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​Overwhelming show of love for Ayeni Twins

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​Overwhelming show of love for Ayeni Twins
By John Akubo, Lokoja  

How LHF Facilitated Free Separation Of Conjoined Girls In US Hospital
The role played by Linking Hands Foundation (LHF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in the successful separation of the Ayeni conjoined twin girls- Miracle and Testimony, has raised the bar in what an average NGO can do to bring succour to the less privileged.
Coming at a time when many of such groups have commercialised their activities, for the economic benefit of their arrowheads, LHF, using its network drew the attention of all stakeholders to the plight of the parents of the twins who hail from Odoere, in Yagba West Local Council of Kogi State, but resident in Enugu State.
Interestingly, founder of the LHF, Mrs. Efe Farinre, was reluctant in engaging the media for any publicity on the subject, while galvanising support for a successful surgery.
But after the successful operation, Farinre explained how her outfit revved up efforts to ensure that the story had a sweet ending
“As part of our Every-Child-Counts Initiative, LHF made a commitment to help solicit financial and non-financial support for all aspects of the care and medical needs of Miracle and Testimony. We reached out to individuals, organisations, corporations and government on behalf of the Ayeni twins. The beauty of the story is how Everyday Nigerians did their bit such that Nigeria and the world have this to celebrate,” the founder started.
According to her, the girls were born in Enugu State, on November 16, 2015, to Mr. Samuel Olusegun Ayeni and Mrs. Mary Abiodun Ayeni, both from Kogi State.  “And LHF was introduced to the Ayeni family on January 6, 2016 via a phone call from an extended friend, an everyday Nigerian.”
The life-changing operation, a highly complex and extremely risky procedure which was carried out free of charge by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States (US), went on for 18 hours, between November 7 and 8, 2016.
The announcement of the successful procedure on the twins was made on their first birthday, on November 16, 2016, by the hospital.
Farinre continued, “LHF owes a debt of gratitude to our volunteer medical adviser, Dr. Opesanmi Esan, a cardiologist at MidMichigan Medical Center, Michigan, United States for the link to Dr. Uzoma Ben Gbulie, of Le Bonheur Childrens Hospital, both everyday Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“LHF wrote formally to Le Bonheur Childrens on January 24, 2016, requesting pro-bono treatment for the Ayeni twins, and Dr. Gbulie helped with follow-up.  We are grateful to the hospital, for taking on the treatment of the twins at no charge.”
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She explained that prior to receiving the great news from the hospital on May 16, 2016, LHF had got a quotation of $1m from another US hospital it had reached out to for the twins’ treatment.
While the treatment lasted, the Ayenis also received free accommodation at the FedExFamilyHouse, adjacent to the hospital, which is a home away from home for out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at the hospital
As the world basks in the successful separation of the twins, the LHF says it is full of gratitude to God, and thanks to all who linked hands with it to give the two girls the chance to enjoy healthy and wholesome individual lives.
The group gives special thanks to President & CEO of the hospital, Ms Meri Amour, staff members, especially the surgical team that performed the operation, led by Dr. Max Langham, for their dedication to the health and wellbeing of the twins and the welfare of the entire family.
Before embarking on the trip to help Miracle and Testimony, LHF, the founder said, the group used Favour and Faithful Sobowale-Davies’ case, who were born conjoined in Lagos State in 2003, as a case study.

The foundation held meetings to learn from the experience of the then Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan, and Dr. Ade Tinubu (a surgeon at LASUTH), who facilitated the pro-bono surgery performed on the Sobowale-Davies at Johns Hopkins Medical Centre, MD, US.
The LHF further reached out to The Sobowale-Davies family and organised what it termed, “A Meeting of Hope between The Sobowale-Davies and The Ayenis.”  Pastor and Mrs. Sobowale-Davies, visited the Ayenis at LASUTH with their formerly conjoined twin daughters, Favour and Faithful, on April 30, 2016.
As the NGO continued efforts towards securing a successful treatment for the conjoined twins, they got a favourable response from the Kogi State government, which donated N3m to the Ayeni family for their upkeep during their stay in the US.
In a demonstration of exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility, Arik Air Nigeria, got into the picture, providing five free Lagos-New York return tickets to the Ayeni twins, their parents and older sisters.”
Farinre explained further that, “Everyday Nigerians, home and abroad responded positively to our call for donations for the Ayeni family’s New York- Memphis return tickets. They also supported the welfare and successful separation of the Ayeni twins by covering the cost of the family’s international passports, supporting their logistics in Lagos, New York, and Memphis, making donations of baby formula, bottled water, diapers, wipes, etc., as well as joining LHFs Pray for Miracle and Testimony Group.
“Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, PEP Stores Nigeria, Alma Stores Nigeria and LPacemaker Pharmaceuticals obliged LHFs requests for product donations to the Ayeni twins.”

“In seeking for suitable social support for the Ayenis while in Memphis, LHF was introduced to Pastor Oluyinka Adeyemo, of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), House on the Rock Parish, Memphis. The Ayenis are members of RCCG. Pastor Adeyemo has been working with LHF to provide spiritual and psychological support to the Ayenis during the twins’ treatment.
Pastor Adeyemo, the ministers and members of RCCG, House on the Rock, continue to give the Ayenis a constant feel of home while in the US,” she added.
The founder attributed the successful separation of the Ayeni twins to what she referred to as the “Spirit of One Nigeria,” with government, corporations, organisations and individuals coming together in service to humanity, and country.
While expressing LHF’s hope that the Ayenis story encourages Nigerians to always be their brothers keepers, and provoke Nigeria to take decisive actions towards world-class healthcare for all Nigerian children regardless of class, tribe or status, she urged Nigerians and the world to keep the Ayeni twins in their thoughts and prayers in order for them to attain full recovery.
According to Le Bonheur Childrens, conjoined twins occur one in 200, 000 live births, with 6 percent of those being ischiopagus, like Miracle and Testimony Ayeni.
The Langham-led surgical team stated that their particular joining exists in maybe five million births.
http://m.guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/overwhelming-show-of-love-for-ayeni-twins/

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Disability commission challenges ministers on mainstreaming of disability in development

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Disability commission challenges ministers on mainstreaming of disability in development

The Executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities James David Lalu has expressed concern that ministers and heads of agencies of Government do not understand the importance of mainstreaming of disability in development.

