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Kogi Hosts NCC Consumer Conversation at Lokoja

 

We will improve the quality of telecom consumers’ experience – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, earlier today organised the Consumer Conversation, a constitutive component of the Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer campaign at Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo, Lokoja, Kogi State.

Principal Manager, Zonal Operations Department NCC, Oladisun Ekisola, who represented the Head of Zonal Operations Department, Miss Helen Obi at the event stated that Consumer Conversation as a component of the YEAR OF NIGERIAN TELECOM CONSUMER campaign launched on March 15 2017, is designed to increase the tempo and content of information disseminated to, as well as engagement with the telecom consumer to arm the Consumer with information as well as education required to improve the quality telecom consumer experience.

Among the information exchanged with the consumers at the Conversation is the availability of a short code (2442), the Do Not Disturb code that enables consumers to stop unsolicited messages delivered to their phones.

Also at the Conversation, attended by a large number of consumers and other stakeholders, including representatives of NCC and the Mobile Network Operators, consumers were informed of the need to utilise the 622 Toll Free Line provided by the Commission to enable consumers escalate unresolved complaints earlier reported to their service providers.

Challenges associated with Quality of Service (QoS) were also discussed. The Commission also used the auspices of the Conversation to correct the misinformation about Eletromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation.

Consumers also sought clarifications about the processes of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) as participants dialogue on the many challenges of the telecom consumers.

Also in attendance at the event are the Chairman of Lokoja Local Government Council; the Etsu of Adankolo; Zonal Director of the Teaching Service Commission, Lokoja; State Chairman of NUJ; Chairman of the State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT); and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

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Do Not Succumb to this Intimidation, NLC To EFCC

 

We condemn the attack by gun men on the Area 7 office of the EFCC which houses key investigation units of the Commission.

The attack represents the audacity of corruption and the shifting of the battle ground from the court room to the streets and should be condemned by all those who love this country.

The attack, clearly, was intended to deter and compel operatives of the Commission from carrying to a logical conclusion their ongoing investigations/prosecutions.                       

In light of an earlier attack during which an operative sustained injuries, this cannot be a lone incident. Indeed, we see it as the new phase of corruption fighting back!

While we are not insensitive to the manifest danger in this new phase of corruption fighting back, we urge the Commission and its operatives not to succumb to these desperate tactics or intimidation.

We have no doubt the resort to Violence shows they have come to their wit’s end.

Accordingly, we urge the Commission and other related agencies to do all that is necessary to secure their premises and personnel.

They equally need technical support to build their forensic capacity without which good cases are lost or drag on indefinitely, thus exposing their personnel.

We also find it necessary to call on the government to give the Commission the requisite support including the setting up of dedicated courts for speedy disposal of corruption cases.                        

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Authorities say citizens of 24 countries among dead, injured in Barcelona attack

Citizens from at least 24 countries have been injured or killed in the van attack in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona and the coastal town of Cambrils, according to Catalan authorities.

By Friday the death toll stood at 13 bystanders killed and more than 100 injured.

Authorities said so far, the youngest victim of the attacks is thought to be a three-year-old girl.

She died shortly after she was taken to hospital.

A six-year-old girl of unknown nationality has also been taken to hospital with a cerebral haemorrhage, an official at Vall d’Hebron university hospital told the New York Times.

France has confirmed that there are 26 of its citizens injured with 11 in a serious condition.

The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, quoting police, said three Germans were also among the fatalities.

Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Reynders, confirmed on Twitter that one of its citizens was killed in the attack, and also said the Belgian embassy was in touch with hospitals in the area regarding other possible victims.

The Hague said three Dutch were injured, and a Greek diplomat reported three nationals had been wounded – a woman and her two children.

China also confirmed a citizen of Hong Kong had minor injuries, while the U.S. state department said it knew of one American with minor injuries.

In Australia, Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, said four Australians were hurt: two women in a serious but stable condition, and two men, who were “directly affected” and had retreated to their hotel to seek medical attention in the morning.

One Australian is still missing, the minister said.

