The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun has called on traditional medicine practitioners to collaborate with the government in ridding the society of ritual killings and quackery.
The governor made the call while speaking at the one-day workshop on campaign against ritual killings and quackery with a view to promoting a wholesome alternate medicine practice for the safety of all.
The event was organized by the Ogun State Alternate Medicine Board(OGAMB) in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force, Ogun State Command and held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
The governor who decried the nefarious activities of ritual killers and the negative image given to it particularly in Ogun State, said all hands must be on deck to expose those involved in the nefarious act to put a stop to the menace.
“Please work with us to expose those in your midst who are spoiling your name and good work. Dissociate yourselves from ritual killings and continue to be an Omoluabi” the governor pleaded.
On Isese Day celebration in the State, Governor Abiodun assured that he would sign an Executive Order to that effect, while government would liaise with concerned agencies for the setting up of a College of Complementary and Traditional Medicine in the State.
He lauded the practitioners for contributing to the health needs of the people, particularly those in the rural communities, assuring that his administration would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure they get adequate training for effective health care services.
He said that traditional medicine has been in existence for long and had been useful to the people in the past, stressing the need for practitioners to adopt scientific method in producing their products, adding that it was imperative that the relevant government agencies test their products and certify them good for human consumption.
According to the governor, “it is time to make African medicine worthwhile through scientific research and best practices. This would make the drugs compete favourable in the world stage and enhance the health of the people”.
He commended the practitioners for their enthusiasm to learn and to improve themselves, assuring that land for the building of their office would be allocated to them, while government would make a bus available for ease of movement.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, while acknowledging the role and importance of alternate medicine practitioners to the delivery of health, said that the present administration in the state would continue to play its part at ensuring alternate medicine is regulated towards ensuring the safety of the citizens of the state.
Coker who further pointed out that the issue of ritual killings was assuming a dangerous dimension in the state, disclosed that the state government has so far registered over 1,000 Traditional birth attendants, calling on the
alternative medicine providers to be ambassadors of the state by waging war against ritual killings and fish out quacks in their midst.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Ogun State Alternate Medicine Board (OGAMB), Nurudeen Olaleye, while commending Governor Abiodun for recognizing traditional birth attendant and alternative medicine providers in the state, said that the board under his watch had been able to monitor the activities of practitioners in the state.
Olaleye also noted that findings from the Board showed that those who were involved with illegal activities in the state were not registered practitioners, emphasizing that the monitoring team would continue to embark on monitoring exercises to curb the activities of quacks in the profession.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Babatunde Sodimu, charged the practitioners to document their process and carry out more research to make their practice better.
Bankole while noting that the practitioners should also encourage and sponsor bills that would help develop their practice, said that the state police command recognized their importance and ready to support them at all times.