Sniper: UNN student attempts suicide, rescued

The Enugu State Police Command says a student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, on Saturday drank a substance believed to be ‘Sniper’ insecticide  in a  bid to take her life.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, disclosed in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Sunday that the student was, however, responding to treatment.

Amaraizu said that the attempted suicide happened  at 8.00 a.m. on Saturday.

“The victim, Miss Chinwendu Odoh, 24, is from Enugu Ezike  in Igbo-Eze North LGA and a 200 level microbiology student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

“She  allegedly drank a substance believed to be ‘Sniper’ insecticide with a view to taking her life.

“Odoh was, however, promptly rushed to the Royal Cross Hospital, Nsukka, where she is being revived,’’ he said.

According to the spokesman,  a full scale investigation into the incident is being carried out  by the police.

“Information from some sympathisers are pointing toward depression over an unresolved issue.

“The victim is now responding to treatment in the hospital,’’ he said. (NAN)

26-year-old man threatens to commit suicide over non-payment of late father’s N13m gratuity

Mr Joseph Odey, 26, an indigene of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River, on Wednesday protested the non-payment of  his late father’s gratuity put at N13 million, threatening to commit suicide if the  government delays further.

Odey, who spoke to journalists during his protest to the governor’s office in Calabar, said his deceased father, Anthony Odey, served the Cross River Government for 32 years.

He added that his father’s last post, was Principal of Government Secondary School, Ebo in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River.

According to him, his father died on Dec.12, 2015, three years before his retirement from service.

“Following his sad death, I commenced processing the papers for payment of his benefits, completed it in 2017 and received official approval in January 2018.

“After waiting for another year and no payment was made to my family by the government, I approached the accountant-general of the state about the matter but he told me that no payment was being considered.

“He added that there was a backlog of pending payments stretching back to 2014, all awaiting the governor’s approval.

“Following this disclosure, I have attempted several times to bring this issue to the governor’s attention, but failed as all messages to that effect were not answered.

“My late father’s gratuity is N13 million and I have the blue print which I got from the Office of the Accountant- General of the state.

“My family has been facing hard times since the death of our father who was the breadwinner of the family.

“My two immediate younger sisters at different levels of study in the university are on the verge of dropping out, while the third who passed WAEC and JAMB exams this year faces an uncertain future due to our financial incapacitation”, he said.

He appealed to Gov. Ben Ayade to ensure the settlement of the gratuity to enable his siblings to live  a decent life.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Ita, said the present administration  inherited  a backlog of gratuities from 2013 while reacting to Odey’s protest.

He said the payments for 2013 had been concluded while the ones for  2014 were being paid in batches.

“The state would definitely pay, what is delaying the payment is a function of money, but it will pay, since the young man has gone through the whole process with the office of the accountant-general”, he said. (NAN)

43-year-old bus driver commits suicide at mechanic workshop in Lagos

#TrackNigeria: The Lagos State Police Command said a 43-year-old commercial bus driver was found dead at a mechanic workshop after allegedly taking a liquid substance suspected to be sniper.

The Spokesman for the command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the incident in a statement on Monday.

Elkana said the Shomolu Pedro Police Station received an information that one Kabiru Bello of No. 77, Owode Ibeshe, Ikorodu, Lagos State, allegedly drank a liquid substance suspected to be sniper.

He said that the incident happened on Saturday at about 12.56p.m inside his Volkswagen commercial bus with registration number AKD-724 XM while at a mechanic workshop at Ladylack Bus stop, Shomolu.

“He was rushed to Adesola clinic, Shomolu, where he was confirmed dead. Homicide detectives visited the scene. One empty bottle of chemical substances suspected to be sniper was recovered.

“The corpse has been deposited in mortuary for autopsy,” he said.

Similarly, the police at Ilemba Hausa area of Lagos have recovered two locally made single barrel guns with 12 cartridges, one laptop and one mobile phone inside a vehicle abandoned by suspected robbers.

The police spokesman said the recovery was made on Saturday at about 9.30 p.m. after the Ilemba Hausa Police Station received a distress call that one Wale Lawal was dispossessed of his laptop by some armed robbers.

