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Blindness: Experts raises alarm over lack of Statistics in Nigeria

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Experts in the health sector have decried lack of proper statistics on the number of blind children in Nigeria.

One of the experts, Dr. Chinenye Ohabunwa, stated this in Abuja at a one day programme of themed: “Seeing Is Believing”, organised in collaboration with Ministry of Health, adding that the World Health Organization (WHO) had noted that there were over 36 million blind people the world children accounting for 1.

4 million.

She said most of the diseases that causes children mortality can also cause childhood blindness.

“It is a huge burden to have a child that is blind. Children blindness is a serious issue.

And Control of childhood blindness is a passion for WHO because most of the causes of blindness in children are preventable”.

In her paper presentation titled: “Over view of childhood blindness in
Federal Capital Territory”, he lamented the use of herbal medications and remedy for eye problem, and called on mothers to stop using herbal remedy on the eyes, especially breast milk.

“Because these remedies are not recommended by professionals, it causes blindness in children. I want to urge the media to help create awareness on this. Mothers should stop using things like urine, breathable milk, goat milk, engine oil, bitter kola or water. Childhood blindness has psychological and emotional effect on the physical and social development of a child”.

Also Dr Dora Salhu, said children who are blunder are more prone to die early than children that are not blind.

She said between 7% to 31% blindness 8n children are avoidable or can be prevented. While 58% are treatable.

Seeing Is Believing programme will spend N1.8b. 8 billion and expected to reach out to over 1.5 million children between the ages of 0 – 14 years,

in 11 states. The programme is funded by Standard Chartered Bank of
Kingdom and the programme is for three years.

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Rivers Reps Caucus Disowns Purported Leader, Spokesperson

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The Rivers caucus in the House of Representatives has disowned one of its members, Rep. Dumnamene Deekor as its leader and spokesman, saying he was never instructed to speak on behalf of the caucus.

Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante, Leader of the Rivers Caucus in the house, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, dismissed a statement credited to the lawmaker.

The statement had called for sanction of the coordinator of the G-60 Lawmakers, Rep.

Ikenga Ugochinyere.

Abiante said the leadership of the Rivers caucus in the house had always been based on seniority.

He added that a second term lawmaker could not lead the caucus when there are more senior lawmakers.

He explained that as a lawmaker, Deekor is aware of the fact that every member had the right to comment on any issue affecting any part of the country.

This, he said,  was because they had sworn to defend the integrity of Nigeria.

“The Rivers caucus in the house of representatives read with dismay,  a statement purportedly issued by the member, representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Deekor.

“The statement called for the discipline of the Coordinator of the G-60 Lawmakers in the Green Chamber,  Ugochinyere over his position on vexed issues in the polity.

“We refused to collectively accede to Deekor’s self serving stands as he has never been elected by the Rivers caucus to speak on our behalf.”

He said that Deekor being a second term lawmaker,  could not have arrogated to himself, the position of caucus leader in the midst of third and fourth term lawmakers.(NAN)

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DG, NA Centre Tasks Judiciary on Due Diligence in Handling Terrorism Cases

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The Director-General, Nigerian Army Resource Centre, retired Maj..-Gen.Garba Wahab has urged the judiciary to carry out due diligence in handling cases of terrorism insurgency, banditry and other security threats facing the nation.

The call Wahab said became necessary to guard against impunity by perpetrators of such acts.

He made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday.

”Let the judiciary start doing their job because if we don’t, we are encouraging impunity”.

Wahab also said that the conference was a pre-conference to a roundtable to be held on Monday and Tuesday on “Asymmetrical National Security Challenges, the Army and National Development”.

He said that the security challenges in the country were well-known issues by all adding that it behoved on all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the myriad of the problems.

“We will like to trudge on to find a solution to the security challenges. We know the problems but what are the solutions.

“We have issues. We must find solutions; we must beg, if it means begging… This is our country and it must work.

“We must find a way to make sure things work in Nigeria. Prosecution is a two-way thing. The judge and the prosecuting officers must up their game.

“The judiciary must be up and doing. Series of allegations have been leveled and we are not leveling allegation against anybody, but we must work as a country,” Wahab said.

Also speaking, the Executive Director , Development Specs Academy, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu said that the pre-conference was organised as part of public engagements designed to strengthen public awareness on asymmetrical national security challenges.

“The essence of drawing special attention to our strategic partners is to emphasise the roles and relevance of credible and highly professional bodies, institutes and institutions as well as agencies of government that are headed by professionals in public communication and the media.”

He said that asymmetrical security challenges ranged from embedded targets, refusal of the average person to help the army and other security agencies with local intelligence.

“We become illiterate enough not to understand that it is our duty to provide that intelligence for us to be protected.

“So that is a security challenge for those managing security but it doesn’t take the standard form that they are familiar with so refusal to help.”

Ikechukwu listed the partners to the planned roundtable to include the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Voice of Nigeria (VON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others.(NAN)

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Police Neutralise Kidnap Suspect, Arrest 4 others in Delta

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The Police Command in Delta has neutralised a suspected member of a kidnap gang during a shootout in Ughelli North Local Government area.

The command’s spokesman, SP Bright Edafe told newsmen on Friday in Warri that the other members of the gang escaped during the shootout.

Edafe said that the incident occurred on Thursday near the Adjekota-Ogor communities  of Ughelli North.

He said that the team of police operatives deployed by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Olufemi Abaniwonda, intercepted and engaged the hoodlums resulting in the death of one of the gang members.

Edafe said that the team lead by ASP Julius Robinson, acting on credible intelligence, stormed a criminal hideout on the Ughelli/Patani Road by an abandoned filling station.

“The hoodlums on sighting the police opened fire on the team, and the police responded.

“In the ensuing gun duel, one of the hoodlums sustained serious gun shot injuries while others escaped.

“The injured suspect was taken to the hospital where he died while receiving treatment,” he said.

Edafe said that two Beretta pistol and five rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the gang members.

The command’s spokesman said that a manhunt was already underway for the fleeing members of the gang.

Edafe also said that the police special team arrested four robbery/kidnap suspects in Sapele Town on Wednesday.

He said that ASP Robinson led the police team to the suspects hideout in Sapele and effected the arrest.

According to him, one locally made cut-to-size gun was recovered from the suspects.

Edafe said that preliminary investigation revealed that aside the hoodlums’ involvement in cult-related activities, they were also suspected to be armed robbers

The police spokesman said that investigation into the case was ongoing. (NAN)

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