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JUST IN: DSS Lays Siege To Premium Times Office, Attempts To Arrest Editor-In-Chief

1 March 2020 - 7:54am


Personnel of the Department of State Services are currently laying siege to the office of Premium Times, an online newspaper, in Abuja.

Officials of the agency also took strategic positions around the home of the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Mr Muskilu Mojeed, on Sunday morning in an attempt to arrest him.

Two men wearing mufti in fact went to Mojeed’s house on Sunday morning and told Haulat, his wife, that they had a message for her husband.

They tried to pressure her to open the gate to the house to receive their message for her husband but the woman insisted on having the ‘message’ passed through the small opening on the gate, according to ICIR.

After trying effortlessly to have the woman open the gate, the men turned and left, driving off in a tinted black vehicle.

Recall that the DSS had earlier launched a manhunt for Samuel Ogundipe, an investigative reporter with Premium Times, over a report on the rift between Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.

SaharaReporters gathered that the service was angry at the report, which exposed a memo written by Monguno accusing Kyari of undue interference on matters bordering on national security.

The journalist has since gone into hiding following threats from operatives of the agency, who already laid siege to his house.


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Victims Of Boko Haram Attack In Adamawa Get Relief Items

1 March 2020 - 7:29am


Weeks after Boko Haram's devastating rampage in Garkida town in Adamawa State, the Nigerian Government on Sunday provided relief materials including foodstuffs, mats and blankets to surviving victims.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Faruq, presented the materials to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri.

She said, “We will soon sit with the State Emergency Management Agency to do the needs assessment on how we are going to move to support the state government in other critical areas of social infrastructures.”

Governor Fintiri while thanking the delegation for the gesture, assured that his administration would ensure that the items were delivered to affected persons.

He said, “We have a good synergy with the North-East Development Commission and we will see how we can move in immediately to start reconstructing affected infrastructure in Garkida so that things can return to normal there.”


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Forum Calls For Restructuring Of Nigeria To Avoid War

1 March 2020 - 7:28am


The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has called on the Nigerian Government to immediately restructure the country in order to prevent a war.

The group in a statement on Sunday signed by Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Gen. C.R.U Ikekire (South-East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), said frustrations by different nationalities living in Nigeria must be addressed as the situation had reached tipping point.

The statement reads, “Warnings to Nigeria from the two oldest ex-leaders in two months that the country must restructure to avoid a war situation is not lost on us as Nigeria rolls from one challenge to another.

“First was Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who warned in January that Nigeria must urgently deal with the business of restructuring to avoid another civil war as a country.

“Gowon was the man who led the country through its last civil war from 1967-70.

“The latest admonition is coming from Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, who fought vigorously in the war to keep Nigeria united but is now warning us 50 years after the hostilities ended that we need to restructure now to save the country from anarchy and break-up.

“It is sheer wishful thinking for anybody to assume that the displeasure that various nationalities are feeling over the many attendant inequities of unitary Nigeria can disappear with strong-arm tactics and bullying those at receiving ends with terror gangs on rampage around the country.

“A cursory look at events around the world in recent years have shown clearly that the force of arms cannot succeed in keeping together any diverse people brought together by historical circumstance but refuse to constitute themselves with respect, justice and understanding.

“We align with the patriotic interventions of the leaders and call on those in the saddle to look beyond temporary gains of power and heed the advice to set this country on the path of negotiation, inclusiveness and a federal constitutional order.”

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Coronavirus: Aviation Agency Urges Travellers To Obey Directives Of Port Health Officials In Nigeria

1 March 2020 - 6:50am


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has advised all air passengers to obey directives issued by officials of Port Health Services at various points of entry into the country.

The agency disclosed that it was working with relevant authorities like the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to curb the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

A statement by Capt. Musa Nuhu, Director-General, NCAA, said that it was necessary for passengers to heed to the guidance of health officials at airports on the use of screening forms and other measures put in place.

He said, “Travellers returning from countries experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19 should present themselves to Port Health Services on arrival at the Point of Entry – International Airport.

