The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie has called on the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola to immediately arrest the growing immorality and moral depravity in Lagos.
Okojie made the call Monday while reacting to a media report on the increase in strip clubs in parts of Lagos State, where girls danced stark naked, attracting a lot of patronage from men.
“Evil has taken over Lagos. The way things are going, when girls of between the ages of 15 and 25 dance nude and throw caution to the wind with boys and men watching them, then they are sending a strong signal to the society. It portends danger. We are sitting on a loaded gun”, said Okogie in a statement signed by the Director of Social Communications, Lagos State, Reverend Gabriel Osu.
Okogie called on Fashola to act now because the strinp clubs are on the increase, while those shut earlier have reopened with impunity and with change of name.
“I hope this is not making mockery of Lagos as mega-city, centre of Excellence and City of Aquatic Splendour,” he said.
He called for a ban on gambling in the state as well as prevent people from playing Kalokalo game, while under-aged girls should be disallowed from dancing naked in hotels.
“Parents should not allow girls who are supposed to be under their watchful eyes to patronise hotels. It is contrary to the feeling of the people of the state,” Okogie said.
According to him, the current trend amounted to a defiance of government and government, he said must do something to stem what he called the rising tide of evil sweeping across the state.
“Some VIPs are among them, some top civil servants are with them. They lured innocent girls into prostitution. We don’t want Lagos to be spoilt,” Okogie said.
A Bauchi High Court has restrained the State Signage and Advertisement Management Agency (BASSAM) from charging commercial banks in the state on their billboards and signages, after months of legal tussle between the 21 banks operating in the state and the agency.
Justice Haruna Tsammani of Bauchi High Court Four, ruled that the agency, established early this year to collect taxes on signages in the state, has no legal rights to do so and that the law establishing the agency was inconsistent with paragraph 1 (k)i of the 4th Schedule of the 1999 constitution and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.
Briefing newsmen after the ruling, counsel to the banks, Victor Dalbadal, said the banks believed that the agency was not the constitutional body vested with the powers to collect taxes on signages, saying it was the power of local government which the banks were paying to and had never defaulted.
It was gathered that commercial banks pay about N15,000 each to their host local government as tax on their signages before the establishment of the agency managed by a consulting firm, which demanded that they pay million of naira for the same purposes.
In January this year, all the 21 commercial banks closed their gates to customers for a day, to protest what they described as the exhorbitant and arbitrary fees being charged by BASSAM on their signages, billboards and other commercials around the state.
The agency however, declined to speak on the court rulling.
Zamfara State Director of State Security Services (SSS), Alhaji Mohammed Tanko Mingi, has said failure of political parties to fully co-operate with security agencies is the major reason for political thuggery in the country.
The problem, according to him, is more pronounced during election period when parties deliberately attack each other without recourse to laid down rules and regulations.
Speaking when he received executive committee members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who visited him in Gusau yesterday, Mingi said tackling the menace of political thuggery had beenone of the greatest challenges.
Ningi said the only way security agencies in the state could effectively and efficiently work to rid the society of criminals is by getting first hand information about people of suspicious character living among members of the community.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday sacked a member of the house of representatives representing Ibadan South-West/Ibadan North-West Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Hon Folake Olunloyo Shinoldo.
The three man appellate court removed Olunloyo-Oshinowo from the lower legislative chamber on the ground of irregularity and non-compliance to election rules. INEC had declared Olunloyo Oshinowo, People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, winner of April 21, 2007 election. Action Congress (AC) candidate at the poll Dr Idayat Adebusuyi, had headed to the tribunal to contest the election which was, however upheld at the lower tribunal until the appellate court finally upheld the prayers of the AC candidate and ordered a re-run.
The appellant, among others wanted the Appeal panel to order that Olunloyo-Oshinowo did not win the election, and that INEC and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner were biased in their declaration.
She also wanted the court to return her as the valid winner of the election, or alternatively, cancel the election and order a fresh run.
The court of Appeal panel agreed with her that the election was indeed fraught by many irregularities. Reading the lead judgment, Justice Charles Ogunbiyi, said Adebusuyi, through her counsel, had been able to convince the panel that there was wide spread irregularities in the election and that INEC did not do its job of an umpire effectively.
Ondo State government has banned viewing of television in all government offices. The decision was contained in a circular dated October 20, 2009 and signed by the head of service directing all commissioners, chief of staff to the governor, permanent secretaries and heads of department. The ban, the circular stated, was sequel to the discovery by government that television had become a major source of distraction in office, leading to low productivity among civil servants. The government observed that the situation was so bad that some members of the public were on routine visit to offices in various ministries, department even after the close of work to watch TV.
