agency was taking digital literacy seriously because it formed one of the pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

Inuwa also said the Agency was engaging in building human capacity to groom basic skills among citizens, develop competency and talent that could be expanded to service other African countries.

He said that the Batch 11 of the Digital States programme would focus on enabling participants’ production tools, digital content creation and digital marketing.

Inuwa recalled that Microsoft in 2020 predicted that about 800 million jobs would be displaced post-COVID era due to automation and other digital services.

He urged participants of the programme to build competency in digital skills for relevance.

Mrs Ola Williams, Country Director of Microsoft, said it was time for the youth to develop skills that would help them leverage opportunities in the global market.

Williams also added that their participation ensured the country churned out digital innovation to the world.

Mr Segun Ajayi, a representative from Oracle company,  said the organisation was engaging seriously with the FG to train university students on digital skills in the first phase of the programme.

Ajayi added that it would continue all its support for the growth of the programme for a national digital economy.

Delegates from the geo-political zones expressed their enthusiasm toward the programme and hoped it would impart them to be productive in their endeavours.

The first batch of the programme had over 2,000 participants trained from across the country.


Health and Safety

Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 



Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 
…As Troops neutralise 7 insurgents, recover weapons, motorcycles in Kaduna

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Police Command in Lagos State have begun a 24-hour bike patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

RRS made this known in a post it shared on its official X handle @rrsLagos767 on Monday.

It stated that the Commander of RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had directed the squad’s motorcycle riders to begin a 24-hour patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“RRS Commander, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi has directed the squad’s Bike Riders to commence a 24-hour patrol of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos as a way of protecting the infrastructure on the bridge.

“Also to prevent the incidence of harassment of road users by miscreants.

“This is in line with the directives of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade to the squad for the protection of lives, property and public infrastructure on the newly renovated bridge,” it stated.

RRS said that Egbeyemi appealed to motorists and road users to cooperate with the riders so that they could serve them better.

In another development, showing observable security improvement, the 1 Division Nigerian Army, said its troops have neutralised seven insurgents and recovered weapons and motorcycles in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement issued by Lt-Col. On Monday in Kaduna, Musa Yahaya, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations 1 Division Nigerian Army.

Yahaya said, “Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at a blocking position at Udawa carried out a fighting patrol along Udawa – Kurebe road on May 19.

According to him, during the aggressive patrol, troops made contact with insurgents and terrorist elements. They engaged them with a heavy volume of fire leading to the annihilation of five terrorists and violent extremists.

 He disclosed that items recovered during the encounter included,  one pump action gun, six cartridges, one empty AK 47 rifle magazine, one MP3 radio, one phone battery, two Baofeng radios,  two Baofeng radio chargers, four memory cards, two sim cards and four charms.

Some of the weapons recovered by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army from the terrorists in Kaduna.

He said, “Relatedly, the division deployed at Sabo Birni in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State intercepted suspected movement of terrorist elements at Baka general area on 19 May 2024.

 Yahaya said the troops swiftly mobilised to the area and engaged the terrorists.

“In the firefight that ensued, the terrorists who could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops cowardly fled to nearby hills in disarray with several degrees of gunshot wounds.

 “The troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK 47 rifle and two motorcycles while blood stains were seen all over the scene of the incident.

He also disclosed that troops of the Division while lying in wait at Kwaga village in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna state, made contact with terrorist elements and neutralised two of the criminals.

 “Items recovered included two AK 47 rifles, two magazines and two motorcycles, “Yahaya said.

The spokesperson said Maj-Gen. Mayirenso  Saraso, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division NA and  Commander of Operation, Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their aggressive posture.

He charged them to sustain the tempo and make life unbearable for terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists and their cohorts.

He equally appealed to all law-abiding citizens to report to the NA or nearest security agencies, persons seen with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.

 Yahaya also appealed to the good people of Kaduna and Niger States to avail the Army and other security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence for prompt action. 

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Health and Safety

ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week



ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

 The Defence Headquarters says troops have within the last week, eliminated no fewer than 227 terrorists, apprehended 529 and rescued 253 kidnapped victims, following ground and air operations across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja on the operations of the Armed Forces.

