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Sanwo-Olu not sane to rule Lagos, Salis asks Tribunal to stop his swearing-in

The Alliance for Democracy governorship candidate in the last governorship election in Lagos Owolabi Salis has asked the Lagos State Governorship Electoral Tribunal to stop the inauguration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Executive Governor on May 29, alleging that the governor-elect has unsound mind to govern the state.

Salis made the request in an interim application he filed before the Tribunal, saying that there were allegations that Sanwo-Olu had a criminal record in the US and also has an unsound mind.

Salis joined the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Sanwo-Olu, All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Lagos State Residential Electoral Commissioner as respondents to the application, which was filed separately from his petition.

Other respondents are: the Returning Officer for The Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police and the Nigerian Army.

He argued that the Governor- Elect is a person adjudged to be of unsound mind and who is not capable to be sworn in as the Governor of Lagos State.

“Sanwo-Olu has records of unsound mind and rehabilitation with the Gbagada General Hospital Lagos state. By virtue of section 182 (1 )(c ) of the 1999 constitution as (amended ), the second respondent is a person not qualified to be sworn- in as a Governor.

“Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the present Governor of Lagos state and who is the chief security officer of the state attested to the fact in Punch Newspapers on Monday , October 1, 2018 , that Sanwo-Olu is of unsound mind and not fit and proper person to govern Lagos State.

“Governor Ambode equally stated that Sanwo- Olu was arrested and detained for several months and was convicted for spending fake dollars at a night club in America,” Salis said.

AD and Salis are seeking an Order restraining the Chief Judge of Lagos State from swearing-in Sanwo- Olu as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

They are also seeking an Order restraining the Chief Judge of Lagos State in the interim from swearing-in Sanwo- Olu as the Executive Governor of Lagos state pending the determination of the Petition at the Tribunal.

According to Salis, “I ’m here to ask the Tribunal to stop the swearing – in of Babajide Sanwo Olu pending the determination of the substantive suit. The reason we are making the request to the Tribunal today is because of facts known to all Lagosians.

“Babajide Sanwo- Olu has some mental issues and the constitution describes those who cannot occupy the position of Governor. That includes people who are of unsound mind and of course those who have felony convictions in the last 10-years and it is of public knowledge that Babajide Sanwo- Olu was convicted for spending fake dollars at a nightclub. The Chief Security Officer of the state , that is the current Governor , made these facts known to all Nigerians and the international community. It is not the free will of Lagosians that someone who is of unsound mind or a felon to be fostered on them.”

He said that in order to prove the grounds that Sanwo- Olu was of unsound mind, he and his party (AD ) would subpoena Ambode and the Gbagada General Hospital to provide the Governor-elect’s medical records to the Tribunal.

Source: PM News

I was misquoted on doctors’ brain drain – Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has clarified his position on the issue of migration by Nigerian medical doctors to foreign nations, a development which has reportedly led to brain drain in the nation’s medical profession, saying that he was misquoted.

Ngige made this known in a statement signed by Mr Nwachukwu Obidiwe, his Special Assistant on Media, in Abuja on Thursday.

He was reacting to a media report on Channels Television, where he reportedly said that the issue of doctors leaving the country in a large number did not call for much concern.

He described the attendant controversies that had trailed the comment in the media as unnecessary, calling for a deeper understanding of the issue in question.

“I speak from the vantage position of being a medical doctor and member, Nigerian Medical Association since June, 1979 and enriched by my vast knowledge on health administration.

“Having retired as a Deputy Director, Medical Services and Training from the Federal Ministry of Health in 1998, member of Vision 2010 Committee on Health as well as senior member, Senate Committee on Health 2011-2015.

“Therefore, the truth no matter how it hurts, must be told and reality, boldly faced. Hence, apart from Nigeria’s non-compliance with the World Health Organisation’s ratio of one doctor to six hundred patients of which I was misquoted.

“Every other thing I said in that interview is an existential reality, useful and constructive facts which every Nigerian that watched the full interview will hardly dispute.

“I invite opinion moulders especially those who have spoken or written on this issue to watch the full clip of my interview with the channels.

“And it is for this reason that I admitted having a little cause to worry about brain drain among medical doctors.

“The fact is that while the Federal Government has recorded a remarkably steady improvement in our healthcare system, Nigeria is yet to get there,” Ngige said.

