AU moves to rescue abducted Chibock girls

The AU has announced plans to engage the Federal Government and other stakeholders in a meeting, in a fresh move to rescue the more than 200 girls abducted by insurgents in Chibok, Borno.

The AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Mrs Benita Diop, made the disclosure at the close of the Conference of Ministers of Social Development in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

Diop, who is to lead a delegation to Abuja on Monday, June 2, is to intimate the Federal Government on the “new approach’’ to rescue the girls, abducted on April 14.

The envoy, who addressed the meeting on AU’s effort to secure the girls, said the continental body would continue to evolve mechanisms to protect the girl-child through robust policies on education, among others.

The AU Ministers, under the auspices of the Fourth Conference on Social Development convened with stakeholders to review efforts toward ending child marriage in Africa.

The African Union Commission had announced that 39,000 underage girls were sent out for marriage daily in Africa and urged for more efforts to tackle the practise and allow such girls to face their future through adequate education.

The AU had during the just-concluded meeting launched a campaign tagged “End Child Marriage Now’’ where it called for urgent measures to tackle the growing spate ohf the cultural practise that had hit the continent with daily record of 39,000 victims.

The campaign would be carried out in 10 selected countries of the continent, where the culture of child marriage is highly practised.

The continental body listed Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone and Zambia among the first set of countries where the campaign would hold.

The campaign is being supported by AU partners, including UNICEF, UNFPA, UNECA, Plan International, the Canadian Government, Save the Children, Africa Child Policy Forum (ACPF) and DFID.

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No plans to increase cost of exam fees -JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board said on Saturday that it had no immediate plans to increase the cost of registration forms for its Computer-Based Tests.

The Public Relations Officer of JAMB, Mr Fabian Benjamin, who made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said that the board intended to work within its available resources for subsequent CBTs.

“If there is the need to increase, parents would be informed on why there is an increase,” he said.

Benjamin spoke against the backdrop of reported plans by the board to increase the cost of the forms.

He said that this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination was capital intensive because of the Paper-Pencil and Computer-Based Test that were held this year.

“The examination this year was capital intensive but subsequently it will not be so.

“The reason was that two types of examinations were held this year without any increase in budgetary allocation for exams.

“Subsequently, the cost of printing of papers for 23 subjects of 15 pages for about two million people will no longer be there.”

According to him, the Federal Government had assisted in reducing the financial burden of the exam on parents and guardians by directing JAMB to reduce the cost of forms from N4, 600 to N4, 000.

“The objective of the CBT is to make our education system more effective, to give the candidates the right orientation about examination, which should transcend to the university level.

“Its objective is also to curb examination malpractices,” he said.

Malawi’s new president calls for unity

Peter Mutharika, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, has been sworn in as the new president of Malawi after the country’s election commission declared him the winner of the disputed polls.

Mutharika on Saturday urged the 11 other former presidential candidates to “join me in rebuilding the country” after some of them had contested the results.

The brother of the former president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in 2012, took the oath of office with the vice president, Saulos Chilima, before a chief justice hours after the result was declared.

He said shortly after his inauguration: “Let me thank the other 11 candidates. We fought a good fight. It was robust, but gentlemanly. I want to invite (them) to join me in rebuilding this country.”

“It’s obvious that we are facing very serious problems in this country. No single person can do it.”

Mutharika won 36.4 percent of votes cast of the May 20 poll. Lazarus Chakwera won 27.8 percent and the outgoing president Joyce Banda won 20.2 percent.

Banda has reportedly accepted the election results despite earlier this week stating the poll was null and void due to fraud.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from Blantyre, said Mutharika swore the oath of the presidency so quickly to avoid facing contention from his opponents.

On Thursday, Maxon Mbendera, the head of the country’s electoral commission, said that the presidential elections were held in a free, fair, and credible manner although anomalies were discovered at over 4,000 polling stations.

Malawi was forced to deploy the army on the first day of voting last week after delays in opening the polls led voters to riot and burn down at least two stations.

Supporters of Banda have held a series of protests alleging that the vote was rigged in favour of Mutharika.

Another Nigerian Student Killed In South Africa

While Nigerians are still in shock and are demanding justice over the gruesome murder of a Nigerian student ‘Toba Falode, the son of veteran sports presenter Aisha Falode,

Another Nigerian student, 20 year old Naizi Evah has been murdered in South Africa.

The family and friends of a Ms. Evah are beginning to receive answers to the mystery surrounding her death at her school residence in South Africa, last Saturday.

20 year old Naizi Evah, a 3rd year Systems Engineering student of the Vaal University of Technology near Johannesburg was found stabbed to death in her room last Saturday.

A suspect, who was known to the deceased was arrested and granted bail pending the outcome of investigations.

As the school grappled with a murder that never should have happened, friends gathered in a memorial service to pay tribute to her, although most friends were too distraught to speak.

Her brother described her as a beautiful, intelligent and God-fearing and also appealed to the students to remain calm and focus on assisting the security agents with information to help resolve the murder.

Describing the circumstances surrounding her death, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Gordon Zide, said, “On Saturday 24th of May, we received a call from one of our Directors of Residences, informing us that there was a murder that has taken place at one of the hostels.

“The suspect is indeed our student, his origin is from Zimbabwe. They are conducting a DNA test for both the deceased and the suspect and currently they are awaiting the result which will come from Pretoria.”

The said suspect is her boyfriend of 3 years, whom friends allege was abusive to the deceased.