The government also banned the use of computer system for entertainment purposes, adding that TV sets in public offices are now restricted to waiting rooms of offices of the head of service, permanent secretaries or those of similar positions.
In his continued efforts to boost healthcare delivery in the state, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has approved the immediate employment of more medical doctors, nurses and consultants to meet the desired need of the people.
The governor disclosed this in Lokoja last weekend while taking delivery of five containers of medical equipment worth millions of naira from the United States of America.
Inspecting the consignment at the state Essential Drug Warehouse in Lokoja, Governor Idris directed the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Dorcas Onumijan to ensure equitable distribution of the equipment to all the existing health institutions across the state.
He said another five containers of same equipment that were also ordered from the US had already arrived Lagos and would soon be delivered to the state.
The governor who reiterated his commitment to the health sub-sector in view of its important role to human existence, promised to continue to provide enabling environment that would boost healthcare delivery services in the state.
Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara state has promised that all efforts would be put in place by the government to eradicate poliomyelitis in the state so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This, he noted would go a long way in bringing healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the rural people.
Saraki stated that at Kaima, the headquarters of Kaima local government council area of the state during the official commissioning of the newly upgraded hospital constructed at the cost of N76 million.
According to him, “poliomyelitis among the children should be totally eradicated as this would ensure steady growth, thereby accelerating the socio-economic development of the country.”
He said that the main thrust of the present administration is to provide effective and efficient healthcare delivery services to the people of the state and this would be pursued to the letter.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja yesterday fixed November 12, for the adoption of written addresses in a suit filed by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April 14, 2007 governorship election against Martins Agbaso.
The court fixed the date after granting the two applications filed by his counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN). Agbaso is appealing the judgment of a federal high court, Abuja, which struck out his suit seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce the result of governorship election.
INEC cancelled the election which Agbaso believes he won, but INEC declared Governor Ikedi Ohakim then of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) as the winner.
Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Agbaso took his case to the court of Appeal whch assumed jurisdiction in the matter, after dismissing the preliminary objection filled by the respondents on February 26.
It summoned Ohakim and INEC to appear before it on the matter but the respondents appealed the verdict at the court of appeal. In its ruling delivered on September 29, Justice Dahiru Mustapha who led other justices queried the defendants for coming to court to file an appeal in a matter that had not been heard and decided to its merit.
The court, while striting out the motion, ordered an acceleration of the appeal. Yesterday, Ikwueto withdrew his motion seeking the leave of the court to appeal at the Supreme Court, which was granted.
Osun State police command yesterday said it had impounded some electoral materials allegedly smuggled into the state.
The materials included 300,000 copies of form EC 40A, Ballot Papers Account and Verification Statement. The materials according to the police investigation, did not have stamps and dates on the ballot papers account and verification statement.
State police command spokesman, ASP Clement Akinola said it was surprising to see such materials because the police was not aware of any election in the state that should warrant such movement of INEC materials.
But the driver of the Mazda Bus with registration number Osun XD 214 GNN, Mr Bonniface Ahmed, who allegedly brought in the materials claimed that they were authentic and therefore were not being smuggled into the state.
He said the contract for the materials was allegedly awarded to Jike International Investment Limited, Abuja to print for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before its delivery in Osogbo, noting that one Chinedu’s wife was the contractor that handled the printing of the materials in Abuja.
Consequently, he said he was only asked to deliver the material to the state INEC office in Osogbo with the waybill attached to it.
Akinola said that the police should look into the matter so as to arrive at the truth behind the alleged smuggling of the materials into the state
However the state zonal director of store for INEC, Mr M. J. Oyegha confirmed that the materials belong to INEC.
He said since Osogbo is the zonal office for INEC, all INEC materials were not given police escort as required by the law, he said only sensitive INEC materials are usually accorded such escorts.
Oyegha stressed that materials form INEC headquarters to any of its zonal offices across the country may come without prior notice as it applies to the case in question.
Reacting to the development, the director of Research and Strategy of Action Congress (AC) in the state, Mr Sunday Akere said the materials are the ones that are likely to be tendered in the on-going retrial case of Governor Olagunsoye Oyimlola.
He observed that his party is about to conclude its case before the justice Garba Alli-led tribunal in due course while the PDP will soon open its own defence.
However, the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday chided the Action Congress (AC) in the state for raising false alarm.
NDIC Assures Depositors Of Prompt Payment
The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has assured depositors of banks in-liquidation of speedy and prompt payment of their insured sums in the event of banks’ failure.
