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Xenophobic Attacks: Committee Urges Restraint From Nigerian Students

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The Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS) yesterday appealed to youths and students’ organisations in Nigeria to refrain from further planned picketing of South African businesses in Nigeria over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in their country.
The committee’s Director-General, Mr Obinna Nwaka, who made the appeal in a statement in Abuja however,  condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
Recall that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had  on August 8, picketed three South African companies, including MTN, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, to protest the frequent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The other companies picketed were MultiChoice DSTV and Stanbic IBTC in Abeokuta.
The protesters had carried  placards with different inscriptions such as: “Nigerian students can no longer keep quiet while South Africans kill Nigerians.
“All South African business interests must leave Nigeria.”
No fewer than 127 Nigerians have  been reportedly killed in various dimensions of xenophobic attacks in South Africa over the years.
NANS had also on July 26, embarked on a protest in Markurdi, Benue State, against the inhuman treatment of Nigerians in South Africa, as they picketed some establishments affiliated to South Africa operating in Makurdi.
The students, who had  decried the killing of Nigerians in South Africa, noted that they would not allow South African businesses to run in Nigeria
Nwaka described South African xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans as unpleasant and did not represent the Pan-African philosophy of late Nelson Mandela.
“While appreciating Nigerians for their concerns over the attacks, we call on youths and students’  organisations to stop taking laws into their hands by picketing South African businesses like MTN, DSTV and other organisations,” he said.
Nwaka warned about the consequences of any attempted reprisal attacks, saying such would increase violence, crime and worsen the unemployment situation in Nigeria.
He, however, implored the South African government to adopt proactive measures to end the killing of Nigerians and ensure peaceful coexistence between citizens of both countries.
On “#RevolutionNow” protest, Nwaka, noted that CYMS condemned the act in its entirety.
He urged groups, students and youth bodies to desist from supporting undemocratic and unpatriotic activities.
He appealed to the Federal Government to temper justice with mercy and release the arrested protesters along with their leader, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
Nwaka said, “ the demands of Sowore for a better governance is good but his approach would have resulted to a national embarrassment and distraction to governance.”
Nwaka used the forum to felicitate with Muslim faithful on the celebration  of Eid-el-Kabir  and congratulated  Nigerian youths  on the  occasion of the International Youth Day celebration with the theme  “Transforming Education”.
He said CYMS was a body charged with the responsibility of mobilising the support of young people for government policies and programmes.
He urged government at all levels to reciprocate patriotic disposition of Nigerian youths by providing then with secured environment, basic standard education and inclusion in governance as promised during the 2019 electioneering.

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Jonathan Debunks Rumour Of Planned Defection To APC

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The media team of former President Goodluck Jonathan has debunked claims that he(Jonathan) was concluding plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Following a reported disagreement between the former President and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, there are clear indications that the former president, his family and kinsmen backed the candidate of the APC, David Lyon in the just concluded governorship election in the state and also celebrated his victory.
Amidst rising speculations that Jonathan is about to decamp to the ruling party, his media, team, led by Reno Omokri, has refuted the claims, describing the ex-President as a loyal party member.
In a statement signed by Omokri on Tuesday, the ex-aide to the former President on New Media, said “Former President Goodluck Jonathan is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Throughout his sojourn on Earth, he has been a member of only one political party.
“Dr Jonathan is known for his stability and loyalty. These are character traits that have been lifelong companions of his. He is also an elder statesman and that role requires that he accepts all Nigerian citizens, and indeed all the world’s peoples, in the spirit of the brotherhood of man’’.
“As an elder statesman and Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Dr Jonathan will receive people of goodwill who apply to pay him a courtesy visit, irrespective of their political or religious leanings. Though a Christian, he has received Muslim groups and other diverse visitors.
“Dr Jonathan intends to devote the rest of his life on Earth to building unity, and engendering opportunity for Nigerians and Africans and he has no desire, or reason to engage in partisan politics beyond being a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“His being a member of the Peoples Democratic Party is institutional. In fact, it is more accurate to state that his eternal party is Nigeria, for which he reminds all Nigerians that they are brothers and sisters born from the womb of one Nigeria.”

