Media Aide to the Taraba governor, Mr Bala Abu, said this in a telephone interview with Nigeria News Agency following allegations by Tiv Youth Council (TYC) that the governor and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma were fuelling the crisis.
NAN reports that the TYC had on Sunday at a news conference accused Gov. Ishaku and TY Danjuma of inciting Jukun militia to attack Tiv people in the state.
The TYC President Mr Mike Msuaan, had during the conference called on security agencies to investigate the governor and the former Chief of Army Staff for their alleged roles in the crisis.
According to him, the Tiv nation cannot continue to be cannon fodder for the unity of the country.
Msuaan added: “These worrisome developments have further exacerbated the humanitarian challenge in the nation as we now have to grapple with an even burgeoning number of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“The recent rape, maiming and killing of helpless Tiv students and workers of the Federal University Wukari is indeed one too many, deserving thorough investigation by the security agencies and enduring solutions to entrench peace.
“It is quite surprising that despite several attempts to extend the olive branch and make the warring parties embrace peace, the efforts have all fallen through midway with no tangible results,” Msuaan said.
But Abu while refuting the allegation exonerated the governor and Gen. Danjuma (rtd) from the crisis.
He explained that Gov. Ishaku and Gov. Ortom had adopted various methods including meeting with stakeholders from both tribes to ensure peace returned in the area.
“It is a grave allegation to say that someone in the status of Gov. Darius Ishaku and Gen. TY Danjuma will be sponsoring crisis.
“The truth is that there is history to the crisis between the two ethnic groups (Jukun and Tiv).
“I have visited the crisis area with the governor on five different occasions within two years that I have worked with him and our purpose of going there was to interface with the people living in that area.
“The governor and his Benue counterpart met with stakeholders in that area and all these meetings were targeted at bringing about peaceful coexistence among the people living there.
“So, what will the governor or Gen. Danjuma benefit from the killing of Tiv people and besides the killing is not one sided.
“The two sides are killing each other, so why are Tiv youths accusing the governor for the crisis.
“Apart from the meeting by the two governors, the deputy governors have also met about six times; all these meetings were about finding peace; so, why the allegation that someone is arming the other people.
“I think the people making this allegation are the people who do not want the crisis to end otherwise both governors are doing so much to bring peace to the area.
“This allegation is false and it cannot stand. It is intended to smear the governor and Gen. Danjuma.
“There is no such thing involving these personalities and they are concerned about what is happening at the bother between the two states.
“They have nothing to gain arming one side to fight the other; it is unfair for them to undermine all the peace efforts and blame the government,” he said.
The governor’s media aide noted that the recent crisis was caused by fight between two men from Jukun and Tiv who were quarrelling over a female friend.
He wondered why such issue should warrant killing of innocent people in spite all peace agreement reached by both parties.
“The people most desire peace just like the governors have done; this is the only way to achieve peace.
“On behalf of the governor, the warring parties should sheath their swords.
“This was part of the governor’s Sallah message on Sunday. He appealed to the people in the name of God to sheath their swords and embrace peace; these were the governor’s message, I am only reechoing it.”
Edited by Donald Ugwu
HIV/AIDS: Int’l organisation calls for collaboration to curtail spread
Mr Batholomew Ochonye, the organisation’s Country Director, told the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja that such collaboration was imperative to ensure that no one was left behind in HIV response.
According to Ochonye there can be no meaningful progress if anyone is left out in the provision of prevention and treatment services.
“HIV has the potential to spread fast if untreated and so, we work closely with Ministry of Health, NACA and other stakeholders with support from USAID.”
The country director, who expressed optimism in achieving HIV free community, called for funding for intervention for available to people with vulnerability.
He said minority groups of all kinds, including sexual workers and people who suffer social exclusions due culture and religion are at high risk.
Ochonye restated calls for life saving HIV prevention and care for people who use drugs as well as men who have sex with men to enable them achieve viral suppression.
Ochonye, however, called for support and encouragement for NGOs as well as donors and development partners for improved medication to ensure an end to HIV epidemic by 2030.
African Doctors laud Buhari for creating Humanitarian Ministry
African Doctors for Africa (AfDA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the creation of the Humanitarian and Disaster Ministry, saying it is a recognition of efforts of Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations towards achieving a better society.
Buhari had on Wednesday while swearing in the 43 ministers, assigned Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State) as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The NGO in a statement by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Ver-or Ngutor, in Abuja on Thursday explained that by the creation of the ministry, all humanitarian activities would be better coordinated for optimal benefits.
“The need for humanitarian services has increased in Nigeria over the years as a result of population explosion, health challenges, conflicts and disaster related issues.
