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LASTMA official, driver kill motorcyclist while struggling for steering wheel

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LASTMA driver

An official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and a commercial bus driver have reportedly sent a  bike-hailing service rider, John Abanna, to an early grave while dragging the steering wheel of a bus.

Abanna was knocked down by the bus at Apogbon, Lagos Island.

It was gathered that two LASTMA officials had flagged down the driver along the road last Saturday for violating a traffic law.

In an attempt to evade arrest, the driver reportedly made to zoom off but one of the officials pounced on his steering wheel.

As they were struggling the steering wheel with each other, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it rammed into Abanna’s motorcycle. The rider died on the spot.

Angered by the incident, some youths reportedly took on the officials who fled the scene and headed for their office along Funsho Williams Avenue, Iponri, – a few kilometres away.

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An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Tolu, said that the angry youths stormed the agency’s office in Iponri and vandalised some vehicles.

He said,

“Some LASTMA officials wanted to arrest a Danfo driver at Apogbon for a traffic offence but he resisted arrest. One of them started struggling the steering wheel with the driver who was not ready to surrender.

“The driver wanted to zoom off not knowing a rider was right beside the bus. As the rider tried to pass, the vehicle veered and knocked him off the motorcycle. He hit his head on the floor and died on the spot.

“The LASTMA officials fled but some ‘boys’ chased them to their office in Iponri and vandalised some vehicles. Some of the officials quickly changed their uniform to mufti.

Tolu said police from the Iponri division later came to disperse the crowd and restored normalcy.

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The LASTMA spokesperson, Olumide Filade, however, denied that the officials were responsible for the crash.

He said,

“The incident has nothing to do with us. From Apogbon, the motorcyclist was riding against traffic when he was knocked down by the bus. No LASTMA official was struggling with the Danfo driver.

“Unfortunately, some miscreants who always support okada riders attacked our office.”

Asked whether there was an attempt to arrest the driver, Filade said, “Even if they wanted to arrest the driver, the bus would not have knocked him (Abanna) down if he was not riding against traffic.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, said the corpse had been deposited at the Mainland Hospital mortuary, Yaba, and investigation had commenced.

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He said,

“Police received information that some commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders had invaded LASTMA office along Funsho Williams Avenue.

“On receipt of the report, a police team mobilised to the scene. It was observed that over 100 motorcyclists were already vandalising vehicles in LASTMA colours.

“Also, a body later identified as John Abanna was lying lifeless right in front of LASTMA office. The deceased was said to have been knocked down by a Vanagon bus around Apongbon Bridge after the driver and a LASTMA official were said to have struggled over the steering wheel which caused the driver to inadvertently run into the deceased.

“Four vehicles were vandalised while the corpse of the deceased has been deposited at Yaba mortuary. Investigation is in progress.”

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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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