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‘Awareness Crucial For Sustainable Mental Health System’



Vanguard’s General Manager/Editor-In-Chief, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, yesterday, stressed the need to create better understanding and awareness to unlock hidden opportunities with which to respond to Nigeria’s crucial need for sustainable mental health support and services.
To buttress his point, he cited a maxim by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that there is no health without mental health.
Adefaye, who made the remarks at the ongoing Vanguard Mental Health Summit 2022 themed: “Mental Health In a Distressed Economy”, said the discourse aims to educate and inform the general public to make informed decisions and commentaries on one hand, and also to strengthen the hope and expectations of those directly affected on the other.
He said, “A year and three months ago, precisely on this same premises, we held our maiden mental health summit, that has been widely acknowledged to be the first of its kind in Nigeria.
“By boldly and effectively bringing the salient issues out from the shadows and into the light, the maiden summit helped to further break the lingering silence around mental health and mental illness.
“We are gathered here today, second time around to continue the conversation.
“This year’s campaign focuses on the impact of the mental health crisis on the National economy. With the theme ‘Mental Health in a Distressed Economy’, and sub-theme ‘Drug Abuse: A new force driving mental health crises in Nigeria’, we are taking the discussion to the next level- a notch up.
“Through the mental health summit series, Vanguard newspaper has given a new orientation and purpose to the discourse, by educating and informing the general public to make informed decisions and commentaries on one hand, and strengthening the hope and expectations of those directly affected on the other.
“I usually tell whoever asks why Vanguard convenes this gathering annually, that we do it for just one thing: to provide information, to give education; to communicate with all.
“It is no secret that in Nigeria, access to quality, affordable mental health care is limited, and where available, inadequate generally. The stigma and discrimination around mental health issues make matters worse.
“Our determination is that things must change and change for the better. We are proud advocates of that change through the Vanguard mental health summit series.
“Last year, when the summit series was launched, it was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although that was a challenge, it also served as an opportunity: a window for us to integrate the mental health agenda into pandemic response and recovery plans.
“We know that in creating better understanding, we are helping to open up the hidden opportunities with which to respond to the nation’s crucial need for sustainable mental health support and services.
“As stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), ultimately, there is no health without mental health. We are not unaware of the importance of a resilient health system which is required to meet the mental and physical health needs of the population.
“By agitating for a sound mental health system, Vanguard is indirectly advocating for a resilient health system. This is just our own way of giving back to society, our own way of supporting the system for the benefit of all; a way of living up to our motto: TOWARDS A BETTER LIFE.
“Our vision for Nigeria is an effective and comprehensive mental health system that is affordable, accessible, and provides at least the minimum required services and psychosocial support for every Nigerian.
“To everyone seated here today- (mention names of persons and institutions), thank you for joining us. As it is in our character, this year, we have again brought the best of experts and the finest of personalities.
“The menu is rich, from the appetiser to the main course, the options are palatable. Sit back as we serve you another round of dazzling round of high-level interactions. It is a full course.
“I welcome you all to the 2nd Vanguard Mental Health Summit,” he ended.
In his remarks, President of the World Medical Association (WMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Mental Health Bill to improve the health of Nigerians.
Enabulele said, “The mental health bill is key to an improved society because like it was mentioned earlier, there is no health without mental health.
“Assenting to the bill will help achieve a stable mental health status for the country. It is very important because there are components of the bill that addresses the core causes of mental health issues.
“There are factors like poverty, depression and general low standard of living that could play a role in determining one’s mental health.
“This is my first official engagement with Vanguard and I want to thank the media organisation for this very important topic that has not gotten adequate engagement in this part of the world.
He further called for the creation of more awareness and for protection for those identified to be having mental health issues.

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Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa



Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.

Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.

He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.

Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.

According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.

Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.

He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.

“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.

Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.

He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.

According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.

“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.

The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.

He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.

Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.

Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.

Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.

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Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers 



The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.

The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.

Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.

She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.

The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.

“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.

“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.

“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.

“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.

“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.

“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”

While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.

“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.

“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.

Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.

Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.

However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko,  said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.


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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023  -NBS



Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.

In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent

It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.

Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.

The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.

“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”

In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.



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