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NCF Intensifies Campaign To Preserve Vultures

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The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) yesterday said it was intensifying campaign to conserve the nation’s vultures through raising awareness on importance of the birds to the environment and human safety.
The Director-General of NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, in a statement in Lagos, highlighted activities in four states, Taraba, Oyo, Enugu and Sokoto States, marking the International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) 2019.
Aminu-Kano said that IVAD was organised across the world and Nigeria to educate communities on need to conserve vultures.
The first Saturday in September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day.
Aminu-Kano said that NCF took the awareness campaign to markets, abattoirs, herders, veterinaries, farmers and other interest groups to let them know the dangers eliminating vultures posed to human existence.
He said that the two species which include the Hooded and Egyptian Vultures which were under threat of extinction formed the focus of the 2019 IVAD campaigns in the four strategic states.
“Vultures are an ecological vital group of birds that face huge threats in many areas that they occur. Population of many species especially Egyptian Vulture is under pressure and some are facing extinction,’’ he said.
Aminu-Kano recalled that a stakeholders’ meeting was held from September 5 to September 9 at the Garba-Chede, Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State at the Emir’s palace.
He also recalled that the Emir, Alhaji Maigandi Kaigama, told his subjects to support the campaign.
The director-general said that the NCF chose the community because of the prevalence of vultures’ issues.
“The people were enlightened on how vultures play a role in our ecosystem, which in their absence may cause a lot of hazard to our society and health,’’ Aminu-Kano said.
Other stakeholders at the event included the Emirate Council, district heads, heads of abattoirs, vigilante groups, youth leaders, Fulani community and law enforcement agencies.
Aminu-Kano said that during a visit to the abattoir, butchers were trained on how hostilities of setting traps and poisoning the birds (vultures), to harvest them, was depleting the population.
The NCF boss in his IVAD report of activities held between Sept. 3 and Sept 4 in Sokoto, said that the project targeted conservation of the Egyptian vultures.
He said that Sokoto and its neighbouring states served as one of the locally-established migratory corridors for Egyptian Vultures and Hooded Vultures in Northern Nigeria.
Aminu-Kano said continuous population decline of the species was attributed to “poisoning, human disturbance, agriculture, hunting, electrocution and ingestion of tissues from livestock treated with anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac’’.
He said that locals were aware of the decline in the vulture population but did not know farmers, veterinary officers and cattle rearers’ activities had direct connection to the decline.
He noted that power point presentations were made in Hausa language alongside drama to drive home the messages alongside rallies.
Aminu-Kano said the NCF was in Enugu State on Sept. 5 with all the relevant stakeholders in attendance at an interactive workshop.
He explained that residents were educated on the implication of a recent incident in Eke-Ihe market which caused the death of over 50 vultures due to poisoning.
The director-general noted that on Sept. 6, the NCF took the campaign to Bode Market, Ibadan, Oyo State and drew 70 participants from wildlife traders, traditional herbs dealers volunteers.
“ Stakeholders suggested breeding of vultures in an holding ground and afterward release them into the wild,’’ he said.

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Winners Emerge At JCI Poetry Competition

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Teens For Teens Excellent Wisdom International Secondary School representative, Mr Nduka Chisom, has emerged tops at a Poetry Competition organised by the Junior Chambers International, Garden City in Port Harcourt.
The second position was clinched by Miss Honey Vera Essien of Goman International School, while the third position went to Mr Baridura Charles of Community Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony over the weekend in Port Harcourt, the 2021 local President of JCI Garden City, Uchechukwu Okorie, said the competition christened Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition is a signature project of the body for this year and was in honoure of a JCI member who dedicated tremendously to the organisation and also doing much to strengthen service to humanity.
Okorie, explained that the theme of this year’s edition of the poetry competition, “Nigeria: A Giant Dwarf” captures the present socio-political reality in the country and that 12 schools drawn from public and private sectors participated in the contest.
“ We are not happy with what is happening and the best way is not to attack the authorities but to look inwards for solutions that would reposition the country to its pride of place in the globe.
“ We in JCI are out to promote good governance and civic actions that are sustainable. We are there to promote people who would emerge tommorow as leaders . Nigeria is bereft of leaders that are in tune with what we are presently going through”
“ The competition is a signature project for 2021 of JCI Garden City in partnership with MALT Foundation and ASA Foundation . They provided virtually everything from scholarship to the award money. We remain grateful to them”, he said.
Founder and chairman of Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition, Ayoola Abiodun, expressed delight with the quality of works done by participants, stressing that they were able to prove that Nigeria is indeed a giant, but a dwarf.
He said that winner of the first prize will go home with a cash prize of N25,000.00 . The second position gets cash prize of N15,000.00 while the third best gets the sum of N10,000.00.

By: Chris Oluoh

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Gov Bags Gombe Traditional Title

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The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu the 111, has honoured Governor Inuwa Yahaya with the traditional title of First Dan-Maje.
The newsmen reports that an eight-man delegation from the Emir‘s Palace, led by Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu, a former Bauchi State Governor,  conveyed the message to Yahaya yesterday.
Mu’azu said the emir was honouring the governor because of his excellent performance.
Presenting the letter conveying the award, the Emir’s Courier, Alhaji Usman Adamu, said “the emir is impressed the governor’s performance in the areas of healthcare, education, road construction and erosion control.
“We have witnessed a reduction in the destruction of houses by floods.
“Our coming to present this message is not political but traditional as a result of your numerous accomplishments,” he said.
In his response a senior member of the governor’s extended family, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru, thanked the emir for the honor done to the family.
He said the family had had a robust relationship with the palace over the years.
In his response, Gov. Yahaya said “ I thank God for this and for giving me a wonderful opportunity to get this honor from His royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe.
“The honour would inspire me to do more, it means more service, more dedication and more delivery of good service to the people of Gombe State.
“This is a mark of honor, I will not disappoint His Highness and the entire people of Gombe,” he said.

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Contraception Averts 44% Female Deaths – RSPHCMB

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The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), says contraception intervention helps avert 44% of maternal deaths around the world by reducing the number of high-risk and unwanted pregnancies among citizens, thereby also preventing unsafe abortions, a leading cause of deaths among women and girls.
The Permanent Secretary, RSPHCMB, Dr Agariye Harry made this known at a press briefing to mark this year’s World Contraception Day, which is celebrated on September 26 every year.
Harry, who was represented by the Director, Community Health, RSPHCMB, Dr Joy Tonye Wihioka noted that World Contraception Day, which has the theme, “It’s Your Life, It’s Your Responsibility”, is a day set aside to commemorate a vision where every pregnancy is wanted and planned through the use of contraceptive also known as family planning that allows the family to either space or limit the number of pregnancies, thereby reducing the risk to life.
He said, “it is among the four pillars of safe motherhood initiative to reduce maternal deaths especially in developing countries and cities as ours,” stressing that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, “contraceptive use has been found to have important implications for maternal health as well as adolescent health too”.
He restated the state government’s commitment to ensuring the reduction of maternal deaths to its barest minimum in the state.
He pointed out that there is no better time to celebrate the importance of family planning than now since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant social and economic uncertainties and called for all hands to be on deck and support policies and practices that support the uptake of family planning services in the state.
Meanwhile, the Family Planning Desk Officer, RSPHCMB, Mrs Theresa Timothy, at a review meeting of Rivers State Media for Health and Family Planning in Port Harcourt at the weekend observed that family planning services could be accessed free of charge at all the Model Primary Health Centres and government hospitals in the 23 local government areas of the state.

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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