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Encomiums as ex-external affairs minister, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, turns 80

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Encomiums were showered on former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi on Sunday, during a virtual celebration of his 80th birthday.

Prof Akinyemi, who was minister from 1985 to 1987, under the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, was born on January 4, 1942, but marked his 80th birthday with a celebratory virtual event on Sunday, January 9.

The event was organised by a socio-cultural group, the Ijesha Society, in honour of Prof Akinyemi.

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The welcome address delivered by the group’s president, Prof Duro Oni, and the Chairman of the event, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora, highlighted the role Akinyemi has played in the development of Nigeria both locally and on the international stage.

The Guest Speaker who delivered the day’s lecture, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Ajumogobia, SAN, examined the action of governments across Africa, how the actions or inactions impacted its citizens, and how the world viewed the continent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ajumogobia urged African leaders to band together to solve the challenges they currently face regarding COVID-19. He also spoke on the need for strong diplomacy among countries.

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The celebrant’s daughter, Atinuke Akinyemi, in her well wishes extoled her father as one who loved Nigeria above anything else and was always willing to give his all for the country.

Nigeria Newspapers

Inter communal war: Ebonyi town debunks killings

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From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki

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The people of Ukawu community in Onicha local government area of Ebonyi State have denied reports alleging that the community was at war with their neighbours in Ishinkwo community.

It also dismissed as false the report that four persons from the community were killed by suspected warlords from Ishinkwo.

There was report that victims of internal communal war between Abaomege and Ishinkwo communities in Onicha local government area of the state were from Ukawu.

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But the community in a reaction said the community had never engaged in a war with their neighbours.

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Youth Leader of the community, Mr.Monday Ugochukwu, told newsmen that his community was at peace with their neighbors.

He clarified that the skirmishes were actually between two of their neighbors, Abaomege and Ishinkwo.

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He described the reports as misleading and capable of causing tension, and appealed to newsmen to urgently correct the errors in the reports for the interest of peace.

“The incident is correct; there was actually an ambush and people were killed. But there is an erroneous information that I want to correct in the report. It is not between Ukawu and Ishinkwo communities. Ukawu people had never been at war with any community. We are peace loving people and we live in peace with our neighbors. The criss is actually between Abaomege and Ishinkwo communities. And the victims were not Ukawu people” he said.

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Nigeria Newspapers

NUT strike: Niger pupils still home two weeks after resumption

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Almost two weeks after resumption in other states, pupils in Niger State are yet to resume with no hope at when the impasses between the Niger State Government and Nigerian Union of Teachers would be over.

While parents expressed worries over their wards’ inability to resume school as a result of the sit-at-home directive issued by the NUT to its members over the government’s refusal to stop the percentage payment of salaries, the state government and the union seem not to be making headway in resolving the conflict.

Our correspondent spoke to some parents who were of the impression that the state government was not being sincere with the way they are handling the situation, claiming that the state government didn’t take the issue seriously as it spent money on other things that didn’t match up with education.

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A parent, Musa Sale, whose child is in primary school said he didn’t understand why the issue cannot be resolved once and for all.

“This problem has been on for a long time and I wonder why the government doesn’t want to pay them their full salaries. How can someone be working and he is being paid part of his salary when it is not as if he is under punishment for defaulting?”

Another parent, identified as Christopher, accused the government of insincerity in the impasse saying, “I know that if the government wants this issue resolved, it will be resolved swiftly because they have their way around things but you can see that they don’t want it resolved. If not, in a matter of hours, the issue would be over”.

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Most of the women were worried about their children seeing other children in private schools go to school while they stay at home doing nothing.

“I am just worried that while my neighbours children are going to school, mine will be seating at home and missing out on schoolwork,” a parent, identified simply as Agnes said.

When contacted on the fate of the pupils, the chairman of the NUT, Akayago Mohammed, referred our correspondent to the outcome of a communique from the State Wing Executive Council meeting which held in Minna on Monday which insisted that there would be no resumption until the government made commitments to reverse the percentage payment.

At the time of filing this report, the state Commissioner for education, Hannatu Salisu, did not pick up her calls nor did she respond to a message sent to her by our correspondent.

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