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Health and Safety

Rep member appeals to NASS leadership over Plateau Assembly crisis



Rep member appeals to NASS leadership over Plateau Assembly crisis

… As Kano Fire Service saves 60 lives, N76.7m in October***

Rep. Dachung Bagos (PDP-Plateau) has called on the leadership of the National Assembly to intervene and resolve the crisis rocking Plateau State House of Assembly.

Bagos made the call while addressing newsmen at the National Assembly Complex on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that the Plateau House of Assembly was constituted in 2019 with 24 elected members under the leadership of the Speaker, Mr Abok Ayuba.

He alleged that the speaker became a scapegoat for saying the truth as regards the killings and the state of insecurity in the state.

“A few days back, six members of the House of Assembly carried out a coup and purportedly impeached the speaker.

“I call on my colleagues, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President to look into this issue immediately.

“They should look into it before democracy is murdered in Plateau; before we are looked down upon that we do not respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

Bagos said section 19(2) of the Constitution clearly states that a speaker of a state house of assembly can only be impeached by 2/3 majority members of the house.

According to him, six members cannot represent 2/3, so this coup is clearly against the constitution of the country.

“Ayuba remains the legitimate speaker of the house that the plateau people know; this is not about party politics, he is APC and I am PDP, it is about defending the Constitution of Nigeria.

“It is about doing the right thing; it is about carrying out the legitimate assignment; it is about doing what is right for the people and giving the people what is right for them,” he said.

Bagos said he did not have any problem if the embattled speaker was impeached in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“We are working hard to ensure peace in Plateau, but this action could fuel disunity and insecurity among the people.

“We will not sit here and allow illegality; we will not sit down and allow selfish reason to override the interest of the people.

“We stand for what is right and we will continue to recognise Ayuba as the legitimate speaker until 2/3 majority of the house impeaches him.

“But six out of 24 members sitting to impeach a speaker, is an act of murder on the constitution,”  Bagos said.

In another development, the Kano State Fire Service says it saved 60 lives and properties worth N76.7 million in 57 fire incidents recorded in the state in October.

Mr Saminu Abdullahi, the Public Relations Officer of the Service, gave the figures in a statement made available to the newsmen on Tuesday in Kano.

Abdullahi said the service received emergency calls from 27 fire stations across the state during the month under review.

He, however, said that 10 lives were lost and properties worth N30.7 million were destroyed by fire during the period under review.

“The service responded to 37 rescue calls and 13 false alarms from residents of the state,” he said.

Abdullahi attributed most of the fire incidents in the state to careless handling of cooking gas and the use of inferior electrical appliances.

He advised residents to always handle fire with care to prevent outbreaks.

Abdullahi urged motorists to obey traffic laws to avoid road accidents.

He also enjoined parents to monitor their ward’s movements and stop them from swimming in open water.


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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