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Desist from suicidal acts, NRC boss cautions train commuters, residents of Lagos



Mr Jerry Oche,  Lagos Railway District Manager (RDM) on Saturday advised intending train passengers to desist from all suicidal acts while using train services in the state.

Oche, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said that trains were not the last resort to transportation.

“We have not relented in our efforts to always warn and caution people either on board trains or those along rail track to desist from  acts that are injurious to their lives.

“If the train is filled up and you feel you cannot get a seat, return your ticket and collect your money if you cannot wait for the next train.

“If you then have the right to return your ticket and collect your money,  why risk your life.

“Yes, l want to encourage people to use the train but not at the expense of their lives. There are other means of transportation.

“Is it not somebody that is alive that will talk about reaching his destination, is it not somebody alive that will talk about using the train the next day.

“If l am asking everyone to come use the train and they climb and fall and die or maimed, l have lost a customer. The society loses, the family loses and they are gone forever.

“The train is not the last resort, though it is the cheapest, fastest if you talk of Lagos traffic, but please there is no substitute to life,” he said.

Oche said that, in any case of derailment or accident, people on the roof of the train were the ones usually affected.

“We are very much concerned about our passengers, we appeal to the train roof top riders to desist, although the corporation is working out new strategy to ensure people stop this suicidal act.

“We appreciate the effort of this present government on the standard gauge, this will help in curbing this act,” the NRC boss added.

NAN reports that several people have been reported injured, maimed and died as a result of hanging or trading on rail tracks.

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COVID-19: Clergy urges Nigerians to desist from fake prophecy



A clergyman, Prophet Samuel Oseni, on Tuesday urged Nigerians and other men of God to desist from fake prophecies, advising them against using the coronavirus pandemic to deceive people.

Oseni, who is of the Celestial Church of Christ, Parish 1 told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, that many people have fallen to some of the fake prophecies.

He advised Nigerians not to fall prey but pray unto God for a solution in their homes while they take precautions against COVID-19.

“Coronavirus is real, do not be deceived.

“As you take precautions, call unto God to heal Nigeria and the world from this pandemic.

“Nobody knows when the world would end and this is not the time to start giving fake prophecies.

“Let us leave fake prophecies because that will not solve the problem.

“We can only call unto God, who knows all, to give a lasting solution to this problem.

“People should also avoid fake prophecies and pray for an open heaven.

“It is sad, that places of worship are closed while drinking joints manage to open.

“If care is not taken, we‘ll lose our spirituality to the worldly life during this lockdown.

“This is the time to move closer to God, it is the least we can do to fight the pandemic.

“Some men of God, irrespective of their religion, should also unite while observing the social distancing and pray that God should put an end to the spread of the virus,’’ he said.

The clergyman further advised members of the public to stop fighting and looting one another’s property in the name of hunger.

“Killing and fighting ourselves will not put an end to that hunger.

“So, if we end up killing ourselves, do we take the fight to another country whenever we are hungry again?

“It is better to divert that energy into letting the appropriate authority know that you are hungry instead of killing your fellow man.’’

Oseni warned youths and miscreants “not to turn our communities to war zones’’.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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COVID-19: Desist from all forms of football gathering, Supporter Club President-General warn fans



Rafiu Ladipo, the President-General of Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club,  has warned fans to desist from all forms of football gatherings as part of preventive measures  against  spreading and contacting  COVID-19.

Football fans at a  match venue

Ladipo gave the warning in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday to  fans who  were in the habit of gathering  to watch football matches in their communities.

He said that it was better to stay alive to watch many matches both at the local level and English Premier Leagues than to go against all preventive measures and expose self to the danger of COVID-19.

“The spread of Coronavirus is a trending issue and that is the reason our government had to direct  that we should stay at home in order to avoid crowding;  being a fast way  of  spreading coronavirus.

“I am key-in  on that note and  also warning football lovers to stop going to watch locally- organised matches because they are fond of  building  crowd there.   And nobody  knows  who might  have contacted Coronavirus among the fans because coming to view centres.

“So,  it is better to stay away from danger, play safe so that you can live to watch other matches and anybody that dies now cannot have the opportunity to watch matches again,” he said.

According to him, the fight against Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 has resulted to all Premiership leagues and Laliga been cancelled and postponed across the world.

Ladipo said that if  America, France, Italy and other big nations of  the world with all their facilities  were locking down due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, Nigeria should not be an exception to the rule.

“Besides it is  for the time being, when the situation calms down and are  brought under control, we will come out to watch matches, games, film shows at cinemas  and other entertaining  events,” he added.