Elkana said the policemen deployed to the scene gave the hoodlums “a hot chase where the suspected robbers abandoned their black Honda vehicle with registration number KJA-705 BU containing the recovered items.

“The vehicle was moved to the station for further investigation.” he said. (NAN)

Suicide: NARICT develops non toxic alternative to sniper

The National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) says it is currently developing non-toxic chemical product for the Nigerian market as a substitute for the killer sniper pesticide.
The Director General of NARICT, Prof. Jeffrey Barminas, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Speaking on the partial ban of “sniper’’ following rising suicide cases traced to the toxic chemical product, Barminas said the alternative by NARICT will help to mitigate the tragic occurrences.
NAN reports that sniper, a highly toxic chemical which is widely used as a pesticide in agriculture has been converted in many Nigerian homes as an insecticide because of its efficacy.
The chemical which is affordable and easily accessible in the open market became notorious because many Nigerians, particularly youth, are using it as a weapon to commit suicide.
NAN reports that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control proscribed the sale of sniper in the open market as a measure to stem the tide of suicide.
The NARICT boss, who supported the ban of sniper by NAFDAC, said his institute is developing a green chemical process that will provide new phyto-compounds and active ingredients from different plants for better formulations.
“With adequate funding, NARICT through our researches will provide a chemical product for the Nigerian market as a substitute for sniper.
He explained that the main active substance in sniper chemical products was “bifenthrin’’, which is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide.
According to Barminas, the formulations of these products vary in concentration, synergists and carriers, depending on their intended use.
“The other chemicals known as synergists are usually added to increase potency and persistence in the environment.
“Unfortunately, higher levels of these chemical substances make Sniper toxic with adverse effect on human health and environment.
“It is possible to target a replacement of these toxic and poisonous synthetic chemicals.
“This can be achieved by using eco-friendly natural active ingredients that is researched to be safe to humans and ecosystem, but highly effective against pest,’’ he said.
Barminas said the alternative they are developing is extractive ingredient from plants that are non toxic, not harmful to man and are safe for the environment.
Specifically, he said part of the plants to be extracted is the “neem tree’’ popularly known as “dogoyaro’’.
He therefore called on the federal government and relevant donor agencies to fund the institute’s initiatives on the development of green chemicals and high value-added green chemical materials.
Barminas explained that the initiatives were pathway to new chemicals and products for the industrial development of Nigeria, adding that it would conserve foreign exchange, create jobs and wealth in the country.
He further said that the green chemicals and high value-added green chemical materials were products generated from renewable resources as a replacement for fossil materials.
“These products provide higher performance, functionality and more environmentally friendly throughout their entire life cycle.
Biomass, bio-waste and other renewable feedstock are used to produce them,” he said.
NAN reports that NARICT is a research and development public sector institute that has the mandate of undertaking research and development in industrial chemicals, biochemicals.
The institute also researches on petrochemicals, polymers and plastics, man-made fibres, solid minerals, effluent monitoring and control for the overall technological advancement of Nigeria. (NAN)

Suicide: NAFDAC bans 100ml pack size sniper, announces withdrawal date

#TrackNigeria – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has expressed grave concern over the misuse of  sniper insecticide and other brands to commit suicide  in Nigeria.The agency has consequently announced a number of measures to tackle the public health hazard.

Some of the measures, according to a statement by DG NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye,  include  a ban on “the importation and manufacture of 100ml pack size of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos with immediate effect.” The agency also banned with immediate effect hawking of all agrochemical formulations.

Further measures have also been announced: “NAFDAC is giving a two-month (up to 31st August 2019) notice to brand owners/distributors to withdraw their products from open markets and supermarkets that do not have garden corner/shelves to the agro dealer outlets. The sales of Sniper insecticide and other Dichlorvos brands in open markets and supermarkets nationwide are prohibited with effect from 1ST September 2019.

“NAFDAC is giving a six-month moratorium up to 1st January 2020 for brand owners to exhaust the products that are in various accredited agro-input dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) outlets.”