Throughout the long, chaotic night there were urgent appeals on social media for English, Italian and French translators to make their way to hospitals and clinics to assist staff attending the dozens of non-Spanish speaking victims.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it is helping an Irish family of four caught up in the attack.

A father of two, originally from the Philippines but who lives in Ireland was on holiday with his wife and two children, when he was hit on the side.

He may need an operation but his injuries are not life threatening, Dr Emmanuel Fernandez, Consul General of the Embassy of the Philippines in Madrid, told the Irish broadcaster RTE.

Overnight, many countries set up emergency helplines for their citizens caught up in the violence, and sent out warnings for those trapped in the affected area to remain inside while counter-terrorism efforts were underway.

Spanish police meanwhile swept through the narrow alleys branching off Las Ramblas, past deserted outdoor cafes, where half-eaten plates of tapas lay abandoned by diners who fled for their lives.

As Spain wakes, foreign embassies are still scrambling to establish, who has been affected. Many tourists are not believed to have registered their travel plans and movements.

Spanish authorities are yet to publish the names of the dead and injured.

Many parts of central Barcelona remained sealed off overnight, with guests told to stay in their homes or hotels, and the metro and most transport routes shut down.

Families and friends have been split up, with police evacuating people to different parts of the city, and mobile phone networks overwhelmed.

Catalan authorities urged those affected to stay off the phone networks and use social media to inform their loved ones they were OK.

Facebook activated its safety check device for the attack, as it has done for the terror attacks in Manchester and London.

In Paris, the Eiffel tower turned off its lights as a sign of respect to the innocent victims caught up in the violence, and in New York the world trade centre spire was lit with the colours of the Spanish flag.

Graphic videos of the attack were widely posted on social media, with some chastising people who posted the footage for filming rather than helping the injured.

So far, the British foreign office has received no confirmed reports of British citizens injured or killed, but Chris Pawley, 30, a survivor of the Manchester bombing, was visiting Spain with his partner and was in the area when the attack occurred.

He told the Manchester Evening News he couldn’t believe he had been caught up in a second terrorism incident in fewer than six months.

He had just left the Ariana Grande in May when the bomb detonated.

Pawley said of Thursday’s attack: “There was police everywhere and ambulances, the shops started putting the shutters down.”

“We have just come back to the hotel, as we were caught up in the arena attack – can’t believe it.” (Reuters/NAN)

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Nigeria Police Officers Not Corrupt As Alleged By NBS 

IGP Assures Nigerians And International Community Of Sustained Efforts Based On International Core Values Of Policing With Integrity And The Determination Of The Force To Shun Corruption And Bribery In All Its Ramifications.

The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports published on the 16th August 2017 captioned “Police officers, judges most corrupt in Nigeria – NBS (Bribery as experienced by the population)”. The report was claimed to have been based on a survey conducted in April and May, 2016 across the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT.

 

The deliberately ill-timed release of the findings from a survey carried out two years ago this week is coming at a time when the Nigeria Police Force has fully keyed into the change mantra of the Federal Government of Nigeria “Change Begins with Me” and total war against corruption. The Force has also established and re positioned the mechanisms of the Force responsible for fighting corruption, bribery and other corrupt tendencies within and outside the Force.

 

The Nigeria Police Force after a careful study of the report, wishes to state categorically that the report is entirely misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts, essentially based on hearsays which made it unempirical, and the survey instrument absolutely inadequate and therefore a plain distortion of the improved situation in the Force as a result of the renewed commitment and determination to fight corruption, bribery and corrupt tendencies in the ranks of the personnel of the Force.

