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Why we raided Abuja hotel – NDLEA



U.S. Supports NDLEA with Forensic, Intelligence-gathering, Prosecution Tools 

… As NAPTIP rescues 1,444 victims, secures 52 convictions in Uyo zone***

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it raided and sealed Diplomatic Suite Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja, in a joint operation with men of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Also read: NDLEA intercepts cocaine in 3 states, arrests 7 traffickers

Babafemi said the raid was an attempt to stop a cannabis party and the launch of a suspected new psychoactive drink.

He said about 200 attendees, including three young ladies who organised the hemp party, were currently being profiled and interviewed, while bottles of the new drink had been taken for lab analysis.

He said the hotel was raided at 8.18 p.m. on April 20, following actionable intelligence that some youths were planning to hold a hemp party at the hotel.

“Quantities of cannabis Sativa were recovered from the pockets and bags of those arrested at the hemp party.

“The audacious party, no doubt, is part of attempts by some elements to create a drug subculture in the Nigerian social space.

“The NDLEA will, however, continue to work with other security agencies and relevant stakeholders, to ensure abuse of illicit substances is not allowed to get entrenched in the country under any guise,” Babafemi said.

In the meantime, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Uyo Zone, said on Thursday that it rescued 1,444 victims of human trafficking in 2021.

The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Tina Ugwu, disclosed this while interacting with newsmen in Uyo.

Ugwu, who assumed duty on March 1, said that 733 victims were rescued from Akwa Ibom, 413 from Cross River, 282 from Bayelsa and 16 from Rivers.

She said that within the period, the agency secured 52 convictions while 11 cases were still being prosecuted in the zone.

The zonal commander said that the agency received 1,035 cases from suspects, and investigated over 568.

She noted that the new trend of human trafficking was the selling of children, and warned parents and guardians to be more vigilant and know where their children and wards were at any point in time.

Ugwu decried the high rate of sale of babies in Akwa Ibom and described the media as strategic partners in the fight against human trafficking.

The zonal commander called for greater synergy among sister security agencies in the area of information sharing and intelligence gathering.

She said the Federal Government could not fight the menace of human trafficking alone, but with the collaboration of all stakeholders.

“If all hands are not on deck to fight this menace, children will all be sold out.

The crime is very alarming and worrisome.

“We appeal to members of the public that this fight on human trafficking should not be left on the hands of NAPTIP and the Federal Government alone.

“The agency needs the support and cooperation of all stakeholders so that together we can fight this crime,” Ugwu said.

According to her, collaboration with sister agencies who have their presence at the borders has produced outstanding results as most of the cases handled by the agency are transferred from them.

Ugwu said that in 2022, NAPTIP had increased its sensitisation campaigns and required collective efforts from stakeholders to eliminate the menace of human trafficking in the country.

She said NAPTIP had over the years, developed close working relationships with community vigilantees, traditional rulers and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in the state, in sensitising residents on the dangers of human trafficking.


Health and Safety

Over 73m People In Philippines Suffer From Tooth Decay



 At least 73 million Filipinos suffer from dental caries, making the disease a “serious health concern” in the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

“Dental caries is a silent epidemic,” Manuel Vallesteros, a division chief at the DOH’s disease prevention and control bureau, said this after a committee hearing at the House of Representatives.

Vallesteros said the DOH data is based on the 2018 national health survey, noting that the number now is much higher compared to when the COVID-19 pandemic had restricted access to dental services for more than two years.

Merely for illustration…

He noted that eight of 10 Filipino children suffer from “childhood caries” or “decaying baby teeth” because they are fed with sweetened infant formula.

“The oral health status of Filipino children is alarming,” the DOH said, adding the oral disease “continues to be a serious public health problem” in the Philippines.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dental caries is a major global public health problem and the most widespread non-communicable disease. 

– Xinhua

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Health and Safety

5 Ugborodo Communities Picket Chevron Yard In Escravos



#EndSARS Protest: Hoodlums break into Benin custodial centre

Hundreds of residents of the Ugborodo Community in the Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta on Wednesday besieged the Chevron Yard in Escravos, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the oil company to their plights.

The protesters were drawn from Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho, and Ijaghala Communities under Ugborodo Federated Communities.

The aggrieved protesters, both young and old, were led by the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, Mr. Daniel Uwawah.

They were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as: “We want our PIA as host communities Ugborodo”; “Enough of Chevron Divide and Rule Policies”.

“All local content contracts must be brought to the community through the appointed organ”; “Ugborodo Community demands frequent and regular engagement with Chevron”, among others.

In his remarks, Mr. Terry Atete, the Igbajoh of Ugborodo Community, who spoke on behalf of the Eghare-Aja, said that the federated communities had written several letters to the oil company for dialogue in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

The Act is one of the most audacious attempts to overhaul the petroleum sector in Nigeria.

It seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

If implemented diligently, the PIA will help facilitate Nigeria’s economic development by attracting and creating investment opportunities for local and international investors.

Atete said that since the inception of Eghare-Aja, the Ugborodo Community had also written to Chevron on the Act, concerning the award of contracts and employment.

According to him, the company had deliberately refused to address their grievances.

“We are faulting the PIA process. We are saying that Chevron should come directly and dialogue with our community in line with the PIA Act.

“We are not going to accept it until they come and dialogue with us.

“We will not relent until Chevron comes and dialogue with the host communities, which made up Ugborodo,” he said.

Also, Mrs Oritsematosan Nuko, a Woman Leader in Ugborodo Community, appealed to Chevron and the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the community and shore up the area.

Nuko said that indigenes of the community were almost being chased away by tidal flood.

She, however, urged Chevron to heed to the call and address the demands of the community.

Nuko said the oil company should come forward for a dialogue toward addressing the lingering challenges confronting the federated community, including unemployment and the award of contracts.

Commenting, a Chevron member of staff, who pleaded anonymity, said that all the issues raised by the aggrieved protesters were already being addressed at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.

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Health and Safety

Resident Doctors To Commence 5-day Warning Strike On Wednesday



… As FG fails to negotiate

Those planning to visit the hospital this week may as well think twice as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), says it will commence a five-day warning strike on Wednesday.

The President of the association, Dr. Innocent Orji, disclosed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen on the outcome of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

According to him, the warning strike will begin by 8 am on Wednesday.

The association had on April 29 issued a two-week notice to the Federal Government to increase the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) or risk industrial action.

It said at the time that the increment should be to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors and also be in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health in 2022 for the review of CONMESS.

According to the association, it observed that in spite of several engagements with the Federal Government on the need to upwardly review CONMESS, which was last reviewed over 10 years ago, there are no changes.

“The Federal Government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken any tangible step in addressing the issue.

“This is against the background of the dwindling economic situation in the country, the serial abysmal decline in the value of the Naira, the imminent removal of fuel subsidy, and the consequent damaging effect on the cost of living in the country.

“There have been previous ultimatums issued to the government by NARD on account of this problem of the review of the CONMESS salary structure.”

It added that the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on CONMESS stated clearly that the salary structure would be due for review after five years, but this has not been done since the implementation in 2014, though the approval was given in 2009.

Orji, however, said that since the issuance of the two-week notice the association had not been called upon by the Federal Government to initiate negotiations.

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