Deputy Director, Bank Examination Department of the Corporation, Mr Daniel Udechukwu, gave the assurance at the NDIC-Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) workshop in Owerri on Wednesday.
Udechukwu said the corporation had exhibited this speed in the payment of depositors of some micro-finance banks currently in-liquidation.
According to him, recent development have demanded for more tactical approaches for distress resolution and the corporation is working to meet international standards.
“When some of these micro-finance banks went into liquidation, NDIC swung into action.
“For some of the areas, I monitored, I told the depositors that NDIC will pay them their insured sums soon but they did not believe.
“Within one to two weeks after our visit, they started receiving credit alert of their money. They inturn started calling us to thank the NDIC.
“The media have a role to play in telling these depositors that NDIC has changed. Our word is our bond. NDIC is no longer the old one, things have really changed”, he said.
Udechukwu listed some bank resolution options used by regulatory authorities to include purchase and assumption, liquidation, deposit transfer, bridge bank, merger and acquisition, among others.
Experts Recommend Multidisciplinary Approach To End Bullying, Burnout
Prof. Alfred Makanjuola of Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), has advocated multidisciplinary approach in management of bullying and burnout among medical practitioners.
Makanjuola made the recommendation in Ilorin during his paper presentation at the 40th Annual General Meeting/Sir Aderibigbe Scientific Conference of the the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD-UITH).
His presentation was entitled: “Multidimensional Implications of Bullying and Burnout among Medical Practitioners in Nigeria”.
He stated that workplace bullying and burnout are two conditions commonly faced, most especially by medical students and medical practitioners undergoing their residency.
The expert described bullying as the ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationship through repeated verbal, physical and social behaviour that can cause social and psychological harm.
“It is repeatedly done overtime to humiliate or undermine a group of workers”, he said.
According to him, those who face bullying are systematically exposed to humiliation, hostile and aggressive behaviour for at least once a week or six months.
Noting that doctors who are bullied perceive to see themselves at the receiving end, Makanjuola said bullying include belittling, insults, threat, physical abuse, gossips and spreading rumours.
He observed that bullying is so negative that it can precipitate burnout and stress among medical practitioners.
He also said it can lead to feeling of energy depletion, low personal accomplishment and increased mental distancing.
The Consultant Psychiatrist stated that consequences of bullying and burnout can pose psychological stress, low performance and low confidence, among others.
He, therefore, advised government and relevant stakeholders to evolve comprehensive mental healthcare system.
“There is need for training support and welfare for staff and need for institutionalisation of mentoring system”, he said.
Makanjuola, therefore, called for conflict de-escalation/resolution skills ajd mechanism and early identification of work bullying and burnout.
Similarly in her presentation, Prof. Aishat Bolakale, a Consultant Paediatrician of the Department of Paediatrics, University of Ilorin, decried the increase in the rate of assault on healthcare workers in Nigeria.
Bolakale spoke on the sub-theme: “The Looming Increase in the Rate of Assault on the Health Workers; The Role of Government”.
Mrs Nwifuru Urges GBV Survivors To Speak Up
Wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs MaryMaudline Nwifuru, says she will provide justice to survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and other harmful practices against women.
She gave the assurance on Wednesday during an event to commemorate the 2023 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, held in Abakaliki.
The programme, with the theme, “Unite! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls”, was organised by USAID Momentum Country and Global Leadership (MCGL) in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The governor’s wife, who led a sensitisation road work to various areas in the state capital, said the current administration, led by her husband, Francis, had declared war and zero tolerance on GBV.
She added that the development called for collective action to address the root cause of the menace and proffer a sustainable solution to the menace.
She explained that her pet project, “Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons Foundation (BERWO)”, would address challenging harmful gender norms, promote healthy relationship, constant education, strengthen laws and policies that would protect Women’s rights.
“As we unite to end violence against the vulnerable groups, the theme shows the urgent need to invest, prevent and combat the deeply rooted issues of the trend”, Nwifuru said.
In her advocacy visit to the State House of Assembly, she explained the need to review the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) to effect positive change in the society.
Mr Moses Odunwa, Speaker of the House, expressed readiness to amend and implement the law to ensure proper eradication of the practice in the state.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Dr Robinson Onoh, assured support in providing personnel at GBV and administrative centres in the fight to stop the trend.
Onoh commended Nwifuru for commissioning the centres, which would empower the facilities to join her and other partners in the fight against the menace.
The State Public Relations Officer, GBV Taskforce, Mrs Goodness Mbaja, stated that the commemoration of the 2023 edition of 16 days, was a global awareness to end violence against vulnerable persons and promised not to relent in the continuous sensitisation and eradication of GBV in the state.
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