Bello, at the inaugural ceremony of the service in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area, said that its aim was to make pregnancy as safe as possible for poor and vulnerable women, who cannot afford antenatal and delivery care in hospitals.
He said that the service, which was introduced 17 months ago, recorded huge success at its pilot phases, which encouraged government to enlarge it with the assurance that “we were on the right track”.
Bello, who was represented by Dr Ahmed Attah, his Special Adviser on Health Matters, said that the achievements had encouraged the scaling up of the initiative to all corners of the state.
”Under this programme, our mothers, wives and sisters enjoy free booking, drugs, tests, and all other required antenatal and delivery cares.
”With Health Care plus, and more health friendly projects to come, I have no doubt that the maternal and child health indices in Kogi State will continue to improve for the good of our people,” Bello said.
He, therefore, enjoined the people to embrace the opportunity and avail themselves of the outstanding dividends of democracy from the government.
Dr Saka Audu, Commissioner for Health, in his remark, said that the initiative had been implemented in Maternal and Child Health Centres in Agassa and Gegu-beki communities in Kogi Central and West Senatorial Districts.
According to him, the initiative involved renovation, remodeling and re-equipment of primary healthcare centres, and free maternal and new-born healthcare services.
Others are free deliveries including operative deliveries, two ways referral system, free antenatal drugs, laboratory services, and post natal contraceptive services, among others.
He added that the initiative had improved the antenatal attendance by 60 per cent and hospital deliveries by 50 per cent, which would spread across the state.
The Ejeh of Dekina, Dr Usman Obaje, who was represented by Onu of Abocho, Alhaji Tijani Okutachi, commended the governor for giving priority to citizens’ health.
He assured the governor of full support for his reelection bid, saying that the people of Dekina would reciprocate the good gesture.
Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole and Ephraims Sheyin
Ondo lawmaker condemns murder of Methodist Knight
Hon. Edamisan Ademola, a member of Ondo State House of Assembly, has condemned the murder of Sir Christopher Karigidi, a Knight of John Westley and Lay President of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Igbobini Diocese in Irele Local Government area.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that some unknown gunmen, in the early hours of Dec. 2, shot the retired principal through the window of his residence in Ode-Irele, but not did not take anything with them.
Ademola, representing Irele Constituency, while on a condolence visit to the family of late Karigidi on Friday, said that Ondo lawmakers would work in partnership with security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the “heinous” crime were fished out and brought to justice.
He advised all residents to be security conscious and be vigilant as well as report any strange movement and person to the police.
“Members of the House of Assembly, under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun, condemn the gruesome murder of Sir Karigidi in it’s entirety; it is very sad and pathetic to kill someone in this heartless manner.
“As a representative of the people, we will ensure this kind of heinous crime never re-occur and partner with security agencies to bring perpetrators to book.
“I urge the families to take solace in God and urge residents to always be vigilant and security conscious and to report any strange occurrence to the police for further actions,” Ademola said.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Solomon Abayomi, the Bishop of Owo Diocese who also visited the Karigidi family, said that he was shocked by the news of the murder of the deceased
He described Karigidi as a “gentleman to the core” who served meritoriously in the vineyard of God as the Lay President of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Igbobini Diocese
“He was a man of integrity and served well in God’s vineyard, his death came as a shock to all the Christian body, but God knows everything and will repose his soul,” he said.
Mr Ayodele Karigidi, a son of the late Knight who who responded on behalf of the family, thanked everyone who commiserated with the family on the incident.
He urged the security agencies to ensure that the killers of his father would not go unpunished, adding that the vacuum created was be too big for anyone to fill.
NAN reports that the late Karigidi, aged 62, was a retired Principal of Comprehensive High School, Irele, who left behind his wife, Folayemi and five children.
Edited & Vetted By: Tajudeen Atitebi
Destructive tools of technology, misinformation hamper balance reporting in Nigeria–Olufemi
Abuja, Dec.6, 2019 Mr Joshua Olufemi, Programme Director, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) says the destructive tools of technology and elements of misinformation have challenged journalists in effort to ensure balanced reporting.
He said this in Abuja at the celebration of the end of the maiden edition of Dubawa, a fact-checking Fellowship programme aimed at rescuing journalists from the danger of misinformation.
