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WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Russia carries out air strikes for second night on Ukraine's Odesa port - governor

Ukrainian air defence systems were engaged in the early hours of Wednesday in repelling a Russian air attack on the southern port of Odesa for a second consecutive night, the region's governor said.

Russia struck Ukrainian ports on Tuesday, a day after pulling out of a U.N.-backed deal for safe Black Sea grain exports, a decision that raised concern primarily in Africa and Asia of rising food prices and hunger.

"Do not approach the windows, do not shoot or show the work of air defence forces," Odesa governor Oleh Kiper said on the Telegram messaging app.

All of the eastern part of Ukraine was under air raid alerts, starting soon after midnight on Wednesday.

In other battlefield reports, Moscow and Kyiv gave vastly different accounts of fighting in northeastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

Six weeks since Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the east and south, Russia is mounting a ground offensive of its own in the northeast. Moscow says the Ukrainian assault has failed.

A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said its forces had advanced by up to 2 km (1.2 miles) in the direction of Kupiansk, an important railway junction in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

But Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the initiative in the area had switched to Ukrainian forces.

She said Ukrainian forces made new gains near Bakhmut in the east, a town that was captured by Russian forces in May after months of battles.

Valery Shershen, a spokesperson for Ukrainian troops on the southern front, reported heavy fighting around the village of Staromayorske. "We have made advances through the streets," Shershen told the Espreso TV online outlet but said Ukrainian forces did not have complete control of the village.

Russian Defence Ministry accounts said Moscow's forces had hit groups of Ukrainian soldiers around Staromayorske.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports of either side.

Since Ukraine began its counteroffensive last month, its forces equipped with billions of dollars worth of new Western weapons and ammunition have yet to attempt a major breakthrough across heavily defended Russian lines.

UN WORKS ON IDEAS FOR GRAIN EXPORTS

At the United Nations on Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said there were a "number of ideas being floated" to help get Ukrainian and Russian grain and fertilizer to global markets. Moscow's decision raised concern primarily in Africa and Asia of rising food prices and hunger.

The Black Sea deal was brokered by the U.N. and Turkey in July last year to combat a global food crisis worsened by Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian ports. The two countries are among the world's top grain exporters.

For Ukraine's part, "we are fighting for global security and for our Ukrainian farmer" and working on options to keep commitments on food supply, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

Moscow spurned calls from Ukraine to allow shipping to resume without Russian participation, with the Kremlin openly saying ships entering the area without its guarantees would be in danger.

"We're talking about an area that's close to a war zone," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "Without the appropriate security guarantees, certain risks arise there. So if something is formalised without Russia, these risks should be taken into account."

Russia says it could return to the grain deal, but only if its demands are met for rules to be eased for its own exports of food and fertiliser. Western countries call that an attempt to use leverage over food supplies to force a weakening in financial sanctions, which already allow Russia to sell food.

 

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

US believes Western warplanes won’t help Ukraine – WaPo

Even if Ukraine receives modern Western-made jets, they will be of little use because of Russia’s powerful air defenses, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US officials.
Amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive that Moscow claims has failed to gain any ground, officials in Kiev have stepped up requests for advanced aircraft, particularly US-designed F-16s, arguing they could play a key role in countering Russian air power.
While Kiev’s Western backers have announced a training program for Ukrainian pilots to fly the jets, they have yet to greenlight their delivery.
According to the Washington Post, Ukrainian officials have rebuked their Western counterparts, claiming that if they were in the same situation as Kiev, they would never have pressed ahead with a large-scale offensive without air support.

“So, to say that it [the offensive] is slow or too fast is at least ridiculous to hear from those who have no idea what it is,” the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, told the paper.

However, according to unnamed US officials interviewed by the Post, “Western jets would have little utility” for Ukraine in the current circumstances because of Russia’s “extensive air defenses.” Instead, one source argued that Kiev’s best tactic would be to rely on a “combined-arms approach.” 

Another US official told the paper that while Washington has trained Kiev’s troops how to conduct offensive maneuvers and has provided them with mine-sweeping equipment, they are still struggling to overcome strong Russian anti-tank defenses and drone strikes. “We don’t underestimate or under-appreciate that it’s a very tough situation,” the source added.

