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Strange disease kills 50 in Kogi community

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An outbreak of epidemic disease has claimed over 50 lives in a community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Those struck by the disease, which has not been properly diagnosed, reportedly exhibited symptoms such as headache, red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate and convulsion.

The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Ujah Alewo, in a motion of urgent public importance presented on Tuesday at the plenary of the state House of Assembly expressed concern about the delay in combating the disease.

He added that the epidemic had caused panic among residents of Etteh community in the local government area as they did not know the cause of the disease killing those infected within one week of contracting it.

He said, “More worrisome, all efforts to seek a solution, using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighbouring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro respectively, were not successful.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people within the economic and productive age of 25 to 40 years died from September to date, thereby stalling agricultural, social and economic activities, which directly affect the food security of the agrarian and artisan Etteh people.”

He prayed that the house should mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and property to the people of Etteh community.

Alewo urged the legislature to appeal to the state government to send palliatives to the affected areas.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, in his submission, said since the community shares boundary with Enugu State, there was a need for an urgent action to avert further loss of lives.

He suggested an additional prayer that the state government should build a hospital in the community to avert a future epidemic.

The Speaker, Matthew Kolawole, said the House should write to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for support.

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APC vows to sanction members who hold parallel congresses

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Ahead of its congresses scheduled for Saturday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned its members not to participate in any activity that will cast the party in a bad light.

In a notice addressed to members seen by TheCable on Friday, John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee, said the party will invoke the necessary disciplinary measures on those who hold parallel congresses.

 

Akpanudoedehe also reminded party members of the national executive committee (NEC) resolution which directed members not to take the party to court unless it has exhausted “the internal mechanism for conflict resolution, as enshrined in the party’s constitution”.

 

“All activities that may be carried out by persons to put the party and its officers in bad light before, during and after the congresses should be jettisoned,” he said.

“All activities or processes leading up to the congresses and thereafter which do not have the approval of the CECPC are exercises in futility. This is to say that: any purported parallel congress, parallel party organ and or parallel party office, is to say the least a nullity.

 

“These divisive activities will not be tolerated.

 

“For the avoidance of doubt, the party shall deploy the full weight of the law as stipulated in section 21 (D) of our party’s Constitution on anyone who perpetrates such unlawful Act (s) and also on their sponsors.

“All persons who are affected by Article 31 of our constitution should apply for waivers as stipulated under sub. Section 3 of the said article 31, this is also clearly spelt out in the ‘Special provisions’ of our guidelines.”

 

Party members like Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, had called for the suspension of the congresses following the supreme court verdict on the Ondo gubernatorial poll.

 

Keyamo had asked the party to sack Buni and anyone holding any executive position on the committee and immediately suspend the planned congresses.

 

He said this is to avoid legal battles since the competence of Buni to hold the position as chairman has been questioned by the supreme court.

 

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Widow, mother of Super TV CEO give emotional speeches at his funeral

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‏Brenda Ataga, widow of slain Super TV CEO, said she and her daughters were looking forward to spending some time with him when they learnt of his death.

 

Ataga was murdered a few days to his 50th birthday while his corpse was found in an apartment he checked into with Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level student of the University of Lagos.

Brenda said although different thoughts raced through her mind when he went missing, the last thing she thought of was his death.

 

“Finding out of your demise was the worst news imaginable. My mind had raced through all the possibilities of where you were and what could have happened but death, death wasn’t an option.”

“The girls and I were looking forward to seeing you, to celebrate your milestone. I had imagined how surprised you would be when you walked in to see a place set up for you.

“I had imagined the infectious smile. Now I’m yet to comprehend the stark reality that your life was cut short in your prime, at a renaissance of all you had toiled for. I’m lost for words,” she said.

 

The deceased’s mother, Sylvia Ataga, said her son did not deserve to die the way he did.

 

“God knows he did not deserve what those people did to him. My heart bleeds to him anytime I remember.”

“He was generous to a fault. It took death for me to know how loved he was. He has been robbed of the joy of seeing a project he spent seven years working on.

 

“He has been denied the joy of seeing his children grow up, go to the university, get married and make him a grandfather. These are the wishes of every parent.

 

“His love for his children cannot be quantified. No way! He would either hop on the next plane or send me funds to go and see the doctor. And monitor me for days. My pain is that I could not monitor him in his last days.”

 

During the funeral service, which held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan, the officiating priest, described the deceased as a focused man who achieved many things.

 

He said Ataga was a man of many parts that meant many things to different people.

 

“He was a man with enemies, his manner of death is a testimony to that. It is a duty for those in authorities to do the right thing by finding those who brutally murdered him.”

 

“Who can imagine what Usifo went through in the hands of those who tortured him? We should be mindful of what we say on social media. Please spare the family of the good name. Our common humanity demands that from us,” he said.

 

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FG Not Aware Of $875m Arms Deal With US – Lai

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The Federal Government says it is not aware of any $875 million ammunition deal with the US.

 

Daily Trust had reported how Foreign Policy highlighted the action of US lawmakers on the proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military.

Reuters had quoted three sources as saying the deal was blocked over concerns about possible human rights abuses by the Federal Government.

 

But speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the reports as “fake news”.

 

The minister said there was no contract of such nature between Nigeria and the US.

“There is no contract of arms between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States of America today apart from the 12 Super Tucano Attack Helicopters of which six had been delivered.”

 

“We are quite satisfied with the progress and cooperation that we received from the government of the US on this issue.

 

“As a matter of fact, six of the Tucano helicopter will be launched on August 3, this year.

 

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