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Ogogoro scare! *Stay off, officials warn, as six die after local gin consumption

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Ogbogbo, an agrarian community in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of Ogun State was last Tuesday, thrown into mourning when six persons lost their lives after drinking local gin, allegedly served by their friend.

It was reliably gathered that though there was a disagreement among the six friends and the suspect (now at large) over an undisclosed issue, some persons mediated and had it settled.

It was also gathered that though the six persons who drank the alcohol died, the seventh person who reportedly served the drink without partaking in the drinking was alive.

Vanguard, quoting a resident in the area, an alcohol seller had been accused of selling poisonous gin, which led to the death of people, adding however that upon investigation, they gathered that the killer drink was served by one of the deceased person’s friends.

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A few hours after they had departed to their various destinations, news filtered into the town that two of the friends had died while four others were hospitalised, only for the other four persons  to have died the following day while the suspect was reported to have fled over the incident.

The source said: “It was later that night that the news started breaking that those who drank from the alcohol were dying while some of them were rushed to the hospital.
“Six people have been announced dead and the whereabouts of the man who brought the alcohol was unknown.”

The mysterious death has created anxiety in Ijebuland over the alleged killer-drink in circulation, with a viral statement, saying: “Ogogoro drinker. There is a dangerous and killer local gin currently in circulation in Ijebuland. Over six people have gone to the burial ground in the last week. Save your life by totally abstaining from any herbal mixture made of ogogoro right now.”

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The joint where the alleged contaminated alcohol was served has been put under lock by the local government authority, while the family of one of the victims is said to have relocated from the town, since the head of the family was dead while that of another victim, said they were not interested in talking with anybody on the matter.

Solomon Awonuga, a community leader, however, offered: “When I heard about it, I thought it was a joke until it turned out to be true. What I can only say is that may God continue to protect us. Nobody can confirm that the gin was poisoned by their friend.”

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Another person, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said: “We thank God that we still have some of them that survived. One of them was discharged from General Hospital, Ijebu Ode last week Friday.”

Thought the said survivor, was said to have travelled to Lagos State, another resident, said: “Though he was not there, what he heard was that the seven of them were friends, but there was a misunderstanding between them and some persons summoned them to settle the disagreement.

“They gathered at the residence of the seventh person, whose mother sells local gin (ogogoro) for reconciliation. After the reconciliation, the man brought out the gin for drinking; after that, everybody went to their various houses, only for them to hear that some of them died before dawn. Others were rushed to hospital but later died.”

Omolola Odutola, spokesman of the Ogun State Police Command, who disclosed that the families of the victims said they were not interested in pressing charges but prefers to bury their dead, added that nobody has been arrested in connection to the incident.

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Odutola said: “Since the families of the victims had said that they were not interested in pressing any case, a warrant for burial had been issued to them by the police for them to bury their dead.”
She clarified that they were not killed by the woman who sold alcohol. The state police command has deployed crack detectives to Ogbogbo for proper investigation.”

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Stating that no arrest had been made so far, she assured that the command would not leave any stone unturned in its bid to unravel both the immediate and remote causes of the incident, warning against speculations until investigations were concluded.

Dr Tomi Coker, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Health, while confirming that about eight persons had died while 11 others were in critical condition, said there were reports of 11 cases of severe illnesses and eight deaths directly linked to the consumption of locally brewed alcoholic products.

Coker said: “It is of utmost importance to only consume products that have been officially approved and certified by NAFDAC. The unauthorised production and distribution of alcoholic beverages and other consumable items pose significant health risks as they are often manufactured in unregulated and unhygienic conditions, making them potential breeding grounds for harmful substances and toxins.

“Such substances can lead to severe health complications and, in some cases, fatal outcomes, as evidenced by the recent incidents in Ijebu North-East and Odogbolu LGAs. We, hereby, urge the public to report any suspicious locally brewed alcoholic drink to the appropriate authorities or NAFDAC.”

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The Special Adviser added that residents should also report any case of illness or death after consumption of similar products including herbal concoctions to the nearest government hospital.

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Obi: Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, not now, may take 20-30 years

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Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the February 25, 2023 election on Monday, raised issues with the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal highway awarded by the Federal Government to Hitech Construction, at the whopping amount of N13trillion, saying such a gigantic road project was not needed now at a time most of the Federal roads across the country are death-traps.

Obi, former Governor Peter Obi, who broke his silence for the first time over the project, since the news was first broken that the Federal Government had since awarded the contract, while acknowledging its potential benefits, expressed serious concerns about its pricing and raised questions regarding the timing and prioritization in the current Nigerian situation.

The LP boss, who highlighted the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads across the country, emphasising their role in economic growth and regional connectivity, maintained that the government should invest such huge resources to deal with the various roads across the country which were in various stages of disrepair, rather than plunging it into one road.

