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Job hazards: Two million workers die in one year, says WHO/ILO

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Work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016, according to the first joint estimates from the World Health Organisation and International Labour Organization, ILO.

The WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury, 2000-2016: Global Monitoring Report, the majority of work-related deaths were due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Non-communicable diseases accounted for 81 per cent of the deaths. The greatest causes of deaths were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (450,000 deaths); stroke (400,000 deaths) and ischaemic heart disease (350,000 deaths). Occupational injuries caused 19 per cent of deaths (360,000 deaths).

The study considers 19 occupational risk factors, including exposure to long working hours and workplace exposure to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens, ergonomic risk factors, and noise. The key risk was exposure to long working hours – linked to approximately 750,000 deaths. Workplace exposure to air pollution (particulate matter, gases and fumes) was responsible for 450,000 deaths.

The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs. Our report is a wake-up call to countries and businesses to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honouring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational health and safety services.”

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said, “These estimates provide important information on the work-related burden of disease, and this information can help to shape policies and practices to create healthier and safer workplaces,.”

“Governments, employers and workers can all take actions to reduce exposure to risk factors at the workplace. Risk factors can also be reduced or eliminated through changes in work patterns and systems. As a last resort personal protective equipment can also help to protect workers whose jobs mean they cannot avoid exposure.”

Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO, Dr Maria Neira, said, “These almost two million premature deaths are preventable. Action needs to be taken based on the research available to target the evolving nature of work-related health threats.

“Ensuring health and safety among workers is a shared responsibility of the health and labour sector, as is leaving no workers behind in this regard. In the spirit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, health and labour must work together, hand in hand, to ensure that this large disease burden is eliminated.”

 

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Blasphemy: Again, Abduljabbar asks lawyers to take back seat, moves to defend self

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There was a mild drama at the Upper Shari’a Court in Kano, on Thursday, when controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasir Kabara, insisted on defending himself in the ongoing blasphemy case.

When he was arraigned in court last month, the cleric had tackled his lawyers. forcing them to withdraw from the case.

On Thursday, the cleric, who was charged with blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed, an offence punishable with death, told the court that he does not have confidence in his lawyers defending him well as they have not mastered Islam.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecution counsel, Professor Saida Suraj (SAN), presented the second prosecution witness, one Murtala Kabir Muhammad, a teacher and resident of Kofar Na’isa Lokon Makera, who said he was one of the students of Abduljabbar.

However, when it was time for the cross-examination of the witness, the defense counsel, Barrister Muhamamd Amin Kabir, applied to the court that the defendant be allowed to cross examine the witness himself, citing section 36(6d) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

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But in his ruling, the presiding judge, Ibrahim Sarkin-Yola, held that the defence had the option of choosing either the defendant to handle his case alone or his lawyers defend him, but that both of them cannot continue together.

Immediately, the cleric chose to defend himself but his lawyers also insisted on remaining in the case till the end.

The prosecution counsel, however, said though they have no objection for the cleric to do the cross-examination, it was their duty to state that since the case is capital in nature, it cannot go on without defense lawyers.

Upon taking all the arguments, the judge, thereafter, adjourned the case to 11th November, 2021.

Earlier, the witness Murtala Kabir Muhammad told the court that he heard Abduljabbar at different times saying bad things about Prophet Muhammad.

According to the witness, on August 10, 2019, he was in Asshabulkhahfi mosque at Gwale Filin Mushe where Abduljabbar used to teach his students and heard the cleric made a blasphemous speech regarding the marriage between the Prophet Muhammad and his wife, Nana Safiyya.

The witness also testified to the court that on December 20, 2019, he heard Abdulljabbar talking badly about the Prophet.

Daily Trust

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Army kills over 189 bandits, terrorists in two weeks

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Over 189 bandits and terrorists were killed by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the various states in the North between October 15 and 28, 2021.

A breakdown of the figure shows that more than 118 terrorists were killed while over 71 bandits were neutralised by the military at different operations during the said period.

Also, within this period, no fewer than 50 bandits were arrested, while 27 kidnapped victims were rescued.

Addressing journalists during a briefing on military operations in the last two weeks on Thursday in Abuja, the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Benard Onyeuko, also disclosed that a total of 1,199 terrorists and their families, comprising 114 adult males, 312 adult females and 773 children surrendered to troops.

He had at the last briefing said a total of 13243 terrorists had surrendered, this brings the total number of surrendered terrorists to 14,442.

Onyeuko said, “In the course of the operations within the period, a total of 38 terrorist elements were neutralized, including the ISWAP’s new leader, Bako. Also, a total of 11 criminal elements including terrorists and their informants and their logistics suppliers were arrested in the course of these operations.

“Significantly, on 20 October 2021, the Air Component scored another devastating hit on BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements at Malam Fatori on the fringes of Lake Chad.

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“This feat was achieved on the heels of credible intelligence reports and after a series of aerial surveillance, which confirmed the convergence of terrorist elements in 20 boats at the location.

“Consequently, airstrikes were executed on the target with various NAF platforms, which led to the destruction of the boats and neutralization of scores of the terrorists, while few of them fled in disarray with varying degrees of wounds.

“Similarly, on 21 October 2021, following a report of ISWAP elements’ attack on troops at Katarko area in Yobe State, the Air Component engaged the terrorists in successive airstrikes and neutralized scores of them.

“Additionally, a total of 29 assorted weapons, 166 rounds of assorted ammunition, among other items were recovered. Others are; 2 gun trucks and 622 bags of fertilizer, used for the production of IEDs; while 5 kidnapped civilians were rescued.

“Some of these feats were recorded at; Dar, Kumshe, Wulgo, Chabbol and Kijmatari villages in Borno State as well as locations along Ngala – Wulgo and Nguru – Kano roads. Other locations were; Dikwa and Mafa villages as well as Ngama village in Yobe State.

“Furthermore, between 15 and 28 October 2021, a total of 1,199 terrorists and their families, comprising 114 adult males, 312 adult females, and 773 children, surrendered to troops at different locations in the North East.

“Also, no fewer than 12 armed bandits were neutralized, 11 AK-47 rifles, 64 rounds of ammunition, 24 livestock among other items were recovered in the course of these operations.

“Additionally, Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships neutralized no fewer than 50 armed bandits at Saulawa – Farin Ruwa axis in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State.

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Zamfara bandits conduct house-to-house raid, kill seven, steal 1,500 cows

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Bandits have invaded Yanbuki village in the Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing seven people and stealing 1,5000 cows and sheep.

An indigene of the village, Garba Musa, told our correspondent that the bandits stormed the village on Tuesday night, shooting indiscriminately.

Musa said, “Immediately they arrived, they opened fire on anyone they could see. Everybody ran helter-skelter to protect themselves.

“They later moved from house to house, searching for foodstuffs and animals and also broke many shops.

“They also rustled over 1,500 domestic animals like cows, sheep and goats.”

He added that after the bandits left the village, the residents came out from hiding and discovered that seven people had been shot dead, while others sustained injuries.

“We have buried the seven people, but the number of casualties could be more than this because some people ran to the bush and have yet to be seen.”

The spokesperson for police in the state, SP Mohammed Shehu, confirmed the attack.

He added, “The Commissioner of Police has already deployed enough police personnel in the area in order to restore peace.”

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