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IPOB gives reasons for proposing ban on cow meat in S’East

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From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rebuffed claims that its proposed ban on cow meat in the South East from April was a declaration of war against northerners.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, yesterday,  IPOB said the ban was only contemplated to avert incessant herders and farmers clashes in the region.

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On retaliation by the northern group, which has also proposed a ban on products sold by Igbo in the North, Powerful said: “We did not ban cow meats but those cows that are destroying our farms and those raping our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms. Biafrans can eat foreign cows not the ones that can bring Fulani terrorists in our territories.

“This threat by these misguided northern groups that called themselves Northern Coalition Group has further confirmed the belief that the atrocities of Fulani rapists herdsmen in Biafra and other parts of Nigeria are a common agenda of the North, particularly the Fulani and their terrorists disguised as herdsmen and cattle rearers in all parts of Nigeria and Biafra.

“How come these hypocrites never threatened Fulani herdsmen as they invade communities and kill farmers in Biafra land without any provocation?

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“Now that we have decided to boycott and ban cow meat and instruct our people not to eat beef, they now threatened us with war because they think we are vulnerable and weak. We are doing this so that we can have peace in our communities,” Powerful said.

Explaining further on reasons for the ban, Powerful said: “The northern coalition should have first questioned Fulani herdsmen on why they have sex with cows, film such abominable act by themselves and post the video to the world. What is the reason for such beastly behaviour? Who do they want to hypnotise?

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“The baseless claim by northern coalition group and Arewa youth groups that IPOB has declared war against the North cannot fly because they started it by destroying alcohol and hotels belonging to Igbo people in the North while it does not belong to the Fulani only.

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“IPOB is wise and knowledgeable enough to know what it means to declare war. We are, and remain a peaceful movement.

“We are only trying to safeguard Biafraland against further attacks and pollution by Fulani herdsmen. Nobody should misconstrue our honest action. Since the Federal Government and the compromised security agencies have failed to protect our communities against incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen using their cows as excuse, we want to severe everything about cows so we can have our peace. We must not eat cow meat again that comes from Fulani people. Let them export their cow meat to other countries in West Africa and other African countries.

“The Sharia Police (Hishba), destroyed and keeps destroying many businesses in the North, especially alcohol and hotels majority of which are owned by Igbo business men, and the hell has never been let loose in retaliation and these heartless beast in human forms are still collecting VAT from alcohol and hotels. Nigeria government did not say anything about that.

“What is more than a declaration of war by the Fulani than that? Has the Federal Government or any northern state government, at any time, said anything against this barbarity? How can northern coalition maintain criminal silence over such atrocity but cry foul and threaten Amagedom over simple ban on defiled animals that have been the excuse for unprovoked attacks and wanton destruction of lives and property of innocent Biafrans by Fulani herdsmen.

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“We want to encourage our people to be prepared for what is to come. Nobody should be taken unawares. Enough is enough.

“IPOB is ready to enforce this ban on cow meat. There are other alternatives to animal protein. We encourage our people to go into poultry farm, goat rearing and fish production. Nobody should dare violate this ban when it takes effect in April as doing so amounts to testing the will of the people,” Powerful said.

Nigeria Newspapers

UNICEF: $298m used to procure J&J COVID-19 vaccines

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From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, disclosed on Tuesday, that 298 million dollars was used by Nigerian government to procure 30 million doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

He stated that over 60 million COVID-19 vaccines, 40 million doses in 2021 and 20 million in 2022, have been received since February last year when vaccination against COVID-19 began in Nigeria.

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Hawkins who spoke at a joint press conference with the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, in Abuja, commended all stakeholders involved in the fight against COVID-19 for their efforts that heralded the success recorded so far, particularly in vaccination.

He specifically commended the NPHCDA and Federal Government for the fact that no death has been recorded as a result of COVID-19 vaccine, outside the mild reactions associated with immunization, an indication that the vaccine is safe for human use.

He confirmed that sufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses with longer life span have been procured, urging the unvaccinated to take advantage of the availability to get vaccinated and stand a chance against COVID-19.

