Monthly Archives: May 2015

[#Nghlth15] 18 Promises! How President @MBuhari intends to Improve Health in #Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Earlier today, Muhammadu Buhari took oath of office to lead Nigeria for the second time. Below were the 18 promises President Buhari and his party – @APCNigeria made on how they intend to improve health in Nigeria during his tenure.

Prioritise the reduction of the infant mortality rate substantially; reduce maternal mortality rates to the levels acceptable by the World Health Organisation; reduce HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases drastically and improve life expectancy by an additional 10 years on average through our National Healthy Living program.

Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 through deliberate medication education as epitomize by nations such as Ghana. I will increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from the less than N10,000 currently).

Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019.

Invest in cutting edge technology such as telemedicine in all major health centers in the country through partnership programmes with communities and the private sector.

Provide free ante-natal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Boost the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals and make non adulterated drugs readily available.

Set an effective prosecution and punishment systems, for those importing or adulterating drugs in the country.

The enhancement of the Epidemiological Units / Centres for Disease Control to meet up with Global standards in containment of disease outbreaks, proper vaccine storage and research.

Create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists faces more dangers in the discharge of their investigative work, to educate Nigerians in their rights and responsibilities.

Provide universal basic health care with N500 annual contribution per family in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Immediately increase the proportion of Federal spending on healthcare from 5.5% to 10%, with the aim of bringing it to 15% by 2020

Build a network of local and mobile clinics providing free health services and drugs, with the aim of ensuring that no Nigerian lives further than 5km from a free clinic.

Improve life expectancy through a grassroots National Healthy Living Programmes

Implement the National Health Act 2014, which guarantees financial sustainability to the health sector and minimum basic health care for all and ban medical tourism by government officials.

Launch special programme to improve availability of water and sanitation.

Review occupational health laws and immediately commence enforcement of the provisions to reduce hazards in the work place.

Unveil a health sector review policy to ensure the efficient and effective management of our health systems

Mobilize the health workforce needed for the all round implementation of our primary health programmes for rural communities.


Credit to @BudgITng

Muhammadu Buhari is Nigeria’s President; His Inaugural Speech!

Inaugural speech by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari following his swearing-in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29th May, 2015

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.

I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.

I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted.  I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.

I thank all of you.

Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.

I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.

A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.

Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethenen should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.

I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.

At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.

In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.

Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.

Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.

For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.

Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.

However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.

My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.

The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.

This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.

Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.

Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.

The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.

No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.

Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.

Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar

There is a tide in the affairs of men which,

            taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

            Omitted, all the voyage of their life,

            Is bound in shallows and miseries.

We have an opportunity. Let us take it.

Thank you

Muhammadu Buhari

President Federal Republic of NIGERIA

and Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

Courtesy: Premium Times

[#Choice4Life]: Download the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015


Bullet Point Short History of #VAPPbill Sojourn at NASS

  • First introduced as Violence Against Women Bill at the National Assembly (House of Reps) on March 28, 2002; sponsored by Hon. Florence Eya
  • After 11 years, the bill having been harmonized with other related bill and renamed Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill; sponsored by Hon. Abike Dabiri was passed by the House of Representatives on 14th March, 2013.
  • Passed by the Senate on 5th May, 2015
  • Harmonized copy transmitted to the President on 21st May, 2015.
  • #Choice4Life Advocates released Press Statement on 24th May, 2015 calling for an immediate Presidential Assent on the bill.
  • The #VAPPbill was signed into law by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on 25th May, 2015.

To Download a copy of the #VAPP Act; click on #VAPPAct2015.

#Choice4Life Advocates Want Immediate Assent to #VAPPbill


#VAPPbill was assented to 24hrs after the release of this Press Statement.


A Press Statement by #Choice4Life Advocates – 24th May, 2015

After a thirteen-year sojourn at the National Assembly, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill was passed by the Senate on 5th May, 2015. It was earlier passed by the House of Representatives on 14th March, 2013. While the bill awaited legislative action, thousands of Nigerians fell victim to various forms of violence and many lost their lives. Now that the bill has been passed by both chambers of the national assembly, harmonized and transmitted to the president, we call on President Goodluck Jonathan to further pen his name in the history books by assenting to it immediately.

Sexual violence, a crime the VAPP bill seeks to address appears to be on the rise in recent times. Adolescents and youths, particularly young girls are the main victims of this form of violence. Unfortunately, 52% of victims do nothing about it (National Demographic Health Survey 2013) due to minimal support structure on ground. Domestic violence, female genital cutting, electoral violence, and many others have also caused tremendous damages in our national polity.

Troubled by the sufferings of these victims who hardly ever get justice or support, the #Choice4Life advocates, a group of young Nigerians from diverse ethno-religious and professional backgrounds joined the advocacy for the passage of VAPP bill into law. For the past 13 months that we led the #Choice4Life campaign via social media, television and radio, we observed a high acceptance of the bill by Nigerians.

We believe that it is a pleasant coincidence that the bill got passed at a time many girls and women who are victims of Boko Haram terror are being rescued from captivity in Sambisa Forest. They are victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence and will benefit greatly from the provisions of the bill when assented to.