 

For avoidance of doubt, since the inception of the present administration of the Nigeria Police Force in July 2016, after the reported survey has been conducted and concluded, the Inspector General of Police has introduced and implemented diverse internal reforms aimed at bringing corruption to zero level in the Force as follows:

 

To ensure that Police Officers operate within the principle of the rule of law and respect the rights of Nigerians while performing their constitutional duties of protecting lives and property and to abhor corruption, the Police formulated a new set of directive principles titled “Our Creed” to reposition the minds and hearts of every Police officer and launched with the following doctrines:

 

(a).  We shall police the country based on international core values of policing with integrity

(b). We shall ensure that the rule of law prevails in our actions and activities

(c). We shall respect diversity, display courage, show compassion and demonstrate professionalism

(d). We shall operate within the principles of Democratic policing

(e). We shall shun corruption

(f) We shall make Nigeria safer and secured

 

Similarly, to further make police officers imbibe a culture where the rule of law forms the bedrock of our actions and activities, and give the fight against corruption the bite and new impetus, this administration has commenced the training of officers on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). The Act is considered an important legislation because of its innovative provisions, and every Police Officer has been enjoined to follow strictly the provisions of the Act. This will to a very large extent has reduced and eliminate, instances of unlawful arrests, illegal detentions and inhuman treatments in the police stations across the country that can tempt officers to corruption tendencies.

 

The X-Squad Unit of the Force responsible for the arrest, detention, investigation and prosecution of any officer found wanting and culpable of corruption, bribery or corrupt tendencies has been reinvigorated, equipped and its personnel retrained with detachments in all the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to deal decisively with corruption allegations made against police officers to eliminate corruption in the Force.

 

The Re-launch of Complaint Response Unit (CRU) to a more broadened Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) was carried out by the current Police Management Team to facilitate dynamism and to promptly address complaints against officers of the Force bothering on corruption. This unit is responsible for receiving and attending to reports of corruption from members of the public against Police officers, it was re-launched by the Inspector General of Police in Abuja in late 2016 and subsequently launched simultaneously by Commissioners of Police in all the Commands of the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT last year.

 

Formation and take- off of Eminent Persons Forum across the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT to create public enlightenment campaign against corruption within the Force and inform the Public of the free and unhindered access to the Nigeria Police Force to report complaints of corruption against Police Officers.

 

The Nigeria Police Force has been working with critical stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System in the country’ and other local and International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) including International Human Rights Organizations to train and re-train Police Personnel to conform to international best practices to shun and detest corruption, bribery and corruption tendencies. This has engendered change of attitudes and good disposition in the conduct of Police Personnel throughout the country towards abstaining from corruption.

 

However, it must be pointed out that the Nigeria Police Force sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief and calculated attempt to promote campaign of calumny against Police Officers. Nowhere in the report were references made to either the improved transparency in the Nigeria Police Force or the sustained daily sacrifice being made by gallant officers and men of the force in confronting criminalities in the society.    

 

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni wishes to reassure Nigerians and the International Community that the Nigeria Police Force will continue to fight, discourage and shun corruption, bribery and corrupt tendencies within and outside the Force, and continue to discharge its statutory responsibilities according to the rule of law despite the obvious distractions from the report.

 

The renewed determination of the Force to adhere to International Police Reforms and conform to standard principles, building trust and confidence in the citizenry and above all comply and support the Federal Government War Against Corruption remained unequivocal and unwavering.

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Kogi set to rotate seat of power among Senatorial Districts

In the drive to integrate the grassroots people into the activities of government, the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has initiated plans to rotate the state’s administrative seat among the three senatorial districts on periodic basis.

The move was also to allow the people at the grassroots feel the presence of government and have a sense of belonging.

Bello, who disclosed the plan during a visit to the palace of the Atta Igala, His Royal Majesty, Idakwo Michael Ameh, also disclosed his plan to renovate Government Lodges in Idah, Ankpa and Dekina, where he would visit periodically to spend reasonable time to administer the state.

The governor noted that visiting the various constituencies and spending the minimum of one week each there, would enable him to personally interact with the people and also carry out the business of governance.

He said this would also allow senior government officials to know the problems facing the communities especially those concerning security for which he requested further military assistance.

According to him, “For equity and justice purposes, there is the need to build another Forward Operational Base (FOB) for the military in Kogi East Senatorial District to put to rest the menace of armed robbery, kidnapping and other security issues affecting the state.”

