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Don’t reopen schools now, ASUU President urges govt

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday kicked against the reopening of schools by the Federal Government due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, spoke with the with News Agency of Nigeria in Ota, Ogun.

According to him, the Federal Government needed to address the challenges of education sector before it can talk of reopening schools.

Ogunyemi urged the Federal Government to provide ideal environment and should take the lead by meeting the conditions spelt out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before reopening schools.

“The Federal Government must lead and show the ways by meeting the conditions for reopening of schools before any school can be allowed to open, because COVID-19 pandemic is a health challenge.

“When it comes to public health, it is something that should not be left in the hands of individual, but the Federal Government must take the lead,’’ he said.

The ASUU president listed the conditions spelt out by NCDC to include: provision of materials for regular washing of hands, face mask, isolations centres, space for social distancing and hands sanitiser.

Ogunyemi said that many of the schools do not have financial capacities to meet those conditions and requirements for reopening of schools.

“It is suicidal to reopen schools now, if the Federal Government itself could not meet the conditions spelt out by NCDC and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The nation will expose the innocent children to risks which is avoidable,” he said.

Ogunyemi noted that how many of these schools could afford to provide hand sanitiser, saying that many of them do not even have running water, not to talk of having facility for washing hands.

He added that many schools do not have enough spaces to promote physical distancing.

The ASUU president said that putting all these requirements needed together, to reopen schools in the country now would run to millions of Naira, which most schools could not afford.

Ogunyemi appealed to the Federal Government to provide the running funds for the principals and head teachers so that they could provide some of these facilities in their schools.

He further said that inadequate funds by many parents would hinder them from providing some of these amenities needed for reopening of schools.

Ogunyemi said that the Federal Government needed to tell Nigerians the steps they intended to take in reopening schools.

The ASUU leader said that for government not to tell people their minds was like running away from “our shadow” which would later hunt the country.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

Ige Adekunle: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Rape: Don urges states to domesticate sexual, gender-based violence laws

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Prof. Funmi Bammeke, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos, on Tuesday called on states to domesticate all gender-based and sexual violence laws in Nigeria.

Bammeke made the call during a webinar organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC).

The theme of the webinar was: “Breaking the Jinx: Reflections on the Culture of Silence and the Rising Wave of Sexual Violence in Nigeria”.

Bammeke commended government for its efforts in declaring state of emergency on cases of sexual violence and opening of sex offenders registers, adding that more proactive steps could be taken.

She said that the Violence Against Persons  Prohibition Act of 2015, the Child Rights Act and other relevant legislations should be domesticated to properly address the increasing cases of rape and gender based violence in Nigeria.

According to her, this is necessary to discourage the culture of silence in abused victims and promote lasting peace in the society.

“Aside this, there should be a dedicated fund for sexual and gender-based violence cases in the country because litigation is usually expensive and most victims do not have the funding to take care of the issue.

“ There is equally need to train law enforcement officers, judicial, health, and all relevant personnel to be gender sensitive and understand how to respond to sexual and gender based violence cases.

“I am aware that the Nigeria Police has trained some of its officers but the question is how many benefited, the training should go round,’’ she said.

Bammeke urged government to also render some public enlightenment on what constituted gender-based violence, sexual violence and rape.

She said that the enlightenment should also entail the short and long term dangers of sexual and gender- based violence, myth of sexual violence ad well as negative social norms that promote violence.

Also, it should incorporate measures to prevent sexual and gender based- violence and more.

“ Everyone has roles to play, institutions, families and the society at large; we should encourage victims to speak out and eradicate the culture of silence,” she said.

Bammeke advised parents to desist from entrusting their wards with neighbours as nobody should be trusted in cases of rape and sexual violence.

Earlier, the convener of the webinar, Mrs Osaro Osayande, a Director overseeing the office of CBAAC Director-General, urged relevant stakeholders to join forces on issues of sexual violence and rape.

