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Group tackles gender-based violence in rural communities

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Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF)  says it has extended awareness creation on gender-based violence arising from the COVID– 19 lockdown to rural communities in Lagos State.

WARIF,  a non governmental organisation on gender-based violence in Nigeria, launched the WARIF COVID-19 Response in Rural Communities Initiative in response to the increase in reported cases of violence against women and girls during the ongoing pandemic.

Dr Kemi Da- Silva-Ibru, founder of WARIF, made this known in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Da -Silva-Ibru, sharing her concerns about the increase in gender based violence, said the lockdown and frustrations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic had  led to an increase in reported cases of violence against women and girls.

This, she said, had led the organisation to recognise the need to address the issue at the grassroot level.

She said that the sensitisation program was designed in collaboration with traditional birth attendants, previously trained by WARIF as first responders on gender-based violence cases.

“These health care providers, already educated on the prevalence of domestic and sexual gender-based violence within their grassroot communities and the immediate response and management of these cases, have been galvanised into small cell groups.

“They will be making house to house visits in their various communities to offer assistance to women who are in lockdown with their spouses and partners.

“Cases of abuse in these households are being identified and recorded and are referred to the WARIF Rape Crisis Centre.

“Additional support and assistance are given to these traditional birth attendants, by the distribution of personal protective equipment such as face masks, hand sanitisers and gloves to protect these frontline workers and reduce the risk of spread of the virus in their respective communities,” she said.

Da Silva-Ibru revealed that the first cycle of the program was being carried out in five Local Government Areas of Lagos State — Epe, Alimosho, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Apapa.

“These LGAs are selected due to a high number of women in these communities, with Alimosho, the largest, with an estimated population of 5,700, 714.

“Fifty-four per cent of the population of Nigeria still reside in rural areas, with the shadow pandemic and increasing number of cases, women in these remote areas are isolated and locked away with their abusers with no means of communicating with the outside world and with no services available to them.

“This initiative brings help to their door steps, providing an opportunity for care and safety from their abusers that they will not ordinarily have,” she said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

Rukayat Moisemhe: 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

General news

Children’s Day: Group urges parents to focus more on children than career

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The Executive Director, Home and Street Kids Welfare Initiative (HSKi), Ms Funmi Omisope, has advised parents to give time and focus more on their children than their careers.

Omisope told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ilorin that children needed more of their parent’s attention,  especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and any other crisis periods.

The executive director spoke against thd backdrop of this year’s Children Day.

She also urged children to be creative and productive, adding that the world is waiting for their positive impact.

“It is another beautiful day in the year that kids are being celebrated all over the world.

“Like visitors they live and grow among us asking us tons of questions about things they don’t know and sometimes things they know and just want to hear our voices especially now that schools are closed.

“My message to every child on this blessed day is to keep their curiosity drive and know they are here to make impact in the world and not to be silenced.

“And to every parent, take good care of these angels entrusted into your hands.

“More than your career and all, your impact in their lives will stand as your legacy when you have fulfilled your days and passed on.

“To the society, we are not responsible to just our own biological children, let every child you come across have good things to say about you,” she said.

Besides, Omisope said that smiles, encouragement and fun could open a new world to children, adding that no one should deny them the benefits.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Rights groups urge Taiwan to support more Hong Kongers seeking asylum

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Taipei-based non-governmental organisations and Hong Kongers living in Taiwan on Wednesday jointly called on the Taiwan government to revise laws in a bid to support more Hong Kongers seeking asylum as Hong Kong’s national security law is to undermine freedom and rule of law.

At a news conference held in Taipei, Taiwan’s rights groups charged that Hong Kong’s national security law meant the collapse of the concept of “one country, two systems’’ imposed there.

They stressed that Taiwan should be well prepared in response to an emerging refugee crisis.

According to the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Taiwan’s existing laws fail to comprehensively assist Hong Kong pro-democracy activists seeking asylum in Taiwan.

The organisation urged the government to revise regulations about helping Hong Kong residents whose safety and liberty are immediately threatened for political reasons.

In addition, so far, Taiwan has not established a refugee act.

Taiwan Citizen Front spokesman Chiang Min-yen called on the Taiwan government to urgently grant asylum to Hong Kong protesters on humanitarian grounds.

“The impacts of Hong Kong’s national security law are devastating there.

Helping Hong Kong is actually helping Taiwan as Chinese imperialism remains expanding,’’ Wu Rwei-ren, an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, said.

