Two Russian activists involved in a campaign against what they say are President Vladimir Putin’s illegal plans to remain in power were detained by authorities on Thursday.
“While four others had their homes searched,’’ an anti-Kremlin group said.
Moscow’s Investigative Committee, which looks into serious crimes and the city’s police force, did not immediately respond to comment requests.
Activists had planned a protest in central Moscow on July 15 advertised on social media as “No to an eternal Putin”.
A landslide vote this month handed Putin the right to run for two more presidential terms, an outcome the Kremlin described as a triumph. [nL8N2E82EI]
Opposition activists say the vote was illegitimate, marred with violations, and that it is time for Putin, who has ruled Russia for over two decades as president or prime minister, to step down.
Mass gatherings are currently banned in the capital due to COVID-19 restrictions and protests of over one person require authorities’ advance consent in normal times.
Open Russia, a movement founded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said its offices in central Moscow were being searched and that two of its employees, including executive director Andrei Pivovarov, had been detained.
Pivovarov earlier posted a link on Twitter encouraging people to attend coming week’s protest.
Yulia Galyamina, a Moscow city councillor, said police arrived at her apartment and threatened to tear down the door if they were not let in.
“It’s because of the campaign against the constitutional reforms, also because of the planned protest,” she told Reuters.
The homes of Tatiana Usmanova and Olga Gorelik, from Open Russia, were also searched on Tuesday, Open Russia said.
“Sergei Prostakov, editor-in-chief of MBKh Media, a news outlet founded by Khodorkovsky, was also targeted by the searches,’’ his organisation said.
Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition figure, said the searches were designed to scare Kremlin critics.
“This is an attempt to demoralise those who are against Putin and publicly punish those who opposed Putin’s amendments,” Navalny wrote on Twitter.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
Unilorin Law student wins International Bar Association contest
A 300 Level student of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Miss Famuyiwa Olushola, has won the maiden edition of the International Bar Association (IBA) Vlogging Competition.
According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, Olushola award letter, written by Anna Toth, the Divisions Administrative Assistant at IBA headquarters in London, United Kingdom, informed her of being selected as the winner of the IBA Vlogging Competition in the law student category.
“It received many impressive videos from all over the world which were all assessed based on topic, quality and professionalism”.
The award letter, dated July 28, 2020, outlined the details of the award to include two years’ free student membership with the IBA, waived registration for either the Law Student Conference or a Young Lawyer Training Day, taking place in 2021.
Others include round trip economy airfare to attend the selected event and accommodation at conference hotel for the selected event.
In her reaction, Famuyiwa, expressed happiness over the award, describing it as a great impetus for her to work harder towards making a great career in the legal profession after her graduation and call to Bar.
Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
COVID-19: Virologist urges scientific proof for discoveries
He said that the current spate of controversies and conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus were either manufactured or circulated by people who were not core medical scientists.
He decried the way some medical scientists neglected the proper culture of scientific communication and adopted other means of forcing their claims on the public.
“Scientist should endeavour to present clear scientific data to appropriate approving authorities to verify their claims and to pass an objective verdict.
“Appropriate scientific communication is done through scientific publications, which may either be full length research papers, case reports or even short communication.
“Evidences or claims should be presented in a documented manner through scientifically approved journals or editorials, and the scientific community must read and perform systematic reviews or meta-analysis of the data generated,” he said.
The scientist noted that unfortunately there was an upsurge in verbal, emotional, confrontational and near political crusades by some medical scientists who had either resorted to the use of social media platforms or some conventional media.
This act, he said, fell short of their expectations as scientists and weakened the scientific engagement on peer review platforms.
“I urge scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic as it would eliminate unnecessary controversies.
“Efforts should also be geared toward generating information and inventions that the world so long for to tackle the pandemic.”
The virologist noted that controversies were part of the evolution of new knowledge or paradigm shift in science.
He, however, added that new knowledge must be communicated rightly with modesty, clear and verifiable evidence to back up claims.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Monarch urges strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
Oba Mufutau Oyekanmi, the traditional ruler of Asipa (the Alasipa of Asipa) Ilufemilloye Fashina V111, near Ipetumodu in Osun State, has urged Nigerians to support the government on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to curtail the spread of Coronavirus across the country.
He made the call on Monday at Asipa in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun when he met with some journalists in his palace.
The monarch commended the efforts of the local, state and Federal Government on measures put in place to ensure safety of lives of the citizenry in tackling
Oyekanmi said “recently, government took bold steps at the right time to curtail the spread of Coronavirus by not allowing congregational prayers.
“Some people were not happy with the ban of the Muslim Eid festival prayer by the Osun State Government but it is simply because of us so we
can celebrate many more of Eid el-Kabir.
“We thank God by sparing our lives to witness this because it’s the living that celebrates.”
Sikiru Ayedun, former Osun State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said
Ayedun said that the order of the state government on no Eid prayer for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir was because of the COVID-19 “and a
test of faith.
“Whatever people are doing today is part of sacrifice, because at this point in time, our faith is being tested.”
The former commissioner assured that at the end of the tunnel, there would be a new dawn, but Nigerians should seek peace,
tranquility and live with one another in brotherliness.
Alhaji Eluyera Oyewole, former Education Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Ifetedo, Osun State, said that “everyone has
now realised that COVID-19 is real and that the pandemic is killing both the rich and the poor.
“Osun State Government did not make mistake in banning congregational prayer for the Eid el-Kabir festival, for this can increase human contact
during celebrations and that can cause more infections.
“Thank God for our government that is 100 per cent proactive, by doing the needful, else, it will have spread the virus.
“Government is doing its best; we urge for support from all by obeying the COVID-19 protocols.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, former Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended
the efforts of the state government for trying to save the lives of the citizenry against COVID-19.
Kolawole said that banning congregational prayer for this year’s festival was a welcome idea, saying this is just for a brief period as it would not last forever.
He asked everybody to co-operate with government on directives given, adding that“COVID-19 is a joint task that government alone cannot fight.
“Very soon, COVID-19 will be eradicated, whereby things will be normalised educationally, economically, socially.”
He urged all and sundry to co-operate with local, state and Federal Government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly adhering
to the use of face mask, regular washing of hands with soap and sanitizer, as well as keeping social distance, among others.”
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Bayelsa Govt. promises safety of students as schools reopen Aug.5
Bayelsa Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the Federal Government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said that government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing hand washing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Gov. Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should for example provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on Aug 5.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)