The University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has held on to the corpse of a 12-year-old girl, Glory Ekeleyede, over the inability of her parents to offset the accumulated hospital bill.
Ekeleyede, the News Agency of Nigeria gathered, died in the hospital on July 15, 2022, during an illness.
NAN learnt that the cost of her treatment accumulated to N400,000. A source said the inability to pay forced the hospital to seize the remains of the deceased teenager.
The bereaved father, Mr Samson Ekeleyede, 66, lamented that his daughter’s ailment had jeopardised the family fortune.
He explained that the family borrowed to pay hospital bills and other sundry expenses.
The peasant farmer, whose wife is a petty trader, said that the family barely eats again as all their resources had be expended on the deceased while she was being taken care of.
“I learnt tailoring but that is not what I am doing.
I am doing small jobs outside to feed my children.
My wife sells tomatoes and pepper in the market and that is how we have been managing,” he said.
On the effort he had made since the death of the child, Ekeleyede said “the child died on the 15th of July and since then she has been in the mortuary.
“I went to plead with them; they said it’s not their making.
They said I have to pay.
They said they used oxygen and that is why the money is high.
You used oxygen; the oxygen did not work.
“If the child is alive now, it’s another thing.
But they said till I pay, they will not release her body to us to bury.
I have been going there but they refused.
“I told one of my fathers in the church.
He was very touched and he wrote a letter to the government.
He said I should take it to the office of the deputy governor.
“That time the governor was on leave; he was the one acting.
The day I took it there was when governor Obaseki even returned from his leave.
I gave it to the PRO.
“That is the person my father in the church said I should give it to.
I think he also mentioned it to the wife of the deputy governor.
Since then, we have been waiting, but nothing has happened”.
When contacted on the matter, the Public Relations Officer of UBTH, Mr Uwaila Joshua, said “There’s presumption that when you receive care, you are to pay for it.
The Ebonyi Police Command on Thursday handed over a 3-year old boy who was rescued from a suspected rafficker to his mother.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the child was handed over to the mother by the command spoksman, SP Chris Anyanwu in Abakaliki.
Anyanwu commended SP Miliscent Amadi-led team of detectives attached to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for making the rescue mission a success story.
“The Mother is from Rivers State, Umuagwa in Port Harcourt.
She left her son with her neighbours and that was how her boy got missing.
“The boy has been recovered from the suspects.
The mother and the child are here and the mother has proved, without reasonable doubt, that she is the biological mother of the boy.
“We are here today to handover the baby to his mother,” Anyanwu said.
The spokesman explained that the suspect, a 20-year old woman (names withheld) of Evuma Road in Afikpo-North Local Government Area of Ebonyi, claimed she was the biological mother of the boy but later sold him.
“The command is still on investigation of the matter; we are not leaving any stone unturned to get to the root of what led to the stealing of the boy,” Anyanwu said.
Mr Theresa Nweke, the child’s mother, thanked the police and God for seeing her baby alive.
“The reason is that I used to keep the boy with them (the suspect) because they are my neighbours.
I keep him with them whenever I am going to work.
“I work in a restaurant.
I thank God I have seen him alive,” she added.
A Non Governmental Organization, Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation plans to hold a one week sports competition for youths in Kaduna ahead of the International Day of Peace, marked on Sept. 21. Pastor Yohana Buru, founder of the NGO, said on Thursday that youths from different Christian and Muslim communities will compete for honours in volleyball, basketball and football.
“Sports is a tool for promoting peace and unity among Nigerians youths.
“Sports is a universal language and it’s a powerful means of promoting peaceful coexistence, tolerance and understanding among different faiths,” he added.
Buru said the competition is to strengthen relationships between Christians and Muslims in the state.
“They are going to use a whole week engaging in series of games; we must join hands towards promoting peaceful coexistence, building peace and harmony in the state,” he added.
He sought for collaboration and support of government to ensure the success of the competition.
“We must bring an end to all forms of crisis bedeviling peace, stability in the state, which in the past, had suffered from ethno-religious crisis that has brought so many set backs.
