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Vanguard Newspaper 13 February 2018

40—Vanguard, TUESDAY

40—Vanguard, TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2018 Our security solutions‘ll stand test of time —BUHARI Continues from Page 5 herdsmen all over Oyo State. Aremu said: “They killed a farmer at Iseyin three days ago. They slaughtered him and then beheaded him. What was his offence? He complained that their cattle ate his dried cassava tubers. It was his child who narrowly escaped that raised alarm. We cannot take this any longer. “As a result of the killing, some of my members called me to get permission if they could go in search of the assailants. We can’t wait for the Police again. Police can’t guarantee us safety again. We have severally complained to the Police, the state government and the Federal Government and we have found out they cannot handle the issue.” Asked if it would be easy to get the alleged killer, he replied saying he knew that majority of the herdsmen were stubborn. “If they don’t release the killer, we won’t take this lightly. We can no longer fold our arms while they have field day mowing down our people. We are ready for whatever happens. Enough is enough. We thought we could live together in peace, but these ones don’t understand the language of peace.” Similarly, the leader of Agbekoya in Oyo State, Alhaji Shehu said: “We have been given the mandate not to sit by and watch these lawless NAIRA WATCH CBN injects $210m as Naira appreciates to N360.03/$ By Adaeze Okechukwu The Naira started the week with a 24 kobo appreciation to N360.03 per dollar in the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected $210 million into the foreign exchange market. Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor confirmed the injection saying: “the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got the sum of $55 million.Customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.” Meanwhile, data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that indicative exchange rate for the I&E window dropped to N360.03 per dollar, yesterday, from N360.27 per dollar recorded last week Friday, indicating a 24kobo naira appreciation. herdsmen. Our people are already in the bush looking for them. "We know that the real culprit is not easy to find. What we are saying is that they should leave our lands and anyone who fails to heed the warning should have himself to blame. “You need to see the inhuman manner they killed the farmer. His children had to be picking his body parts that had been decapitated. Just some days ago, they killed a SARS commander at Saki. We have had enough of these killings and we are tired of it. They have inflicted so much pain on us in this Oke Ogun area and we have been driven to the wall. We can’t tolerate this any longer,” he added. We’ve lost 4 men, many cows—- Fulani leaders When Vanguard called the Sarkin Fulani in Oke Ogun area, Alhaji Bello, he said four herdsmen and many cows had been killed. Bello said: “As you are talking to me now, they have killed four Fulani men and many cows. They have gone to bring three corpses of our men they killed. The Policemen are already here.” On ways of resolving the crisis, he said: “The only way is for the government to summon a meeting of stakeholders where we will iron things out.” Also, Chairman, Association of Fulani The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus (left) and Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, during state visit/ project inspection by the NWC of the PDP. Chiefs, South-West Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Bambado, said: “With what I gathered, they said the Police are investigating the matter. At present, our people have gone into the bush because with what I gathered, they have killed four Fulani but it has not been confirmed yet. They are not sure whether it was the Fulani that committed that crime because they said it was a family issue. There is no grazing route along that area that would make a Fulani man to go through that area. The Police are there carrying out their investigation. Honestly, that is all I can say about this.” We’re not aware of any crisis —Police Reacting to the incident, Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, said he would call his men in the area to verify. But he said he was not aware of any crisis between the Agbekoya and the herdsmen. He promised to call back after he had been properly briefed about the incident but at press time last night, he had yet to do that. Insecurity: Govs back Presidency on State Police Governors of the 36 states of the federation, under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, yesterday threw their weight behind the Presidency on the decentralisation of the police force in the country. Addressing journalists at the end of the two-day National Security Summit organized by the Senate to review the current security infrastructure in Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday, Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the Forum had endorsed the idea of state police since 2015 but that the division within, at that time made it difficult to marshal further action on it. According to him, the governors met in August 2017 and reached a common ground on state police which they have now put on the table at the security summit. The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, while declaring open the Summit, had presented the position of the Presidency which stressed the need for state and community policing if the present security challenges in the country must be nipped in the bud. The position of the governors yesterday tallies with the resolution of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on restructuring. Yari, who dismissed fears that state police would become a weapon of coercion if left in the hands of governors, however, argued that if governors were not doing same with state court; he doubted if they would do that with state police. He said: “You know the issue of security is not something that the nation can play with because the primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the life and property of citizens are protected." On the position by some governors that they cannot afford state policing, Yari said: “That is why we are saying that it is not all the states that are supposed to have state police. Those that can, should have it. "For instance, Lagos State, as rich as they are, can have state police. The federal police in Lagos, they can reduce the number to Osun, Ogun and other states that cannot do it. If Rivers State can afford it, the number of federal police can be redeployed to Cross River and other neighbouring states like Enugu that cannot do it. "If Kano State can do it, they can take to my state that is not all that rich. It is something that we can’t take up at the same time and land at the same time.” Nigeria security chiefs and other critical stakeholders have been brainstorming on Nigeria’s security challenges hoping to identify the lapses within the entire security architecture and to come up with solutions. Healing process needed — Senate Meanwhile, some senators at the end of the summit have stressed the urgent need for Nigeria to begin what they described as healing process, in view of the need to address the security challenges confronting the country. In his comments, Senator Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra Central), who expressed optimism that the summit would give Nigerians the required results in terms of security, however said practical and verifiable options were crucial in tackling insecurity. “Contributors continue to highlight the need for government to tackle the root causes of insecurity in the country. “It is not enough when these things escalate we begin to adopt fire brigade approach and to ask why are these things happening. Things start gradually and snowball into a big problem and if you don’t tackle it from the beginning it will continue to pose serious challenges to the country. ‘’There is need for the country to start a healing process by going back to those things that agitate the minds of the people, things that make people to protest. Also speaking with journalists, Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), who noted that the issue of security requires collaborative efforts by all, said everybody was in danger, adding that this must not be left in the hands of the executive alone. He said: “As an arm of government we have to contribute our quota by trying to find out means to avert the serious dangers we find ourselves as a country.”