He also  urged everyone to stick to regular  handwashing, use of hand  sanitisers, nose masks and keep the specified distance from one another  in order to comply with  government’s preventive measures.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Peter Dada

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Coronavirus: Capital market operators urge investors to desist from panic selling



Capital market operators have expressed optimism that trading would stabilise on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in no distance time in spite of the falling oil price and COVID-19.

They spoke with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos, while reacting to persist decline in the equities market occasioned by slump in global oil price, fear of devaluation and wide spread of COVID-19.

Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, the Managing Director, Maxifund Securities Ltd., told NAN that trading would normalise on the NSE in the next three months.

“We are not alone in the world; world economy also affects our economy and the stock market.

“Quoted companies fundamentals are very sound and they are churning out impressive results and dividends.

“Investors should not panic; they should take advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy measures and start juggling their assets.

“I believe some of them should move away from monetary assets and go to capital assets, which is the capital market to take advantage of reduced interest rates on fixed income instruments,” he said.

Unegbu, also former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), observed that the stock market had been declining, even before the emergency of coronavirus.

He noted that the demutualisation of the exchange when completed would deepen market liquidity and activities.

Unegbu, however, urged the management of NSE to ensure quick completion of the demutualisation exercise for the market to reap its accrued benefits.

Also, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuf, former President, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), called on stock market investors to shun panic dumping of shares.

“Investors should start buying and take advantage of the price depreciation to increase their holdings in the market.

“It’s not that the companies are not doing well; the developments in the world economy will soon ease off.

“Stocks prices have gone so low and it’s an opportunity for entry, because the companies’ fundamentals are strong,” Yussuf said.

Commenting, Malam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., called on investors to watch the market carefully to enable them to enter at the right price.

Kurfi explained that most stocks had recorded 52 weeks price low level, noting that Zenith Bank, which traded as low as N10.85 recently, appreciated by 25 per cent to close trading on March 17 at N13.50 per share.

He, however, stressed the need for margin loan facility in the market, especially for banking stocks to cushion the effect of persist bearish market.

Kurfi called on the capital market regulators to ensure active implementation of margin loan facility in the stock market.

NAN reports that the All-Share Index reports dropped by 3, 546.26 or 13.49 per cent last week to close at 22, 733.35 compared with 26, 279.61 posted in the preceding week.

Also, the market capitalisation shed N1.85 trillion or 13.49 per cent to close at N11.847 trillion against N13.694 trillion achieved in the previous week.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Olagoke Olatoye


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LASG urges residents to desist from dumping refuse in drainages



Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, has urged residents to desist from dumping refuse in drainages in order to avoid flooding.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the deputy governor made the appeal on Sunday while speaking with newsmen during an inspection of some drainages across the Lagos metropolis.

NAN reports that Hamzat was accompanied by Commissioner For Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainages and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe and Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Lekan Shodeinde.

The deputy governor said government would identify and remove all obstructions to the drainage channels in the state.

He appealed to residents to stop throwing refuse into the canals as this could lead to blockages, thereby causing flood during the rainy season.

He said government would not tolerate dumping of refuse in drainages, construction of structures or any form of human intervention on the established drainages and flood channels in the state.

He added that enforcement would be stepped up immediately.

The deputy governor noted that in preparedness for the coming rainy season, the state government has embarked on a drainage system tour to ensure a seamless flow of flood.

He assured that contractors were working on the different drainage systems across the state to re-establish the canal lines so that there would be free flow of water during the rains.

He added that the canals would be cleaned up for free flow of water.

“We have commenced drainage clearing, linking the channels together and all other processes in order to ensure hitch free rainy season in the state.

“However, the places that we have these flood mishaps are largely due to human intervention either by building on them or by blocking them with refuse or other items of such nature.

“When nature takes its course as a result of human action, people’s lives are disturbed and it leads to anguish, but we are the cause,” he said.

He also said that government would convince the citizens on the need to take proper responsibility of the drainages because without it, everywhere would be flooded.

“Citizens must be responsible for the canals by not dropping garbage into the canals, not building structures on it as it would be removed.

Meanwhile, the deputy governor ordered the seal up of an uncompleted building under construction on Lawanson road, Itire during the tour.

He directed the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) to seal up the building which was earlier sealed but was reopened.

NAN reports that Hamzat inspected drainage systems in Ilubirin, Lagos Island; Ijora Badia Channel, Doyin Moshalasi Channel at Doyin Orile Plantain Market.

