Maduako Igbokwe l Monday, October 31, 2022
AWKA, Nigeria – Anambra State Government has warned herbal medical practitioners who are opposed to government security measures to checkmate activities of kidnappers, ritualistic and other criminals elements in the state to retrace their steps.
Speaking to newsmen on the import of the ongoing bio-data registration aimed at knowing the identities, operations of herbal medicine practitioners in the state, the Managing Director of Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice Agency, Dr. Daniel Ejie said deviants would be sanctioned appropriately.
Ejie noted that the essence of the data base is in line with the vision of the Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration to provide a regulated and digitalized system to identify those who are into genuine herbal practice and quacks.
He disclosed that the agency opted to call a meeting to bring different agitating bodies on board for harmony and focus including National Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NATMP), Igbo Traditional Associations, Modern Traditional Association among others, to have one umbrella.
While describing as baseless and frivolous the allegation that the agency has earned about N200 million from the bio data exercise, he revealed that the exercise which is still ongoing has not even generated up to less than one-quarter of the amount being bandied.
He also said that government approved the payment of N10,000 as well as N1000 for membership and Identity Card per member, which, according to him, are paid promptly into government designated banks, and receipted by the agency.
According to him, the inauguration of the Board is at the prerogative of the State Governor, stressing that his detractors are mainly those who have been using the name of the Board to allegedly extort and diverting money meant for the government’s coffers.
He pointed out that the core mandate of the agency cover capturing all herbal practitioners on the state government’s data base, undertaking inspection of operations base of practitioners for easy identification, registration with NAFDAC Number interfacing with members to identify challenges and assist them.
Ejie noted that members are those who use one root or herb to treat one illness or the other, adding the inspection of operational base would help the agency to determine if they could be considered fit and proper for registration to practice as members.
Recall that the state Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, had earlier announced the state’s plan to register all the herbalists in the state after some of them were reportedly arrested when the police busted camps of gunmen terrorizing the state.
According to the director, it was discovered that some bad elements either infiltrated or collaborated with authentic practitioners, noting that they would be fished out as they had no hiding place.
Ejie maintained that the government’s target is only on those who prepare bullet protective charms for criminals and terrorists under the pretense that they are indigenous medicine and herbal practitioners.
We gathered that the data validation exercise started earlier before Governor Soludo was inaugurated on March 17, this year and that the practitioners have been given till November this year to complete their registration.