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Agency seeks collaboration with CAN to promote peace in Plateau

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The Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) has sought the support and collaboration of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) towards promoting peace in the state.

Mr Joseph Lengman, the Director General of the agency made the call on Monday in Jos, when he led his management team to visit the newly elected CAN officials in the state.

Lengman, who congratulated the new officials on their election, said the visit was to show solidarity and seek possible ways of entrenching peaceful coexistence among the people.

He said the coming on board of the officials would open a new vista for the state, particularly on issues of peace building.

“Let me first congratulate you all for emerging as officials of CAN in this state.

 “We are elated and delighted with your coming on board, looking at you individual pedigrees and antecedents.

“We are here to show solidarity and seek your support and cooperation toward achieving lasting peace in this state.

“We are here so we can reason together and explore ways of promoting peaceful coexistence in the state,” he said.

The Director General decried the high rate of mutual distrust and deep-seated resentment among residents, lamenting that such challenges, if not checked could undo the peace efforts already put in place.

Lengman urged CAN to promote inter-faith dialogue among residents, insisting that such move would promote mutual trust and peace in the society.

Responding, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, the state CAN Chairman, thanked Lengman and his management team for the visit.

Lubo, who said the visit was the first since  their assumption of office, assured Lengman of CAN’s support and collaboration to achieve lasting peace in the state.

Polycarp Auta: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Iraqi children’s hospital fighting to keep cancer patients safe from Coronavirus

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Basra Children’s Hospital, which specialises in cancer treatment, has cut admissions by half since May due to the novel coronavirus, its director said.

Ali Abulhussein al-Idani said the hospital is battling to keep children safe from infection with a new isolation ward and testing of staff.

Al-Idani said that since June, five children were diagnosed with the illness upon admission to the hospital, including a six month-old child, who died of complications.

“The immune system of cancer patients is very weak, it can be close to nil.

“If a patient (with cancer) catches the coronavirus, he or she will be affected badly and rapidly,’’ he added.

The hospital has boosted ward cleaning and limited visitors to just one per child.

It is treating more patients as outpatients and routinely testing staff.

A Health Ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Iraq has registered 81,757 cases of the novel coronavirus including 3,345 deaths as of Tuesday.

For parents of children with cancer, the fear of them contracting coronavirus is intense.

Awatef Mohamed, sitting next to her four-year-old daughter, Iman, who is being treated for kidney cancer, said: “If she falls ill with the coronavirus, her health condition will deteriorate.

“She’ll have to stop chemotherapy to be treated for this other disease’’.

Cancer is one of the biggest causes of death in the country, according to a 2019 World Health Organisation (WHO) report.

The incidence of cancer is increasing in Iraq and many people suspect contamination from weapons used in years of war and the accompanying pollution could be a cause.

A lack of access to cancer treatment, the high price of cancer drugs and a generally weak healthcare system in Iraq exacerbate the problem.

Basra Children’s Hospital was founded in 2010 with the support of foreign donors and over the last 12 months admitted about 2,550 patients. 

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged N700m EFCC fraud: APC guber candidate appears in court, case adjourned

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The Federal High Court sitting in Benin on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Sept. 19 Edo Governorship Election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others until Oct 15,

Justice Mohammed Umar adjourned the case to enable the counsels to file reply to the pending motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try the case.

The other defendants in the case include Chief Dan Orbih, estwhile State chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the state Chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony.

The defendants are being tried on charges bordering on alleged N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Although Justice Umar had,  on Thursday, June 18, validated the corruption charges against the defendants whose case had suffered setback on July 7 following the inability of  Ize-Iyamu to appear in court because of his ill health.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Ize-Iyamu arrived the court as early as 8:30 am., while his lawyer, Mr Charles Edosomwan (SAN), objected to the EFCC’s  Counsel, Mr Ahmed Imoovba’s request to continue with the case when the pending motions before the court were yet to be heard.

Edosomwan prayed the court to grant the defendants seven day’s extension of time to react to the EFCC’s motion on point of law in line with the rules of the court.

Imoovba and counsels to the other defendants did not oppose Edosomwan’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

Similarly, Imoovba, in his own separate motion, sought for extension of time to file his reply to Edosomwan’s objection.

Justice Umar, after listening  to the submissions of both counsels, ruled that he had given all the parties seven days within which to file all relevant documents to court before commencement of its vacation on July 27.

Justice Umar adjourned the case until Oct. 15 for further hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the EFCC, in Suit No. 21C/ 2016, had filed an eight-count charge against the defendants over alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.

The EFCC further accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract awarded.

IMEL/ Á

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court dismisses Timi Alaibe’s suit against Gov Diri’s candidacy

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The Supreme Court has dismissed Timi Alaibe’s appeal challenging the validity of the candidacy of Gov. Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election in Bayelsa.