“Travellers who develop signs and symptoms of the disease after returning from a trip abroad are to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility or call the NCDC on 0800-970000-10.

“NCAA is committed to the safety of travellers and Nigeria’s National Health Security and will continue to do all that is necessary to ensure both.”

Nuhu said the agency would continue to ensure that airlines assist with the tracking of passengers, who may have come in contact with the Italian that brought the virus into the country on Monday, February 24.

At least 100 persons, who came in contact with the Italian, have been identified by the Lagos and Ogun governments while the cement factory he visited and the clinic he was initially taken to for treatment had all been temporarily shut down as safety precaution. 


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One Person Killed During Ijaw Youth Congress Convention In Bayelsa

1 March 2020 - 6:47am


Violence Google


The convention of Ijaw Youth Congress turned bloody as one person was killed and others left injured in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The unidentified young man was murdered at the venue of the convention, which was organised to constitute an electoral committee for the forthcoming IYC Worldwide election.

Reports said crisis started after some youth opposed members of the electoral committee chaired by a lawyer, Bekewei Ajuwa.

Confirming the incident, a top official of the organisation, who asked not to be named, said, “Apart from the killing, which was caused by activities of some cultists, the convention was concluded and the election committee constituted.

“Some persons felt they were not comfortable with members of the committee and instead of being civil in their grievance, they went violent.

“In IYC, we have warned repeatedly against turning our activities into a theatre of war. We have also warned stakeholders against bringing cultism into our activities.”

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Internally Displaced Persons In Adamawa Reject NEMA's Food Supply, To Embark On Hunger Strike

1 March 2020 - 6:23am


Internally displaced persons at the Fufore Camp in Adamawa State have rejected food supplied by the National Emergency Management Agency.

The IDPs said they were short-changed in the latest supply after it came after four months of neglect.

The latest move by NEMA was in reaction to a story by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealing how displaced persons were protesting the lack of food and water at the camp.

Leader of the displaced persons, Umar Bakura, informed our correspondent that they had resolved to embark on hunger strike to register their grievances.  See Also Sahara Reporters Displaced Persons Protest Over Lack Of Food, Water In Adamawa 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

He said, “We cannot accept the rice because previously we were allocated four bags per household but now they supplied one bag per household.

“Worst still, the rice looked expired and spoilt. This is not acceptable to us, so we asked them to return it to wherever they brought it from.

“As a matter of fact, we want to use this opportunity to call on the governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum, to evacuate us back home.”

Operational Officer of NEMA, Anuhu Midala, confirmed the shortfall in supply, adding that they had forwarded complaints to Abuja over the issue. 


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Group Urges Buhari To Sack Service Chiefs Over Rising Insecurity In Nigeria

1 March 2020 - 5:07am

A civil rights group based in Benin, Edo State, Talakawa's Parliament, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs for inefficiency especially as insecurity worsens in Nigeria.

The group made the call while embarking on a peaceful demonstration to register their displeasure over the killing of innocent Nigerians especially Christians by Boko Haram terrorists in the Northern part of the country. 

Addressing journalists during the march, Speaker of Talakawa's Parliament, Marxist Kola Edokpayi, also called on the Edo State Government to secure the lives and property of residents against rampaging herdsmen. 

Edokpayi urged federal lawmakers not to pass the bill seeking the establishment of an agency for repentant and deradicalised Boko Haram terrorists into law so that the killing of innocent Nigerians will not be legitimised.

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Coronavirus: Nigerian Government To Sanction Pharmacies, Stores Selling Hand Sanitisers, Face Masks At Inflated Rates

1 March 2020 - 5:03am


Following a report by SaharaReporters detailing how prices of hand sanitisers and face masks had been significantly increased by some pharmacies and supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission has said that it would sanction anyone found to be in the practice.

In a statement on Sunday by Chief Executive of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, the agency said the manipulation of prices of protective gears was a gross violation of the law and would not be tolerated.