Wu added that Taiwan should become a supportive base for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists, helping Hong Kong immigrants in Taiwan to form an indispensable part of Hong Kong diaspora.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949. Beijing considers the self-governing democracy part of its territory.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Education

Children’s Day: Group tasks Govts, school owners on resumption

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The Association of Nursery and Primary Education Instructors in Nigeria (ANPEIN) has appealed to governments at all levels and private school owners not to reopen schools until the environments are safe and healthy because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Its National President, Mr Simeon Fowowe, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.

Fowowe spoke in commemoration of the 2020 Children’s Day, being a special day solely dedicated to celebrate childhood.

May 27 every year, is usually declared a public holiday for school children.

Fowowe said that it was better for schools to resume late this year than rushing to resume because of fear of the children contracting the deadly virus.

“The parents should ensure their children remain safe and healthy until they resume, as they celebrate this year children’s day at home.

“Parents should keep their children indoor because there are other years ahead of them to celebrate many Children’s Day and many other events.

“As we celebrate today, parents should sincerely evaluate their parent-child relationships and how their children respond to learning during this COVID-19 era,” he said.

Fowowe called on public and private school owners to facilitate the inauguration of operational guidelines on the implementation of child participatory rights in schools when schools resume.

“The aim of the policy is to build skills, self-confidence and democratic culture as well as give children the opportunity to contribute on issues that concern them.

“The implementation will go a long way to promote the thematic area of participation that has not received much attention, especially in our schools where majority of children are found,” he said.

Fowowe said that people should be aware and reminded of the contents of Articles 12 to 17 of the Convention on the Rights of Child and the corresponding articles in the Child Rights Act (2003).

“The articles recognise the rights of children to make inputs into decision making process on issues that concern them.

“It is not news that the educational system and decision making process in Nigeria are still immersed in non-participatory methods that limit the development of children’s learning and development capacities.

“It is observed till date that the system places heavy reliance on learning and discourages, to a large extent, the participatory approach which affect mostly the orphans and vulnerable children,” he said.

Fowowe also noted that various thematic areas of protection, survival and development were receiving government’s intervention in child development.

“Governments interventions are received through various programmes in child development, immunisation, exclusive breastfeeding and efforts to eradicate child trafficking.

“The thematic area of participation has not received much attention, especially in the school system, where majority of children are found.

“It is against this background that ANPEIN appeals to the public, using the euphoria of today’s stay-at-home celebration of children’s day to do all things possible to safeguard every Nigerian child,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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General news

Group wants Kaduna govt. to ensure full implementation of child protection law

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The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) has called on the state government to ensure full implementation of its Child Welfare and Protection Law, 2016.

The Chairperson of the group, Ms Jessica Batholomew, made the call in a statement in Kaduna against the backdrop of Wednesday’s Children’s Day celebration.

Batholomew said that the state enacted the law to protect children from all forms of abuse as well as ensure their educational development among other needs.

She, however, noted that the law was being partially implemented since enactment in 2016, adding that full implementation of the law and other policies would ensure uninterrupted growth and development of the child.

According to her, the child protection law, policies and programmes  are crucial in building the needed human capital in the state.

“The various interventions to improve child health and nutrition and the due attention to protecting the interest of the child were quite commendable, ” she said.

She particularly commended the state for promoting free and compulsory education for every child in the state from primary to senior secondary school.

Batholomew equally lauded the bold step of the government to end the almajiri system of education by insisting that all such pupils in the state must acquire basic education alongside quranic education.

According to her, the decision to prosecute parents who enrol children in such exploitative and abusive education system will restore the children’s right to basic education.

The Almajiri education system requires a child to leave his parent at a very tender age and move with his quranic teacher from place to place.

“With no provision for feeding and care for the child, the almajiris are forced to roam the street, begging for alms to survive, thereby exposing them to all kinds of physical, health and psychological hazard.

“I am confident that the step taken by the government will surely restore their dignity and make them better citizens and live long to achieve their full potential,” she said.

The chairperson, however, urged the government to ensure full implementation of the law compelling parents and caregivers to send their children to school.

She further called on the state government to expand the radio and television teaching programme introduced to keep children learning while on lockdown at home due to COVID-19.

