Soldiers, youths may clash as army rolls out Crocodile Smile Tuesday – Newstrends
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Soldiers, youths may clash as army rolls out Crocodile Smile Tuesday

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The stage may be set for another showdown between the youth and security agents, this time round with the military, as the Nigerian Army has announced its intention to launch Exercise Crocodile Smile IV on Tuesday.

A statement signed by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, which was made available to journalists on Saturday, said the operation would commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

This is coming when youths protesting in many parts of the country against police brutality and demanding an end to all forms of injustice in the last two weeks are yet to be pacified to stop the street demonstration and blocking of vital roads and operational areas.

There were hints last week that the military might be called upon to halt the street protests which had been causing hours of gridlock and disruption to socio-economic activities in Lagos, Abuja and other major cities in the country.

The statement said, “The Nigerian Army is set to start its annual Exercise Crocodile Smile which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year. This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile V1 is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

“The Exercise is deliberately intended to be all encompassing to include cyber-warfare exercise designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

“This is the first ever cyberwarfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces. Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North-East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the North-East, North-Central and North western parts of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.”

But a former senator and rights activist, Shehu Sani, said it was a dangerous coincidence that the Army’s operation would be staged when the youth were still protesting.

A group of civil societies, in a reaction to the issue, has also warned against drafting in the soldiers to quell the peaceful protests by the youth.

The group made up of 16 societies said in a statement released in Abuja on Saturday that such action posed a serious threat to the peace of the society.

The coalition said, “We reject in its entirety the move to draft in the military to quell the protests, even where there has been no violent conduct on the part of protesters.

“The military should remain in their barracks and at their duty posts, defending the territorial integrity of the country, and not deployed in a dangerous anti-people and anti-democratic operation to crush a people who are exercising their right to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly.”

Those that are part of the group are listed as the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), Enough is Enough (EIE), Partners for Electoral Reform, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), YIAGA Africa, Global Rights, among others.

Sani, in a tweet, warned that “the Army should not intervene to crush peaceful protesters,” adding that “we have enough bandits and insurgents in our forests and deserts that need their attention.”

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BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

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BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

The leadership of the Organised Labour has responded to the Department of State Services (DSS) over its warning that the union should shelve its proposed protest billed to hold February 27 and 28.

DSS had admonished the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterpart from Trade Union Congress (TUC) to rescind their decision, saying the plea was in the interest of peace across the country.

But reacting to the DSS’ warning, the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said DSS should not blackmail the Organised Labour and arrest those that want to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence as claimed.

The labour leader described the forthcoming action as “peaceful protest against unpardonable cost of living”, adding that the Congress would not fold its arm while Nigerians continue to live in penury.

He said: “We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest against the unprecedented high cost of living in spite of the indescribable suffering in the land, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the US Dollar.

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“According to the Service, the planned protest should be shelved “in the interest of peace and public order”, pre-supposing that the action is intended to be violent and disruptive even when we have a history of peaceful protests.

“More worrying is the new role the Service has assigned to itself, the chief spokes person of the government.

“According to the Service, “It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a benefit of the doubt, So far, appropriate authorities are working assiduously with a spectrum of stakeholders to fashion out modalities to address the current difficulties”.

“We are equally worried that although the Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence”, and yet have not executed the arrest of these elements.

“We are equally intrigued by the innuendos of the Service, their philosophy of “peace” and wild allegations and we want to reassure them that no one loves this country more than us and on our honour, we would never do anything that will compromise its sovereignty or security.

“Having said this, we would not have ourselves blackmailed or lied against by the Service. Our protest is a peaceful one against the unpardonable cost of living of which the unserviced personnel of the Service are also victims. We cannot fold our hands and pretend all is well. That will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive.”

BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

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Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

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Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

The Ogun state government has closed the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta as it operated without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).  

The enforcement team, comprising officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health’s enforcement team and members of the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee (SNMC), sealed the department on Tuesday. 

The shutdown  

Dr Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, revealed during the enforcement exercise that the private institution had been offering a degree program in Nursing Sciences for approximately six years without the required accreditation.  

  • Represented by the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Serifat Aminu, Oladehinde stressed that such unauthorized programs contribute to quackery in nursing, posing a threat to public health. 

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  • The nursing department will remain sealed until it obtains full accreditation, as emphasized by Oladehinde.  
  • He denounced the value of a Nursing degree obtained from Harvarde College and similar unaccredited institutions, stating that graduates would be unable to obtain a valid license to practice in Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

He expressed concern about the proliferation of institutions offering nursing degrees without accreditation, leading to the production of quacks in the nursing profession, which poses a danger to society.  

Oladehinde urged parents and candidates interested in nursing programs to conduct due diligence by checking the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, cautioning against wasting time and resources on unaccredited programs. 

The permanent secretary warned parents to be wary of institutions making false claims and assured that the Ogun government would continue its efforts to combat quackery in both the education and practice of the nursing profession in the state. 

In response to the closure, a 300-level student, who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed shock at the lack of accreditation, regretting the financial investment her parents had made on her behalf in the unaccredited program. 

Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

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Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

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Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

The Senate on Wednesday, February 21, confirmed the nomination of 17 persons for appointment as National Commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).

The red chamber also approved the appointment of Jalal Arabi as the chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) and three other commissioners for the agency including, Aliyu Abdul-Razak (Commissioner – Policy, Personnel and Finance), Prince Anofiu Elegushi (Commissioner-Operations) and Prof. Abubakar A. Yagawal (Commissioner-Planning and Research).

The Commissioners of NAHCON cleared by the Senate are Hon Emmanuel Trump Eke (Abia), Dr Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Mr. Chidi Christopher Ezeoke (Anambra), Isa Audu Buratai (Borno), Bishop Alex Ukam (Cross River), Ms Blessing Brume-Ataguba (Delta), Dr. Jeremiah Ogbonna Nwankwegu (Ebonyi), Dr. Tony Aiyejina (Edo), Mr Ejike Eze (Enugu), Mr. Abubakar Damburam (Gombe) and Prof. Uba Nnabue (Imo).

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Others are Ms. Sa’adatu Dogon Bauchi Garba (Kaduna), Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa (Kano), Hon Yori Afolabi (Kogi), Ms. Mary Ishaya Afan (Plateau), Mr Saany Sale (Taraba) and Mr. Ogiri Itotemaan Henry (Rivers).

The report on the screening of the NPC commissioners was presented by the chairman,

Senate Committee on National Identity Card and Population, Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP – Bauchi Central) while the report of the NPC was presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Sani Bello.

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Dr. Kelechi Ohiri for appointment as the director general of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

The chairman of Senate Commended on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Senator Ipalibo Banigo (PDP – Rivers West) presented the report.

Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

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