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Saraki cautions world leaders on SDGs

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Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki has sounded a warning bell as the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York.

Saraki cautioned that unless significant progress is made, the Sustainable Development Goals will not be met by the global community.

“Only two countries in Africa – Rwanda and South Africa – have met the Abuja declaration to pledge 15% of their government budgets to health. Meanwhile, tuberculosis kills more than 4,000 people every single day, non-communicable diseases kill over 41 million people every year, and 80% of deaths in childbirth could be avoided with techniques that should be available across the globe. There has also been a distinct lack of progress in delivering upon the World Health Assembly 2017 Sepsis Resolution and improving water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities, schools and communities.”

Mrs Saraki said that she will be advocating for five key interventions which must be urgently made at UN meeting this week.

“Investment in family, community and primary healthcare – along with hospitals where needed – to bolster healthcare wherever people need it; in rural areas and urban, cities and villages. The murder of young midwife and mother Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in Nigeria last week must spur Governments and global institutions on to strengthen security provisions for frontline health workers. Their training and pay conditions must also be improved. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care programme, operated with its global partners Johnson & Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, can serve as the benchmark for health worker training. We have shown that qualified midwives can and do lead the way with quality care. Civil registration and vital statistics systems must be implemented and strengthened to allow Governments to prepare for epidemics and allocate investment where it is needed the most. 1.8 billion people, according to the World Bank’s latest statistics, have no Government identification. Their health needs are consequently highly likely to not be met and they will be especially vulnerable during disease outbreaks,” she said.

She added that “government investment in strengthening health insurance systems is paramount – in Nigeria and around the world, too many people are pushed into poverty by health emergencies that they or their families experience. Non-communicable diseases kill over 41 million people every year. The Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros, has rightly highlighted the NCD crisis and it must be a core focus of all Government programmes. Whilst progress has been made in many areas, I feel compelled to speak out as too many women, children and communities are being left behind. We have the opportunity to change the course of history, but it is a chance that is slipping away. Urgency is the order of the day.”

During the UN General Assembly, Mrs Saraki is also scheduled to meet with fellow African philanthropists and global partners, and to deliver high-level United Nations advocacy speeches on child health and malaria, frontline health workers and the steps required to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

Toyin Saraki is Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives, Special Adviser to the World Health Organization regional office for Africa and Wife of the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Politics

Disrupt Election process at the expense of your life,Buhari tells Political Thugs

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….. orders military to be ruthless on ballot box snatchers

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned political thugs to behave themselves or face the dare consequences.The president made this known in Abuja on Monday.

President Buhari said : I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance, I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military to identify hotspots , flash points, they should be prepared to move. They too would have made their own arrangement as possible and resources provided as much as the country can afford it.

He added that anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it (elections) , maybe that would be the last unlawful action he would take. I have directed the police and the military to be ruthless.

He also stated that “We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig elections. I want Nigerians to be respected, let them vote whoever they want across the party. I’m not afraid … As you said, I have gone round all the 36 states and Abuja. I think I have gotten enough support across the country.

“I am going to warn anybody who thinks, he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch boxes or to disturb the voting system, he would do it at the expense of his own life. Baba has spoken” he warned categorically.

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Nabena to US, UK, EU: Focus on Brexit, election interference probe, not Nigeria

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The reported interference on Nigeria’s forthcoming General Elections by some western countries led by the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) and countries of the European Union (EU) has been strongly condemned by Yekini Nabena, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Nabena made the condemnations while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday

According to tge APC chieftain, the western nations have enough enough already on their hands, therefore their time and energy should be spent on the probe of alleged Russian interference in the immediate-past US elections, the breakdown of the Brexit deal between the UK and EU and many other serious challenges they facing them.

“In all elections conducted in the country, we have always welcomed local and foreign monitors and observers. In our view, this is a best practice and geared to ensure the transparency of our elections.

“But comments on our election processes coming from some western diplomats and accredited foreign observer missions have been downright meddlesome and tantamount to interference.

