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Int’l Mother Language Day: Experts advise parents to teach children indigenous languages

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Some experts of diverse careers on Friday, urged parents to teach their children and wards indigenous languages peculiar with each child early in life to uphold their identity and nation’s cultural heritage.

The experts made the call during the 2020 commemoration of the International Mother Language Day organised by Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC)  in collaboration with the Nigerian Film Corporation and Voice of Nigeria (VON).

The event was held at the Nigerian Film Corporation Cinema Complex, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the International Mother Language Day was earmarked by the United Nations General Assembly to promote awareness of linguistics and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The theme for the year’s commemoration was: “Safeguarding Linguistic Diversity’’.

A Movie Producer, Olamilekan Ojo, advised parents to begin to sensitise their wards on the need to speak the mother tongue as it served as a means of identity.

He said that every aspect of the nation’s culture including the multi-lingual feature was greatly admired by the western world that appeared to appreciate the culture better than Nigerians.

“We need to consciously promote our culture most especially our indigenous languages for posterity sake.

“Most of our indigenous languages have been reported to have gone into extinction; this is bad. We must collectively ensure none goes into extinction again,” he said.

Mr Abdulrazak Abdulsalam, a Deputy Director, Voice of Nigeria (VON), said it was important for parents to teach their wards local languages in order to fit into the society and stay relevant in the family circle.

Abdulsalam lauded the advent of community radios in the broadcasting scene which had helped in disaster management.

“Our mother tongue must be taken seriously. It should be given its pride of place,” he said.

Also a Veteran Actor, Olu Okekanye, said that when children were taught in their language, they comprehend better than when they were taught in English language.

He said it was observed that globally, people were going back to embrace the mother tongue, urging Nigerians to do same.

“Teaching the children in indigenous language distinguishes them. They will be the best, because they will comprehend more.

“As parents, we must teach our children the mother tongue so that it may be well with us all in the future,” he said.

The acting Director-General, CBAAC, Osaro Osayande, urged Nigerians to research on language diversity.

She said this should be aimed at the maintenance and development of Nigerian languages to conform to the dictates of the 21st century.

“Linguistic diversity should be encouraged at all levels of education.

“We should all encourage one another to uphold our mother tongue to enliven our culture,” Osayande said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi

 

Foreign

COVID-19 vaccine development requires international cooperation, say Israeli experts

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International collaboration is vital to quickly producing a COVID-19 vaccine to save lives worldwide, say Israeli medical experts.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, multiple groups of researchers around the world have been working hard to find the cure or treatment as early as possible.

Dina Ben-Yehuda, dean of the medicine school at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said one country could hardly achieve success single-handedly in the vaccine development.

“We need international collaboration to save the world. And I hope that nobody will forget it,” she stressed.

Ben-Yehuda praised China for transparency in sharing its research findings regarding the coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fact that Chinese physicians and scientists felt a responsibility to publish everything, even the bad results, helped many people around the world and saved lives,” said Ben-Yehuda.

China shared the initial information about the virus DNA with all other countries so that every one of them could work on vaccines and treatments. This kind of collaboration should continue for the benefit of all humankind, according to the professor.

Oren Zimhony MD, head of the infectious diseases unit at Kaplan Medical Center, said the international collaboration now on creating a vaccine is stronger than ever.

There are approximately eight main directions taken to work out a vaccine for COVID-19. Such a variety of possibilities increased the odds of finding the right way to the desired result, according to Zimhony.

“The major game-changer to overcome this pandemic is vaccine development,” Zimhony said, who believes that the first clinical implications of the intense vaccine research will be available in six months.

Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infection prevention control unit at Sheba Medical Center, believes that only a vaccine could stop the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“It seems there is no proper treatment for COVID-19 disease patients, and the only effective global cure would be a vaccine,” she noted.

The biggest challenge in the work, according to Regev-Yochay, is to find a completely safe vaccine for everybody and a reliable way to deliver it to all kinds of people with different health situations.

“We need to be very cautious with vaccines. It’s much more complicated than clinical trials with the drugs,” stressed Regev-Yochay.

Many COVID-19 patients don’t have symptoms or have mild ones, “so we need to make sure we don’t inject them with vaccines, drugs, or chemicals that could do more harm than good,” she said.

International sharing of information could help researchers compare the effectiveness of different vaccines and speed up the progress of the development.

According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, currently more than 130 COVID-19 candidate vaccines are being developed worldwide, with about 10 of them being already in clinical evaluation.

Among the vaccine challenges is also its mass production for the use of all of humanity, which calls for global cooperation.

“We need to vaccinate billions of people around the globe. Better to do it before the upcoming winter to prevent the dangerous effect of dual infection of influenza and COVID-19,” said Zimhony.

Ben-Yehuda said she believes new technologies of computational medicine and international sharing of big data could help create personalized medicine for COVID-19 infection, as the virus affects people differently.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Insecurity: Air chief visits Zamfara, seeks support on intelligence gathering

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Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Thursday visited Zamfara and sought for more support on intelligence gathering from people of the state.

