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‘Senate Begins Constitution Review After Sallah’

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The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has said that work on altering the Constitution would commence after the Sallah break.
Omo-Agege, who chairs the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, disclosed this when two groups – Women Education Advocacy and Development Initiative (WEADI) and League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV) – paid him courtesy visits in Abuja.
He stated that rights of women and the girl-child would be protected in the exercise.
He added that his committee would take into account experiences from other African countries.
“Immediately after the Sallah, we are going to hit the ground running with Constitution review exercise. And there are a lot of bills dealing with women rights advancement.
“We will take the Ugandan and Rwandan experiences into account to see how we can meet up with the agitation of our women in the Constitution review exercise,” he stated.
Omo-Agege had said that Sexual Harassment Bill recently passed by the Senate was not targeted at lecturers in higher institutions of learning.
He said the bill was to flush out the few bad eggs tarnishing the image of their colleagues.
The lawmaker regretted that few educators were soiling the image of their colleagues, majority of whom he described as “decent”.
He said: “This bill is not targeted at our lecturers in tertiary institutions. To the extent that it is targeted at anybody, it is targeted at the errant few, the few predators in their midst. And we have them everywhere.
“So, this bill is targeted at the very insignificant few who cause most of these atrocities and we have decided that we should put a stop to it. I am sure that even most of these lecturers know that they are not the target.”
He expressed optimism that given the level of overwhelming support from the Presidency, it would get presidential assent once it receives concurrence from the House of Representatives.
The Bill to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions, 2020, which was passed by the Senate at its sitting on July 7, 2020, prohibits sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions and prescribes jail term ranging from two to 14 years for various degrees of offences.
Sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate and co-sponsored by 106 lawmakers, the proposed legislation also prescribes N5million fine for offenders.
When signed into law, any educator who whistles or winks at a student or makes sexually-complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique would be liable to two years imprisonment or a fine of N1million, if found guilty.

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JOHESU Suspends Warning Strike Says FG Resorted To Threats Than Negotiation

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The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA), yesterday, announced the suspension of its warning strike but noted that the Federal Government has still not attended to its demands; it disclosed that it will make its next decision in the coming days.
JOHESU, who disclosed this in a press statement signed by its National Chairman, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, further disclosed that instead the government has resorted to threats, intimidation and blackmail rather than calling for a resolve of the trade dispute.
The statement read in part: “This is to bring to your notice that the 7-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) would come to an end midnight of today, 20” September, 2020.
“By this notice, all health workers under the five unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) shall return to work on Monday, 21st September, 2020 across all Federal Health Institutions in the country.
“However, since the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exhibit high level of bias/discrimination by refusing to address the demands of our members as presented by JOHESU within the seven days of the warning strike as was done to other bodies in the health sector, the next line of action would be decided in due course by the expanded National Executive Council of JOHESU.
“If is pertinent to also inform members of the Press and the general public that rather than call JOHESU for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute, the Federal Government has resorted to intimidation and blackmail of JOHESU leaders using all forms of instruments and faceless organisations.
“JOHESU will continue to use all legitimate means to defend the rights and demands for the welfare of its members in the health sector. Nigerians should bear us witness that JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery.”

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Wike Hails Mbata’s Legacy Of Faith, Passion For God’s Work

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The Rivers State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the late Elder Samuel Azuta Mbata left a legacy of faith and passion for the things of God.
Wike stated this during the funeral service in honour of the late elder statesman at Elder Sam Mbata’s Compound in Eneka, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, last Saturday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor urged members of his family to build on that legacy and move forward, noting that the Almighty God would comfort them.
“The God of all comfort will comfort you; he will not leave you alone; he will not leave you without comfort. God is with you in a greater dimension than you can ever imagine”. Wike stressed.
The governor, who described him as a trail blazer, said Elder Mbata had done so much in all the leadership roles that he played.
“In the Rivers State Government, he served meritoriously as the chairman of the Governing Council of the Rivers State College of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University.
“He was also the chairman of the Judicial Council. These are very key roles, and he also provided leadership in many other ways”, Wike further stressed.
The governor, who said that the late elder statesman practically brought the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International to Nigeria, of which Rivers State was a beneficiary, added that he was a member of the Board of Trustees Internationally.
The state chief executive took a swipe at the Nigeria Police Force for the siege on his hotel in Benin City, the Edo State capital, where he lodged while on official national assignment.
“I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police, all the security agencies and INEC to, please, allow the democratic process to carry on in our nation, and allow Edo people vote in a violence-free process”, he emphasised.
In his sermon, the Founder and President of Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association, Rev. Uma Ukpai, extolled the sterling qualities of the late Elder Sam Mbata, describing him as a man of great purpose.
Ukpai said late Mbata was a reliable man, whom you can count on in times of need, noting that Sam Mbata used his resources to propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificially during his life-time.
He, therefore, prayed the Almighty God to empower his children to achieve greater exploits for Christ.

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Gunmen Raid Zamfara, Abduct Over 40

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Gunmen wielding dangerous weapons have raided Gobirawan Cali communities in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, and forcefully kidnapped over 50 peasants to an unknown destination.
In an interview with the BBC Hausa service monitored, yesterday, an indigene of the community said the gunmen stormed the village, shooting sporadically.
According to him, “they came in troops, they entered our community, and shot guns repeatedly, chasing people. We were running, scampered for safety. The community is now deserted. We all ran away. We are about 3,500,” he said.
“They took us by surprise. At about 3.30 pm, a gunman came and tried to kidnap one of our men. He was able to wrestle the gunman, slammed him on the ground and seized his AK-47.
“Immediately he picked the gun and threw it inside a maize farm nearby, the gunman regained consciousness and picked race. We never knew his colleagues were waiting in the bushes. They thereafter came into our community in great numbers and shot repeatedly.
“We ran away but they abducted over 40. Some managed to escape. We couldn’t call the security agents because there were no networks.
“Our community is now empty, we are not going back unless the government provides us with security,” he said.

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