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Category: News

BLOOMBERG DELISTS BILL GATES FROM ITS BILLIONAIRE INDEX FOLLOWING DIVORCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Bloomberg has delisted Bill Gates from its billionaire index, following the announcement of a divorce from Melinda Gates.

Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Twitter on Monday, 3rd of May, 2021: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,”.

Shortly after the announcement was made, Bill Gates, who prior to the announcement ranked 4th richest man in the world, was taken out of the top billionaires’ list.

By 2nd May,, 2021, Bill Gates was fourth on the index with a net worth of $145 billion.

Shortly after the announcement was made on Monday, 3rd April, 2021, Bill Gates name was taken off the list.

The divorce is expected to affect their wealth, but the extent to which this will happen is yet to be known. Bill had previously said Melinda is a “truly equal partner”. This may have equal consequences on his wealth in the days ahead.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

Picture: REUTERS

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17-YEAR-OLD NIGERIAN GETS 19 SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS WORTH $5M IN US, CANADA

Victory Yinka-Banjo, a 17-year-old Nigerian Secondary School graduate, has been offered 19 fully-funded scholarships, worth more than $5 million for an undergraduate study program from universities across the United States and Canada following her academic strides.

Victory Yinka-Banjo

Born to Nigerian Parents, Victory has been given potential full scholarships from Ivy League schools such as Yale College, Princeton University, Brown University, and Harvard College. Other scholarships offered in the United States of America are in schools like Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia.

In Canada, her offers include the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow (KMILOT) Scholarship from the University of British Columbia and the Lester B Pearson Scholarship from the University of Toronto.

According to her, “It still feels unbelievable. I applied to so many schools I didn’t even think any school would accept me”.

She went further to say : “Their admission processes are extremely selective. They only accept the best of the best. So you can imagine how, on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that I actually got into these schools. It is surreal!”

While in Secondary School, Victory was a senior prefect. She became more popular in 2020, making national headlines as she scored straight A’s in her West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations.

The teenager said hardwork is the secret to her success. She also said the multiple scholarships have encouraged her and made her walk taller, while giving herself a well deserved pat on the back.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

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UNKNOWN GUNMEN ATTACK FEDERAL HIGH COURT IN EBONYI STATE.

Unknown gunmen have attacked the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, and reportedly used petrol bombs, setting a part of the complex on fire.

The attack which was carried out in the early hours of Tuesday affected some sections of the building, including the library and the security post, as firefighters who arrived at the scene tried to save the situation and put the fire out.

DSP Loveth Odah, Police Spokesperson, Ebonyi State Command

The Police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, confirming the incident, also revealed that there was no casualty during the attack, but court records were destroyed in the library.

Loveth Odah said the unidentified gunmen came in large numbers to carry out the attack.

Story by : Osen Attah

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UNVAILING OF ROADMAP FOR FOOD SUFFICIENCY IN LAGOS STATE

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has unveiled a 5-year food sufficiency road map for Lagos State to enhance food sufficiency in the state to cushion the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors on food security in the state.

According to the Journal of Public Health in Africa in 2019, a study done to assess the level of food security among urban households in Shomolu LGA, Lagos State showed that only 33.8% of households were food secure, 45.1% were food insecure without hunger and 21.1% were food insecure with hunger.

In a 2020 report on the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics said Lagos State is one of the top 4 states where food insecurity appeared to be prevalent. “Households in all four states are drawing down their savings and borrowing money to cover their living expenses, which may leave them more economically vulnerable and reduce their investments in human capital in the future,” the NBS report said.

In a series of tweets, the governor projected that the growth plan is expected to attract investment to the tune of over $10 billion, from the public and private sector, donor agencies, and development partners. The question, therefore, is whether this plan by the Lagos state government will help to solve the food insecurity problem in Lagos, especially in the long run, and if the investment projections will eventually get to the common man on the streets of Lagos.

“We will work with private sector players, connecting them to business-friendly credit facilities and give incentives to improve private participation, while also formulating enabling policies to encourage return on investment.”

Sanwo-Olu also revealed that he will revamp the Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to drive investment in agriculture. He said he will work with the North Central States for land availability. He encouraged states in the South West to key into the project.

The governor invited the general public to join Lagos in making history and becoming the agricultural powerhouse of Nigeria, promising that the next five years will be productive, competitive & transformational.