The VAPP bill provides a robust legal framework needed for justice and rehabilitation of the rescued girls. It will also boost the confidence of the citizens in our country and will serve as a legal protection of citizens against all forms of violence regardless of sex, age, culture, tribe or religion.

We hereby salute the 7th National Assembly for passing this bill into law. We also commend well -meaning Nigerians, organizations and development partners who have championed the cause of this bill for the past 13 years.

By signing this historic bill, Mr President would have written his name in gold as one who gave life to a law that will protect millions of Nigerians particularly the women whom he cares so much about. #PGEJSignVAPPbill to save lives! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!


Dr Laz Ude Eze

Team Lead, #Choice4Life Advocates

Fuel Black marketers, Civil Defense Clash in Abuja


Saturday May 16: This morning, men of the Nigerian Security and  Civil Defense Corps descended on Fuel Black Marketers behind Conoil Filling Station, Area 1, Garki, Abuja The hunted resisted arrest and fought back. There was  pandemonium, sporadic gunshots and throwing of stones. Passers-by and motorists scampered for safety, babies were crying (and I was taking photos). Injuries were sustained on both sides. Unlucky marketers who got arrested were beaten up mercilessly.

Below are some photos I took.


How #Choice4Life Advocates Responded to the Passage of #VAPPbill by the Senate

Choice4Life Advocates

A cross-section of #Choice4Life Advocates

The number “13” signifies 2 major times during the sojourn of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill which was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, 5th May, 2015. #VAPPbill spent a total of 13 years at the National Assembly having been read for the first time on the floor of the House of Representatives on March 28, 2002. Also, it got passed on the 13th month since a team of Nigerian youths known as #Choice4Life Advocates resolved to use social media to advocate for the passage of the bill. 32 persons started the group on April 3, 2014; the number increased to 42 in October and 54 in November 2014. The Team Lead of the group is Dr Laz Ude Eze (a public health physician) while Mr. Francis Anyaegbu (a youth development consultant) and BigMo of @WazobiaFMAbuja are Co-Leads.

This is how some of the advocates reacted to the news of the passage of #VAPPbill;


“Congratulations to everyone. This is a great news for us all. We should move to the next line of action immediately, which is to Lobby Mr President to Sign. ” – Olalekan Badmus @Weabless

“The #VAPPbill has been passed!!!! #Choice4Life we did it!!!” – Pharm. Mukhtar Ijaiya @Mukhtar_Dotun

“Congrats on the passage of the #VAPPbill! Great work! Well done. So what’s next? Presidential assent abi?” – @toluogunlesi

“Cooooorrrrrect!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ehen. Now the sense is made.” – Jeremiah Agenyi @JerryAgenyi

“#VAPPBill  Yaaay!” – Nze Sylva Ifedigbo @nzesylva

“Beautiful. Am so sure the president will sign it before leaving the office.” – Jennifer Amadi @AmadiJen

“VAPPBILL passed. Positive news. More ahead… #choice4life” – Franklin Uzor @franchl

“This is really great news. We should all be proud to have contributed, in every small way to this 🙂 And thank you to Ipas and partner organizations who have broken their backs for all these years pushing this. Posterity will remember you kindly! Now to Presidential assent & implementation” – Dr Chijioke Kaduru @dr_kaduru

“13th yr in NASS, 13th month of #Choice4Life Advocacy; & #VAPPbill got passed on my wife’s birthday!
I’m extremely excited!” – Dr Laz Ude Eze @donlaz4u

“This is great news. Well done all!” – @BukkyShonibare

#Choice4Life Advocates

#Choice4Life Advocates at Family Planning Conference 2014

“Yesssss!!! Together we made it. Unto the next one, staying positive of Mr President’s assent.Cheers team!” – Dr Hamid Adediran @doctalk01

“Best news today VAPP Bill Passed by the Senate” – Uche Chuta @nnabros

“Thanks to the Senate for passing the #VAPPBill, Dear PGEJ, Kindly sign it before you leave. Now the real work starts” – Blessing Timidi-Digha @SuperGirlTimidi
“This is wonderful news,kudos to the team!” – Chika Uneke @disisck
“Ths is awesome! I am glad our hashtag will change! Congrats to us all. This is great news I must say!” – @AyodejiOsowobi
“This is great! Well done, guys!” – Barr. Gabriel Okoro @Okoro212
“This is great news as this bill will cancel out the section in the penal code that violates womens rights!” – Dr Ugochi Nnaji @guchluv
“Congrats to everyone. I am glad to hear this, great news indeed. Next line of action, is for Mr. President to sign it. Once again, well done guys.” – Ayodele Taofiq-Fanida @AyodeleFanida
“Waoh! Awesome! ‎ This is great news. ‎Congrats everyone for this. I’m so elated!” – @FrancisAnyaegbu
“Wow!!!! This is great news. At long last, I guess the next step is to ensure the president sign it into law before the expiration of his tenure.” – Kamil Alebiosu @Al_Agowee
“#SenateThankYouForPassingTheVAPPBill e remain make Presido GEJ give am pass mark before May 29th.” – BigMoNaija

Follow the hashtag #Choice4Life for more reactions.