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018—41 From right: Health Centre in Obokwe Ozuzu Autonomous Community area of Ngor Okpala L.G.A of Imo State and an abandoned septic tank. PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTRES OF DEATH How failed PHCs in Imo put lives at risk •No doctors, toilets, chairs, beds or drugs; •Women shun centres •We are appraising all the PHCs to strengthen them — State Commissioner for Health By Chioma Obinna WHEN Amara Obi rushed her 4-year-old son to the Primary Healthcare Centre, PHC, in Obokwe in Ozuzu autonomous community, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State, she was unprepared for what she saw. Amara, who resided in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had accompanied a friend to the community for a social event a couple of days earlier. But her son had taken ill shortly after arrival and was running high body temperature. Medicines purchased from a nearby chemist had no effect and when the boy began convulsing later in the day, she decided to take him to the community health centre. However, on arrival at the centre, Amara was shocked at the dilapidated state of the facility. “We met just one nurse there and even though she tried to attend to us, the place was an eyesore,” Amara recounted. “Apart from the nurse, there was no doctor or any other medical staff. There were no beds, no laboratory, no drugs. I could not leave my child in that place so we left.” Amara was in dilemma. The only other hospital within reach was in Owerri, several kilometres away through an almost impassable road that turned a 20-minute journey into an odyssey. “I had no choice. I begged someone to help look for a commercial motorcycle operator that took us down to Ulakwu from where we boarded a bus to Owerri. Only God saved my son,” she sighed. Such is the daunting circumstances faced by residents of Ozuzu autonomous community. Although there are 29 PHCs in Ngor Okpala, most of them are decrepit and disused. They are like abandoned town halls. The terrible state of these facilities brings to the fore the failure of the administration to take healthcare closer to the people, particularly in the rural areas where the majority reside. The PHCs in Ngor Okpala are a maze of uncompleted buildings, some of which have deteriorated badly, worsened by cracked and collapsing walls, broken windows and leaking roofs. Some of the centres lack common clinical tools such as scissors and methylated spirit or basic medical supplies such as cotton wool and bandages. Patients pay for everything, from hospital card to syringes. The centres that are meant to care for antenatal, postnatal, paediatric and management of other health complications are today a shadow of the past. Take the PHC in Obokwe in Ozuzu autonomous community, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of the state for instance. It was built by the community and handed over to the state government over a decade ago. Since it was constructed and commissioned, progress at this centre has stagnated. It has not undergone any form of infrastructural rehabilitation or refurbishment of equipment. Basic facilities including beds and chairs are lacking, those purchased are overused and expired. At the centre there is no doctor on call but there is a nurse and one ward aide. Toilet and bathroom facilities are practically non-existent and no nursing room of note. The septic tank (soak-away) apparently under construction before the centre was handed over to the state government has been ovegrown by weeds. The reception is in shambles, the waiting room in disarray and unbefitting of a health institution. There are huge cracks on the walls and doors, PHCs in Ngor Okpala are a maze of uncompleted buildings, some of which have deteriorated badly, highlighted by cracked and collapsing walls, broken windows and leaking roofs Findings show that the aim of utilizing the facility to bring primary health services closer to the community as mooted and championed by the women of the community that contributed money towards construction of the facility has been truncated. Today, delivery hardly takes place in the centre. This is largely because there is no conducive place where mothers and their new babies will stay. Most women now patronise traditional birth attendants, TBAs, that generally charge higher fees for their services. While TBAs, averagely demand as much as N11,000, those that patronise the centre pay no more than N5,000 for normal delivery. At the expansive compound Good Health Weekly visited, there were no patients within the premises. Enquiries revealed that most of the community members have shunned the centre, most certainly as a result of lack of basic working tools. A source acknowledged that with no personnel or drugs available, the PHC is worse off than a TBA Centre. Chiamaka, a heavily pregnant woman told Good Health Weekly that no one was patronising the centre because there were no doctors and it only opens during the day. “If I register there and labour starts late in the night what will I do? The nurses don’t sleep there, moreover, they don’t have anything there,” she said with a laughter. A source disclosed that sometimes the center opens without treating even a single patient. “The situation is so bad. The terrible state of the centre has driven patients away. We have nothing to work with. We don’t receive ordinary malaria drugs that are supposed to be free from the state government’. Lamenting the situation, the source said their incessant complaints have fallen on deaf ears. “There are 29 health Centres in this local government, 15 are given free malaria drugs and mosquito nets. “These centres cannot share theirs. We have complained several times but we are yet to know why we are not given. This has made many patients run away from us. Most times they claim that we are too expensive. Many of them go to the chemist for their drug needs while the pregnant women who managed to come to antenatal will end up at the TBAs to have their babies. “It was only two months ago that the government gave us thermometers, BP apparatus and weight scale. The ones we have been using since were provided by a man in this community who came to check his weight one morning and found out that we didn’t have. The man went back to his house and brought one for us.” The source explained how the centre has been surviving on the magnanimity of some community members “Since the blood pressure (BP) apparatus the community bought got damaged, a Reverend Father who was fornerly in the community bought a weighing scale. We rodents run about freely, and there is no form of electricity. There is no running water. The two obsolete beds in the open hall have no foam on them. The degree of rot is phenomenal. Continues on Page 42