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Shorts, Trousers Saga: CAN Kicks As NYSC Expels Corps Members

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The Christian Association of Nigeria has criticised the National Youth Service Corps for expelling two corps members who refused to wear trousers or shorts for religious reasons.
Two female corps members – Okafor Love Obianuju, with call-up number EB/19C/0523; and Odji Oritsetsolaye, with call-up number EB/19C/0530 – were expelled from the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 in Ebonyi State camp over the weekend.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday, however, the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the CAN President, Rev. Adebayo Oladeji, said the two ladies should not be victimised for holding on to their faith.
Oladeji noted that the Nigerian Law School denied Firdausa Al Jannah Amasa from being called to Bar in 2017 because she refused to remove her hijab, but the institution had since retraced its steps.
He said the NYSC also ought to be more tolerant.
The cleric said, “The fundamental rights of the people as regards religion must be respected.
“And that is why, a few months ago, when some Muslim women were protesting over the wearing of hijab at the Law School, we refused to speak against it because it is their right and thank God, they won it.
“We are appealing to the leadership of the NYSC to revisit the matter.
“In this country, religious right is an inalienable right that must be respected. They must allow the people to practise their religion.
“If our government agencies have no regard for the way people worship God, then it means they are satanic. Any system that does not respect religion is satanic.”
The CAN spokesman advised the affected corps members to go to court, citing the way the Muslims sued the Nigerian Law School over the hijab controversy.
“We advise the victims of that injustice to go to court and challenge their expulsion by the NYSC,” he added.
The two female corps members in the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 in Ebonyi camp were de-kitted.
The Batch C members of the corps are currently undergoing the three-week orientation exercise nationally.
According to the spokesperson of NYSC in Ebonyi State, Ngozi Ukwuoma, the two corpers were spotted by the Camp Director, Mrs. Isu Josephine, and her team during a routine morning inspection.
Ukwuoma said the two ladies were wearing their official white T-shirt upon white skirt.
Officially, white T-shirts are worn atop a pair of white shorts.
“When they were accosted and interrogated, they said they could not wear the white pair of shorts and the trousers issued to them by the NYSC because it was against their faith to wear them,” Ukwuoma said.
Continuing, the spokesperson said, “Efforts were made by the office of the CD to make them see reason why they must obey the rules and regulations guiding the orientation and NYSC, but all efforts to do that proved futile.
“The matter was officially reported and the proceedings for de-kitting were initiated.
“The corps members were queried and subsequently made to face the camp court, where they were found guilty, having stated categorically that they were ready to bear the consequences of their actions.
“The court recommendations were submitted to the camp management and the camp director was directed to de-kit them.
“They were de-kitted in the presence of security agents, who also escorted them to the gate as they left the camp.”

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Police Parade Four Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Female Victim In Cross River

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The Cross River State Police Command has paraded four suspected kidnappers and rescued one Cecilia Onega, 38 years, from kidnappers’ den.
Parading the suspects at the State Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill in Calabar, Cross River State on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo said the breakthrough was recorded by the Command.
She said that the victim, one Cecilia Onyago ‘F’ 38 years was rescued without a ransom paid.
“We are working to make sure that kidnapping is no more in the State.
We urge Cross Riverians to provide us with information which would enable us work harder and pick these hoodlums wherever they may be,” she stressed.
The police spokesperson said that on July 10th 2020, in Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State, a husband and wife were going about their normal businesses when armed kidnappers came in and kidnapped the woman.
“The Police got a distress call from the people

and we swung into action. In a bid to know the location where the woman was taken to, we got one suspect which led us to the arrest of other gang members.
“Right now, the suspects are in our custody, a lot of items have been recovered including two vehicles, Toyota Camry with registration number NEM 828 AY and Jetta car no LSD 879 AV and several local guns,” she quipped.
DSP Ugbo said that the suspects are with the Police and they have given the Police useful information and “as soon as investigations are completed the suspects will be charged to court.
“We are very happy about the success recorded because Cross River State is noted for being a place people come and relax and Police is working tirelessly to make sure the hoodlums are brought to book
“Every evening, we have a team of Police officers at different locations doing stop and search; it is a regular exercise which the outgoing Police Commissioner put in place.
“We urged all Cross Riverians to corporate with us, give us useful.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar.
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COVID-19: Hand Washing Cheapest Way Of Fighting Diseases – Health Commissioner