Osayande said that immediate intervention was needed to advance human rights and the common values of humanity enshrined in the African culture.

“CBAAC is lending its voice against sexual violence and the culture of silence in our society.

“All hands must be on deck to end these horrible abuses and the impunity that allowed human rights violation to thrive.

“ Sexual violence is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development.

“Regrettably, it is one of the least prosecuted crimes in the world which has wrecked tremendous havoc in our society as it denigrate the public health and mental wellbeing of its victims.

“Also hurting their dreams and aspirations often times resulting in death,” she said.

Osayande said that this was the best time for such discourse  because if left unaddressed, sexual violence could pose more serious threats to the peace and security of the nation, going by the sporadic rise in recent rape cases in Nigeria.

“ Nigeria has recorded 717 rape cases with several deaths in the last six months;  this is a sad commentary.

“ With continuous increase in media attention on sexual violence, on social media platforms, several victims have opened up to recount their experiences of rape, sexual harassment, intimidation and assaults.

“ This has given the campaign against sexual violence a focus, there is need to also acknowledge the fact that many victims are not ready to disclose their experiences due to several factors.

“ This is the key reason the culture of silence must be addressed,” she said.

Also, Prof. Olatunde Babawale, a former Director-General of CBAAC, suggested the revival of ancient cultural practice which entailed labeling rape cases as a taboo.

According to him, it will help in putting a stop to the menace in the society.

He said that diligent prosecution of rape cases must be encouraged while adopting the culture of naming and shaming the perpetrators of rape and all other sexual and gender based violence cases.

“ The issue of ridicule must be taken seriously, ridicule as a tool of traditional society, there are ways in which people use songs to shame those who commit  rape while they desist from such act.

” In the traditional setting, people still value their names, when an individual commits rape and he is made to walk naked within the community, this would send good signals to perpetrators of such crimes,” he said.

PTB/

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Coronavirus: Nigerian Breweries donates palliatives to journalists in Imo

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The Nigerian Breweries Plc on Tuesday donated food items, sanitiser and drinks to members of the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Imo.

Presenting the items, the company’s Corporate Affairs Manager South-East, Mr Chukwuemeka Aniukwu, said the items were meant to help cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the journalists.

Aniukwu also said that the gesture was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

He said Nigerian Breweries was aware of the huge role journalists played in society, adding that no amount of gift would be enough as compensation for their roles.

According to him, journalists play a frontline role in the curtailment of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are not unaware of your role in society, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is our second phase of giving palliatives in Imo, and this time, we want to touch lives directly and we consider journalists as very relevant in this second phase.

Responding, the Chairman of the chapel, Mr Steve Uzoechi, commended the company for the gesture.

“We are happy that you have remembered us today and your palliative donation came at the right time.

“Not quite everybody knows that journalists are doing great job in the country, but we are happy that your company is aware of our role,” Uzoechi said.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Commission donates relief materials to IDPs, vulnerable persons in Plateau

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The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons, on Tuesday, donated relief materials to some internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in Bassa Local Government of Plateau.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items donated by the commission included bags of rice, beans, millet, corn flour, detergent, cooking utensils, mats, blankets and locally-made stoves.

Mr John Dama, Director of Internal Audit, who represented the Federal Commissioner of the Commission, said that commission cared for the plight of IDPs and the vulnerable.

Dama said that the items were meant to alleviate the sufferings of the people who were recently attacked and sacked from their homes.

“The commission has the people of Plateau at heart and is committed to meeting the needs of the IDPs.

“The commission is urging the people to always toe the path of peace, because peace is paramount and without it, there can never be development,” he said.

The director advised the people to share the items equally and without bias.

The items, according to him, will be distributed among 18 districts of Miango, where the poor and vulnerable have been identified.

Mrs Roseline Dakwar, the acting Executive Secretary, Plateau State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), expressed appreciation to the commission for the intervention.