Alaibe claimed he was the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

A five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Alaibe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.

Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.

 

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

 

Diri was sworn in on Feb. 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

 

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

 

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Aspen proposes price reductions for cancer treatment in Europe

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Cancer medicine could become significantly cheaper in Europe, with leading pharmaceutical Aspen suggesting prices drop by an average of almost two-thirds for some products following an anti-trust European Commission investigation.

The EU commission opened a formal investigation in May 2017 amid concerns that Aspen had abused its dominant position in Europe by charging excessive prices for critical off-patent cancer medicines.

Aspen has now proposed to reduce the European prices of six critical cancer medicines by 73 per cent on average, the commission announced on Tuesday.

The proposal would set maximum prices for 10 years.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commission executive vice president, said that high prices did not always create an incentive for innovation, as was often claimed.

“They sometimes also use their dominant position to increase prices of old but critical medicines by several hundred percent without any real justification,” she said.

The commission on Tuesday asked for interested parties to comment on the matter.

It will then rule on whether the proposed price reduction sufficiently addresses the concerns.

Aspen’s medicine is used for the treatment of leukaemia and other haematological cancers, including medicine sold under the names of Alkeran, Leukeran and Purnethol.

Already in 2016, Italy had ordered Aspen to reduce its prices in the country.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Politics

Ondo 2020: Group wants political parties to pick Ilaje indigene as governorship candidates

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An interest group, Ilaje Advancement Forum, has said it is time for Ilaje in Ondo Southern Senatorial district to produce the next governor of Ondo State.

The Chairman of the forum, Mr Charles Adebanjo, stated this on Tuesday in Akure during a press conference to address issues ahead of party primaries coming up later in the month.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will hold their primaries on July 20 and July 22 respectively.

Adebanjo said that the group had been working round the clock in the last one year to ensure that the legitimate right of Ilaje was not denied it.

He described Ilaje as the only major tribe in Ondo State that had not produced a governor or deputy since the creation of the state in 1976.

“We are gathered here today, as the voice of the Ilaje nation and we are officially bringing to the public space our stand at Ilaje Advancement Forum, in respect of the forthcoming governorsahip election in Ondo State.

“We stand for Ilaje agenda and nothing more, and this our stance is solely premised on justice and fair play, which are the hallmark of all the beautiful democracies in the world.

“For the records, in the last one year, we have written to all the major political parties on the need for them to feature only an Ilaje candidate, if they are desirous of winning.

“We have written to the PDP National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus and the Accord Party Chairman.

“We have equally written to both the former National Chairman of APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole and the current Caretaker Chairman. Gov. Mai Mala Buni.

“More importantly, we have also written to the National Leader of APC, Bola Tinubu and Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, to mention but a few. They have all acknowledged our letters,” he said.

The group also used the opportunity to call on the state House of Assembly to reinstate the suspended member, representing Ilaje constituency II, Mr Favour Tomomewo so that she could continue to serve as the voice of Ilaje people.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Science & Technology

Facebook selects 12 African community leaders for accelerator programme

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Facebook on Tuesday announced that it had selected 12 African community leaders to join its accelerator programme aimed at equipping societies with training mentorship and funding needed for growth.

The Facebook in a statement said that the accelerator programme would last six months.

It said the programme was also aimed at bringing people together and building communities.

The company said the community accelerator programme invested in leaders who were building communities around the world, offering encouragement and driving change.

It said that following the call for applications in March, 77 community leaders from around the world were chosen, with 12 selected from sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the company, selected community leaders would receive up to 30,000 dollars in funding.

It said in the first three months of the programme, the leaders would learn from experts and coaches, focusing on developing customised curriculums on growing their own communities.

“The next three months will then be focused on iterating and executing their plans, with funding and continued support from their network as well as from a dedicated programme team,” it stated.

It said the community accelerator programme would then culminate in an event with community leaders to showcase their communities and progress to external funders and partners.

Commenting, Kezia Anim-Addo, Head of Communications for sub-Saharan Africa said: “We are delighted to be welcoming 12 African community leaders to Facebook’s first Community Accelerator.

“We have seen time and again the power of communities in bringing people closer together.

“We know community leaders can do extraordinary things when they have adequate support from others, tools to get the job done, funding to grow and belief in themselves’’.

Anim-Addo said the Facebook community accelerator programme would enable communities to make an even greater positive impact in the world.

She said that community leaders selected were from three Countries, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Those selected for the Facebook community accelerator programme included: Hauwa Ojeifo She Writes Woman (Nigeria) Bright Shiitemii Mental360 (Kenya) Lauren Dallas Future Females (South Africa)and Tony Onuk, The Root Hub (Nigeria),

Others are, Esther Mwikalii, Metta NBO (Kenya), Refilwe Nkomo, Visual Arts Network South Africa and Eyitayo Ogunmola, Utiva (Nigeria).

