President Tinubu Seeks Senate Support For Military Intervention In Niger; Elevator Tragedy: Medical Guild Reveals Installation Was Done by Unqualified Contractor | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • President Tinubu Seeks Senate Support For Military Intervention In Niger
  • Elevator Tragedy: Medical Guild Reveals Installation Was Done by Unqualified Contractor
  • FG Orders Immediate Closure of Borders with Niger Republic
  • Peter Obi Laments GSK’s Exit from Nigeria After 51 Years
  • Akpabio Shares Heartbreaking Story of Losing Grandchild to Medical Neglect

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

President Tinubu Seeks Senate Support For Military Intervention In Niger

In a significant development on Friday, President Bola Tinubu submitted a letter to the Senate, apprising them of the decisions made by the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) concerning the political situation in neighboring Niger Republic. The letter also sought the Senate’s support for ECOWAS’s approach, which includes the possibility of military intervention to reinstate democracy in the country.

The crisis in Niger Republic unfolded on July 26 when President Mohamed Bazoum was detained and overthrown by his own guard. This marked the region’s third coup in as many years, following similar takeovers in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso.

ECOWAS, under President Tinubu’s leadership, promptly denounced the coup in its entirety and resolved to pursue the return of the democratically elected government. In a bid to restore peace, the regional body held a meeting and issued a communique outlining various measures to be implemented.

The provisions of the ECOWAS communique include the closure and monitoring of all land borders with Niger Republic, reactivating the border drilling exercise, cutting off electricity supply to the country, and mobilizing international support for the implementation of these measures. Additionally, it involves preventing the operation of commercial and special flights to and from Niger Republic, blocking goods in transit to the country, especially from Lagos and eastern seaports, and conducting sensitization campaigns through social media. Furthermore, a military build-up and deployment of personnel have been proposed for military intervention to ensure compliance with the military junta in Niger, should they remain recalcitrant.

Meanwhile, former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed concern over ECOWAS’s approach to resolving the leadership crisis in Niger Republic. Atiku cautioned against resorting to military hostilities, fearing it may exacerbate the current situation. He emphasized the need for diplomatic engagement, urging that channels for dialogue be well sustained to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

In conclusion, President Tinubu’s letter to the Senate underscores ECOWAS’s strong stance against the coup in Niger Republic and its determination to restore democracy in the country. The situation remains delicate, with concerns raised about the potential consequences of military intervention by some, such as Atiku Abubakar, who advocate diplomatic solutions to the crisis.

Elevator Tragedy: Medical Guild Reveals Installation Was Done by Unqualified Contractor

The Medical Guild, the representative body of medical doctors employed by the Lagos state government, has exposed a shocking revelation concerning the tragic elevator accident that claimed the life of Vwaere Diaso at the General Hospital, Lagos Island. According to the guild, the installation of the elevator that led to the untimely death was carried out by a contractor who lacked the necessary certification for the task.

The incident occurred when the elevator fell from the 10th floor of the hospital building, resulting in the death of Dr. Vwaere Diaso. The young medical practitioner was on her way to the ground floor to collect a delivery from a dispatch rider when the unfortunate accident happened.

In a press conference held to address the incident, Sa’eid Ahmad, chairman of the Medical Guild, revealed that the contractor responsible for the elevator’s installation was Orivac Engineering. However, this contractor did not possess the specific qualifications or expertise for elevator installation or maintenance, despite claiming to have a general engineering qualification and years of experience.

According to NAN, Ahmad disclosed that the elevator had already exhibited issues during its commissioning in June 2021. The contractor allegedly attributed the malfunction to inadequate power supply from the generator hired for the inauguration. The chairman further revealed that there were no verifiable records of maintenance services provided during the first and second installation of the elevator.

“Regular maintenance was supposed to be done every four weeks on the elevator for optimum performance,” stated Sa’eid Ahmad, underscoring the need for proper maintenance practices to ensure safe operation.

The Medical Guild chairman called for a thorough investigation to identify the individuals responsible for the shoddy elevator installation, including the contractor and installers. He emphasized the importance of holding them accountable and ensuring they face the full force of the law.

Additionally, Sa’eid Ahmad expressed concern over the series of infrastructural challenges that have plagued the house officers’ quarters of the hospital since its rehabilitation between 2015 and 2016. The guild assured the public that they would closely monitor the investigation to ensure justice is served and measures are taken to prevent such tragic incidents in the future.

The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) have also taken note of the matter and announced their intentions to investigate the engineering firm responsible for the elevator installation.

The unfortunate incident has raised questions about the quality and safety of infrastructural projects undertaken in public institutions, highlighting the need for stringent oversight and adherence to safety standards to prevent such avoidable tragedies.

