The Lagos Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Mr Kuforiji Williams, on Sunday appealed to the nation’s legislators to expedite action on the passage of the PCN bill.
Williams, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said the passage, and its assent, would put members of PCN in better position to contribute effectively to ensuring safety of Nigerians.
He said the PCN, now a non-governmental organisation, would be able to do more if the bill becomes law.
Williams said that given the present situation of the country, there was the need to mobilise more men into the nation’s security architecture.
“There is insecurity, the manpower on ground is not enough, so we need more hands.
” he said.
Williams said the PCN had disciplined, well trained and profiled officers who could contribute their quota in this regard.
“It will interest you to know that if the Nigerian Army or Nigeria Police want to recruit, they can take from us.
“We have officers that are well trained and have been profiled already.
“We can be like a reserve tank to all the security agencies.
We have the ability and capacity.
Our motto is Discipline and Patriotic Service.
“If you claim you are patriotic and you are not disciplined, that means you are not patriotic.
“It takes a man who is disciplined to know how to be patriotic and if you check out all our officers they are disciplined.
” he said.
Williams said the focus of the organisation was more on neighbourhood watch and nation building.
He said that PCN orientates and trains young people in secondary school and tertiary institutions.
“We believe in getting them young.
If you look at the situation in the country today, you will see that there is corruption, insecurity and everything starts at the age bracket of 18 to 35. “We have a club, we call it Peace Club and it’s in all secondary schools in the nation.
We teach the students how to be law abiding and patriotic so that they won’t get into cultism in tertiary institution.
“Fom there, they will graduate and become a plus with positive contributions to the society.
“They can also join us before they get a job after school as they would have been orientated and we can easily incorporate them into our organisation, so, these are our areas of primary assignment and focus.
” he said.
Williams said the Lagos command had 8,000 regular officers and 12,000 voluntary members.
He said that the command targets about 10,000 cadets in its membership drive.
Williams said PCN members were present in all local government areas of the state, working round the clock to complement the efforts of the police.
”We all know that the police cannot do all the work alone.
So, we, on our own, have taken it upon ourselves to complement their effort and that’s what we’ve been doing, so, the initial cold reception is no longer there.
” he said.
Williams said security is not one man’s business, appealing for quick passage of the PCN bill by the National Assembly, and Presidential assent, to enable it to do more.
He commended the Lagos State Government on the partnership the PCN had with some of its departments.
Williams said this was encouraging and helped in boosting morale of PCN members.
The Police in Ondo State has confirmed the killing of Mr Gbenga Olofinmoyegun, a Director in the Ondo State Teaching Service Commision (TESCOM) who was declared missing on Thursday.
The command spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Akure on Sunday, that the mutilated corpse of the director was found on Saturday in Akure.
According to her, the deceased was identified by some people through the suit he wore before he went missing.
“Yesterday afternoon somebody called to inform us that a decomposing corpse was found at Saint Theresa, close to St. Peter in Akure.
“When the police got there to remove the corpse some people came around and identified him as the director we have been searching for in the past three days.
“It was his suit they used to identify him, but his head has been cut off and his chest ripped open while his intestine was removed,” Odunlami said.
The police spokesperson said that investigation was continuing to unravel the circumstances behind the killing of the director.
“Investigation has started, his phone was left behind and some other things too.
So, we are going to work with what we have to know if he had issues with anybody.
“And may be its a ritual case, but it is investigation that will reveal all these,” the PPRO said.
NDLEA has recovered more than 1.2 million tramadol tablets in Gombe and Lagos states.
Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, stated in Abuja on Sunday that 811,000 of the tablets were recovered in Gombe State.
He stated also that an Aug. 27 raid at a rented apartment at Raji Rasaki First Estate in FESTAC Town, Lagos yielded 412,780 tablets of Tramadol.
NDLEA operatives arrested a suspect in the Lagos raid, Babafemi added.
He stated also that a vehicle loaded with Diazepam and Exol 5 weighing 150kg was recovered at Ahmadu-Kafi area of Gombe.
The vehicle took the drugs to Gombe from Onitsha, Anambra.
