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Best teachers in Ogun get house, cash prizes

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Prince Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has appreciated some outstanding teachers in the state with cash prizes and a house.

The governor offered Mr Odegbola Ayodele, a Junior Secondary School teacher from Abeokuta Grammar School, who emerged the Overall Best Teacher in the state, a two-bedroom bungalow in the state-owned Princes Court.

Mr Adewale Abayomi of Odua Comprehensive High School, Imoru, who was declared the best teacher in the Senior Secondary School category was given the sum of N2.5m and Mrs Mary Adeyemi from St. Paul’s School II, Sagamu, who was the Best Primary School Teacher went home with a cash gift of N2m.

The governor said the state government had instituted a yearly Best Teachers Awards in this category to appreciate outstanding teachers in the state and those who had distinguished themselves in the course of carrying out their duties.

Abiodun disclosed this while addressing executive members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Academic Staff Union Secondary Schools (ASUSS) and All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He said, “We will continue to celebrate innovation. We will encourage consistency. Our administration will continue to make the welfare of our teachers our priority. Our teachers’ reward will not be in heaven, but here on earth,” he stated.

He used the occasion to call on parents to be more involved in caring for their children instead of shifting the responsibility to teachers as the development process of a child would not be complete without the involvement of their parents.

He said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that our children now spend the larger part of their days with teachers. It is alarming to see that in the pursuit of economic fulfilment, many parents have now left their parental roles to teachers.

“While I call for a rethink by such parents, but in the meantime, I will call on our teachers to help the situation by inculcating in the children, positive attitudes, ideals and virtues. Help us to protect the rights of our children.”

The governor also said that the process for the recruitment of 1,655 graduate teachers to fill some of the vacancies existing in public secondary schools in the state was at an advanced stage.

He said career elongation of primary school teachers to Grade Level 15 had been approved, adding that principals-general and headmasters-general from the four geo-political zones of the state had been appointed and sworn into office.

The Chairman of the state NUT, Titilope Adebajo, who described teachers as risk takers and mind moulders, called for the introduction of Education Trust Fund to enable government to address many challenges facing the education sector.

The state Chairman, ASUSS, Akeem Lasisi, called for the review of the free education policy to enable participation of parents and corporate entities in fund the sector.

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Zamfara killings: Buhari says it’s time to crush bandits

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President Muhammadu Buhari was aghast by the latest orgy of violence visited on innocent people in Zamfara State by bandits and issued a fresh order to security agents to crush the gunmen.

More than 25 people were killed in attacks on Gobirawa, Rini, Gora, and Madoti Dankule in Bakura and Maradun LGAs in Zamfara — the death toll has since risen.

The gunmen were said to have invaded the communities on motorcycles and shot sporadically, on Wednesday.

Reacting, Buhari said the “insane and persistent violence against innocent people must stop”, adding that “such wanton disregard for life will be brought to an end sooner than later”.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday quoted Buhari to have said this, adding,“These criminals should stop pushing their luck too far by believing that the government lacks the capacity to crush them.

“The violence against poor villagers who are struggling with poverty and other severe economic challenges is not going to be tolerated by this administration.”

He directed security agencies to close all existing gaps in their operations while expressing hope that the special operation launched by security agencies will prove decisive in ridding the state of the “frequent and horrifying” bandit activities.

“Let’s not give these criminals any opportunity to succeed by taking the war to their own camps and stop them in their tracks before they even have the time to respond under our massive fire power,” the president added.

Buhari reassured residents of the state of his administration’s determination to defeat the enemies, despite the latest setback.

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MASSOB rejects UK asylum offer, says it’s plot against Biafra

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The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has turned down the United Kingdom’s offer of asylum for its members.

It said the offer was an arrangement probably taken with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to divert the attention of the people of Biafra.

A statement by MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, made available to journalists in Enugu, said the asylum offer was part of plans by the Buhari regime hatched with the British government against the emergence of Biafra.

The statement read in part, “The government of Britain is the sole architecture of the political, economic and religious problems of the people of Biafra in Nigeria even till today.

“It has not shown any remorse or apologise to the people of Biafra.

“Britain killed, maimed mesmerised and wounded our fathers, mothers and brethren through the Hausa Fulanis. MASSOB rejects their asylum gift.

“How can the chief persecutor of the people of Biafra suddenly turn to be our pacesetter? Britain and Nigeria can no longer deceive the world again concerning the plights of the people of Biafra.

“Our unified resilience, resolutions and unshakable spirit of no surrender will continue to hunt down this geographical expression called Nigeria.

“MASSOB demands referendum on Biafra not asylum.”

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Security: Avoid 14 Nigerian states, US warns citizens

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The United States has asked its citizens to stay away from 14 Nigerian states considered as hotspots of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.

It stated this in its latest travel advisories even as it urged its citizens to “Reconsider travel to Nigeria”.

The US State Department in the updated advisory added at least 116 countries this week to its ‘Level Four: Do Not Travel’ list.

The UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others are on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”

Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Do Not Travel.” The State Department now lists 150 countries at Level Four.

Nigeria is categorised as Level 3.

Unlike countries categorised as Level 4, based on the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has a good rating on COVID-19 prevalence.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.

It listed areas American visitors should avoid, while in Nigeria as Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.

It also banned American citizens from going to Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime.

In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:

“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.

“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast.

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.

“There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.”

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