“Hence, there’s need to join hands towards making the state a better place.
“Sports is a compelling tool that promotes peace, tolerance and understanding, bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions.
“Its values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline and respect are understood all over the world and can be utilized in the advancement of solidarity and social cohesion,” Buru added.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu as Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Programme.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
The appointee hails from Odoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, and was admitted to the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of 29th Regular Combatant Course.
He was commissioned 2nd Lt. in 1983. He held several command and staff appointments in the course of his successful military career.
He retired in December 2017. Ndiomu also trained as a lawyer, and is alumnus of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, Harvard Kennedy School, and George C Marshall Centre for European Security Studies, among others.
Prof. Benjamin Bolaji of the Department of Anaesthesia, University of Ilorin, has advocated for multidisciplinary approach of medical practitioners in tackling rising spate of maternal mortality in the country.
Bolaji made the call on Thursday in Ilorin on the sidelines of the 9th Scientific Conference of the Society of Obstetric Anaesthetists of Nigeria (SOAN) in association with the Nigeria Society of Anaesthetists (NSA).
The don who teaches in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the university attributed the ugly trend to haemorrhage during childbirth.
He called for the need in partnering with international organisations for provision of resources needed to practically launch the crusade against the menace.
The anaesthetist, who lamented on the lack of equipment and other facilities in public health institutions, noted that many specialists in medical profession are leaving the shores of the country in droves.
He observed that more of the professionals in the health sector would have to be recruited to help in the efforts at reducing maternal mortality.
“The leading cause of maternal mortality, specifically, is haemorrhage; pregnant women bleeding during delivery and another cause is infection.
“If we are going to tackle the issue of maternal mortality, we need multidisciplinary approach; the nurses, obstetricians, anaestheticians and medical laboratory scientists will be involved.
“We need to collaborate and when we are collaborating, we even need international partners because of the resources they can give us,” he said.
Bolaji, who is also a Consultant with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), observed that there is need to involve the community and promoters that can give access to the communities, adding that education and advocacy is important.
According to him, in order to reduce maternal mortality, there should be free access to specialist based services.
He explained that maternal mortality is unevenly distributed in the country, saying that the North West has the highest death rate.
He added that the rate is low in the South East and South West when compared to North West. Speaking at the occasion, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, the wife of Kwara Gov. Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq, said the conference came at the appropriate time because it was in tandem with the vision of the present administration in the health sector.
She explained that the state government had made resources available for safe motherhood with the resuscitation of primary healthcare centres across the state.
“We know that the administration of AbdulRazaq has put a lot of things in place to ensure safe motherhood.
“The scope of Kwara is the whole 16 local government areas and to bring health more closer to the community.
We look at things from the ward level.
“The government had keyed into basic healthcare fund.
At that level, it ensures that one primary healthcare centre works per each of the wards.
We have close to between 450 and 600 primary healthcare centres that are working effectively,” she said.
She explained that in basic healthcare, fund is specifically allocated to one PHC per ward, and enrollment is done in a way that people would get enrolled received free treatment.
“The treatment is for children that are under five, pregnant mothers, the indigents and others in different categories are captured in each of those facilities.
“Pregnancy is incomplete without the birth of a live-baby.
When we have that kind of system and government invests in it, you will see that what government is funding is also in tandem with what they (SOAN) are saying,” she said.
Some of the 286 foreigners conferred with Nigerian citizenship on Thursday, have explained why they chose to become Nigerians at a time the country was going through some challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 208 of them were conferred citizenship status by naturalization and the remaining 78 by registration.
A German businessman, Mr Hubertus Diers, explained why he chose to become a Nigerian after 42 years traversing the nooks and crannies of the country.
Dier, who runs a company, DIPOX’ Industrial Flooring Solutions, spoke after he was conferred with Nigerian citizenship at a ceremony held at the Federal Ministry of Interior, in Abuja.
The German is among the 286 foreigners including 86 Lebanese, 14 Britons, and four Americans conferred with Nigerian citizenship.