He said the support would help in addressing security challenges in the state.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar had earlier visited Gusau Government House where he met with Gov. Bello Matawalle behind closed door.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the CAS said he was in the state on operational visit.

“I came to Zamfara on operational visit, l am here to check the air facilities on ground, to see our additional needs.

“We are here to make sure that those facilities are adequately working.

“I have seen all the facilities, they are all ok, they are doing well in air operation”, Abubakar said.

He said the Nigerian Air Force would continue to work very closely with other security agencies for the success of all security operations.

“We will continue to conduct air intervention missions.

“We need support from the general public, we need human intelligence, we need useful security information from people of the state.

“This is very important area where Zamfara government and communities should be willing to contribute.

“Though we are getting credible information, but not adequate; we are recording successes, but we are seeking for more support especially on intelligence gathering.

“We have so far, deployed 250 soldiers in the state and some aircraft.

“We will continue to do our best in terms of giving all the support that is required to deal with the issue of banditry in Zamfara and North west states”, he explained.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

See your appointment as call to service – Makinde charges newly sworn-in appointees

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has sworn in three new permanent secretaries and five members of the state Civil Service Commission, charging them to see their appointments as call to service.

The swearing-in ceremonies were held on Thursday at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Addressing the three female permanent secretaries, Makinde said, “This administration has shown gender sensitivity and respect for merit with your appointments.

“I congratulate you and I want to say that you earned this position. You have shown dedication and commitment in your various work environments and you have paid your dues over the years as well.

“I think we should be applauded for being gender-sensitive. We don’t discriminate. If you earn your position and have put in hard work, there is no glass ceiling in Oyo State as far as gender is concerned.

“As an administration, we try our best to motivate the workforce and ensure we deliver on our mandate to the people of Oyo State,” he said.

According to the governor, he never asked any of the new permanent secretaries of their political inclination.

“What matters to me is that you are from Oyo State and you have served diligently to earn your position.

So, I want to use you as a point of contact to those in the workforce and I’m hopeful that they will, one day, attain this position.

“What is important is our service to the people of Oyo State and also to make sure that our state is better in the course of our service. This is a call to service and I wish you all well,” the governor said.

NAN reports that the three permanent secretaries are Mrs Felicia Oyediran, Mrs Adenike Olufadewa and Mrs Foluke Moradeyo.

In his remarks to the five new members of the state Civil Service Commission, Makinde said he was confident they were up to the task.

“The tasks ahead of the government, which the newly inaugurated commission must key into, include civil service reform, training and retraining of the workforce as well as exploring e-governance among others.

“You are coming on board at an auspicious time in our history. It is time for us to reform the civil service.

“You have to put in the hard work so you can have your work cut out for you. I do not entertain any shred of doubt that you have the capacity, competence and will to carry out the necessary reform in the Oyo State civil service.

“When we came in, I had several discussions with the Head of Service on how promotions and welfare of the civil servants have been handled.

“To reform the civil service, we have to put in training and retraining of the civil servants.

“So, it is one area that I believe you can make your mark and make sure that you push our agenda to bring more knowledge to the civil service.

“One other thing I want to mention is the issue of e-governance. We have to reduce the paperwork to get our governance structure to go digital.

So, I look forward to people like yourselves to champion all of these reforms, and you can be rest assured that you will get the necessary support from the state government to pull this through,” Makinde said.

The five members of the state  civil service commission are Alhaji Kamordeen Aderibigbe (Chairman), Alhaji Kolapo Adewale, Mr Olutoyin Adedeji, Chief Solomon Ogunjimi and Pastor Taiwo Oluwagbemiro.


Edited By: Moses Solanke/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Foreign

Palestinian president highlights Palestinians’ unity, land’s integrity as priority

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday highlighted the unity of the Palestinian people and the integrity of the Palestinian land as the priority of the Palestinian leadership.

However, Abbas said the reconciliation between his Fatah party and Hamas, ruler of the Gaza Strip, must be based on the standards set by the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to his letter to the Arab Peace Group published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

“We are counting on support of the Arab peoples to the Palestinians’ steadfastness against the aggressive Israeli measures,” he said in the letter.

The Palestinian president wrote the letter in reply to a letter by the Arab Peace Group, in which the group called for a unified Arab position to face the Israeli annexation plan, especially after the Palestinian decision to cut off ties with Israel and the United States.

The Arab Peace Group is a think tank including former Arab presidents, prime ministers and ministers, as well as intellectual and cultural figures, that calls for Middle East peace.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

India pledges $15m to international vaccine alliance

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, pledged $15 million to “Gavi”, the international vaccine alliance, while participating in the virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020, said an official statement issued by the PM office.

Addressing the summit, Modi said India stands in solidarity with the world in these challenging times.

Referring to Gavi, he said it is not just a global alliance but also a symbol of global solidarity and a reminder of that by helping others we can also help ourselves.

“India has a vast population and limited health facilities and that it understands the importance of immunization,’’ he added.

