Glo Lights Up Lagos Trade Fair With Marathon

National Operator and sports supporting company, Globacom, is providing opportunities for Nigerians wishing to participate in the upcoming Glo-Lagos International Half Marathon to register at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair.

The company disclosed that interested runners can walk into the Glo pavilion at the Fair to pick up registration forms which can be filled and submitted at the same place.

This step, the company explained, was designed to enable more Nigerians have the opportunity to participate in the historic race, which prize money is unprecedented in the history of marathon in Nigeria.

It further added that interested runners wishing to register for the Marathon at the Fair would be free to also ask questions about their participation.

Globacom took up the sponsorship of the Marathon months ago and has repackaged it to give better prize money to winners and indeed more Nigerians.

Apart from the main race which is attracting top runners from various countries, Globacom has also added the Corporate and Family Fun Run to enable more Nigerians run for fun, prizes, to stay healthy and rule their world.

Prior to this, Globacom had begun a campaign on the theme, “Everybody Runs Lagos” to sensitise the people across the country that the marathon was for everyone irrespective of class, race, creed or status.

The Glo-Lagos International Half Marathon will be held in Lagos on December 8, 2007. The event, which is being organised by the telecommunications giant in conjunction with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is already attracting foreign marathon runners and generating excitement among the local colleagues.

WAANSA Wants FG To Back Small Arms Treaty

The West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA), Nigeria chapter, has called on government to express vocal support for a comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in a move to broaden the base of the national assault against gun violence with reference to the restive Niger Delta region.

The group’s president, Mr. Dickson Orji, who made this call at a briefing to mark the global week of action on small arms and light weapons, said the call is coming as civil society organisations worldwide begin a global week of action against gun violence.

Orji explained that the week of action is intended to draw attention to the atrocities of uncontrolled proliferation of small arms as well as strengthening governments, particularly at the open-ended working group meeting on Arms Trade Treaty, slated for July 13, 2009 at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York

The WAANS boss observed that government can only achieve meaningful development and peace in the restive region, and the nation in general, if the transfer and use of authorised arms is checked as would be prescribed by the treaty, and urged government to support and incorporate its golden rules.

Describing the treaty as urgent, Orji said its main objective was to crystallize existing obligations into a legal framework, an international document which would not be biased to a particular region of the world.

He pointed out that one of the basic principles of ATT is that all states must authorise all international transfers by the issuing of licences.

“This treaty will impose a law against manufacturing countries’ transfer of weapons to non-state actors where it would be abused, particularly as it is happening in the Niger Delta. This is because the sale or transfer of such weapons to nations, where they are abused, pose great danger to the nation. With this in mind, we call on the Nigerian government to champion a common cause in Africa by supporting the treaty,” he said.

Placing more emphasis on why Nigeria should be heard in the United Nations OEWG meeting, Orji pointed out that between one third and three quarters of all grave human rights violation reported by Amnesty International involves the use small arms and light weapons.

According to his statistics, 85 per cent of killings reported by Amnesty International involve the use of these weapons.

“Between 10 and 14 billion units of military, small arms ammunition are produced yearly; that is roughly two bullets for every man, woman and child on the planet, coupled with the disturbing fact that at least one million firearms are lost, more are stolen worldwide.”

In her remark, the National Coordinator, International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), Ms. Mimidoo Achakpa, enjoined government to stop the use of force and to peacefully resolve the crisis in the restive Niger Delta region.

‘Many Nigerians Are Ignorant Of The Dangers In Smoking’ – Findings

The World Health Organisation (WHO), set aside May 31, every year for the celebration of “the World No Tobacco Day”.

The day was inaugurated in 1987 by the organisation to draw global attention to the prevalence of tobacco use and its attendant health hazards.

But as the world marked the 2009 edition of the event, many Nigerian smokers and even non-smokers are still ignorant of the dangers of smoking.

For Malam Nuhu Abubakar, who operates a provision store (kiosk) at Ikwerre Road in Port Harcourt, the cigarette business brings him more money daily.

He said that cigarette smokers patronised his shop more than other customers.

“At times, smokers wake me up as late as 1 a.m. to buy a stick of cigarette and if I refuse to open my kiosk, they will force it open to show how desperate they need that cigarette.

“I do not smoke. I cannot understand what they (smokers) derive in smoking. My concern is to make my money,” he said.

However, if smokers in Nigeria realise the health hazards of the habit, it would make some of them to stop smoking.

Perhaps, available statistics from WHO on smoking could make some of them to quit the habit.

WHO said that about 15 billion cigarettes are sold daily or 10 million sold every minute.

The world No Tobacco Day aims to reduce the 5.4 million yearly deaths from tobacco related health problems.

WHO said that among people aged between 13 years and 15 years, about one in five smoked worldwide.

According to the organisation, smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death.

It said that smoking was a prime factor in heart disease, stroke and chronic lung cancer.

Smoking can cause cancer of the lungs, larynx, oesophagus, mouth and bladder cancer and contributes to cancer of the cervix, pancreas and kidneys.

WHO also stated that smoking related diseases killed one in 10 adults globally or caused four million deaths.

It also stated that by 2030, if current smoking trend continues, smoking would kill one in every six persons.(NAN)