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PH Residents React To Adjournment Of APC Matter

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Following the adjournment of the Supreme Court’s judgement on an appeal filed by Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) against Justice Chiwendu Wogu’s judgement which declared that the party had no candidates, many Rivers indigenes and residents have reacted to the adjournment.
A Port Harcourt-based lawyer and human rights advocate, Mr Chijioke Agi, who spoke with The Tide yesterday, noted that the judgement of the Supreme Court would be meaningless if it sways in favour of the APC after elections had been conducted and won.
He said it would have been proper for the court to rule on the matter before elections are conducted.
On whether election could be deferred to accommodate the judgement of the Supreme Court, Mr Agi noted that election was not one of the grounds for which election could be deferred.
He explained that election could be deferred on the event of war, crisis and where there was a serious threat to lives and property. He also said election could be deferred when there was a total breakdown of law and order.
He, however, noted that the court could make an order that election be deferred, stating that INEC could not on its own defer an election in expectation of a pending judgement.
Also speaking, Mr Amo Bariagara, a Port Harcourt resident, noted that APC had no candidate and would therefore not contest the 2019 elections in Rivers State.
Mr Bariagara said that the party was awaiting the outcome of Supreme Court but remarked that if the APC wins at the Supreme Court, they ought to be given a chance to contest.
Another person who spoke with The Tide on the matter is the Rivers State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr Stanley Job Stanley who noted that the implication of delay by the Supreme Court is that APC will not field any candidate for election.
“If the court takes decision in favour of APC after the election, such decision will not in any way benefit APC candidates, because election would have been concluded by that time”, he stated.
According to him, the Electoral Act, not court judgement can shift election in Nigeria. Except where there is a case or cases of insecurity or cases of natural disaster in the affected area.

Helen Sampson & Barizaa Kpobari

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Christmas Holidays: Schools Resume In Rivers, Today

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The Rivers State Ministry of Education has announced the resumption of both  public and private schools in the state for the second term 2019/2020 academic session with effect from today.
A statement from the  State Ministry of Education available to The Tide, said ahead of the resumption of schools, the  State Ministry of Education has reinstated its stand  that unapproved schools in state remain banned and should not open for resumption.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom, had in last year set up a committee for accreditation and approval of private schools; a move designed to improve quality education in the state.
The committee, led by professor  Ozo Mekuri Ndimele, in its report denied accreditation/approval to 437 schools which did not meet set requirements for the operations of private schools.
“Subsequently,  the state government directed that all schools denied approval should discontinue operations forthwith”.
The statement quoted the state  Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, while  speaking on the resumption of schools over the weekend said  the directive on the ban of unapproved schools still subsists.
Professor Ebeku, however, advised parents and guardians of pupils and students not to patronize unapproved schools, adding that such schools are illegal and should not resume.
He warned that any of the unapproved schools found operating will be made to face appropriate sanctions in accordance with the relevant state laws..
The Education Commissioner further disclosed that the Rivers State Government has made adequate provisions for the maintenance and functioning of public schools in the state, and cautioned Heads of public primary and secondary schools in the state not to collect any fee from pupils and students.
”Any Principal or Head teacher that violates the directive will face appropriate disciplinary  measures” the statement stated

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School Feeding: FG Pays Food Suppliers In 33 States

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The Federal Government yesterday said it had paid suppliers of foodstuff and cooks in 33 participating states under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said the payment, which was for January 2020, would ensure that the feeding of the 9.9 million pupils in the 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory starts immediately schools resume in two weeks time.
She explained that the payment covered the cost of feeding the school pupils in the participating states, adding that the funds were released in December to give the suppliers and cooks adequate time to procure and stock foodstuff.
Farouq said, “We believe that paying these funds early is critical to the success of the programme. We do not want any hitches and we want to ensure that the  school children are fed on time and without any excuses.”
The minister warned that the Federal Government would not accept any drop in the nutritional quality of the meals given to the children.
She said the Federal Government had gladly received reports of improved attendance in the schools and improved hygiene among the pupils.
These outcomes, according to Farouq, were some of the reasons for setting up the school feeding programme.
She noted that under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, a total of 9,963,726 pupils were fed in 54,942 schools across the country and were served by 107,862 suppliers and cooks.
The programme is one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme of the federal government.
The NSIP, which was previously under the Presidency, was recently moved to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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Monarch Cautions Youths Against Violence, Other Social Vices

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The Gom Mama of Mama Chiefdom in Nasarawa, Alhaji Mustapha Zubairu, has advised youths to shun violence and all other negative tendencies in their interest and for societal development.
Zubairu gave the advice yesterday when he received Wamba/Farin-Ruwa Youths Movement residing in Lafia, the state capital.
The traditional ruler said that if youths and other Nigerians could shun violence at all times, it would go a long way in not only promoting peace but would also ensure speedy development of the country.
“I want to thank you for the visit and for forming this group aimed at promoting unity and peaceful co-existence among yourselves and other Nigerians.
“This is because peace is the necessary requirement for the development of any society.
“Peace is priceless and non-negotiable; as no society or nation will achieve meaningful progress and development without peace.

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