He also stated that India had digitised its entire vaccine supply line and developed an electronic vaccine intelligence network to monitor the integrity of its cold chain.

These innovations are ensuring the availability of safe and potent vaccines in the right quantities at the right time till the last mile, he said.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Education

FG appoints Prof. Regina Ogali as acting VC UNIPORT

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The Federal Government has appointed Prof. Regina Ogali as the acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), a university official said.

Ogali takes over from Prof. Ndowa Lale after five years as the institution’s vice chancellor, according to a statement by UNIPORT’s Deputy Director (Information), Dr Williams Wodi on Thursday.

Wodi said that Ogali would oversee the affairs of the university pending the appointment of a substantive vice chancellor.

He said: “By a letter from the Federal Ministry of Education dated May 29, Prof. Regina Ogali, a Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) will oversee the affairs of UNIPORT.

“Ogali will oversee the affairs of the university while the incumbent vice chancellor, Prof. Ndowa Lale, proceeds on his leave starting June 12.

The university spokesman said that Lale was appointed vice chancellor of the university on July 2015 for a single five-year tenure

“A letter signed on behalf of Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sonny Echono announced Ogali’s appointment.

“The minister wished Lale well in his future endeavours following his successful tenure in office as the 8th vice chancellor of UNIPORT,” Wodi said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government dissolved the Governing Council of the university on May 27.

 


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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General news

COVID-19: NOA intensifies campaign, seeks media collaboration against spread

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Ebonyi has embarked on house-to-house and streets-to-streets enlightenment campaigns on the public to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The State Director of the Agency, Dr Emma Abah, made this known on Thursday, during it COVID-19 motorised campaign, around major city centres in the state.

The campaign had as its theme : “Communicating Government Policies, Programmes and Activities”.

Abah, who addressed the general public in various languages during the campaign, said that the sensitisation aimed at reaching out to those at the grassroots level who might be ignorant of the pandemic and its protocols.

The state director, who led the campaign team, said that the exercise would be extended to the 13 Local Government areas of Ebonyi by the Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers.

He said the campaign would focus specifically on those who did not believe that the epidemic was real.

Abah said: “We are reaching out to streets, government offices, motor parks, traditional rulers, village heads, villages, communities among other groups to observe the safety measures.

“The public enlightenment is to ensure total compliance of the COVID-19 regulations such as regular hand wash, use of sanitizers, face masks, avoiding socal gathering, socal distancing and among other preventive measures.”

He called on electronic and print media organisations’ supports to assist governments efforts in containing the coronavirus spread through continuous sensitisation of the public.

The General Manager, Nigeria Television Authority, Abakaliki, Uzoma Ozordi, pledged the organisation’s continuous support to fight the pandemic.

“We have taken measures and will continue to assist the state government with programmes to boost its efforts,” Ozordi said.

Also the General Manager, Federal Radio Corporation, Unity FM, Abakaliki, Mr Rex Eze promised to work together with NOA in Ebonyi to achieve set objectives.

The representative of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ebonyi, Mr Anthony Obasi, also urged the state government to step up measures to prevent spread of the virus in parks.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the campaign progressed from street-to-street, city centres, government offices and various offices of media houses in Ebonyi.


Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Kyrgyzstan prepares for resuming international flights

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Kyrgyzstan is preparing for the resumption of international flights, which was canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s headquarters for the fight against coronavirus said on Thursday.

Airports in Kyrgyzstan are planned to be ready for international flights from June 15 and the resumption of international flights will be carried out by a separate decision of the country’s government, the statement said.

The headquarters noted that foreign and domestic airlines should provide their plans about when and how many times they will carry out their flights.

The health authorities of Kyrgyzstan also plan to take additional sanitary and quarantine measures at the airports to prepare for the resumption of international flights.

At the same time, in order to prevent the import of the virus, the Ministry of Health has proposed to introduce the requirements for the mandatory medical report confirming the absence of COVID-19 from passengers received 3-5 days before they fly to Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, domestic flights in the country will be resumed from June 5.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Enugu Assembly confirms re-appointment of Emeka Odo as BIR chairman

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The Enugu State House of Assembly on Thursday confirmed the re-appointment of Mr Emeka Odo as the Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue Service.

Odo gave an account of his stewardship to the State’s Internal Revenue Board in the last four years in Enugu, adding that he had automated the revenue collection system in the state, to block revenue leakages.

He noted that the automation of the revenue collection system had greatly boosted the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Odo said that Enugu State generated more than N31 billion in 2019, as against the N14 billion  generated in 2016, when he assumed office.

He said that cash payment of revenue had been outlawed in the state, adding that he was currently working on a bill that would specify agencies responsible for revenue collection in the state.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Chief Edward Ubosi, congratulated Odo on his re-appointment and charged him to address the issue of multiple taxation in the state.

Ubosi said the seventh Assembly would come up with legislation that would streamline tax collection in the state, to guard against multiple taxation, to avoid scaring away potential investors from the state.

The House thereafter adjourned to June 11 for further legislative activities.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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