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More of the centrifugal than the centripetal – The Nation Newspaper



The theories of the physicists and mathematicians of the 17th century concerning the dynamics of the motion of objects best illustrate the condition of the Nigerian state of the 21st century. The two striking figures of the age the English scientist, Isaac Newton and the Dutch mathematician, Christiaan Huygens, led man into their complex findings in their study of the force that drives the movement of inanimate bodies – terrestrial, stratospheric or ionospheric.

Newton said the centripetal engine was responsible for the push of an object towards its centre or source or origin.  All its energies willy-nilly would be concentrated on ‘’seeking the centre’’, hence the term, centripetal, from two Latin words, centrum for centre, and petere, to seek. Centripetal potency is the centre-searching capacity.

There is yet another law that worked in a distinctly opposite fashion, according to Newton. He called it the centrifugal force, again from its Latin home, centrum (centre) and fugere (to flee). It simply means ‘centre-fleeing.’ The physicists who studied the principle said it entailed the ‘spinning or travelling’ at great speed of an object from its centre, the ‘tending away from centralization, as of authority.’ Scientists who came after these pioneers have arrived with the discovery that as powerful as the centrifugal force is, it ‘’has no independent existence. It comes to play with the action of the centripetal force’’.

Today, social scientists borrow these principles from physics to gauge the mood of organized society. Man and his institutions are at the mercy of centrifugal and centripetal dynamics. It has been revealed for instance that ‘’the division of Europe into warring blocs produces ever-increasing centrifugal stress.’’ Hong Kong at the moment is at its own phase of the centrifugal fever. Hundreds of thousands of its citizens no longer want anything with the ‘centre’ in China, as represented by their government in Hong Kong. Every insurrection, revolt or attempt at them or challenge to the authority of the state is an expression of, or obedience to, the centrifugal call.

In Nigeria, we seem to be under the unyielding spell of the centrifugal curse. Our young men and women are fleeing the land, for the proverbial greener pastures. The jobs and opportunities we promised them aren’t forthcoming. They believe they would be wasting their prime if they continue to build their hopes on those they consider selfish and avaricious leaders, who are accumulating the resources of the society for their families alone. According to some analysts, those succumbing to the music of the modern Pied Piper and have found home away from home boast of statistics threatening to outnumber their hosts. Other cynics say our people out there are capable of forming more states outside Nigeria to bring the number to close to 50 states. A significant number of the centrifugal exiles however insist they’ve cut all links with their motherland, given what they call the cruelty meted out to them by their leaders that moved these compatriots to bow to the irresistible pressure to flee.

How about those refusing to be lured to go abroad? There is a reason, according to those who claim they are faithful watchers of the Nigerian scene. They say those staying behind are only waiting to understudy those in power as they ‘chop’ the national cake, so they can outdo them later when they get the baton. So, their decline of the overtures of the powerful wanderlust isn’t nationalistic as they tend to suggest. They are biding their time to shine in the culture of corruption and treasury pillage in place.  They understand the philosophy of the patient dog; it is waiting to devour the fattest bone. Read: to bilk the society out of its seemingly bottomless petrodollars.

But the most incommoding or troubling aspect of the national discourse at the moment is the takeover of the conversation by centrifugal forces and the near disappearance of their centripetal counterparts. Most are calling for an outright abrogation of the ties of our unity. This is frightening as it amounts to going our separate ways, the way it was with the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Another centre-shy demand is the request for restructuring, to reduce the powers of the centre.

Some of our fellow countrymen and women want us to go back to the pre and post-independence arrangement of regionalism. They have romanticized that era. They refer to the great strides the vast Western Nigeria took under a cohabitation with less federal watch and control. Some European nations and Asian Tigers which are numbered among the 20 leading countries of the world today didn’t have some of the smart indices of development which the Western Region had. We’ve had never peace and real progress after the military abolished the system and turned a federation into a unitary set-up.

