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Ondo

As part of efforts to redue infant and matenal mortality rate among residents of Ondo State, the government has concluded arrangement with the World Bank for the execution of  a N1 billion special healthcare programme in which pregnant women would get personalised care from trained health workers across the state.

Under the arrangement, to which the global body would be contributing counterpart funding of $3.4 million, each pregnant women registered with the project would be assigned specific healthcare worker and be provided with telephone line to reach the assigned officer in case of emergency or distress.

Already, 5,000 such lines that would charge no cost, if it was made to specified health workers who would also be issued with same, have been provided by a GSM telecom Company. The lines will be made available to pregnant beneficiaries in collaboration with the state government.

Part of the initiative is also the establishment of Health Rangers Scheme to be equipped with communication gadgets and mobility machines and who are to maintain constant contacts with pregnant women assigned to them individually to monitor their health and other immediate assistance when needed. The novel idea, which the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, had said would assist the government to monitor the health of the citizens, also included provision of more health facilities at each political unites of the state to make such facilities available within the people.

Gombe

Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Aishawu Ahmad Bose, has accused teachers in the state of aiding and abetting examination malpractice in the last Senior Secondary certificate Examinations (SSCE) and the National Examinations council (NECO).

Ahmad made this known while addressing teachers at the Education Resoruces Centre in Gombe explaining that despite the ugly trend, only about five percent of those who sat for the last SSCE got qualifying results for admission into tertiary institutions.

She told the teachers that they were perpetrating the dirty act to cover up their shortcomings since they could not give their best to their studies preparatory to the examinations.

According to Ahmad, the state government will not tolerate such ugly practice anymore and will deal ruthlessly with anyone caught aiding students to cheat in exams.

She further directed the teachers to ensure they did their jobs diligently rather than involving in fraud.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has given the state government 90 days ultimatum to pay the teachers’ 2009 annual increment, else the union would embark on strike. NUT state Chairman, Ahmed Maisakala, said some teachers had spent up to 10 years without promotion while 1,000 others under the Federal Teachers Service Scheme had spent eight months without any pay.

Maisakala called on the authorities concerned to hasten up and ensure that the eight months salary arrears was paid and the backlog of promotion cleared in order to motivate the affected teachers.

Taraba

The current suspected cholera outbreak in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital, has reportedly claimed 35 lives as at the last count. But state health officials have disputed the figure, saying that only six people have so far died in the epidemic.

A visit to some health centres in the town showed the children within the ages of five and 12 constitute the bulk of the victims on admission in the wards.

However, state health officials could not confirm if the deaths were actually from cholera, as results of laboratory tests carried out some victims were still being expected.

According to a list made available to The Tide at Turaki Model Primary Health Care Centre, Jalingo, by the Health Officer, Lawal Illiyasu Matindi, force persons out of the 23 cases reported in the centre died.

A number of deaths has also been recorded at the Sabon-Gari and Matindi Health Centre in the state.

“We cannot actually claim that it is cholera. For now, we believe it is gastro-enteritis,” Matindi explained.

Osun

Traditional rulers from Osun State have stormed the National Assembly in furtherance of their agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state from the present Osun State.

They were received by the president of the senate, Chief David Mark at the Senate Committee hearing room one, where they presented a handbook articulating their demand to Chief  Mark.

Leaders of the delegation, Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, Oba Oladele Olashore, who stood in for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okumade Sijuade, delivered an address on behalf of the people of Osun State.

In his address, Olashore stated that the agitation for the creation of Oduduwa state as a response to the yearning and aspiration of the people of the state with the active support of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

According to him, “In the last seven months, we have engaged in serious consultation to ensure  that  every section of the present Osun State is involved in the agitation and demand.”

The monarch added that 13 out of the 30 local governments in Osun state are involved in the proposed state which covers a land area of 1.7 million people. They said the population and land mass of the proposed state are large enough when compared with some existing states in the country.

“We assure you that the proposed Oduduwa state with the proposed capital in Ile-Ife, has enough human and material resources to maintain itself without becoming a parasite and to contribute meaningfully to the overall development of the country,” he said.

Responding, Mark described the agitation as a legitimate one and urged all agitators to go about their demand by peaceful means.

He charged the Osun State House of Assembly to lobby other state assemblies for necessary support for the actualization of the demand.

Ogun

Governors  of Ogun, Edo and Ekiti states have paid tribute to the late nationalist, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye.

Governor Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State described late Dr. Otegbeye as an icon of democracy, a true nationalist and one of the pillars of the Nation.

Daniel, in the statement signed by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya, said  the elder statesman was a great  politician, who contributed immensely to the making of modern Nigeria “and was a worthy example of a detribalized Nigerian whom the present and coming generation should emulate.”

Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressed shock over the death of  Otegbeye.