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Lagos Assembly Tasks Sanwo-Olu On Environment

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has directed Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to fully enforce relevant environmental laws against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state.
The House made the resolution following a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu I, on Monday.
The House frowned at a situation where Lagosians dump refuse in drainages and road medians, causing flooding and destruction of roads.
Agunbiade said: “We noted the effort of the state government towards taking the challenges and the campaign against indiscriminate refuse.
“Funds that could have been channelled to other meaningful sectors had been used to clear refuse in the state.
“We also want to urge Lagos residents to desist from dumping refuse across the state to ensure healthier living in the state.
“This is because refuse dumping have always been cleared by the state government and the Private Sector Participation (PSP).
“However, some unscrupulous individuals have continued to dump refuse; so as deterrence, arrest and sanction will be achieved.
“The combined effect of Sections 115 Part 4 and 126 Part 5 of the environmental laws probibits dumping of refuse at indiscrimate places.
He said the House, therefore, made a resolution to call on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment to enforce relevant sections of the environmental laws in the state.
Agunbiade said the House resolved that offenders be given community service sentence directed at refuse clearing within the locality of the offence.
Mr Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency I, while supporting the motion, said apart from sentencing offenders, they should be made to wear a uniform while performing the community service.
Yusuff said people would not want to dump waste indiscriminately if offenders were meant to wear uniform to perform their community service.
Mr Abiodun Tobun, representing Epe Constituency I, noted that despite government efforts, some people had refused to change their attitude towards complying with the relevant environmental laws in the state.
Tobun noted that laws that allowed community service should be enforced strictly by the governor
“We know what happened during the Buhari/Idiagbon regime when people were afraid to dump refuse indisctimate.
“There is need enforce our relevant laws for offenders,” he said.
Mr Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, thereby called on the state governor to direct the Ministry of Environment to ensure efficient enforcement of the relevant environmental laws in the state.
Obasa, therefore, asked the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to write the governor on the resolution of the House on the issue.

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Sex-For-Grades:1,700 Sign Online Petitions To NASS

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ANon-Governmental Orgenisation, (NGO), Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), says it has received 1,700 signed online petitions to fast- track the passage of the Sexual Harassment Bill before the National Assembly.
Mr Ike Onyechere, the founder of the organisation, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.
According to Onyechere, 56 per cent of the petitioners are women, while 44 per cent are men.
“This indicates that men and women are equally concerned about the sex-for-grade pandemic in the tertiary institutions,” he said.
He said that the objective of the NO-TO-SEX-FOR-GRADE Campaign was to get one million people to sign the petition to the National Assembly.
He noted that the first effort to pass the Sexual Harassment in Education Institutions Prohibition Bill started in 2016, but it died with the termination of the 8th Assembly.
“1,700 change agents have signed the online petition to Nigeria’s National Assembly to fast track action on the passage of the sexual harassment in educational institutions prohibition bill as at Monday, November. 18, 2019.
“The petition to fast track the sex-for-grade prohibition legislation, activated on November. 1; EEMI is in continuation of the Exam Ethics Campaign launched in 1996 to promote exam ethics and combat exam malpractice in education in Africa.
“Sex-for-Grade is one of the 33 types of exam malpractices that have been the focus of the campaign,” he said.
According to him, Sex-for-Grade is the practice of male lecturers blackmailing, forcing, intimidating and demanding sex from their female students as condition for awarding them pass marks in their courses.
He explained that the petition had inspired other petitions for the passage of similar sexual harassment prohibition laws in educational institutions in seven other African countries.
According to him, these countries include: Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, South-Africa, Benin Republic, Egypt and Rwanda.
“In addition to signing the petition, some petitioners are also sharing their experiences.
“Ex-female students have narrated stories of their traumatic experiences in the hands of some of their male lecturers.
“Some female students narrated what they are currently going through. Parents also shared the experiences of their children.
“The story paints the picture of invasion of tertiary institutions by sexual predators masquerading as lecturers,” he said.

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