The minister added that Nigeria did not at present, have enough health facilities to accommodate all the doctors seeking to do tertiary specialist training (residency) in the teaching hospitals, federal medical centres and few accredited state and private specialist centres in the country.

He also noted that roughly 20 per cent of the yearly applicants were being absorbed while the remaining 80 per cent tried their luck elsewhere.

He, however, noted that most of these rejected applicants usually throng the Federal Ministry of Health and that of Labour and Employment to complain of being illegally schemed out.

The statement explained further that what the minister meant was that these professionals had the right to seek training abroad to sharpen their skills and become specialists.

“They later turn this problem to a national advantage when they repatriate their legitimate earnings and later return to the country.

“Even where some of these doctors are bonded to their overseas training institutions, examples abound on the large number of them who have successfully returned to settle and establish specialist centres across the country.

“It is, therefore, a question of turning your handicap to an advantage,” the minister said.

He said the situation was not peculiar to Nigeria, as countries like Pakistan, Ceylon, Bangledesh exported teachers to secondary schools in the old Eastern and Northern Regions in the 60’s and 70’s when their earnings were also repatriated to their countries.

He further stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment had a migration policy, developed with the European Union to assist skilled Nigerians to work and earn decent living abroad.

He also noted that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora had done a lot of work in encouraging Nigerian professionals abroad to return.

He also noted that a good number of doctors were relocating from the United States and other European countries.

“Luckily, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Employment is developing a federal assisted programme for these young doctors and other allied health professionals such as pharmacists, physiotherapists in a move to broaden training opportunities.

“It again asserted that Nigeria has enough medical personnel to man non-specialist centres in the rural areas,’’ he said

He regretted that the major problem was the refusal of young doctors to work in the hinterland.

“Even the National Youth Service Corps doctors, all, today seek postings to the cities as against what obtained some decades ago.

“Besides, doctors who did not get the few vacancies in the tertiary centres especially those owned by the Federal Government find it difficult to work in the rural hospitals.

“But the truth is that the Federal Government has in its 2019 Budget now before the National Assembly, implemented the Health Act provisions for one per cent of the consolidated revenue of the Federation to be added to the health budget to boost medical services.

“This, especially at the grassroots in partnership with the state governments who are expected to make a five per cent counterpart contribution,” he added.

He, therefore, said the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) State chapters and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had a duty to campaign and persuade State governments to devote more funds to healthcare.

He added that doctors’ union was not only for the purpose of personal aggrandisement, or asking for more emoluments and urging members to go on strike.

“Therefore, while the Federal Government, indeed, government at all levels strive to meet up with the World Health ratio of one doctor to five hundred patients.

“We appeal to the Nigerian Medical Association to prevail on its members to serve in the rural areas.

“That the Federal Government has an on-going programme that will in near future, revive and revitalise all the basic health centres in all the wards across the federation,’’ he said.

Source: PM News

IGP, Adamu must appear before us over killings – Senate

The Senate has summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu to appear before the upper chamber and brief it on increasing spate of killings in different parts of the country.

This followed a 10-prayer motion by Sen. Shehu Sani at plenary on Thursday.

The bill titled, “Senseless Killing of a Briton and Abduction of Three Others in a Holiday Resort in Kaduna State by Bandits” was co-sponsored by all other lawmakers.

The Senate also urged security agencies to immediately deploy drones and interceptors in tracking kidnappers that were asking for ransom.

It equally urged the Federal Government to set up an inter-agency task force to tackle cases of banditry and kidnapping in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger states.

Furthermore, the Upper Chamber urged security agencies to give special cover to foreign workers and tourists.

It also urged telecommunication companies to provide security agencies with information in areas where kidnappings were taking place.

Presenting the motion, Sani expressed concern over the spate of killings

Contributing, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said the creation of state police was one of the major solutions to cases of killings in the country.

He further urged kidnap victims to open up on the hideouts and activities of kidnappers, to assist security agencies in arresting them.

“Kidnap victims should learn to open up and narrate their ordeal so that their hideouts can be traced.

“For instance, some people were kidnapped some time ago and one of them was a customs officer.

“They manhandled him more than their other captors and the ransom demanded from him was more than that of others.

“As they kept beating him a lady advised him to pretend to be a fake customs officer and that was how they brought down the ransom from 10 million.

