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A Bedwetting Giant of Africa

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When the British raj was defeated by our heroes of the past 6 decades ago, there was a thrill of hope hovering over the cloud as Nigerians stepped out in thousands and celebrated our swift escape from the follies of imperialism.

On this day in October 1st, 1960, there was a loud blast of African music steaming the radios of every home and cheers of cacophonous voices hitting the streets ceaselessly. Freedom was a hot commodity then, and one without it was flung into a sober mood. So, it wasn’t at all a surprise seeing every citizen in this high spirit of jollity when the news of independence was announced.

That was the day we thought the grim feeling of slavery, which has stung the black race and lasted for several decades, vanished in us.

The general idea was that our bedeviling masters are the only obstacle, and the only time we can live nobly is when they are out of the way.

Well, this is 62 years after independence, and all we can see is unending anomalies, hypocrisy of leaders oozing from coast to coast, dying dreams and, the most potent of them all – hunger. All these make the country almost inhabitable, like a place hit by Hurricane twice every year, and citizens depart from it in thousands, with the hope of finding a grail elsewhere

From wherever you’re within it, you feel a strange vibration. News of sheer general collapse must reach you when you pay careful attention, and such can force a man to go to bed early with the hope of not waking up the next day, just to escape the reality of this jungle where no one knows safety.

Yes, it is a complete mess; we don’t need anyone to tell us that. Nigeria has been reduced to a suburb where people are slaughtered in hundreds, and in which a man can’t sleep with his two eyes closed.

Even those who sang of its praises just yesterday are regretting that they are part of this history, and oftentimes lost in the volleying thought of how the country was catapulted into this groove of an overblown decadence.

Perhaps we should go back to the days before independence, most would agree, and rather rest in the cold arms of colonialism, if that is the only option left. For it seems we are wearing away by the day just as a desolated edifice, which is now only a part of memory.

Today, Nigeria would be clocking 62 and there may be a wild celebration (by those in power). The president, in a jazzy caftan dress and depressing everything-is-ok look, would start to recount the uncommon achievements of his regime that are so common. In other words, he would, as usual, put on a remarkable show to defend the indefensible, reminding citizens that they are fine, when they are only some metres away from their grave.

If Nigeria is anything today, it is nothing other than a bedwetting giant at 62.

Business

If elected president, I will name, shame oil thieves—Atiku to business leaders

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Lagos—The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has threatened to name and shame oil thieves in the country if elected Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Channels TV reports that Atiku made this known on Saturday when he interacted with the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

Atiku also said he would confiscate all oil blocs allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it.

“We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Atiku was at the event with his running mate and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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Only 250 psychiatrists left in Nigeria, says association

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Enugu—Taiwo Obindo, president of the association of psychiatrists in Nigeria, says the current psychiatrist-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is one to one million.

According to TheCable, Obindo Spoke on Thursday on the sidelines of the ongoing 53rd annual general and scientific meeting of psychiatrists in Enugu.

He said two-thirds of certified personnel leave the country annually.

According to him, this has led to the poor ratio and has made accessibility and deliverability of psychiatric care relatively difficult in the country.

“The standard is that one psychiatric doctor should take care of 10,000 patients. But today, we have one psychiatric doctor to more than one million Nigerians,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“As we speak now, we have less than 250 certified psychiatric doctors throughout the country, and more are leaving by the day.”

Obindo called for the passage of the national mental health bill as amended to ensure proper administration of mental health treatment, adequate funding, and remuneration of professionals.

“Mental healthcare should be incorporated into the primary healthcare system to cater to primary and secondary institutions treating mental health disorders in localities,” he said.

“Presently, the little budget meant for mental health treatment goes to tertiary medical institutions only. Mental health should be fully taken care of at primary healthcare centres.

“Percolating mental healthcare to primary healthcare institutions will save Nigerians transportation, feeding and accommodation costs, and the stress of conveying mentally-ill persons to urban centres where psychiatric hospitals could be found.”

Speaking further, Obindo said Nigerians facing insecurity and forced displacements have continued to face psychological and psychiatric trauma and disorders.

He said the government should ensure that such people recover from the shock they have witnessed.

“It is important that governments and other support groups give them special attention to meet their current challenging emotional, psychological, and psychiatric needs so as not to fall into deeper depression or societal withdrawal,” he added.

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FG reintroduces history in basic education curriculum

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Abuja—The Federal Government has announced the reintroduction of history as a stand-alone subject in the basic education curriculum 13 years after it was abolished, according to the Tribune.

The government noted that 3,700 History teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training for enhanced teaching of the subject.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the reintroduction of the teaching of history and training of history teachers at basic education level on Thursday in Abuja, lamented that national cohesion was being threatened with the country retreating into primordial sentiments.

He said this is because of the lack of knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria following the removal of History from the basic education curriculum.

Adamu was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah at the event attended by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and other key stakeholders in the education sector.

History was removed from primary and secondary education curriculums from the 2009/2010 academic session.

Adamu ordered the reintroduction of the subject in 2019 following widespread condemnation.

Adamu said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classroom but for some inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished.

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act no doubt relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and have already started seeing its negative consequences

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.

“The immediate implication of this was that we lost ideas even of our recent past, and we scarcely saw ourselves as one nation and gradually began retreating into our primordial sentiments.”

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