The police have announced the arrest of the kidnappers of Mahmoud Abubakar, chairman of the Universal Basic Education (UBEC).
Abubakar was abducted alongside his daughter on April 29, 2019, on Kaduna-Abuja expressway, while his driver was shot dead.
Two months after the kidnap, the intelligence response team of the inspector-general of police said it had arrested one Abubakar Ahmadu who led a five-man gang for the operation.
The police team also announced the arrest of over 30 “kidnappers, armed robbers and gun manufacturers”.
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COVID-19: Saudi Arabia set to re-open Mosques, announce date
The interior ministry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a series of measures that will be activated to end the nationwide coronavirus curfew lockdown in the country.
The country announced on Tuesday that it will end its nationwide coronavirus curfew from June 21, except in the holy city of Mecca.
Naija News understands the decision is coming after more than two months of stringent restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the country’s interior ministry quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency, prayers will be allowed to resume in all mosques outside Mecca from May 31.
The ministry said it will begin easing restrictions in a phased manner this week, with the curfew relaxed between 6 am and 3 pm between Thursday and Saturday.
From Sunday until June 20, the curfew will be further eased until 8 pm, the ministry added.
The kingdom will lift the lockdown entirely from June 21.
“Starting from Thursday, the kingdom will enter a new phase (in dealing with the pandemic) and will gradually return to normal based on the rules of social distancing,” Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said on Monday.
In March, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage over fears of the disease spreading in Islam’s holiest cities.
That suspension will remain in place, the interior ministry said.
Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s hajj – scheduled for late July – but they have urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia has reported around 75,000 coronavirus infections and some 400 deaths from COVID-19.
UN shares new words to promote gay rights
The United Nations has, in an apparent bid to promote gay rights, gender neutrality and woman empowerment, recommended that speakers of English language should stop using some gender-specific terms but should instead use neutral words.
The UN said in a tweet that rather than use the terms husband and wife, people should rather use the term ‘spouse’.
Similarly, the UN recommended that the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ be dropped in favour of ‘partner’ which is gender-neutral.
The term mankind should be changed to humankind while salesman should be dropped in favour of salesperson.
The UN further advised that the word ‘chair’ be used instead of ‘chairman’ while businessman should be dropped in favour of ‘representative’.
The word firefighter should be used in place of fireman while salesman should be changed to salesperson.
Other modifications include ‘owner’ in place of ‘landlord’ and ‘workforce’ in place of ‘manpower.’
Police officer should be used in place of ‘policeman’ according to the UN.
UK invests £20m in Africa’s anti COVID-19 fund
The United Kingdom on Thursday said it would be investing up to 20 million Pounds in the African Union’s new ‘Africa anti-COVID-19 fund’ to slow down the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
The British High Commission in Nigeria said in a statement that the funding was announced by UK International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
According to the statement, this makes the UK the largest national donor to the fund which was announced by Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, last month.
It said that the funds would support African leaders and technical experts to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives in Africa and worldwide.
It said that the fund would tackle the pandemic by recruiting African health experts and deploying them where they are needed most thereby strengthening global tracking of the pandemic.
It noted that it would also combat potentially harmful misinformation, providing specialist with coronavirus training for health workers and making information about the virus more accessible to the public.
“As the UK faces its biggest peacetime challenge in tackling coronavirus, it’s never been more important to work with our partners in Africa to fight disease.
“No one is safe until we are all safe and this new funding and support for African leadership will help protect us all in the UK, Africa and around the world from further spread of the virus,” Trevelyan was quoted as saying in the statement.
She said the fund would also promote an evidence-based approach for surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and control of coronavirus in Africa.
Speaking on the contribution, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said: “The truly global scale of the current crisis means that international cooperation and solidarity is more important than ever.”
She said that the 20 million Pounds UK funding contribution to the African Union would provide important additional support to Nigeria and other countries across Africa.
The British High Commissioner said that it was a testament to the fact that the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria in their collective challenge to defeat the terrible virus.
“This new support for the African Union comes after the UK has already pledged over 900 million dollars to the international fight against coronavirus.
“The UK is also using its existing aid programmes to help vulnerable countries in Africa to strengthen their health systems.
“It also comes ahead of the UK hosting the virtual Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, to secure future funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has already saved the lives of millions of children in Africa from infectious diseases
“Many countries on the continent are beginning to see exponential increases in case numbers, presenting a severe risk to fragile healthcare systems,” Laing said.
She noted that the high prevalence of HIV, malnutrition and other illnesses in parts of Africa may also worsen the impact of the virus.
Laing said that in sub-Saharan Africa, there were on average just two doctors for every 10,000 people, compared to 28 per 10,000 in the UK.
“If healthcare systems become overwhelmed, the worldwide spread of the virus will be difficult to slow, risking new waves of infection.
“The UK’s contribution to the Africa anti-COVID-19 fund will prevent this by working in partnership with the AU to help fight the virus, strengthen healthcare systems and save lives in the AU’s 55 member states.
“Today’s announcement brings the total UK aid contribution to fighting coronavirus to up to £764 million ($935.6 million),” she said.
Laing said the money would assist in finding a vaccine, providing vital humanitarian relief, feeding the world’s poorest people, strengthening global healthcare systems and managing the risk of a global economic downturn.
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