Speaking yesterday at the International Day of Persons Living With Disability, he said ministers and other heads of Government agencies should not just make promises on mainstreaming but should approach the ministry of Humanitarian affairs to properly grasp what mainstreaming of disability in development actualy entails.
He said such ministries and agencies that have something to do with the Humanitarian ministry should approach the ministry to learn about mainstreaming of disability in development
“Talking about mainstreaming of disability in development, inclusion of disability in development one very important things.
“I want to say that our ministers that are here should volunteer to come to the humanitarian affairs ministry one day to learn about mainstreaming of disability in development.
“Today is one of the most important day in the disable community in Nigeria. It is a day we stand together with all people to recognize the value and importance of the contribution of the disability community in Nigeria.”Sincerely speaking I like to state here that since independence the disability community had never had it so good as it is happening in this Government.”President Muhammadu Buhari remained the only Presdent that has treated disability in Nigeria more positively.”He came and put in place the national disability act to protect the rights of people with disability in Nigeria. “Again he moved on to provide the establishment of the National Commission for persons with disability, which gave me the opportunity to stand here before you and speak as the executive secretary of the commission.” He described the humanitarian minister Sadiya Umar Farouq as mother of persons with disability in Nigeria.”I think what she has done is something that will be indelible on the minds of persons with disabilities for ever.”When she assumed office as the minister the first thing she took as priority is the establishment of the commission for persons with disabilities.”I remember when I was watching her on Television from Jos last international day for persons with disability her commitment was the establishment of a commission for PLWD and she lived up to it and today I am here standing here from Jos to Abuja.” He said from now henceforth in the next few years the disability community may have no more excuses again because “we have been given the act, we have been given the commission, now is the time for us to make the necessary impact in the disability community.”

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Agency donates reflective jackets to Traffic Police, motorcyclists in Kogi

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Agency donates reflective jackets to Traffic Police, motorcyclists in Kogi

By Friday Idachaba

Kogi Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), has donated reflective jackets to the Nigeria Police traffic officers, wardens and commercial motorcyclists to enhance their visibility and safety on roads.

Malam Momoh Dauda, the General Manager of the agency, presented bundles of the jackets to the police and leadership of the commercial motorcycle operators on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Dauda said that the lives of traffic policemen and wardens were constantly in danger as they discharged their duties on roads, especially the highways.

“We don’t need to convince anyone that these traffic officers are vulnerable and exposed to risks and hazards.

“In our own little way, we want to ensure their safety as they carry out this important assignment of directing traffic,” he said.

“At least with these reflective jackets, their visibility will be enhanced from afar and the risk of being knocked down will reduce.

He said that the objective of the CSDP was to reduce poverty by sustainably increasing the access of the poor and vulnerable to services for human development.

“The CSDA through the Community Driven Development (CDD) strategy supports communities and vulnerable groups to fund micro infrastructural facilities.

“This explains the decision of our agency to identify with the safety needs of the traffic police officers, wardens and commercial motorcycle (Okada) riders,” he said

Mr Ede Ayuba, the Commissioner of Police in the state, thanked the state government for its unflinchingly support to the police command in the state.

Ayuba, represented by CSP Comfort Omole, the State Traffic Officer, commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for his support to the command in handling the #EndSARS protests in the state.

“He stood his ground and made us to be successful and we did not record any casualty,” he said.

The commissioner also thanked the management of CSDA for the donation.

“We assure you that within our powers, we will continue to do everything humanly possible to serve the state and its citizens to ensure peace,” he said. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Humanitarian Minister makes case for compliance with building accessibility law 

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Humanitarian Minister makes case for compliance with building accessibility law 

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has made a strong case for the law that makes it mandatory for public buildings to be made accessible to People living with disability is complied with.

The minister spoke on Tuesday during a press briefing at the Nigerian Army Resource center in Abuja while commemorating this years International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWDs) in the country. 

She said, “The issue of accessibility for people living with disability has now become a law. It is in the act itself that public and private buildings take into cognisance the issue of accessibility for the People living with Disability (PLWD) 
“For us in the ministry we are doing everything possible to ensure that this law is adhered to. We have written to the Federal ministry of works and Housing to that effect and we are to hold a meeting with the Honorable minister on this issue. “We have also written to the ministry of Labour and Employment, Civil service commission, all these efforts geared towards ensuring that the issues concerning accessibility, concerning their rights employment and other issues are adhered to. 

“So it is work in progress, we are working on it. The Good thing is that It has now become a law and we will try as much as possible that the law comes into effect going forward.”
She said the theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back better: Toward a disability- Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post covid-19 world”. 
“This theme is focused on ensuring that Persons with Disabilities are equipped and empowered for inclusive, accessible and sustainable development as is envisaged in the Covid-19 world.”
She said the 3rd of December every year has been proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, following the United Nation General Assembly Resolution 47/3 of 1992. 
“The day is intended to prompt member States and other disability stakeholders to focus on issues relating to total inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), raise awareness on them and awakening the consciousness of all member States toward encouraging and promoting activities that will bring issues of disability in the front burner in both national and international circles, as well as celebrating Persons with Disabilities.”

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