“From what has happened to the Briton it is time we tackle this menace. It is becoming an embarrassment to the country, so, if it means declaring an emergency it is necessary.

“We need to declare a national state of emergency to enable the government put in place measures to end this problem.”

Sen. Joshua Lidani(PDP-Gombe) said the development if not addressed as soon as possible would greatly affect tourism and investment, among others.

He said, “It has become a routine to observe a minute silence and it is disheartening.

“The implication of the spate of killings in the country is enormous. It affects tourism as countries might begin to warn their nationals against coming to Nigeria.

“Everyday we are inundated with reports on killing and kidnapping; in fact, armed robbery is no longer in vogue. If not tackled we will not have an investment in this country.

“Nigeria is becoming a killing field and this will have an effect on investment and tourism. We need to do something drastic, something unusual that we have not done before.

“We need to mobilise the military to those areas and we should not be shy of asking for help, “he said.

Sen. Babba Kaita(APC-Katsina) called for specific suggestions on how to tackle the problem.

He said it was a collective fight that must not be left for the Executive alone.

The lawmaker said, “we should marshal out plans from the chambers of this Senate to secure this country.”

The Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha also called for the creation of state police.

He also called for synergy between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) vigilance groups and locals of affected states, adding that such move would drastically reduce the menace.

“We also need massive military deployment to these flashpoints, as well as come up with capital punishments for these crimes.”

Sen. Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara) said, ” the north is at war. Unless something is done, I am afraid that in the next two to three years, the situation might be out of control.

“This has become a business because there is technically no business in the north. The way forward is to fight corruption and set standards.”

Sen. Andrew Uchendu (APC-Rivers) said the major reason for the menace was the high level of unemployment.

He noted that “until our youth are engaged, this problem will continue”.

“We need to find appropriate economic policies to engage idle hands.”

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said it was time workable solutions were employed to nip the problem in the bud.

‘’When we talk about the way forward, we need to be honest with ourselves because in addressing these issues we need to be frontal on what has led us to where we are today.

“We must look beyond our political parties and see it as a problem that all of us need to address.

“Where there is a fault, we must be bold enough to say where the fault is and where there are sanctions we must be bold as well to say so,” he said.

Saraki expressed optimism that with the new Police boss, the relationship between the National Assembly would improve.

He said, “you have all been in this chamber for one year and noticed that we could not even communicate, converse or engage with the Nigeria Police.

“You were all here when the Head of Police refused to even come before us.

“How can we work together to move things forward because, at the end of the day, we must begin to sit down with those in charge and discuss what we need to do.

On the death of Faye Mooney, the Briton killed in Kaduna recently, the president of the Senate said it was unfortunate.

“Here is a lady that used to work in Iraq and Kosovo and did not die until she came to Nigeria. That does not portray this country in a positive way at all.

“As the Deputy Senate President and Senator Lidani said, there are going to be questions of people coming to invest in a country like this.

On efforts made by the legislature in the past, Saraki said, “If you recollect we invited the heads of security agencies and directed them to submit to us what they need and there was no response till date.

“So, what I think is that we should take it up from here. We should not get discouraged.

“We should go back and review where we are and find a way for our committees to re-engage the heads of our security agencies,” he said.

Source: PM News

Open air museum up for £100k prize

St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff has been shortlisted for a £100,000 prize.

It is among five museums nominated for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019.

St Fagans completed a £30m redevelopment last year, adding new exhibitions and hands-on workshops to its collection of historical buildings.

The other shortlisted museums include the new £80m V&A Dundee. The winner will be announced on 3 July at a ceremony in London.

The list is completed by HMS Caroline in Belfast, Nottingham Contemporary and Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Organisers said the prize was regarded as “the most prestigious museum prize in the world”, and would award £100,000 to the winner as well as £10,000 to the other four on the shortlist.

St Fagans opened in 1948 and is home to a collection of Welsh homes, shops and other historical buildings.

David Anderson, director general of National Museum Wales, said he was delighted it had been selected as a finalist after a “significant year in the history of the museum”.

He said the £30m redevelopment had involved more than 3,000 volunteers and 200 community organisations, street charities and local groups from all over Wales.

“We see this not as a project but as a way of working for the whole organisation, which we will sustain and develop in the years ahead,” he said.

