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Stakeholders in education sector make case for promotion of cultural values

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Stakeholders in the education sector have stressed the need for cultural integration among citizens of the country to promote peaceful coexistence and economic development.

The stakeholders made the call at a Cultural Festival with the theme ‘Cultural Integration and Economic Development’ organised by Glisten International Academy, Abuja.

According to them, culture is the identity where common values, attitudes, preferences, knowledge are attributed to behaviour of a particular social group.

Mrs Samira Jibir, the Chief Executive Officer of the school said that culture is one of the main pillars of development and sustenance of communities, adding that no society could progress without it.

She said that culture had a positive influence on the social development of any country.

“When values are respected, cultures are respected because it reflects on our dressing and food.

“Culture lies not in our differences but in our similarities and this is where love lies.

“Love is capable of banishing hatred, violence, and extremism.

“However, I admonish all parents, students, and stakeholders present here today to speak the common language of love to promote common interests and good values,’’ Jibir said.

Ms Hermella Asfaw, the Trade and Tourism Officer, Embassy of Ethiopia praised the school management for celebrating the diverse cultures across the African continent and the world.

“Celebrating our traditions offers an excellent opportunity for intercultural exchange and understanding as well as acceptance of other cultures.

“Cultural events are fun, entertaining, and educative.

“They allow individuals to integrate physically and mentally.”

Mrs Hafsatu Tela wife of Bauchi State Deputy Governor expressed joy at the rich cultural display by the students.

“The cultural display by the children showcased the richness and the diversity of the African culture.

“The cultural festival as seen and displayed by the students shows that culture creates the fundamental building blocks of our personality and in the ties that link us to communities and nations.

“Culture brings us together and creates harmony,” she said.

Speaking at the event, the Emir of Jahi 1, Abuja, Chief Adamu Dogo called on all those present to emulate the celebration of diversity exhibited by the students.

Dogo who said there was unity in diversity, added: “Culture ensures unity during crisis, and influences identity, debate, and dialogue.

“It is important for nation-building and for peace and reconciliation.

“Culture is a powerful driver of development because lifestyles, behaviours, consumption patterns, and our interactions with the natural environment are mostly influenced by culture,” he said.

(Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Emmanuel Yashim)

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Adamawa community tasks Gov. Fintiri on road project

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Binyeri community in Adamawa on Thursday urged Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri to reconstruct the failed 58-kilometres-long Mayo-Belwa Binyeri Road which had been abandoned for decades.

The community made the call in a statement in Yola by its spokesman, Mr Suleiman Mohammed-Tola.

Mohammed-Tola said that the road was first constructed in 1981 by the administration of late Gov. Abubakar Barde in the Second Republic to connect Taraba, but had suffered neglect in the last 29 years.

He said: “This road links Sebore-Tola-Binyeri totaling a distance of 39.8 kilometres km with four bridges and 12 culverts.

“However, one of the bridges and three culverts had collapsed due to floods at Dayino and Tasau villages, thereby making life unbearable to the residents, visitors and motorists plying the route.”

According to him, the area has an estimated population of about one million with four major local markets and two motor parks generating about N3 million monthly for the local and state governments

This record is second to Mayo Belw ,new the local government headquarters of ” Mohammed-Tola said.

While commending the Federal Government for embarking on the reconstruction of 18 kilometres Mayo Belwa- Sebore Road, the spokesman urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the early completion of the Mayo Belwa-Jada road project.

He also said Tola-Binyeri District is endowed with solid mineral deposits in commercial quantity.

“Barite, iron, mica, marble, granite, tantalite, magnesium, limestone, uranium and gypsum, among others, are being mined unconventionally at the Gambe and Pola hills.

“Our people are largely agrarian as we excel in farming and livestock,’’ Mohammed-Tola noted.

In addition, he appealed to the state government to restore electricity to Tola and Binyeri by fixing failed polls and transmission lines as well as installation of high grade transformers to improve the living standard of the people.

(Edited & Vetted By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

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First ever Pan African Catholic Congress kicks off in Enugu

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Congress

Enugu, Dec.5, 2019 The first ever Pan African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society and Pastoral Life to reflect on the church as a beacon of hope on Thursday kicked off in Enugu.

The Nigeria News Agency gathered that no fewer than 700 individuals from across Africa including women and men, lay and clergy, faithful and academics will gather in Enugu for the three-day congress.

The congress has the theme “What must we do to perform the works of God”.

It is expected to propose better ways to renew and reform institutions, structures and system of the church in the continent to actualize the missionary goals set out by Pope Francis.

The President of the congress, Archbishop Charles Buckle of Ghana told newsmen in Enugu that the event was convoked by the Catholic Church in Africa.

