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‘Why I Tried To Kill My Mother’

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Strong indications have emerged from medical doctors and pastors on the proper mental health of a 27-year-old jobless graduate who attempted to slash open the throat of his 50-year-old mother on the allegation that she possessed witchcraft. There is a consensus that the man may be mentally ill due to stress and other social factors.

It will be recalled that the young man simply identified as Nnamdi Mokoye made frantic efforts to murder his mother based on the prophecy and revelation of his church pastor that his mother who divorced his father 21 years ago is the evil architect of all the unexplainable series of woes and calamities that his family has been experiencing for years, which had hitherto defied remedy till date.

However, a few hours to the New Year, he reasoned within himself that it would be suicidal to start the year 2010 in the same harrowing condition he had been facing. Hence, be set out from the house of one of his friends whom he had been staving with to Ajangbadi-Sibiri, Okokomaiko, an outskirt of Ojo Local Government of Lagos State to confirm from his mother why she intentionally bewitched all her children including him to the point that all her seven children are wallowing in peculiar calamities, six out of her seven children are jobless while the only one who is gainfully employed has no settled home as her husband threw her out of his house without any known cause despite all entreaties from family members.

One thing led to the other, and before neighbours could get wind of what was happening, Mrs Abigail Nwaje, Nnamdi’s mother, had already been brutally butchered having been mercilessly lacerated on the throat with all her teeth pulled out with a hammer. The suspect who has been charged to court for attempted murder revealed to reporters at the information unit of the Lagos State police command why he was bent on murdering his mother a few hours to 201O.

Nnamdi, who was finding it difficult to utter words, stated that having experienced frustration, agony and unexplainable ill-luck for almost three decades, he started going to ‘churches for deliverance’ and it was in the process that he and his older sister who was sent packing out of her matrimonial home by her husband for no just cause were told that their mother was the brain behind their suffering and hardship.

Reacting to the strange behaviour of the young man, Dr Kalu Isaiah of the Department of Psychiatry, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) maintained that there is a big probability that Nnamdi is suffering from mental illness.

According to Kalu, “Merely raising hands to beat one’s mother is bad enough, and for one to have taken a knife and slashed one’s mother’s throat shows that the person is mentally ill or was mentally ill at the time he committed the offence. There is something we call delusion in psychiatry, which is a false fixed belief.

“The young man would have been convinced beyond reasonable doubt that his mother was behind his retarded progress and that of his siblings too. That act in essence defies logic and reality. It is beyond the boundary of normal behaviour. There is likelihood that the young man is suffering from paranoid delusion. “Believing strongly that somebody is against him and wants to harm him. It happens, but people don’t do such things. Ordinarily, what happens is that people may not talk to the person again or abandon the person,” he said.

On factors that might have generated into mental illness for the jobless graduate, Kalu revealed that there are a lot of things that could have resulted into mental illness for a jobless graduate. He also opined that it could be hereditary. “There could be a form of genetic disposition transferred from parents to the offspring. That does not mean that anyone whose parents have that must compulsorily also have it,” he said.

Pastor Oluwasegun of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, Igando branch, speaking on the ugly development, corroborated what Dr Kalu said that no pastor would have told the young man to go and kill his mother for any reason. According to him, witchcraft is an evil spirit which one can be delivered from.

“It is very unbelievable in this age to hear such a thing, especially from a well-educated young man. Nnamdi Mokoye’s revelation that he was told severally by his pastor that his mother is the evil architect of all the unexplainable series of woes and calamities that his family has been experiencing for years which had defied remedy till date is highly questionable,” he said.

Furthermore, the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Frank Mba, revealed that the suspect has already been charged to court for attempted murder and that his mother is responding well to treatment at the hospital.

Mokoye’s is the second case of attempted murder bordering on witchcraft allegation since last year in Lagos. One Olubukula in a similar vein murdered her mother mid-last year because she alleged that the latter was a witch who was behind, all her woes in the United States of America.

