​Fedpoly Bauchi to commence 9 degree programs

By Habila Victor, Bauchi.

The management of Federal Polytechnic Bauchi has disclosed its plans to commence nine degree programs in engineering and other science courses soon.

Rector of the Polytechnic, Arc. Sanusi Waziri Gumau, made the disclosure at the just concluded matriculation ceremony for the newly admitted students into the 2019/2020 academic session of the institution.

He said the nine new degree courses which would be affiliated to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi include; Agric and Bio-Resources engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Others he said are; degrees in Architecture, Building technology, Estate management and valuation, Quantity surveying and Survey and Geo-informatics.

Gumau explained that the degree programs were approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) after series of meetings and dialogue between the polytechnic and the management of ATBU Bauchi.

In his words; “We recently received a facility supervision team from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, following our proposal to begin degree programs in Mass Communication, Accounting, Banking and Finance, as well as Public Administration. If they are satisfied with our standards, we will begin the program also”.

The Rector added that the polytechnic also runs Post Graduate Diplomas (PGDs) in engineering programs with the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna even as it created four additional departments.

While congratulating the newly admitted students, Gumau admonished the students to abide by the rules of the institution and avoid acts that could lead to their expulsion from the polytechnic.

In her separate remark, the Registrar of the Polytechnic, Hajiya Rakiyya Usman Malaika, disclosed that for 2019/2020 academic session, the polytechnic received 9, 910 applications out of which 9, 654 were admitted, while 6,559 were registered having met the requirements.

​COVID-19: Current economic recession justifies my position on lockdown — Gov Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has called for greater caution in the wake of the resurgence of COVID-19 in some states, saying the current economic recession has justified his decision not to lock down the state when almost the entire country was on lockdown.

Bello spoke at the Government House in Lokoja where he was conferred with an award of excellence.

According to him, the lockdown imposed on the country led to the loss of lives and livelihoods, saying he resisted the urge to shut down his state, as the pandemic had been politicised.

On the second wave of the pandemic, the Governor urged stakeholders not to create panic among Nigerians, calling on the media to probe into the political economy of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“When we were told that there was COVID-19, I warned against spreading of fear and panic. See what has happened. If they had listened to my advice, this economic recession would have been avoided. But we were playing politics with the whole thing.

“People lost their sources of livelihood. If we cannot provide for the people, we should not take away what they have already. But that was what happened. People lost their jobs. Even the media industry was affected.

“I am calling on those managing this pandemic to have the fear of God. President Buhari is a good man and he means well. He works with the system. This is why I am calling on those who advise the President to do that with the fear of God. We cannot have another lockdown.

“In Kogi, we did not give in to fear and we were able to successfully manage the pandemic because COVID-19 does not pose any threat to life as being rumoured. It is like malaria and we have to see it that way.”

Earlier, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalist NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, lauded Governor Bello for initiating projects and programmes which focused on the wellbeing of the people of the State.

He said rather than imposing lockdowns, there should be novel ideas as to how best to halt the pandemic without shutting down livelihoods.

In his welcome address, the Chairman planning committee of the event, Mr. Jeremiah Ocheme, said the cover or was honoured for being consistent in his belief that lockdown was not the way out of the pandemic and also for granting 35 percent affirmative action to Kogi women in politics.

On his part, ace broadcaster, Gbenga Aruleba described the governor as a man of courage, saying he has continually shunned the temptation to see leadership as a popularity contest.

​We’ll rescue remaining Chibok, Dabchi captives, FG vows

A day after taking custody of the freed 344 boys captured from Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, the Federal Government raised hope that the remaining girls seized by terrorists from Chibok and Dabchi would be freed and reunited with their parents.

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the renewed hope about the remaining captives while addressing the media in Abuja on Friday.

“We will not relent until all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with their families,” Mohammed said at the press briefing.

While appreciating the role played by the Nigerian military in the quick rescue of the Kankara school boys, Mohammed also praised the role played by the Katsina and Zamfara state governments as well as those he referred to as ‘friends of Nigeria’ in freeing the captives.

But the minister was also quick to deplore the abduction of the boys from the Kankara school describing the act as totally unacceptable, pointing out that Nigerian children do not need to go to school in trepidation.

Mohammed said: “Let me be clear: What happened in Kankara – and in Chibok and Dapchi before it – is totally unacceptable. Our children should not have to go to school in trepidation. The Federal Government is doing everything possible to secure all our schools, and indeed all Nigerians. And we will not relent until all Nigerians can go to bed at night with their two eyes closed.

“The release of these school boys is a testament to the importance that this Administration attaches to the security and safety of all Nigerians. There is no government in the world that will not face the challenges of security at one time or another. No government in the world is immune to terrorist attacks. What stands any government out is the way and manner it responds to such challenges.

“For example, school shooting has been a recurring challenge in the United States. Between 2010 and 2020, almost 200 school children were killed and many more injured in various school shooting incidents.

“Needless to say that the world’s most powerful country suffered a tragic terrorist attack in September 2001 that claimed almost 3,000 lives. In France, between 2010 and 2020, 286 people were killed in various terrorist incidents. And in New Zealand, in March 2019, 49 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in ChristChurch, New Zealand. I have given these instances to support the fact that no nation, no matter how powerful, is immune to security challenges.

“Back here in Nigeria, the abduction of the Kankara school boys marked the second of its kind under this Administration, coming after the unfortunate abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, in February 2018. Just like the good news from Kankara, all but one of the kidnapped school girls in Dapchi were rescued unharmed. And in 2014, 276 school girls were abducted by terrorists in Chibok, Borno State; out of which 112 remain in captivity after this Administration rescued over 100 of the school girls.