FG Orders Immediate Closure of Borders with Niger Republic

The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken decisive action in response to the current political instability in Niger Republic, ordering the immediate closure of all land borders between the two countries. The policy, aimed at safeguarding the interests of both nations, was announced by the Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCoS), Bashir Adeniyi Adewale.

The Acting Comptroller-General, who was present at the Jibia Border in Katsina State to oversee the level of compliance, emphasized that the decision was made to address the prevailing instability and insecurity in Niger Republic. This environment of uncertainty is not conducive to promoting trade and economic integration, an aspect that President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a strong advocate of regional economic ties, has championed.

In light of the security challenges, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken decisive action under the authority of the Heads of States to suspend and close all land borders with Niger Republic. The move aims to mitigate potential security risks and ensure the safety and prosperity of both Nigerian citizens and those within the sub-region.

The Nigeria Customs Service, in collaboration with other government agencies, is tasked with implementing the border closure policy. Officers and personnel have been deployed to the affected border areas as part of the joint operations team, executing the closure and ensuring compliance. The Acting Comptroller-General expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance observed during his inspections of various border stations.

He asserted that the closure must be comprehensive, with no exceptions, to achieve its intended objectives. This means that all inbound and outbound cargoes, both imports and exports, will be prohibited during the period of border closure.

Peter Obi Laments GSK’s Exit from Nigeria After 51 Years

Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has expressed deep regret over the impending departure of British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from Nigeria after 51 years of operation. GSK recently announced its decision to cease prescription medicines and vaccine production in the country, opting for a transition to a third-party direct distribution model for its pharmaceutical products.

In response to the company’s announcement, a statement was sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited by the multinational pharmaceutical firm. The statement explained that the reason for leaving Nigeria was due to the lack of perceived prospects for the country as a business environment anchored on productivity.

In a tweet shared on Friday night, Peter Obi expressed his dismay at the development, attributing the company’s departure to the cumulative poor management of Nigeria’s economy. He highlighted the dire consequences of this mismanagement, with millions losing their jobs and the country’s poverty index worsening, further solidifying Nigeria’s unfortunate reputation as the “world’s poverty capital.”

Obi pointed out that multinational companies like GSK, which have been departing the country one after the other, have played a crucial role in creating jobs and providing immeasurable training, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s human capital development over the years.

The departure of GlaxoSmithKline is particularly disheartening as the company had a manufacturing facility in Agbara, Ogun State, occupying over 25 hectares of land and employing more than 400 highly technical workers, including pharmacists, microbiologists, biochemists, chemists, dentists, and doctors, among others. Additionally, GSK indirectly generated employment and business opportunities for thousands of Nigerians across the nation.

Peter Obi emphasized the urgent need to transform Nigeria’s economy from consumption-oriented to production-oriented. Encouraging and supporting both local and foreign investments, such as GSK’s, is crucial to achieving this goal and bolstering the country’s dream of greatness. He asserted that creating an environment conducive to sustaining multinational investments in Nigeria is vital for the nation’s economic growth.

GlaxoSmithKline was incorporated in Nigeria in June 1971 and began its operations the following year. The multinational pharmaceutical company, initially known as Beecham at its incorporation, is renowned for producing popular products like Panadol, Ribena, Lucozade, Macleans, and Andrews Liver Salt, among others.

Akpabio Shares Heartbreaking Story of Losing Grandchild to Medical Neglect

Senate President Godswill Akpabio shared a heart-wrenching personal experience on Friday during the ministerial screening on the floor of the upper lawmaking body in Abuja. The former Akwa Ibom State governor narrated how he lost his grandchild due to medical neglect in a government hospital.

The incident occurred in 2019 when his first grandchild was admitted to a federal medical center. According to Akpabio, the child was receiving a drip when it was wrongly administered, leading to severe complications. Unfortunately, there was no immediate help available, and the situation quickly deteriorated.

He recounted, “He was looking for water to drink. He rolled on the floor outside and entered the early morning dew. No doctor, no nurse. He bled until he lost 60 percent of his blood and almost going mental, he struggled and fell on the floor.”

As the situation worsened, the child went into a coma, and despite the efforts to revive him using a defibrillator, all attempts failed. Akpabio expressed the anguish he felt as he struggled to save his grandchild’s life with the help of his personal physician, but they were unable to revive him. Tragically, the child passed away, and the devastated grandfather had to bid his grandchild farewell, placing him in the mortuary.

The incident highlights the urgent need to address issues in Nigeria’s healthcare system. Akpabio’s personal account of medical neglect in a government hospital sheds light on the challenges faced by many citizens seeking medical attention in the country. The incident underscores the importance of improving medical facilities, staff training, and emergency response protocols to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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