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The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, has said that the cheapest way fighting various diseases was through effective hand washing.
Edu staate this in Calabar while receiving over 200 handwashing stations donated by United Purpose, a non-governmental organisation, for the Primary Healthcare Development Agency in the State.
The commissioner, who said she was grateful that the state had partners who were always ready to support it in the area of health, stressed that when sanitation fails, healthcare suffers.
“Although the state had not recorded massive number of the ravaging COVID-19 infections and deaths residents are advised to have a high index of suspicion.
“We encourage everyone to effectively use the available resources in the health facilities in the state and have a high index of suspicion.
“I call on the health workers in the state to bring the Infection Control Protocol (ICP), they have been taught to bear.
“We will be signing the Clinical Governance Agreement today to ensure that when our clients go to our facilities they are protected and the care giver is also protected,” she said.
The commissioner encouraged residents of the state to build their immunity because it was a way of protecting themselves and their loved ones.
She added that anyone who felt any symptoms of COVID-19 should go to the state’s testing centre. Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, Director General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), lauded  United Purpose and other partners for assisting the state.
Ekpenyong said it was not the job of the government alone to fight the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the state but the job of everyone.
Mr. Nanpet Chuktu, the Programme Manager of United Purpose, said his organisation partnered the state because it wanted to help in pushing back the virus from the state.
“We the United Purpose, through the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, are making a donation of 10 hand washing stations per Local Government Area (LGA).
“These hand washing stations are for emergency and would be delivered to the state’s Primary Healthcare Agencies.
“We are looking at about 250 of them and each of the primary healthcare facilities would get at least one,” he noted.
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COVID-19: Ignore Facemask, Risk Arrest, Prosecution, RSG Tells Residents

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The Rivers State Government has expressed worries over the high level of non-compliance of health protocols with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that henceforth any resident caught without wearing facemask will be arrested and prosecuted.

The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim handed down the warning while speaking on a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt on Saturday and monitored by the Tide.

Nsirim who is Chairman of the State Inter-ministerial Committee on Enlightenment for Covid-19 recalled the unhappiness of Governor Nyesom Wike during last Wednesday’s State broadcast with the attitude of many residents who flaunt extant directives on the wearing of facemask and other health protocols.

“The Governor in that broadcast also expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols. Social distancing, wearing of facemask and he spoke specifically in what is happening in some churches. Government will introduce policies, the onus is on the populace to obey those policies.

 

“Not just obeying it, the Covid-19 pandemic that we are talking about has defied medical solution for now. So to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State has to take responsibility.

“If I take responsibility and everyone around me takes responsibility to observe the relevant protocol, we are sure to flatten the curve. But if people live righteously and just do as if nothing is happening because there are places where people are just living in denial.

“Some people still believe that there is nothing like Coronavirus. Two weeks ago, my committee rounded off street to street campaign in all the 23 local government areas of the State. They still met people who are in this denial. That is the challenge.

“The Governor is desirous that Rivers State remains safe. That is why he is initiating policies to ensure that strategically the state is somehow isolated from the national spread,” the Commissioner said.

Nsirim further said, “If you go around the State, since the executive order on facemask was introduced. You will notice that less than

30 per cent of the populace are really obeying that executive order. What we are seeing in the State is that people just put the mask around their chin.

“You go to some churches we see people open their mouth and things will be spewing out in the enclosed environment on the chin. The Governor is saying that to give this wearing of facemask the kind of weight that it deserves to save our people, a special taskforce be put in place.

“That is the only sure way because a lot of people are still living in denial. He said the governor’s broadcast is very clear, arrest and prosecute. Henceforth we will arrest and prosecute people not wearing facemask in public places,” he stated.

The Rivers State Government spokesman said arrangements have been concluded to monitor churches that fail to observe the guidelines of not more than 70 persons per church service, wearing of facemask, provision of water for hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers, while weddings and burial ceremonies should not exceed 50 persons.

 

Dennis Naku

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