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Sunday, November 20, 2016

COMPARING THE HOLOCAUST IN GERMANY, GENOCIDE IN RWANDA AND THE ASABA MASSACRE OF 7TH OCTOBER 1967!


AN ATTEMPT TO WIPE OUT A DEFENCELESS COMMUNITY BY SHOW OF MILITARY MIGHT??


A Wikipedia definition of this very horrible word called Holocaust is; “…the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and it’s collaborators”…which tentatively led to the 2nd World War with the eventual formation of the United nation!

Thus, nations came together or became united across the globe in order to prevent the nonoccurrence of such evil deeds! Nevertheless, the same “United nations” went to deep slumber as millions of Tutsi, (a particular tribe in East Africa) were slaughtered in what was generally described as the Rwanda Genocide; “the intentional action to destroy a people (usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial or religious group) in whole or part”... as historically documented.

Now the massacre of defenseless civilians comprising youths of ages between 12-18years, in Asaba, on 7th October 1967, has remained undocumented, nay conveniently forgotten in our history as a nation.

 It was a day indigenes of Asaba were called out to celebrate “ONE NIGERIA” during the Nigeria/Biafra war, but it turned out to be a dance of death!

In retrospect, it could be an attempt to completely wipe out the entire Asaba community based on the extent and manner of the wanton destruction as embarked upon by the marauding Nigeria Soldiers.

An extract from the Wikipedia account of the pogrom summarizes it thus; “Leaders summoned the townspeople to assemble on the morning of October 7, hoping to end the violence through a show of support for "One Nigeria." Hundreds of men, women, and children, many wearing the ceremonial akwa ocha (white) attire paraded along the main street, singing, dancing, and chanting "One Nigeria."

At a junction, men and teenage boys were separated from women and young children, and gathered in an open square at Ogbe-Osowa village. Federal troops revealed machine guns, and orders were given by Maj. Ibrahim Taiwo to open fire.

It is estimated that more than 700 men and boys were killed, some as young as 12 years old, in addition to many more killed in the preceding days”. What are the spirits of the over 700 men and boys that were lynched/slaughtered saying to us today, specifically on the 7th October 2016, 49years after?

Some people in their myopic logic or wisdom have argued almost convincingly that this massacre in Asaba, about 49years ago should be forgotten, put behind us and ndi Ahaba should just move ahead! Of course, life is all about moving on and such argument will make loads of sense to persons who are not casulties of the massacre.

It will be logical to an outsider that never experienced the pains of losing a loved one in any unjustified conflict, especially where the majority of the victims were unarmed little kids.

Tell me, what about the other casualties of this massacre that grew up single parented having lost their fathers in the event of this crooked genocide thereby forcing a loving wife into the dark shadow of becoming a widow?

Auschwitz: visit to Nazi concentration camp




Krakow is not the hometown of the late Pope John Paul 11, I learnt as the minibus whirred past my hotel street.

 

“It’s a village near here,” explained a guide. “But this is the big city around here, so many associate him with Krakow.”

 

Krakow is one of the storied abodes of history. Its population bustles with tourists, and its central square preens with spires, rented horses and buggies, open-air restaurants, shops, lone minstrels and tourists burying themselves in flashlights of photography.

 

But much of the city’s brio draws from a dark place. Many of the tourists, like myself, visit because of Auschwitz, a name hard to spell out by lips and pen. But what is harder still is the ability of anyone to digest its story.

 

That was where our minibus was heading, to Auschwitz, a place of rottenness. It was, simply put, the symbol of Nazi barbarism during the Second World War, where a phalanx of self-righteous racists arrogated to themselves the role of a race’s messiah of human purity.

 

They plotted, first by stealth and later by open brazenness, to wipe out what French writer Jean Paul Sartre described as “other people.”

 

The other people, in this instance, were primarily Jews. But others included rebellious Poles, Jehovah Witnesses, dissidents, homosexuals, Gypsies, etc.

 

The drive from Krakow gulped an hour and half, but that journey would have filled me with a lot more anticipation but for the guide’s decision to prepare us with a film of Nazi horror. Much of the film was familiar to me, having seen quite a few documentaries, seen movies like the Holocaust series, Escape from Sobibor, Schindler’s List, The Book Thief, etc. I had also read quite a few books, fiction and non-fiction, including Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, Primo Levi’s If This is a Man and Ann Frank’s Diary, etc.

