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University Don convenes 2021 APAS International Conference

The President, Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS), Professor Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, OSA, has convened the 2021 APAS International Conference with the theme, “African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.”
Prof. Kanu, who disclosed this in a statement in Jos, the Plateau State capital on Wednesday, noted that the conference which is going to be virtual, comes up on 25th May 2021, which according to him, is Africa Day; a day instituted by the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).
He observed that this conference would be bringing together scholars of different academic backgrounds from all over the world to discuss the innovative trends and advances emerging in Africa for greater change and freedom in the people of the continent.
Prof. Kanu,  who is also a Catholic Priest of the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA), pointed out that this collective action of APAS scholars is representative of the shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential.
He said, “The year 2021 marks the beginning of a promising decade for Africa. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent continues to be home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. Ours is a continent that has continued to give birth to beautiful and inspirational stories in spite of difficult circumstances.
“It is from this background that Prof. Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony, OSA, the President of the Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS) convenes the 2021 APAS International Conference on the theme: ‘African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.’
“To lead in the discussions at this conference are Professor Izu Marcel Onyeocha, CM, from the Imo State University, Nigeria, who would be giving the Keynote Address and Professor Mahmoud Masaeli from Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, who would present the Lead Paper. At the heart of the organization of this conference is Dr. Ejikemeuwa J.O. Ndubisi, who is the Secretary of APAS.”
While adding that this conference was inspired by a retinue of questions that had bordered the inquisitive minds of the members of APAS and beyond, he said, “We, therefore, look forward to a great interaction come 25th May 2021 as APAS scholars have taken up the challenge to respond to these fundamental questions through research.”
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FG adds extra day to  Eid-El-Fitr holiday

, Dr Olubunmi Tunji Ojo,
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal Government has elongated this year’s holiday to celebrate the annual Eid-El-Fitr Muslim festival.
In a press statement by the Ministry of Interior and signed by Dr Aishetu Gogo Ndayako, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, the federal government approved Thursday 11th April 2024 as an additional public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid-El-Fitr.
Earlier, Tuesday, April 9th and Wednesday, April 10th, had initially been declared as public holiday to celebrate the festival.
However, the Honourable Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji Ojo, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah for the successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation, reiterated President  Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive.

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Clergyman charges Christians to imbibe ideals of Easter

Reverend Peter Kolawole Agunbiade
As Christians are celebrating Easter, they have been encouraged to continually thirst to do the will of God – be righteous, love their neighbours, stay away from evil, and be ready to carry on the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sake.
The admonition was rendered by The Reverend Peter Kolawole Agunbiade, Vicar of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Ojokoro, Lagos State, at a three-hour service to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and also examine the spiritual significance of his seven words on the Cross, on Friday, 29 March 2024.
Speaking, Reverend Agunbiade said the hallmark of this season is love as exemplified by Jesus Christ on the cross entrusting the care of his mother, Mary, to his disciple, John, after his death, saying that Christians and Nigerians must love their neighbours and, more importantly, care for their aged parents.
He maintained that with love, there would be peace and stability in Nigeria and the global world, enjoining Christians to harken to the voice of God and God, in return, would answer their supplications.
Agunbiade called on Nigerians, particularly Christians, to learn to forgive one another at all times as Jesus Christ, even unto death, was still praying to his father to forgive his traitors for putting him to death.
The Vicar said “Jesus Christ, overwhelmed by the agony of death, still prayed and forgave his traitors. Passionately cared about the welfare of his mother, Mary, and entrusted her care to John. This unconditional love of Christ must be emulated by Christians who must love one another and take care of their aged parents.
“For the death of Christ not to be in vain, Christians must be true disciples and always make themselves available at all times for the work of God. Christians must always be in the presence of God; pray without season.”
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 Mass exodus of Doctors hobbles operations at Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital, patients stranded

Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital

By Obiagulu Agu

The National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi Lagos (NOHIL) is barely limping along, as it contends with the exodus of a large volume of its personnel for better working conditions outside Nigeria.In recent years, Nigeria’s health sector has suffered and continues to suffer, from huge depletion of critical manpower fleeing abroad for more attractive conditions of service. The trend has been labelled japa syndrome in local Nigerian parlance.