“Let me state here that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to prevent a recurrence of these school abductions. But we also make bold to say that we have moved with speed and determination each time we have faced the challenge of school abductions, and the results attest to this. Each time this has happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather than being in denial. And that has made all the difference in whether or not the abducted school children have been recovered. We will not relent until all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with their families.

“Irrespective of the security challenges that we, as a nation, may be facing at this time, they are not insurmountable. We can only appeal to those who are quick to politicize the issue of security to desist from such. The reactions in certain quarters to the Kankara incident were shameful. Some Nigerians went as far as denigrating their government and country in the most uncouth and irresponsible manner.

“They simply threw decorum to the wind and allowed their emotions to take a better part of them. When disasters and tragedies strike, people come together. We hope the naysayers have learnt their lessons. And we hope those who have started trading and politicking with the hash tag BringBackOurBoys’ can now go home, as our boys have been brought back, even before their dubious campaign could take off,” the minister said.

​Lagos directs schools to vacate today

The Lagos State Government has directed public and private primary and secondary schools in the state to wind down the first term of the 2020/2021 academic session on Friday, 18th December 2020.

In a statement released by the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, all public and private schools below the tertiary level in the state are to close for the Christmas and New Year holiday on Friday, 18th December 2020.

Schools are to resume on Monday, 4th January 2021 in compliance with the Lagos State harmonized academic calendar.

It is important to note that boarders are to resume on Sunday, 3rd January 2021 while academic activities commence immediately.

According to the statement, all schools must ensure that they submit their School Reopening Plans on the Office of Education Quality Assurance website: http://www.oeqalagos.com.

The plans which include Operational, Academic, Health and Safety, Data and Communication plans are to be uploaded on the website alongside four certificates of the online training, to complete the online registration process towards receiving the “Safe to Reopen” Clearance.

The “Safe to Reopen” Clearance visits will commence upon resumption of 2nd term with schools whose plans have scored 60% following review. Schools with review scores lower than 60% will be provided mentoring support and will be required to resubmit their plans.

Schools that are yet to commence the online registration and training process should visit the Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Alausa, Lagos as the online portal has closed for this activity.

Parents are advised to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols at home while all school proprietors and school administrators are enjoined to also ensure compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols when schools resume for 2nd term on Monday, 4th January 2021.

NPFL to kick off Dec 27 — Sports Minister

The Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, is set to start on December 27.

The League like all other Leagues in the world was halted due to the covid 19 pandemic. But even when other Leagues in the world came back without fans, the Nigerian League has remained in the cooler.

Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare confirmed on Friday while briefing Journalists at the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos that the NPFL will restart on December 27.

The cherry news was applauded even by Journalists at the venue as the Minister disagreed that Nigerian football was not dead but agreed that interest in Nigerian football has waned.

The Sports Minister noted that the right things in the League concerning Club licensing and financial regulations must be adhered to.

“Part of the problem of not starting the League outside the covid 19 pandemic is from them, the organisers. We’ve been waiting for them. We’re meeting with the NFF and NPFL to sort things out. What is most Important is that we must do the right things.

We must know the number of teams who are ready and have fulfilled the necessary regulations to start. We’ll start with whatever number of teams who have done the right things. December 27 is sacrosanct. The League will start on that date”, the Minister emphasised.

Nigerian teams playing at the CAF Continental assignments have fumbled with Plateau United and Kano Pillars being dumped at the first rounds. Sports analysts have attributed their early exit to the Nigerian League which has not kicked off.

​At 78: South-West PDP asks Buhari to seek forgiveness, not celebrate

President Muhammadu Buhari has been told to use the occasion of his 78 birthday, to seek forgiveness for the sins he committed against the people of the Southwest Nigeria, rather than going about celebrating in the midst of his own people, whose over 300 children are being held captive by terrorists.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest, which congratulated the President for reaching the age of 78 in a statement made available to Vanguard yesterday, said God must have kept him so that he could have enough time to ruminate over his past misdeeds and seek restitution.

In the statement by the party’s Zonal Director of Media and Publicity, Lere Olayinka, President Buhari was reminded how as Military Head of State, he frustrated the progress of the the Southwest, abandoned the region when he was Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), under late General Sani Abacha and has done nothing for the region since 2015.

The Southwest PDP, said one of President Buhari’s major disservice to the people of the zone was the cancellation of the Lagos Metroline project embarked upon by the government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, adding that: “The Metroline project was scrapped by Buhari at a loss of over $78 million to the Lagos tax payers. If Buhari had not cancelled that project, transportation in Lagos would have been better than it is now.”

The party said further: “Today, we thank God for taking our President this far and congratulate him for attaining 78 years.”

“However, it is expected that Mr President will be honest enough to see today as an opportunity to seek forgiveness for his sins, especially the ones he committed against the people of the Southwest.”

“It is on record that in 1984, he impounded the international passport of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and prevented him from visiting his doctors at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota, USA. The passport was only returned to him with courtesies by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1985. It was however too late as Awolowo died in 1987!”

“It is also on record that with President Buhari’s directive, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo was abducted by military men while recuperating from a surgical operation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He was sent to Bauchi prison.”

“President Buhari sent our notable leaders like Onabanjo, Jakande, Chief Michael Ajasin, Bola Ige, Chief Bisi Akande and others to jail for committing no offense other than showing commitment to the development of the region and welfare of the people.”

“Curiously, in April this year, when he was granting state pardon to those he sent to jail as military Head of State, the President did not remember to extend this pardon to Chief Bisi Akande, despite being his party man and one of those who ensured his electoral victory in 2015 and 2019.”

“Therefore, Mr President, as you celebrate your 78 birthday, take heed to this wise counsel and seek forgiveness from the Almighty Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the people you have caused untold sufferings, especially those in the South-West,” the Southwest PDP urged.