Ngozika Ekwelum, a former African Heavy Weight Boxing Champion, has been discharged from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, after a successful treatment of cancer of the bladder.
Ekwelum was diagnosed of cancer of the bladder and had been undergoing treatment since April 8.
Addressing newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday, during his visit for a checkup, Ekwelum said he had completed all the Radiotherapy for the treatment and would undergo chemotherapy once a month till November 2020.
The boxing champion, thanked Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, his Home Town Union President General, Mr Mezie Okwuokolo and Mr Ikechukwu Okoronkwo for their immense support throughout his ordeal at the hospital.
Ekwelum also appreciated the media for informing the world that he was in need and all others that contributed spiritually and financially to his successful recovery.
He also commended organisations and individuals who donated financially for his treatment both in Nigeria and outside the country.
” I was referred to UNTH Ituku Ozalla from a hospital in Anambra and we arrived UNTH on April 8,” he said, adding that he was at that time unable to walk for four weeks because of the ailment.
Ekwelum recalled that patients were discharged from UNTH in their numbers at the time, because of the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
”It was my brother and my wife that brought me to the hospital and due to the massive discharge of patients, we rented an apartment outside the hospital.
” We used to visit the hospital from the rented apartment for treatment and thank God that I am now back on my feet,” he said.
Ekwelum said he was never abandoned at the hospital, and said his biggest surprise was the efforts and commitment of a Personal Assistant to Anambra State Governor to his recovery, whose name he did not disclose.
Ekwelum advised sports administrators in the country to always take good care of their athletes, both active and retired.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Typhoid fever in Nigeria not too common as believed — Commissioner
The Commissioner for Health in Anambra, Dr Vincent Okpala, says Typhoid fever in Nigeria
is not as common as it has been made to be.
Okpala told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Monday that the Widal test used in the country to diagnose Typhoid
fever would not give accurate diagnosis for the fever.
He described Typhoid fever as a life-threatening systemic infection caused by the bacterium, Salmonella typhi.
He explained that “seriously, nobody in Nigeria had or have Typhoid. If you have 101 patients claiming to have Typhoid or are being told
at the hospital that they have the fever, I tell you there is zero or no patient suffering from Typhoid out of the 101 patients.
“Typhoid fever is not as common as they make it to be. The standard tests for Typhoid are the stool and urine culture but these tests are not done here in Nigeria.
“Most hospitals here conduct Widal test; while it is easy and low cost to administer, it is not reliable in the diagnosis of Typhoid fever.
“And this has most likely led to a large number of patients being misdiagnosed and treated for a disease they never had.”
Dr Okpala said that the standard test – stool and urine culture, were not usually done in Nigeria due to the lack of efficient laboratories,
delay in producing results, patient’s inability to pay for the tests and physicians’ poor knowledge.
He said there was need for renewed scrutiny and adherence to diagnosis guidelines by healthcare practitioners in the country, lamenting
that “malaria and Typhoid have become common terms adopted by many Nigerians.”
According to him, there is need for increased awareness to break the cycle of misconception.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Monarch urges strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
Oba Mufutau Oyekanmi, the traditional ruler of Asipa (the Alasipa of Asipa) Ilufemilloye Fashina V111, near Ipetumodu in Osun State, has urged Nigerians to support the government on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to curtail the spread of Coronavirus across the country.
He made the call on Monday at Asipa in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun when he met with some journalists in his palace.
The monarch commended the efforts of the local, state and Federal Government on measures put in place to ensure safety of lives of the citizenry in tackling
Oyekanmi said “recently, government took bold steps at the right time to curtail the spread of Coronavirus by not allowing congregational prayers.
“Some people were not happy with the ban of the Muslim Eid festival prayer by the Osun State Government but it is simply because of us so we
can celebrate many more of Eid el-Kabir.
“We thank God by sparing our lives to witness this because it’s the living that celebrates.”
Sikiru Ayedun, former Osun State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said
Ayedun said that the order of the state government on no Eid prayer for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir was because of the COVID-19 “and a
test of faith.
“Whatever people are doing today is part of sacrifice, because at this point in time, our faith is being tested.”
The former commissioner assured that at the end of the tunnel, there would be a new dawn, but Nigerians should seek peace,
tranquility and live with one another in brotherliness.
Alhaji Eluyera Oyewole, former Education Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Ifetedo, Osun State, said that “everyone has
now realised that COVID-19 is real and that the pandemic is killing both the rich and the poor.
“Osun State Government did not make mistake in banning congregational prayer for the Eid el-Kabir festival, for this can increase human contact
during celebrations and that can cause more infections.
“Thank God for our government that is 100 per cent proactive, by doing the needful, else, it will have spread the virus.
“Government is doing its best; we urge for support from all by obeying the COVID-19 protocols.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, former Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended
the efforts of the state government for trying to save the lives of the citizenry against COVID-19.
Kolawole said that banning congregational prayer for this year’s festival was a welcome idea, saying this is just for a brief period as it would not last forever.
He asked everybody to co-operate with government on directives given, adding that“COVID-19 is a joint task that government alone cannot fight.
“Very soon, COVID-19 will be eradicated, whereby things will be normalised educationally, economically, socially.”
He urged all and sundry to co-operate with local, state and Federal Government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly adhering
to the use of face mask, regular washing of hands with soap and sanitizer, as well as keeping social distance, among others.”
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
`NDDC yet to pay contractors that handled road projects I facilitated’-Orji Kalu
Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Kalu, said on Monday that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had not paid contractors that handled roads he facilitated in Abia.
Kalu stated this in a statement issued by Mr Emeka Nwala of Office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria
The former governor of Abia was reacting to claims by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio that 60 per cent contracts awarded by the commission were handled by members of the National Assembly.
Akpabio mentioned ex governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori, Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Sen. Orji Kalu and others as beneficiaries of several contracts awarded by the NDDC.
“The road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions I facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before I became a senator,’’ he said.
Kalu argued that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to NDDC in 2016 pleading with the commission to rescue roads in Abia.
“I was Governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” Kalu said.
The senate chief whip also noted that the contracts were awarded by fully constituted body of NDDC with its board and not any interim management of the commission.
He said “the roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru ring road and Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze Ndi Oji Abam-Atan road.
“Others are Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende and Ozu-Amuru-Abam roads.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road, which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“I am much concerned about roads because I understand the economic importance of good roads.
“As a community leader, I do not intend to stop my interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states need good roads.
“Good roads help to drive the economy,’’ Kalu said.
He, however, urged the commission to focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs.
Edited Obike Ukoh
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)