“Creating a ministry to oversee the activities of the players in the sector is a testimony to the fact that the Federal Government appreciates the contributions of the various humanitarian groups in the country and the challenges associated with it.
“With the ministry in place, the issue of duplication of efforts could be eliminated by ensuring that all underserved communities get attention from services offered by different organisations.
“Having poor network with peers has often led to lack of communication, if non-governmental organisations do not disclose what they are doing for a certain community, efforts could be duplicated, conflicts about the ways a certain problem should be faced in a region could arise, and they could be missing the opportunity to learn best practices from other NGOs,’’ the statement noted.
The doctors also congratulated the minister for the appointment noting that it was like putting a round peg in a round hole, as she understood the magnitude of humanitarian need in the country.
“Having served as a Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, the minister parades all that is required to discharge the duties of her office,’’ the statement added.
African doctors for Africa is an NGO that seeks to create public consciousness that results in comprehensive general health delivery in Nigeria and Africa through advocacy, strategic partnership, community mobilisation, general health education, consultancy services and treatment of general health diseases.
Taraba stakeholders commend Buhari on Mamman’s appointment as Minister for Power
Alhaji Zakari Ngoroje, the state Coordinator, Buhari Support Organisation ( BSO ) said that the appointment is not an honour to Mamman alone but to the entire state.
According to Ngoroje, that the project is key to the success of the Buhari Administration.
He noted that the minister is in the position to bring to tackle all obstacles in host communities and the state at large that had hindered the completion of the project.
“The minister, being a son of the soil, is in the proper position to interact with the host communities, the two companies assigned with the responsibility of handling the project and the Federal Government for a smooth completion of the project,” he said.
Ngoroje called on Gov. Darius Ishaku to collaborate with the federal government in order to fast tract the completion of the project.
“I want to urge the people of the state not to allow tribal, political and religious sentiments to frustrate works at the site, we should do everything humanly possible to support the completion of the project,” he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalingo, an associate of the minister, described the appointment as a turning point in the development of the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Jalingo noted that, as a electrical engineer, Mamman is better placed to undertake the Mambilla Hydro Electric Power Dam aimed at tackling the power problem in the country.
He also commended Buhari for the appointment, saying the people of the state would continue to support his administration to enable it succeed in delivering dividends of democracy to the people.
Maintaining balance diet reduces risks to eyes – Optometrist
A clinical optometrist, Henry Emelike, says maintaining well-balanced and healthy diet help to keep eyes healthy.
He said serious eye conditions may be avoided if one include foods that contain a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, known as antioxidants.
“The human eye is regarded as one of the most important parts of the body and almost everyone would spend whatever they have to continue to see.
“People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain, in truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
“Eye conditions that you may be able to prevent with a healthy diet include: cataracts, which cause cloudy vision, age-related macular degeneration, which can limit your eyesight, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision.
‘These antioxidants ward off oxidants that can affect your health in negative ways.
“Your eyes need many types of antioxidants to stay healthy. These include: Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene,omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.”
According to him, balanced diet is best created with a variety of proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
“Try to eat a rainbow during your day, incorporating many types of foods in many different colours.
“You should limit consumption of unhealthy foods that are processed, contain saturated fats, or are high in sugar.”
He added that people should also consume fruits and vegetables to increase visual performance and prevent age-related eye diseases.
Emelike added that vegetables such as carrots, contain lutein, lycopene and beta-carotenes; and these protect the seeing portion of the back of the eye from degeneration.
“Broccoli also contain great antioxidants that fight free radicals thus wards off certain types of cancers and protects the retina.
“Eggs are rich in glutathione components, which are helpful for the image forming portions of the eyes. Garlic and Onions are antioxidants for the eyes, rich in sulphur.
“Tomatoes contain lycopene and lutein which are antioxidants needed in the eyes and body. They protect the eyes from sun damage.
“Also, Apricots are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene nutrients essential for the protection of the eyes,” he said.
Okezie assures corps members of adequate security in Abia
The governor gave the assurance during Thursday’s swearing in of 1,106 corps members at the Permanent Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps, Umunna in Bende Local Government Area.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by Chief Friday Ikpoha, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, urged the corps members to take the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme of the scheme seriously.
In an address of welcome, Mrs Bona Fasakin, the Coordinator of NYSC in Abia, said that the NYSC orientation course was designed to equip the corps members adequately for the task of nation building.
She charged them to participate actively in all the camp activities, saying that they would help to prepare them for the challenges ahead.
She drew the attention of the state government to the problem of erosion in the camp, describing it as a huge threat to some of the buildings in the camp.
She gave a breakdown of the number of corps members to include 682 males and 424 females.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the oath of allegiance was administered on the corps members by the Chief Judge of Abia, Justice Onuoha Ogwe.