A 42-year-old member the billionaire kidnap gang, Sola Paul has told his own side of the story on how he met kingpin, Evans.
The arrested suspects have been making their individual confessions to the police.
Paul, who is an indigene of Bayelsa State said he was earning N65, 000 monthly from the amnesty programme put in place by the Nigerian government for Niger Delta Militants before meeting Evans.
He said, “I am from Bayelsa State. I was being paid N65,000 monthly for the amnesty they granted me, but my master used to deduct N10,000 from it every month.
“I then went into sea diving job for which I was paid sums ranging from N50,000 to N500,000 for items recovered. But while working as divers all of us were still in the militant camp at Bayelsa, Calabar and Delta.
“At times, we would break pipelines or kidnap oil workers, especially foreigners working with oil companies, and they used to pay ransom fast.
“It was my master, Mr. George Suboma, who owned the camp and the guns we used for militancy. We got annoyed with the oil companies because they did not care to employ indigenes of the states or develop the areas.
“The amnesty was granted us in 2009, during the late President Yaradua’s regime. In 2010, I met Evans because he used to come to camp to collect guns from my master, George.
“He would come to militants’ camp with Barrister Yellow to meet George. I do not have Evans’ phone number and he does not have my number too.
“When President Yaradua died, they started owing us amnesty allowance. I am not too educated.
“Evans later called me. He asked me about my children. I told him that my master, Ugboma George, was deceased.
“He asked me to text the number of the gang’s second in command identified as Peter. He said he would like to see us in Lagos. He sent N30,000 for our journey to Lagos.
“When we alighted at Cele Bus Stop at Ijesha (Lagos), one elderly man came and took us to one hotel at Iyana Ojugbo area. We stayed there for two weeks without seeing Evans.”
Education crisis widening social gaps in Nigeria, others –World Bank
The World Bank Group has warned that the education crisis in Nigeria is currently widening the social inclusion gaps in the country .
The group said this in its World Development Report for 2018 titled “Learning to Realise Education ’s Promise ” which was presented in Abuja on Wednesday .
The event was attended by the Minister Finance , Mrs . Kemi Adeosun , her counterpart in the Education Ministry , Adamu Adamu , and major stakeholders in the education sector .
The bank in the report called for greater action and coordination of the education sector to achieve the objectives of poverty reduction.
It said millions of young students in low and middle -income countries face the prospect of lost opportunities and lower wages in the future because their primary and secondary schools were failing to educate them to succeed in life .
Warning of a ‘learning crisis’ in global education , the World Bank report said schooling without learning was not just a wasted development opportunity but also a great injustice to children and young people worldwide.
Without learning , it said education would fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all .
The report observed that even after several years in school , millions of children could not read , write or do basic mathematics .
This learning crisis , according to the report , is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them .
It added that young students disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability got to adulthood without even the most basic skills of life .
The World Bank Group said like in Kenya , Tanzania, and Uganda “where third grade students find it difficult to make a sentence ,” evidence had shown that in Nigeria , when fourth grade students were asked to complete a simple two- digit subtraction problem , more than three – quarter could not solve it.
It said , “The diagnosis in this World Development Report may make for disheartening reading , but it should not be interpreted as saying that all is lost – only that too many young people are not getting the education they need .
“Learning shortfalls eventually show up as weak skills in the workforce , making it less likely that young people will find good- paying , satisfying jobs .
“But change is possible , if systems commit to learning , drawing on examples of families , educators, communities , and systems that have made real progress . ”
New study finds that 78% of black fathers are unmarried
A new study has found that most black fathers are unmarried and this revelation has led to a coversation online.
The study carried out by the Centers For Disease Control reveals that more than 3/4 of all Black fathers are not married. The study also found that 72% of Black men have had children by age 44. But only 27% of African American fathers were ever married to the child’s mother. That number applies irrespective of the race of the child’s mother.
The study goes on to point out that 78% of Black men with kids fathered at least one child outside of marriage.
Past studies have pointed out the high percentage of unwed Black mothers. The new study pointing out the percentage of unwed fathers exposes a crisis among Black men and social media activists are concerned by the high percentage of unwed fathers.
IVF made easy: Scientists create device to identify strongest sperm
Scientists from Cornell University have created a device that will help doctors identify the strongest sperm to be used for in-vitro fertilization.
The result of the research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Alireza Abbaspourrad, Cornell’s Yongkeun Joh assistant professor of food chemistry and ingredient technology, said conventional methods of separating motile sperm is tedious and takes hours.
The device takes advantage of sperm’s ability to go against the flow — a process called rheotaxis. It has a microfluidic channel through which the sperm swim and a microscopic corral — shaped like a “C” — with a retaining wall that attracts the strongest swimmers.
“The older method is tedious, time-consuming and not efficient. It’s the time that laboratory technicians and physicians expend that makes the process expensive,” Abbaspourrad said.
“With this method, it’s five minutes instead of several hours.”
Soon Hon Cheong, Ph.D., assistant professor at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Meisam Zaferani, a doctoral student in chemistry, also worked on the device.
“Here, we took advantage of sperm’s natural tendency to redirect against fluid flow, once the sperm reach a certain velocity,” said Cheong.
“Once the sperm detect interference, they can use it to swim upstream. That’s when we can trap them. We could separate the good sperm from the not-so-strong in a reasonably elegant way. We are able to fine-tune our selection process.”
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