House of Representatives demands national plan on cancer

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The Nigerian House of Representatives has urged the government to develop a holistic National Plan for the prevention and control of cervical cancer in the country.

This was to reduce the death of Nigerian women due to the preventable disease, one of the leading killers of women all over the world.

The lawmakers, who spoke in support of the motion sponsored by Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, emphasised the need for public awareness through the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the need for screening of women for cervical cancer disease.

Akinade-Fijabi, while presenting the motion noted that cervical cancer, accounted for up to 275,000 deaths every year.

The lawmaker expressed “It’s regrettable that Nigeria is rated the fifth country with worst indices of Cervical Cancer death in the world. No less than one Nigerian woman dies every hour due to cervical cancer.”

The House also exonerated its three members from alleged sexual misconduct levelled against them by the former US Ambassador to Nigeria Mr James Entwistle.

The exoneration was contained in the recommendations of the report on the allegation presented before and adopted by the House on Tuesday.

In the recommendation, unanimously adopted, the House also requested the Minister of Foreign Affairs to engage with the US Ambassador to find a solution of the diplomatic consequences of the unfortunate incidence.

Mr. Ossai Ossai, the chairman House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, who presented the report said the three members were  cleared from any wrong doing, during their official engagement at the US in April.

“Rep. Mohammed Gololo, Rep. Mark Gbillah and Rep. Samuel Ikom are cleared of and exonerated from the allegations levelled against them by the US Ambassador to Nigeria in his June 9, 2016 letter to Speaker for want of evidence.

In the light of the foregoing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs should engage the US Ambassador to Nigeria with a view to finding a seamless resolution of the domestic fall out of this unfortunate incident as it relates to the lawmakers.’’ Ossai said.

He further urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to write to remind the US Embassy of the need to always adopt the official channel of communications in its dealing with any organ or institution of government.