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‘Horror houses’ shed light on care crisis for Nigerian addicts

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The drugs came to stay.

Today, after suffering a heart attack, Jagunlabi is desperate to end his addiction but has no idea how to get help.

“I don’t know where to go, I can’t trust (rehab) centres here,” he told AFP, sitting in a park in the nation’s economic capital Lagos. “They can chain you, molest you.”

Substance abuse in Africa’s most populous country has been described as an “epidemic” by the United Nations but there is almost no proper treatment available for those trying to recover.

The grim problem has come to light after a string of raids on so-called rehabilitation centres where hundreds of inmates, mainly men and boys, have been found chained and abused in atrocious conditions.

The unregulated institutes — billed as Islamic schools or run by evangelical churches — are used by desperate families who often send relatives struggling with drugs, drink or mental illness in the hope they will get better.

But the treatment is brutal and relies more on prayer than proven medical interventions.

Jagunlabi, who gave only his stage name, recounted how his family had tried to take him to a religious camp just two days earlier.

“A week of prayer and fasting… it would kill me. I’m too weak,” he said.

Once a successful performer who has now seen his career destroyed by addiction, he showed off newspaper clippings about his music from the early 2000s.

“I used to be big,” he said. “I need medication, I need to sleep”.

Just 300 psychiatrists

The scandal over the abusive centres — dubbed “horror houses” by the media — has put pressure on the authorities.

President Muhammadu Buhari insisted “no responsible democratic government would tolerate the existence of the torture chambers” and officials have sought to close the worst of them.

But moves to clamp down on the facilities have had mixed results.

In the city of Kano, in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria where most of the abusive institutes have been uncovered, many relatives have refused to pick up those freed from the centres.

Part of the problem is they have nowhere else to take them.

Across Nigeria, a vast country of almost 200 million people, there are only some 300 psychiatrists, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report in November.

Many psychiatrists, discouraged by the lack of resources and status, leave left the country, mostly for the West.

But Dr. Ogonnaya Ndupu decided to stay.

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She worked for six years in a state psychiatric hospital. Today, she is employed at Lifecrest Rehabilitation service, a small private centre working with addicts in the middle-class Lagos district of Lekki.

“When it comes to mental health there is no monitoring going on,” she lamented to AFP.

“We have government facilities but they are in a deplorable state.”

Meanwhile “drug abuse is on the rise in Nigeria”, she insisted, as economic problems mount for people across the country.

“Times are tougher, more challenging for everybody.”

Life is particularly hard in Mushin, an impoverished and violent area of Lagos, where crack cocaine and bottles of codeine cough syrup circulate alongside illegal firearms.

“Cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, codeine, tramadol,” said local resident Lala, rattling off a list of the illicit substances to be found.

Already at midday, teenagers, old men and young mothers can be seen smoking marijuana as they try to cushion the come down from their latest trip.

‘The main issue’

An area that locals call the “drug ghetto” has been a no-go zone for the authorities for a long time.

But one person who can enter there is Pastor Keji Hamilton — on a self-proclaimed mission from God to help addicts.

A former musician who played with Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Hamilton says he “met Jesus” one day as he inhaled on a crack pipe surrounded by three prostitutes.

He thought he would die and asked God to save him despite not being a believer.

Now he is seeking to use more than just the Bible to help people as he tours the mean streets of Mushin.

Hamilton underwent training in psychology and social care and opened his own professional rehab centre.

“You need to be trained for this job, you need skills,” he told AFP.

He shakes people’s hands and talks to them as he tours the down-trodden neighbourhood — a contact for those struggling with addiction and a message that there is a solution.

“Drugs are the main issue in Nigeria,” he said. “But the government is not interested to solve it.”

spb/del/ri

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Lilian Muli threatens to expose female stalker giving her sleepless nights!

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Lilian Muli has been having a tough time thanks to her stalker that continues to appear everywhere she goes.

About a week ago, the mother of 2 revealed that some unknown person has taken a photo of her car; and as far as she was concerned the photo was to be used to portray her in a negative way.

Even with the post, the same stalker continues to trail Lilian Muli; and who now the news anchor seems quite worried as she has no idea what the stalker wants from her. It is not clear whether the person being sent the videos is a friend of Muli or the husband; but all we know is that Lilian has been restless since she learnt about her stalker.

In a detailed post shared by Ms Muli, she went on to narrate her story; probably hoping that if anything happened to her, then the police would know where to start.

Lilian Muli throws shade at stalker

Hello instafam. I would like to get your opinion on something. I am seeking the opinion of a public court. Last week I told you guys about someone that took a video of my car while I was having a meal at one of my favorite restaurants and then proceeded to send it to someone close to me. She was alluding to the fact that I was doing something wrong. I am still trying to figure out whether it is wrong to eat.

