By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The National Action Committee Against Aids (NACA) has said that the federal government is planning to commence free treatment for hepatitis patients across the country.
NACA Director General Alhaji Sani Aliyu disclosed this in Minna, Niger state on Tuesday when he visited the Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Faouq Bahago in his palace.
Represented by the Director, Community Prevention and Care support Service of the agency, Mr Alex Ogundipe, the Director General said the modalities for the free treatment would be made known after the sentinel survey for HIV/AIDs and hepatitis which would begin nationwide in two weeks.
The federal government is presently giving free treatment to all HIV/AIDs patients in the country.
Sani Aliyu disclosed that the country had more than enough anti retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS victims but lamented that some of the drugs were wasting away because of lack of adequate statistics of victims and areas where the cases were more prevalent.
“The survey we are going to carryout will give us the exact statistic of HIV/AIDs carriers in the country this will save for the country millions of naira spent on the procurement of drugs that are not needed”.
He described the survey to be carried out “as the biggest sample size that any country had ever done” saying that the exercise would also give the exact prevalence rate of the disease presently put at 1.2%.
The director general said all traditional rulers religiously leaders and other major stakeholders had been adequately mobilised to assist in sensitising their subjects and followers for the success of survey.
The Emir of Minna Dr Umar Farouq Bahago in a brief remark promised to give all necessary support to officials of NACA to ensure the exercise was successful in the state.
Dr Bahago also promised to intervene in any community where the exercise received resistance and provided telephone numbers through which the staff could contact him for assistance.
Afenifere Kicks Against Tinubu’s Proposal on Herdsmen
Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has disagreed with former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu over his call for the conversion of unused land to grazing reserves.
Addressing a National Summit jointly promoted by The Nation Newspapers and Television Continental (TVC), where experts proffered solutions to the incessant herders/farmers clashes across the country yesterday, Tinubu had suggested that “Unoccupied, isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected in the affected states “.
But in a swift reaction, Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said the APC chieftain’s proposal is unacceptable.
According to him, “The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the statement credited to former Lagos Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the herdsmen terror being witnessed across the country is a fallout of water scarcity and that the country should “convert unused land to grazing reserves.
“Since most of the states in the country are being affected, it is sad that Tinubu is adumbrating the Miyetti Allah position to convert the entire country into one huge cattle colony. We totally reject this position as it is very backward in modern time and contrary to the consensus of all peace -loving Nigerians that what we need to solve the herdsmen siege on farmers is to have ranches.”
The group, which comprise notable Yoruba leaders asked Tinubu hew would have taken same position in societies like the USA and Britain.
“We admonish him that he is free to play his politics the way it suits him but he should thread softly in playing games with the lives of our people by making outlandish propositions on issues on which positions have been settled. We stand on the position of the 2014 National Conference that that the country should embrace ranching as a way out of the herdsmen crisis.
“Let those who are in position to take decision know this clearly: Tinubu can give his residence in Bourdillon for cattle colony but our people will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes,” Afenifere warned.