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Kwara government to sanction blacklisted schools by WAEC

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COVID-19: Kwara orders lockdown of Offa
The Kwara Government, on Friday,  said it will sanction recently blacklisted schools by the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) for examination malpractices in the state.
The state Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Fatimah Ahmed, said this in a statement by the ministry’s Press Secretary, Mr Yakub Aliagan, in Ilorin.
Ahmed said the state government would sanction both the schools and their principals found wanting because of its zero tolerance for examination malpractice.
Newsmen report that, WAEC recently blacklisted 165 schools in the state comprising 122 public secondary schools and 43 private schools, and fined each of the erring schools N250,000.
Ahmed disclosed that WAEC had forwarded the names of the schools involved to the ministry, saying the erring private and public schools would be sanctioned.
The Commissioner, however, advised heads of both public and private institutions in the state to desist from any act that could ridicule both their schools and portray the image of the state in a bad light.
She also warned that, the principals desist from encouraging examination malpractice which was becoming a endemic in both the private and public schools in the state.
According to her, the present administration will not condone any act that will tarnish the goodwill of the state.
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NMA condemns attack on FMC Lokoja, calls for adequate security

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A statement on Wednesday in Lokoja, jointly signed by the state Chairman and Secretary of NMA, Dr. Zubair Kabiru, and Dr. Okungbowa Osaretin, respectively, described the attack on FMC Lokoja premises as ” uncivilized and uncalled for”.

According to the statement, the report has reached NMA Kogi chapter, about the ugly incidence that took place on Wednesday at the premises of the FMC Lokoja, where some suspected hoodlums stormed the hospital’s premises, vandalized offices and carted away from some personal and hospital valuables.

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”The hospital is where lives are saved; it is uncivilized for it to be attacked for whatsoever reason.

”The staff of the hospital had planned to have a peaceful protest over their safety in the hospital as a result of the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19 in the state.

”However, before the protest could start, some unknown hoodlums stormed the hospital premises and disrupted the planned peaceful protest.

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”This action has led to the total shutdown of the only functional tertiary healthcare facility in the state.

”NMA Kogi state believes that the action of these hoodlums is totally uncalled for and condemns it in absolute terms,” the statement said.

The association, therefore, called on the State and Federal Governments to bring the perpetrators to book, while ensuring adequate security for the healthcare workers in the state.

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Security Council backs UN Chief’s call for global ceasefire

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The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution, backing the Secretary-General’s call for a worldwide ceasefire to deepen global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resolution 2532 (2020), which was unanimously adopted by the 15-member council, came after a three-month deadlock occasioned by disagreements between the U.S, Russia, and China.

Submitted by France and Tunisia, the resolution echoed Guterres’ March 23 call for the immediate cessation of hostilities by warring parties so the world can concentrate on tackling the pandemic.

However, the two-page resolution excluded ongoing military operations against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other extremist and terrorist groups so designated by the council.

Reacting, the UN Chief welcomed the long-awaited decision, which he said would “send an important signal to conflict parties and may help change calculations on the ground’’.

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“The Secretary-General continues to urge individual member states to redouble their efforts for peace in the conflicts in which they have influence.

“He looks forward to working with all stakeholders to advance efforts toward concrete ceasefires and durable peace, his spokesman, Mr. Stéphane Dujarric, said in a note to UN correspondents.

The Newsmen reports that this move followed the endorsement of the ceasefire appeal by nearly 180 countries and no fewer than 20 armed groups, according to the UN.

The resolution noted that the “unprecedented extent of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed no fewer than 500,000 lives globally, “is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security”.

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It added that the pandemic could also reverse peacebuilding and development gains in countries emerging from conflict.

Germany’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Christoph Heusgen, who announced the resolution described it as“ “very strong signal of unity within the council.

Wednesday marked Germany’s first day as president of the Security Council for the month of July.

Heusgen said the move was also a sign of hope that “we send from the Security Council out into the world”.

Through the resolution, the council called on parties of armed conflicts to immediately engage in a “durable humanitarian pause” of at least 90 days.

This, it stated, is to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of lifesaving aids.

It requested the Secretary-General to instruct the UN’s 13 peacekeeping missions to support host countries’ efforts to contain the coronavirus.

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The resolution requested the missions to provide updates on the UN’s efforts to address the pandemic in conflict zones and humanitarian crisis areas.

Newsmen reports that the resolution was partly delayed by a dispute between the U.S. and China over the mention of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in earlier drafts.

While China wanted WHO mentioned in the resolution, the U.S. opposed it after President Donald Trump accused the global health body favoring China, an allegation it denies.

The U.S. and Russia also opposed the resolution on the ground that ceasing fire would undermine their military operations against terrorist groups in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.

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Interstate travels: FG to withdraw permit for transporters flouting safety protocols

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The Federal Government says it will withdraw operational permit of transporters who flout safety protocols.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, announced this in a statement signed by Mr Eric Ojiekwe, Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry on Wednesday in Abuja.

Saraki was quoted as giving the warning when she chaired a virtual meeting with the Forum of Nigerian Transport Commissioners.

She said that it had been resolved that the implementation guidelines prepared by the ministry would be adopted to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.

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The minister pointed out that interstate transport operators should apply and could only operate on confirmation of satisfaction of the defined guidelines by the state ministry of transportation.

She said the ministry at federal and state levels would regularly monitor the implementation and compliance to the guidelines.

The ministry would also monitor the impact of the measure on safety and minimising the transmission of COVID-19 through the mass transit sector, she added.

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According to the minister, the overall objective is to protect passengers, operators and workers as well as preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“The guideline has been fine-tuned with that of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The guideline also required the registration of all private travel operators, parks and terminals operators.

“This is to ensure restricted access, social distancing, disinfection and sanitisation as well as have designated areas to isolate passengers with a suspected case of COVID-19 infection.

“Similarly, all passengers must be subjected to temperature checks and ‘no mask no entry’ policy must be adopted.

“Staff must be sent for COVID-19 training and must adorn Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on duty.

“Bus operators must observe all the safety protocols and limit their capacity to 50 per cent while windows must be open for short trips and the face masks should be worn throughout the journey,’’ she said.

 

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