(
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Metro

Banditry: Group urges FG to review security response system

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The Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijjaniyya) (JAA), an Islamic organisation has urged the Federal Government to review the nation’s security response system to curtail killings, kidnappings and destruction of properties by bandits in Kaduna and Katsina states.

National Secretary of the group, Sayyidi  Yahaya, made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Yahaya said that the government’s intelligence gathering and response arrangement require a collective impact approach to curtail the deplorable security situation in some parts of the country.

He also called on the government to constantly scrutinize its operatives, particularly, those in charge of security, in order to tackle the potent challenge of internal and external sabotage against the efforts of the government to provide an enduring security in the country.

“The JAA notes with deep anxiety, the growing concern of rampant and incessant killings, kidnappings and destruction of property being perpetuated by bandits in several northern parts of the country, particularly in areas of Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Sokoto States.

“Few days ago, the bandits attacked a number of villages in Sokoto East Senatorial District, killing, maiming, raping, robbing and rustling cattle.

“Similarly, in Katsina State, they attacked Kankara, Batsari, Danmusa, Safana and some other parts of the State with gusto and ‘devil-may-care’ attitude.

“Likewise, in Niger State there are incessant attacks on some villages and communities in Shiroro and Rafi local government areas on a more or less daily basis, turning the villagers into refugees in some bigger towns,” he said.

Yahaya, therefore, called on the government to appraise the situation and device more proactive and clearly accountable approach to curtail the menace.

He explained that the actions could involve ‘ Collective Impact Approach’ mechanism, utilising the government, community leaders and faith based organisations while also putting in-place measures to check-mate possible sabotage of the security efforts internally and externally as may be envisaged.

He said the JAA remained committed to supporting and partnering the government in addressing public challenges and in rendering good governance to the citizens as epitomised by the personality and leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yahaya, who declared the support of the group to the government in the fight against COVID-19, called for the opening of places of worship with due adherence to all essential preventive measures to enable the observance of critical acts of worship.

He also urged the concerned State Governments to take decent practical measures to integrate the Almajiri Education into the conventional educational system as a right and not a privilege.

He stressed the need for the Federal Government to extend its support to the states in areas necessary for the facilitation of a successful integration of the Almajiri system of education.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Heed NCDC guidelines on Edo, Ondo governorship polls, Group urges INEC

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An interest group, Governors Mandate Network (GMN), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to closely monitor political parties, ahead of Edo and Ondo elections, to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
The Chairman of GMN, Mr Osaro Onaiwu, made the call in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
He stressed the need for political parties to ensure strict compliance with the protocols established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent further spread of coronavirus before and during the governorship elections in the two states.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very active in the country, adding that political parties and politicians must not be careless in their activities so as not to endanger the lives of Nigerians under the guise of electioneering.
Onaiwu said that the world was watching INEC on the way and manner it wanted to go about the governorship elections scheduled for September and October in Edo and Ondo states respectively.
“Anything short of a modest election process that will ensure minimum mass gathering will not be acceptable to health-conscious people,” he said.

Edited By: Francis Onyeukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Economy

Group urges govt to educate Nigerians on savings in post-COVID-19 economy

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Consumer Awareness and Financial Enlightenment Initiative (CAFEi) has urged government to take seriously the issue of financial literacy and inclusion during postCOVID-19 by educating Nigerians on importance of savings.

The President of CAFEi, Mrs Debola Osibogun made the call in Lagos on Tuesday.

Osibogun said that Financial Literacy was paid less attention to, than Financial Inclusion in the pre-COVID-19 era, hence, the need to take it seriously for sustainable growth and development.

According to her, the pandemic is generating an unprecedented global health crisis which in turn has critical implications on the financial system both in content and context.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought key financial literacy issues such as savings, taxation, access to credit and use of digital platforms back as topical and germane for debates and implementation.

“Somehow during the current pandemic, majority of households that were unable to save were lucky and able to rely on food banks and generous donors of palliatives to survive.

“The next emergency may be worse and so there is a need for proper re-orientation and education on the importance of savings.

“The COVID-19 experience has taught us that we must now prioritise our spending and save more for an uncertain future,” Osibogun said in a statement.

She said that the effect of the pandemic had put a strain on government sources of revenue as was evident in the decline in crude oil prices.

According to her, government is likely to take issues such as taxation more seriously as it seeks to diversify its revenue base from crude oil.

The CAFEi boss also advised government to give taxation as a financial literacy issue, a refocused postCOVID-19 to understand their obligations and expectations from government.

