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NAFDAC Denies Text Message On Alleged Killer Apple



Panic has gripped Nigerians over a text message that is currently being circulated, warning everyone to abstain from eating apples.

The message, which also has been posted on various social networking sites on the internet, including Facebook, says a lot of people have died in the country after eating apples, most of which the message claims, has been contaminated.

The message read: “Tell your loved ones and anybody you know that some of the apples in town are poisonous to eat. All the ones imported into the country currently are contaminated and have been killing people. The statistics is nationwide and it is increasing. This message is from NAFDAC. It is not a rumour”.

But the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and control (NAFDAC) has disowned the message and announced that the information is false.

The text message is currently spreading like wild fire was first brought to the attention of the NAFDAC Director-General, Paul Orhi at a sensitization workshop for Local Government Chairmen on combating Drug Hawking, which the agency organised yesterday in Abuja.

P.M. News learnt that a staff of the agency who got the “Killer apple” text message on her mobile phone drew the attention of the Director General to it.

Dr. Orhi was said to have quickly informed participants at the event that the message did not emanated from NAFDAC and denied the purported existence of any such apples in the country.

He, however, directed agents of NAFDAC on the field to get samples of apples from the markets in major cities for analysis.

The DG also disclosed that NAFDAC does not pass information through text message to the public as it uses newspaper and the electronic media.

While urging Nigerians to disregard the message, he said the public would be informed of the outcome of the analysis on samples of the fruit gathered from markets across Nigerian markets in due course.

Though the agency has allayed the fears of Nigerians, P.M. News, however, gathered that most apple sellers are finding it difficult to convince buyers that the information is not true.

Some of the sellers who spoke with P.M. News at Ogba area of Lagos this morning, said the false alarm has started affecting their business.

Abosede Lawal, one of the sellers who was met discussing the issue, told our reporter that she had eaten three of the fruits before some of her customers between yesterday and now to make them believe that the rumour is not true.

“Yet one of them told me, after I had eaten an apple, that she would wait till Saturday, and if nothing happens to me, she would then come and buy,” she said.

P.M. News, however, learnt that due to the perishable nature of the fruit, the sellers often sort out bad ones and sell them at lesser price.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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