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UTME candidates protest exam date, seek postponement



There was gridlock yesterday on Bariga-Akoka Road, Lagos, when hundreds of candidates, who have registered to sit for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), staged a peaceful protest over what they described as the inconsiderate stance of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) by fixing the examination for March. The candidates carried placards with various inscriptions such as: “Admissions are yet to close, why conducting another UTME now?” “JAMB isn’t for revenue generation, stop milking our parents,” “2017 UTME held in May, why March in 2018?” and “2018 admissions not transparent,” among others.

They said many of them who had hoped to be admitted by various institutions during the 2017/2018 academic year just found out this week that they were not admitted and that less than one month would not be enough to prepare for another examination.

But JAMB has justified the decision to hold the examination between March 9 and 17, noting that it was a decision jointly taken by other examination bodies such as the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examinations Council (NECO), among others, to avoid clash of timetables and to ensure that all admissions are concluded by August every year for smooth academic system.

The examination body, however, advised the 245,000 candidates billed to take part in its Monday Mock test to visit the website to reprint their slips and prepare adequately for the examination. Addressing the press during the protest, the National President of the Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO), Mr. Dotun Sodunke, who led the candidates to the streets, said if allowed to hold as scheduled, Nigeria would experience another round of mass failure. He said if JAMB was not only concerned about generating revenue for the government it would consider the candidates before fixing the date for the examination.

According to him, there is no way the candidates will complete the UTME syllabus within one month. Sodunke added that institutions like the University of Benin, Yaba College of Technology, among others, still released admission list on Wednesday, and that the students who had applied to such institutions but are yet to be admitted would not concentrate on preparation for another examination. He said: “The new head of JAMB needs to be called to order. He should not be carried away by the euphoria of revenue generation. Every little error, candidates are asked to pay N2,500.

The future of this country depends on these children. JAMB is sure that if you conduct the exam early, many candidates would fail, and they would come back to register again next year. This is so because their children don’t school here.”

However, the Head of the Press and Public Relations Unit of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, explained that there was yet no basis for the postponement being sought by the candidates, saying the date had been fixed as early as December, 2017, and that it was made public. He said: “We need to place the interest of this country above selfish interest. The candidates are not the ones staging protest but the tutorial centres operators, and parents must intervene to rein them in.”

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Metro and Crime

My body no be wood or stone, sex-starved wife tells court, urges dissolution of union



Barely after five years of nuptial bliss, a 35 -year-old businesswoman, Mrs Bilikisu Azeez, on Monday approached an Igando Customary Court in a Lagos suburb to dissolve her sexless marriage.

“Please dissolve this union so that I can move on with my life, my body is not wood or stone,” the sex-starved wife opened up in court.

She told the court that her husband, Olusesi Azeez, starved her of sex for more than two years, a development which, she said, had affected her health.

“My husband has been starving me of sex since he married his youngest wife, he has turned me to an abandoned property.

“I have been falling sick in and out of hospital, during my last visit to the hospital, I was told that it was because I have had sex for long that is why I experience frequent sickness.”

She also accused her husband of not caring for her and the only child of the marriage, saying “my husband does not take care of me, I feed and clothe myself.

“He refused to enroll our only child, who is over four years old in school and has failed to pay his medical bills; I always run to my mother for the hospital bill.”

Bilikisu, who also accused her husband of battery, said he had beaten her publicly which resulted in her fainting.

According to her, the trouble started when her husband brought in the third wife.

She continued: “There was joy, love and peace in the house until he came with another wife, who has been fighting me also.”

Olusesi, in his response to the allegations, accepted that he starved the woman of sex.

“She once denied me of sex and since then I abandoned her.

“Yes, I starved her of sex, it is tit for tat because there was a day I entered her room to sleep with her and she left the bed to sleep on the floor.

“I made an attempt eight times to sleep with her, but she refused. So since that day, I just put her aside after all she is not the only wife I have,” he told the court.

The 45-year-old building contractor, however, agreed to the dissolution of the marriage, asking the court to grant his wife’s request.

“I am no longer interested in the marriage.”

The court’s President, Mr Akin Akinniyi, after listening to the estranged couple, advised them to explore a possible reconciliation of the crisis.

He adjourned the case until April 12 for judgment.(NAN)

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Metro and Crime

Woman drags ex-husband to Court over alleged assault



A 30-year-old woman, Janet Audu has dragged her ex-husband, Ishaku Maigari, to the Magajin Gari Sharia Court in Kaduna over alleged assault and harassment.

Janet told the court that her former husband has been harassing her in public, calling her a prostitute and beating her.

She that since their separation five years ago, during which she was granted custody of their three children, Maigari has also failed to cater for the children.

“We have been separated for five years now but has refused to move on. He constantly visit my house and shop to harass and beat me”, the complainant said.

She therefore urged the court to intervene, so as to stop Maigari from assaulting and harassing her, and compel him to be a responsible father to his children.