He listed critical roads in various zones, many of which have been under construction for several years due to poor funding and planning to include:

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  1. NORTH-WEST Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, – Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road, Kano – Hadejia Road, Kano – Katsina Road , Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata – Mafara – Sokoto Road , Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road
  2. NORTH-EAST Kano – Damaturu – Maiduguri Road – Mubi – Maiduguri Road, Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road, Gombe – Biu – Numan Road, Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road, Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road, Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road, Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road.
  3. NORTH-CENTRAL Abuja – Lokoja – Okene – Auchi – Benin Road, Ilorin – Jebba Road, Kabba – Omuaran Road, Suleja – Minna Road, Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road, Buruku Bridge across Katsina River.
  4. SOUTH-WEST Lagos – Badagry Road, Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road, Itoikin – Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road, Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road, Abeokuta – Ibadan Road, Ikorodu – Shagamu Road, Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road, Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road.
  5. SOUTH-EAST: 9th Mile – Oturkpo -Makurdi Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha – Awka — Enugu Road, Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road, Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road, Okigwe – Afikpo Road, Nsukka – Obollo Afor – Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road, Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road.
  6. SOUTH-SOUTH: Benin – Sapele – Warri Road, East – West Road, (Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron) Yenegoa Road, Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road, Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road, Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road, Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road, Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road, Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel, Port Harcourt – Onne Road, Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road, Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.
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With the Federal Ministry of Works allocating a capital budget of N892 billion for 2024, in addition to funding from multilateral loan projects and other sources, Obi questioned the wisdom of embarking on another massive project that may not be completed for the next 20 or 30 years.

He warned against exacerbating the problem of abandoned, incomplete projects that do not contribute to economic growth, urging the prioritisation of existing uncompleted projects, while emphasising the need to allocate resources towards repairing and completing vital infrastructure.

The former governor, who stressed the importance of focusing on the urgent needs of the people and ensuring that investments serve the collective good of the nation, advocated for prioritising the completion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure over embarking on colossal new projects with uncertain completion timelines, adding that fiscal discipline and strategic prioritisation in addressing the country’s infrastructure challenges, must be paramount to leaders of the country.

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Fubara, Rivers assembly return to trenches! Lawmakers override gov on LG laws

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The seemingly unabating schism between Siminalayi Fubara, Governor and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, assumed another stage on Monday, with the lawmakers deciding to pass the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor,

The Assembly, in apparent defiance of the state High Court’s order directing the status quo on the issue of elongating the tenure of elected local government officials, which formed part of the amendment, went ahead to screen as well as confirm the chairman and other members of the Assembly Service Commission in the spirit of the new law.

Martins Wachukwu, spokesman of Martin Amaewhule, Speaker of the assembly, conveying the development in a statement, said the lawmakers made the decision at its 159th Legislative sitting held at the Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt, which has since served as their sitting venue since the demolition of the main House of Assembly quarters by Fubara, last year.

Stating that Fubara declined assent to the Local Government (Amendment) Bill initially passed into law on March 13, 2024, by the House, the statement, said the lawmakers were bent on performing their constitutional duties and therefore decided to override the governor’s decision on the matter by a two-thirds majority.

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The statement read: “Determined to perform its Constitutional duties, the Bill was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack and debated upon by Members. Thereafter, the House in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, which empowers the House to override the Governor, where he withholds his assent; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule put the question, and with a two-thirds majority vote, the House agreed to override the Governor and passed the Bill into Law.”

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In another development, the House screened and confirmed nominees for the position of Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission, including: Sampson Worlu as Chairman, Abinye Blessing Pepple, Blessing Belema Derefaka, Gbaranen Robinson, and Dorcas Amos as Members.

The statement recalled that on March 22, 2024, the House passed the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill into Law, wherein the House donated back to itself the power to appoint the Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission.

The statement added: “On a sad note, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule, announced the demise of Mr Lucky Amadi, the husband of the honourable Member for Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Emilia Lucky Amadi, and stated that Members would pay a condolence visit to their colleague.”

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BREAKING: Five days after sacking Ganduje, Kano judge reverses self

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Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, reversed himself five days after making an order barring Abdullahi Ganduje National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from parading himself or performing any official function in that capacity.

In vacating the order made ex-parte, following a plea by Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state, for the suspension of the former Governor of the state from his present job, Na’Abba said he relied on fresh arguments made on the matter.

The fresh applications were brought by Glory Adah, a litigation secretary at the law firm representing the APC boss in a motion ex-parte, accompanied by a 27-paragraph affidavit in support, and a written address dated April 22nd, countering the grounds of his previous orders.

Na’Abba, who adjourned the case to April 30 for the hearing, said: “An order of interim injunction is hereby granted staying the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of this court delivered on 17h April 2024 directing parties to maintain status quo ante as at the 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant motion on notice.”

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