The governor had earlier commissioned FOB at Achoze in Okene Local Government, which he said was aimed at beefing up security across the state adding, “We started from the central senatorial district because of the fact that the area has over 52 percent rate of armed robbery and kidnapping. There is the need to make the move to stem that tide and we quickly built that FOB and commissioned it.”

He said before the end of the year his administration would build another FOB in Igala land, saying, “The plan is aimed at actualising our promises and objectives of zero tolerance for criminality including communal clashes.”

While Bello assured the people of his government’s determination to set up a high powered committee that would take stock of the electricity needs of the people in Igala land, the Atta’Igala and President of the Kogi State Council of Chiefs, Ameh lauded the administration for the on-going massive road construction and rehabilitation in the Eastern Senatorial District.

According to him, “Road development programe was crucial to human existence and the economy, particularly in the area of transportation of goods and services.”

He expressed delight that the road projects cut across the entire communities in the area stressing that the gesture would surely improve the lives of rural dwellers.

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Sexuality education necessary, but not in schools — Stakeholders

Stakeholders in the education sector in some states of the North West and North East have expressed divergent views on the teaching of Sexuality Education in schools and at home.

In a survey conducted by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some of the stakeholders said early knowledge of the subject was necessary to protect children from sex predators while others said it would corrupt morals.

Those against the idea also claimed that the two major religions in the country, Islam and Christianity, did not support the teaching of the subject to children.

In Kaduna, a mother, Mrs Okene Oloruwagba, said parents should take up the responsibility as soon as children gain consciousness of their sexuality, particularly when they start asking questions about their sexual organs.

“Parents should not hide the truth from their children, but teach them what they need to know based on their level of comprehension and take them gradually as they develop.

“The rationale is to catch them young and prevent them from getting the wrong information from outsiders who may eventually exploit them.

“If you don’t teach your children the right things about sex and how to protect themselves, someone else would teach them the wrong things and jeopardise their future.”

Mr Bayo Yusuf, the Administrator of Marafa Comprehensive School, Kaduna, said sex education should be a combine effort of parents and schools.

“Children need to know about pregnancy, the implication of teenage pregnancy and the dangers of getting pregnant out of wedlock and its implications on their future.

“When children or teenagers are properly guided about their sexuality, it would not only help in safeguarding their future, but will equally prevent teenage pregnancy and curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,’’ he said.

He maintained that although sexuality education may be in conflict with religion and tradition, teaching the subject early “is a necessary evil.’’

“Let us not for the sake of religion and culture put the future of our children in jeopardy, even our religion commanded that we train our children in the way they should grow, which include sex education.

“Our society has become very complex with the growth of technology which exposes our children to obscene contents.

“This alone made it crucial for the family and schools to properly guide our children, “Yusuf said.

On his part, Malam Dahuru Anchau, a Director in the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, said mothers were better placed to teach their children about sexuality.

According to him, teaching sex education in schools by fathers will be in conflict with religion and culture, because it is not in line with African culture for men to discuss the subject with their children.

However, a teenager, Adekoniye Adeola, said that teaching sexuality education would greatly equip young boys and girls to acquire all the information they need to effectively protect themselves.

“As adolescents, we are at our vulnerable stage. We want to explore and experiment and in the long run, exposing ourselves to premarital sex that would eventually ruin our lives.

“Therefore, both parents and educational institutions have a duty to prepare us for the future, particularly by equipping us with knowledge about our sexuality and how to hold ourselves until we are married,’’ Adeola said.

Mr Muhammed Rashid, the Headmaster of Zanna Model Primary School Birnin Kebbi, said teaching sexuality in schools was necessary to stop rising cases of teenage pregnancies.

He said it should be included in schools curriculum to help young people have appropriate knowledge to guard their sexuality, stop unprotected sex and promiscuity.

Rashid, however, said the subject should be taught separately for boys and girls to avoid what he termed as `distraction’.

Another teacher in Birnin Kebbi, Hajiya Hadiza Adamu said that sexuality issues were not supposed to be hidden from children.

She argued that most unmarried teenagers who had babies were carried away by sexual feelings and emotional desires without considering the consequences of their action due to ignorance..