Citing F-16 pilots, Bloomberg reported in May that while the jets would definitely help Kiev, they would not be a “game changer” because their radars and missile systems are inferior to modern Russian equipment. That would mean using the warplanes either defensively or as part of high-risk operations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that if the West proceeds with F-16 shipments to Ukraine, the aircraft “will burn” just like other hardware. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that F-16 deliveries would be an escalatory move as they can carry nuclear weapons.

** US pressuring Ukraine for ‘decisive breakthrough’ – WaPo

US officials are reportedly concerned that Ukraine is not making enough progress in its much-lauded counteroffensive, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday citing anonymous sources.

According to the outlet, Washington is urging Kiev to commit to a decisive breakthrough as Ukrainian commanders have yet to employ the large-scale offensive tactics they were taught by Western instructors.

An unnamed US official explained to the Washington Post that the West had trained Ukrainian forces in integrated offensive maneuvers, as well as provided mine-clearing equipment, and stressed that it was “paramount”that Kiev’s troops quickly apply those capabilities to breach Russia’s defenses.

Western officials have reportedly criticized Ukraine’s military for embracing an attrition-based approach aimed at firing artillery and missiles at command, transport and logistics sites at the rear of Russian positions instead of using Western-style “combined arms” operations that involve large-scale maneuvers featuring tanks, armored vehicles, infantry, artillery, and air power, the outlet said.

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War have pointed out that Ukrainian commanders have chosen to embrace more low-profile advances involving groups of 15 to 50 soldiers in order to preserve manpower. The Washington Post also noted that Kiev has so far only fielded “four of a dozen trained brigades in the current campaign.”

Kiev’s attempts to breach Russian defenses have so far been met with “overwhelming artillery, anti tank missiles, loitering munitions and helicopter fire” which have caused significant losses. Russia’s extensive use of drones has also presented a challenge that “not even American forces – for all their combat experience in recent decades – have faced on this scale,” the Post said.

Experts have said that while advances on foot would likely reduce the attrition sustained by the Ukrainian army, such tactics would be much slower and be much less likely to provide an opportunity for a rapid breakthrough.

Ukrainian officials, in turn, have rebuked demands from their Western counterparts to speed up the operation and have instead stressed the need to avoid unnecessary losses and complained about the lack of air support. 

Kiev has repeatedly pleaded with its Western backers provide its forces with US-designed F-16 fighter jets, arguing that they would play a key role in countering Russian air power. 

Western officials, however, have reportedly insisted that the jets would not be a “game changer,” while Russia has responded by saying  the aircraft would be destroyed like any other foreign military equipment in Ukraine.

** Russian air defenses destroy 43 Ukrainian military drones over past day

Russian air defense forces destroyed 43 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles and intercepted three rockets of the US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system over the past day in the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Tuesday.

"During the last 24-hour period, air defense capabilities intercepted three rockets of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system," the spokesman said.

In addition, Russian air defense systems destroyed 43 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in areas near the settlements of Tavolzhanka and Zhovtnevoye in the Kharkov Region, Novodruzhesk, Berestovoye and Zaliman in the Lugansk People’s Republic, Krasnaya Gora and Podgornoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Novogorovka, Rabotino, Gulyaipole and Mirnoye in the Zaporozhye Region and Geroiskoye in the Kherson Region, the general reported.

 

RT

Wednesday, 19 July 2023 04:53

Wrong step, Mr President – Dan Agbese

President Bola Tinubu has asked for and received the approval of the national assembly for N500 billion to be used as palliatives. It is a thousand pities that the president has allowed himself to be persuaded to regress and take the inadvisable option of a trek down the same path in which hypocritic care for the poor was used as an emotional blackmail to corrupt and ruin the national economy for many, many years.

His decision came as a huge and disturbing shock to those of us who enthusiastically applauded his courage to bite the bullet by letting fuel subsidy become instant history from May 29 when he assumed office. It was a courageous decision that blocked a major leakage in the national economy. It is a decision we expect the president to stand by and defend in our national interest. Sadly, he appears to have wilted in the heat of the groaning and given in to the persuasive do-gooders who care less for the poor but more for their pockets.

I thought palliatives became history at the same time with fuel subsidy. To see the nation dragged back into the palliatives regime takes something away from the courage the president showed in his instant response to the fuel subsidy that had had a strangle hold on the jugular vein of the economy for too long. Yes, there is pain in the land. It would be foolish to contest that.

