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We will support girl child education till we die- Sultan

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The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Abubakar Saad III, has pledged to ensure that the Sultanate Council, the government and entire people of Sokoto state, embraces and promote girl child education in the state for as long as he lives.

He made the pledge while addressing newsmen at a two-day media dialogue on ‘Educate-A-Child (EAC) Cash Transfer Programme in Northern Nigeria’‎, organised by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information.

The Sultan who stressed on the enormous and unquantifiable benefits of western education especially as it concerns the girl child explained that not until recently, most indigenes of the state were suspicious of western education.

According to him, the present 80 percent male dominance witnessed in human resource for health and education in the state was highly unacceptable especially in the face of the high child- maternal mortality which was most paramount in Sokoto State.

Represented by the Sarkin Yakin Gagi, Sani Jabbi, he stressed that the Sultanate Council would not rest on its oars ‎until an equal representation of both male and females was achieved to ensure all areas were duly covered as far as education and health were concerned.

“Until of recent, northern states feared exposure to western education especially for girls, with claims that it would interfere with the cultural and religious beliefs of the people due to the curriculum in use even though that has not been the case.

“We will continue to struggle to the end of our lives to ensure that every girl-child is enrolled in school, complete the school, transit to secondary school ‎and complete it. We need more professionals in human resource for health in girls. We need more human resource in the teaching profession in Sokoto. What we have now is largely dominated by males; about 60-80 percent is male-dominated and demand for the human resource in education and health is needed.

“If you go to rural areas where we have high burden of child-maternal mortality, as a result of the community not allowing females to search for knowledge in health-related professions as a result of male domination.

“It means there is a need for all males to support girl-child education so that we can have more human resource for females in the health and education profession. We will continue until we ensure that 50 percent female and 50 percent male‎ is achieved. But for males to be 80 percent, this is unacceptable.

“The curriculum being introduced in western education is still from the western imperialism and has not ben adjusted. We are still strongly against mixing mature males and females in school to mingle together, that is why it tends to limit male participation.

“It is time for us to sustain advocacy and sensitisation, to sustain male involvement for human resource which are largely female,” he said.

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Navy seizes N66m illegally refined diesel, arrests 23 suspects

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Navy

Nigerian Navy (NN) on Friday says it impounded a vessel, barge and wooden boat illegally conveying about 300,000 litres of suspected stolen diesel worth N66 million.

Capt. Victor Choji, the Executive Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, presented 11 suspected crewmen to newsmen in Onne, Rivers.

He said that the vessel, MV Nazarene, barge and wooden boat were intercepted in the late hours of April 20 by troops on routine patrol of waterways.

He added that “the vessel, MV Nazarene, was caught in the act by our patrol elements transhipping suspected illegally refined diesel from a barge, DP 28, and a wooden boat at about 2300 hours.

“MV Nazarene was seized with 300,000 litres of petroleum product suspected to be illegally refined diesel.

“The 11 all-male crew members of the vessel were subsequently arrested and they have been in our custody as preliminary investigation had commenced.”

Choji said that troops also on routine patrol intercepted another suspected illegal vessel, MV Asha, escorted by six undisclosed security personnel.

He said that troops on boarding the vessel found out that the security personnel did not have permission to escort the vessel at the time of seizure.

He, however, declined to reveal the identity of the security agency that provided the illegal escort to the vessel.

He said “MV Asha was seized on March 29 at Onne waterways with 11 crewmen on board. The vessel and crewmen have been in our custody because their motive is still not clear.

“The vessel was arrested with six security personnel that were not under any authority to escort the vessel, thereby, contradicting the Harmonised Standard Operating Procedure (HSOP).

“The HSOP clearly spelt out roles of security agencies in combating illegalities in the oil and gas sector. I advise that security agencies abide by the HSOP.”

The officer added that any individual or group that wished to lift and load petroleum products legitimately at sea must first seek clearance from navy before carrying out such business.

He said the navy was resolute to ensuring that crimes and criminality within the state maritime environment were frustrated to allow legitimate social and commercial activities to thrive.

The naval officer handed over the vessels, barge, wooden boat and 23 suspects to operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.