 

I wanted to bear witness after the fact. Even though the evil happened between 1941 and 1945, I had always wanted to see Auschwitz for myself, to walk where Nazi jackboots stomped, where they shot humans at whim, where they burned humans to ashes, where they worked without profit. There I breathed the air where lawyers, doctors, teachers, fathers, mothers, children were reduced to sub-humans, lived like pigs, saw death but could not snatch it, where the devil unveiled the dark side of human folly.

 

It is called Auschwitz, but its original name was in polish, and it was Oswiecim. When the Nazi’s took over, they did not only want to conquer the place but also its name. So, they changed the look as well as its sound. From a rustic, quiet, arboreal town, it became a hovel of cries, lashes, rat-tat of bullets, thuds of dying bodies, separated families, fear, loathing and foreboding.

 

Our bus arrived Auschwitz to a stir of people. My group consisted of about 18 persons. But I saw about at least six other groups there at about 10 am. We went through security checks, and met our tour guide, who was a Polish woman. The gate appeared to me like a barracks portal, and the guide confirmed that the camp was originally a Polish military barracks.

 

The Nazis remodeled it in their image and evacuated the residents. At the gate was written, “Works makes you free,” in German. It was one of the Nazi deceptions. They wanted to give the impression that those forcibly tenanted in that rampart were there to work for profit.

 

The same deception was cast on the detainees. They were merely being resettled. So, they packed their belongings as though to another abode where they would live their normal lives away from the Nazis. They saw it as relief, but they did not know they were about to be relinquished. So, they packed their best clothes, jewelry, money. Some draped themselves in their best fashion. They were rammed into trains with little air and rode for three and half days in some instances. They had no place to ease themselves except on themselves.

 

Auschwitz was located close to another town called Birkenau. It was there the trains arrived, and it was a bigger camp. So, the inmates were transferred to hostels in Auschwitz.

 

We moved from building to building. We saw an approximately 10-foot high wall, where the stubborn people were executed. Some earlier visitors placed flowers. There men and women were lined up and shot, just a yard away from the hostel. Windows overlooked the wall. The hostel inmates could hear the blast of guns but could not see the carnage. They were not supposed to see but guess, why bullets blasted the air, and while voices yelled, whimpered and expired.

 

They never enjoyed a burial except as ashes, if they were not dumped into a big ditch and left to rot. An urn contained remnant ashes secured from the early days after the place was liberated. It looked like shredded cotton before I looked closer and reminded me of wood ashes around my grandmother’s cooking pot. I looked away.

 

Not far from there were masses of human hair. My mind zipped to the craze for human hair in Nigeria, and the contrast stared me in the face. The heaps of hair were shaved from the inmates once they arrived the camp. They used them to make beds and different sorts of clothing. It was classic humiliation to the Jews, especially men whose beards were sometimes as holy as their Torah.

 

Next were their shoes, of various sizes and in that glass display were thousands of pairs of shoes. I wondered those who wore them, when they bought them. A girl probably once used those shoes to impress a date, received it as a birthday present, a guy probably had it for a graduation party, etc. Today, it is a symbol of absence and butchery.

 

The hostel was brutal. They inmates slept on double-bunk beds and on mattresses made from hair. The mattresses were arranged neatly as though it were a dark sort of comfort. The hostels were narrow, and leg room was luxury. The toilets had no privacy and the bowls, cracked and slimy, made you retch. Yet, no one was allowed to use the toilets except early in the morning before work and late at night after work.

 

Anyone who was pressed in between had to wait or face the repercussions. One of them was a starvation room. The inmate would lie in the cell without food or water until he or she died. A polish priest, Maximillien, volunteered on behalf of another man and survived the starvation room for about two weeks. The Nazis were not impressed. They killed him. The priest has been canonised.

 

Other than the starvation room, there was the standing room, where the victim stood without the ability to sit or stoop, for days until he or she expired or served a specific term. Others were simply paraded at the wall of death and executed.

As we walked by the toilets and bathroom, the guide quoted a woman, Esra Pollack,

 

“Man has created horrors but cannot find the words to describe.”

 

The most chilling horror was when we stood in the gas chambers. Shower heads hung on the ceilings as promise of a normal bath. But it was a parody that ended in gas that turned into waves of fire that gutted the naked bodies at once. A few yards away was an incinerator that converted flesh to ashes. The ashes were used as fertilizers and the rest dumped in ponds or rivers. Like a peacock, a few metres away, stood a gated mansion.

