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Concerns mount over unregulated ‘black market’ organ trade in Nigeria

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Numerous concerns have been raised by Nigerians about the proliferation of a thriving black market and illegal activities related to organ donation, harvesting, and transplantation within the country. This issue has emerged due to reports of a growing number of illicit organ removals from individuals without their consent, often for transplantation purposes or commercial sale.

Recently, Nigeria has witnessed a surge in reported cases of organ harvesting, involving the removal of vital organs like kidneys, liver, and heart, among others. Kidneys are particularly targeted due to their high demand and higher chances of success in transplantation.

A notable incident in this regard involved Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy President of the Senate, who was sentenced to nine years and eight months in a UK prison. He was found guilty of being a central figure in an attempt to harvest a kidney for his ailing daughter from a trafficked young man in London. This marked the first organ trafficking conviction under the Modern Slavery Act.

Most reported cases of organ harvesting in the country have involved compulsion, deception, abduction, and the exploitation of vulnerable Nigerians, particularly those living in poverty or marginalized communities. For instance, a mechanic named Chimaobi Eric Nwoko alleged that he was misled into donating his kidney to another person named Osinachi in exchange for a promised $20 million, a house in the United States, and a job.

Chimaobi, who is now struggling for his life, is urging the suspect to fulfill the compensation promise, as the suspect’s brother, Osinachi, has fully recovered while Chimaobi’s health deteriorates.

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In a similar case, the Plateau State Police Command arrested a medical doctor, Noah Kekere, for allegedly harvesting a kidney from Mrs. Khende Kamal without her knowledge, causing her chronic pain for several years.

The prevalence of organ harvesting in Nigeria can be attributed to the absence of regulations and a governing body overseeing organ transplantation. Contributing factors include the lack of regulation and enforcement of medical ethics, poverty, inequality, and unscrupulous medical practitioners.

Expressing concern about this issue, the chairman of the Medical Consultants Association of Nigeria at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Amisu Mumuni, emphasized the need for a regulatory body to oversee organ harvesting and transplantation, especially in Lagos State. He acknowledged the absence of such regulation in the past and welcomed the introduction of a new department to address this issue.

Dr. Usha Anenga, the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association in Benue State, emphasized that poverty is a driving force behind illegal organ harvesting. He highlighted the absence of specific guidelines for organ donation in Nigeria and called for a unified document that regulates the practice, involving stakeholders, experts, and proper enforcement.

In summary, the growing concern in Nigeria revolves around illegal organ harvesting and transplantation due to a lack of regulations, exploitation of poverty, and the absence of proper guidelines and enforcement. Efforts are being made to address this issue by establishing regulatory bodies and guidelines to protect individuals from illegal organ harvesting.

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‘Some people have turned into monitoring spirits because of Tinubu’ – Joe Igbokwe

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Joe Igbokwe, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, raised concerns on Saturday about the constant monitoring of President Bola Tinubu. Igbokwe claimed that some individuals have resorted to witchcraft and “monitoring spirits” to keep an eye on Tinubu.

He explained that these individuals are observing Tinubu closely to catch any mistakes or mishaps, wherever he goes. Posting on his Facebook page, Igbokwe predicted that this scrutiny will persist for the next eight years.

He wrote: “Some people have turned to monitoring spirits. They follow PBAT anywhere he goes to see if he will make mistakes, if he will fall down, or if he will be received very well in any country he goes to. This is witchcraft and they will do this for 8 years. Mark this.”

Tinubu had a slip during the Democracy Day celebration at Eagles Square on June 12. Addressing the incident later at a Democracy Day dinner at the Presidential Villa, the President commented: “Early this morning, I had a swagger and it’s on social media. They’re confused about whether I was doing bugger or babariga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy. Why doing dobale on the day? I’m a traditional Yoruba boy. I did my dobale.”

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‘We’re still owed salaries in Abia State University’ – ASUU

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The Abia State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has claimed that many of its members did not receive their April and May salaries, and those who were paid had deductions from their salaries. ASUU Chairperson Chidi Mbah and Secretary Victor Obisike stated that despite announcements from the Abia government and social media reports indicating that salaries had been settled, only a few staff members with accounts at commercial banks received their April salaries, and even fewer received their May salaries.

The ASUU leaders highlighted that this inconsistency in salary payments and deductions has caused financial difficulties, anxiety, and uncertainty among the affected staff. They noted that staff members who did receive their April or May salaries experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000.

This irregular payment system has made it difficult for the unions within the university to determine the status of their check-off dues, which are usually deducted at the source. Additionally, ASUU emphasized that 11 months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid, despite repeated assurances from the government.

ASUU expressed its support for Governor Alex Otti’s efforts to improve Abia State University but urged government officials to avoid politicizing the salary payment issue. They appealed to the state government to promptly address the concerns raised and ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid in full to alleviate the financial hardships faced by the university staff.

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Sanusi: Ado Bayero was never Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf’s spokesman

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Sanusi Bature, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, has asserted that Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. According to Bature, former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Bayero as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city.

During an appearance on Arise Television, Bature explained that Ganduje’s appointment of Bayero as emir was part of a political maneuver that compromised the integrity of the historic Kano Emirate, which predates Nigeria and its constitution by over a thousand years.

Bature stated: “The governor’s action was intended to protect the emirate’s integrity as an institution. The Emirate of Kano has a history that predates Nigeria, with people living under a single Emir for over a thousand years. Ganduje’s administration politicized this history, which Yusuf promised to rectify during his campaign to restore the emirate’s lost glory.”

He further remarked, “This is not the first time an Emir has been deposed; Ganduje did it, and Sanusi left Kano for peace to prevail. Now Sanusi has returned to Kano after the law was repealed.”

Clarifying Bayero’s status, Bature said, “Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. He was appointed as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city. With the revision of the law under a unified Kano, the emirate Bayero served no longer exists. He was the Emir of the Kano city emirate, not the entire 44 local governments of Kano, a status created by Ganduje’s 2019 Emirate law.”

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Governor Yusuf deposed Ado Bayero and reinstated Muhammed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Despite this, Ado Bayero has refused to leave his Nassarawa palace and has challenged the state government’s action in court.

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