Every major economic or political decision causes pain and distress to the populace. When the president took the decision, he knew only too well that there would be groaning and gnashing of teeth in the land. But he did what he did because the current pains will be a child's play if we continued with a policy that bled the economy and enriched the few at the expense of the many. To roll back an important decision such as this is to give in to emotional blackmail. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect things to change for the better.

Palliatives have a long history and like fuel subsidy nothing about its history smells roses. Like fuel subsidy the administration of palliatives regime was corrupt and became an instant source of wealth for the army of consultants and business compradors. Its beneficiaries were not the supposed poor and the vulnerable. Rather they were the same rich people who are not tired of making money.

A major part of the corruption in the Buhari administration was the administration of the palliatives regime. President Tinubu could not have been unaware of this. Perhaps, he needs to audit the palliatives regime under Buhari to see if his father Christmas generosity is what the country needs to renew its faith in governance and its political leadership. Tinubu must never forget that his contract with the people is hope renewal. You do not renew hope in a country down on the ropes without decidedly harsh and painful decisions.

We have been on this road for as long as anyone can remember. The president said 12 million households will be paid N8,000 a month for six months. There are 138 million people living below the poverty line. Will this payment make a dent in our level of poverty?

The money cannot help the poor. It cannot bring down transport fares and food prices. With it, the consultants will become richer and the poor for whose sake the palliatives have been put back, will continue to endure the pains of an economy that refuses to wear a human face and dispense the milk of human kindness.

The challenge before every federal administration is how best to tackle our national poverty. It has always been a choice between giving the people fish and teaching them how to finish. Every administration has so far opted for giving them fish. It did not stop poverty. Nigerians are creative and resourceful people. Giving them fish kills their resourceful and entrepreneurial spirit.

The woman who roasts corn and yams by the roadside is not asking for or waiting for handouts from the government because when the handouts dry out, she will have been taken that high and dropped with a thud. She wants economic policies that create opportunities for her enterprise.

President Obasanjo first came up with poverty eradication programme. He later changed it to poverty reduction programme. In both cases, the core policy was the same. A number of people were selected in each local government area and paid N3,500 a month. Both programmes neither eradicated poverty nor reduced it.

Recall that each time the prices of petroleum product were raised government sought ways to minimize its crushing effects on the poor. President Ibrahim Babangida tried to institute a regime of fuel price differentials between commercial vehicles and private vehicles in the hope that if the commercial drivers bought fuel cheaply, they would reduce their fares and the poor would benefit. It did not work.

Obasanjo increased fuel prices three times in his eight years in office. His first approach to save the poor from being crushed by higher petroleum prices was for the federal and state governments to buy and sell commercial vehicles to bona fide transporters at subsidised rates. Cheaper commercial vehicles could logically make commercial vehicle owners charge cheaper fares. It did not work. The third time, he directed state governments to buy and sell Keke Napep to young men at subsidised rates. That too did not work.

All countries face the challenges of poverty among the people. Each nation decides on its best approach to it, but I am yet to hear of a nation that pulled itself up from the marsh of poverty with palliatives that offer only cosmetic and temporary relief to the people. India is a modern example of how a nation can determinedly tackle poverty. It pulled off its label as the poverty capital of the world. It did not do it with palliatives. It tackled the root of poverty and systematically lifted a number of people each year out of poverty. And Nigeria took over from it as the poverty capital of the world in 2017.

There has to be a more creative and pragmatic response to the poverty challenge by governments at the centre and the constituent states of the federation. Under this administration, we want to see less of the same and more of the new. Surely, throwing money at poverty has never reduced poverty anywhere in the world. History has no such record. To insist that Nigeria can be an exception wins our economic planners no laurels.

Palliatives will win applause, but it will solve no problems. It should not be impossible for the Tinubu administration to do things differently. The government needs to put certain things right. Our peasant farmers will return to their farms once they no longer fear bandits and kidnappers. Our petty traders and local transporters need to feel safe on the roads. The informal sector of the national economy is the province of petty traders and small businesses.

I expect the president to tell us what the nation saves from ending the fuel subsidy. He should then decide to use the saving to tackle some of the pressing national challenges such as insecurity. The late Sani Abacha did so when he raised fuel prices. He used part of the savings to set up the Petroleum Trust Fund headed by Buhari.

