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NATIONAL BRIEFS 

Blood Donors To Be Recognised

A new card system to encourage and recognise free blood donors has been launched in Yaounde under the National Blood Transfusion Programme.

The Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda, presided over the ceremony in Yaounde 8 June.
Minister Mama Fouda explained that the card system will enhance visibility and traceability in the health sector. The new system comprises four cards: the white card for first time blood donors, green for those who have donated thrice, yellow for 10 time donors, and gold for those who have donated more than 20 times.

Meantime, these cards will be accompanied by incentives.
Officials from the Ministry of Public Health observed that, before spreading to Regional Hospitals, the pilot phase of the card system will take place in two health units: the Yaounde Central Hospital and the Douala Laquintinie Hospital for six months.

During the ceremony, a collaboration manual to facilitate the work between associations that promote free blood donation and the National Blood Transfusion Programme was also launched.
It was observed that this move is remarkable especially as Cameroon will on June 14 join the international community to commemorate the International Blood Donor Day under the theme “Blood connects us”.


Reclaim Bakassi From Cameroon, Militant Group Warns FG

A militant group known as Bakassi Strike Force has called on the Federal Government, FG, of Nigeria to reclaim the Bakassi Peninsular from Cameroon or it would be forced to take up arms.

The group, in a boat-display, brandishing all kinds of weapons on June 10 at Esighi axis of Bakassi, in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, lamented the neglect of Bakassi people by the Federal Government and other local and international stakeholders.

Speaking during the display, the leader of the group, General Simple, also known as Humble Lion, said the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States have been sidelined by the Federal Government in the amnesty programme.

According to Simple, “The Bakassi Strike Force is an indigenous group made up of youths from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, totaling 642 foot soldiers.
“You will agree with me that Akwa Ibom and Cross River States are part of the Niger Delta Region, yet we have been completely sidelined from the amnesty scheme and other empowerment programmes for the youths of the area,” he said

The group accused the Federal Government of ceding the oil-rich Bakassi to Cameroon, stressing that the indigenes and inhabitants of the area were not consulted before the area was ceded.

“To make matters worse, after taking over our land, the Cameroonian forces began to harass and molest our people. They even levied us with heavy taxes which became entirely unbearable. But, when it became obvious after several petitions that the Federal and State Governments were not ready to protect us and even the United Nations, we invited our Ijaw brothers who were already in the arms struggle to resist the Cameroonian operatives, but, unfortunately, they embraced the Federal Government amnesty programme when it was offered and abandoned us,” the group leader lamented.

“As indigenous youths, we have no other option than rise to defend ourselves from the operations and injustice from the Cameroonian forces. The Federal Government should reclaim Bakassi from Cameroon,” he stressed.

Compiled by Fanny Mbain

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