The commission added that it would prosecute owners of stores and pharmacies found to be engaging in such act.  See Also Sahara Reporters Coronavirus: Abuja Residents Scramble For Face Mask, Hand Sanitisers As Pharmacies Inflate Prices 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The statement reads, “This unusual and inordinate practice of unreasonably increasing the price of these products in an indiscriminate manner on account of the national public health concern (Coronavirus) violates both moral codes and extant laws.

“Abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety and vulnerability especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of law.”

Recall that SaharaReporters had on Friday reported how Abuja residents scrambled for nose masks and hand sanitisers, leading to a significant increase in prices and eventually scarcity of the products.

In some stores and pharmacies visited, one face mask now sell for N500 instead of N100.

Also, hand sanitisers now sell for N1,500 and N3000 for smaller and bigger sizes respectively.

A pharmacist, who spoke to our correspondent, said there was an increase in demand for those items following the confirmation of an Italian citizen infected with the virus in Lagos.

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Coronavirus: WHO Yet To Sanction Travel, Trade Ban For Nigeria

1 March 2020 - 3:03am

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has said that the World Health Organisation was yet to recommend travel or trade ban as measures against Coronavirus detection in the country. 

The agency said this in its fourth public health advisory to Nigerians.

“This advisory will be updated frequently to reflect new information and research emerging on the disease and its impact on populations.

“On February 28, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria. The index case is an Italian businessman who arrived Nigeria from Milan, Italy.

"The case was confirmed at the Virology Laboratory of Lagos University Teaching Hospital on the 27th of February 2020. This laboratory is part of the network of laboratories supported by the NCDC.

“Prior to laboratory confirmation, the patient had travelled to Ogun State for a business meeting. The index case is clinically stable, with mild symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” said Director-General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu.

He added that a National Rapid Response Team had been deployed to support Lagos and Ogun governments with contact tracing and required response activities.

“Currently, there are four laboratories in NCDC’s molecular laboratory network, with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in Nigeria. These laboratories are sufficiently equipped with reagents and supplies for testing.

“NCDC is in contact with all states to increase the index of suspicion to ensure cases are detected early.” he said.

Speaking further, he said the FMoH had also intensified surveillance at points of entry in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and FCT, particularly for returning travellers with travel history to countries with ongoing transmission.

“Presently, World Health Organisation does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.

“An intensive communications campaign has begun to provide regular updates and accurate information to Nigerians on protecting themselves,” he added.

He called on Nigerians to avoid self-medication, while stating that travellers to China and other affected countries are strongly advised to postpone all non-essential travel to countries with ongoing local transmission until the outbreak was contained.

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NSCDC Personnel Allegedly Rapes Two Underage Girls In Bayelsa

1 March 2020 - 1:44am


A member of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has been accused of raping two underage girls.

According to reports, the girls, aged 10 and 12, were lured into his apartment where he raped them at different times in Nembe-Bassambiri community in Bayelsa State.

The case had been reported to the police in the area.

According to the victims’ mother, the incident was already causing the children psychological trauma.

Meanwhile, the command has confirmed that it received a report regarding the alleged defilement of two underage sisters in Nembe by one of its personnel.

In a statement, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Diri-Ogbere Solomon, stated that the NSCDC was on top of the matter and that if the information was found to be correct about the alleged crime, the suspect would face the full wrath of the law.

He stated that the situation was being handled appropriately as disciplinary measures were being instituted, adding that the agency would not hide any of its personnel found to have committed such a crime.

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Coronavirus: Lagos, Ogun Governments Identify 100 More Persons Who Contacted Italian Patient

1 March 2020 - 12:38am

The governments of Lagos and Ogun have identified at least 100 persons, who came in contact with the Italian that brought Coronavirus into Nigeria.

The index case entered the country through Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Monday and travelled to Ogun State where he visited Lafarge, a cement company in Ewekoro. 

At least 36 persons have been quarantined in the state following the confirmation of the index case.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Nigeria Confirms First Case Of Coronavirus, Issues Safety Advisory 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

However, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, disclosed that the patient was clinically stable and had no signs of respiratory symptoms, which could make his infection contagious.

Abayomi also said over 100 contacts with the Coronavirus index case had been identified and followed up.