Female stalker

Thanks to the post we also learn that the stalker is actually female; which shows why Ms Muli seems quite tensed up. However, on her post Ms Muli went on to seek the advice from her followers on whether to expose the lady. The anchor wrote;

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Bubbly TV girl, Lilian Muli

Yesterday the same woman happened to spot my car again took a video and sent it to the very same person again. Still with malicious intent. Now don’t get me wrong what people do with their phones is their business however is it right for someone to infringe on my personal privacy in this way? Isn’t this criminal? I would also like to expose the person here because this is the second time they are doing this and I am extremely offended. I also would not like this person to continue doing this to innocent people. Share your thoughts. Nimsongeshe mbele ama? I am seriously very disturbed.


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“Mend your relationships with your baby daddies!” Zari Hassan mocks bitter baby mamas

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Zari Hassan recently left many assuming that her new a Bentley was a gift from her baby daddy, Diamond Platnumz. This is after she went on to thank the Tz singer for the top up, a statement that brought nothing but confusion.

With the new car, it was evident that Zari had managed to make her back to the Tandale empire; right after Miss Tanasha Donna walked out leaving behind the Prado her baby Daddy had purchased for her on her birthday.

Gossip tabloids have since been reporting the possibility of the star getting back with Zari; but thanks to a live session done by mama Tee, turns out that the Bentley was never bought by Diamond Platnumz – but herself.

We are not sure why she went back on her story; yet it was clear to see that the ‘Top Up’ meant the Bentley; mostly since her cars are normally rentals!

Zari gifted with a brand new Bentley

Make peace with your baby daddy

On her IG live, Zari went on to tell off everyone hating on her to make peace with their baby daddies; and probably they would get the same – that is if they can afford. The mother of 5 said;

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Co-parents, Zari Hassan and Diamond Platnumz

Asante Baba Tee (Tiffah for the Top Up. Ikikuhusu/to whom it may concern. Mambo ya top imeleta balaa. Top up ni mchango. Sio ati kanilipia zote ama kaninunulia. It’s a contribution/ mchango. Kwani kuna ubaya gani? Mnatokwa makamusi yanin? Luga ndo tatizo, ama akili zenu ndogo. Isiumizwe na maisha ya mtu. We all have 24hours, use them wisely or mend your baby daddy relationships uhongwe at aka vitz,”


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Nyandarua County pumps Ksh 2.4B into fight against COVID-19 – KBC

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Nyandarua has set aside Ksh 2.4 billion to fight the impact and the spread of Corona Virus in the county. 

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Governor Francis Kimemia disclosed that part of the funds has been used to procure ventilators, PPEs and masks in stepped up efforts to contain the disease, as the Country braces for Covid-19 peak from next month.  

“Apart from procurement of equipment, we have set aside Ksh.230million to fight this pandemic, which means the county has to put on hold other ongoing development projects,” he stated.  

Kimemia spoke on Monday during the Good Morning Kenya show aired on KBC Channel 1 where he gave an update on the County’s preparedness against COVID-19.  

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Additionally, the county has managed to install an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with 15 beds and nine ventilators as well as an isolation facility with 330 beds in case the pandemic escalates.  

More than 8,000 water tanks have been installed in various markets in the County to ensure adequate hand washing in line with the Ministry of Health safety guidelines.  

Kimemia said surveillance had been intensified at the County’s 10 border points to check movement of people in and out of the County.  

This, he said will make contact tracing easier in the event of a positive case.  

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The County is also working closely with officers from the Nyumba Kumi initiative to sensitize the communities against stigmatization of COVID-19 victims and taking proper precautionary measures against the disease.  

He further appealed to the people of Nyandarua County residing in Nairobi or other areas to avoid visiting their parents and the elderly in wake of COVID-19. 

Kimemia says that young people could unknowingly pass the virus to their elders leading to more infections.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tpcRxIhxCE

He advised them to use phone communication and mobile money transfer at least until the decline of infections in the Country.  

“While I acknowledge that we cannot stop children from visiting their parents at the same time we highly encourage them to keep staying where they are,” he stated.  

“It is advisable that the middle class working in Nairobi and other counties to minimize interactions with their parents and grandparents until we see how this disease is contained,” Kimemia said  

A previous statement by the Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya revealed that only 26 Counties have been able to put up a 300-bed isolation Center in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive.  

Currently, Kenya has 10,294 COVID-19 cases and Health officials have warned that easing the lock-down measures could lead to an increase of infections and deaths.  

However, this could be avoided by adhering to all safety protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health. 

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