Story: Sylvia Ishegbe

Pictures: Nigeria Galleria, @jidesanwoolu Twitter, Arbitez.com

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NEWLY RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF CHAD, IDRISS DEBY IS DEAD

Newly re-elected President of Chad, Idress Deby has died of injuries he sustained while fighting in the frontlines against rebels in the country.

President Idriss Deby with his son, General Mahamat Idriss Déby seen in N’djamena, during the closing rally of the 2021 presidential campaign.

The announcement of his death was made by the Military Spokesperson, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, shortly after electoral officials declared Deby winner of the April 11 Presidential elections, which was the beginning of a 6 year term in addition to his 30 year rule.

Deby had gone to the front line to visit troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya. The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) had attacked a border post on election day and advanced many kilometers south.

The clashes with the army began on Saturday. An army general told Reuters news agency that 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured. Five government soldiers were killed and 36 were injured, he said.

In a statement read out on State television, General Azem said:

“Deby, 68 has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”

Deby came into power in 1990. He was one of Africa’s longest- serving leaders.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

Pictures: Reuters News Agency, BBC

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PRINCE PHILIP LAID TO REST

The burial ceremony for Duke of Edinburgh-Prince Philip, who died on the 9th of April, 2021 at the age of 99, took place today, the 17th of April, 2021 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in compliance with coronavirus restrictions.

Queen Elizabeth II, said goodbye to her husband of more than 73 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at his funeral at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

In order to comply with Public health safety rules, the funeral was pared down, with adjustments including a limit of 30 guests at the church service. The Queen and the select family members in attendance all wore masks and were seated six feet apart in the chapel, with the Queen sitting alone.

Before the ceremony, the Duke’s coffin was moved from a private chapel in Windsor Castle to the castle’s Inner Hall, where prayers were said.

The funeral service lasted less than an hour. A choir of four sang music chosen by Prince Philip, but were some distance from the seated guests, in line with public health guidelines.

Princes William and Harry with their uncle, Prince Andrew as they followed Prince Philip’s Land Rover hearse to the St George’s Chapel. 

His coffin was draped with his personal flag, with his sword, a naval cap, a flower wreath — and a letter from his wife placed on top of the flag.

After Prince Philip’s casket was lowered into the royal vault, his many titles were proclaimed and a lament was played by a pipe major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

Pictures: bbc.com/news/uk; CNN; NBC News; REUTERS.

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POLYTECHNIC LECTURERS -ASUP, BEGINS STRIKE

Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has declared strike action today, Tuesday, 6th April 2021 after a meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu. The Strike action is said to be a move to press home the demand for the implementation of a new salary scheme, as well as better working conditions for polytechnic lecturers .

ASUP National President, Anderson Ezeibe says Industrial action will commence until their demands are met by the Federal Government

Leader of the Union, Mr Anderson Ezeibe said during an interview on ChannelsTV afternoon News Track, that his colleagues were shutting schools nationwide because of the government’s failure to implement the needs assessment report of public polytechnics and colleges of education which the government carried out in 2014.

He said unfulfilled agreements, Unpaid salary backlogs, ‘victimisation’ of lecturers, are among the reasons members of ASUP are going on strike. Other reasons for the strike action include the union demanding payment of promotion allowances owed lecturers by some state governments.

National President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe while insisting that strike will go on, however, noted that the union will be open for dialogue with the Federal Government to resolve the issues raised.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

Picture: ChannelsTV

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UN WOMEN TRAIN TRAINERS ON REPORTING SGBV AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES

About 15% of the Nigerian population, or at least 25 million people in Nigeria, have various forms of disabilities. Many of them are regularly subjected to various forms of abuse due to certain vulnerabilities, including gender and sexual-based violence.

There have been many reports of mentally ill women and girls being impregnated by unknown men in many communities in Nigeria. In most cases, the women and girls give birth under unhygienic and harsh conditions with little or no care from the system and the society.

Despite how prevalent sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities (WAGWDs) in Nigeria are, they are often overlooked by the authorities and institutions saddled with the responsibility of handling cases of SGVB.

In most cases, it is either the environment of the referral centers, courts, and police stations that are not accessible to WAGWDs, or the processes and procedures are not disability-friendly. The dismissive attitude of law enforcement agencies and society towards WAGWDs constitutes a barrier to them reporting violations.

Consequently, when WAGWDs are molested they are less likely to speak up or report it sometimes due to a lack of knowledge on what constitutes abuse or who to report to.