He said, “By Saturday, his symptoms had subsided. He hasn’t developed any respiratory symptoms and we are quite happy about that because if he has respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing, which makes the disease more contagious.”

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DSS Launches Manhunt For Journalist Over Report On Abba Kyari, National Security Adviser, Monguno

29 February 2020 - 6:24pm

Samuel Ogundipe

Samuel Ogundipe

The Department of State Services has launched a manhunt for Samuel Ogundipe, an investigative journalist with an online newspaper, Premium Times, over a report on the rift between Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.

SaharaReporters gathered that the service was angry at the report, which exposed a memo written by Monguno accusing Kyari of undue interference on matters bordering on national security. 

The journalist has since gone into hiding following threats from operatives of the agency, who already laid siege to his house.  See Also Sahara Reporters Nigeria’s National Security Adviser Tackles President Buhari’s Chief Of Staff Over Interfering In Security Matters 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

In the leaked memo obtained by the journalist, Monguno issued a warning to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Kyari. 

In a post on Twitter, former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, revealed plans by the secret police to arrest the journalist with a view to forcing him to disclose his source.

For reporting the rift between @NGRPresident Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari & NSA,cGen. Monguno, #Nigeria’s State Security are after investigative journalist, @SamuelOgundipe, who's bn forced into hiding.#LeaveSamOgundipeAlone#JournalismIsNotACrime

— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) February 29, 2020

Also, human rights activist and Convener, Enough Is Enough, Yemi Adamolekun in a tweet said, "We find it extremely disturbing that @NigeriaGov through the DSS is moving to arrest Samuel Ogundipe over leaked NSA's letter on Abba Kyari.

We find it extremely disturbing that @NigeriaGov through the DSS is moving to arrest Samuel Ogundipe over leaked NSA's letter on Abba Kyari.
This campaign to harass, intimidate and silence journalists violates the core principles of democracy.

— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) February 29, 2020

Confirming the development, a senior member of Premium Times, Idris Akinbajo, said they were aware of the plan by the service but explained that the service had not formally invited the journalist for interrogation or questioning. 

He added that Ogundipe would honour an invitation by the DSS whenever called upon to report at any of their facilities. 

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Ondo Government To Convey Emergency Meeting Over Coronavirus

29 February 2020 - 6:12pm

The Ondo State Government has called for an emergency meeting of health officials with a view to putting facilities on the ground to immediately respond in case of an outbreak in the state.

Also, the state government has been advised to carry out routine checks on Chinese workers across Ondo. 

In a statement, Commissioner for Health in the state, Wahab Adegbenro, said the move was to prevent the spread of the virus to Ondo after an Italian brought in the disease into Nigeria earlier in the week. 

The statement reads, "Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Lagos, which is few hours drive from Ondo State, it has become imperative to sensitise the public on the looming danger, which is threatening the entire human existence. 

"The state government has swung into action by calling an emergency multi-sectoral stakeholders meeting to quickly map out action points and necessary precautions to be taken to prevent the outbreak in the state. 

"We appeal to residents not to panic but take certain actions which could help in the situation like maintaining hygienic environment, constant hand washing,  refraining from being in crowded gatherings and reporting any case of fever and flu to the nearest hospital and avoiding self medication."

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Three Chinese Nationals Quarantined In Jos Over Suspected Coronavirus

29 February 2020 - 11:03am

Three Chinese nationals, who arrived in Jos, Plateau State, on Friday have been quarantined after being suspected of having Coronavirus. 

The men, who work in a mine in the state, travelled through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja before proceeding to Jos.

Nimkong Ndam, Commissioner for Health in Plateau State, confirmed the situation, adding that the Chinese nationals came in from Ethiopia.

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Coronavirus Patient Moved To Upgraded Facility By Lagos Government

29 February 2020 - 10:59am

The Italian detected to have contracted the deadly Coronavirus in Nigeria was on Saturday moved to an upgraded isolation and treatment facility by the Lagos State Government.

This came after the Italian complained about the poor state of the facility he was earlier placed in, which made him attempt to abscond from the centre. 