“Nigeria is a sovereign nation and such actions by these western countries negate the principles of international law which outlaws interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation by another country.

“While the electioneering process might not be perfect as seen with the last-minute postponement of the General Elections, we must all work together to make it better. Statements and actions by these western diplomats and accredited foreign observer missions that erodes confidence in the elections is inexcusable and strongly condemned. As a country, we will always find local solutions to our local challenges whenever they arise.

“The US, UK and EU have enough already on their hands. Their time and energy should be spent on the probe of alleged Russian interference in the immediate-past US elections, the breakdown of the Brexit deal between the UK and EU and many other serious challenges they face.” Nabena stated.

The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain, also condemned the last-minute postponement of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He however urged INEC to correct the lapses which led to the postponement to ensure hitch-free rescheduled elections on Saturday.

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Timi Frank exposes plot to bomb INEC headquarters in Abuja

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…Urges security beef up

The erstwhile Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APCl has raised an alarm over an alleged plot to destabilise the rescheduled polls after the postponement of the Presidential Elections last Saturday, including bombing of Abuja headquarters of the INEC.

According to Frank, the deadly plan is being orchestrated by those who are bent on destroying democracy in Nigeria at all cost, even if it amounts to total breakdown of law and order, or the loss of lives in achieving their agenda.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, Frank said the plot which was revealed by an anonymous top lead also exposed the modus for which “the agents of darkness intend to operate.

“Top among the planners includes three serving Ministers from the Niger Delta, Two former Governors and three business men all within the ruling party and benefiting from its largesse.

“Following the postponement of the February 16th polls and realizing that the plan for staggered elections may have been busted, these desperate political crooks are it again devising yet another grand plan to carry out this evil plot against the Nigerian people.

Nigerians may recall the mysterious arson on INEC facilities and building all around the country happening simulteanously days before the elections.

“Starting off with the burning of the INEC office in Quan-Pam, Plateau state, to the burning of Card Readers in Anambra State, to the burning of INEC materials in 5 buses at Akwa Ibom and other INEC facilities nationwide, it will be safe therefore to note that these events are not a coincidence, but rather a grand plot to disenfranchise the opposition strongholds which is currently underway.

“Having realized that the grand scheme of rigging the polls may have been busted by the INEC chairman giving to the postponement of the elections, these desperadoes are bent on doing everything possible in achieving thier aim, including the trauncating of our hard earned democracy for selfish gains.

“We are also aware that the services of some Niger Delta militants is being sorted after in carrying out this dastardly act, even at a time when the region is being faced with its worst times under the current administration.

“These militants are being promised the backing of the military authorities as well as being rewarded handsomely should they succeed in carrying out these attacks.

“I am therefore urging all true sons of the Niger delta to desist forthwith from allowing themselves to be used by this agents of darkness, as no true son of the region will volunteer for such doom, irrespective of any pecuniary gains.

“I would like to thank our foreign partners (EU, UK, US, Ecowas Monitoring group) on the electoral roles already carried out in Nigeria and also urge the US, UK and the EU to continue with its good works and to further beam it’s satellite on Nigeria in the wake of this grave revelation at a time when the country prepares for its General Elections.

“The desperation by this individuals for their paymasters is as deadly as treason committed on the Nigerian nation. Furthermore if this plot is true, then we may be faced with the likely scenario of the “body bags” as suggested by a chieftain of the ruling party on all who may be present at the INEC office including the foreign observers.”

Frank urged the security agencies to beef up security and surveillance around the INEC Headquarters and pleaded with the INEC chairman to remain resolute to delivering his trust and mandate to the Nigerian people on the 23rd of February.

“We are aware of the happenings in INEC including the role to be played by Amina Zakari who is now in charge of Collation and RACTEC unit under the IT Department. Let it be known that any move to frustrate the wishes of Nigerians will be resisted by all peace loving Nigerians.”

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