Diers explained that he applied for Nigerian citizenship over five years ago and was happy that his long time dream had come to fruition.
According to him, it will now be more easier to run his business and live with his family.
“I have invested and founded a company in Nigeria.
My first trip to Nigeria was in 1979; I have executed some projects in Umuahia, installing industrial floors for some companies and those floors are still in use till date.
“Over 42 years now I have been living mainly in Nigeria, I have many other opportunities and offers, but I did not follow up.
“In the 90s, I was in Ghana, but comparing its business life with that of Nigeria, it’s not the kind of country for my business.
” He said that the number of years he had spent in Nigeria, business opportunities and the hospitable nature of Nigerians, made him to apply to become a Nigerian.
“I have traversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, I can say I know Nigeria better than my life, installing industrial floors,“ he said.
A Briton, Mr Jack Osankare, who has lived in Nigeria for about two decades, said he decided seek for Nigerian citizenship about 10 years ago, to enable him settle down as a Nigerian and go about his business seamlessly.
He expressed delight now that his dream has come through.
“Nigeria is a country I so much love and would want to retire here.
I love Nigerians because they are respectful, hospitable and treat foreigners like their brothers and sisters,” he said.
Another recipient, Mrs Darakhshan Khalid, a Pakistani, said she had been living in Nigeria over a decade ago shortly after getting married her Pakistani husband.
She also said that she had been struggling to become a citizen of Nigeria over the years, but to no avail until now.
“I like everything about the country, its citizens, the environment generally.
Nigerians are very accommodating and hospitable and I have always seen Nigeria as my second home,” Khalid said.
They all pledged to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.
In his speech, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said it was a good decision for them to have chosen to become citizens of Nigeria.
“I am proud to be part of you this afternoon having decided to take up the citizenship of our great nation, Nigeria, in spite of the challenges the country is passing through.
“I assure you that you will not regret your decision and Nigeria will continue to treat you as one of us, irrespective of the status of the citizenship,“ he said.
The minister urged them to continue to be good ambassadors of the country.
“I pray that the almighty God will continue to bless you all in integration as you have now become part of us,“Aregbesola said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said those conferred Nigerian citizenship had proved themselves and contributed immensely to the economic development of the country.
“I therefore, encourage you to continue in that direction by adding value to the economic development of the country.
“Know doubt you have the capacity, you are recognised and encouraged to continue to do more for your country, Nigeria.
“I congratulate you all and will continue to encourage you to be the best you have always been.
“We are all citizens now and it is our hope that as soon as the ministry got approval from the Federal Government, we will attend to another set.
“We thank you all for the determination to join us as Nigerians in this trying time, when sometimes we are even receiving requests from foreigners to renounce their citizenship,“ Belgore said.
The Naira on Thursday appreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window exchanging at N436.33. The figure represents an increase of 0.04 per cent compared with N436.50 to the dollar on Wednesday.
The open indicative rate closed at N434.75 to the dollar on Thursday.
An exchange rate of N438.45 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N436.33. The Naira sold for as low as N420.50 to the dollar within the day’s trading.
A total of 118.20 million dollars was traded at the official Investors and Exporters window on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria , has appealed to the National Assembly, to review its Establishment Act, to ensure optimal performance and enhance its revenue generation.
Mr Buki Ponle, the Managing Director, NAN, said this at an interactive session on 2022-2025 MTEF-FSP, organised by the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja on Thursday.
Ponle said that the agency has made name as the largest news content provider in Nigeria,over the years especially in the media space.
He said that underfunding and non review of its act were factors inhibiting its optimal operations especially in the area of revenue generation and general performance.
“We are not initially made to generate revenue, but as time went by, this was added to us and so far, we have been performing optimally well.
“But two things have been inhibiting our performance, first is underfunding and the second is non review of the act, establishing the agency.
“Uptill now, we cannot operate optimally and this has affected our performance in terms of collecting revenue and until that review is done, we may still be where we are in terms of revenue, but we strive to generate more fund, ” he said.