The statement by the DG titled: “NAFDAC tesponds to the abuse and misuse of sniper (100 ml) pack size and other brands of agricultural formulations of dichlorvos products”

“The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is gravely concerned about the recent trend in the abuse and misuse of 100ml of Sniper insecticide and other brands of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos to commit suicide. The other brands of the agricultural formulations of 100 ml pack size of dichlovos include: (Tankill, Gladiator Liquid, Executor Liquid, Smash Super Liquid, DD Force, Glovan, Philopest, Wonder Liquid, Rid-Off, NOPEST and SUMODDVP).

“These products are misused as household insecticide and direct misapplication on agricultural produce. The abuse and misuse of the 100ml of these products is associated with serious Public Health hazards such as cancer and respiratory disorder.

“Sniper and other brands of Dichlorvos formulations are agricultural insecticides, registered for use as Crop Protection Product (CPP) only. The availability of this product in small retail pack sizes of 100ml and their sales in open-markets and supermarkets have made the product readily available for abuse and misuse as a household insect repellant, as an agent to control insect infestation in agricultural food and a tool for suicide in the Country.

“NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004 has mandated the Agency to regulate and control the importation, exportation, distribution, manufacture, advertisement, sales and use of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals, which include Agrochemicals. In view of this, the Agency wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the regulatory measures and control put in place to arrest/mitigate this abuse and misuse of Sniper and other brands of Dichlorvos formulations meant for agricultural use as follows:

“NAFDAC bans the importation and manufacture of 100ml pack size of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos with immediate effect.

“NAFDAC bans with immediate effect hawking of all agrochemical formulations

“NAFDAC is giving a two-month (up to 31st August 2019) notice to brand owners/distributors to withdraw their products from open markets and supermarkets that do not have garden corner/shelves to the agro dealer outlets. “The sales of Sniper insecticide and other Dichlorvos brands in open markets and supermarkets nationwide are prohibited with effect from 1ST September 2019.

“NAFDAC is giving a six-month moratorium up to 1st January 2020 for brand owners to exhaust the products that are in various accredited agro-input dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) outlets.

“Mandatory listing of Dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) of agrochemicals. All NAFDAC formations are to collect the list to ensure continual monitoring of all agro dealers in their States.

“The Agency has introduced permit to clear all bulk pesticides and agrochemicals. Importers/Manufacturers/marketers are advised to liaise with Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate or closest NAFDAC offices or visit the Agency website at https//www.nafdac.gov.ng for more information and guidance.

“All NAFDAC formations are to commence enforcement on restriction of sales of crop protection products to NAFDAC listed and accredited agro-inputs dealers/distributors/marketers nationwide by 1ST April 2020.

“NAFDAC advises the General Public to desist from the misuse of agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos as household insecticides, as such malpractice is associated with public health hazards.

“The General public may wish to note that CropLife Nigeria in collaboration with NAFDAC has agreed to undertake the following: –

“Mop-up of 100ml agrochemical formulation of Dichlorvos from open markets and supermarkets by importers, manufacturers and distributors and to be monitored by NAFDAC nationwide from 1st September 2019.

“intensify the continual evidence-based sensitization workshop on proper use and handling of pesticides and agrochemicals across the country.

“Provide antidotes against Dichlorvos poisoning in tertiary and secondary medical centers across Nigeria.

“The reformulation of all Dichlorvos preparation to include bitter agent and vomiting induce agent.

“Training process of all agro dealers will commence from 1st September 2019

“Improved labeling, sealing and packaging to include amongst others the use of color band to differentiate World Health Organization (WHO) toxicity classification on all agrochemical and removal of pictorials of household pests from labels of agrochemicals/crop production products. 

The DG added, “May I at this point call on all good citizens of our dear country to always adhere to all regulatory measures when handling or using NAFDAC regulated products. It is important to read carefully the label on the regulated products before using. The Agency is committed to safeguarding the health of Nigerians. The Agency seeks the cooperation of Nigerians in achieving the mandate of Safeguarding the health of the Nation.”