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Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking Of Ancient Arts

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The Federal Government and the United States, yesterday, signed the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) Agreement.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the CPIA would reduce the pillage of Nigeria’s ancient arts which are mostly smuggled to Europe, the US and other places for the benefit of art collectors.
Mohammed said the signing of the MoU became necessary because, despite all efforts by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, to prevent illicit export of the nation’s archaeological and ethnological materials, widespread looting and illicit excavation of these materials still continue.
He said this when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the CPIA with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking of Ancient Arts.’
Mohammed was quoted as saying, “This legislation was enacted by the United States to restrict the importation into the US of archaeological materials ranging in date from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1770 as well as ethnological materials, including those associated with royal activity, religious activity, etc from nations that have entered into the kind of bilateral initiative that we are signing here with the United States today.”
The minister said on the basis of the agreement, Nigerian antiquities being imported into the US without the requisite export permit will be seized at the border of the US and returned to Nigeria without the arduous and costly task of going through the labyrinth of judicial and diplomatic processes.
“We are optimistic that this agreement will reduce the pillage of our irreplaceable archaeological and ethnological materials, as the market for these materials is being shut in the United States against illicit traffickers.
“The agreement will last for an initial period of five years. If it works well, as we anticipate it will, it shall be renewed for a longer term. We implore other friendly nations to take a cue from the United States of America and join us in finding means to prevent the illegal importation of our antiquities into their countries,” he said.
The minister, who thanked the US Government, in particular the US Embassy in Nigeria, for making the MoU possible, said the Nigerian Government looks forward to a diligent implementation of the landmark agreement, so it can become a game-changer in the nation’s efforts to prevent the looting of its priceless ancient works of art.
In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Beth Leonard, said the agreement was aimed at preserving, restoring and protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage.
“In Nigeria, over the past decade, the US Mission has partnered with the Nigerian government and state institutions to preserve cultural landmarks and sites through projects worth over one million dollars and funded by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
“Just last November, I signed a grant award to digitally survey the Busanyin Shrine located within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove. That $125,000 grant will help document a series of shrines within the Grove and provide training to local professionals in digital tools and cultural heritage management,” she said.
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Three Out Of 10 Nigerians Are Mentally Sick -Reps

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The House of Representatives has said that three out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the House added that over 20,000,000 Nigerians were currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.
It also asked the Committee on Health Institution to explore the modalities of liaising with stakeholders in the health sector to promote, educate and sensitise Nigerians on mental health.
The resolution, however, followed a motion titled “Need to Address the Rising Cases of Mental Health in Nigeria” presented by Hon. Uchechuku Nnam-Obi from Rivers State and considered by the House at yesterday’s plenary.
Presenting his motion, Nnam-Obi noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual can cope with the stress of life, work productively and contribute to the community.
According to him, mental illness manifests in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma-related disorder, personality disorder, old age-related disorder, substance abuse disorder or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
He said: “According to the World Health Organisation statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
“Three out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria. However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatisation against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalised standards for Psychiatric practice.
“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.
“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20million citizens suffering from mental disorders.
“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.
“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”
Adopting the motion, the House gave six weeks to the committees within which to carry out the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.

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Wike, PDP Govs Commiserate With Tambuwal Over Brother’s Death

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Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Muhammed Bello.
Bello, who is also the Waziri of Tambuwal, passed on in Sokoto, last Tuesday night at the age 87.
He was the head of the Tambuwal family.
On the PDP governors’ delegation were, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who led the delegation, said they were in Sokoto to commiserate with Tambuwal and his entire family over the sudden death of his elder brother.
“We feel your pain, and we understand that a great vacuum has been created, not only within the caliphate, but across Nigeria and other places where Daddy had sphere of influence. We believe that God Almighty will grant you the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We are, however, consoled by the fact that Daddy left legacies that will remain indelible; one of them is your very good self and your impact and contributions to our dear country.”
The governors urged the Tambuwal family, particularly the Sokoto State governor, to remain strong, steadfast and uphold those virtues which the late Waziri of Tambuwal, cherished so much.
In his response, Sokoto StateGovernor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, said the entire Tambuwal family was gladdened by the condolence visit.
According to him, his late elder brother, who lived his life in the service of community, held the family title, Waziri of Tambuwal for 37 years after the demise of their father.
“We are, indeed, very highly consoled not only by your presence, but your words of consolation. For you to have left behind whatever you are doing in your respective states to come all the way to Sokoto this afternoon, shows clearly how you sympathise with us and how close you are to us. I assure you that we appreciate this.”

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