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Man Video-calling His Girlfriend gets Crushed by a Car

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On Wednesday, a 26-year-old man, Olajide Asade, was crushed to death by a commercial car, while he was making a video call to his girlfriend at the Adedero village on the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu Expressway.

The accident involved a Honda Odyssey car with number plate AAA 589 FV, which was conveying crates of eggs.

It was gathered that the deceased was reportedly making a video call to his girlfriend while crossing the road when the accident occurred.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the deceased and his brother boarded a car from the Kuto motor park in Abeokuta, but the vehicle developed a mechanical fault on the road.

The eyewitness said while the other passengers were standing by the roadside waiting for the driver to repair the vehicle, the deceased reportedly concentrated on the video call.

The deceased’s brother, Azeez, said they were both travelling to their mother’s residence in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

Azeez confirmed that his brother had been making a video call to his girlfriend since they took off from Kuto in Abeokuta.

He added that they left their apartment at Ijoga in Abeokuta very early in the morning to embark on the journey.

Azeez maintained that the driver of the car, who hit Olajide, was on a normal speed.

The driver, whose car hit the deceased, Bolaji Balogun, said Olajide was the one who bumped into his vehicle.

Balogun, an employee of an agro firm, said he was going to the Obasanjo Farm to purchase crates of eggs for his company.

The driver stated that the deceased had already got to the front of his car before he could apply the brake.

Confirming the crash, the Public Relations Officer of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, said there were two male occupants in the vehicle that killed Olajide.

He stated, “There is a road diversion along the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu interchange due to the ongoing reconstruction; the deceased probably assumed it would be better and safer for him to cross to the other side, where road reconstruction is ongoing.

“The man, while crossing back to the other side of the road, was making a video call and was oblivious to the fact that a vehicle was coming from the Sagamu end to Abeokuta.

“The vehicle, a Honda Odyssey, hit him and he died on the spot.

“His corpse has been deposited in the morgue of the General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, while the driver of the Honda Odyssey and the vehicle are now at the state Motor Traffic Division, Ibara, Abeokuta.”

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SMEs must reinvent to remain competitive – Heritage Bank CEO, Sekibo

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Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo has advised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to reinvent themselves in order to remain competitive and overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on “Converting ideas into reality with focus on SME’s”, Sekibo also stressed the need for SMEs to continually embrace partnership and function as an integral part of a value chain.

He said: “For SMEs to strive, they must continually re-invent themselves, one big plus for SMEs is that they are quite small, and they can easily change. Cooperation is key at this very time. I advocate always, competition is good but complementing each other is better, it comes with value chain principle.

“When you plan yourself in a value chain, you gain more because the big dinosaurs need the small SMEs to survive. The economy of Nigeria needs the SME to survive. I recommend that partnerships are developed in the space of SMEs, one-man business find it difficult to survive in an economy that is changing on daily basis or even hourly. If you want to remain viable, your dreams being viable, partnerships are good way to go.”

Sekibo also counselled SMEs on the need to adapt to the realities of a new world occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the increased adoption of electronic channels (E-Channels) for productivity and product marketing.

He said: “The truth is that even after this pandemic, we can never return to the normal way because this is the new normal and in our desperation to find solution, mistakes abound, failures will set in and most of us will hide from our failures other than face it.

“We will blame everybody for it and some of us will throw in the towel. My advice to SMEs at this critical time is that since this is a failure not caused by you or anybody, you should accept the failure. Let us begin to make amends. We are having a conference today and it is on E-Channel, can we begin to sell our products by E-Channel, can we begin to sell our ideas on E-Channel, can we begin to work at home and still be as productive and disciplined as we should. Those are the new normal. So, if we know the new normal, then we should courageously face it and go on.”

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Op-ed. Biden Can Beat Trump … if He Doesn’t Blow It, by Charles Blow.

This is not the first time Biden has lied about his relationship to the black community. He has repeatedly lied over the years about marching in the civil rights movement, even though advisers warned him to stop it. And, he repeatedly said that he was arrested in South Africa trying to see imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

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Biden Joe being stuck at home during an election year may turn out to be a good thing.

