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Don Renounces Citizenship Over Poverty, Insecurity

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Driven by increasing poverty and insecurity ravaging the country, a lecturer in the Department of Ceramics and Glass Technology, Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana,
Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Mr Victor Koreyo has declared intention to renounce his Nigerian citizenship owing to what he called social injustice.
Koreyo in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, made available to newsmen in Abuja, said he was demoted for a period of eight years by the management of the institution and urged the President to endorse his request.
Our correspondent discovered that a directive was given by the Federal Government in 2007 directing all lecturers to produce additional qualification relevant to the job they do.
It was gathered that the 7th Governing Council of the institution gave Koreyo two years to produce a foreign institution master degree in Ceramic Science and Engineering or he would be dismissed from service.
Koreyo from Nasarawa State, said that the management of the polytechnic refused to communicate the information to him in written.
He alleged that since 2010 till date, the institutions had refused to approve his application for staff development opportunity because the Igbo constituted principal officers in the school.
He also said that several communications to the institution from the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Servicom and host of others, on the issue was in his favour for reinstatement.
Koreyo also accused the ministry of Education for allegedly writing a counter-directive letter to the rector to disregard the government directives issued by the HOSF and AGF.
According to him, this is social injustice that is not in line with the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I love to continue as citizen of this great nation on earth.
“But since I do not have the financial power or connection to challenge the Rector to obey the Federal Government’s directives in my favour, I decided to take this peaceful action.
“I believe this peaceful action and step of honour will prevent the rector from killing me by premeditated frustration of my constitutional rights to social justice as the citizen of Nigeria.
“I have nursed this feeling of suicide to end these eight years of frustration by the Rector and officials of the Akani Ibiam Polytechnic division of tertiary education department of the Federal Ministry of Education.
“And have decided the renunciation of my citizenship by birth will be the best way to peacefully end my quest for social justice at the ministry of education and finally resign from Federal Public Service of Nigeria,” he said.
However, a staff of the ministry of education told our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said that the ministry was already looking into the matter.
According to him, the matter is also before the newly constituted council of the institution.
He urged Koreyo to be patient as the new council would resolve the problem.
“I just got to know that the new council was already handling the matter and it is a national issue.
“ The Federal Government has constituted a body to look into this problem because it is a general problem and not peculiar to him alone.
“ A directive was given to some staff to go and acquire more knowledge and those that brought their master degrees in relevant disciplines were upgraded.
“But in his own case, where he got his masters is not relevant and is not in line as at that time.
“I want to say that the matter is before the new council so he should exercise patient,” the Ministry source told our corespondent.
Meanwhile, the authorities of Akanu Ibiam Federal polytechnic, Uwana in Afikpo noted that the decision of the institution was in compliance with the directive of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE),
Dr Edmond Oyeneho, a former chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Akanu Ibiam Federal polytechnic, Uwana chapter, told our correspondent in Afikpo that the institution was acting on instruction.
According to him, NBTE in 2007 introduced a policy aimed at ending the dichotomy between polytechnic and University education in Nigeria.
He said the policy, which upgraded the course content of Polytechnic education to be at par with University education, also mandated lecturers in Polytechnics without Master degrees in their core areas to upgrade.
He explained that the policy took about three years before its implementation started across Polytechnics in Nigeria.
He noted that many lecturers in the polytechnic system, who had fallen short of the new requirements had to enroll for either Master in Science or Master in Arts degrees programmes in their core areas.
“At the expiration of the three years grace period all Polytechnics in Nigeria including Uwana implemented the policy by demoting all lecturers in the system without Master’s in their core areas to lecturer 1.
“Those who went and remedied their situation came back and were reinstated to their former positions.
“Koreyo was therefore in line with the policy demoted from the senior lecturer position he previously occupied to lecturer 1 because of his failure to upgrade his situation.
“He is a lecturer in the department of Ceramics and Glass Geology but he went to Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), to do a Master degree programme in Management Project and was awarded Master Business Administration (MBA).
“The academic programme did not fulfill the NBTE requirement because MBA is a professional programme, while Master of Science (M.Sc) is an academic qualification required to teach in Polytechnics and universities, “ Oyeneho said.
Oyeneho, a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Administration and Director, Internally Generated Revenue in the institution, criticised Koreyo’s threat to denounce his Nigerian citizenship.
He said that the institution would not be blackmailed and forced to reinstate him to his former position in disregard to existing policy direction.
“ He is not alone in the situation and it will be a disobedience to existing NBTE policy to isolate him for preferential treatment.
“The MSc programme was sponsored by TETFUND with N5 million study grant and affected lecturers receive their full monthly salary through out the duration of the academic programme, “ he added.

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Shell Donates Subsea Training Facilities To UNIPORT