He stated also that troops of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army handed over 792 blocks of Indian hemp to the NDLEA recently.
The Indian hemp was smuggled into Ogun from the Volta region of Ghana, but intercepted at a checkpoint on the Ilaro-Benin Republic border.
NDLEA also intercepted a truck conveying animal feeds from Lagos to Kaduna on Sept. 1 and seized 449 compressed blocks of Indian hemp from it.
“Also, 111 bags of Indian hemp weighing 1,531kg belonging to a dealer in Zaria were seized.
“The drug consignment was said to have been loaded into the truck in Akure.
“The truck driver, Yahaya Sani, his assistant Samaila Rabiu, his motor boy Bilal Ibrahim, representative of the cannabis owner, Awolu Isyaku and a passenger Mustapha Abdulrahman were all arrested,’’ Babafemi stated.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested eight suspected bandits in Ala Forest, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi named those arrested as: Austin Dickson, 47, who is the gang leader; Sunday Adekunle, 31; Kayode Oluwaseun, 29; Kolawole Kazeem, 33; Oladimeji Makinde, 37; Emeka Charles, 46; Ojo Oluwadare, 40; and Lanre Oluwajana, 44.“The suspected bandits were nabbed on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.“Recovered from them include twenty five bags of cannabis sativa weighing 296kgs, six explosive devices, six cartridges, four motorcycles and assorted charms used in terrorising farmers in the forest,” he said.
Babafemi said that the NDLEA operatives also discovered 5.5kg of cannabis concealed in CD players in a commercial bus along Sokoto-Bodinga road, on Saturday.
“Upon search, 5.5kgs of cannabis were discovered inside the CD players and the owner, Nasiru Ibrahim arrested.
“While in another bus, a suspected bandit, Sani Ibrahim, 37 was arrested with some ammunition and cannabis sativa along Kware road, Sokoto State, ” he said.
Meanwhile, an Abuja businesswoman, Onyinye Nwoke, 38, has been arrested following an intelligence-led raid at her residence, 56 Aldenco Estate, Galadimawa.
He added that the operatives uprooted fresh stems of cannabis plants grown at the backyard of the house, which 18.4kgs while 800grams of cannabis seeds were also recovered from the house.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men of the Sokoto, Ondo, and FCT for the arrests and seizures.
Marwa charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.
Taraba State Primary Health Care Development Agency (TSPHDA), in conjunction with UNICEF, has commenced a five-day campaign for the elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus in four local government areas of the state.
Mrs. Mercy Maigoge, State Health Educator, disclosed this at an engagement with Media practitioners on the Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination campaign on Sunday in Jalingo.
The meeting was, according to Maigoge, aimed at sensitising the media to maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE) campaign currently going on in four LGAs of the state.
She said Bali, Kurmi, Wukari and Yerro local government areas were selected due to the high prevalence of the case in the council areas The health educator stated that engagement of the media was also to ensure a sustained community awareness and sensitisation for increased uptake of the vaccines by the targeted group between 15 and 49 years.
Mrs Maigoge further explained that the meeting was also aimed at engaging the media in field monitoring, documentation, as well as reportage among others.
She observed that the media was a key stakeholder to partner with, to attain the objectives.
Maigoge said that the first phase of the TD popularly known as (TT) vaccination campaign would last for five days in the designated LGAs. She urged the media to go out and monitor the full implementation of the vaccine during the campaign.
She said available data had shown that the selected LGAs were performing below expectation on the tetanus vaccination, thereby necessitating the campaign to cover up and raise the data to global expectation.
Also, the UNICEF State Team leader of Social and Behavior Change, Jennifer Dabo, added that the elimination of maternal neonatal tetanus (MNT) was a key area in global public health policy.
Dabo said MNT was one of the six childhood killer diseases targeted for accelerated control in Nigeria.
She said the elimination initiative was aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal tetanus cases in such level that the disease would no longer be a major public health problem, adding that it was defined as the occurrence of less than one NT case per 1000 live births per year in every district.
“So, in a thousand, at least they want to reduce Neonatal Tetanus to as little as just one if it is possible,” Dabo said.