Checks revealed that NOHIL is particularly hit by japa syndrome; its operations are greatly hobbled by an acute shortage of personnel across many of the departments and units. At the premier orthopaedic institution, which serves as a centre of the World Health Organisation (WHO), patients, who do not make the cut for the day’s booking to be registered as fresh patients or for such procedures as X-ray or physiotherapy or be attended to by doctors, routinely resort to passing nights within complex at the mercy of the elements.

Patients and their relatives or other caregivers, according to findings, opt for such arduous nights in the open as an effective strategy for minimising logistical expenditures and other costs of booking the names of patients early enough for their various appointments.

It was learnt that the worst-hit by acute personnel shortages is the Radiology Unit, which, as early as 7:00 AM attains its daily count of 20 patients booking for X-ray, as any or all other persons reporting after that figure are firmly ordered to try out another day and subsequently dismissed.
It was observed, however, that staff of the hospital also indiscriminately smuggled in names of persons favoured based on familial or pecuniary relationships for X-ray services at the Radiology Unit.

There is also an X-ray centre operated beside that of the hospital’s by a private sector service provider, Crestview Radiology Limited, which was recently overwhelmed by huge demand when NOHIL’s X-ray machine broke down.
Notably, patients can only be attended to at the Crestview X-ray centre strictly based on request forms referrals endorsed by NOHIL doctors.

It was gathered that, in order to ensure that each of their patients get adequate care, physiotherapists at the Physiotherapy Unit have resorted to keeping the maximum number of patients they attend to daily at below 10.

Speaking under anonymity, a female outpatient, who is a resident of Ijoko in neighbouring Ogun State,  lamented that she had suffered several misses while seeking to have her initial X-ray session. She confessed with a hint of a victorious smile that she was only able to have that initial x-ray, having risen and reported at the Radiology Unit at 4:30 AM after she joined many others  who did same in passing the night along the hospital’s corridors.

She disclosed that she had adopted the same strategy of sleeping over at the hospital in order to successfully keep up with the appointments for other X-rays and her physiotherapy sessions.
Explaining that bills for the various hospital services were high and already draining her purse, she noted that her finances, in the prevailing harsh economic conditions in Nigeria, had been dealt additional blows  because she, until she settled for sleepovers at the hospital, been expending so much on transportation to cover all what turned out to be fruitless trips between her Ijoko, Ogun State residence and NOHIL.

Affirming to have eased so much of the stress on her purse by passing nights at the hospital in order to meet appointments next mornings the woman said that she was actively passing on the very beneficial advise that someone offered her for others to follow to access services at the hospital more promptly while keeping their costs in check.

Several other outpatients, all under anonymity, had spoken in a similar vein of resorting to passing nights at NOHIL in order to cut costs in accessing services promptly.
Located along the arterial Ikorodu Road, NOHIL, which is projected to accommodate 450 patients, reportedly had started as a Military Rehabilitation Camp for prisoners of war returning from the Second World War.

Following the recognition by the Colonial Medical Services in 1945, the institution had become a medical establishment known as Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital.
NOHIL had undergone a number of name changes, including from Igbobi Hospital to Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and onto its current name.
At various times between 1945 and 1977, the institution had come under the administration of the Federal Government and Lagos State Government. Since 1977 to date, however, the hospital has remained a Federal Government health institution.

In its “early days,” according to website of NOHIL, “the sphere of influence of the hospital extended to other parts of the West African sub-region, Central Africa and Angola.”
The hospital further stated that the facility was a repository of materials and resources for students during the same period.

In the present times, except the Federal Government takes urgent remediation steps to arrest the exodus of NOHIL’s personnel for greener pastures abroad, the hospital may very soon be rendered comatose.

Checks confirmed that the japa syndrome does not only cast a pallor on the bragging rights of NOHIL to the tag of “premier health institution”, but also poses an existential threat to the hospital.

Mr Agu is a maritime journalist and an out- patient at National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos
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