Announcing the latest development, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said the Italian was currently receiving treatment at the Infectious Disease facility at the Mainland Hospital in the Yaba area of the city. 

He said, “We were renovating part of the facilities, so we kept him in a single isolation room for his privacy but we’ve subsequently moved him to one of our completed wards recently renovated with the full complement of facilities.  See Also Sahara Reporters Italian Infected With Coronavirus Attempts Absconding From Isolation Centre Over Poor Facility 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“He is there now and he is comfortable.

“As of this morning, his condition has improved, he hasn’t developed any new symptoms but he still got a mild fever and we would be running tests to see what the situation is with the virus in his body.

“As soon as we get a negative screening, then we will keep him for another two or three days and repeat the test to make sure there are no more virus particles in his saliva and that means he will not be contagious again, then we will release him back into the community.”

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Nigerian Army Debunks Report Of Attack On Maimalari Barracks By Terrorists

29 February 2020 - 8:14am

The Nigerian Army has debunked media reports and a video circulating on the social media insinuating that Boko Haram terrorists disguised as United Nations employees attacked Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri, Borno State. 

In a statement on Saturday by Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, the reports were described as a lie. 

He added that the intention of the purveyors of the fake news was to cause panic and unnecessary apprehension.

He urged members of the public to disregard the reports, noting that there was no security threat around Maimalari Barracks and or Maiduguri township.  

The statement reads, "To give effect to the wicked lies, pictures of a training session between United Nations Department of Safety and Security Training Drill and selected personnel of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE were attached to reinforce the mischievous fake news intended to cause panic and unnecessary apprehension. 

"The public are again sensitised to develop the culture of interrogating/verifying information seen on various media platforms to ascertain the genuineness/veracity of the information for the collective interest of the public."

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BREAKING: DSS Claims Buhari Ordered Arrest, Unlawful Detention Of Businessman Who Bought SIM Card Previously Used By Daughter, Hanan

29 February 2020 - 5:57am

The Department of State Services has said that the unlawful arrest and detention of a young Nigerian businessman based in Asaba, Delta State, Anthony Okolie, was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Okolie was arrested at Asaba and later  transferred to the DSS Headquarters in Abuja where he was unlawfully detained for at least 10 weeks for purchasing and using an MTN mobile telephone line previously used but abandoned by Hanan, President Buhari's daughter. 

Okolie, through his lawyer, has since sued the DSS, Hanan and MTN for the breach of his fundamental human rights.  See Also Politics DSS Detains Man Unlawfully For 10 Weeks After Purchasing MTN SIM Card Previously Used By President Buhari's Daughter 0 Comments 2 Months Ago

He had earlier revealed that DSS officials informed him that Hanan ordered his arrest and that she was contacted three times to back up her claims but failed to show up, prompting the secret police to release the young businessman.

But in twist of events, the DSS has now said that it received official letter of instruction from the Presidency dated July 5, 2019 upon which it acted to arrest Okolie.

In an affidavit deposed to at the Federal High Court, Asaba, where the case is being heard, the DSS said Okolie's purchase and use of the MTN mobile telephone line formerly belonging to Hanan, was a "classified national security issue" upon which basis the security outfit had no option than to arrest Okolie.

Reacting to the latest development, Okolie's lawyer, Tope Akinyode, National President of Revolutionary Lawyer's Forum, said, "The Nigerian constitution made no provision of any kind for first family and the involvement of the Presidency in the matter was a disgraceful deployment of state apparatus for personal gains."

Meanwhile telecommunications company, MTN, has argued that it did not transfer absolute right of ownership of the SIM card to Okolie because it was a national asset, which cannot be personalised.

The matter is scheduled to come up on March 3 before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba for hearing.


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How Presidential Amnesty Coordinator, Charles Dokubo, Was Sacked While In London

29 February 2020 - 3:16am

SaharaReporters has learnt that Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, was in London, United Kingdom, when he was fired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

Dokubo, who has been embroiled in different corruption allegations in running the affairs of the programme, was recommended for suspension by a committee set up by the National Security Adviser.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, media aide to President Buhari, Dokubo's removal follows numerous allegations and petitions against him.