One of Naizi’s female friends, Ripfumelo Mukhavele, said amid tears, “I know that she dumped Trevor because Trevor told me that he messed up and wanted to fix things. They always dumped each other and got back together…but I never took it serious.”

Naizi’s brother, Michael Evah, confirmed to newsmen that the Police had indeed taken up the case but expressed their determination to see it concluded.

“We do not want a situation where the case would die without trace”, he said, even though the suspect has denied culpability.

While investigations continue in order to solve the case, Naizi Evah’s remains would be returned to Nigeria on Tuesday, June 3 for internment.

Spokesperson for the Vaal University of Technology, Michael Kuboni, said in his tribute speech, “The memories of Miss Naizi Evah stay in our hearts and may her soul rest in eternal peace.”

INEC conducts state assembly bye-election in Yobe

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Yobe State, on Saturday organised a bye-election into Nangere constituency of the state house of assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the member representing the constituency, Adamu Degubi, was killed by gunmen in June 2012.

NAN reports that two parties: the All Progressives Congress, which fielded Alhaji Saidu Baba, and the Peoples Democratic Party that fielded Shuaibu Ibrahim, are contesting the election.

A NAN correspondent who covered the election reports that security operatives have been deployed to all parts of Nangere Local Government Area to ensure peaceful conduct of the exercise.

INEC had deployed electoral materials and manpower to polling units by 8am, with accreditation commencing immediately while voting started at 12.30pm.

Voters in the area said the election would afford them the opportunity to elect another representative to the state’s assembly.

The Emir of Nangere, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibn Grema, appreciated the efforts of INEC in the conduct of the election, saying it would give the people a representation in the state’s assembly.

“The people of Nangere have been without a member in the Yobe State House of Assembly for two years now, which means that our interests have not been represented there.

“The people have been well mobilised and sensitised for peaceful conduct of the election.”

Hauwa Usman, a house wife, said the election would help to provide the constituency with infrastructure.

NSCDC deploys plain-cloth operatives in Nigeria, Niger borders

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps command in Sokoto has deployed security men in plain-clothes in the border between the state and Niger Republic to prevent arms importation into the country.

The Corps Commandant in Sokoto, Alhaji Aliyu Yemal, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Saturday that the command was working with other security agencies to check arms importation and ensure those engaged in such acts were arrested.

Yemal said the command was also working with local government chairmen and community leaders that share border with neighbouring Niger Republic in that regard.

He added, “At the moment, we have deployed plain-clothes operatives to Illela, Sabon-Birni, Isa, Gudu and Tangaza local government areas of the state to arrest those who engage in arms smuggling.

“Some officers have also embarked on foot patrols around the borders.”

The commandant solicited for the support of the people, especially those in rural areas, to cooperate with the officers in efforts to prevent illegal importation of arms for the good of the country.

Meet Bimbo Afolayan, CANUK Chairman

Bimbo Roberts Folayan is the Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom, (CANUK). CANUK is the umbrella organisation of the hundreds of Nigerian professional, cultural, states, welfare based and social organisations in the UK and he is the head of the entire Nigerian community in the UK.

Bimbo has garnered a tremendous amount of all round experience in private and public sectors both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom. A graduate of the University of Ife, he later participated in a M.Sc. Conversion programme at Greenwich University (UK) in Information Systems and Computing. Bimbo holds the British Computer Society (MBCS) Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status amongst several other qualifications too numerous to mention.

Based in the UK, he currently works as an Independent IT specialist in Europe and is the organiser of the Nihgerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit.

Bimbo worked with the Guardian Newspapers and was a publisher of a UK based tabloid called ‘The Main Issue’. Bimbo is an African with a rare social conscience who has initiated, participated in and executed various activities and ventures with others with the aim of promoting democracy, good governance and the development of the Diasporan community.

Before leaving Nigeria, He was a pioneer staff of the ‘People’s Bank of Nigeria’ and worked closely with its Chairman and Managing Director Pa Tai Solarin and Mrs Maria Sokenu respectively in disbursing small-scale loans to Nigerians in the 1990s. As the Programme Manager of the Bank, Bimbo was responsible for setting up of bank branches, centres and the disbursement of micro business credit for local communities in some parts of Nigeria between 1989 and 1991. He later worked as a Financier and midwifed the creation of Treasury and Finance Company/Mortgage bank after the liberalisation of the banking sector in 1992.

His IT consultancy in the UK has seen him participate in several bank and telecommunication merger projects across the UK and parts of Europe. Bimbo’s clientele include Ulster Bank, IBM, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest Bank, Halifax Bank and Bank of England amongst several others. He was part of the team that completed the harmonisation and re-branding of NTL, Telewest, and Virgin Telecoms (Virgin Media) and also the merger of Natwest Bank with other financial institutions with the Royal Bank of Scotland brand. He is the senior partner of ABN Limited based in the UK.

Bimbo is an idea generator and was the Chairman of the Ekiti Economic and Investment Forum (EEIF), an Economic and Development think tank, President of the Association of Nigerian IT Professionals in the UK (ANITP), member of the National Think Tank in Nigeria, Diaspora UK nominee to the Nigeria Vision 202020 board and was the Chairman of the Main Events Task Force of the Nigeria @ 50 celebrations in London and is now the Executive Director, J Williamz Ltd, the organisers of the Nigerian Direct Diaspora Investment Summit.
Bimbo holds 2 traditional chieftaincy titles: Serikin Yakin (King of War) of Kagara Town, Niger State Garkin Kowan Pada (Member of Emirs Palace) of Kotangora town, Niger State