Category Archives: Politics

#Cancer Control: The task before the next President of Nigeria

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Laz Ude Eze

Dr Laz Ude Eze

Last year, I met Mgborie (not real name), a 27 year old lawyer battling breast cancer and soliciting for funding support. The cancer was already in a late stage (Stage 4) and she was scheduled for surgery and radiotherapy having completed chemotherapy. She was the first child with six siblings all of whom were in school and had lost both parents. The family looked forward to her graduation to enable her secure a job and support the training of her younger ones. Four years earlier, she found a lump in her breast and went to a hospital where it was surgically removed. The lump reappeared 2 years later and was found to be cancerous. She battled the disease with hope of survival and lost the battle last year. If she was not living in Nigeria, she would have probably won the battle and still be alive. “Why”, you may ask, please find out in the subsequent paragraphs of this article.

Cancer is a disease which abnormal cells of the body divide uncontrollably and destroys the body tissue or organ. It may affect virtually every part of the body except the hair and nails. It is treatable and curable especially when detected early. According to the latest estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the global burden of cancer rose to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 cases are diagnosed annually and over 90% of them die from the disease, thereby putting us in an ignominious position of being the country with the highest number of cancer deaths globally.

In fact, Nigeria is plagued by a triple whammy – a high burden of communicable diseases, a rising burden of non-communicable diseases and persistently high incidence of road traffic injuries. The health system is very weak and unable to meet most of the health needs of the citizens. The funding for the health sector has remained very poor and continuously decreasing especially in the past six years. Yet, the rising burden of diseases is an indication for a substantial and sustainable increase in public funding for health care.

Each year on 4 February, the global community commemorates the World Cancer Day to enable every one of us across the world to show support to people fighting cancer, raise our collective voice against the disease, take personal action and press our governments to do more on cancer control. This year’s is not an exception as government and civil society organisations have lined up activities to commemorate the day. Coincidentally, Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect a new set of leaders at the national and sub-national levels. It provides an opportunity for citizens to elect candidates with demonstrable commitment to prioritise health and improve access to qualitative screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Nigeria.

The essential ingredients required for cancer control are cancer awareness and early detection with prompt and effective treatment. To improve knowledge and understanding of cancer prevention practices, consistent public awareness must be created using multiple mass media platforms and inter-personal communication models. To prevent cancer, healthy diets, regular exercise and HPV & HBV vaccination must be promoted and made available and accessible to everyone who needs it. To detect cancer early, there must be a screening program for common cancers like breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer. For this to be successful there must be citizens’ awareness and education, available of a well-motivated skilled manpower and equipment and equitable distribution of both across the country. When cancer is detected, immediate commencement of qualitative treatment is required. For treatment to be qualitative, it must be done by a team of experts including oncologists, nutritionists, radiologists, clinical psychologists, etc; in a timely manner using well-maintained modern equipment and facilities. Do we have all these in Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine.

Please permit me to quickly summarise the experience of most cancer patients in Nigeria. They usually present in late stages (more than 80%). The diagnostic tests are usually invasive and sometimes take months, delays caused by overcrowding of facilities, inability to pay for the tests or health workers strike. After confirmation of cancer diagnosis, the patient may go into the denial stage with utterances like “I reject it! It is not my portion!!” Many family members or friends would recommend a religious treatment centre for divine healing; others may recommend traditional medicine while a few may opt for orthodox medicine. While some who opted for miraculous or trado-medical healing may succeed, majority of them end up in hospitals in critical conditions.

More so, many of the people who went for the orthodox treatment option usually have gory tales arising from inability to pay out-of-pocket, long waiting time in health facilities, poor counseling services, rude behaviours of some care providers and frequent treatment interruptions caused by unavailability of some chemotherapy drugs, lack of or frequent breakdown of CT scan and radiotherapy machines, and health workers strike. The available treatment facilities are grossly inadequate. For example, the Pink Oak Cancer Trust paid for radiotherapy at the National Hospital Abuja for a cancer patient in November 2018 but she’s yet to be commenced on treatment due to a long queue of patients. There were only two functional radiotherapy centers in Nigeria in January 2019; more than 200 is needed for our population. Lobbying for treatment is at its peak. A patient told me she was going to the hospital every day by 7.00am and sometimes waited till 1.00am of the subsequent day in order to get treatment. “Horrific”, you may say but it’s only a tip of the iceberg.