Adesina said a technical committee will henceforth oversee the programme. 

The statement reads, "Consequently, the NSA recommended to Mr President that the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, be suspended, a recommendation that has been approved and which takes immediate effect.

“The President has also directed that the caretaker committee set up to review the programme should oversee the running of the programme henceforth with a view to ensuring that government objectives were achieved."

Also, it was gathered that anti-graft agencies may pick him up on arrival in the country with a view to investigating allegations against him.

Recall that SaharaReporters had in April 2019 reported and exposed plans by Dokubo in a leaked audio to steal N4.88bn before President Buhari reshuffles his cabinet.  See Also Corruption Leaked Audio Exposes Amnesty Boss Dokubo's Plans To 'Steal' N4.88bn 0 Comments 10 Months Ago

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Academic Suicides, New Massacre On Students By Oloniniran Gbenga

29 February 2020 - 3:08am

If one is to begin by listing data of academic related suicides in tertiary institutions, the essence of the points intended here could be defeated so soon. Obafemi Awolowo University's recent data of such suicides would be enough to exhaust a whole page, and this piece would have been boring to the lovers of the deceased students, who might read and find the names of their loved ones listed here again. It would be a sad reflection.

As conscious and concerned students of Obafemi Awolowo University, not less than four years of our stay on the campus did we spend campaigning against mass failure, against its causes and suggesting possible solutions. Perhaps, our view was merely to prevent our students against 'just' poor academic performance, because drastic failures leading to suicides as we now have it, was rarely in view. Unlike what we now have as rampant in the institution, it appears the insignificant "Iroko plant" that was unnoticed has grown into a full blown Iroko tree that now requests sacrifice. 

Final year students now write dissertation on mass failure in the OAU's faculty of pharmacy,   apparently, the poor academic performances of students in several institutions now kill at faster rate than the recorded deaths from illness and accidents among students.

The number of protests we had in Ife was channeled towards demand for improved learning, living and teaching conditions for students and staff of the university, by extension, we called for sufficient funding of the institutions by government and for an end to mismanagement of funds. From our little understanding, it is this chain of negligence and maladministration from government and administrators of institutions that finds its end result in the terrible performance of students. Any brain would be strained when a thousand students or more receive lectures in a 500-seater theatre, or when they write examinations without common water and light to take care of themselves. It is even worse with the most recent accommodation crises in OAU, FUNAAB, UNILAG, among others, where, asides the retarding standards of learning and teaching, majority of students who lack abode on campuses have to fight their way like Lagosians to get transport to, and from their town residences and equally come for examinations the next day. 

If we would also consider to chip in sentimental arguments that some lecturers are sadists and this is why students fail, yes we can agree, just to be fair to the iota of truth that forms these sentiments for some students. To be objective, the lecturers are everyday unwillingly distant from the proper conditions of teaching. After shouting out their intestine, out of the remnants of love for students' understanding, in a lecture hall of over a thousand students and without a megaphone at least,  they resort to abandon the students to their fate in the examinations, while the students equally leave their own fate to God when the lecturer marks the scripts of over 1000 students because there are not enough staff too. But after all, we shall all lift up our faces to the mountains, from where our help shall cometh.

Our generation protested sudden deaths of students resulting from poor facilities on campuses such as the health center, among others, but the current layer of students might be protesting against recurrent suicides resulting from academic performances, however, they all have the same root cause, rottenness in the educational system (poor funding and maladministration). It only appears suicide is the new method of massacre on students.

We may continue to preach that suicide should not be the option. For a youngster, whose toiling parents sweated blood in the hard Nigeria of today, to pay his tuition, and he equally does bricklaying job when chanced to repay the debts of securing the expensive apartment off campus after being kicked out of the campus hostel by the Vice Chancellor, he later fails examinations while trying to meet these hard conditions, and also has to repeat this phase under a worse conditions. A lot goes through the mind, how to deal with the carry-overs, how to face his toiling family with the failure, and also, thoughts of when he would ever graduate to help his needy siblings.