 

“That’s the home of the camp commandant,” said the guide. The place was a contrast. We never entered the mansion, and I wondered why. The sight of the luxury where the chief butcher enjoyed the higher comforts with his family was probably enough after all the horrors we had seen in a two-hour walk. We were told that no one survived the camp for more than six months, and those were few.

 

In Poland, there were other camps as well, but this was the most notorious. About 800 attempted escapes but only 144 succeeded and they thrived till the end of the war. With the high walls, the barbed wires, the high tower watches, the 24-hour vigilance, the regular roll calls, it was amazing that some people escaped or even dared.

 

Most of the year was in freezing weather, sometimes minus 20 degree Celsius, more than many refrigerators. Although this was Poland, the majority of inmates were Hungarian Jews. Inside Poland, the Nazis killed 2.3 million Jews and about two million others sent to other camps, some inside Germany.

 

We moved less than twenty minutes away to Birkenau, which was a bigger camp. There the refugees arrived. We saw the train coaches, the rump of the rail lines, and the area where the arrivals were sorted out. The women and children were separated from the men who were seen as healthy. The so-called weak men were lumped with the women and children. The fit men went to the hostels while the “unfit” were consigned to the concentration camp.

 

As the war came to an end, the Nazis destroyed much of the evidence like the gas chambers and hostels. But the marks were unmistakable. One of the chilling reminders was the room where doctor Mengele operated. He slaughtered humans for experiment to make the perfect Aryan race. The man escaped and lived many years later and was never discovered until he drowned in Latin America.

 

It was over, but for the rest of the day, I had to concentrate on the nature of human evil.

 

THAT REALITY CHECKS ON PST BARR CHUKS JOHN OBUSOM…..HOW VALID?


 “JUDGE FOR YOURSELF” THE RECENT COMMISSIONING OF PROJECTS AND PST BARR. CHUKS OBUSOM’S PRESENCE AS THE CHAIRMAN OF OSHIMILI SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT!!

AN “UHURU” WITH THE NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN OR THE BUSINESS AS USUAL CONCEPT??

Certainly, there’s a particular mind-set in which politicians especially here in Nigeria, are seen/regarded by the electorates that made their ascension to positions of power possible. Because it is common for them (the Nigerian politicians) to randomly make promises during electioneering which are hardly fulfilled, it sometimes becomes more difficult separating the chaffs politicking from the seeds!

Most politicians barely remembered slogans or putting their party’s agenda into practice as soon as they get into office, rather the recovering of “investment” and “kissing of asses” of a vested interested (usually the political godfathers/godmothers) assumes the order of the day.

A once-upon-a-time very accommodating and jovial individual will suddenly convert to a stone-faced and remained inaccessible to those that made it conceivable for them to get drunk with power.

But without exaggerating so much of the facts, the current chairman of Oshimili South Local Government Area, Pst. Barr. Chuks Obusom, appears to be molded differently both in character and otherwise as against the “normal runs” politician!

Though some may have argued almost logically that there’s less need to call for celebrations with regards to the recent commissioning of projects achieved by Pst Barr. Obusom, in his two years as the new sheriff of the council. Of course,

“he is doing what he was elected to do”….so the argument goes! Nevertheless, the newly commissioned REVENUE COURT, POULTRY FARM and the installed KVA TRANSFORMER will always remained a landmark and to his credit. It is surprising how these feats were accomplished considering the current economic recession and the lean purse federal allocation.

However, precedent comes to mind and in glaring contrast to those that earlier had the opportunity to manage the affairs of Oshimili South LGA, either by s/election or imposition, the difference is clear.

A specific instance of this variance in administrative management cum mismanagement of our council is Hon. Chinwe Darling Monu-Olanrewaju, the immediate past council chairperson! Her presence within the council chair was a disaster and nothing to write home about except the sad memories of depleting the council’s corporative purse of over N40million as alleged.

One reality checks that won’t be easily wished away on any ground is the fact that Pst Barr. Chuks Obusom, has initiated a COMPARATIVE STANDARD in his tenure and for posterity sake with this commissioning of projects within the council!

Henceforth, it will be an appropriate thing to question any pretender to the office of chairman of the LGA, about his intentions, goals and the ability to manage the office.

