Suicide: Foundation embarks on awareness on effects of drug abuse



A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Triumphant Youth Foundation (TYF), on Tuesday in Abuja said it carried out campaigns and street outreach on the effects of drug abuse to curb incessant cases of suicide in the country.

The Founder of the organisation, Ibrahim Yusuf, told Nigeria News Agency that the campaigns were carried out in the northern states to create awareness about the effects of drug abuse.

He said that drug abuse, especially among youths, both males and females, contributed immensely to suicide, criminal activities and moral decadence in the society.

Yusuf explained that the NGO, through its Drug-Free Arewa Movement, recently carried out a 10-day street outreach to educate, feed, as well as donate toiletries to youths on the street on the effects of drug abuse.

He noted that “Drug-Free Arewa Movement, a product of Triumphant Youth Foundation, is doing everything to reduce the involvement of young people in drugs to reduce vices.

“We try to educate the younger people, even leaders, to avoid drugs because with proper knowledge, it will be easier to avoid the dangers or excitement it generates.”

He said that even when suicide was not drug-related, there was need for the public to be educated to avoid any mental health issues.

He added that “people kill themselves because of depression, emotional, psychological, financial problems and others.

“However, there is direct casual effect that links suicide and substance abuse when someone gets into depression, and starts nursing suicide ideas and most of them turn to drugs or alcohol to forget about the problems.”

He, therefore stressed the need for the society, particularly parents, to communicate with their children, support and encourage them even when they are not meeting up to their expectations.

“We are doing more of effective education on drug abuse so that people will be aware of how its effects humans and the society.

Temitope Saka, a 17-year-old girl, died after drinking insecticide called Sniper in the Igando area of Lagos State in 2019.

It was reported that when Saka became pregnant, her grandma insisted that she must leave the house.

A national daily reported that the victim drank the poison and started foaming in the mouth at her boyfriend’s house.

She was rushed to the Igando General Hospital where she died.

Earlier, a 19-year-old girl, Uche Obiora, allegedly took the same Sniper at her boyfriend’s house, which is a street away from Saka’s grandmother’s house.

Also, Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) committed suicide too.

It was gathered that the deceased carried out the suicide in the solitude of an uncompleted building located at Sullivan Road, Nsukka, where he allegedly slipped into coma after taking two bottles of same insecticide, Sniper.

His unconscious body was discovered by passersby and later declared dead at UNN Federal Medical Centre.

A close friend of Akachi who preferred anonymity said Akachi posted a suicide note on his Facebook wall shortly before he committed the act.

Simply put, suicide is the intentional taking of one’s own life. Until now, there were reports of adults jumping into the Lagos Lagoon and others hanging themselves.

But the trend changed in the last few years as more teenagers take their lives, especially through poisoning.

General news

UN commends FG on improvement of humanitarian access in North-East



The United Nations has commended the Federal Government’s efforts at improving humanitarian support in the North-East region of the country, saying the Buhari Administration “has taken important steps to improve access to people in need.”

A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said the commendation came amidst international concerns on the activities of terrorists and violent extreme groups in the region.

Lately, some international humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have expressed worry on their inability to operate effectively and distribute relief materials in parts of the North-East because of security concerns, especially in some remote areas of Borno.

“In a bid to reverse the trend and ensure effective access to vital food supplies, the Humanitarian Affairs Minister, the National Security Adviser and members of the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee, escalated the matter to the Presidency.

“The President then mandated the Vice President to work with the Committee, Governors in the region and relevant MDAs, including service chiefs to resolve the matter in conjunction with international NGOs and multilateral agencies operating in the region.

“The Vice President then held series of meetings, bringing together the governors, all the relevant government agencies and representatives of international agencies and INGOs.

“This intervention by the Presidency has led to a renewed and coordinated effort of providing a new template that supports the activities of the INGOs and offers a more secured access to the areas in question,’’ the presidential aide maintained.

In reaction to this intervention and new arrangement, Adesina quoted the United Nations Secretariat in a briefing last week by the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock to the UN Security Council to have said:

“I am pleased to report we have had constructive engagements in recent days with the Nigerian authorities, and the Government has taken important steps to improve access to people in need, which we look forward to building on further.”

Lowcock had indicated earlier that “In North-East Nigeria, as we told you…violence by extremist non-state armed groups is largely responsible for driving up humanitarian need.”

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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NGO advocates for roles for women, girls in peace building



The AID Foundation, an NGO has called on government, religious and traditional rulers to deliberately create safe roles for women and young girls in the peace building in communities.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet made the call in a statement in Kaduna on Tuesday, to commemorate the 2020 International Peace Day.

Bonet said that such roles would enable women and young girls to bring in their unique wealth of experience, knowledge and perspective to the peace building processes across the globe.

“It is no longer news that communities consciously and unconsciously neglect to identify or consider women’s views in issues that relate to conflict or peace building.

“This is why we dedicated the 2020 International Peace Day to women across the globe who are more affected by violence and conflicts that disrupts peace.

“This was to provide them with a platform to air their views on how and what they think communities, government, religious institutions among others should do to bring about sustainable peace in our world,’’ he said.

Bonet added that AID Foundation, with support from PLAN International, commemorated the International Peace Day along with Kaduna State Youth Peace Academy (KSYPA) in Kasuwan Magani, Birnin Gwari and Kajuru simultaneously.

“In Kasuwan Magani, the KSYPA comprised of Christian and Muslim youths of Adara, Fulani and Hausa extraction who performed storm theatres within their communities.

“They highlighted the consequences of spreading rumours and brought people together to shun it.

“They also conducted a rally to increase awareness about what they are jointly doing towards religious tolerance and promoting peaceful co-existence,’’ he said.

Bonet added that in Birnin Gwari, the KSYPA mobilised Christian and Muslim youths to cleaned up the heart of the town.