Others are, System 5 Channel at Babs-Animashaun, Surulere, System 6c Channel by Adebiyi Bridge, Itire, System 6b at Ladipo Channel, Kushoro Igbayilola Collector Drain, System 1 by Alade Market and System 2 by Apata Street Shomolu, Lagos.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi

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Commissioner warns parents to desist from discouraging children, wards from sports




A Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mrs Iyabo Odulate, told parents on Wednesday to desist from discouraging their children and wards from participating in sporting activities.

Odulate, representing Lagos and Ogun in the commission, made the appeal at the 41stInter-house Sports of the Federal Government College, Sagamu, near Abeokuta in Ogun.

Odulate, was represented at the event by Mrs Omolara Sansa, National Secretary of the Trade Union Congress Women Commission.

She said that parents should know that sports was an integral part of education and that it had become a global money spinning industry in which many Nigerians at home and abroad were benefiting from.

“Parents, who may still be living in stone age when sports was regarded as the last option for dullards should desist from such thinking.

“Sporting activities have got much to do with religion as every religion believes in good health, which means that sporting activities are embedded in all of them.”

Odulate described the Federal Government Girls’ College, Sagamu as an institution that has produced lots of notable women in society.

“The products of this school have excelled in virtually every field of endeavour and they have taken girl-child education to an unparalleled level.”

She also told students to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship in whatever they engaged in because sports had become a rallying point, unifying factor and means of psycho-motor development.

The Principal of the college, Mrs Oluwatofunmi Akamo, said there was need to occasionally engage students in sporting activities to boost their physical and mental fitness.

Akamo said that “a sound mind needs a sound body’’ and that this was necessary for students to pass their examinations.

“For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education in line with the national policy on education ensures that sporting activities are organised not only within the college but outside the zone.

“Recently, our girls participated at the just-concluded Federal Government Colleges Games and they won medals.

“It will not be wrong to say that it is only in sports that Nigerians speak with one voice.”

Akamo, who is also a director in the Federal Ministry of Education, advised students to show determination at all times because life’s race needed to be completed whether one was feeling out of breath or not.

She appealed to parents and individuals to assist the school by renovating the sports pavilion, provide facilities for both track and field events as well as trainers, to harness the sporting skills of students of the college.

Mrs Titilayo Akinsehinde, National President of the Old Students Association of the college, said that engaging in sporting activities would boost students’ mental capacities and improve education standards.

Akinsehinde urged parents to encourage students to participate in sporting activities all the time.

“When we were in school, every morning we engaged in sporting activities by jogging and running which really boosted and refreshed our brains and minds for the day.

“The Federal Government should put all federal government colleges in mind by improving standards in the colleges, increasing teachers’ salaries and providing teaching aids,’’she said.

The Nigeria News Agency education correspondent reports that Sohinde House came tops at the event, while Ogun House came second with Rima House clinching the third position.

Edited By: Abigail Joshua/Silas Nwoha

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Ransom: Presidency reacts to allegations, urges CAN to desist from disinformation



The Presidency has urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adesina was reacting to what he described as ”unfounded allegations by the Christian Association of Nigeria about the payment or non-payment of ransom for the release of the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls.”

The CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, was quoted in the traditional and social media outfits to have said inter alia: “Nigerians need to know, if they have not known the reason why the Presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls. It is because 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the girls are Christians.’’

”The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.”

However, the presidential aide, who recalled that similar allegation was made by the media in Aug. 2018 when they quoted a UN Report alleging that the Federal Government paid a “huge ransom” for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018.

He said: ”The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, little or huge.’’

“There must be a conclusive evidence to support such a claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is – a mere conjecture.”

Adesina, therefore, maintained that ”the letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations were liable to cause.

”The Christian body needs not be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward, before it can champion or defend the Christian faith.”

He said Buhari had made it very clear in 2015 that if ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay.

”That is a testament to his commitment to get the girls back.

”Notwithstanding our different faiths, we are all stakeholders in the promotion of peace in our fatherland. And the Holy Bible enjoins us to seek peace, and pursue it,” Adesina said.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf

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Lagos council chairman cautions residents to desist from blocking drains



Hon. Morenike Williams, the Council Chairman of Igando-Ikotun Local Government Council Development Area (LCDA), has led her team to educate residents on the need to desist from blocking drains with garbage.

Williams made the appeal after a drain clearance exercise along Ijegun road and Prince Adeyemi road to enhance free flow of water.

This was disclosed in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by Abayomi Oseni, her Media Officer

While addressing the residents and traders in the area, Williams decried the level of refuse in the drains.

Williams admonished the residents to care for their environment rather than nurture the belief that it is the responsibility of the government to come and clean their environment for them.

“Water and Asphalt are enemies, each time the drainage gets filled with refuse, flooding extends to the main road, thereby washing off the asphalt and weakening the road.