Buckle said that the event was an initiative of the symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar which started 50 years ago in Uganda.

He said that before then, there was a major event that happened in the Catholic Church within the last 100 years, the second vertical council which took place from 1962 to 1965.

The Archbishop explained that vertical council was the highest assembly of catholic bishops which the pope was the most fundamental decisions that impacted on their faith and lives as Christians.

Buckle said: “this conference is like a synod but the highest level of it, so the council, according to historians, was the first pastoral council organised by the Catholic Church, most of the councils before the second vertical council was convoked to respond to crisis.

“During that time, we did not have a lot of catholic theologians, the few African bishops who participated then was assigned to western theologians for evangelism.

“Those bishops engaged in private talk, they talked about the future of religious faith in post colonial Africa.

“What is happening now is that our own people are taking over the running of churches in Africa; what you see here is how churches in Africa are taking over and running the church as a continent,” he said.

Buckle said that the idea was to continue to do the work of God, to listen to the Holy Spirit, to know what the church was experiencing in today’s contest and to listen to the cries of God’s people.

The archbishop commended the Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu on its 95 years anniversary adding that before now the school was managed by missionary but now it was in the hand of one of them in the person of Rev. Fr. Albert Ikpenwa.

In his remarks, the Rector of the seminary, Rev. Fr. Albert Ikpenwa said that during the congress, they would talk on issues affecting Africans, new missionary approach and to see how they could improve and make the world a better place.

Ikpenwa commended the organisers of the conference for a job well done and for organising it on African soil.

He noted that they came to look at their present and the past, adding that those 50 years of the second memory of the church in Africa was not an easy thing.

The rector said that they would look at the resources, human intellectual, religious and spiritual lives.

He said that the call for holiness was not just for religious leaders but for ordinary people, noting that they came to bring the message of Christ to the people.

One of the participants, Dr. Susan Nedza, who is also a physician in the United States, said that she was working with the Catholic Church to provide assistance to people with drug addiction and diseases of all kind.

Nedza said she had been providing humanitarian services to people irrespective of age and gender, noting that Catholic Church was the most providers of health care services in the world.

In a vote of thanks, The Chairman Local Organising Committee, Rev. Fr. Clement Obasi said that committee commenced hosting of the programme since October 2018.

Obasi said that the closure of the Enugu International Airport posed a serious challenge as it had not been easy to organise the transportation from Lagos down to Enugu.

He however, commended the students of the seminary for being up and doing in ensuring that the environment was conducive for their visitors.

Edited & Vetted By: Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

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Centre honours 69 students for performances in mathematical sciences Olympiad competition

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The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) on Thursday honoured 69 students of both junior and senior  secondary  schools with various awards for their outstanding performances in the 2018/2019 Nigeria National Olympiad competition.

At the awards ceremony in Sheda, Kwali Area Council,  Abuja, Prof. Stephen Onah, Director/Chief Executive of NMC, commended the awardees for their performances in the five subject areas of the competition.

Onah said that the beneficiaries should consider themselves as champions, adding that the Olympiad examination was not about how brilliant or clever someone was but about intelligence and having problem solving skills.

“So in Olympiad training, we don’t teach, we only guide them  because the problem you may find even as an instructor you may not know it but a student will tell you the way to do it.

“Because once you are able to train yourself on a problem solving skill then you will see a problem and your brain will direct you on how to solve it.

He said that through the Olympiad competition over 36 students had won scholarships and studying in universities in various countries including Nigeria.

According to him, there are four stages of the competition before one qualifies for the international level and the centre has been presenting itself at the international level.

Onah appreciated the parents and principals of schools for their support in sponsoring students and teachers to this final stage of the event.

Ms Yetunde Oluwatosin, Education Specialist, UNICEF, commended the students and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of hard work in their future endeavours.

Oluwatosin also reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to training teachers to improve the learning outcome in schools and to continue supporting  educational programmes of the centre.

Some of the awardees appreciated the centre for the opportunity given to them and attributed their successes to hard work and consistent practice in the subject areas.

The students were tested in I mathematics, physics, informatics, chemistry and biology with Graceland International School, Rivers,  emerging overall best in mathematics.

Edited & Vetted By: Chukwudi Ekezie
(NAN)

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Akpabio urges corporate organisations to invest more in NDDC

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,  Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has called on critical stakeholders and multilateral organisations to invest more in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to move the region forward.

Akpabio made the call at a meeting  with directors, donor agencies, permanent secretaries and development partners in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the ministry was a focal point for coordinating and mobilising concerted domestic and international assistance in resolving key challenges in the region.

According to him, NDDC has not lived up  to its responsibilities in the development of the region.