I don’t think the problem is that we are inundated with more of a centrifugal cacophony than a centripetal noise. Where is the joy of having sepulchral peace in a stagnant ‘united’ nation? Why would Nigerians not want a return to the past which powered phenomenal prosperity for the people? Why would we not demand a system that would guarantee justice, peace, socioeconomic progress and prosperity for our people to enable us fulfil our destiny as the hub of the planet’s Black peoples?

We need to accommodate these centre-despising forces that would free us from the funereal vice of a system preventing unhindered socioeconomic march. That is the constructive nature of the centrifugal forces. They enable a cathartic process that reduces the unwieldy weight of the centre. A balanced structure emerges where the states or regions with their independent police formations along with their MDAs and constitutions are at liberty to dig deep into their natural and human resources for all-round development. No limitations dictated by the centre. Nor is there any artificial requirement to slow down the speed of your race because other states are laggards.

What obtains now is a killer atmosphere. Atop it is an indolent centre breeding equally indolent outposts in its own image across the land. This machinery has turned us all into beggars in a land literally flowing with ‘milk and honey’. It is a monster of government bureaucracy now challenged by the strong currents of centre-defying outcry. Therefore, what we are witnessing, the uproarious call all over the land to unbundle the centre, is, according to the scientists of the 17th century, a reaction to the inertia of the forces at the centre.


Gov AbdulRazaq urges youths to shun drug abuse, other vices



Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has called on Nigerian youths to shun drug abuse and other vices that could hinder them from realising their lifetime ambitions.

AbdulRazaq made the call on Wednesday when he received members of the state chapter of Scouts’ Association of Nigeria (SAN), led by its Commissioner, Deacon Olabisi Afolayinka, at the Government House, Ilorin.

The governor, who recalled, with nostalgia, his days as a scout boy in Capital School, Kaduna, said that the organisation had contributed immensely to nurturing youths to become good citizens and contribute to the development of the country.

“This is an association that prepares youths on how to be good citizens and how to relate with their fellow countrymen.

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“These are virtues that the youth of today should maintain. In our own days as youths, there were no rampant cases of drug abuse,” he said.


The governor urged the youth to use their energy for productive ventures and join the organisation to make positive contributions to society.

AbdulRazaq, who was made the organisation’s Ambassador of Peace, promised to live up to expectations by giving necessary support to the body through relevant government agencies.

Earlier in his remarks, Afolayanka said that the constitution of the body automatically made the governor of any state its patron and the president grand patron.

He commended AbdulRazaq for the audience granted the association, saying that this was the first time any governor would be hosting them in the state in the last 21 years.

Afolayanka said that the association was founded to build young boys and girls to make useful contributions to the country.

The SAN commissioner noted that cultism and other vices were not rampant in schools in the past when the scouts held sway.

He urged the governor to continue to support the association for effective discharge of its responsibilities in the state.

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NYSC: Bwari assures Corp members improved welfare



The Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Mr John Gabaya has assured members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) of his administration’s readiness to improve on their welfare.

Gabaya gave the assurance when representatives of the FCT NYSC Secretariat, and some members of the NYSC 2019 Batch B’, paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja.

Gabaya, who appreciated the team for the gesture, said that it was the duty of the council, as host of the NYSC Orientation Camp in the city to ensure it gave the Corps maximum support.

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He acknowledged the fact that the camp in Kubwa, was faced with infrastructure challenges, adding that efforts would be made to amendments it and bring succour to the corps members.


“The council, in its capacity, alongside the management of the scheme, would meet and discuss how it would make the development feasible including our best effort to add a little raise to their allowance,” Gabaya said.

Earlier, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, Mrs Waleeda Isa, said the visit was to acquaint its officials with the new administration of the council as host of the orientation camp.

Isa decried the sorry state of infrastructure at the NYSC camp, saying “their lodge in the camp is dilapidated and needs attention”.