Ponle said that NAN has so far generated about N100 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said that most of the agency’s subscribers had been defaulting in paying for services, because they perceived it as a social services provider.
“When we tried to review our tarriff upward, many still complained, which led to holding up of the tarriff increase,we are still operating on the old tarriff, but by next year we will start with the new tarriff with effect from Jan. 1, 2023,” he said.
Ponle said the review of the act would give the agency the monopoly to control inflow of foreign news as well as enhance its operations among others.
“With your support, we can do more,”Ponle said.
Responding, Sen.Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of the committee pledged the commitment of the Senate to ensure the review of the act.
Sen. Solomon Adeola, the Chairman of the Committee urged NAN management to redouble its effort in generating more funds.
Adeola said that the senate would work toward the review of the act to ensure the agency’s optimal performance in news dessimination and revenue generation.
A political group, Atiku Abubakar South-West Assembly, has pleaded with aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unite and forge a common front ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Sen. Felix Ogunwale, the South-West Chairman of the group, made the plea at the 2023 Summit held on Thursday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit entitled: “ 2023- The South-West Perspective” was organised by Atiku Abubakar South-West Assembly.
Ogunwale urged aggrieved members to settle their political differences and unite ahead of the elections.
He said, “as the 2023 presidential elections was fast approaching, it is important to close ranks for victory with common effort and purpose.
” According to him, though, there are agitations within the party, the party has capacity to resolve it.
Ogunwale said that Atiku has capacity to unify Nigerians in spite of the various challenges currently bedeviling the nation.
He said that PDP would meet the yearnings, as well as aspirations of Nigerians, regardless of ethnicity and religion.
According to him, the purpose of this programme is to set agenda to effectively articulate the interests of South-West within the context of prevailing political and economic realities in the nation.
“To register our commitment to the 2023 project by delivering votes to the PDP candidates, we remained resolute and determined to the cause,” he said.
Also, Mr Oladimeji Fabiyi, the Director of all Atiku Support Groups, said the group was a body that had been working for Atiku since 2015 for promoting and projecting his candidature.
Fabiyi, who spoke on behalf of Atiku Abubakar, the party Presidential candidate, said the meeting was an avenue to rally the people, supporters and stakeholders for the party.
“We want to consolidate the recent meeting with stakeholders of the party in the South-West so as to find lasting solution to lingering crisis in the party,” he said.
Fabiyi, while thanking all the support groups, said they were the pillars that Atiku relied on for his emergence in the forthcoming elections.
Supporters of Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, in Oyo State staged a Solidarity Walk to rally support for him in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the walk led by Isaac Kekemeke, the APC National Vice-Chairman (South-West) and the Oyo State APC Chairman, Isaac Omodewu, was tagged: “Youths Walk for ”.
The state Governorship candidate, Sen. Teslim Folarin and the Oyo Central Senatorial Candidate, Yunus Akintunde, also joined other leaders in the walk.
NAN reports that the supporters adorned in different T-shirts bearing the pictures of Tinubu and his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, marched from Oke-Ado to Dugbe and its environs.
Folarin, while speaking, thanked the people for their supports over the years, assuring them of a better rewarding future with the APC.
The governorship candidate urged them to believe in APC as the campaigns and general elections approach.
He pleaded with the people to support Tinubu based on his track records, antecedents, competence and being a trustworthy Yoruba man.
Kekemeke had earlier on Wednesday, described Tinubu as a true Yoruba son, who had never betrayed the race.
He rallied support for Tinubu, whom he said believed the Yoruba people could thrive exceedingly well in the Nigerian nation where there is justice, fairness and equity.
Meanwhile, organisers in their separate remarks, said the walk was aimed at sensitising the voters and to rally support for the APC candidates ahead of the 2023 elections.
The walk was also attended by the House of Representatives candidate for Ibadan South--East, Dapo Lam-Adeshina and Ibadan South-West II Assembly Candidate, Idris Abiola-Ajimobi.
Others were: House of Representatives candidate for Ogbomoso , Olamijuwonlo Alao-Akala and Rep. Akin Alabi (APC- -Ara).