It was the first time the people truly benefitted from fuel price increases. But for PTF, many of our inter-state roads would have turned into footpaths by now. Instead of retaining PTF as an interventionist development agency, Obasanjo scrapped it and set up the wasteful FERMA. Retaining PTF would amount to his applause for his arch enemy.

Tinubu can do even better with the savings from the fuel subsidy. He has men and women with the capacity to chart a new path for his government. Palliatives have run their course and should give way to a new thinking on how best to manage our poverty by creatively utilizing our petroleum wealth. Tinubu can halt the tradition of throwing money at problems. It is not the way to go to renew our hopes in our present and our future.

You are poor. Not in the money sense. But in the time sense. I'm also poor. Like you, I suffer from "time poverty". We all do.

In today's fast-paced world, time poverty has become a pressing issue, impacting our happiness and productivity. Our constant connection to technology and obsession with work and money have left us feeling overwhelmed. 

Harvard Business School psychologist Ashley Whillans says that the rising rates of time poverty "have crushing effects on our happiness, our social relationships, and our physical health. Time poverty silences our laughter, steals our joy and depletes our personal well-being."

All is not lost though. By understanding the root causes and implementing effective self-nudging strategies, you can reclaim your time and enhance your well-being, in both your professional life and personal life. Let's look at why we experience time poverty in the first place.

Technology and fragmented leisure

Our constant use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops has fragmented our leisure time into small distracted moments. Whillans and her team call this "time confetti." It's like having a virtual ticker tape parade of tiny moments slipping through your fingers. 

We don't think it's that much. But the constant checking of your phone - an email here, an Instagram scroll there, and before you know it, you've got nothing to show but a craned neck and two sore thumbs. 

The Misconception of money's influence

Society has taught us that money is the key to happiness, but research shows that it only protects against sadness and doesn't guarantee joy. Money can't buy you love, and it certainly can't buy you extra hours in a day. 

"My data suggests that time poverty is also caused by our obsession with work and making money," says Whillans. "We are taught - and incorrectly believe - that money, not time, will bring us greater happiness." 

Money is important. But it isn't everything. Perhaps the new rallying cry for the Future of Work is to shift your focus from chasing dollar bills to cherishing the precious moments that make life truly fulfilling, or at least more fulfilling than the pursuit of money alone.

Strategies for "time abundance"

Reclaiming our time requires intentional choices. Here are three strategies that will make you the time management superhero you were always meant to be:

  • Prioritizing meaningful activities: Allocate time for activities that bring joy, such as socializing, volunteering, and exercising. Remember, no matter how busy you are, there's always time for a good laugh with friends.
  • Outsourcing and delegation: Identify tasks that drain your time and energy, and consider outsourcing or delegating them. After all, who wants to spend their weekends battling dust bunnies when you could be out exploring the world or indulging in your favorite hobbies?
  • Maximizing found moments: Utilize small pockets of free time, like during commutes or waiting in line, for meaningful interactions. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your phone, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Call a friend or a parent. Research shows, after all, that stranger conversations can make us feel good - better than we think they do.

 

Inc

President Bola Tinubu has ordered the immediate review of the proposed N8000 conditional cash transfer to Nigerians to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal. 

In a statement on Tuesday night, Dele Alake, special adviser on special duties, communications and strategy, said Tinubu has also directed that the whole gamut of the palliative package of government be unveiled to Nigerians.

“That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programme envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it,” the statement reads.

 

The Cable

Nigeria’s monthly inflation rate soared to a seven-year high in June, after President Bola Tinubu scrapped fuel subsidies and allowed the currency to weaken before declaring a state of emergency to control staple food costs.

Prices rose 2.1% in the month, the most since May 2016, and annual inflation quickened to 22.8% from 22.4% in May, according to the data published on the National Bureau of Statistics’ website. That was less than the median estimate of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey of 23%.

The annual and monthly upswings were fueled by higher food prices. Annual food inflation quickened to 25.3% in June from 24.8% a month earlier and monthly to 2.4% from 2.2%

Since taking over as president from Muhammadu Buhari in late May, Tinubu has rid the country of costly fuel subsides introduced in the 1970s and eased foreign-exchange controls, which have driven up transport and import costs.

The currency has dropped about 40% against the dollar over the past month and pump prices have almost tripled.

The acceleration in both annual and monthly inflation, and expectations that price pressures will remain elevated may persuade the central bank’s monetary policy committee to increase interest rates later this month.