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The Nigeria deep-water arm of global energy giant, Shell, has donated multimillion naira laboratory equipment and software packages to the Offshore Technology Institute of the University of Port Harcourt as part of the company’s Nigerian content human capital development programme delivered in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the facilities to the university, last Thursday, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said, “The donations are aimed at strengthening advanced practical teaching and research in subsea engineering to give the students the required skills and competences for entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry”.
The facilities, valued at over $700,000, are in alignment with the Human Capacity Development Guideline of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Aiboni, represented by SNEPCo’s Social Investment Manager, Dr. Gloria Udoh, expressed optimism that with the level of investment by NNPC and SNEPCo in deep-water training via the establishment centres of excellence and donation of cutting-edge information and communication technology centres, among others, Nigerian oil and gas industry would surpass its local content aspiration earlier than projected.
“This investment anchored on the maintenance of subsea infrastructure on Nigeria’s pioneer deep offshore field, Bonga, is expected to develop and upskill the cognitive and technical abilities of students who pass through the Offshore Technology Institute for the ultimate benefit of our industry and of our country,” Aiboni added.
With the new laboratory and software packages, according to Aiboni, the Offshore Technology Institute is positioned to deliver effective training in engineering design; construction and installation of offshore and subsea structures; computer simulations; civil and construction tests; 3D printing/engravement capability; Measurement/Metering Technology and Robotics; Alternative Energy Technologies; and Data Acquisition Learning System.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Onwunari Georgewill, commended NNPC and SNEPCo with its co-venture partners for their goodwill to the university and particularly to OTI, and canvassed more areas of collaboration between the university and its industry partners.
Georgewell said, “This project’s completion is timely because it latches on to the university’s leadership philosophy, which focuses on advancing education through an integrated learning environment to produce industry-ready university graduates and workforce.
“The current administration of the university places a lot of emphasis on university and industry collaboration and partnership. This donation will therefore enhance the achievement of the postgraduate degree-awarding Offshore Technological Institute in the practical context.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, described the human capital initiatives of SNEPCo as commendable.
Wabote added, “I commend your remarkable and consistent collaboration and partnership with the NCDMB towards the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.”
Represented by NCDMB General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, Wabote said, “Your Nigerian content initiatives are consistent with the objectives and aspirations of NCDMB’s 10-year strategic roadmap, and we hope that necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum to ensure optimal utilization by students in the university community.”

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Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Wike, Others Bag CAN Awards

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Mummy Esther Ajayi, were among prominent Nigerians who received awards at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sapphire awards in Abuja, last weekend.
Others, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, and Chief Arthur Eze, also received awards at the event; while the kidnapped Dapchi school, Leah Sharibu, won in the Young Christian Achiever award category.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, and some Christian governors, serving and past National Assembly members bagged awards.
The awards were part of activities for CAN’s 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration Dinner and Award Night.
Earlier in his welcome address, CAN National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said that the gathering was to celebrate 45 years of the church in Nigeria.
He said that Governance Category awards were for Christians in politics who had shown excellent and remarkable services.
“These include past presidents, serving governors and senators in our assessment that deserve such award.
“An award ceremony is applause of vision, personal discipline and determination; it is an event like this that makes people feel that their works are valued.
“The award is a catalyst that is expected to reinforce the awardees to serve humanity more and more,’’ he said.
The CAN president said it was heart breaking that majority of those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were Christians who were displaced by religious fanatics, bandits and gunmen in their territories.
He solicited the awardees’ financial support in fulfilling some of CAN’s obligations to fellow Christians and bringing to fruition the association’s projects.
Obasanjo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was the special guest of honour at the awards.
Obasanjo said that the award was significant in that it would encourage other citizens to serve humanity, adding “I will continue to do the best I can to uphold the principles of justice, love, equity, mutual respect, industry and the fear of God which epitomise the church of Christ until there’s no breath left in me.”
While showing appreciation to CAN on behalf of all the award recipients, VP Osinbajo said Nigerians needed to be more tolerant of other people’s views.
The vice president dedicated the award to those who, daily in different locations, distant and near, propagated the message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes in difficult and life-threatening situations.
He said that the awardees were not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition but by the special grace of God which placed them in the high capacity they served.
He said, “As we have seen in the past few years, there’s a growing ethnic and religious chauvinism, and almost intemperate, vehement and violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions and faith without adequate consideration.
“At the same time, there is also the rise of cultural and identity politics. The answer to hate and intolerance and conflicts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must believe enough in it, to live it out as our article of faith.
“The gospel commands consideration of the views of others, treating them we would wish to be treated. Our words must be of grace, seasoned with salt.
“We must remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, rule of law because they are fundamental to peace and security. We cannot talk of peace and security without fairness and justice, and compliance with the rule of law.
“We are in the advantageous position that our contribution will be more easily noticed.
“So, this award is dedicated to the men who, daily in different locations, distant and near propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes even difficult and life-threatening situations.
“And to many who have suffered deprivations, the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.
“And we are deeply grateful to the Almighty God for the opportunity and enablement to serve in the positions to which we have been referred.
“I bring, also, the very warm felicitations of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 45th anniversary of the birth of this foremost association of Nigerian Christians.
“CAN was formed to, among other objectives, nurture the unity of the church in Nigeria and to work with the leaders of other faith and persuasions to build bridges and forge understanding, peace and unity among the various people and faith in our nation.
“CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, it has become a veritable force for peace, for unity and for social justice.
“Pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the least of those in our society,’’ he said.
He said that the current and past leaderships of CAN had acted in full realiasation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and private sector in nation building.
Earlier, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who noted the dire financial condition of the umbrella Christian organisation in the country, advised clerics to tone down their criticism of those in authority.
He said, “I just want to caution some Christian pastors concerning the way we use our pulpit and the kind of fire of insults and abuses that comes from there. When you abuse those who will give you money where will you get the money.
“The Bible says to pray for those in authority. You need to draw your leaders close. When you draw us closer and tell us what your problems are, it will energise us to help. Money will flow more than you need.”
Also, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who sheltered no fewer than 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau, during an attack, was presented with the Special Recognition award.
The late Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Governor, was given a post-humous award of Spokesperson for Oppressed alongside Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana.
Awards were also given to best candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Senior School Certificate Examination.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake.

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Bandits Free 10 More Kaduna Baptist Students, Keep 11

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, confirmed that 10 more students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna State have been released.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in a short WhatsApp message to newsmen.
He said, “Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits.
“We are thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support.
“We are trusting God that the rest will be released very soon. All have been reunited with their parents.”
Earlier, 10 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna were released on Saturday, September 18, after spending 74 days captivity of terrorists, with 22 others still being held.
Hayab had said, “10 students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”

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