Since such practical landmark (Revenue court, Poultry farm, installation of transformer) can be accomplished within a nationally acclaimed economic downturn era, it reveals the truth about the former occupiers of this same position as LOOTERS of our commonwealth.

While adding more grease to Mr. Chairman’s elbow, it must be emphasized that staffers of the council are continuously crying out about the delayed salaries oh!

 

According to him, Governor Okowa prayed that Almighty God will continue to bless the former president with good health and long life.

Aniagwu quoted the Governor as saying: “It is with profound joy that I write on behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, to express very warm felicitations to you on your 59th birthday.

“I join your family, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for His continued guidance, protection and provision for you in the past 59 years of a life of forthrightness and outstanding patriotism with which He has blessed you.''

“It is gratifying to note that our Administration can continue to count on
the solidarity and support of accomplished, highly respected statesmen and committed patriots like you as we vigorously pursue our SMART Agenda for Deltans.

“As you celebrate this historic day, it is my prayer that the Almighty God continues to prosper you and imbue you with robust health and wisdom as you continue to give yourself in the service of our dear nation and the world at large,” the Governor wrote to Dr Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

Delta Assembly Staff Shut Down Assembly Complex over Welfare issues


BY PATRICK OGBOGU

Staff of the Delta State House of Assembly have shut down the assembly complex in protest over welfare issues.

The Delta State Chairman of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria [PASAN] Comrade Emmanuel Edozien while presenting a copy of the union's demand to the Special Adviser to Gov Ifeanyi Okowa on Legislative Matters, Rt Hon Martins Okonta at the gate of the assembly complex said the move was to enable the governor's aide intervene on the issues that led to the staff going on strike in order to bring an end to the imbroglio.

THE Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Delta State chapter yesterday locked out members of the state House of Assembly in protest over unfulfilled demands bothering on staff welfare.

Members of the association locked the two entrance gates to the assembly complex located along Okpanam Road Asaba and prevented anybody from gaining access, but security operatives were later drafted to maintain peace.

Comrade Edozien appealed to the leadership of the House to look into their demands to enable the staff go back to work.

He listed some of their demands to include the non-payment of imprest and running cost alleging that his members were receiving very poor medical attention at the Assembly Clinic which he claimed, lacked any drug store.

Besides, he said the leadership of the House has refused to elevate a staff to the position of a deputy clerk as stipulated in the existing House of Assembly Service Law, adding that the position of a deputy clerk had remained vacant since the retirement of the former deputy clerk over one year ago.

“Appointment of a deputy Clerk is another problem. Since the Deputy Clerk retired last year, the vacuum has not been fill and there is a law passed by the same House for that position. We need a Deputy Clerk, who is a staff and not a politician.

The PASAN Boss said the House has also refused to move files of staff for the payment of outfit and special duty allowance to the state governor for necessary action.

“For the outfit and special duty allowances, it is a yearly ritual. It is something that has existed over the years across legislatures all over the country. The House has refused to move our files to the governor. This touches on workers’ welfare, so we will not let it go just like that,” he vowed.

Comrade Edozien stressed that the assembly clinic need more manpower as the only medical doctor could not cope with the pressure of work amidst non availability of drugs.

“Since February 2016, there is no single drugstore at the Assembly Clinic and this is affecting the staff. In the past two months, we have lost about four staffs. What is happening is not good for the system. We said at least, let some drugs be provided, they refused.

“A Doctor cannot service the Assembly staff, the members, their relatives and the assembly commission. So, we need another Doctor.

Edozie alleged that the House has also neglected “certain aspects of deceased staffs’ welfare, who died in active service,” adding that the House has now abandoned burial arrangements for those who died in active service to bereaved family, while at the same time, the House has relented in payment of outstanding death benefits.

Efforts to reach the Speaker of the House proved abortive as at the time of filing this report but the Speaker’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Henry Ebireri said the House was already on top of the matter, adding that all the issues will be addressed.

The assembly gate had been shut since yesterday with two police van manning the gate to prevent any breakdown of law and order. Some staff were seen around the gate, while others relaxed under the mango trees opposite the assembly complex.

Budget Advocacy: NGO, Media, Communities Commit To Partner


Okonta Emeka Okelum, Asaba

In a bid to ensure impactful sustainable development gain grounds in Delta State, stakeholders recently met and agreed to partner for effective public budget implementation.