The impact of the subsidy removal and exchange rate weakness will likely filter through into the July data, Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Co. in Lagos said by phone.

“The exchange rate effect came up at the end of June, into July. The price of wheat for instance was increased on July 1. The price of bread is going up on July 27,” Rewane said. “The inflation rate will be nothing less than 25% or 26% for July.”

The MPC has lifted rates by 700 basis points since May 2022 to 18.5% to contain an inflation rate that’s been at more than double the top end of its 6% to 9% target range for over a year. It raised rates by 50 basis points at its two previous meetings.

“Another 50 basis points is what I believe will be delivered by the next meeting, because inflation expectations are still very much on the rise due to ongoing foreign currency and fiscal reforms,” Mosope Arubayi, an economist at IC Group said ahead of the release.

The MPC is due to deliberate on interest rates on July 24-25, at a meeting to be presided over by Folashodun Shonubi, who has been acting as governor since Godwin Emefiele was suspended last month.

 

Bloomberg

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of trying to intimidate the judiciary and trigger crises in the country.

Tinubu had asked the election tribunal to dismiss the petition seeking to nullify his election on the grounds that he did not secure 25 percent of lawful votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT).

In a statement on Monday, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said the threat of a crisis and anarchy by the president is not only subversive but an affront to democratic order and an assault on the corporate existence of the nation.

“It is alarming and disturbing that the APC externalized to the public, their final written address in which they also threatened national peace if the court upholds the clear provisions of section 134 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) with regard to the mandatory and statutory requirements for which a candidate in a presidential election can be declared winner,” the statement reads.

“The threats, either through counsel or officials of the APC are calculated to intimidate and harass the judiciary and indeed Nigerians.

“The PDP holds that the clear intent of the APC is to blackmail the court and emasculate the independence of the judiciary to discharge its duties in accordance with the dictates of the law.

“This action is ostensibly to set the stage to orchestrate violent crisis in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC.

“We ask, why is the APC externalizing their final written address to the public? Is the APC being pre-emptive and now seeks to heighten tension, subvert the judicial process and trigger anarchy, having realized the weakness of their case before the PEPC?

“The PDP however cautions and emphasizes that Nigeria is a country of rule of law. The statutory requirements for a winner in a presidential election as provided by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the electoral act, 2022 are clear and unambiguous.”

The opposition party asked the APC to respect the provisions of the law and allow the judiciary to discharge its duties independently, without threats, intimidation and coercion.

“Contrary to the doomsday claims of the APC and its lawyers, upholding the provisions of the constitution and the laws at this point will rather promote peace and stability in the polity, deepen our democracy and engender confidence in the institution of the judiciary,” the party added.

The PDP called on Nigerians to remain calm, alert and hopeful in the ability of the judiciary to dispense justice accordingly.

 

The Cable

Labour Party (LP) has told President Bola Tinubu that his removal from office by the court will not cause anarchy in the country.

Tinubu had asked the presidential election tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by LP seeking to nullify his victory on the grounds that he did not secure 25 percent of the lawful vote cast in the federal capital territory (FCT).

Tinubu, through Wole Olanipekun, his counsel, in a final written address to the tribunal against the petition, said the FCT is the 37th state for electoral purposes and any other interpretation would “lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature”.

Olanipekun said the petition is novel and not familiar with the country’s electoral laws.

Reacting, the LP in a statement on Monday by Obiora Ifoh, national publicity secretary of the party, said Tinubu’s comment was unnecessary since the matter is before the court.

The LP said the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be cautious in its approach to the matter which is still in court, noting that no amount of pressure on the judges in the court can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place.

“We are worried that the statement which formed part of his submissions and was contained in his final written address against the Labour Party’s petition pending at the PREPEC, and meant to be in the exclusive custody of the court was leaked to the media,” the statement reads.

“We still do not know the reason behind this act of desperation, even when the matter is still pending in court. We will however be careful not to term the action as sub-judice.

“Having said that, the Labour Party thinks that the statement was unnecessary since the matter is already before the court, and going ahead to pontificate on it could be construed as interference in the duties and responsibilities of the judiciary.

“The truth of the matter is that there are no sentiments when it comes to matters of law. The law is the law and once the law has stipulated the manner and how a matter must be carried out, it must follow that pattern.