As the United States’ death toll raced toward 100,000, Donald Trump went golfing.

The number of deaths never had to reach such a staggering figure — and it will surely climb far beyond it — but it did because in the early days, Trump made excuses for the Chinese response, dragged his feet on an American response, and repeatedly made statements that defied truth and science.

Joe biden and trum
Joe being stuck at home during an election year may turn out to be a good thing.

Trump put politics, his own political fortunes, over the lives of the American people, and the result has been catastrophic.

As CNN has reported, researchers at Columbia University created a model gauging transmission rates from March 15 to May 3, and found that if the United States had started social distancing just two weeks earlier, it could have prevented 84 percent of deaths and 82 percent of cases.

But Trump had spent the previous week downplaying the severity of the virus and blaming growing coverage of it and alarm over it on the media.

On March 10, when there were 959 confirmed cases and 28 deaths, Trump said to reporters after a meeting with Republican senators: “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

The very next day the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, but it wasn’t until March 13 that Trump declared the virus a national emergency, and it wasn’t until March 16 that he announced social distancing guidelines.

But, that may well have been too late. The virus wasn’t aware of the politics of the moment. The virus wasn’t aware that he had been lying and deflecting. The virus wasn’t aware that it should wait until the American president was cowed into correct action. It was doing what viruses do: It was spreading and it was killing.

Trump dragged his feet, trying to con his way through a pandemic, to rewrite reality, to pacify the public until the virus passed, and that has led to untold numbers of people dead who never had to die.

There is not only blood on Trump’s hands, he is drenched in it like the penultimate scene from the movie “Carrie.”

No amount of deflecting blame to China or Obama or the governors can change this. No amount of playing to people’s impatience about reopening and optimistic desires that the worst is behind us can change this.

In America, this is Donald Trump’s plague, and he is yoked with that going into the election in November.

Joe Biden needs to do little, despite what many pundits may think. He doesn’t need a daily presence in the news. He doesn’t need to “own the internet.” He doesn’t need large rallies or even that much sizzle.

In fact, his being stuck in his house and giving limited interviews from his basement may be the best thing to ever happen to his campaign.

Biden is a well-known gaffe machine. Every time he speaks, there is the very real chance that he will do more damage than good. America doesn’t need that. We just need a person to replace Trump who is, for one thing, not so cavalier about deaths connected to his poor response or poor policy — whether they be hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, children separated from their parents at the border or victims of a virus.

But, Biden continues to commit unforced error, like the hubbub he created and later apologized for when he said at the end of an interview with The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

It was so cavalier and comfortable that it was shocking. Biden doesn’t get to define blackness nor excommunicate anyone from it.

But that wasn’t the only problem in the interview. He said just seconds after that statement that “The NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run.” That never happened, and the NAACP had to release a statement to clarify that it “is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office.”

This is not the first time Biden has lied about his relationship to the black community. He has repeatedly lied over the years about marching in the civil rights movement, even though advisers warned him to stop it. And, he repeatedly said that he was arrested in South Africa trying to see imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

None of this ever happened. What gives? None of this is necessary. Compared to Trump’s avalanche of lies, these may seem small, but for black voters, particularly younger, more leery ones, they are baffling and off-putting.

Black voters rescued the Biden campaign and likely delivered him the nomination. These kinds of Breakfast Club flubs have the potential to dampen enthusiasm among “the one that brung you,” as we say in the South.

Biden has a good chance to beat Trump in the wake of his disastrous pandemic response, if Biden doesn’t blow it.

Charles Blow joined The Times in 1994 and became an Opinion columnist in 2008. He is also a television commentator and writes often about politics, social justice and vulnerable communities.  @CharlesMBlow 

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op-ed. It’s not obesity, it’s slavery-Sabrina Strings

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Black People

About five years ago, I was invited to sit in on a meeting about health in the African-American community. Several important figures in the fields of public health and economics were present. A freshly minted Ph.D., I felt strangely like an interloper. I was also the only black person in the room.