This, he said, symbolised that peace has diverse approaches when people are determined to work together for a common good.

“In Kajuru, the KSYPA, like their counterpart in Kasuwan Magani also performed storm theatres for selected groups, demonstrating how dangerous it is to engage in rumour peddling.

“They ended the day with a peace rally to mobilize citizens to embrace peace,’’ he said.

The director-general called on the media to provide platforms for more women to air their views and contribute towards sustainable peace in the world.

He equally called on the media to sensitise traditional and religious leaders to consciously incorporate women in their peace building architecture and mechanisms.

“The government should equally include more women in peace building and reconciliations committees and always seek their views on issues that concern peace.

“As for the AID Foundation, we will continue to promote fairness in peace building processes,” he said.

Edited By: Kabir Muhammad/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Osinbajo, UNN students discuss technology, innovation



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday had a virtual interaction with students from both the university and the secondary school in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN) campus.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the Vice President featured at the virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets and Technologies, UNN.

The theme of the conference is “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development.”

The Vice President said that deploying technology and innovation to address emerging challenges would be crucial to the country’s recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must creatively imagine and pioneer our way out.

“We are in one of the worst health and economic crises in living memory and our recovery must be innovative – we must employ never-before-seen methods to fight the never-before-seen plethora of issues before us.

“Whether we are discussing the delivery of social services to vulnerable communities and promoting financial inclusion or we are talking about boosting agricultural productivity and promoting the security of our communities, how we harness technology is crucial.

“The future will be decided in groups such as yours, where young Nigerians are actively thinking about how to deploy technology in creative ways for problem-solving.”

Osinbajo said that such innovative ideas must be deployed in a manner that was inclusive and accessible to all Nigerians including the poor and vulnerable.

He said that recently, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center concluded its Climate LaunchPad, and some very innovative ideas were unveiled.

According to him, one of the innovator companies, New Digits, generates power from water.

“The product uses water and conformed solar cells to generate energy for electricity and cooking.

“It actually works by collecting water automatically from any piping channel in the house, breaks down the water into Hydrogen which is used to cook and to power the entire house without the need for batteries of any kind.”

The Vice President also cited PowerStove Energy, founded by three young Nigerians, Okey, Abdulazeez and Glory.

He said that the trio produced a low-cost, clean smokeless cookstove.

“PowerStove Energy is the first clean cookstove to be fitted with self-powered Internet of Things (IoT) cloud system to monitor in real-time, every day that cooking is done, the amount of Co2 that is used and biomass saved, black carbon prevented and total electricity generated.

“All of that is monitored in real-time every day.’’

Osinbajo pledged the support of the Federal Government to universities especially in enhancing their capacity for research and innovation.

He said that the Federal Government was prepared but the university needed to do more by being proactive in the links with industry.

“Industry, as you know, is interested in commerce. If it will make profit and money, industry is interested.

“I think that a lot of the innovations we are seeing are certainly profitable and can be lucrative. But where government can come in is where there are needs for additional support to make the research easier or cheaper for the public to access.

“So, I certainly look forward to the cooperation between the Federal Government and the University of Nigeria.

“In education too, Covid-19 has showed us just how adaptive we can be and there are a number of ed-tech firms such as uLesson, where students can take lessons and tests on an app.

“If scaled, this could revolutionise how we approach challenges with access to education.’’

He said that the Federal Government had started the Students Innovation Challenge for all universities in Nigeria.

“We came as far as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; there is a hub called the Genesis Hub where the competition took place for the South East.

“Three winners emerged from the University of Nsukka; and each of them got N1 million, and there were 25 of them that emerged winners at the competition.

“The Innovation Challenge is our commitment; we are committed to ensuring that innovation is done on a continuous basis,” he said.

Earlier in his remark, the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, said the university had prioritised the deployment of technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Other participants at the conference included former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Eze-Okafor, among others.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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General news

World Peace Day: NGO organises arts exhibition to promote peace, peaceful co-existence



The Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, a Jos-based Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), has organised an arts exhibition in some communities to mark the 2020 World Peace Day.

DREP Programme Manager, Mr Chris Ogbonna, said at the event that the initiative was to promote peace and peaceful coexistence in communities in a unique way.

“We want to see how we can use art to promote peace by deviating from regular meetings and dialogue sessions.

“The idea is to use people with different skills such as arts to engage communities with their works.

“We are using the World Peace Day to unveil these kinds of arts exhibition and promote peace,” Ogbonna said.

He said that the arts exhibitions would take place in six communities in Plateau in the next six days.

He also stated that the idea of the exhibition was to see how to impart artistic knowledge into young people.

According to the programme manager, if the youths channel their energies into gainful ventures, they will have less time for vices.

He said the group had been giving grant to artists every year to encourage them in telling the story of peace.

Dr Jacob Onoja, a lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Jos, one of the exhibitors, said that he engaged in arts that dealt with peace in communities.

Onoja said that going into the area of peace, conflict and dialogue he had seen the devastation in communities and that the devastated family members had suffered as a result of crises.

“The best way I can express it is that, in the quietness of the studio, tell the story by inscripting words in symbolic forms.

“When people relate with works of arts, you see the reactions it will elicit.

“The stories that are crafted into my works are stories of peace which if every community  imbibes, they will help to propagate peace,” he said.

Mrs Becky Soemlat of Plateau Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, lauded DREP’s initiative of promoting peace through arts.

Soemlat described the exhibition as a welcome development that would tell the story of how peace would be achieved.

She said that the ministry had been partnering with  artists to see how they could project the peace in the state.

Alhaji Salisu Hassan, Nasarawa Filin Ball Community leader, where the exhibition was held, urged DREP and the exhibitors to mentor youths in arts.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
Source: NAN
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