“In the end, they contract sexually transmitted diseases and some are compelled to go for abortion.

“Children should be exposed to sex education early in their lives so that they could have successful marital life and be useful to the society.’’

However a cleric, Ustaz Abdulrahim Shuaibu, said: ”Sex education is an intuitive knowledge and in my opinion government should not introduce sexuality in school curriculum because it will corrupt the minds of teenagers.’’

A pastor with Living Faith Church in Jega, Ahmadu Samuel said the best place for sexuality education is the home not school.

Samuel explained that God had given responsibility to parents to teach children His perspective in every aspect of life including sexuality.

“Teaching children about sexual relationships apart from promoting immorality is like teaching a child to drive a car without explaining the traffic laws ”, he said.

Also, an Islamic scholar in Gusau, Sheik Abdullahi Dalla-Dalla, kicked against the idea, saying it is in conflict with religious teachings.

Dalla-Dalla, who is the Chairman of the Ulama Council of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’ikamatis Sunnah, believed that sexuality education in schools would only promote promiscuity.

“I think in the Nigerian 1999 Constitution every Nigerian is allowed to practice his religion without any molestation, therefore in this regard we Muslims should be considered because it is against our religion,” he said.

Mr Adams Laah, a parent, said:”Teaching our children sexual education in schools will divert their attention to what they are supposed to learn in class, in fact it will lead to deviant behaviours among them.

“So it has negative implications especially on child moral upbringing, even though, some health experts are saying it has advantage, but to me the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.”

Almustapha Bello, a parent, also said sexuality education would have negative implications on the training and development of children.

Bello said instead of introducing the subject, government should support the improvement of learning in other subjects.

Mrs Mary John, another parent, cautioned policy makers and stakeholders against bringing up issues that would breed arguments and misunderstandings.

She said that such issue would not help the Nigerian education sector as such “government should rather focus on improving the sector at all levels”.

In Kano, some of the stakeholders also said sexuality education was against cultural and religious beliefs of the people.

A parent, Malam Bashir Mohammed viewed the idea as “a western conspiracy aimed at breeding a culture of indecency and immorality in the society.

“Sex education has never been taught before. Our school curriculum should be made in line with our tradition and culture.’’

Malam Musa Adamu of Giginyu area of Kano, argued that the subject “will not only promote immorality among the youth but also encourage promiscuity in the society.’’

However, another parent, Alhaji Bello Usman, supported teaching children about sexuality at home only.

“If parents can explain some of the negative effects of having sex before marriage, that is ok, but I do not subscribe to the idea of teaching sexuality education in schools,’’ he said.

To Mr Ted Edodogwu, sexuality education “will prevent the children or students from getting unwanted pregnancy or being infected with sexually transmitted diseases which are common nowadays.’’

A parent in Sokoto, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi, told NAN that teaching the subject negates the norms and values embedded in Nigerian religions and cultures.

“Government and other education stakeholders should stay away from including such issue in the school curriculum,’’ he said.

Abdullahi however suggested that sexuality education could be included as a specialise course in tertiary institutions.

To Malam Musa Lemu and Alhaji Yakubu Yabo, the idea “is foreign’’ and cautioned authorities against embracing it.

According to them, sexuality education is inherent in humans and dismissed argument that it will curb spread of diseases and teenage pregnancies.

They argued that the best form of stopping such bad habits is to separate boys and girls in school to discourage sexual contacts.

They called on authorities to enforce more restrictions on access to phonographic materials and to block indecent sites on the internet.

Mrs Fausat  AbdulAziz, proprietor of Founders High International school in Sokoto called for caution on the subject.

She said that stakeholders should undertake careful study on societal values, including religious sensitivities before taking a decision on sexuality education.

Amb. Sidi Ali, Chairman of Bauchi Christians and Muslims Peace Movement said the state government had banned the teaching of sexuality education in all its schools, four years ago.

Ali said that the ban was enforced through a bill submitted to the state House of Assembly by concerned citizens, which was later passed into law.