Do you now realize why Mgborie died? Hers was a case of mismanagement. Had the doctor that removed her breast lump in 2014 done biopsy, the cancer might have been detected, treated and cured. When the lump recurred in 2016, the cancer had already spread to other parts of the body, prognosis poorer and a chance of survival was minimal.

How do we solve this problem? The approach to health care in Nigeria must shift from management of diseases to management of health. This is where the next set of political leaders has a big role to play. All levels of governance have a critical role to play in cancer control. The local government should be responsible for awareness creation and health education in communities. The state and federal government should work collaboratively to ensure availability and access to cancer screening services, well-motivated skilled manpower, chemotherapy drugs, equipment and maintenance of same and sustainable financing for cancer care.

According to Nigeria’s National Cancer Control Plan (2018-2022), an estimated sum of N97.3 billion is required to implement the plan. The next President must lead this effort by investing substantial public funds in cancer control and inspiring states and local government areas to do same. The office of the president is the most powerful office in the country and should be used to save the lives of the predominantly productive population that is being cut short by cancer. The next president should strengthen the six building blocks of the health system and create an enabling environment for a humongous private sector investment in health care including cancer control. Private sector investment can be encouraged through offer of tax incentives, loan facilities with low interest rates, health insurance coverage for cancer prevention and treatment services, and availability of uninterrupted power supply in such facilities. The governors should also replicate same in their respective states. Can the next President and Governors say this, “I am and I will” implement the above recommendations? In the efforts to beat cancer, everyone has a responsibility. I am and I will continue to play my part, what about you?

 

Dr Laz is a public health management expert, Producer of TalkHealth9ja and the Executive Director of the Pink Oak Cancer Trust – Nigeria’s 1st Cancer Treatment Fund. You may contact him through laz.eze@pinkoak.org. He tweets as @donlaz4u.

President @MBuhari appoints 18 #NewPermSecs

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Using the hashtag #NewPermSecs, the following names were announced via @NGRPresident and @GarbaShehu as newly approved appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The New Permanent Secretaries

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  1. Ayotunde Adesugba
  2. Alhaji Mahmoud Isa-Dutse
  3. Taiwo Abidogun
  4. Bukar Hassan
  5. Wakama Belema Asifieka
  6. Jalal Ahmad Arabi
  7. Sabiu Zakari
  8. Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi
  9. Aminu Nabegu
  10. Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele
  11. Alo Williams Nwankwo
  12. Shehu Ahmed
  13. Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu
  14. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa
  15. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa
  16. Bassey Apkanyung
  17. Louis Edozien
  18. Ugo Roy

Deployment of the Permanent Secretaries

  1. Dr. Shehu Ahmad     –        Fed. Min. of Agric & Rural Development
  2. Arch Sunday Echono   – . Fed. Min. of Communications
  3. Alh. Sabiu Zakari      –        Fed. Min. of Transportation
  4. Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba – Fed. Min. of Information & Culture
  5. Amb. Danjuma Sheni        – Fed. Min. of Defence
  6. Dr. Shade Yemi-Esan        –        Fed. Min. of Education
  7. Mrs. Fatima Mede             –       Budget & National Planning
  8. Alh. Mahmoud Isa Dutse – Fed. Min. of Finance
  9. Amb. Bulus Lolo      –        Fed. Min of Foreign Affairs
  10. Dr. Amina Shamaki         –        Fed. Min. of Health
  11. Mr. Aliyu Bisalla      -Fed. Min. of Industry, Trade & Investment
  12. Mr. Bassey Akpanyung    – Fed. Min. of Internal Affairs
  13. Mr. Taiwo Abidogun        – Fed. Ministry of Justice
  14. Dr. Habiba Lawal   –        Fed. Min. of Science & Tech.
  15. Dr. Clement Illoh    –        Fed. Min. of Labour & Productivity
  16. Dr. Jamila Shu’ara       –        Fed. Min of Petroleum Resources
  17. Mrs. Binta Bello                –        Fed. Min of Women Affairs
  18. Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye     –       Federal Capital Territory
  19. Mrs. Rabi Jimeta             –        Fed. Min. of Water Resources
  20. Dr. Bukar Hassan            –        Fed. Min of Environment
  21. Mrs. Wakama B. Asifieka – Fed. Min. of Niger Delta Affairs
  22. Mr. Istifanus Fuktur       –        Fed. Min. of Solid Minerals
  23. Mr. Christian Ohaa          –        Fed. Min of Youth & Sports
  24. Engr. A.G. Magaji            –        Fed. Min. of Works & Housing
  25. Mr. Louis Edozien – Fed. Min. of Power
  26. Mr. Jalal Arabi – State House
  27. Mr. Mohammed Bukar – General Services Office, OSGF
  28. Mr. Abbas Mohammed – Ecological Fund Office, OSGF
  29. Dr. Ugo Roy – Council Secretariat
  30. Mr. Aminu Nabegu – Special Services Office, OSGF
  31. Amb. Bamgbose Akindele – Political Affairs Office, OSGF
  32. Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo – Economic Affairs Office, OSGF
  33. Mrs. Obiageli Nwokedi – Special Duties Office, OSGF
  34. Mr. Innocent Ogbonnaya -Career Management Office, OHCSF
  35. Mr. S.K.Y. Adelakun – Common Services Office, OHCSF
  36. Mrs. N. Batagarawa – Service Policy & Strategies Office, OHCSF