Buba said the troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition, comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated guns, 59 Dane guns, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft and one MRAP.

Others according to him are; 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62x51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62x54mm, 242 live cartridges, one PKM magazine, 24 magazines among others

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms.

He said that 219 terrorists comprising 29 adult males, 65 adult females and 125 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations between May 8 and 14.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirle Stroke, neutralised 27 insurgents, arrested 154 violent extremists and rescued 42 kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, also neutralised 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages.

Buba said the air component had on May 8, bombarded a new terrorist enclave in Faskari area of Katsina State following an intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on the migration of notorious terrorist elements to the deserted settlement.

According to him, battle damage assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralised and their structures as well as logistics destroyed

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch apprehended 68 illegal miners from an illegal mining site in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja during the week.

He said that the troops also neutralised 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages.

He also said that in the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

According to him, troops discovered and destroyed 18 dugout pits, 34 boats, five drums, four receivers, four reservoirs and 97 storage tanks.

”Other items recovered include 198 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, three pumping machines, two speedboats, one baofeng radio, one outboard engine and 57 illegal refining sites.

”Troops also neutralised three extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists’’.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a cache of arms. 

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Health and Safety

Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking



Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

The irresistible attraction for drug pushing is set to wane as the Senate on Thursday, prescribed the death sentence as the penalty for trafficking in hard drugs and other substances in Nigeria.

This followed the passage of the  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Amendment Bill 2024.

It also prescribed not more than 15 years imprisonment without the option of fine, for conviction on consumption of hard drugs and substances.

This followed the adoption of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics report on the NDLEA Amendment Act at plenary.

The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC -Borno).

Monguno in his presentation said the amendment sought to strengthen the operations of the  NDLEA, empower its operations to establish laboratories for forensic review and update the list of dangerous drugs.

He said the amendment was also designed to review penalties and enhance the powers of the NDLEA to prosecute drug-related offences and issue subsidiary legislation.

He said the Senate had on Feb.28, deliberated on the bill, which was transmitted from the House of Representatives for the Senate’s concurrence.

He said it was important to make a general comment on the bill,  especially on the classification of the offences and penalty categorisations of drug-related offences.

He said the categorisations were peculiar and different from other laws because of the sentencing guideline used in determining drug-related offences.

“These guidelines in drug laws are designed to promote fairness, consistency and proportionality in the criminal justice system while considering the broader goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

“It is also important to note that several variables are used to determine the penalties imposed on a suspect.

“This includes type and quantity of controlled substance, defendant’s criminal history, intent behind drug-related activities, aggravating or mitigating circumstance such as organised crime, violence, use of offensive weapon.

“Others like  endangerment of minors can aggravate penalties,  conversely mitigating factors like cooperation with law enforcement or lack of prior criminal record may lessen the severity of punishment.”

Earlier, before the passage of the bill during clause-by-clause consideration, Sen.Ali Ndume (APC Borno), had moved a motion for amendment to clause 11 of the bill, which initially prescribed life imprisonment for drugs and substances trafficking in Nigeria.

Ndume had called for stiffer sanctions and moved a motion for a prescribing death sentence.

The motion was seconded by Sen.Onyekachi Nwaebonyi (APC-Ebonyi), who said that drugs and substance trafficking were doing great harm to the nation and hence,  stiffer penalties should be given to offenders.

When the voice vote for adoption of the motion on the death penalty was put to the vote, the “Yes” had their way as the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jubrin (APC- Kano), who was presiding ruled in favour of the “Yes.”

However, the decision did not go well for Sen.Adams Oshiomhole (APC – Edo), who objected to the ruling, saying that he was responsible to his constituents for every law passed in the Senate.

He said issues of life and death should not be passed based on a “Yes or No” response, advocating for a voting by every senator.

Responding, Barau said the best approach for the Edo lawmaker was to have called for a division immediately after the clause on the death sentence was adopted.

Barau said the decision to rule in favour of the “yes” was not the presiding officer’s making but on the members’ voice vote.

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