Dakwar said that the state had been hit by natural disasters and other crises.

She appealed for more of such interventions to assist the poor, the displaced and the vulnerable.

According to her, such intervention will revive and encourage the beneficiaries, especially with the ravaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rev. Ronku Aka, the Brra Ngwe Rigwe (the paramount ruler of Irigwe people) thanked the commission and SEMA for the gesture.

While praying God to bless them, the royal father said that they had practised one of the teachings of Christ by providing for the needy.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

Coronavirus: Oyo State Govt donates ventilator, oxygen concentrator to UCH

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The Oyo State Government on Monday donated ventilator and oxygen concentrator to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Health, Dr Adebisi Ayoola, presented the equipment on behalf of the state government to the management of the hospital in Ibadan.

In his remark, Ayoola said that the donation became imperative to further improve the care given to those placed under coronavirus treatment in the hospital, saying that the equipment would assist in strengthening the operations of the hospital.

He said that Gov. Seyi Makinde’s administration remained committed to delivery of quality health care for all and sundry in the state.

In his response, Prof. Jesse Otegbeye, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, commended the Oyo State Government for the donation.

Otegbeye said the equipment were adequate for treatment of coronavirus patients, saying the equipment would go a long way in improving service delivery in the hospital.

He further appreciated the state government and other philanthropists in the state and beyond for reaching out to the hospital in its efforts at providing qualitative healthcare services to the people.

“It is a thing of delight to us to receive the ventilator and oxygen concentrator to take proper care of the people of Oyo State, which we are committed to.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of UCH, we want to send our appreciation to Gov. Seyi Makinde, who has been a partner in progress to the hospital and the entire people of Oyo State for good things he is doing for us.

“We want to promise that we will make good use of these machines to ensure they render the services they are meant for,’’ he said.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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EEDC donates PPE to frontline health workers in UNTH

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on Monday donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku/Ozalla in Enugu.

Donating the items, Mr Okey Nwosu, the Managing Director of EEDC, said the items were donated as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items included: 10,000 medical surgical face masks and 10 cartons of medical-recommended hand sanitisers.

Nwosu, represented by the Head of Legal, EEDC, Mr Iguwo Ukwu, said the donation was meant to deepen the relationship of EEDC and UNTH, as well as support the hospital’s COVID-19 Laboratory Test Centre.

“With COVID-19, there is a need to have all hands on deck.

“As a responsible corporate entity, we are making this donation to support the fight and efforts to check the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also part of our CSR and the company’s way of showing its goodwill to health workers by extension, Nigerians at large,’’ he said.

Nwosu, who did not disclose the cost of PPE, said that what was necessary was the kind heart, goodwill and love the company was sharing through the gesture.

The managing director noted that he would table the demands made by the UNTH to EEDC management for consideration.

“The message EEDC has for Nigerians is that COVID-19 is real, and all must abide by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols and guidance,’’ he said.

Also, Head of Communications of EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, called on individuals and corporate bodies to take the issues of the COVID-19 seriously, while taking care and responsibility for their safety this period.

“There is a need for all to go for testing to know their COVID-19 status since the COVID-19 Laboratory Centre and COVID-19 Test Centres are here with us.

“Our people should avoid the temptation of engaging in self-medication, which usually leads to health complications in the long run,’’ he said.

Responding, Dr Obinna Onodugo, the Chief Medical Director of UNTH, thanked EEDC for the PPE donation and its other goodwill to the teaching hospital.

“These PPE are coming at the right time since medical consumables such as PPE are a daily need meant to protect all our health workers, especially those in the frontline of battling the COVID-19.

“I will assure you that it will be judiciously used.

“However, we need the assistance of EEDC on discount on the electricity bill coming to the hospital,’’ he said.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Foreign

President predicts Coronavirus in Indonesia will reach peak in August-September

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has predicted that the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country would occur in August or September, 2020.