Oshiomohole in a statement by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Hon. Abdul Oroh, said  “he was critical to organising the Nigeria students movement as a formidable platform for combating colonial rule.

His contribution to the struggle for Independence was most marked in the pioneering roles he played in the Nigeria Socialist Movement and the Labour Movement.”

In the same vein, Ekiti State governor, Engr. Segun Oni, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre in Ado-Ekiti  described  Otegbeye as “a patriot, who devoted his entire life to the emancipation of the down-trodden while he also worked tirelessly with other leaders for the pre and post colonial development of Nigeria.”

Also two frontline politicians, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Dr. Olapade Agoro have eulogised the late elder statesman.

Babatope described him as “a fervent nationalist and Pan Africanist who actively participated in the independence struggles of many African countries.”

Agoro said the death of  Otegbeye was painful and inevitable. “He was a great believer in the cause of the Yorubas in oneness of  Nigeria and one of the few remaining political loyalists of the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo ideological school of thought.”

Kano

Amidst speculations of an impending plan by the Federal Government to hike prices of petroleum products, an Islamic Cleric in Kano, Sheik Aminu Adam has cautioned President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to shelve the idea in line with his divine covenant with the citizen.

Sheik Aminu Adam, Deputy chief Imam of Al Furqan Juma’at Mosque who made the plea during a Friday sermon to hundreds of thousands of Muslims worshipers in Kano  said that Nigerians already have enough dose of hardship, pointing out that under the existing harsh economic scenario ‘any further attempt to muscle Nigerians further is man inhumanity to man’.

The  cleric reminded Nigerian rulers of their divine responsibility to the masses, maintaining that they should jealously guard against their interest all the time.

Sheik Aminu Adam specifically called on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the 36 states Governors to intervene on behalf of the hapless masses.

Badagry

 Security Agencies operating at the Seme border- Badagry have ordered a stop to the indiscriminate crossing of the border by commercial motorcyclists, okada in local parlance.

A source told our correspondent in Seme Border that the government agencies took the decision at its monthly meeting because of the ‘adverse security implication’ of the motorcyclists.

The source added that there had been incessant complaints by security operators over the manner in which the commercial motorcyclists took passengers across the border without undergoing security screening.

The source alleged that in the past, officers on patrol had been knocked down by the commercial motorcyclists who speed recklessly across the borders in an attempt to foil the screening of their passengers by security operators, adding that the Seme border is an escaping route for wanted politicians and bank chief into neighboring country.

He said that the initial decision was to stop the operation of okada at the border but this was revived because of the likely hardship innocent travellers who patronized them might suffer.

The source also revealed that to sanitize the border area, the agencies outlined a measure that required the commercial motorcyclists to drop their passengers in the baggage area of the ECOWAS building where they would undergo screening.

The commercial okada are expected to push their bikes across the border and wait for their passengers to go through arrival and departure procedures a situation that has yield so many results.

The source also revealed that the latest development resulted to the arrest of over ten suspects by the National drug law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on various crime ranging from, illegal possession of 160 pieces of Thomas cook Travelers cheques in 100 Euro bill and 49 pieces of America Express Travelers’ cheques also in 100 Euro bill, 9,000 fake dollars and large quantity of weed suspected to be cannabis imported from Ghana and many other criminal cases recorded by various government agencies.

Abuja

Nigeria – A Nigerian official says at least 80 people died when a petroleum tanker truck exploded and set nine other vehicles alight on a road in southeastern Nigeria.

Nigeria Road Safety Commission spokesman Ben Ekenna says 12 bodies were badly burned and five people were injured in the blast in Anambra state on Friday. He says the petrol-carrying truck leaked into a deep pothole which then attracted heat from the exhaust pipes of nearby cars and set off the explosion.

Fatal traffic accidents are common in Nigeria, where decades-old roads are normally pitted with potholes and drivers frequently fail to observe traffic-safety regulations.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest oil producers.

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Of 1,561 Candidates, 880 Graduate From Law School-DG

