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Okowa laments Nigeria’s ranking in maternal, infant mortality

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Ifeanyi Okowa. PHOTO: TWITTER

MACBAN denies demanding reversal of open grazing ban in Delta
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, lamented Nigeria’s high ranking in maternal and infant mortality globally.

Okowa, who spoke during the commissioning of the State Specialist Hospital in Asaba, expressed concern over Federal Government’s failure to release funds to the National Health Act to operationalise basic healthcare across the country.

He said: “We need to spare ourselves the poor image when it comes to maternal and infant mortality below the age of five. This project is dear to us as a people and that is why only one hospital in Lagos can boast of a better sickle cell centre.”

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He noted that the 220-bed capacity hospital is under a private public partnership (PPP) to ensure smooth running of the health centre.

While commissioning the hospital, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, advocated devolution of powers to ensure meaningful development in the states.

He commended Okowa for his leadership, adding that the specialist centre would further change the narrative of health service delivery in the state.

“The agitations are increasing but they are not insurmountable. There is much power at the center that should be devolved to ensure productivity. When you move power, resources should also be moved to the states,” he said.

MEANWHILE, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had denied issuing a statement to reverse the Delta State government ban on open grazing.

Secretary-General of MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzarma, who refuted the statement yesterday in Damaturu, said: “We have never issued a statement on 72-hour ultimatum to the Delta State government to reverse the ban on open grazing.”

He said the statement from ‘faceless individuals’ was meant to create mischief between Delta State and herders across the country.

He noted that members of the association were responsible with eminent personalities, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad II, as patron of MACBAN, adding: “We will not do anything to jeopardise the country’s peace.”

Reacting to the media briefing held by leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, he said the association remained firm over its position on open grazing.

He, therefore, urged the Northern governors to ensure recovery of grazing routes in the country, insisting that the Fulani herdsmen have equal rights with all Nigerians and should not be treated as second-class citizens.

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