(NAN)

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Imo APC: Hold Okorocha responsible for breakdown of law and order

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okorocha

The Imo State All Progressives Congress stakeholders Forum has charged the security agencies to hold the State governor, Rochas Okorocha responsible should there be a breakdown of law and order in the state.

The Forum also condemned the spate of protests, allegedly sponsored by the Imo State governor.

According to the statement signed and issued in Abuja by Dr TOE Ekechi and Hon. Kingsley Ononuju, the Imo State governor should pride his office and stop engaging in activities demeaning the office of the governor.

In the statement, the Forum said, “We wish to draw the attention of security agencies ‎and the general public to the spate of senseless protests which we believe are being sponsored by the governor of Imo State in his desperate bid to blackmail the Imo State stakeholders particularly Distinguished Senator Osita Izunaso, the National Organizing Secretary of our great party.

“We particularly draw attention to the sponsored protests of 17th and 23rd instant at APC party headquarters and SGF office respectively by hired miscreants against our coalition and Senator Osita Izunaso in particular.

“It is shameful that the governor of Imo State can tow this path of dishonour by procuring the services of helpless and hapless youths from Nasarawa State to foment trouble and embarrass the party. From the conduct of the so called “protesters” it was self evident that they did not even know why their services were procured.

“The governor must therefore be called to order by well Nigerians. We wish to warn that the continued sustenance of such senseless protests with Imo taxpayers’ money portends very grave danger. The governor must be held fully responsible for any break of law and order or loss of life if not now, by May 29, 2019, when his tenure surely would have expired.”

Recalled that the Imo State governor is contesting the outcome of the APC Ward, Local Government and State Congresses in the state.

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Africans richest woman, Alakija narrates how 3 siblings defrauded her

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Folorunso Alakija

A business tycoon and one of the richest women in Africa, Mrs Folorunso Alakija has narrated to an Ikeja High Court how Vincent Ayewah, a staff of her Rose of Sharon Foundation and his two siblings defrauded her of N3million.

Vincent, who works as a clerk and admin officer for the foundation was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his siblings Florence Ayewah and Emmanuel Ayewah and four others; Onuwa David, Okoronkwo Chikadibia, Ehizibolo George and Chinyere Awanah.

The EFCC alleged that Vincent conned Alakija’s foundation of the funds by forging cheques while conniving with his siblings and cohorts to pose to banks as beneficiaries of the foundation.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr M.D Aliyu, Alakija said, “On November 13, 2012, my treasurer Gladys Efiozor called me to say that she received a call from Stanbic IBTC concerning a forgery of a cheque.

“I told her to send me an email of the forged cheque and when I saw it I told her that the signature was not mine, there are three signatories to that account and the forged signature did not match those of the other signatories.

“Florence (Vincent’s sister) was the one caught with the cheque, tge bank called EFCC to investigate and Florence was handed over to the EFCC.

“It was discovered that the bag she was carrying had 12 different Identity cards of beneficiaries of the foundation with her pictures on the identity cards.

“The bag also contained cash collected from other banks from the foundation’s account.”

Alakija further said that she confronted Vincent and seized his mobile phone after he had received a suspicious call and that he had also deleted an incriminating text message from his phone.

“He admitted to the fraud and begged for mercy, he had done other infractions in the past and had begged for mercy anytime he was caught.

“Vincent enjoyed a new lifestyle with proceeds from the scam, buying a new car which he parked far away from the premises of the office to avoid detection.

“A blank cheque and a survey plan of a property was in his car.

“He had committed infractions before, begged for mercy and I forgave him, I thought that with warnings, he will change,” the billionaire said.

During cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Mr Obiora Umeh, she said: “There are widows and orphans that need to be empowered, I have one project manager at a time that Vincent Ayewah was reporting to.

“When he needs to write the cheques he had to handle the cheque book, I knew he was issuing the cheques because it was part of his duty.

“The auditors must have gone through the list of beneficiaries and approve it, I can’t remember now if they were going through the cheque books because our systems have since changed.

“The issue at hand is that the first defendant (Vincent) had taken blank cheques and written the names of the beneficiaries on them.

“Vincent’s siblings had gone to pose in banks to pretend that they were the original beneficiaries.

“Even if it wasn’t a blank cheque he had torn out and he had followed the normal sequence of things, they will still go and pose as beneficiaries,” she said.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until October 25 for a continuation of trial.

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