One of the facilitators introduced me to the other participants and said something to the effect of “Sabrina, what do you think? Why are black people sick?”

It was a question asked in earnest. Some of the experts had devoted their entire careers to addressing questions surrounding racial health inequities. Years of research, and in some instances failed interventions, had left them baffled. Why are black people so sick?

My answer was swift and unequivocal.

“Slavery.”

My colleagues looked befuddled as they tried to come to terms with my reply.

I meant what I said: The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy. It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods, safe working conditions, medical treatment and a host of other social inequities that negatively impact health.

it is not obesity
The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy. It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods,

This message is particularly important in a moment when African-Americans have experienced the highest rates of severe complications and death from the coronavirus and “obesity” has surfaced as an explanation. The cultural narrative that black people’s weight is a harbinger of disease and death has long served as a dangerous distraction from the real sources of inequality, and it’s happening again.

Reliable data are hard to come by, but available analyses show that on average, the rate of black fatalities is 2.4 times that of whites with Covid-19. In states including Michigan, Kansas and Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C., that ratio jumps to five to seven black people dying of Covid-19 complications for every one white death.

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding these findings, one interpretation of these disparities that has gained traction is the idea that black people are unduly obese (currently defined as a body mass index greater than 30) which is seen as a driver of other chronic illnesses and is believed to put black people at high risk for serious complications from Covid-19.

These claims have received intense media attention, despite the fact that scientists haven’t been able to sufficiently explain the link between obesity and Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.2 percent of white Americans and 49.6 percent of African-Americans are obese. Researchers have yet to clarify how a 7 percentage-point disparity in obesity prevalence translates to a 240 percent-700 percent disparity in fatalities.

Experts have raised questions about the rush to implicate obesity, and especially “severe obesity” (B.M.I. greater than 40), as a factor in coronavirus complications. An article in the medical journal The Lancet evaluated Britain’s inclusion of obesity as a risk factor for coronavirus complications and retorted, “To date, no available data show adverse Covid-19 outcomes specifically in people with a BMI of 40 kg/m2.” The authors concluded, “The scarcity of information regarding the increased risk of illness for people with a BMI higher than 40 kg/m2 has led to ambiguity and might increase anxiety, given that these individuals have now been categorised as vulnerable to severe illness if they contract Covid-19.”

Promoting strained associations between race, body size, and complications from this little-understood disease has served to reinforce an image of black people as wholly swept up in sensuous pleasures like eating and drinking, which supposedly makes our unruly bodies repositories of preventable weight-related illnesses. The attitudes I see today have echoes of what I described in “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.” My research showed that anti-fat attitudes originated not with medical findings, but with Enlightenment-era belief that overfeeding and fatness were evidence of “savagery” and racial inferiority.

Today, the stakes of these discussions could not be higher. When I learned about guidelines suggesting that doctors may use existing health conditions, including obesity, to deny or limit eligibility to lifesaving coronavirus treatments, I couldn’t help thinking of the slavery-era debates I’ve studied about whether or not so-called “constitutionally weak” African-Americans should receive medical care.

Fortunately, since that event I attended five years ago, experts focused on the health of African-Americans have continued to work to direct the nation’s attention away from individual-level factors.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project featured essays detailing how the legacy of slavery impacted health and health care for African-Americans and explaining how, since the since the era of slavery, black people’s bodies have been labeled congenitally diseased and undeserving of access to lifesaving treatments.

In a recent essay addressing Covid-19 specifically, Rashawn Ray underscored the legacy of redlining that pushed black people into poor, densely populated communities often with limited access to health care. And he pointed out that black people are overrepresented in service positions and as essential workers who have greater exposure than those with the luxury of sheltering in place. Ibram X. Kendi has written that the “irresponsible behavior of disproportionately poor people of color” — often cited as an important factor in health disparities — is a scapegoat directing American’s attention from the centrality of systemic racism in current racial health inequities.