He urged the ministry to redirect  focus on the people by creating job opportunities, infrastructure development and strive to move the region to the next level.

“We aim to formulate and execute plans, programmers as well as to coordinate the activities of agencies, communities, donors and relevant stakeholders in the development of the region.

” Our major challenges are low budgetary allocation, huge debt profile and current insecurity in the region.

“We call on critical stakeholders, corporate  and multilateral organisations to invest more in the Niger Delta for the development of the region,” he said.

He charged the commission to collaborate with financial agencies to move the region forward, while promising that the ministry would work with the commission to ensure development in the region.

He added that “President Muhammadu Buhari looked forward to commissioning projects in the region.”

He expressed the hope that in the next four years, legacies would be created for the people of Niger Delta region.

The minister also promised to focus on issues that would reduce capital flight in the region by addressing the health and employment needs of the people.

He said some developmental projects in the region were  politically motivated and not sustainable but promised to  change the operations by leaving all politically motivated projects and go into legacy projects.

The Permanent Secretary of the  ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, explained that it was the mandate of the ministry to initiate, coordinate, manage and promote development polices and processes in the Niger Delta region.

Walson-Jack said the ministry would set the agenda of moving the region forward, chart new ways of working together and improve institutional capabilities and performance management to deliver real impact.

She added that the ministry would work to uphold excellence and good reputation of the public service as well as promote the principles of good governance.

/JCE

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Chukwudi Ekezie
(NAN)

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PACAC collaborates NOA, stakeholders in the fight against corruptionn in Jigawa

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. The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) says it has collaborated with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other stakeholders in Jigawa in the fight against corruption.

The Executive Secretary of the committee, Prof. Sadiq Radda, disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on the side line of Public Education/Citizen Enlightenment Campaign in Dutse on Thursday.

Radda stated that the fight against corruption is a collective efforts which all relevant stakeholders must join hands to fight.

He explained that the Agency  had recorded tremendous success since it was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.

Ladda wondered why the issue of fighting corruption was only focused at the national level with less attention given to grassroots.

“It is against this background that we engaged NOA and relevant stakeholders to assist in the sensitization and enlightenment campaign against corruption in Jigawa

“We conducted the programme in 16 states of the federation, Jigawa is now the 17th state that we are organizing this kind of programme”

“Corruption became a cankerworm in our society capable of destroying not only the present generation but even the generation yet unborn,” he said.

Earlier in a speech, the Jigawa State Director, NOA, Malam Shuaibu Haruna pledged that the Agency would assist in the mobilization and sensitization of the campaign against corruption in the state.

Haruna commended President Buhari for the giant strides in the fight against corruption, resuscitation of the economy and entrenchment of vibrant security architecture in the country.

Also speaking, the Secretary to Jigawa State Government (SSG), Alhaji Adamu Fanini, thanked PACAC for organizing the programme in the state.

Fanini, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), in Jigawa Local Government Service Commission (JLGSC), Alhaji Abdullahi Sa’id, pledged that the state government would engage all relevant stakeholders in the crusade against corruption.

Edited & Vetted By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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Centre records 387 Hate Speech instances in November

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The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has said it tracked and documented a total of 387 Hate and dangerous speech instances on Facebook and Twitter handles across the country in November.

Hamza Ibrahim, CITAD Coordinator, Countering Hate Speech Project, disclosed this at a Post-Gubernatorial Election Press briefing organised by the Centre and supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Thursday in Lokoja.

Ibrahim said that the speech incidents were tracked by the center’s trained monitors stationed across different parts of the country.

“Our analysis established that the speech instances occurs in textual, video, pictorial and symbolic forms and 32 per cent of the offending species were ethnic-based while 26 per cent where election-related,” he said.

Ibrahim noted that in the last three months, the two categories, ethnic-based and election-based, had dominated the prime position, beating religion-based hate speech which used to top the list.

He called on Nigerians to shun Hate Speech and all forms of negative remarks but value and practise tolerance no matter the provocation.

Ibrahim said hate speech had done disastrous damage to people, communities and countries around the world, adding that it prolonged hatred, destroyed mutual coexistence, promoted suspicion, tension and violence.

“We want to specifically draw the attention of the entire people of Kogi to the dangers and consequences of hate speech and therefore urge that they neither engage in or accommodate hate speech on social media platforms or at community gatherings,” he said.

The centre condemned the gruesome murder of Mrs salome Abu and attack on Natasha Akpoti before the election, saying that the incidents further revealed the nasty experience of Nigerian women politicians in political processes.

It called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the heartless killing of Mrs Abuh was not allowed to go unpunished but ensure that her killers were brought to book.

Edited & Vetted By: Dorcas Jonah and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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