Osibogun also said that there was need for government to make credit easy and accessible to small businesses as the engine room of the economy but majority of them were struggling.

She said: “The directive given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase Loan Deposit Ratio of Banks to 65 per cent has increased the opportunity to lend to SMEs and in turn save the economy.

“Small businesses therefore, need to understand terms and conditions on credit contracts and also when to and when not to borrow,” Osibogun said.

She called on government to create more awareness and educate them about their obligations, expectations and avenues for dispute resolution in loan agreements.

Osibogun also said that another key aspect of financial literacy that needed more consciousness was the importance of familiarising with alternative means of banking.

She said that the closure of banks during the pandemic and the hesitation to use cash because of its capacity to serve as a form of virus transmission brought to the fore the importance of using alternative mode of banking like online banking and mobile banking.

She recalled that First Bank recorded in the first week of the lockdown 38.5 million transactions from alternative modes of banking.

According to her, this is an indication that the future lies in alternative mode of banking.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Politics

COVID-19: Group inducts volunteers to create awareness, prevent spread

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An NGO, Society Committee Against COVID-19, (SOCOCOVID), on Tuesday in Abuja inducted volunteers to help create awareness against the COVID-19 pandemic in communities.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, said the move became imperative to curb the spread of the virus in the wake of community transmission.

Ibe-Kalu said the group took the campaign against the virus to Gbagalape community in Nynanya, Federal Capital Territory as its contribution to support the federal government in the fight against COVID-19.

He said the group distributed some palliatives and hygienic materials to the community, designed some jingles and hand bills to serve as constant reminders and guidelines to stay safe.

“We launched the One House, One Bucket Rule as a means of containing community transmission of Coronavirus thereby kicking it out of Nigeria.

“We believe that constant hearing of messages activates the reality to the hearer.

“Therefore, the essence of the volunteers is to keep playing the jingle until it gets to the ears of both adults and children within the over 20,000 population of residents in Gbagalape community, FCT Abuja,” Ibe-Kalu said in statement.

He said the NGO would pay stipends and provide batteries for the megaphones every month and enjoined the volunteers to see the work as a service to humanity rather than a paid job.

“The group is also calling on the government and private sector organisations including the international community to supply Society Committee against COVID-19 (SOCOCOVID) megaphones and other materials, which include posters for communities across the country.

“Our target is 20 million posters for Communities,” he said.

Ibe-Kalu called on the government, the paramount leader and his chiefs as well as opinion leaders to use native laws to enforce the One House, One Bucket Rule to get rid of community transmission of COVID-19.

Chief Robinson Ezife, one of the patrons of SOCOCOVID, in his goodwill message encouraged the people to always adhere to the instructions from the government on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ezife praised the paramount ruler of Gbagalape for his ability to gather his people for the all-important COVID-19 awareness programme by SOCOCOVID and also advised the residents to always listen to their chief whenever he summoned them.

In his response, the chief of the community, Kenneth Chindo-Rabo, said SOCOCOVID was the first NGO to bring this kind of gesture to the community and expressed profound gratitude.

He thanked the organisation for donating palliatives and hygienic materials and for choosing Gbagalape to launch the awareness campaign.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Education

KWASU Chancellor: Group commends Kwara Govt for appointing Adewumi

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Chief Gbenga Awoyale, President General of Orisun Igbomina, has commended Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for appointing Dr Thomas Adewumi, as new Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.

Orisun Igbomina is a socio-cultural group for the people of Kwara South.

Awoyale gave the commendation in a congratulatory message issued on Monday in Ilorin.

He said that the appointee was a highly reputable educationist who would build on the existing achievements in the institution.

The group’s president said that the choice of Adewumi remained one of the best things to have happened in the state.

”The new chancellor will use his connections within and outside the academia to add values to KWASU in the areas of valuable research and scholarship.

”I congratulate Adewumi as KWASU Chancellor; his contributions to educational development in the nation over the years is remarkable and unprecedented.

”There is no doubt that he will be good Ambassador of Igbomina land and contribute his quota to the progress of the school.

”He will also provide more insights and modern approaches to university management in a bid to assist the Abdulrazaq-led government,” he said.

Awoyale, however, thanked Abdulrazaq for his choice of Adewumi and prayed that his tenure in office would be beneficial to the university community, government and the people.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adewumi was announced as KWASU Chancellor on Monday with immediate effect for a single term of five-years.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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