“Also, it would go a long way for those who serve under the council, if your administration can kindly add a little to their allowance to augment what the Federal Government is giving them.

“We will be honoured if you make these efforts so that we feel your presence and know that you have us at heart,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYSC 2019 Batch B’ corp members have reported and would be inaugurated at the orientation camp on Aug. 22.

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Lagos govt boosts MCC services in Eti-Osa Tribune Online



THE Lagos State Government says it has completed yet another Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) located in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state to increase residents’ access to qualitative maternal and child healthcare.

The state Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known on Wednesday in Lagos during an advocacy meeting with community leaders and residents of Badore.

Abayomi was represented by the Director of Projects, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusola Oduwole.

He said that the continuous implementation of strategic maternal child survival interventions, policies, programmes and projects by the government was geared toward the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the state.

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According to him, the local and national statistics of maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate are of utmost concern to the government hence, the adoption of various strategies to combat it.

“One of these strategies is the construction of MCC, a specialised healthcare centre for mothers and children.

“It is aimed at taking maternal and child healthcare closer to the people by reducing the travel time and improving the quality care to the highest possible standard,” the commissioner said.


Abayomi said that the MCC was located on Ogombo Road along Abraham Adesanya Estate in Eti-Osa local government area.

According to him, the facility is a four-floored 110-bed complex designed to respond to maternal and child health issues.

“It will provide quality services for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the health and well-being of women, babies and children in the local government area and adjoining communities.

“It has two theatres where surgeries can be done; consulting rooms; treatment rooms, antenatal and postnatal wards; baby nursery; pharmacy, laboratory and offices, among others,” he said.

Abayomi said that the construction of MCCs in the state was designed to stem the tide of maternal deaths which occurred as a result of delivery by unskilled birth attendants, haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and malaria, among others.

He said that women should not die in the course of life procreation process.

“The concept of the construction of MCCs was mooted with the conviction that these interventions will impact positively on the health indices of our mothers and children who constitute a significant percentage of clients attended to at public health facilities.

“The Eti-Osa MCC will commence operation before the end of the week and will serve as a referral centre to all primary health facilities in Eti-Osa local government and accompanying communities.

“It will yield the much desired and anticipated impact towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the area,” the commissioner said.

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Psychiatric resident doctors vow to continue strike %



THE Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has resolved to continue its ongoing indefinite strike demanding for optimal mental healthcare for patients.

The President of the association, Dr Afeez Enifeni, said in a statement on Wednesday, in Lagos, that the strike would continue until the management addressed the work experience of the overworked doctors.

Enifeni said that the doctors had on Aug. 19 held a meeting to review the current industrial action.

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The doctors accused the hospital management of being insensitive to the plight of the in and outpatients, who according to him, are receiving suboptimal mental health services.


“The hospital management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors for the past four years.

“Instead, they have let patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably.

“In light of the above, the management’s insistence on employing only five locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands.

“It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits,” he said.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the hospital’s management to do the needful in line with the administration’s next level agenda.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the resident doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on July 31 over non-employment of more resident doctors at the hospital.

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AIDS: Society says self-stigma more destructive than HIV/AIDS



THE Coalition of Civil Society Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (COCSNHAN) on Wednesday said that self-stigma was more destructive to people living with HIV than the disease.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, first Co-chairman of the society, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was the major reason people living with HIV default from treatments.

Nwakamma, who called for the incorporation of mental health services in the national HIV programme, said it was imperative to rescue patients from the dangers of self-stigma.

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“Very important, the issues of self-stigma is hardly talked about and that is even more destructive; it is the major reason people living with HIV default in their treatment,” he said.

The society’s co-chairman explained that mental health would make people living with HIV become co-managers of their health.

According to him, mental health problems among people living with HIV is the new epidemic and we must deal with it squarely.

Nwakamma restated the plans of the society to set up a monitoring system that would capture and report cases of stigma and discrimination in health facilities.

He promised that any identified case would be used to send a strong warning to others.

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