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Boko Haram/ISWAP: The complete extermination of Christians is viciously at work in Nigeria – ECWA President

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The President of the Evangelical Church Winning All [ECWA], Reverend Stephen Baba Panya, has decried the increased killing of Christians by Boko Haram and its breakaway faction, ISWAP.

Speaking in a statement he personally signed, the cleric said,

“Our very existence as Christians in our dear Nation Nigeria has never been at stake as it is now,” he said.

“It is very clear that the spirit of Haman, whose avowed aim is the complete extermination of Christians, is viciously at work in this nation and the government (Esther 3:8-9).

“Our CAN National Leader, His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, made this very clear enough, during his World Press Conference on 23rd January 2020.

“As a people, Christians have been rendered powerless and helpless in this nation. Like the time of Nehemiah, we are in trouble and disgrace (Nehemiah 2:17).

“Our only hope now of deliverance from complete extermination is help from above, the Maker of heaven and earth, from the God of Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121).

“Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

He further argued,

“Let all ECWA sons and daughters, therefore, join faith together with brethren all over this nation and all over the world, to plead with God to have mercy on us and intervene to deliver us and our dear nation, and turn the tables against enemies of the Cross and God’s people.”

In the text of the statement titled, Calling on all ECWA members/Churches in Nigeria and beyond, to fully join in the declared Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, special days of prayers, fasting and prayer walk for Nigeria on 31st January to Sunday 2nd February 2020.

“On the first day of prayer and fasting, they should like the Ninevites (Jonah 3), name, confess and repent of our many sins without making any excuse,” he said.

“As it is written, blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.

“Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

He, therefore, enjoined Christians to remain firm in the faith and trust in God Almighty for his mercies, protection and divine purpose in their lives.

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Covid-19: Yobe announces reopening of schools

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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

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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

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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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