However, when his plea was taken, the ex-husband denied all the allegations made against him, saying they were untrue.

The Judge, Malam Musa Sa’ad, asked Janet if she has any witness, which she answered in the affirmative but complained that those willing to testify were afraid of Maigari.

The case has been adjourned to March 26, for the complainant to present her witnesses.(NAN)

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Metro and Crime

Dumpsite: Residents risk lung infections as Smoke envelopes Lagos



  …pupils, workers at risk of lung infections



No fewer than ten communities around Ojota, Ketu, Olusosun and some parts of Alausa- Oregun are currently being enveloped by the poisonous fumes from the Olusosun dumpsite where fire erupted on Wednesday. The visibility was zero as commuters and motorists managed to drive through the thick, dark and poisonous substance which has taken over the city metropolis. While some motorists drove slowly through the thick smoke, other sped off to escape the dark potion of the road.

Pedestrians at various bus stops especially the Seven-Up axis of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Ojota Bus Stop on the Ikorodu Road rushed to take the next available buses upon alighting from other vehicles. Some were using nose guards to cover their noses others used handkerchiefs to prevent inhaling the smoke. For the scavengers near the dumpsite and on the road linking Motorway Building to Ojota Bus Stop, it was business as usual as very few of them covered their noses, saying they were used to it. Some officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), enforcing the traffic law on the erring motorists around the Seven-Up Lay-by, covered their noses.

Speaking with our correspondent, one of the workers at the dumpsite, who identified himself simply as King of Boys, said they were praying for downpour to completely put out the fire, adding that the men of the state fire service couldn’t contain the fire. According to the young man, who was posing with his cigarette while speaking with our correspondent in the smoky environment, workers around the dumpsite are used to stench and smoke but they are only relieved of the smoke at the instance of downpour. Also, a LASTMA official, who pleaded anonymity, described the smoke as an annual occurrence, saying it happened last year during rainy season.

He said: “The smoke is not new. It’s an annual thing. Too much of refuse often leads to explosion and days of fume like this. I learnt that medical team was here in the morning to share nose guards.” Asked how he was coping with the smoke, the officer retorted: “I only spend about eight hours here daily. As you can see, I just resumed about 2p.m. and I will live by 8p.m.

But if we experience health hazards as a result of our exposure to the smoke, we will report at our Oshodi headquarters for medical attention.” Also, a resident of Ikosi Road, who refused to give her name, said she couldn’t leave her present home for another area because of the difficulty in getting accommodation in Lagos.

She said they could hardly open their windows or doors for fresh air since their environment was always enveloped in stench and smoke. Meanwhile, there are concerns that thousands of pupils in public and private schools located near the site as well as residents working around the axis are at risk of lung diseases.

A resident, Mrs. Grace Shokumbi, said pupils of Ikosi-High School and other private schools were prone to lung infections while those who were asthmatic could have their condition worsened by the current development. She said: “As pupils resume in school tomorrow (today) we are more than worry with the current development. What we inhale currently is polluted oxygen. We are tired of inhaling carbon monoxide.

I am sure the concerned authorities know the implications on our health.” Analysing the health risk of exposure to smoke in the area, a medical consultant, Dr. Kinsley Edosa, said that individuals with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma), foetuses, infants, young children, and the elderly might be more vulnerable to the health effects of smoke exposure. According to him, smoke released by any type of fire (forest, bush, crop, structure, tyres, waste or wood burning) is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by incomplete burning of carbon- containing materials.

He said: “All smoke contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. Smoke can contain many different chemicals, including aldehydes, acid gases, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals and dioxins.

The type and amount of particles and chemicals in smoke varies depending on what is burning, how much oxygen is available, and the burn temperature.” According to the consultant, studies have shown that some people exposed to heavy smoke have temporary changes in lung function, which makes breathing more difficult. He added that two of the major agents in smoke which could cause health effects were carbon monoxide gas and very small particles. According to experts at, if the smoke or air pollution continues, people may experience irritation of the eyes and throat; wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and breathing difficulties; worsening of existing lung and heart problems such as asthma; increased risk of heart attack.

“Long exposure to air pollution can cause cancer and damage to the immune, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems. In extreme cases, it can even cause death,” they said. When contacted on the phone, General Manager, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Segun Adediji, said that fire service operators and officials from Lagos State Emergence Management Agency (LASEMA) had been permanently stationed to put out the fire. According to him, one of the reasons the two agencies were stationed at Olusosun dumpsite was to continue to pour water to put out the fire, assuring that the problem would be over soon.

Explaining the cause of the fire, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, said it was the natural outcome of the trapped gasses from the waste, escaping to cause combustion, a situation which occurs occasionally in dumpsites. According to him, waste in dumpsites naturally emit certain gasses that are occasionally released to cause combustion such as the one witnessed in Olososun dumpsite.

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