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The Nigerian Law School says out of the 1, 561 candidates who sat for the December examination, 880 passed.
The Director-General of the School, Prof. Isa Ciroma, SAN, made this known yesterday in Abuja, while presenting the new wigs to the Body of Benchers at the 2020 Call to the Bar ceremony.
“Four others were from previous Bar examination,’’ he said, adding that the new wigs had met all the required and set conditions by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am happy to affirm that they all have exhibited good manners and decorum during their training.
“They have also been groomed in the best ethics and ethos of our noble profession.
“The screening committee of our distinguished body carefully perused the records of each of the aspirants and found them worthy to be presented for the Call to the Nigerian Bar.’’
Ciroma said that the school had begun a special remedial course for students from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
“The programme began on June 28, at the Nigerian Law School Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja. We thank all distinguished members of the Body of Benchers, for their support,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Body of Benchers, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, congratulated the new wigs and charged them to adhere to the provision of rules regarding the profession at all times.
“As a lawyer, you are an officer of the court and accordingly, you are not to do any act or conduct yourselves in a manner that will obstruct or adversely affect the course of justice.
“The practice of Law is not a right but a privilege. It is a privilege that can be lost should you fail to live up to the requisite professional standards imposed upon you by virtue of your entry into the community of lawyers.
“You must, therefore, strictly adhere to the provisions of the Rules of the Professional Conduct and maintain best practices at all times.’’
He stressed that the Body of Benchers Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee was always determined to discipline any lawyer found wanting or breaching set rules of the profession.
Rhodes-Vivour said that the committee had been carrying out its mandate “in a just and fair manner’’ without giving any room for compromise or ill-will.
He said that between January and July, the committee disbarred six lawyers and suspended some for between two and four years, while one lawyer was admonished during the period.
Rhodes-Vivour advised the graduates to continue to update their knowledge on both statute and case law in order to attain more understanding on especially, international jurisdictions.
In 2020, the Council of Legal Education said that out of a total of 2,515 students who participated in the examinations, 1,864 passed the Bar Final Examinations conducted in January.
The director-general who described the performance as outstanding, said that among the 1, 864 students who were successful, only five made First Class while 632 others failed the examinations.
“Candidates graded in First Class are five, Second Class Upper 77, Second Class Lower are 633, those who got pass marks are 1,067 and those with Conditional Pass are 82.
“632 candidates failed the examination, 17 were absent and 2 results are withheld.”
Chiroma further explained that only 0.2 per cent made First Class, 3.06 per cent made Second Class Upper, 25.17 per cent made Second Class Lower and 42.42 per cent passed.
He said other performances include a 3.26 per cent for those with conditional pass, 25.12 per cent failed the examinations, 0.7 per cent were absent and 0.8 per cent results are being withheld.

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NGO Trains 300 Returning Migrants On Business Development

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Web of Heart Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, says it has trained and empowered more than 300 returning migrants, youths and internally displaced persons on job creation.
Its Executive Director, Mrs Bose Aggrey, made the declaration yesterday in Lagos at the graduation of its “Create and Start Module’’ trainees.
The graduating trainees were awarded certificates and given grants facilitated by some investors and soft loans from banks after six months of training to identify and analyse business ideas and opportunities.
“We taught them how to articulate their business ideas into plans; introduced them to investors and equally assisted them to get bank loans.
“It is an opportunity for the participants to put themselves together either to get employed or to become employers,’’ she said.
“We introduced investors to the participants when they were pitching and some of them are already getting grants.
“We are working with two banks so they can provide soft loans at low interest rates for the participants,’’ she added.
In his remarks, Mr Peik Bruhns, Team Leader of the firm of consultants that conducted the training, said the company had reached out to train 5,000 Nigerians on Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises in six months
He said this was done in collaboration with nine organisations, including Web of Heart Foundation.
“I will like to stress the importance of working with returnee migrants because Web of Heart Foundation focuses on assisting them to reintegrate into society.

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Zamfara Police Refute Kidnap Of 60 Passengers Rumour

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The Zamfara State Police Command has refuted a story that 60 passengers travelling along Sokoto – Gusau road on Sunday, July 25, were kidnapped by bandits.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said the story was inaccurate and a calculated attempt by some mischief makers to create fear and apprehension into the minds of the general public, especially the commuters.
“The attention of Zamfara State Police Command has been drawn to a story trending on social and conventional media that armed bandits blocked Sokoto – Gusau Road, and abducted 60 people travelling from Sokoto to Abuja.”
The statement said, “For the avoidance of doubt and purpose of clarity, the command was informed that a large number of armed bandits blocked a Toyota bus vehicle, belonging to the Sokoto State Mass Transit and abducted 11 passengers who were travelling from Sokoto – Abuja along Sokoto – the accurate report of the incident. On Sunday, July 25, 2021, Gusau Road in Bakura LGA.”
According to the statement, the Police Tactical operatives attached to Operation Restore Peace were alerted, and they quickly mobilized to the location and dislodged the hoodlums who blocked many vehicles for abduction, adding that the road was instantly cleared for motorists and other road users and reinforced more police operatives to improve the security and safety of the commuters.
The statement noted that in the course of mopping up the scene, a Toyota bus vehicle belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit was sighted empty and it was revealed that 11 passengers, including the driver were abducted and taken to the bush before the arrival of the police.
It said the operatives further embarked on search and rescue operation in the surrounding bush with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims, stressing that two persons who were left far behind with other hoodlums were abandoned by their captors for fear of being neutralised by the Police operatives, the remaining nine victims were taken to the forest.

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