Evaluating the inadequate and questionable data about race, weight and Covid-19 complications with these insights in mind makes it clear that obesity — and its affiliated, if incorrect implication of poor lifestyle choices — should not be front and center when it comes to understanding how this pandemic has affected African-Americans. Even before Covid-19, black Americans had higher rates of multiple chronic illnesses and a lower life expectancy than white Americans, regardless of weight. This is an indication that our social structures are failing us. These failings — and the accompanying embrace of the belief that black bodies are uniquely flawed — are rooted in a shameful era of American history that took place hundreds of years before this pandemic.

Sabrina Strings is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.

Sabrina Strings is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.

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FG Directs NAFDAC to Evaluate Local COVID-19 Cures

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On Thursday, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Chairman, Mustapha,  said the PTF would continue to support efforts to invent a local cure for coronavirus,  adding that the ministry of health had started evaluating some claims.

He stated, “For some time now, there have been claims of inventions and cures related to COVID-19. The PTF, as part of its mandate, remains supportive of and receptive to outcomes of the research. It, however, finds it imperative to reiterate its position on the need for such discoveries to undergo the scientific validation processes.

“The PTF is aware that the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health has been evaluating such claims and forwarded some that have met the preliminary requirements to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control to carry out the necessary procedures for listing.”

Also, the ministry of health in its letter to the NAFDAC DG noted there was no definite treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.

It stated, “This has necessitated countries to look for solutions from within, and Nigeria is no exception. It is worthy to note that Nigeria is blessed with medicinal plants which could be exploited.

“It is heartwarming to note that the Department of the  TCAM has taken the pains to research into scientific materials to come up with a formulation intended for the management of cough in COVID-19 and other cough-related infections.”

According to the ministry, the formulation is a Cov-herbal cough mixture.

It said, “Interestingly, all the ingredients that make up the formulations are medicinal plants that are widely used as food materials and medicines.

“They include Allium Sativa (garlic); Allium cepa (onions); Zingiber officinale (ginger): Piper guineense (West African Black Pepper); and Adansonia digitata (baobab fruit). The innovation here is the composition of the formulation.

“These medicinal plants have documented scientific evidence of long use for the management of cough and other respiratory infections, with medicinal properties of mucoiytic, antitussive, expectorant, soothing, demulcent, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.”

The ministry stated that it was determined to “walk the talk” in the promotion and integration of herbal medicine into the health care delivery system.

“In view of the foregoing and the desire of the ministry to showcase to the public a product that is 100 per cent sourced locally, you are requested to carry out the necessary procedures for listing.”

On Thursday, NAFDAC Director of Public Affairs, Dr Abubakar Jimoh,  explained herbal drugs were listed after it had been confirmed that they were not toxic.

He, however, said that such listed drugs were not usually given full registration.

In a  related development, the leadership of NAFDAC  met with 35 players in the herbal and alternative medicine sector as part of efforts to find a treatment to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual meeting, which was convened by the Director-General of NAFDAC,  had in attendance over 35  players in the herbal medicine sector including two professors of Pharmacognosis,  Maurice Iwu and Anthony Elujoba, who was once an acting Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

Some others at the meeting were Prof. Martins Emeje of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development; the Managing Director, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Matthew Azoji; and Prof. McDonald Edu of the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Benin.

Others are Executive Director, Yemkem International Group, Mr Akinyemi Ayeni; and Dr. Oluwatobi Abiola, Managing Director of Ablat Nigeria Limited, manufacturers of Yoyo Bitters.

The meeting also had in attendance representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Investment as well as the Department of Traditional and Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the Ministry of Health.

The meeting was the third edition of the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee symposium which seeks to explore herbal solutions to health challenges in the country

However, the NAFDAC DG said only one firm had so far approached the agency for approval, and it was for the treatment of the symptoms of COVID-19, not the virus itself.

Adeyeye said all claims must go through necessary testing before clinical trials can commence.

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