FG releases fresh guidelines for reopening of schools

The Federal Government on Thursday released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools in the country .

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 , Sani Aliyu , made this known during a briefing in Abuja .

Schools in the country had been shut for more than four months as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel disease .

But the PTF had okayed the reopening of schools in August with some subnational already reopening primary , secondary and tertiary institutions in their states .

The FG had earlier ordered all Unity Schools in the country to resume with effect from October 12 .

Giving an update on Thursday , Aliyu said , “The Federal Ministry of Education , the PTF and the NCDC ( Nigeria Centre for Disease Control ) have developed guidelines to ensure schools can reopen , minimise the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely .

“Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents , school health teams , school authorities and local ( and ) state officials .

“They must also have a system for providing regular updates for parents , staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID – 19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines.

“Specifically , school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly , is wearing a mask and sanitising their hands .

“Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside .

“ There must be access to running water and handwashing facilities .

Media Chief seeks inclusion of journalists in governance

Managing Director, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation Ltd, owners of Aso Radio and Television, Ibrahim Damisa, has advocated the inclusion of journalists in governance, saying societal backlash associated with some government policies would reduce if the media were carried along in their formulation.

Damisa gave the advice on Wednesday when he led members of the Federal Capital Territory FCT minister’s Press Corps on a guided tour of facilities at the broadcasting house.

He said the corporation, as a way of contributing to the development of journalism and combating fake news, has recommended the conversion of one of its facilities in Abaji into a training institute to boost the capacity of media practitioners.

“We are looking at how we can use our facilities at Abaji to build the capacity of journalists. If our recommendations are accepted, we shall proceed to establish a training school there”, he said.

Damisa who lamented the negative impact of fake news on the image of the country as being promoted by citizen journalists on social media, however, urged professionals to remain distinguished and always be committed to the ethics of journalism.

While he attributed the rapid transformation of the station to the resolve of the Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello to revive all revenue-generating agencies under his administration, Damisa also reiterated his commitment to the welfare of staff, which he said was utmost to the sustainability of the ongoing transformation.

He further called on policymakers to always recognise media practitioners as well as carry them along in policies implementation.

“You are the ones bridging the communication gap between the people and the government. When it comes to communications, journalists play a very vital role, they play the role of preparing the minds of the people to be receptive to policy implementation.

“When electricity tariff was increased, journalists were not recognised. Journalists would have taken the sensitization about the increment to the people. We need to know as reporters what the government is doing so that it can be properly communicated to the people, especially on the issue of subsidy removal, journalists need to be able to prepare the minds of the people to receive such policies with minimal backlash”, he counselled.

Anambra man defiles neighbour’s seven-year- old girl, blames devil

A 33 – year -old man , Ejike Kanu , has been arrested for allegedly defiling his neighbour ’s seven – year -old daughter in Anambra State .

Ejike reportedly lured the girl into his wife ’s shop , where he allegedly had carnal knowledge of her .

The incident happened at Okpoko , near Onitsha , in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state .

When apprehended , the suspect reportedly attributed his action to the devil ’s influence .

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state , Haruna Mohammed , who confirmed the incident , said the matter would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Awka , for discreet investigation .

Muhammed said , “Police operatives attached to the Okpoko Division arrested one Ejike Kanu , 33 , a native of Elugwu Mkporo in the Ohafia LGA of Abia State , who resides at Umuobom Street , Okpoko , Anambra State .

“The suspect allegedly lured his neighbour ’s seven – year -old daughter and had unlawful carnal knowledge of her inside his wife’s shop .

“Police detectives visited the scene and took the victim to hospital for examination , where penetration was confirmed by a medical doctor .

“The suspect has voluntarily confessed and attributed his action to devil ’s influence .

“The case will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for discreet investigation as directed by the Commissioner of Police , John Abang, after which the suspect will be prosecuted.