“Since good roads are essential amenity which we can’t do without, it is important for you and I to play our parts, I therefore urge the tenements and traders to clear their surroundings.

“They need to distill drainage within their vicinity, when the refuse is properly packed, you should call on the local government to cart it away; it is our duty.”

Williams promised that the council would open up the drainage system to ensure free flow of water and protect major roads in the community.

She warned that any one who failed to adhere to the environmental sanitation directives will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Desist from ethnicity, religious bigotry, Cleric counsels Nigerians



Pastor Emmanuel Akpan, Senior Pastor, Real Success Bible School, has urged Nigerians to desist from ethnicity and religious bigotry to achieve national unity and progress in the country.

Akpan made the plea on Monday at the graduation and convocation ceremony of the school held at the Dominion Grace Assembly Mission, Lagos.

According to him, these have accounted for the slow pace at which the nation was developing.

He said: “The vices over the years had militated against good governance and undermined the development of the nation at local, state and national levels.

“To achieve remarkable milestones as individuals and as a nation, we must consciously shun all forms of ethnicity and religious bigotry.

“We are where we are today, because we want to be identified, either as a Muslim or a Christian, a Yoruba or an Hausa man; all these will continue to divide us as a nation.

“Our unity and progress depend on our being truthful to one another, neglecting ethnic and religious bigotry in all our dealings.”

Also, one of the graduands, Pastor Josiah Aniefiok, urged the nation’s leaders to be committed to good governance in order to make life better for the citizens.

He said that positive change of attitude by the leaders and citizens would promote good governance in the country.

“We should think of our country first, either as a Muslim, Christian, traditional believer or free thinker.

“If our forebearers did not do what they were supposed to do, you and I will not be enjoying what we are enjoying today.

“Lets leave Nigeria better than we met it for generations that are coming behind us.

“Our people at the state and the federal levels must invest in human capital development of our the citizens,’’ he said.

The cleric also advised Nigerians to change their attitude and perception and put the country first in all that they were doing so that Nigeria could be great and prosperous again.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye

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Catholic group urges Christians to desist from documents alternation



A Christian group, Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) Abuja Archdiocese, has urged Christians to desist from alteration of date of birth or documents for whatever reason not to lose focus of eternity.
The resolution is contained in a communique issued at the end of a 3-day conference on Sunday in Abuja, organised by the Archdiocesan Service Team (ADST).
The communique, signed by Brother Vitus Chukwudolue, the Chairman of ADST and Sister Angela Odunukwe, the Secretary, was made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the theme of the 8th Conference is -“At a Time Like This’’, taken from the book of 2nd Timothy chapter three verses one to five.
The theme was chosen in response to the challenges faced in the family, society, Church and the nation at large.
The group after messages, discussions and professional workshop, urged Christians to focus on advancing and entrenching the Kingdom of God.
It also resolved that in every sphere of life, every Christian was expected to portray the following virtues- diligence, hard work and honesty.
“That in addition to prayers, every member should seek to obtain requisite knowledge and skill needed to succeed in every sphere of life.
“That no member should be involved in the following- over invoicing of goods and services, inflation of contracts, dealing and use of substandard materials, dealing in fake drugs, examination malpractices, abortion, extortion and bribery.
“Also, operating and patronising special-help examination centres and cheating, as well as involvement in sex for marks among other vices.’’
According to the communique, every member should pursue righteousness and seek to know the mind of God in his word and in the place of prayer.
In addition, the group observed that the problem in family, society, church and the nation at large was as a result of lack of God’s presence in the lives of Christians.
Earlier, Chukwudolue said a child of God who must survive in the world, should have in-depth knowledge of the time and be abreast with all the skills and doggedness required.
“We are in the last days; people have become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, and disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and without love.
“The conference avails us the opportunity to tap into God’s grace to be able to withstand the pressure of the time,’’ he said.
According to him, the theme is very apt at a time that the country is going through economic, political, moral and social challenges.
Speaking at Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, Abuja Archdiocesan Chaplain, Rev. Fr John Oluma, spoke about the merciful, loving and caring attributes of God.
Quoting from the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15 verses three to seven, the priest said God was in the business of seeking for lost souls.
He, therefore, urged Christians to learn the following lessons from the Gospel as “God knows them individuals and love them personally in respective of what they are going through.
“You can lose your position just like the lost sheep lost his position, so you need to get close to the shepherd and have a relationship with Him.
“You are God’s possession, a coin has monetary value; your value is in connection with God, who owns us.’’
NAN reports that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) started in Abuja in 1982 and now has no fewer than 90 prayer groups and 25,000 members in the Archdiocese.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

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