In an effort to fill these gaps, a one-day Training of Trainers (ToT) of Teachers in the School for the Disabled, Judges, Prosecutors, and Social Workers to build their capacity and equip them with the tools and knowledge on how to respond to cases of gender and sexual-based violence especially as it affects WAGWDs, was organized by the FCT Social Development Secretariat in collaboration with the with support from the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Program.

The UN Women Programmes officer under the Spotlight Initiative, Tosin Akinbu In her welcome address delivered via phone, said teachers and caregivers of persons with disabilities must provide support, care, and respond to their needs to ensure that sexual and gender-based violence does not occur under their watch. In situations when it occurs she urged them to report such cases promptly.

She said she it was her hope that at the end of the training participants would have acquired the knowledge and tools necessary for the appropriate handling and reporting of cases of gender-based violence against people with disabilities.

The Facilitator Emmanuel Ojukwu (CP/RTD) urged participants as professionals to make the wellbeing of victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence their priority to shield victims and survivors from further harm.

The Facilitator Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu facilitating a session.

He also emphasized the need for referral centers, police stations, and courts to make provisions to accommodate the particular needs of victims and survivors of gender-based violence with disabilities to enable them to have easy access to services.

Participants and Facilitators in a group photograph.

Story: Ihuoma Ukeje

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SINGER CRITICIZED BY SEYI SHAY DURING AUDITION SPEAKS

17-year-old Ayo Torrus, whose performance was criticized by Seyi Shay during his audition for the Nigerian Idol Auditions, has responded to Seyi Shay’s comments to him, saying, it broke him emotionally and psychologically.

During the auditions, Songstress, Seyi Shay, who is one of the judges on the Nigerian Idol Show, give Ayotorrus feedback which got the Nigerian social media space buzzing, as many social media users were of the opinion that her feedback was too harsh.

After his performance, Seyi Shay said: “Somebody lied to you and told you to come and audition, and that person…you should go back and tell them they’re not your friends because that was not a good audition”.

Nigerian Singer, Seyi Shay

She went further to tell him that he has a good talking voice, which comes out in his singing, but that his performance was ‘Terrible’: adding that he will not make money being a singer.

In reply to the tweet by @ayotorrus, a Twitter user @Elvis Vitalis said that Seyi Shay’s choice of words were actually worse than that boy’s performance.

Another Twitter user, @realpault wrote: “How I wish that the young man will become successful and the video of Seyi Shay spewing nonsense on him will resurface. It will happen” 

On the other hand, however, there were some people who supported what Seyi Shay said. @Anyisabali stated: “Seyi Shay did no wrong. She was straight and real. She did great by acknowledging his passion for music, but suggested areas he can thrive besides singing. Good judgement”.

Since the issue broke out online, Seyi Shay has only come out to liken herself to the TV character Judge Judy, and thanked Nigerians for helping her trend on social media.

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

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FCT SOCIAL DEV. SECRETARIAT BUILDS CAPACITY OF STAKEHOLDERS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF VAPP ACT

The need to protect and shield citizens from violence such as killing or inflicting injuries on their spouse, children, and wards, trafficking in persons, rape, and other forms of violence, led to the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, (VAPP ACT) 2015.

The Act prohibits all forms of violence including physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, and harmful traditional practices against persons in private and public life, and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.

Despite the passing of the law, experts have said that there are gaps in the implementation of the law that is making it difficult for victims of violence to get justice.

In many instances, there have been reports of poor handling of cases by Law enforcement agents due to a lack of proper training and knowledge on handling such issues. Also in the community structure traditional practices, religious practices, lack of public enlightenment, and sentiments have posed themselves as a hindrance to the successful implementation of the VAPP Act 2015.

To address these issues the FCT Social Development Secretariat with support from the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Program organized a one-day workshop on the implementation and monitoring of the VAPP Act 2015 with the aim of building the capacity of relevant agencies and stakeholders in the implementation of the Act and to enable them effectively perform their roles.

Group Photograph of all stakeholders present at the workshop

The Director Gender Department, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Asabe Umar who was in attendance encouraged Stakeholders present at the workshop to not just take down notes but apply the learnings from the workshop in their various spheres of work.

The Facilitator of the workshop Mr. Kolawole Olatosimi stressed that Law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders should center on the wellbeing of the victims in the handling of cases of violence against persons implemented. He also said that it would require the collective efforts of relevant agencies and stakeholders for the VAPP Act 2015 to be effective.

Story: Osen Attah

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