A Warri based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-AFRICA) organized a three day training workshop for community leaders, Media experts and civil society actors, this week at Warri.

According to Mr Victor Elomhenriaomon, Program Officer, LITE-AFRICA, our organization is currently implementing a project titled ‘Strengthening Citizen’s Voice For Change In Delta State’

This project is designed to create an avenue for community members to use the power of collective action to push for measureable public reforms.

We are implementing the project at Ukuatata and Ugbolokposo communities of Uvwie LGA, as well as at Umuagu and Umuezei Quarters in Oshimili South LGA of Delta State.

LITE-AFRICA’s Senior Program Officer, Mr Ihekaibe Chinyere, that the project intents to build the capacity of selected 25 Civil Society Organizations.

We equipped them with budget advocacy and social media skills at the three days training workshop.

Soon LITE-AFRICA will organize and facilitate result oriented civic engagement through a multi-stakeholders conference at Asaba, Mr Ihekaibe pointed out.

Each of the participating communities were represented by a member of the elders’ council, a woman leader, a male youth leader and a female youth leader.

The one year life-span project was designed to help participating communities facilitate advocacy engagement with relevant state government officials and members of the state legislature.

The three days event built capacities of participants around major topics and issues like good governance, budget systems & processes.

A seasoned Civil Society expert, Mr Godson Jim Dorgu, facilitated some training sessions on such topics as budget advocacy, grassroot campaigns and lobbying techniques.

LITE-AFRICA also unveiled to participants findings of the social audit conducted in the four participating communities earlier this year. 

Towards end of the workshop, participants committed to work together at ensuring that a functional and participatory budget implementation regime thrives in Delta State.

The project is funded and supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

 

Stop Killing Shiite Followers, US Tells Buhari


 
By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
 

The honeymoon between President Muhammadu Buhari and the United States may be coming to an end as the US yesterday called on the federal government to stop the killings of members of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

 

In a statement issued by the State Department, the US said it was ‘deeply concerned’ by the deaths of dozens of Nigerians during clashes between individuals participating in a Shia procession and the Nigerian Police Force in Kano State on November 14.

 

“While the matter is still under investigation, we are troubled by the apparent disproportionate response by the police,” the statement added.

 

US described the Kano killings as the latest in a series of violent incidents between security forces and members of IMN, some of which it said, had resulted in deaths, destruction of property, and the arbitrary detention of IMN members.

The statement reads: “The United States calls for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tensions, and greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.

“Members of the Shia community, like other religious communities, have the right to assemble, peacefully express their religious beliefs, and mark their celebrations. We call on the Nigerian government to protect and defend these rights. 

“It is also incumbent on members of the IMN and all Nigerian citizens to respect the rule of law and cooperate with the police as they attempt to maintain public order.

“We continue to urge the government to ensure accountability for the deaths of more than 300 IMN members during December 15, 2015 clashes between the IMN and security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State. 

“We also call on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law.”

 

On Tuesday, the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, said his men killed members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) during a clash in Kano State on Monday because they (IMN members) were armed to the teeth and were ready to kill police officers.


Ibrahim said his men were left with no option but to respond to the threat by the Shiites.


He said: “When you have Nigerians armed to the teeth, killing police officers, I don’t think it happens anywhere. I think as Nigerians, we have to appreciate, when you appreciate a dangerous situation, and to be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.”

He said the police had the responsibility to ensure law and order in a situation where people take over the whole country.

 

 

DTHA Urges Okowa to Prevail on FRSC and State Agencies to Clear Highways From Indiscriminate Parking and Broken Down Tankers, others.


BY PATRICK OGBOGU

Following the heavy gridlock and accidents experienced by Deltans along the highway due to broken down Tankers and other vehicle, the Delta State House of Assembly, has adopted a motion urging Gov Ifeanyi Okowa to direct the Director General, Delta State Traffic Management Agency DESTMA to as a matter of urgency liaise with the State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp FRSC and all other relevant agencies to clear all broken down vehicles and trucks from the highways, particularly the Asaba-Benin Expressway.

The motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by the Member representing Aniocha South Constituency, Hon Angela Nwaka, seconded by Hon Reuben Izeze representing Ughelli South Constituency was unanimously adopted by the House.