“If we look at the figures, the peak is estimated to be in August or September. This is the last prediction,“ the president told media at the Merdeka Palace on Monday.

The prediction might change if all sides do nothing, the head of state said, adding that he had called on ministers to work harder in curbing the number of the COVID-19 case, among others by imposing sanctions on people who violate health protocols in the country.

Widodo made the call at a cabinet meeting on Monday as he noticed that people still lack disciplines in obeying the protocols implemented by the government and provincial administrations.

The Indonesian government reported that the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has reached 76,981 with 3,656 deaths as of Monday.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Don calls for restoration of African values in tackling corruption

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A don, Prof. Maduabuchi Dukor, has urged African leaders to promote the propagation of indigenous cultural values in the quest to tackle corruption.

Dukor, the Head of Philosophy Department at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.

He said all schools’ curricula should include African moral values as a subject for impact on pupils and students.

“The good old days of oath taking before deities instilled fear in Africans and then made office holders to be upright and honest,” he said.

According to the don, working on people’s mindset would restore African culture which respects hard work and discourage the nefarious quest for instant wealth by youths.

“It should start in all stages of schooling and this calls for review of their respective curriculum that is a handout from the western world,” he said.

Dukor, however, commended the zeal of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption using the fundamental principles of life.

“Since Nigeria is not an island unto herself and for international best practices to be followed, President Muhammadu Buhari is trying his best in fighting corruption by setting a panel to try the country’s number one corruption fighter.

” The message being sent is for every other person to know that government is staging a revolution against corruption following the rule of law,” he said.

(
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Indonesian military conducts drill near border with Malaysia

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The Indonesian Navy and Air Force have carried out a military exercise near the country’s border with Malaysia, local media reported on Sunday.

Three warships and a Boeing 737 aircraft were deployed during the two-day military exercise.

The exercise focused on a strategy to forge sound tactical cooperation between the Navy and the Air Force while undertaking a joint military mission to safeguard Indonesia’s border, particularly in the Ambalat Block waters.

The activity was monitored by the Sea Combat Group Commander of the Fleet Command II, First Admiral Rahmat Eko Rahardjo, from KRI Diponegoro-365 warship in the Ambalat waters on Saturday.

Piracy staged by Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, transnational crimes and crossing of militants in the sea waters are among the main challenges for the Indonesian security forces and other nations in the region.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Health

OYSG rakes N394m cash donations to tackle Coronavirus

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The Oyo State Government has sent letters of gratitude to individuals and corporate organisations who contributed to the endowment fund created to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Mr Taiwo Adisa.the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Seyi Makinde, said in a statement on Sunday that the state has so far received N394 million cash donations.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the appreciation letter was jointly signed by the governor, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo.

The letter conveyed the government’s gratitude to all those who donated money, food items, medical and other relief materials to the cause.

The government stated that it was heart-warming that the government and people of the state could count on the donors.

“The novel coronavirus pandemic has tremendously impacted the world’s economy and, by extension, Oyo state.

“In order to cushion the effect of this virus, provide necessary health infrastructure, support businesses and provide palliatives to the indigent among us, the government set up a dedicated fund to receive cash donations from public-spirited individuals and organisations.

“To this end, I write to thank you and recognise your contributions.

“It is heart-warming that the government and people of Oyo State can always count on you, especially in times of need,’’ the letter read in part.

It also named some of the donors to include the Coalition Against COVID-19 (N30 million), United Bank for Africa (N28.5 million) and the duo of late Chief Bode Akindele and Chief Bode Amoo, who donated N25 million each.

Donors also included De Damak Nigeria Ltd/Alhaji Dawud Akinola (N20 million), Adron Homes (N20 million), First Bank of Nigeria (N20 million) and Nigerian Breweries (N20 million) among many others.

Also received were agricultural inputs and food items, worth N186 million as well as to health and medical materials worth N356 million.

Edited By: Sam Oditah/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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