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Makinde takes booster dose, flags off mass vaccination for

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From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, flagged off mass vaccination for 2,136,000 residents against COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor took the booster dose during the flag off ceremony at Aleshinloye Market, Ibadan. It was administered on him by the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Muideen Olatunji.

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The flag off ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan; House of Assembly Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin; and other top government functionaries, including Commissioner for Health, Bode Ladipo, as well as development partners, including World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N) and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

Olubadan of Ibadanland, Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, was represented by the Ekefa Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi. The roll call also included the Chairman, Ibadan South West Local Government, Akande Kehinde, as well as market leaders in the state.

Makinde, who commended the development partners, especially WHO and UNICEF, for donating the vaccines free to the state, assured the vaccines would also be given to people from 18 years and above.

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He urged religious and traditional rulers to key into the mass vaccination exercise and the message to the followers and subjects towards curtailment, containment and prevention of COVID-19 in the state.

The governor said it was two years that the first case of COVID-19 was discovered, adding that people had thought the virus would go away within three months, before the reality dawned on them that the virus would still be with the world for some time.

Makinde described the mass vaccination exercise as another logical step taken by his administration to prevent the spread of the virus. He urged residents of the 33 local government areas of the state to take the advantage so that they could get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The governor, who noted that in the previous vaccination exercises, only six percent of the population of the state had been vaccinated, as alluded to by the Commissioner for Health,Bode Ladipo.

He said the percentage would be jerked up astronomically with the mass vaccination exercise.

Nigeria Newspapers

Sen. Bent drags estranged wife of Fani-Kayode to court

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By Wandoo Sombo

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Senator Grace Bent has dragged Precious Chikwendu, estranged wife of former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode to the Federal High Court, Abuja over alleged defamation of character.

However, when the matter was called on Monday, Chikwendu was absent in court and there was no legal representation on her behalf.

Mr Joseph Offor who announced his appearance for the prosecution said that he was holding the brief of Mr. Victor Okoye who was away in Lagos.

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Offor told the court that he had little information about the case and so could not explain why Chikwendu and her legal team were absent in court.

The trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu subsequently adjourned the matter until March 10 for arraignment.

Chikwendu, an ex-beauty queen, had through her social media handle, accused Bent of using the police to intimidate her with regards to the feud between her and Fani-Kayode.

Bent, who is a close friend and longtime political associate of Fani-Kayode, however, debunked the allegations.

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She described it as a “very weighty” one that carries “assassination tendencies and intendment.”

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NDLEA sets up task force to dismantle cartel behind Mkpuru Mmiri

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2853ecb5 1720311 ndlea boss buba marwa

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has set up a special task force working across the country to track and dismantle drug cartels behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri, being abused by youths in parts of the country.

Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), disclosed this while addressing journalists at a press briefing at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja, held to mark his first anniversary in charge of the Agency, on Monday.

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According to a statement by NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi, Marwa challenged communities across Nigeria to take ownership of the war against drug abuse as those in South-East states are doing by standing up to those engaging in abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs.

Marwa was quoted as saying, “If you look at the preponderance of the dealers in drugs, I’m not saying anything new but the South-East has the predominance and that’s a fact. Who are the Boko Haram people? I know they are not Yoruba and I know they are not people from Edo, but if you go to the North-West and ask who are the bandits, I know they are not from Cross River or from Lagos. If you ask the people doing the human trafficking, the women, you know from where. So definitely, we have the preponderance of the drug dealers from the South-East, but what more do you have; the greatest efforts by communities to rid the country and their communities of drug use are from the South-East. Clearly, in the same South-East, they are doing two things; first, they are telling their fellow travellers who are not decent that look you are the very few who are spoiling our names here. Stop it!

“And more importantly, they are ridding their communities of drug abuse, they have taken the ownership of the war themselves against drug abuse especially the Mkpuru Mmiri. By the way, we have set up a special task force to face that challenge and very soon you would hear and see the results of our efforts.

“In essence, what I am saying is that I am now taking the South-East as an example for all the other communities in Nigeria. This war has to start from the bottom, from the communities; set up your War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, Committees. In every community, you are the ones who know those patent medicine stores that sell drugs, the mai shayi, those at the corner ends of the streets who sell and hawk drugs, you know the traffickers and you know those who use them. Take this war to your communities because you know these people, cleanse your communities, and take ownership of this war and the NDLEA will always be there to back you up. However, the NDLEA does not and will not support the flogging of the culprits and some of the other human rights abuses. We will be there to support you with counselling and treatments. And I urge the entire country to take an example of the ownership of the war against drug abuse from the South East.”

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Marwa attributed the successes recorded in the drug war in the past year to God, support of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), National Assembly, Minister of Justice and other stakeholders including international partners such as UNODC, EU, and foreign governments as well as local CSOs and NGOs.

He listed the arrest of 12, 306 suspects, including seven drug barons; conviction of 1, 400 offenders; seizure of over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs; drugs and cash worth over N130 billion and the counselling and rehabilitation of 7, 761 drug users as some of the achievements recorded in 2021 in the area of operation.

While promising to build on the foundation laid in 2021, Marwa said the Agency under his leadership now has a clear roadmap to the future.

He said, “The Agency has come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. We have a clear vision of where we are headed, and there is a roadmap to that destination. Today, the improvement in our fortune as an organisation is driving the NDLEA workforce to continue to push for the attainment of organisational goals and fulfilment of our core mandate of securing our country against the drug scourge. We all believe in the vision of the new NDLEA and we are committed to its mission. Our mandate is to ensure a drug-free Nigeria. We shall continue to play our role towards the achievement of that goal.”

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