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Kidnapping: Female Lawyers, Health Workers, Others Protest In Calabar

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The Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Cross River State Chapter, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Holy Child Old Girls Association, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Presbyterian Women, and others yesterday staged a peaceful protest against kidnappings in Calabar.
During the protest organised by the Medical Women Association in the state, the women went around major streets in Calabar.
Speaking, President of MWAN in the state, Dr Bassey Nakanda, said the protest was organised to draw the attention of the state government, security agencies, and relevant stakeholders to the need to rise up and end cases of kidnapping in the state.
Nakanda said medical women had continued to suffer incessant kidnappings in the state with the recent case being that of Dr Vivien Otu, who was kidnapped on August 28, 2020, in Calabar and released on September 3.
“Medical women and others have become victims of kidnapping in Calabar and this act is totally condemnable.
“When it comes to kidnapping, the trauma that women go through lives with them forever; they are beaten, raped, and humiliated.
“We are all aware that there have been several cases of kidnapping in Calabar and as women, we need to stand up, speak, and fight for ourselves.
“Calabar used to be the most peaceful state in Nigeria but we are now living in fear. We need to visit the government, royal fathers, and security agencies to register our complaints,” she said.
While at Watt market roundabout, she called on the state government to provide security for all residents in the state.
“The government owes us a responsibility of security and they have to rise up to that responsibility,” she said.
She called on all residents in the state to always report suspicious movements of persons around them to security agencies.
A member of the Holy Child Old Girls Association, Mrs Agnes Otu, also called on the state government and security agencies to be proactive in safeguarding the lives and property of the residents in the state.

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‘Nigerian Students Overseas Surge By 93%’

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The number of Nigerian students in the United States has reportedly witnessed a drastic surge in recent times.
A recent report by an educational platform indicated that the US hosted a total of 13,762 students for the 2019/20 academic year.
The figures represent 93 percent of Nigerians on academic tourism in the US.
The report from Erudera said, from 2015/16 to 2019/20, the number of students increased by 28 percent, while the most drastic increase by 557 percent occurred from 1995/96 to 2019/20.
The same statistics revealed that in the 2018/19 academic year, Nigeria was listed in the 11th place among nations with the highest number of international students in the US.
This figure accounted for 1.2 percent of the total number of international students in that country.
These figures pale in the face of many more young Nigerians aspiring and struggling to gain admission into foreign institutions in the face of recurrent disruptions in the Nigerian public school system.
A public analyst on education, Richard Ewem, said that the figure would continue to increase until Nigeria invests in and improves its education sector.
‘‘See; don’t get me wrong, studying abroad is good if you can afford it. Nigerians are smart people, very brilliant, they excel anywhere despite a poor start. So, the issue of our students going abroad to study in droves may not be bad, but it tells a lot about what we have at home and the need to improve it.
But Gent Ukëhajdaraj of Erudera attributed the surge to the quality education and the multi-cultural environment that students enjoy overseas.
Meanwhile, statistics indicate that Nigerian students have contributed about $514million to the US economy.
At a public event recently, the Country Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Aruna Amirthanayagam, said the country wanted more students to benefit from its educational system.
In 2017, Nigeria was ranked the highest source of African students in the United States, with 11,710 students that year, an increase of the 9.7 percent recorded in 2016.

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Citizenship: Court Hears Suit Against Atiku, Sept 27

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, fixed September 27 to hear a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, a group, challenging the citizenship of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The plaintiff instituted the suit in 2019 challenging Abubakar’s eligibility to contest for president.
When the matter was called, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Akinola Oladimeji told the court that he was not prepared to go on with the matter.
Oladimeji told the court that it was only on Wednesday that he got wind of the fact that the matter had been slated for hearing on Thursday since the next adjourn date known to him was September 20.
The judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, then sought to find out from the court registrar if parties had been informed of the date and the registrar responded in the affirmative.
The judge in a short ruling said that he was not happy that he gave a date for hearing which had become a subject of controversy.
He, however, adjourned the matter until September 27 and warned the plaintiff that it would be the last adjournment for his client.
The plaintiff, a civil society organisation in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 is challenging the citizenship of Abubakar on the grounds that he was not born in Nigeria.
The plaintiff joined the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation as co-defendants in the suit.
The plaintiff formulated the following questions for determination by the court:
“Whether Section 25 of the Constitution is the sole authority that spells out ways by which a person can become a Nigerian citizen by birth.
“Whether by the provisions of Section 131(a) of the Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the president.
“Whether by the combined interpretation of Section 25(1) (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of Abubakar, he can be cleared by the PDP and INEC to contest for the office of the president.”
The plaintiff held that if the answers to the questions were resolved in its favour, it should be granted the following reliefs, “A declaration that by provisions of Section 131(a) of the constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of president.
“A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Sections 25 (1) (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution, and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of Abubakar, he cannot be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for president”.
The plaintiff also asked the court for any order which it may seem fit to make in the circumstances of the application.
However, Abubakar and the PDP, on which platform he contested the last election asked the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.
In their notice of objection filed jointly, they insisted that the former vice president was a bona-fide citizen of Nigeria.
Abubakar also said that besides serving as Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 to 2007, he held many public and private offices, including serving as governor of Adamawa and was a commissioned officer of the Nigerian Customs Service.
He said his parents, grandparents and great grandparents were born in Nigeria and they lived, died as Nigerians and were buried in Nigeria.
He told the court that the suit was filed in bad faith in an attempt to malign his person and integrity.
Abubakar also objected to the plaintiff’s right to challenge his nationality, arguing that it failed to show the interest it had above other citizens of Nigeria to be entitled to approach the court on the issue.

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Twitter Promoting Instability, Act Of Terrorism In Nigeria, FG Alleges

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The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday, told the House of Representatives that the government decided to ban the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because it was promoting instability and act of terrorism in the country.

The minister, who spoke at a public hearing on the Twitter ban organised by a joint committee of the House, said despite repeated reminders, Twitter continued to provide separatist groups the platform to promote terrorism in the country.

He said the decision of the government was supported by the position of Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution, the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and also the Anti-Terrorism Act, among others.

He said the twitter also provided IPOB, an organization that was banned by the court in Nigeria the platform to spread hate news and ordering the killing of soldiers, policemen and burning public institutions.

On the issue of personal liberty, he explained that personal liberty can always be suspended when the rights of others is at stake.

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