“We kicked against it (sexuality education) because it will promote social vices and it is against the religion and norms of the people,” he said.

Musa Abdullahi, a retired primary school teacher in Bauchi, described the proposal to introduce sexuality education in schools as “horrible.”

“I have seen instances where pupils were caught having illicit sex, while instances abound where female pupils got pregnant in spite of their tender age.

“If you teach them sexuality education, it means you are jeopardizing the moral upbringing of these children,” he said.

Austine Tsenzuh, a parent in Bauchi, said he supports the introduction of sexuality education, but only at the secondary school level, where, according to him,” the moulding of character begins”.

According to him, lack of such knowledge at that level will be counter-productive.

Another parent, Selya Yarnap, also subscribed to the idea of teaching sexuality education in schools, but at secondary level.

She said that the subject will make the children to be conscious of how they relate with the opposite sex, since parents shy away from teaching their children sex education.

In Maiduguri, some residents also expressed mixed feelings over the desirability or otherwise of teaching sexuality education in schools.

Malam Idrissa Abdi, a resident, who supported the move, said early information about sexuality would equip students with proper knowledge on how to handle their sex life.

Abdi noted that such knowledge was imperative to enable teenagers protect themselves from sexual abuse.

He added that it would enhance awareness on reproductive health and control the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Another resident, Abdullahi Bako, suggested that sex education should begin from the home, stressing that it was part of the moral obligation of parents to educate their children.

“As soon as children begin to get inquisitive, parents are duty bound to educate them,” he said.

Mrs Aisha Zakari, a teacher, described education as a veritable tool of shaping the future of young children.

Zakari said that students often ask questions about the body structure and reproductive organs, which were not explicitly answered in class.

“Most teachers skip such questions, making students to resort to wrong sources to seek for answers.

“There is need for a thorough explanation of how the body works sexually and how to protect it, hence, the desirability of sexuality education,” Zakari added.

However, Malam Abdulazeez Datti, an Islamic cleric, stressed the need to exercise caution in introducing the subject.

Datti suggested that the curriculum should be designed to conform to the norms and religious values of the society.

“The sexuality education should be designed to conform to teachings of our religions.

“It should be lessons that promote good moral behaviour, aimed at encouraging good family and reproductive health,” Datti said.

Also, Mr Ibrahim Gwamna, a Christian clergy, said that sexuality education should not be introduced in schools because it was against the teachings of Christianity and portends great danger to societal norms.

Gwamna explained that such knowledge would encourage children to experiment what they learnt, thereby eroding moral values.

“Children are keen to experiment and the moment you open their eyes, you are increasing their desire to experiment,” he said.

Similarly, Mrs Hannatu Damagum, a housewife, said that sexuality education would only encourage indecent behaviours and immorality in schools.

“We should not be copying the wrong lifestyles of the Western world. In the West, morality has lost its place.’’

She suggested that government should encourage parents to teach their children, rather than introduce the subject in the school system.

Hajiya Lami Danjani, Gender Officer, Jigawa State Universal Basic Education Board, was also against the introduction of sexuality education in schools, saying it was the responsibility of parents.

“Parents, particularly mothers, should be the ones educating their children about sex, but not their teachers,” Danjani said.

She expressed the fear that if sex education was introduced in schools, many children would be sexually abused. (NAN)

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ASUU Embarks on total and indefinite strike

Academic Staff Union of Universities has embarked on an indefinite strike from Sunday August 13th, 2017.

This decision was reached on Sunday after a meeting held in University of Abuja by all members of the union.

Announcing the strike in Abuja through Press conference, the President of the Union Biodun Ogunyemi, explained the reasons for the strike. He said the Federal Government has refused to honour all the agreement reached with the union.

Mr. Ogunyemi stated that the nationwide strike would be total and comprehensive.

According to him, “During the strike, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of our branches,” he said.

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Ozubulu Church Re-Opens A Week After Gunmen Attack

Normal church services were held at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra, a week after gunmen killed  worshipers during early morning service.