Dabo noted that in many communities, deliveries took place in unhygienic circumstances, putting mothers and their newborn babies at risk of a variety of life-threatening infections such as tetanus.
“Therefore, we should discourage the engagement of traditional birth attendants and advocate for delivery at health facilities,” she said.
According to Dabo, through immunization of children, mothers, women of reproductive age and the promotion of more hygienic deliveries as well as cord care practices, MNT can be eliminated.
She recalled that in 1989, the 42nd World Health Assembly called for the elimination of neonatal tetanus by 1995, and the report showed that 12 countries had not reached the MNTE status.
Such activities to achieve the goal are ongoing in those countries including Nigeria, she said.
Thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday as Pope Francis presided over the beatification of John Paul I, the so-called “Smiling Pope” who led the Catholic Church for just 33 days before dying in contested circumstances.
John Paul I, the son of a bricklayer from the Dolomite mountains and a particularly warm and pastoral figure was elected pope on August 26, 1978, at the age of 65.
He died just 33 days later, on September 28, 1978, of a heart attack, making him the shortest serving pontiff in modern church history.
A crowd of several thousand including Italian President Sergio Mattarella gathered under umbrellas through a thunderstorm to listen to the beatification mass — a step before canonization and becoming a “saint”.
“With a smile, Pope John Paul managed to communicate the goodness of the Lord,” said Pope Francis during Sunday’s mass.
“How beautiful is a Church with a happy, serene, and smiling face, that never closes doors, never hardens hearts, never complains or harbors resentment, does not grow angry or impatient, does not look dour or suffer nostalgia for the past.
” A wall hanging representing the late pope was hung on the front of St Peter’s basilica.
The death of John Paul I death sparked intense speculation as to the cause, from suicide — he seemed reluctant to take on the position of the pope — to murder, allegedly by those who opposed his plans to reform the church, particularly the powerful Vatican bank.
Many have since discounted this and biographer Christophe Henning said the swirling rumours can be explained by the sudden nature of his death and the “calamitous communication” by the Vatican at the time.
No autopsy was conducted to determine the cause of death, and the Vatican issued inconsistent and false information about what happened.
For example, his lifeless body — sitting in bed, his reading glasses on his nose, and typewritten documents in his hand — was found by a nun.
However, the Vatican did not want to acknowledge the presence of a woman in his bedroom, so said his secretary found him.
“For me, it does not seem that there is really a doubt” about his death by natural causes, particularly given “we know that he was in fragile health”, Henning told AFP.
– ‘Friendly to everybody‘ –The Vatican announced in October 2021 that it had recognised a miracle attributed to John Paul I, allowing him to become beatified, a process when a person becomes “blessed” and the final step before becoming a saint.
The miracle was the sudden healing of a gravely ill 11-year-old girl in Buenos Aires in 2011, after a local priest prayed to the late pontiff.
Under the rules of the Catholic Church, in most cases a second miracle needs to be recognised before someone can be made a saint.
Born as Albino Luciani on October 17, 1912, in the northern Italian town of Canale d’Agordo, John Paul I rose to become Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal and then head of the Catholic Church.
The last Italian pope, he was seen as a man of consensus, of humility and simplicity and a strong sense of pastoral duty.
“Open to dialogue and listening, he gave priority to pastoral visits and direct contact with the faithful,” the Vatican said in a beatification brochure.
He defended the church’s opposition to abortion and contraception while also seeking to reform its governance.
Sister Margherita Marin, who helped John Paul I in the papal apartments, recalled a man who was “friendly to everyone”.
“He knew how to treat his colleagues with a lot of respect,” she told a Vatican press conference on Friday.
Among the most recent popes, John XXIII (1958-1963), Paul VI (1963-1978) and John Paul II (1978-2005) were proclaimed saints.
The predecessor of Pope Francis, Benedict XVI, is still alive and living in the Vatican after resigning in 2013.
An 18-year-old farmer drowned in Buji Local Government Area of Jigawa on Saturday while trying to rescue his cattle.
Spokesman of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Commission in Jigawa, CSC Adamu Shehu, stated in Dutse on Sunday that the farmer’s cow slipped and fell into the pond while grazing in the area.