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NPHCDA boss, Dr. Shuaib, in his remarks, disclosed that, as at Tuesday, January 25th, 2022; 14,093,873 eligible persons have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, while 5,252,406 eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated.

“However, these results are not evenly distributed across the states of the federation. Our performance records revealed that Nasarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Ogun and Kwara have remained the top five performing states on COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

“Jigawa and Lagos have, each, vaccinated about 1.5 million eligible population with the first dose, while FCT, Nasarawa, Lagos and Delta are leading on second dose administration with more than 10 per cent of eligible populations in each of the states already vaccinated.”

Dr. Faisal, however, further disclosed that daily COVID-19 vaccination has doubled, rising to 200, 000 doses per day from about 100,000 doses per day last year, expecting a better and improved recorded soon.

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The NPHCDA boss further confirmed plans to integrate the campaign against COVID-19 with childhood immunization and other Primary Health Care (PHC) services. “What it simply means is that alongside the COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines would also be available at COVID-19 vaccination sites.”

He, thus, advised parents and guardians with children aged zero to 23 months to take them along to the vaccination sites so they can get vaccines against polio, whooping cough, measles, yellow fever, tetanus, tuberculosis, and other childhood preventable diseases.

“This is to ensure that, while we are trying to control the transmission of COVID-19, we do not neglect other PHC services or even have outbreaks of childhood vaccine preventable diseases,” he said.

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Nigeria Newspapers

2.5m Kaduna residents to benefit from ANRiN nutrition, reproductive health services

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From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

About 2.5 million Kaduna state residents have been targeted to be provided with basic package of nutrition services and adolescent health services at community level under the World Bank-supported Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project, the Project Coordinator, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris said on Tuesday.

Muhammad-Idris who said this at the end of the quarterly stakeholders meeting of the ANRiN project added that the services would be provided by two non-state actors which are eHealth Africa and Society for Family Health (SFH).

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She reminded the attendees that ANRiN, a five-year World Bank-supported project was designed to increase the utilisation of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years.

According to her, the objective was to reduce chronic malnutrition, maternal and child mortality rates and in the long run, increase school completion, performance and improve labour force productivity.

She said that the two NSAs were contracted in 2021 to deliver the services to the target groups at the community level, adding that so far, the project has reached 895,724 in 2021.

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“Considering the outstanding performance of the two NSAs in 2021, I am confident that they will meet their targets which are expected to commence by June. We are happy with their performance so far. What we desire to see is for them to sustain the efforts and do better,” she said.

Project Director, eHealth Africa ANRiN Project, Dr Aminu Abubakar promised that eHealth would reach 556,749 beneficiaries in 12 local government areas between June 2022 and June 2023 saying the providers were being sourced from the communities where services were provided to strengthen acceptability and community ownership.

He said “We have employed two visually inspired persons who are providing services in their communities, and they are doing very well. We plan to recruit 24 more, two each from our 12 local government coverage areas.

“Out of the 556,74 targets, 104,187 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and provided deworming tablets to 138,502 children 12 to 59 months.

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“131,036 children from six to 59 months would be provided with Vitamin A supplementation, while 51,805 children and their mothers would be provided with Zinc/ORS for diarrhoea”.

The project director also said that micronutrient powder would be provided to 53,473 children, six to 23 months with counselling and IFA supplement tablets with counselling to 32,640 pregnant women.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 29,737 pregnant women and modern contraceptive services with counselling to 15,369 women and adolescent girls,” Abubakar said.

On his part, Project Director, SFH ANRiN Project Ibrahim Mohammed said that SFH had a target of providing services to 1.92 million beneficiaries in 13 local government areas.

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Mohammed said that of the 1.92 million targets, 360,784 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, while deworming tablets would be provided to 481,755 children.

He said that 455,786 children would receive Vitamin A supplementation and 180,194 children would receive Zinc/ORS for diarrhoea ea, while their mothers counselled.

“Also, 185,839 will be provided with micronutrient powder six to 23 months with counselling, while 113,024 pregnant women will receive IFA supplement tablets with counselling.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 102,978 pregnant women while contraceptive services will be provided to 39,548 women and adolescents,” he said.

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