The church was sealed after Aug. 6 massacre which claimed 11 people and 18 others sustaining various degrees of injury.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who attended the church service, reports that there was an initial low turn-out of parishioners but the attendance later picked up.

NAN reports that the service was attended  by officials of the state government led by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu.

Also, present at the Mass was Aloysius Ikegwuonu, popularly called ‘Bishop” and one of the chieftains of the village, who was alleged to have been the target of the Aug 6 attack.

IIkegwuonu, who lost his father in the attack, refused to talk to newsmen, but one of his aides said his principal would talk at appropriate time.

Security operatives were seen in and around the church wielding arms.

In his homily, Rev. Fr. Jude Onwuaso, the Parish Priest, encouraged parishioners not to be deterred by Aug 6 attack, adding that “God is still on the throne”.

Ownuaso said that the slain parishioners were at the right hand of the Almighty.

Some Parishioners told NAN that many of them were yet to overcome the shock of the invasion.

Mr Jude Okoye, a parishioner, said he forced himself to attend church service because of his deep religious understanding that a Christian believer must experience persecution to make to heaven.

NAN recalled that a delegation of the federal government led by Minister Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, visited the place on Saturday Aug.12 to condole with the state. (NAN)

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APC Chieftain, Balarabe Musa Lambast Jonathan Over Claim Of Buoyant Economic Policy

Jonathan had, at the Non-Elective National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held in Abuja on Saturday, said his government had a sound economic team.
On the economic front, he said his government provided focused leadership through institutional reforms which he said impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years of his time in power.
But Eneukwu, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, accused the former President of throwing the country into a mess.
He said, “Even a blind man in Nigeria knows that (Goodluck) Jonathan threw this country into a mess. Billions and billions of naira are being refunded and found in private houses. Is the money not being refunded by people who served under Jonathan?
“The man shouldn’t talk, he should bury his head in shame; his administration is almost the worst I can think of. He never checked people who worked under him; it was free-for-all corruption.”
Also commenting on Jonathan’s statement, Balarabe Musa, said past presidents, including Goodluck Jonathan, played on Nigerians’ short memories.
Describing Jonathan’s handling of the economy as worse, Balarabe said, “Of course, Nigerians have short memories. What is our attitude to all the former presidents, particularly as to how they handled our economy?
“We seem not to have realised that they did less than the present. They are now heroes in a way. They are almost now gloating and trying to decide the fate of the country.
“The ex-President is not only to blame for our failures, his own was even worse. In the present, we have seen competence in a few things, but in his own (Jonathan) case, he showed competence in nothing. He allowed corruption to fester during his own time. But we are not sure if the present administration is not doing worse. This is because the state of the economy can only be reasonably determined by the state of the people.”
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress has asked the Peoples Democratic Party to forget its idea of returning to power in 2019.
It alleged that the damage caused the country by the PDP when it was in power for 16 years was enough testimony of its alleged ineptitude.
The PDP had said during its Non-Elective National Convention that it was ready to take over the government at the centre in 2019.
Different members of the party who spoke at the event asked members of the former ruling party to get set to return to power in 2019.
But the spokesperson for the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, told our correspondent that the PDP was merely dreaming.
He said while there was nothing wrong in dreaming, it was wrong for the PDP leaders to think that Nigerians would trust them with power again.
He said what “Nigerians are thinking now is restructuring,” which he said, was not the focus of the PDP.
Abdullahi, who was a former minister of sports, said, “The PDP will not come back to power in 2019. For me, it is a mere expression of a wish, which will not come to pass.
“They are talking about what they wish and not what is on ground. The biggest issue now that Nigerians want is restructuring of the country. The PDP does not think that way.
“Does the PDP, which was in power for 16 years, have anything like that in its manifesto, the answer is no. So, the party should forget it.”
When reminded that something close to it was in the report of the 2014 Constitutional Conference which the present APC government had refused to implement, Abdullahi said the last administration was also not ready for the implementation.
“What did that government do with the report which was submitted to it about a year before the election? Nothing. So, how can they be talking about restructuring,” he asked.