Also, the motion urged all relevant authorities to remove broken down vehicles, trunks and trailers as well as indiscriminate packing of same on roads across the state with a view to preventing road accidents and loss of lives which had become a regular occurrence particularly at night.

Hon Nwaka while presenting the motion reminded her colleagues that road transportation was the most common means of transportation in Nigeria, adding that the indiscriminate packing of trucks, trailers and vehicles had continued to pose serious danger to motorists and other road users

Hon Angela who is the Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Women Affairs and Social Development pointed out that on the Asaba-Benin Expressway, the situation was more noticeable, particularly by the Marian Babangida Junction; Bonsac and Ogbor-osisi market among others.

“One of our royal fathers, the Obi of Issele-Uku and a government official, Mr Sunday Ofili lost their lives as the vehicle they were travelling in ran into a broken down truck along the Benin-Asaba expressway”

“Sometimes in August 2015, 15 persons died when the bus conveying them rammed into a 22 wheeler trailer parked along Ubulu-Okiti junction on Asaba-Benin expressway”

“Also in November 2015, over 17 persons lost their lives when a heavy duty truck, owned by Dangote Transport Company crashed into the bus they were travelling in while it was parked on the side of the road by the NNPC Mega Staion opposite the Asaba Int Airport.”

“Sometimes in June 2016, the manager of the NNPC in my hometown, Ogwashi-Uku died when his car parked on the side of the road was hit by another 22 wheeler truck belonging to another Dangote Transport Company on the expressway”

She pointed out that the indiscriminate packing of trucks and trailers on the highway was also causing security risk and hideouts for criminals.

Hon Pat Ajudua; Majority Leader, Tim Owhefere; Evance Ivwurie; Anthony Emeka Elekeokwurie and Sheriff Oborevwor JP, while supporting the motion urged relevant government agencies to synergies with tanker owners to construct packing space for the tankers, stressing that packing of trucks and trailers be regulated in order not to pose danger on other road users, adding that the Umunede road was equally affected by the activities of trucks and trailer drivers.

Hon Izeze; Dr Alphonsus Ojo; the Minority Leader, Festus Okoh; Peter Uviejitobor and Emeka Nwaobi bemoaned the indiscriminate packing of trailers on the highways, while broken down trucks were often abandoned on the road to cause accidents and security risks to road users.

Also at plenary, the Delta State Regulation on Smoking in Public Places BILL passed the second reading as a result of the motion moved by Hon Evance Ivwurie representing Ethiope East Constituency afterwhich it was adopted.

Hon Ivwurie while presenting his argument said smoking in public places posed serious health hazards to non-smokers.
Ivwurie who sponsored the motion maintained that the bill spelt out punishment for offenders and areas designated for smokers, adding that smoking had harmful effect on second hands smokers.

Also at plenary, the Delta State Regulation on Smoking in Public Places BILL passed the second reading as a result of the motion moved by Hon Evance Ivwurie representing Ethiope East Constituency afterwhich it was adopted.

Hon Ivwurie while presenting his argument said smoking in public places posed serious health hazards to non-smokers.
Ivwurie who sponsored the bill maintained that the bill spelt out punishment for offenders and areas designated for smokers, adding that smoking had harmful effect on second hands smokers.

“This bill is being introduced to protect every citizen of Delta State, all public vehicles, employees, all work places, all indoors, and the general public from the dangerous and harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the tobacco smoke that is exhaled or puffed off by smokers or is given off by burning tobacco and is inhaled by persons nearby. Around 85% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless."

“The secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard, and there is no safe level of exposure. Every time someone breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in over 4,000 chemicals. Many are highly toxic. More than 50 are known to cause cancer."

Hon Reuben Izeze, Pat Ajudua; Alphonsus Ojo; Daniel Mayuku and Anthony Emeke Elekeokwurie while supporting the bill, stressed the need to regulate smoking in public places, pointing out that fresh air is everybody’s right hence smokers should not use the habit to inconvenience other non-smokers even as smoking was no longer fashionable as producers of cigarettes also warn on the harmful effect of smoking.

The bill was adopted when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Rt Hon Monday Igbuya.

In another development, a bill for a law to regulate the establishment of private educational institutions in Delta State as presented by Hon Evance Ivwurie and seconded by Hon Anthony Emeka Elekeokwurie passed the first reading, while the second reading comes up by January 24, 2017.