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Ignore pressure to reopen religious centres – NANS tells FG

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has told the Federal Government not to listen to leaders mounting pressure that churches and mosques should be re-opened.

The students’ admonition was contained in a statement signed by their spokesperson, Azeez Adeyemi, on Friday.

“If Nigeria must win the fight against the spread of coronavirus, every Nigerian must be ready to make sacrifices. Part of this is for Muslims to observe the Eid-el-Fitr prayers at home to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the country”, part of the statement read.

This newspaper reported how several pastors and imams have been mounting pressure on the Federal Government to lift the ban on religious activities. While some state had lifted the band the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Thursday said it overruled the decision of such states.

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“We want to once again caution on the need to wear a mask, keep physical distancing, avoid large congregations, avoid unnecessary inter-state travels and observe personal hygiene amongst other suggested safety measures,” Boss Mustapha said on behalf of Mr Buhari.

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COVID-19 has claimed 42 per cent of Nigerian jobs, NBS says

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COVID-19: The pandemic has claimed 42 per cent of Nigerian jobs- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that 42 per cent of Nigerian employees have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The bureau, in a report just published, said the economic shock imposed on Nigerians by the pandemic exceeds whatever they may have experienced between 2017 and 2018.

The states are pressing ahead with their relaxation of the coronavirus induced lockdown.

In Lagos State, the government warned yesterday that any church or mosque that admits worshippers without face masks once they reopen would be shut down.

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Mosques are to reopen on Friday, June 19, to be followed by the churches on Sunday, June 21.

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The Aso Villa mosques reopened yesterday with President Muhammadu Buhari and other worshippers observing social distancing.

But the Ondo State Government threatened that it might return to lockdown if Covid-19 infections continued to increase.

The NBS, in a report entitled “COVID -19 Impact Monitoring May 2019”, said coronavirus impact on employment and income had been widespread.

It said: “42 per cent of respondents who were working before the outbreak reported that they were not currently working due to COVID-19.”

It said the impact of COVID-19 “has been most strongly felt in the commerce, service, and agriculture sectors. 79% of respondents reported that their households total income have decreased since mid-March.”

NBS said some households struggled to purchase staple foods like yam, rice and beans during the seven days prior to the interview with 35-59 per cent of households who need to purchase these staple foods reporting that they were not able to buy them. 26 per cent of households reported not being able to access medical treatment when they needed it during the same period.

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The report showed that many households have struggled to cope with these widespread shocks with 51 per cent of all households resorting to reducing food consumption.

The pandemic, according to NBS, has also affected children education.

 

 

 

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I’m not threatened about being re-elected as governor- Abdullahi Sule

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I have never been threatened about my second term as a governor- Abdullahi Sule

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has said that he is not threatened about being re-elected in 2023.

To mark his first anniversary in office, the governor said he was grateful to God for giving him a four-year mandate; a period he deems long enough for him to contribute his quota to the development of the state, The Nation reports.

The governor, who was responding to a question on the speculation around the state that the people might not be ready to re-elect him in 2023, said he was ready to return to the US or Saudi Arabia to enjoy his life after his four-year mandate.

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According to him;

“one thing I have never been threatened about in life is my second term as governor. Let me tell you, in 1998, while working in the US, I felt I was bored. I took my early retirement package from an oil company, I went and set up our small company and we were running our business.

“I thought that was it. I never knew I was going to return to Nigeria as a whole, not to talk of coming to Nigeria to set up a company and become MD African Petroleum and later become GMD in Dangote company.

“That was even when I started enjoying life; not today.

“So I went through all these as extra to me in life; things I never thought would happen, but because God has blessed me that it will happen and it actually happened.

“Then out of the blues, from nowhere, I’m now a governor, and somebody is saying one term, and then I will cry, sleep and die? To hell with him!

“One term, yes, it’s fine. That is how I look at it. One term is good enough.

“Almighty Allah, I thank you very much for giving me one term.

“So it has never shaken me, it has never scared me, and it will never do. I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

“If I do one term, walahi talahi, walahi talahi, I will go and retire either in America or in Saudi Arabia and live my life peacefully. And I know that no EFCC will call me, because I am not stealing government’s money.

“So one term, then so what? To hell with one term!

“Let me tell you, I’m happy to take it, so I will never have sleeping problem because somebody says one term.

“I never and I think I will never have a problem,” he said.

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Legal practitioner seeks amendment of law on rape

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An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr. Adeola Omotunde, has advocated the amendment of the law on rape and defilement of minors in the face of rampant cases of rape in the society.

Omotunde made the appeal on Saturday in Ilorin while speaking with the Newsmen.

According to him, now that the cases of rape are increasing, the law guarding it has to be amended to make it more stringent or to serve as a deterrent to discourage the perpetrators.

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He said that the Nigerian law was sufficient to fight the menace of rape, but the law would need to be strengthened and the punishment increased to curb the act in the society.

“The law guarding the rape cases were enacted many years ago by the colonial inheritance but recently the cases are rampant; the law has to be amended

“The level of awareness is not enough because we have a large number of people in Nigeria who are illiterate.

“Somebody who is illiterate cannot understand anything we are saying in the newspaper and television; some of them don’t even have radios at home.

“The awareness campaign should be taken to the Mosques and Churches in their communities and religious leaders should preach that rape is an offense against humanity and God,’’ the lawyer said.

He identified some of the factors responsible for the rising cases of rape as culture, religion and indecent dressing among ladies.

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Omotunde said that other factors are the intake of hard drugs, alcohol and Indian hemp.

He said that if people are under the influence of drugs, they lacked the capacity to control themselves and eventually tend to rape ladies/minors or even their own children.

He added that because victims seldom speak out due to fear of social stigma, this encourages the perpetrators to go on committing similar offenses.

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