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Over one million Nigerians to have dementia by 2050: Lancet



President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad

Data predictions by the Lancet Public Health project show that at least 1.4 million Nigerians will have dementia by 2050.

In a report released on Thursday, the Lancet noted that “global dementia cases set to triple by 2050 unless countries address risk factors.”

Nigeria is estimated to have 1,462,514 cases by 2050 under the country-level data spreadsheet.

“By 2050, 153 million people are expected to be living with dementia worldwide, up from 57 million in 2019, largely due to population growth and population ageing,” the report added. 

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled to London hospital to treat an undisclosed ailment. Mr Buhari’s critics believe he has dementia.

“Anyone who wants to believe that Buhari has no dementia and that he is the picture of perfect mental and cognitive health because he didn’t drool during a choreographed PR show called an interview is free to do so,” stated Farooq Kperogi, a professor at Kennesaw State University. 

He added, “But it takes nothing from the truth of his progressive mental degeneration and his unfitness to be president of a complex, developing country like Nigeria with no solid institutions to withstand a dementia-plagued president.”

In Nigeria, a study looking at the period between 1995 to 2015 pegged the prevalence rate of the brain disease at 4.9 per cent.

In December 2020, Peoples Gazette reported that Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad was enduring a torrid battle with dementia and heart disease complications, based on the testimony of highly competent Supreme Court sources familiar with his deteriorating condition.

The document covered and predicted dementia prevalence in 195 countries and territories, analysing the impact of expected trends in exposure to four important risk factors—smoking, obesity, high blood sugar, and low education.

The forecast states that though dementia cases will rise in every country, the highest increases will be in North Africa and the Middle East, with a 367 per cent rise in cases and a 357 per cent increase in eastern sub-Saharan Africa. It notes the smallest increase in cases in the high-income Asia Pacific at 53 per cent and western Europe with 74 per cent.

Countries with the highest percentage change in the total number of dementia cases between 2019 and 2050 include Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, the Maldives, Jordan, and Equatorial Guinea. 

Countries with the lowest percentage change in the total number of dementia cases in the same review period include Japan, Bulgaria, Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Latvia, Croatia, Ukraine, Italy and Finland. 

Contributors to the report added that while improved access to education could lead to 6 million fewer cases of dementia worldwide by 2050, it could be thrown off by the projected 7 million additional dementia cases linked to projected rates of obesity, high blood sugar, and smoking.

The experts encouraged aggressive prevention efforts to reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors, such as education, diet, and exercise, and by expanding much-needed health and social care resources. 

More vulnerable populations to the disease include people aged 40 years and above and women, as “Globally, more women are affected by dementia than men.”

The report noted previous studies made in 2019, which revealed women with dementia outnumbering men with dementia 100 women to 69 men. 

The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates Ventures, states that dementia currently is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people globally. 



Ekiti pensioners weep, kneel to God in prayer over unpaid gratuities



Pensioners and Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi

Pensioners in Ekiti were on Tuesday seen weeping and kneeling in supplication to God over the non-payment of their gratuities by the state government.

The pensioners attended an interdenominational prayer session at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oke-Bareke in Ado-Ekiti.

Some of the pensioners who were seen crying, prayed that Governor Kayode Fayemi would be moved to pay the arrears of their gratuities and pensions.

Speaking with journalists after the prayers, the NUP Chairman, Ekiti state chapter, Joel Akinola, noted that many pensioners in Ekiti had died without getting their benefits while some are battling with various illnesses due to lack of funds.

According to him, Ekiti government is owing gratuities to the tune of N2 billion and outstanding pensions accumulating to millions of naira.

Mr Ajibola said the pensioners were hoping that the governor would pay a substantial amount of the debt before leaving office.

“Each time there is transition of power, it’s often difficult to agitate or confront the new governor because they will be quick to tell you that they are not the one owing us.

“We have laboured and served our nation and state meritoriously for 35 years, we deserve better than what we have been getting,” he lamented.

The NUP state chairman appealed to the state government to pay them to enable the few ones who are still alive make use of the money for their upkeep.



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Passport Issuance: El-Zakzaky, wife object to NIS motion to join SSS, NIA



El Zakzaky and Wife

Leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife, Zeenah, objected to the request by the Nigeria Immigration Service to join the State Security Service and the National Intelligence Agency in a suit.

El-Zakzaky and wife expressed their objection after counsel to the NIS, Jimoh Adamu, served on the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Funmi Falana, a motion to join the SSS and NIA in the suit which came up on Tuesday before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

Mr Adamu, who filed the motion earlier in the morning, had said that joining the parties would also help the court in its decision and for the sake of fair hearing.

However, Mrs Falana objected to the motion for joinder on the ground that the reason for filing the suit, she argued, had nothing to do with the SSS or NIA.

She argued that since the Immigration Service was statutorily empowered to issue travel documents, the SSS and NIA had nothing to do with the applicants’ claims.

According to her, the plaintiffs have approached the court to seek an order declaring that the violation of their right to freedom of movement in the denial of the issuance of passports to them to enable them seek medical care abroad is unconstitutional.

She said her clients had applied to seek an enforcement of their fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution.

Justice Egwuatu then adjourned the matter until February 14 for the argument to be taken, stating that this became necessary on the ground that the motion had not been studied by the court and more time would be needed to go through it.

El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zennah, had in another N4 billion suits before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a sister court, sued the SSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation before the court over allegation bordering on their passports seizure.

Meanwhile, the couple sued the NIS before Justice Egwuatu over the refusal to release their international passports.

The duo, who listed the NIS and its Comptroller General as 1st and 2nd defendants, prayed the court to enforce their fundamental right.

In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/22/2022 and filed by their lawyer, Femi Falana, on January 11, 2022, El-Zakzaky and wife said they had the right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and the African Charter of Human and Peoples Right.

They prayed the court to declare that the refusal of the NIS to process their travel documents to enable them travel abroad is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. 



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South Sudan: UN calls for probe into deadly intercommunal violence



UN Mission in South Sudan UNMISS

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called on the authorities to investigate a report of deadly intercommunal violence in the country’s Jonglei State earlier this week.

UNMISS said on Tuesday that the attack reportedly occurred on Sunday when armed youth from the Murle community carried out cattle raids in two villages in Baidit, citing various independent sources, including the Human Rights Commission.

Some 32 people from the Dinka Bor community were killed, according to preliminary information, with the victims including three women killed by gunshots, and three children who reportedly drowned in the river while fleeing.

At least 26 other people were wounded, and at least five houses were burnt and other property looted. Also, some people reportedly fled to nearby bushes, some of whom remain unaccounted for.

UNMISS stated that it strongly condemns any attack on civilians and urged groups and individuals to take immediate action to avoid further escalations that would endanger vulnerable people.

“The Mission further calls on authorities to carry out timely investigations and that the perpetrators be held accountable,” it said.

“Any surge in subnational violence will have a devastating effect on communities that have already been impacted by flooding, the COVID-19 pandemic and recurring conflict,” the Mission stated.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also responded to the attack, with its South Sudan representative, Hamida Lasseko, saying she was deeply saddened to learn children were among the victims.



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