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Boko Haram membership thinning out – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the era of Boko Haram terrorism is gradually drawing to end, with the narrowing of the recruitment base of the insurgents, and renewed onslaught by the Nigerian Army.

The President stated this when he received the Letter of Credence of Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to Nigeria, Most Rev. Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday.

Buhari noted that the terrorist group had lost appeal in its initial strongholds, necessitating a steady retreat that would eventually culminate in ending the insurgency.

He said: “You can’t indoctrinate people who are below the age of 14 years and blow up churches, mosques, markets and you keep shouting God is great.

“It is either you don’t know what you are saying, or you simply don’t care or believe what you are saying. It is part of our success story that Boko Haram is finding it more difficult to recruit people.

“The Nigerian Army is also not making it easy for them to grow, with more intelligence, orientation and regular, measured onslaught on their camps.’’

The President said the ongoing effort to dismember the terrorist group, and render it completely powerless will be intensified.

President Buhari, who described the Catholic Church as a strong partner in the development of Nigeria, noted that the church had made very significant contributions to the development of the educational and health system of the country.

On corruption, the President said the fight against the culture of pilfering public funds would be prolonged, and would require a new orientation by re-positioning the entire educational system.

“I am pleased that the African Union has spoken out boldly against corruption and appreciated the work that we are doing here,’’ he added.

In his remarks, the Archbishop Filipazzi said the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had taken a keen interest on the fight against terrorism, corruption and reviving of the Nigerian economy.

“Mr. President, the Holy Father, sends his warm greetings and he is keen to denounce corruption everywhere,’’ he added.

The Apostolic Nuncio said he had travelled to the North East and was pleased with the efforts of the Nigerian Army in tackling the insurgents, and recovering some of the earlier lost grounds.

President Buhari also received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Niger to Nigeria, Mr. Alat Mogaskia and the High Commissioner of Ghana, Alhaji Rashid Bawa.

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Gov. Fayemi vows to tackle fraud, set standard in Ekiti tertiary institutions

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Dr Kayode Fayemi

Dr Kayode Fayemi


The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday received the reports of visitation panels to the state-owned tertiary institutions, with a promise to tackle all forms of improprieties and other existing decadence at the institutions for effective service delivery.

Fayemi said the kernel of the visitation was to provide a guide and make recommendations that would not only revamp the state’s tertiary institutions, but make them one of the best in the development of knowledge economy in the country.

The governor said these in Ado Ekiti after receiving the reports of visitation panels sent to comb the activities of the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, College of Education , Ikere Ekiti and the College of Science and Technology, Ijero Ekiti.

Also submitted was the report of the state-owned Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, which was suspended from air by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on July 15, 2018 , while that of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) will be submitted at a later date.

Fayemi, who commended the painstaking actions of the panels, dispelled insinuations milling round that the reason behind the composition was to victimize some people.

“Permit me to restate here that our intention in setting up these panels is not to witch-hunt anybody but rather to reposition the affected institutions and agency for better performance.

“As a government, vibrancy of our institutions and BSES is very essential to drive knowledge economy, which s one of our four point agenda. We must therefore continuously focus on how to maximize the potentials of government.

“These panels were set up for stock taking. For us to move forward steadily as a government, it is imperative that we know where we were, where we are and where we are going.

“As I mentioned in my inaugural lecture on October 16, our mission is to reclaim our land and restore our values. This land has been reclaimed. In deepening our values therefore, we must strengthen and promote our institutions and educational entrepreneurship for the development of functional human capital development. My government is also committed to improving service delivery in all government agencies.

“The present state of our tertiary institutions as inherited by his administration should be a matter of serious concern to all well meaning stakeholders. It is on this basis that the panels were constituted.

“Let me assure the chairmen and members of these panels that the government would critically study the report and consider the term of reference point-by-point and thereafter avail the public with outcome.

“I wish to also commend you for accepting the assignments , and carrying them out with every sense of diligence and urgency they deserve,” he stated.

Chairman of one of the panels, Prof. Bode Asubiojo, said the bodies, after being constituted on November 2, 2018, swung into actions and worked day and night to meet the deadline.

He said memoranda were taken from all the stakeholders, including present and past managements, so that the panels could come up with robust recommendations that would help the state.

Asubiojo said: “In the case of Ekiti State university, we spoke to two former Vice Chancellors and we also engaged the students, alumni and even parents. Even members of the public came with petitions, which we factored into our works.

“We believed we have worked diligently and that we have come up with reports that will bring high standard in these institutions,” he added.

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2019: Ebonyi teachers mobilise for Gov. Umahi’s reelection

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Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi


Ahead of the 2019 general election, teachers in Ebonyi have pledged to “sail or sink’’ with Gov. David Umahi in reciprocation of his support to their programmes and activities.

The teachers made the pledge on Tuesday when the newly-elected executive of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Ebonyi branch, paid the governor a visit and pledged to continue supporting his administration.

The union’s Chairman, Mr Egwu Elechi, said that the teachers would be the governor’s foot-soldiers and would work assiduously to ensure his victory at the 2019 gubernatorial poll.

“Since the reward for hardwork is more work, we join other well-meaning Ebonyians to assure that you will return to the Government House in 2019.

“Your administration has transformed the Ebonyi landscape to the admiration of all and made governance all-inclusive,” he said.

The NUT chairman noted that education had received priority attention in the state’s governance which had fetched the state several laurels in that sector.

“It is noteworthy that the state has not recorded any industrial action in the education sector among other sectors, since the inception of this administration.

“The government has placed high premium on human capital development and maintained regular payment of teachers and other workers’ salaries,” he said.

He thanked the governor for extending the government’s Christmas largesse to teachers which included the donation of 300, 000 bags of 5kg rice and N1 million to them.

“We appeal that you approve the implementation of our promotions as other ministries, departments and agencies have been enjoying theirs since May.

“Teachers also passionately appeal that you approve the pay-roll deduction of all our approved levies such as welfare dues, co-operative savings and Teachers Registration Council’s annual licence fees.

“We also request that you assist our principals and head-teachers by giving them running costs and providing them with essential aids,” he said.

Umahi in his response, hailed the teachers for their commitment, noting that they were not redundant and work whether there is money or not.

“We will pay special attention to our education sector vis-as vis our teachers who need regular training for optimum efficiency.

“We have a vision in 2019 where teachers and the government would collaborate, as they and the students would smile at the end,” he said.

He said that the issue of promotion arrears would be reviewed as the amount the teachers were agitating for was exorbitant and unrealistic.

“I don’t know anywhere in the country where Primary and Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) teachers take N334 million for one year.

“It is not good for the union to deceive teachers as I set up a committee on the issue which reported that such amount is not paid even in the Niger Delta areas where promotion is notional.

“Unfortunately in Ebonyi, we are shouting as if the end has come and I was happy that the organised labour was part of the committee that went round the country,” he said.

He donated N1 million out of the N2 million pledge he made to the union for the furnishing of its new secretariat and pledged to offset the balance and donation of bus in January 2019.

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