He said PTCIJ came up with a fact-checking programme called Dubawa, an Hausa word meaning to check or verify, to rescue the profession of journalism from misinformation.
“As much as journalists have inherent culture in their principles to be balanced, fair, factual and verify everything, the destructive tools of technology and elements of misinformation have armed themselves to discredit journalists,” he said.
He further said that PTCIJ came up with a fact-checking programme called Dubawa to rescue the profession of journalism.
Olufemi said that the Fellowship programme was not set up to service Premium Times Newspaper but for it to become a capacity tool for every other newsroom in Nigeria.
“The primary goal is to have newsrooms with the culture of fact-checking and instituting desks for it, ” he said.
Contributing, Ebele Oputa, Dabuwa’s Programme Officer, said the fellowship was a six-month intensive training programme which started in June 1 and ended on Nov. 30.
She said: “The Fellowship involves five journalists selected from The Nigeria News Agency , The Nation, Tribune, Guardian and Business Day.
“The participants are to consistently produce fact-checks that will be published, not just on their platforms but also on Dubawa, to encourage the spread of real news, through fact-check to many more people.
“Within six months, the participants have been able to produce more than 66 fact-checks published on Dubawa and on the participants` platforms, ” she said.
She said the fellowship would be an annual programme, pending on funding.
According to her, Dubawa partners with a German foundation, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) for funding, and substituted the rest of the funding for the effective realization of the objectives of the programme.
In his remarks, Mr Mojeed Musikilu, Editor-in-Chief, Premium Times Newspaper, stressed the need for partnership among journalists in Nigeria to “make our country better.“
Mr Chibueze Ebii, Communications Manager, HBS expressed delight about the partnership between HBS and Dubawa on the programme, saying that HBS was a foundation that looked into sustainable development.
He said he would ensure the scaling up of the fellowship programme to have more newsrooms.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mammanga, Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Nigeria News Agency thanked the management of Dubawa for the training and promised to cooperate with them.
He urged the participants of the programme to spread the knowledge they acquired and avail their colleagues to enhance the process of verifying information before publication.
The acting managing director promised to create fact check desk in NAN within two to three weeks.
Mrs Ebere Agozie, a participant from NAN, said she had learnt to be patient and thorough in her reports saying that as a fact checker, there would be people who would also fact-check her.
She also said that she had been able to do 28 fact checks on reports to correct the wrong narratives and assertions made by prominent people in the country.
Another participant, Justina Asishana from The Nation Newspaper, said the experience from the training had been enlightening, saying that she could differentiate between claims and mere saying and why claims needed to be verified.
Niyi Oyedeji, from Tribune said the fellowship had been an eye opener that had exposed him to new knowledge to train his colleagues in the newsroom.
He, however, identified insufficient data in terms of statistics to back up reports and delayed feedback as well as opinions from people as some of the challenges confronting journalists in their fact-checking.
Edited & Vetted By: Dada Ahmed
President Buhari salutes JP Clark at 86
President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with Professor Emeritus, renowned poet and playwright, JP Clark, who turned 86 on Dec. 6.
The president congratulated him for vigorously working for the development of the country in writing, teaching and coaching.
Buhari’s congratulatory message was communicated through in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday.
The President joined family members, friends and professional colleagues of the foremost scholar in celebrating the milestone, which had been signposted by many years of recognitions and awards, including Nigerian National Order of Merit.
He believed, as a writer, JP Clark’s poetry, drama and literary works had clearly distinguished him as a genius, whose publications inspired deep thinking and actions, especially on socio-political themes.
He saluted the Professor Emeritus, whose influence transcended the lecture theatres in Nigeria to include teaching and coaching in many universities across the world.
He added that Clark’s works had continued to leave lasting memories of discipline, focus and resilience in pursuing and sharing knowledge.
Buhari prayed that the Almighty God grant JP Clark longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation.
Edited & Vetted By: Cecilia Odey/Ismail Abdulaziz
Maize: Oriental Energy enters land lease pact with Unilorin
Oriental Energy Resource Farms Limited has signed a land lease agreement with the University of Ilorin, to promote maize production and research.
Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, Chairman of the Group, said at a brief ceremony in Maiduguri on Thursday that the agreement entailed a 21-year lease involving 10,000 hectares of land.
Indimi said that the company would engage in maize cultivation, procession and value addition for export purposes and to meet local demand.
He stated that under the agreement, the company would contribute capital and entrepreneurial skills while the university conduct research and ensure effective manpower utilisation.
The chairman said the pact was in support of federal government’s policy on economic diversification.
According to him, the move will also encourage agricultural activities aimed at achieving food security as well as job and wealth creation.
“As a firm, we are into other businesses which includes farming, we are trying to contribute our part in ensuring food security,” he said.
Ndimi said the company also had the plan of cultivating farms in about 100,000 hectares of land in other parts of the country.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, commended the firm for the initiative, saying, “this partnership will change the fortunes of the university”.
Abdulkareem said that as part of the agreement, the university had leased 10,000 of the 15,000 hectares of land to the company to encourage agricultural activities.
He added that the agreement would facilitate research, encourage productivity, processing and academic excellence.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was attended by the university’s Pro-Chancellor, Dr Abdullahi Oyekan and other principal officers.
Edited & Vetted By: Azubuike Okeh/Ismail Abdulaziz
ICPC, others harp on war against corruption
The Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday urged Nigerians to fight corruption for better society and success of the next generations.
Mr Godwin Achile, the Chief Superintendent of the ICPC, gave the advice at the Symposium in commemoration of 2019 Disability awareness week organised by Centre for Citizens with Disabilities in Enugu.
Achile said that corruption could be fought by everyone, irrespective of social status or physical disability.
He noted that thorough and holistic implementation of the Disability Act would enable the persons living with disabilities to join in the fight against corruption.
“Faithful implementation of the Act will help to achieve a desired goal in the fight against corruption in the country.
“The fight against corruption is meant for everyone, including persons with disabilities; as they are part of the society and their participation in fighting corruption will help to reduce it,” he said.
Similarly, the Attorney-General of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelum, represented by Mr Amaechi Ngene of Ministry of Justice, said that persons with disabilities were equally affected by corruption in the country and they might even be more affected.
Emehelum called on the government to inaugurate National Commission for Persons with Disabilities without delay, to oversee the implementation of the Law at the states levels.
She said that it was corruption that turned the country into the poverty capital of the world, in spite of her human and natural endowment.
Also, Mr Gab Nnamani, the Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Enugu Chapter, said that the domestication of the Act in the country would go a long way to reduce poverty among persons with disabilities.
Nnamani added that the inclusion of the Person with Disabilities in every sector would give them the opportunity to join in resisting and fighting corruption.
He said that the association would embark on sensitisation programmes to enable its members and the general public to be aware of the Act as well as the right of the Persons Living with Disabilities.
A Resource Person, Mr Okey Kalu of Abia State Education Resources Centre, said it was the right of the Persons Living with Disabilities to have access to social services in the country.
Kalu said that the Act provided that every person with disability should have the right to education without discrimination, as well as free healthcare.
On his part, Mr Kola Ogunbiyi, Programme Manager, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, said that the awareness week was on how to address corruption in the country.
According to Ogunbiyi, corruption could be minimised with the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of national life.
He said that the awareness was also to encourage those with disabilities not to join in corrupt practices.
He called on the Enugu State Government to pass the Persons with Disabilities’ Law, to make the physically challenged partake in activities of the government.
Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz
17 persons escape death in Anambra multiple crash
The accident occurred on the Nkpor/Umuoji stretch of the road.
Mr Pascal Anigbo, the Public Enlightenment Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed the crash to the Nigeria News Agency .
He said the vehicles included a red Mitsubishi bus with registration number JJT920ZW, a white Hummer bus without registration number and a truck marked KPE686XA.
Anigbo attributed the cause of the accident to wrongful overtaking.
He said 17 persons including 10 males and seven females were involved in the crash while seven persons were injured.
“The Mitsubishi bus did wrongful overtaking and collided with an oncoming bus and the two buses collided with a truck.
“The injured victims had been taken to Crown hospital Nkpor,” he said.
The FRSC officer also said efforts were on to recover the vehicles and valuables.
Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu
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