Terrible News!!! Scores Dead, Many Others Missing, As Disaster Hits Nigeria’s Middle Belt State

According to eyewitnesses, not less than twenty-one (21) people died in a boat accident that happened on Friday on River Bukuru located in Benue State, Nigeria.
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The eyewitness, who refused to be named, made the report to newsmen saying that at least seven (7) others had not been found despite the intense search by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
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Twelve (12) other passengers in the ill-fated boat were rescued by divers. The search for the seven missing passengers is ongoing and about eighteen (18) of the motorcycles on board have also been recovered.
 
Danjuma Mohammed, NIWA area manager in charge of Benue, said that the boat was overloaded as it was used to ferry more than its carrying capacity and that none of the passengers wore life jackets.
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He said the ferry boat was designed to carry only vehicles, but was illegally turned into a passenger vessel, “causing the loss of 21 precious lives.”
 
This is just as the Delta Government on Thursday launched reactivated State Emergency Ambulance Service to provide quick and effective services in emergency health situations. The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr Minnie Oseji, made this known when she paid an advocacy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr Edwin Abraka in Asaba.
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She, however, said that the reactivated ambulance service would only succeed if there was sustained collaboration among government agencies.
 
According to her, the emergency ambulance is to provide prompt service to people in life-threatening situations adding that “the reactivated emergency ambulance service scheme targets road accidents and pregnant women being transferred from primary health centres across the state.
“The emergency ambulance service would no doubt help to save lives, especially pregnant women in situations of bleeding or other life threatening cases.”
 
Oseji said that the service was in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport as it interfaced with road users and sometimes as first respondent in road accident situation noting that with the right partnership, officials from the Transport Ministry would help to enhance sensitisation efforts which would help road users to respond appropriately and save lives at accidents scenes.
The permanent secretary said that the ambulances, which were hospital-based, were located at the general hospitals in Kwale, Okwe, Sapele, Ughelli and Warri. She disclosed that Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa recently approved additional three ambulances to the existing five to increase the fleet to eight in the state.
 
Oseji also said that the state government planned to provide boat ambulance service for coastal communities to add to the two boat ambulances provided in 2015 by National Primary Health Care Agency.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport expressed happiness over launch of the service and thanked Oseji for the visit. Abraka gave the assurance that the transport ministry would partner with Ministry of Health in efforts aimed at saving the lives of residents. He stressed the need for Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) to be trained on basic life support techniques because most times, they were usually the first respondents at accident scenes.
 
According to him, most times the VIOs only offer first aid service which is not enough to save lives during emergency situations due to limited knowledge. He advocated that the ambulance service be multi-faceted to include other agencies to achieve synergy in the common goal of saving lives.
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The permanent secretary said that the ministry would share data and interface with Ministry of Health to make sure that the right things were done during emergency situations.

Top Nigerian Lawmaker Hints Buhari On The Zone That Will Determine His Victory In 2019

The quick past national Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye has said the killings in the center belt will be a race issue in the 2019 presidential survey. Obi-Okoye who talked with newsmen in Awka, Anambra State, said the present happenings in the zone was basic and too genuine to possibly be overlooked by any political gathering in the race. He said that was the reason APGA chose to pick its presidential applicant, resigned Major General John Gbor from the region.

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He said, “We chose our presidential candidate from the middle belt for very strategic reasons. There is something going on in the middle belt states today, namely Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba. In those states, we have very strong governorship candidates who are all Christians. Today in the middle belt, it is no longer about party politics; it is about survival of the middle belt people who are threatened by the Fulani herdsmen. The ordinary middle belt man believes that if they do not fight back, they will be wiped out. So we have fielded our presidential candidate from there, believing that we will be able to gather strong support in the middle belt because that geopolitical zone will determine next president of Nigeria.

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The ex-APGA publicist predicted that the 2019 presidential election would not be won on the first ballot, adding that in the circumstance, his party would be the determining force.

He posited, “In the event that we (APGA) cannot win the presidential election, I can tell you that when we win the middle belt, none of the two major parties for the election will win at the first ballot. I make this permutation, not out of euphoria. The defunct NPP played the same role when it controlled the area of the old Plateau and Gongola areas and NPN could not win the presidential election in the first ballot, neither could UPN, so it required the alliance of the NPN and NPP to form a federal government at the centre. What it means is that, APGA will be the party to determine who wins the presidential election between APC and PDP in 2019.”

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Scarcely two weeks to the initiation of open crusades by political gatherings, it has turned out to be clear that as it occurred in the development to the 2015 survey, the intensity of incumbency is quick transforming into a major weight. The ruling party APC has shifted their focus to the South- South now following the takeover moves the PDP made on the South West.

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That reality was emphasized as of late when the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, rather than devouring the accomplishments of the ebb and flow organization as premise of its scan for re-appointment prodded South-West electorate with the likelihood of 2023 administration. Fashola’s long haul signal underscores a portion of the difficulties the decision All Progressives Congress (APC) would experience on the battle field, especially its battles to adjust its expectations against prior and future guarantees.

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As it were, in 2014 Fashola’s scorecard as legislative head of Lagos State was the mascot, which the inchoate APC touted as indication of what was to come at the government level on the off chance that it gets the order of Nigerians. By encouraging South-West voters with the guarantee of a Yoruba president in 2023 as opposed to indicating the reputation of improvement in Lagos or even at the government level, the super clergyman more likely than not chose to get away from the mind boggling linkage between the forswearing of second term ticket to his successor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and the execution of APC in office inside the previous three years.

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“Why it is time for the Middle Belt to produce Nigeria’s president”- Jonah Jang

A Presidential aspirant under the platform of the PDP and former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, has stated that to ensure fairness, justice and equity, the Middle Belt region of the country should be supported by other regions to produce the next president. This was disclosed by the Acting Director-General of his campaign team, Professor Shedrack Best, while briefing journalists in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.

Best said the Middle Belt needed to produce the next President of the country and that Jang from the region had all it takes to represent the people and give quality leadership in the country.

“It is with great pleasure that we bring to the notice of the public, that Distinguished Senator Jonah David Jang has picked and submitted his nomination form for the Presidential race. Senator Jang represents the Middle Belt, the region with millions of registered voters who want the Presidency this time around.

“We have supported others before. It is their turn now to also support us”, he explained. While we do not begrudge those zones that have benefitted repeatedly, we demand that in the spirit of one Nigeria, for the inclusion of minorities, for the purpose of fair play and equity, the Middle Belt should be given the chance and supported in 2019,” he added.

He also stressed that, “Senator Jang is not in the race to step down for anybody, he is in the race to win.

“He believes in Nigeria as a great nation and in its oneness, he has what it takes to take Nigeria to be among the top nations of the world in no distant future.

“The Middle Belt is at the centre of the north, it is the glue of the north, the bridge of Nigeria, the guarantor of national unity and oneness, and has sustained the north over time.

“Sadly, however, this zone has yet to produce an elected President. We need the support of all to make this happen”.

The Director General also debunked the rumour that the Senator had stepped down from his Presidential ambition, saying he was not in the race to step down for anybody but to win and salvage the country from the scourge of bad leadership.