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Reps Urge Federal Government To Tackle Disease Outbreak In Benue

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to send medical experts to Oye-Obi in Orihi Council Ward of Obi Local Government Area and Oju LGA of Benue to arrest the epidemic outbreak in the area.
This followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Samson Okwu (PDP-Benue) at the plenary on Thursday.

Moving the motion, Okwu said that there was a serious outbreak of an epidemic in Oye-Obi of Orihi Council Ward, Obi Local Government Area of Benue.

The lawmaker said that the outbreak had claimed several lives already and left many others in coma with no hope of survival in sight.

Okwu said that the Oye-Obi community of Obi LGA had an estimated population of over 6,000 people and shared common boundary with Ekpong Ainu, Ogboma Ainu and Ogege Idelle in Oju LGA, of the state.

He said that it was imminent that the epidemic which was fast spreading would claim more lives if not curtailed.

“The outbreak of the epidemic was reported by Health Officer and Chairman of Obi Local Government Council on the Jan. 29, 2020 and victims were said to have contracted the deadly disease after drinking water from River Oyongwo in the area.

“In spite of the quick response and efforts of Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, who sent the Commissioner for Health to access the situation, death rate continue to increase daily.

“The nature of epidemics is yet to be identified, hence no curative measure has been put in place to arrest the situation,” he said.

The lawmaker said that the life of every Nigerian was sacrosanct and that the primary purpose of every government is to provide welfare, good health and security of lives and property.

“It is in line with International Policy of World Health Organization (WHO) and other International Humanitarian Protocols,” he said.

Okwu expressed concern that there were inadequate medical facilities and personnel in Obi and Oju LGAs to take care of the health challenge of the people.

The lawmaker said that the outbreak had caused economic stagnation and hardship due to the fear of contracting the unknown disease.

“Unless very urgent step is taken by this House to arrest the rapid spread of the epidemic which is imminent, many innocent people of Oju/Obi Federal Constituency and her immediate neighbouring communities will lose their lives,” he added.

The House urged the Federal Government to declare Oye-Obi an unsafe and disaster area until certified safe.

The lawmakers urged the Federal Government to provide decent boreholes and other social infrastructures for the people and as well deploy medical facilities and qualified medical personnel to the affected areas.

The lower chamber called on all the relevant health agencies to lend support to check the epidemics in Oye-Obi in Orihi Council Ward of Obi LGA.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Wase (APC-Plateau) mandated the House Committee on Health Institution to urgently liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health to take pro-active steps towards addressing the outbreak.