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The United Nations’ 2022 World Mental Health Day: A Call for Proactive Action

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As the world marks the World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2022, the National Association of Seadogs – Pyrates Confraternity has expressed concern that this year’s event does not end up as “mere ritual for speech making and grand declarations that fail to speak to the issues. We therefore use this to call on the relevant stakeholders to ensure that concrete steps that will frontally address the issue are taken.”

The association said as a country presented with another opportunity to focus on and address an issue that has continued to be a source of concern, noted that mental illness has evolved into what behavioral scientists call a phenomenon and the data is such that if we continue to ignore it, we do so at our collective peril.

This year’s event, according to the group, has the theme: Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All A Global Priority is important as it seeks to draw attention to the issues relating to mental health.

Mental wellness according to the WHO is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Mental ill-health has grown into a global menace; a report from The Adracare Team states that 1 out of 5 Americans aged 18 and above, live with mental illness. However, more alarming is the statistics released in a 2019 report of the World Health Organization, (WHO) which reveals that one in four Nigerians – some 50 million people are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Even more worrisome is the fact that the same report states that the country is nowhere near equipped to tackle the problem. Instances of suicide which most often is precipitated by mental illness has been burgeoning of late. There have been several cases of individuals that jumped to their death on the 3rd Mainland Bridge in what we may preliminarily categorize as anomic suicide.

A statement by Olamide Oni Capoon, Sahara Deck, National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates’ Confraternity), Abuja City Centre said, “while we recognize that there is a multiplicity of factors that may predispose to mental illness, some of the most common in our shores are: use of recreational drugs, poverty, traumatic experience – especially common among those unfortunate enough to have been at the receiving end of the horrors of boko-haram insurgency, kidnap victims and genetic factors, poor medical and professional care, cultural practices, superstition, and social stigma. Poor medical and professional care, certain cultural practices, superstition, and social stigma are also among the factors that tend to exacerbate mental ill-health. Families of mentally ill persons keep them in hiding, more concerned about their social standing that seek medical care for them. There is also a dearth of specialized medical institutions and certified psychiatrists in the country. Some communities and cultures see mental illness as a curse and therefore believe the cure is in exorcisms and other spiritual means.”

Text of the statement further read: “As members of the National Association of Seadogs – Pyrates Confraternity, we believe firmly in a just and equitable society where everyone is as much as possible, exposed to equal life’s chances. We therefore use this to call on the relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders to use this opportunity to formulate policies that speak to the very heart of the issues, repeal the old legislations on the subject while passing new laws with input from the critical stakeholders. When there is a well formulated policy in place, then there can be appropriations at new budget cycles wherein the government can fund the establishment of institutional structures that address the peculiar problem. Specialized hospitals can be sited at the various urban centers and certified mental health personnel trained. Preventive measures such as fighting the menace of drug abuse especially among the youths, improving the general quality of life through a robust and growing economy are some of the preventive measures that can also be applied.”

In commemoration of this year’s “World Mental Health Day”; the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), Sahara Deck – Abuja City Centre, has concluded plans to donate drugs to patients at the Behavioral Home in Karu, Abuja. The group will also embark on a 7-kilometer morning walk to sensitize members of the public on the need to take mental health seriously, in line with this year’s theme: “Make mental health and wellbeing for all; a global priority”.

“According to the latest United Nations data, nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder, and one in seven teenagers are affected. In Nigeria, over 60 million people suffer from mental illnesses, according to the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN). Despite the huge number of people affected globally, mental disorders are widely under-reported in the media, a situation that forces the issue to the background, in global health discourse.

“Therefore, to draw more attention to this global menace, NAS Sahara Deck invites members of the public to participate in its health walk, slated for Monday, October 10. The Capoon of National Association of Seadogs, Sahara Deck, Olamide Oni, called on governments at all levels to prioritize reducing the factors that predispose people to mental illness and improving conditions that people need to thrive. Later in the month, the deck will also be having a public lecture on mental health; where experts in the field will be invited to x-ray issues as it concerns mental health.”

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December Salary Delayed To Allow Workers Meet New Year Financial Obligations