Of course, the option should not be suicide, it would only be meaningful if the Vice Chancellor had not kicked the students out; if the government had funded the schools adequately to make education qualitatively affordable and not commercialized; and if they had stopped the diversion of funds meant for our institutions' upkeep. The students are not dull, the system generally frustrates.

Oloniniran Gbenga. (Alumnus, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria).

Twitter: @gbenga_von


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Climate Change And Disturbing Fire Outbreaks By Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman

29 February 2020 - 2:51am

Globally, climate change has become one of the most serious environmental challenges facing our planet. It has been a critical issue for quite a long time and stakeholders have been deliberating and devising ways of combating it.

Annual evaluation by the World Health Organisation indicates that scientists learn more about the consequences of global warming, and many agree that environmental, economic, and health consequences are likely to occur if current trends continue.

It has become a known fact that the prevalence of fossil fuels and its usage such as oil, gas and coal are burned to generate energy, large amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere.

Moreover, the emissions of the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide increased in the last decades because of intensive agriculture. All these gases allow solar radiation to get through the atmosphere to the earth’s surface but prevent the radiation from returning. This has no doubt resulted to global warming.

Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases that remain semi-permanently in the atmosphere and do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as "forcing" climate change. Gases, such as water vapor, which respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are "feedbacks."

In its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world under the auspices of the United Nations, concluded there's more than 95 percent probability that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet. It is believed that for over five decades, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. Although this may not in consonant with National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA data which show that global averages in 2016 were 1.78 degrees F (0.99 degrees C) warmer than the mid-20th century average. It is believed that 17 of the 18 warmest years have occurred since 2000.

The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years. The panel also concluded there's a better than 95 percent probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth's temperatures over the past 50 years.

An overwhelming research has it that extreme heat waves have caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years. And in an alarming sign of events to come, Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002. This can speed up if we keep burning fossil fuels at our current pace, some experts say, causing sea levels to rise several meters over the next 50 to 150 years.

Strangely, the climate change has begun to have its impact on the Nigerian environment. It is now a normal scene for fire outbreaks in Nigeria as reported in various national dailies and social media platforms.

Early this year, virtually all the states have had fair share of fire outbreaks in one way or the other which could either be blamed on human errors or natural disaster considering the weather.

January 5, 2020 was a gloomy day in Oyo town, Oyo State as it was reported that over 400 years historical market, Oja Akesan got burnt with goods worth millions of naira destroyed in the inferno.

Aside the fire outbreak in Oyo, there have been so many depressing accounts of fire outbreak in some different locations like in Balogun Market and Mushin Amu Plank Market in Lagos, Jabi Motor Park in Abuja, Gusau Yankatako Market in Zamfara, Aba Market in Anambra and Owerri Airport in Imo among others.

However, unlike before now when some months are certain to have rainfall and others sunny weathers, that has become very hard to predict. Also, there have been increasing fears for flooding in Nigeria especially if the rainy season commences fully. One wonders what would likely happen to a society like Nigeria where there is little or no awareness on climate change. The fact is that fear remains very rife.

In its shocking revelation, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has predicted horizontal visibility to improve over north and central, adding that there would be increased cloudiness over the inland and coastal cities within period of forecast.

The agency predicted cloudy condition over the coastal cities with chances of localised thunderstorm over Lagos, Warri, Owerri, Yenagoa, Calabar, Eket and Port-Harcourt axis.

With the above, it is important that we all rise up to the climate change challenge so we would not be consumed by the obscenities from the development.

Major stakeholders can begin a reorientation process for Nigerians. We should be aware that climate change knows no status and the political will is needed for the benefit of all and sundry.

A national summit on Climate change and its growing effect would not be out of place while relevant agencies responsible for tracking climate and its factors should act now that we can still contain the changes in the atmospheric situations in and around Nigeria. For there is need for climate change preparedness policies.

Alabidun is a journalist and an advocate of SDG. He wrote from Wuye, Abuja, and can be reached via

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