“If the law has stated the requirement that a presidential candidate must meet before he can be declared, there is no shortcut to it.

“Therefore, if the constitution which is the ground norm of the law in Nigeria has stated clearly that you must score at least 25 percent in FCT before the president can be declared, anything short of that can not remedy it.

“We insist that no amount of threat from the APC on the judges in the court can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place. It must be followed and that is the position of the Labour Party.

“Let me assure the APC and their leaders that if there were no absurdity, chaos, and anarchy when they forced their way into power, Nigeria will still witness peace when they are eventually evicted from power.”

 

The Cable

All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended its planned national caucus and national executive committee (NEC) meetings.

Abubakar Kyari, acting national chairman of the APC, spoke to reporters after an emergency gathering of the party’s national working committee (NWC) on Monday.

The NWC sit-down which was held at the party’s headquarters in Abuja was called after the “resignation” of Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore as national chairman and national secretary of the ruling party, respectively.

Kyari said the change in the party’s leadership necessitated the postponement of the meetings.

The acting national chairman said a new date for the meetings would be communicated to the public in due course.

“With this recent development in the change of leadership, I would like to inform everybody here that the proposed national caucus meeting slated for Tuesday the 18th July 2023 and the NEC meeting of the APC slated for Wednesday 19th July 2023 are hereby postponed,” he said.

“The postponement is not indefinite but a new date will be communicated in the near future. This is our announcement today and information to you our dear friends.”

When asked how the party would recover its funds, Kyari said: “There are no allegations at this point, the two individuals have resigned voluntarily and that is what is available at this moment.”

TheCable reported how the failure of Adamu to account for over N30 billion that accrued to the party from the sale of nomination forms in the build-up to the general election was the “last straw” that led to his ouster.

 

The Cable

Akure North Local Government Area has been thrown into grief and shock by the death in quick succession of its chairman and vice chairman.

The chairman, Bankole Ogbesetore, was the first to die on Tuesday. He was immediately replaced by his vice, Anthony Adebusola, as acting Chairman.

But Adebusola, too, died four days later on Saturday, sending shocks and grief across the local government area and Ondo state.

A political leader in the area and former commissioner for Sports and Youth Development in the state, Saka Ogunleye, was among the first to confirm the development on social media.

“It is on a sad note, painful and pathetic, that I’m here again to announce the tragic death of our council vice chairman Anthony Adebusola,” Ogunleye said.

“This unfortunate death occurred yesterday after a brief illness. Painful that we lost both our elected council chairman and his amiable, loyal vice chairman within one week.

“Like a bad movie, so sad a story. Ko ye mi oo. I urge you all to pray for us and the family members the two of them left behind.”

The state’s acting governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, had paid a condolence visit to the residence of the late chairman last week.

Reports have it that Ogbesetore had been ill for over a year.

 

PT

Federal Government has officially confirmed the first case of anthrax in the country.

A statement released by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Monday signed by Columba T. Vakuru, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, said animals showing signs of a possible case of anthrax on a farm in Suleja, Niger State, were reported to the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria on July 14, 2023.

“The case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising of cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along Abuja-Kaduna express way Suleja LGA Niger State, where some of the animals had symptoms including oozing of blood from their body openings – anus, nose, eyes and ears.

“A Rapid Response team comprising of federal and states One Health Professional Team visited the farm to conduct preliminary investigations and collected samples from the sick animals. Subsequent laboratory tests by the National Veterinary Research Institute laboratory confirmed the diagnosis, marking the first recorded case of anthrax in Nigeria in recent years,” the statement reads in part.

The federal government issued a warning to Nigerians weeks ago after learning of an anthrax outbreak in Northern Ghana where all infected animals had died.

Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus, which mostly affects livestock like cattle, sheep, and goats. However, it can also infect people who come into contact with infected people or contaminated animal products like meat, wool, or skins. Anthrax that spreads via the skin might result through open wounds or contact with contaminated objects, while anthrax that spreads through the air can happen when spores are inhaled.

The federal government appealed to Nigerians to “immediately report cases of animals bleeding from body openings to veterinary authorities, or agriculture extension workers.”

“The blood of an anthrax-infected animal does not clot. Do not process or move the dead or sick animal, quickly report to your veterinary doctor or veterinary authorities at the ministry of agriculture in your state,” the statement advised Nigerians.

 

Daily Trust


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