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Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN,CON on Tuesday said his administration has fulfilled its promise not to owe workers’ salaries in the state.
Governor Akeredolu, who disclosed that government has already paid up till November, 2022, explained that the December salary was delayed on the advice of the Labour leaders to allow workers meet new year financial obligations.
The Governor assured that the December salary will be paid soon, while promising that the one month remaining from the inherited seven months salary arrears will also be paid before the end of his tenure.
“As you are aware, you received three alerts in December. We paid October and November, 2022. You also received leave bonus. We would have paid December but the Labour leaders advised that we delay it till January to allow you meet financial obligations. Students will resume soon. We will pay school fees.
“Also,we inherited seven months salary arrears, we paid six. Before I leave office, I will pay the remaining one.” He said.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at the Annual Prayer Meeting with Public Servants on the first working day of the year, held at the Governor’s park, Governor’s office, Akure, the state capital.
He assured that his administration would continue to give priority consideration to the well-being of the Public Service amidst competing demands from other segments of the State.
The Governor noted that in spite of the State’s lean resources, his administration will continue to do more and not shy away from its responsibility.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said he was glad to hear good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears and leave bonus.
He also described as heartwarming, the workers’ testimonies on the new Duty Tour Allowance, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others.
The Governor further assured of his administration’s resolve to improve the quality of lives of the people and deliver on promises.
Arakunrin Akeredolu thanked all public servants in the State for their cooperation, particularly the organised Labour for their understanding.
He explained that without the commitment of the workforce, his administration would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in its policy thrust.
On the 2023 General Elections, the Governor called on civil servants and the people at large to play by the rules while exercising their franchise at the poll.
“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that public servants are not expected to be involved in partisan politics. Absolute loyalty and commitment should be the watchword of the service.
“Again, political discourse should be civil with decorum and in statutory manner. You will note that our Administration has insulated the bureaucracy from partisan politics.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele disclosed that 8,415 Public Servants across the State were promoted with financial benefits in 2022.
While thanking the Governor for his continued support in all areas pertaining to issues affecting public servants in the State, the Head of Service described the Governor as worker-friendly.
“Thanks to Arakunrin’s commitment to workers’ welfare in ensuring the payment of all outstanding salaries. The present administration, in a bid to reduce shortfall in the workforce, has continued to recruit fresh hands in the critical areas of need.
“For instance, 52 temporary staff of the Ondo State Emergency Medical Services Agency (ODEMSA) were recently given permanent appointments. Moreover, Ondo State workers and retirees have had a new lease of life under this Administration.
“For instance, a number of staff of the Owena Press Limited who retired long years ago received their gratuities last month. The Orange Health Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) was inaugurated to give public servants and their immediate family members access to qualitative health care in preferred health facility of choice at low or no cost.” Ogundele said.
In his remarks, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye thanked the Governor for prioritising workers’ welfare.
He disclosed that Governor Akeredolu has paid 76 months salaries within the 70 months and one week of his administration.
“Let me say this clearly with every pride in me, on behalf of workers of Ondo State, that Arakunrin Akeredolu has spent 70 months and one week as the Governor of Ondo State, and he has paid 76 months salaries.” He said.
In his exhortation, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Ondo Province and Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Bishop Oluwole Borokini, congratulated the people for making it to the new year.
He admonished the workers to be loyal, committed to duties and shun corrupt practices in all their activities.
The prayer meeting was attended by the deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council; Bishop of Owo Anglican Diocese, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi; the Founder of Agape Christian Ministries, Bishop Felix Adejumo; the state CAN chairman, Bishop Anselm Ologunwa; PFN chairman in the state, Bishop Joshua Opayinka; State Pastor, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Jacob Osubiojo; APC state chairman, Ade Adetimehin; heads of security agencies in the state; top government functionaries and public servants, among several dignitaries.
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Yuletide: Governor Ikpeazu provides free buses for Abians in the North

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In line with the Christmas and New Year celebrations which normally see Christians, especially Igbos travelling to the hinterland to join their families for the celebrations, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has provided free buses for Abians living in the Northern part of the country to enable them travel to the State for the celebrations.
The free buses which are provided for Abia residents in Jos Plateau, Mararaba Nasarawa, Minna Niger, kwara and Gwagwalada FCT this morning, 30th December, 2022, took off from the various cities to Abia.
Speaking to news men on the development, the Liaison Officer Abia Liaison Office Abuja, Mr. Joseph Nwagbara said Abia government in a bid to subsidise transport fares for Abians living in the North, provided the buses. He added that it is one of the democracy dividends of the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
In their separate remarks, some passengers of the bus from Mararaba Nasarawa axis including Mr. Udo Ibezim from Ubakala and Christy Ibe from Umuahia South expressed joy at the gesture by the Governor. They said, with economic crunch biting so hard on Nigerians, many could not afford their transport fares back home.
According to them, the free bus has given them the opportunity to travel home to relate with their families as well as know what is happening in the State, including the developmental efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. They commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the gesture and prayed God to bless him and his administration.
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UNN, Enugu Campus, Business Administration (2008 Set) Reunion

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The University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu campus the 2008 set of Business Administration faculty, had their Reunion.
The former classmates arrived Lagos from different parts of the world on Friday, 28th October, 2022.
The main activity was hosted at Ronke Beach with a boat cruise sponsored by Easy-E, Anusi Marcel (Tiger) and Valentine chinedu Aniekwe.
(Nwachinemelu)
Mr Ogan, Rogers John, the National Financial Secretary of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association encouraged graduates from the Institution to try and visit “The DEN”. He attended the event in the company of his wife, Mrs Chioma Rogers-Ogan, who happens to be one of them.
The highlight of the Reunion was the financial donations to set-up a Charity foundation in order to support the low income classmates..
They departed on Sunday, 30th October, 2022.
The occasion was chaired by Chief Ikelo Idika popularly known as Mamba.
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