The Taraba State government has asked graduating students across the over 300 secondary schools in the state to resume on August 4.
It explained that this was to enable the students revise for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The decision to allow the students return to school formed part of the resolutions reached at a meeting of education stakeholders held on Thursday in Jalingo to discuss ways to meet the set standard by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
At the meeting, the stakeholders agreed on August 3 for fumigation of all classes and hostels in the state, with the setting up of a monitoring team to ensure compliance with set standards.
This followed a broadcast by Governor Darius Ishaku on March 24 in which he ordered the shutdown of all schools with a view to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Four months later, the government convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the best ways on how schools would reopen for graduating students to write their examinations.
In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Johannes Jigim, revealed the government has granted express approval for the procurement of personal protective equipment in all schools.
According to him, the meeting had representatives from the primary board, secondary school board, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), as well as directors and permanent secretaries in the State Ministry of Education.
“As much as we love our students, we must equally protect their lives and that of their staff,” Jigim said.
He noted that the governor has directed the Chairman on COVID-19 Technical Committee, Innocent Vakkai, to supply all the needed materials.
The commissioner added that Governor Ishaku also gave approval that all health teachers be trained on the use of thermometers to detect those showing symptoms of COVID-19.
He explained that a monitoring team has been set up to go round the 305 public and private secondary schools to monitor strict compliance with the guidelines.
Speaking about the state’s inability to provide ambulances at all the schools, the commissioner disclosed that general hospitals, primary healthcare clinics, and referral hospitals have been placed on red alert to attend to emergencies.
On the possibility of aiding private school proprietors pay its workers, he stated that they were not part of the state government’s budget.
26 Kidnapped FRSC Officials Regain Freedom – Gov. Sule
The 26 officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) kidnapped along Mararaban-Udege in Nasarawa State have regained their freedom.
Governor Abdullahi Sule disclosed this on Monday at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.
Governor Sule said the recent release of the remaining batch of seven officials has led to the complete freedom of the FRSC operatives that were abducted last week.
Three of the officials had earlier been rescued by security personnel on September 15, a day after 10 officers of the corps were seized in an attack by suspected bandits.
“All the twenty-something officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps that were kidnapped, all of them were released yesterday.
“I want to thank all the security (agencies) and those that have worked very hard to ensure that we achieve that feat.
“I want to thank them for all the efforts they are making to ensure that Nasarawa remains safe,” the governor said.
The officials were travelling for a training programme at FRSC Academy in Udi when they were attacked by suspected bandits
Following their abduction, the police authorities in Nasarawa State announced the rescue of three operatives earlier.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe disclosed this to the Channels Television in an exclusive interview on September 15.
EFCC, Navy Re-Strategise Against Oil Theft
As part of efforts to stem the tide of criminal activities in the maritime sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Navy have agreed to review their strategies.
This resolve was expressed on Monday, September 21, 2020 during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Head of the Lagos office of EFCC, AbdulRasheeed Bawa, to Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu Shetima, Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship, NSS BEECROFT, Apapa Lagos.
Speaking during the visit, Bawa said: “The EFCC has the mandate to prosecute arrested suspects for illegal dealings in petroleum products and other maritime-related crimes and it has lived up to its billings. We will continue to curtail the activities of the criminals in the maritime industry”.
Bawa, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman, Umar Mohammed, to Shetimma, acknowledged the existing cooperation and working relationship between the EFCC and the Navy.
The Lagos Zonal Head, who used the occasion to officially introduce himself to the Commander, also sought a more robust collaboration and deepening of the existing working relationship.
Bawa, who also gave an update on the progress of the cases handed over to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Office, added that “We have recorded a 90 per cent success rate in our cases in court.
“Out of the 46 cases handed over to the Commission in the course of the collaboration, 22 of them have been completed successfully, including 17 vessels and their products forfeited to the Federal Government after diligent investigation and prosecution, while 18 others are at advanced stages of prosecution in various courts”.
Bawa further expressed the readiness of the Commission to look into whatever challenges that might be hindering the speedy prosecution of suspects over illegal oil deals, adding that “the Commission would continue to strategize and be more proactive in the investigation of cases handed over to it so as to ensure that products in the vessels are evacuated promptly.”
Earlier, Shettima had expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “This visit could not have come at a better time. I am impressed by the progress the Commission had made so far on the prosecution of maritime-related offenders.
“We appreciate your efforts and timely intervention in the evacuation of suspects and prompt prosecution.
“Globally, maritime resources are important and Nigeria is not an exemption. We must continue to work together to protect the industry and curtail the activities of the criminals.”
President Buhari Congratulates Obaseki, Reiterates Commitment To Free, Fair Elections
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as governor of Edo State.
He congratulated him on Sunday in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, urging him to continue to show grace and humility in victory.
The President also commended the election process in the state, reiterating the government’s commitment to free and fair elections.
“My commitment to free and fair elections is firm because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak,” he said.
“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
Speaking further, President Buhari also commended the people of the state, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
It was a dramatic process that saw Obaseki run a governorship race against Ize-Iyamu for a second time in four years.
Governor Obaseki and His Deputy, Philip Shaibu have been re-elected into office for another four-year tenure.
Both men faced each other in 2016, albeit with Obasek flying the flag of the APC and Ize-Iyamu flying that of the PDP.
A political rift between the governor and Oshiomhole which spiraled beyond the state to national politics, saw both men switch parties and square up against each other on platforms they once criticised.
The campaign, characterised by drama and controversy that did not spare the State House of Assembly, was tempered by the intervention of the Oba of Benin to calm fears that the poll could turn violence heightened.
A peace accord was also signed by all the candidates days before the poll as stakeholders made concerted efforts to ensure a successful poll.
Overall, most of the stakeholders rated the exercise as largely peaceful, free and fair.
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