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1,000 pastors turn to God over Leah Sharibu, begin three-day fasting and prayer on Friday


No fewer than 1,000 pastors, evangelists and other men of God will from Friday to Sunday lead Christians in Kaduna State on power-packed fasting and prayer intercessory mission.

The prayer is to call on God to intercede on Leah Sharbu’s case.

They will also pray for Rev. Lawan Andimi, the slain Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Leah Sharibu.

Recall that Andimi was recently executed by the insurgents while Leah was among the over 100 female students of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State, kidnapped by the Boko Haram in 2018. February 2, will make it two years the incident took place.

The prayer and fasting, which is being organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, will commence on Friday, January 31 and end on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

The Chairman, Kaduna State chapter of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, made this known to The PUNCH in Kaduna on Monday.

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He explained that at the end of the three-day special prayer and fasting as directed by CAN on Sunday, Christians would gather in Zaria, Kafanchan and Kaduna to pray for God’s intervention in the affairs of Nigeria.

The clergy also directed all Christians to wear “black clothes” on Sunday as a mark of mourning slain Christians.

God’s intervention, he said, was needed because the nation’s challenges were beyond the capacity of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

He added that among those that the Church would pray for were the security agents that had over the years been fighting insurgency.

“We are going to pray that those honest security men, God should help them and those (security men) that are dishonest, God should change their hearts.

“The national secretariat of CAN issued a circular, calling on all Christians to pray and fast on Friday, January 31, 2020 to February 2, 2020. The people will pray specifically against the evils happening in the country; the recent killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi and other Christians that have been killed by Boko Haram.

“The story we are hearing now is that Leah Sharibu has been forcefully converted into Islam or married and has given birth to children which to us, is not the matter. The matter is for her to be safe and return home. So, we want to pray so that God will intervene in the matter.

“We have reported this matter 100 times to security agents but we realised that we have to report this matter to the throne of heaven. This is because what men of power and security agents cannot do, God can do it.

“So, we are going to take it up with God in prayer on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The prayer will end in the afternoon in Zaria, Kafanchan and in Kaduna metropolis.

“We are calling on Christians that, as a mark of mourning, we should all appear in black clothes because we are mourning our beloved ones.

“We are mourning the calamity that has befallen us. We are mourning the lack of progress that we are experiencing in our country. We are mourning the bad things that are going on around us. We are asking God to hear our cries.

“It’s going to be a large gathering of not less than 1,000 pastors. In fact, we are expecting between 3,000 and 5,000 people to participate at the Kaduna State prayer and fasting. We have told them (churches) to send representatives because the venue will not contain us.

“We are saying God, do something; Leah Sharibu has suffered too much. Rev. Andimi has just been killed. That’s why we are going to call on God and say, ‘rise and do something,’” he said.


Covid-19: Yobe announces reopening of schools



Yobe State government has announced August 8, 2020, as the date for the reopening of schools across the state.

The new date applies to all boarding schools in the state while academic activities will commence in all schools on August 11, 2020.

The State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Mohammed Sani Idris announced this in Damaturu Thursday while briefing journalists on the preparedness of the state to reopen schools after their closure about four months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said:

“Yobe State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education wishes to inform the general public that SS3 and boarding Junior Secondary School students should unfailingly resume on 8th August, 2020.

“While Private schools and Government Day Secondary Schools (GDSS) students should resume on 11th August, 2020.

“The Ministry equally advises all students to come with their facemasks, as school authorities will also provide all preventable measures against the pandemic.”

The Commissioner also noted that

“Gov. Mai Mala Buni has assured that Yobe state will always abide by all preventable guidelines provided by the federal government.

He urged all SS3 students to prepare themselves well for the WAEC which will commence August 17, 2020 in order to get the best results and make the state proud.

“We are determined to reverse the negative educational statistics associated with our state. We therefore call on the students to read hard and make the state proud,” Dr. Sani said.

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Over 400 ghost teachers uncovered in Benue



Benue state teaching service board has disclosed that it has uncovered 433 ghost workers, including 18 dead persons in its payroll.

The board’s executive secretary, Frank Kyungun made the disclosure on Wednesday, August 5 while presenting the report of the screening exercise recently conducted by the board to Governor Samuel Ortom.

He said;

“The screening uncovered 433 ghost workers on the payroll after verification of 4,473 staff across the three senatorial zones of the state. 

“The screening committee also uncovered 18 dead persons, 70 retired staff, 193 redeployed staff, among other irregularities on the payroll, who were accordingly expunged.”

Commenting on the report, Governor Ortom said he has constituted a committee to immediately implement the committee’s recommendation. Dennis Ityavyar, the state commissioner for education, has been appointed to head the committee.

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He said;

“Those who had milked the board through ghost workers must be identified and prosecuted.

“The ghost names should be immediately deleted from the payment voucher”.

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We’re committed to finding vaccine, says Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has emphasised that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to finding a vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Nigerians.

He stated this on Wednesday during a virtual meeting with representatives of the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine candidate on the progress of the vaccine development around the world, including Africa.

Osinbajo, according to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, also said the health and safety of the citizens is the priority of the administration.

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The meeting was attended by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, with representatives of Pfizer and Biotech, the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the BNT162 vaccine candidate.

According to Osinbajo, the interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate “is an important conversation and it is important for us that we are prioritised as -the largest country in Africa – in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it’s eventually ready.

“Our priority is the health of the Nigerian citizens. We continue to engage and intend to look at every possible option -from all manufacturers- of a good vaccine. We want to do the very best for our people in this regard.”

During the meeting, the Vice President asked several questions about the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, including how quickly Nigeria can get the vaccine once it’s safely ready.

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Responding, the Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, who spoke for the promoters, Mr. Subair Olayinka, promised that “Nigeria will be priority” for the vaccine supply to Africa.

Although the vaccine trials are not going on in Nigeria currently, he said the trials are ongoing in parts of the African continent and it would be entering the third phase, having concluded the first two phases successfully.

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The Health Minister noted that the Federal Government would consider quality, appropriate volume and how well and quick a vaccine can be delivered to Nigeria in deciding which manufacturer to procure supply.


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