Senate President Bukola Saraki
  • Hails Shagari at 91

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Senate President Bukola Saraki thursday deplored the outbreak of lead poisoning in Rafin Local Government Area of Niger State as a result of small scale mining of gold in the area.

Saraki who stated this when representatives of Doctors Without Borders led by Dr. Simba Tirima paid him a courtesy visit, said it was unfortunate that the incident was occurring at the time the nation was yet to recover from the ravages of a similar incident in Bagega, Zamfara State where over 400 children were affected in 2013.

He lamented the death of 28 children already in the incident and called on the Ministry of Solid Minerals to be proactive in tackling the incident with a view to safeguarding the health of the people living in the area especially children.

He said the Senate would work with various stakeholders to ensure that all funds made available were utilised for proper remediation of the affected communities as well as the treatment of children already affected by the disease.

In another development, Saraki will today attend a session tagged: “Social Media Week Lagos. According to a statement by his Special Assistant on New Media, Bankole Omisore, the event is one of the major programmes lined up for the closing of 2016 Social Media Week.

“The topic is imperative, coming at a time Nigerians have demonstrated strong interest in using Social Media as a tool to engage governance and amplify their voices on the happenings during and after the electioneering process. The session is expected to be robust and interactive to continue to shape and bridge the gap between elected government officials and Nigerians passionate about the use of social media for engagement and other social good,” the statement added.

Also yesterday, Saraki felicitated with former President Shehu Usman Shagari as he turns 91.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the nonagenarian as one of the last men standing among the nationalists who fought for the independence of Nigeria.

According to him, Shagari’s humility, unparalleled contributions, benevolence and statesmanship stand him out among his peers both in Nigeria and in the African continent.

“It is a great honour for me to join millions of Nigerians to wish you a happy 91st birthday. Let me say that you are a great source of inspiration to all of us having served the nation in a most meritorious manner, both as an educationist, minister and President with all your energy, wisdom and devotion. It is worthy of note that you are the oldest surviving head of the Nigerian nation today.

“Also, you remain a living library of Nigerian politics. Above all, it has taken many years

and many miles for you to get to this very day, therefore, enjoy your well earned attainment in life,” Saraki said.