The farmer took two of his cattle to the farm and let them loose to graze nearby, he stated.
“On noticing that the cattle had fallen into the pond, the farmer rushed to its rescue, but drowned.
“A rescue team brought the cattle out of the pond alive.
“The farmer’s body was, however, not found until Sunday, 11 hours after he fell into the pond.
“The NSCDC examined the body thoroughly, confirmed the farmer dead and handed the corpse over to his parents for burial,’’ Shehu stated.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 53-year-old physically challenged man, Ehiarimwiam Osaromo at the departure hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, for alleged drug trafficking.
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that Osaromo was arrested on Aug. 28 on his way to Italy, via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight.
He said that the suspect, an indigene of Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, was found to have concealed 5,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg in his luggage.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect is a frequent traveller who often travels with lots of bags containing mainly food items, body cream, hair attachment and drinks.
“The suspect was said to have presented his usual large consignment to NDLEA operatives for search but held on to some packages.
“These were retrieved from him and properly searched during which the drugs were discovered,” he said.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives have raided a laboratory at Opic estate, Agbara, Lagos on Aug. 29, as part of efforts to demobilise and dismantle organised criminal groups behind the production and distribution of crystal methamphetamine across the country.
“Clues from the property led operatives to another in the vicinity where one Peter James was apprehended with some quantity of the substance.
“A follow up operation within the estate also led to the arrest of a meth dealer, Mathew Bobby who was caught with 4.033 kilograms of the illicit substance.
” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men of the MMIA and Lagos commands for the arrests and seizures.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said that its personnel had not started carrying any form of fire arms whether on patrol or on other official duties.
The Acting Corps Marshal, FRSC Mr Dauda Biu, said this in a statement by the Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO) FRSC, Mr Bisi Kazeem on Sunday in Abuja.
Biu said that the information had become very pertinent following the image of an operative who was captured on camera carrying fire arms in a position that suggested he was on official duty.
“The viral report should be disregarded in totality as it’s just an old and recirculated image of an overzealous staff who posed with a rifle belonging to a sister agency’s staff in admiration and ignorance in 2018. “The said staff has since been punished according to existing maintenance of discipline of the Corps.
“Officials do not currently carry arms and we advise members of the public to disregard the image being recirculated, ” he said.
The FRSC boss further called on the public to desist from believing such fake images as the Corps continued in commiting itself to making the roads safer for all.
Building materials traders in Abuja, on Sunday expressed concern over the high cost of building materials that have led to low patronage.
The traders, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria , attributed the high cost of building materials on the current inflation rate in the country.
Mr Joseph Owuwa, a tiler and trader on doors, told NAN that people were no longer building houses because of the outrageous cost of materials.
Owuwa said that the high rate of dollars had added to the high cost of these materials that one could hardly afford.
“An average Nigerian struggles with high standard of living and cannot afford the money to build a house.
“Some industries in Nigeria produce ceramics and tiles but the chemicals are imported from other countries, this contributes to the increase in the prices of building materials.
“The decline in number of people building houses has affected the business because of low rate of purchase of these materials, “ he said.
Mr Luke Eze, a trader on tiles, said that the rising inflation led to the fluctuation in the prices the materials.
“Currently we sell floor tiles (40×40) for N2,500 per metre, as against N1, 800 per metre, which was sold last year.
The price increase is also depended on the measurements and type, “ he said.
Mr Chimeze Ndubueze, a paint seller at Dei-Dei market, said that as long as dollars continued to increase, prices of building materials would increase.
Ndubueze listed other factors which contributed to the increase in materials to include fuel, transportation and taxes.
He said that since the rate at which people built houses had reduced, the demand for materials had also reduced.
Ndubueze said that 20kg of Finecoat paint now sold for N3,500, as against N2, 200; Peacock costs N25,000 as against N15, 000 and Berger rose to N40,000 as against N30,000.He said that the same was for cement, POP cement and other materials.
Mr Chukwuma Obianumba, a trader on blocks, said that even with the hard economic situation, Nigerians were still building houses but opted for less expensive materials.
“Some civil engineers or builders produce blocks themselves rather than buy from block industries to reduce costs,” he said.