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

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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 Advocates Want Immediate Assent to #VAPPbill

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

VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION BILL – A CALL FOR PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT

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!!

Signed:

Dr Laz Ude Eze

Team Lead, #Choice4Life Advocates

[Laz Ude Eze]: My Response to Oba Akiolu’s Threat to Ndigbo

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I’ve listened and watched the videos of the Oba of Lagos’ shameful speech to a group of Ndigbo in Lagos. I join thousands of young Nigerians across ethnic divide who have commendably risen to condemn in the strongest terms (with due respect to his stool) the threat of Oba Rilwan Akiolu against Ndigbo who may choose to vote for Jimi Agbaje.

The Oba belongs to the generation that institutionalized tribalism in the country and his outburst is a futile attempt to thwart the efforts of my generation to minimize or possibly eliminate it. Three of my classmates in Medical School (all Yorubas) are married to umuada Igbo, and some Igbos to Yoruba girls. This wasn’t common during Oba’s time. I only pity young people who reason like him in this respect.

I have robust friendship and deep respect for many Yorubas. They’re awesome and amazing people and I believe that the Oba’s damnable speech does not represent their opinion. As long as Nigeria remains one country, Ndigbo like other citizens will continue to go about their legitimate businesses + politics in any part of the country as they deem fit. To the parochial ones, travel more around the country and free yourself! My generation must do more to purge the country of the tribalism bug. God bless Nigeria.

April 7, 2015.

Addendum:
With the global outrage against the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Nigerian leaders should watch and not allow the country to descend to such level. No Nigerian should be considered as an immigrant in his/her own country and Lagos must not stain its name further in this regard.

[Nnabuchi Okike]: My Service Contract with Ndi Ohaozara East Constituency

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Hon. Okike

Hon. Nnabuchi Okike

About Myself
Date of Birth: 10th October, 1978
Place of Birth: Mgbom Okposi
Married To: Mrs Adannaya Okike

Educational Achievements
Mgbom Central School, Okposi; First School Leaving Certificate, 1990
Ada Secondary C.G School, Ada, Osun State; WASSCE, 1996
Osun State College of Technoloy, Esa-Oke; OND  & HND (Accountancy), 2000 & 2003 respectively
National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna;  PGD (Education), 2014

Professional Certifications
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by Institute of Public Accountants of Nig, 2007
Certified National Accountant (CNA) by College of Accountancy, Jos, 2014

Previous Political Posts Held and Key Achievements
Councilor, Okposi LGA (now defunct)
Served as Deputy Chief Whip 4 months. Attracted Sinking of 2 boreholes at Isinkwo and Okposi Achara
Management Committee Member, Okposi Development Centre.
Was in Charge of Education & Social Welfare for 5 yearsand achieved the following;

1. Facilitated creation of a new road linking Enuagu Okposi Achara to Isinkwo
2. Facilitated rehabilitation (grading + laterite) of Court Area – Obiagu Mgbom Road.
3. Influenced Construction of a culvert near Mgbom Central School to prevent destruction of a section of the road by erosion.
4. Provision of education support to at least 20 pupils of Mgbom Central School
5. Provision of Financial Assistance to Widows in Mgbom Okposi

Entrepreneurial  History
I was a street hawker for about 3 years. From the money I saved, I rented a shop and started selling electrical appliances. This I continued even after my tertiary education until I returned home to serve my people as Councilor. I’m currently the Chief Executive Officer of the NGGG Resources Nigeria Limited dealing in Oil and Gas, Block Industry, etc. The firm currently employs at least 10 persons from our constituency.