“It is our ambition for St Fagans to become a centre for cultural democracy, with a strong emphasis on opportunities for critical thinking and the practice of skills.”

It recently opened a medieval prince’s court, Llys Llywelyn, based on the surviving remains of Llys Rhosyr on Anglesey, while former Cardiff pub The Vulcan Hotel is currently being built.

The museum looks set to beat last year’s figure for visitor numbers, which was 573,525 for the year ending in March 2018.

Mr Anderson added that the new galleries provided a much broader representation of the sweep of human history in Wales than before, from the first Neanderthal hunters to contemporary multicultural society.

Chairman of the judges and director of Art Fund, Stephen Deuchar, said: “The five shortlisted museums have each offered outstanding and different approaches to the vital task of engaging with the widest public in new and adventurous ways.

“We congratulate all those who are on the shortlist and encourage everyone to go and visit them.”

Dead crows hung from Chris Packham's gate

TV naturalist Chris Packham has condemned the hanging of dead crows outside his home in the New Forest as “ghastly”.

It comes as the licensed shooting of crows has been halted after a challenge by his Wild Justice campaign group.

Natural England has revoked licences for controlling 16 species of bird, including several types of crow.

Mr Packham posted a picture of the crows on social media and said opponents were “lashing out”.

What is believed to be his address has also appeared in an online post urging people to dump dead lambs at his property.

WARNING: This story contains an image some may find distressing

Mr Packham said: “All it does is strengthen my resolve to make the UK countryside a better place for wildlife and the people who live and work there.

“In a very sad and perverse way this ghastly action indicates that I’m making progress.

“As I’ve always said ‘I’m not here to make friends – I’m here to make a difference’.”

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman confirmed a report of criminal damage has been made with the incident believed to have taken place between 20:00 on Wednesday and 06:50 BST on Thursday.

Wild Justice was set up by Mr Packham and other campaigners to take legal cases on behalf of wildlife against public bodies.

In February it challenged the general licences that allow farmers to shoot birds including wood pigeons, jackdaws and magpies that damage crops or attack livestock.

A statement said: “We haven’t changed the law, we have merely shown that the current system of licensing of killing of certain species of birds, developed and administered by a statutory wildlife agency, is unlawful now and presumably has been for decades.”

Natural England said it revoked three licences for controlling certain wild birds following the challenge and was working on “alternative measures” that would allow lawful control of the bird species to continue where necessary.

The move provoked a backlash from farmers groups and others.

A Change.org petition calling on the BBC to “sack Chris Packham” has received more than 85,000 signatures.

But a counter petition has since been set up opposing any potential sacking, saying “as a journalist [he] should be allowed to use his platform to inform everyone the reality of our dying planet”.

Download: 'Mindfulness' events planned at metal festival

A heavy metal festival is to introduce yoga and meditation spaces this year.

Download’s organisers are set to offer a “mindfulness” programme alongside the usual rock riffs, solos and snakebite.

Bosses of the three-day event, in Leicestershire, said the deaths of Prodigy frontman Keith Flint and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell had inspired the move.

Experts say evidence for the benefits of mindfulness is “encouraging”, but more research is needed.

Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds, who has spoken about his own mental health struggles, has backed the scheme.

He said: “We’re rarely consciously in control of our turbulent mind.

“Mindfulness allows us to regain control as we learn to observe our thoughts instead of getting caught up in them.”

Does mindfulness work?

  • Mindfulness is based on Buddhist philosophies, where it is described as a “meditative state of intense concentration on one’s own thought processes; self-awareness”
  • It has become popular in the West as a way of combating stress, anxiety and depression – the NHS lists it as one of its five steps to mental wellbeing
  • However, the NHS also warns that mindfulness isn’t the answer to everything
  • Prof Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says on the NHS website that there is “encouraging evidence for its use in health, education, prisons and workplaces”, but research was still going on
  • “Once we have the results, we’ll be able to see more clearly who mindfulness is most helpful for,” he adds.

June’s festival at Donington Park will be headlined by Slipknot, Tool and Def Leppard.

Melvin Benn, managing director of organisers Festival Republic, said the festival hoped to “provide a mindfulness haven…with meditation, sound baths, and more”.

Prodigy frontman Keith Flint took his own life in March and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell died in 2017.