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Middle belt, Kaduna group allege conspiracy over Mailafia’s death

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The Middle Belt Forum and Southern Kaduna Peoples Union have alleged a foul play in the death on Sunday of former activist and former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.

They therefore called for an investigation into his death.

He was said to have been denied a proper medical attention in two hospitals, where he was rushed to after taking ill.

The MBF, in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Isuwa Dogo, alleged that the lackadaisical attitude of medical personnel was responsible largely responsible for the untimely death of Mailafia.

The statement read in part, “The death of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja, this morning came to us as a great shock.

“As someone who relentlessly participated in the activities of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), his untimely death has dealt  a deadly blow on ethnic nationalities of not only the Middle Belt but the country at large.

“Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the Forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.

“On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021 where he was shabbily treated. It took the intervention of a senior medic who immediately placed him on oxygen and admitted him.

“Dr Mailafia’s was later given the option of choosing three hospitals: Gwagwalada Hospital, National Hospital and EHA Clinics. The wife opted for the third choice. On arrival at the EHA Clinics, the wife was subjected to yet another moment of anxiety as it took a direct order from the top management of the hospital to accept him.

“After few hours of treatment, the EHA Clinics told the wife that it was expedient to transfer the former CBN Deputy Governor to Gwagwalada as the clinic was not fully equipped to handle the case.

“The wife opposed the decision and insisted that she was opposed to the idea of taking her husband to Gwagwalada. Mailafia’s wife only succumbed when the consultant assured her that nothing bad will happen to her husband.

“Yesterday, Saturday September 18, 2021, Dr Obadiah was transferred to Gwagwalada. On arrival, the name of the doctor that was billed to attend to Dr Mailafia was not on duty. Even when an attempt was made by foreign health consultants to save the situation, the doctor on duty got angry and said he was not obligated to listen to any foreign consultants that had been brought into the matter with the sole purpose of ensuring nothing  goes wrong.

“Wife of the former CBN Deputy Governor was asked to pay the sum of N600’000 as deposit even when it was a referral case, with accruing medical bill to be settled by the CBN. At a point, Dr Mailafia complained over his breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors to place him in a ventilator. The doctors flatly refused.

“Even after the doctors declared Dr Mailafia dead, foreign consultants who were brought into the matter through Dr Mailafia’s son that is  living abroad, had directed a family member who is a medical professional, with the wife of the CBN Deputy Governor, to mount pressure on the chest of Dr.  Mailafia for  resuscitation and thereafter place him on a life support.

“The doctors in Gwagwalada refused all entreaties by the family members of Dr Mailafia to follow the advice of the foreign consultants, insisting that they have already pronounced him dead.

“Even when the wife could feel the pulse of her husband, the doctor flatly declared there was nothing they could do since they had already pronounced him dead.

“While the above narration sums up the circumstances under which Dr Mailafia died,  we still  await the result of the actual cause of his death. As a nationalist and patriot that he was, Dr. Mailafia  was completely dedicated to the emancipation of ethnic nationalities from the clutches of oppression.

“The economist was never afraid to speak truth to power just as he remained committed to the enthronement of justice and equity to all citizens across ethnic and religious divides.

“In the twilight of his life, this consummate technocrat and global scholar of repute beamed his searchlight on the raging insecurity ravaging our country. He expressed regrets over government’s incapacity to rein in the activities of insurgents and criminal groups terrorising the nation.

“As a former presidential candidate in the 2019 poll, Dr Mailafia sought to deploy politics to bring about the dream he had for his country. Even after he lost the election, he never let down the bar in demanding for a fair treatment for all Nigerians.

“The Forum recalls his patriotic zeal in standing up for truth and justice. He was never a letdown in being at the forefront of  showing the way for national greatness as he was willing to lay down his life for Nigeria.

“The Forum is inspired by his altruistic disposition and contributions to national development. We remain proud of his footprints on the political, economic and social sands of our nation.

“In this period of grief, we extend our sympathy to his immediate family members and pray to the Almighty God to grant each and everyone of them the fortitude to bear the pain of this irreparable loss.

“The death of Dr Mailafia today represents a dark day for not only the Middle Belt but also for all citizens who yearn for a new dawn for justice in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, described Mailafia’s death as a huge loss to Nigeria.

He said the union suspected foul play in his death and demanded a “thorough independent forensic analysis” to determine the cause.

The statement read, “The death of Dr. Mailafiya is a sad, huge lose not only to Southern Kaduna and Nigeria, but to the global community.

“The kinds of Mailafiya are not common to find in any generation. He was not only one who loved Southern Kaduna, the Middle Belt and all other suppressed persons in Nigeria, he was a global citizen.

“He was so accomplished in his field that his services were sought after world-wide as his biography reveals.

“Before his curious and sudden demise, Dr Mailafiya had been persistent in accusing ‘powerful persons’ in power of plotting to eliminate him permanently.

“In fact he had been in hiding when his harassment from the secret police became too persistent.

“A select officials had visited him sometimes last year at his abode where a friendly governor had given him a safe place to stay complete with security.

“For a person of interest to Nigerian government to arrive at a government hospital, just to be declared dead after a few hours, sure smacks of foul play.”

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Lai Mohammed insists no proof protesters were killed at Lekki tollgate

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is no proof that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos in October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest.

Some soldiers on October 20, 2020 were said to have opened fire on protesters in an attempt to disperse them allegedly leading to the death of many.

Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, described the 2020 event at the tollgate as a “phantom massacre”.

“Today marks the first anniversary of the phantom massacre at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, which was the culmination of an otherwise peaceful protest that was later hijacked by hoodlums,” the minister said.

The minister also said, “At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the tollgate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies.

“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”

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Adebanjo leads Afenifere chieftains on visit to Tinubu

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Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has led other chieftains of the body on a visit to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his home in Lagos.

Others on the visit are Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo, and retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini.

The visit came a few days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom where he underwent knee surgery.

The Punch reported that the last time Tinubu and Adebanjo met was in April when the former Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, died.

Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had told PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, that the reason why Tinubu had been silent on the herdsmen crisis was that he felt President Muhammadu Buhari would make him his successor.

In another interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they were both deceiving each other.

He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”

Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.

 

He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”

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COVID-19

Kaduna gives civil servants 12-day ultimatum on COVID vaccine

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The Kaduna State Government has given all civil servants in the state 12 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be barred from office.

The ultimatum was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman for the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

According to him, all civil servants are expected to be vaccinated by October 31, after which they would be denied entry into government offices if they failed to comply with the directive.

“The Kaduna State Government will from 31st October 2021 require compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially facemasks and vaccination, for access to its offices,” the statement said.

“The Ministry of Health has since commenced the vaccination of all civil servants, and this is expected to be completed by 31st October 2021. All civil servants are required to be vaccinated by that date.

“Visitors to government offices will need to present their vaccination cards. Given the limited supply of vaccines that are currently available, visitors that have not yet been vaccinated will, in the interim, be permitted entry upon presentation of evidence of registration with the state Ministry of Health for the purpose of vaccination, while wearing their facemasks.”

Adekeye said the decision was taken following a review by the Kaduna COVID-19 task force, and urged residents to ensure strict adherence to the protocol for preventing the spread of infections.

According to the statement, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna commissioner for health, has also asked residents to register at the nearest primary health centres for vaccination “so that the relevant authorities can easily contact them as more Covid-19 vaccines become available”.

The development comes weeks after Edo began its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ campaign, which bars unvaccinated civil servants from entering government offices.

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