My Mission
To promote peace and unity among the good people of Ohaozara East Constituency and Ebonyi State; and harness available resources towards meeting the developmental needs of my constituency.

My Manifesto
Over the past 10 years, I have lived, served and done businesses within Ohaozara East Constituency. I have a very good understanding of the developmental challenges being faced by the people of Okposi and Ugwulangwu. My motivation to run for this office is to work with other stakeholders and contribute to the development of our area.
If you elect me as your legislator, I commit to doing at least the following;
• I shall execute my official duties in a transparent manner, work harmoniously with my colleagues and render accounts of stewardship to my constituents at least once in a year.
• I will ensure participation of all key stakeholders including traditional institutions and development unions within our constituency in projecting our developmental needs and seeking solutions to our collective problems.
• I will sponsor a bill at the State House of Assembly aimed at empowering youths on skills so as to significantly reduce the number of our constituents and other Ebonyians hawking on the streets of major cities in Nigeria.
• Partnering with the Development Centres and communities in our constituency, I will create a skill acquisition program for our youths to reduce unemployment.
• Promote the health and rights of my people, including qualitative and affordable medical services for the poor.
• Provide support to brilliant but indigent students to pursue their educational endeavors.
• Work assiduously to attract developmental projects to our constituency.

I will work with you! I will work for you!!

Vote Labour Party – ebe e sere mmadu!

Vote Labour Party – ebe e sere mmadu!

Courtesy: Hon. Nnabuchi Okike Campaign Team

[Laz Ude Eze] #NigeriaDecides: Do @PDPNigeria & @APCNigeria Want to Kill Off the Health Sector

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Within the past one year, government-owned hospitals in our dear country didn’t function optimally for a cumulative period of 5 months (July-Aug 2014; Nov 2014-Jan 2015). Many lives were lost to lack of access to health care services or mismanagement of cases by incompetent folks in some private hospitals (my uncle was victim). Some had to sell their valuables to be able to afford health care in private hospitals.

It’s election time. PDP hasn’t apologised to Nigerians and people adversely affected by the strikes (including me). They haven’t assured us with believable evidence that there won’t be a repeat between 2015 and 2019 if the party gets re-elected at the national level. Apart from setting up Yayale Ahmed Committee, the present/PDP administration has been unable to resolve the lingering health sector crisis over the past 5 years (for GEJ) and 16 years (for PDP).

In same vain, APC promised free health services for some categories of people, but hasn’t told us how they would solve the crisis in the health sector which has claimed many lives of innocent Nigerians. Or how would people be able to access good quality services with the current industrial disharmony between Drs and other health workers? Is the challenge not serious enough to be a key issue in this campaign? Could it be because APC-led Lagos State was unable to manage it well, when it purportedly sacked all Drs after weeks of strike in 2012? Or probably because APC Gov. Rauf Aregbesola is yet to pay salaries of health workers in Osun State since November 2014?

Why are Nigerians not asking pertinent questions in this regard? Why do GEJ and GMB supporters prefer to debate and fight daily over propaganda and conspiracy theories being propagated on regular intervals and focus less on the real issues that affect our lives? One of the greatest achievements of the present administration is the enactment of the National Health Act – the first policy framework that regulates practices in the health sector. Has any of the the leading parties (APC & PDP) shared with us their strategic implementation plan for this act if elected into the presidency or governorship positions? If no, would it be incorrect for one to believe that many politicians of both PDP and APC extractions, wittingly or unwittingly, are gradually killing the health sector?

Fellow Nigerians, some progress have been made in the health sector within the past two decades but we are still very far from where our health system deserve to be. Millions of people still die from highly preventable and curable health conditions like malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, child birth, etc. The work environment in hospitals has become too hostile and health workers no longer have job satisfaction.  Many are moving to non-clinical jobs while others leave the country to practice elsewhere. Let’s put more pressure on our government especially states and LGAs to lead efforts for sustainable investments in health, resolve the crisis in the sector and strengthen the health system. Those who think they may not be affected should know that not all medical emergencies will keep one alive till s/he gets to overseas for care. Or is it an offense if Nigeria becomes renowned for providing quality and accessible health services to the citizens and becomes a destination for medical tourism?

May God continue to bless our dear country, Nigeria.