The rest are, Naadiya Moosajee, WomEng (South Africa), Abiodun Adereni, Helpmum (Nigeria),

Dillion Phiri, Creative Nestlings (South Africa)

Rufaro Mudimu, Enke (South Africa) and Tariro Bure, MINDS (South Africa).

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Pandemic caused postponement of 50,000 cancer operations in Germany

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Around 50,000 operations to treat cancer were not carried out in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic up to mid-June, the head of the German Cancer Aid organisation said on Monday.

This represented around a quarter of the operations that would otherwise have been performed over the period, German Cancer Aid President Gerd Nettekoven told the Monday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

“Support measures for cancer patients, from psychosocial to palliative care, were cut back in the hospitals, sometimes radically,” Nettekoven said.

In addition, hospitals and doctors’ practices had postponed therapeutic and diagnostic measures.

“This could at some point lead to life-threatening situations for cancer patients,” Nettekoven added.

He rejected suggestions that the decline in care was due to patients staying home out of fear of infection with the coronavirus. “If 50,000 cancer operations were cancelled, that has nothing to do with patients not attending hospital,” he said.

While the situation had eased to some extent, conditions were still tight. “This also affects early cancer diagnosis. We fear that over the coming period we will be confronted with patients who were diagnosed very late,” Nettekoven said.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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General news

United States-based fertiliser coy to establish African branch in Kebbi

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A United State-based organic fertiliser company, Biowish-Crop, on Monday, said it would establish an African branch in Kebbi.

Biowish’s Chief Marketing Officer in Nigeria, Mrs Bill Stevens, gave the hint at a meeting with the state’s branch of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Birnin Kebbi.

Stevens said that the company, when completed, would employ over 1,000 workers.

She said that the company had earlier planned to establish the branch in South Africa but later opted for Nigeria.

“We don’t want to be importing fertilisers from the United States into Nigeria; rather, we want to have a factory here in this country.

“We have chosen Kebbi because the state has stable electricity for the industrial sector.

“Kebbi also has a lot of farmers and a lot of opportunities for the state to have a fertiliser company of pyre organics.

“So, we want to have such a company in Kebbi,’’ she said.

According to her, both the Federal Government and NAFDAC are aware of their presence of the company in Nigeria since 2014.

She pointed out that the company’s fertilisers have been experimented in Kwara, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kebbi, and were adjudged to be best for crops output increment.

“Once the consumers patronise our product and they appreciate it, we can now start producing in Kebbi.

“So, there is no need to be importing any more.

“We can just be importing the inputs and be manufacturing here in Kebbi.

“If we start the factory, within the first year to five years, we can employ from 250 to 1,000, as we are expanding.

“This is because we are not only going to be producing fertilisers for Nigeria alone but for other African countries,” Stevens said.

She hinted that the company has reduced the price of the 250g organic fertiliser from N5,500 per bag to N5,000, as approved by the government.

The reduction, she said, came after vigorous deliberations with the farmers’ association.

Earlier, the state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Abdullahi Shehu, said that the ministry had received a lot of complaints from farmers on alleged adulterated fertilisers in circulation.

“They bought the fertilisers at exorbitant prices without improved outputs.

“Now, the cost of the fertiliser is about N10,000 plus; and the suppliers told us that that is the cost of bringing it from Port Harcourt, in Rivers to Kebbi.

“We have received many complaints from the farmers that they used the adulterated fertilisers and no results,’’ Shehu said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of AFAN in the state, Alhaji Usman Dan-Gwandu, welcomed the company to the state and appealed for a reduction in the price of the commodity, to enable farmers to buy at an affordable rate.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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General news

Don calls for restoration of African values in tackling corruption

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A don, Prof. Maduabuchi Dukor, has urged African leaders to promote the propagation of indigenous cultural values in the quest to tackle corruption.

Dukor, the Head of Philosophy Department at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.

He said all schools’ curricula should include African moral values as a subject for impact on pupils and students.

“The good old days of oath taking before deities instilled fear in Africans and then made office holders to be upright and honest,” he said.

According to the don, working on people’s mindset would restore African culture which respects hard work and discourage the nefarious quest for instant wealth by youths.

“It should start in all stages of schooling and this calls for review of their respective curriculum that is a handout from the western world,” he said.

Dukor, however, commended the zeal of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption using the fundamental principles of life.

“Since Nigeria is not an island unto herself and for international best practices to be followed, President Muhammadu Buhari is trying his best in fighting corruption by setting a panel to try the country’s number one corruption fighter.

” The message being sent is for every other person to know that government is staging a revolution against corruption following the rule of law,” he said.

(
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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