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IPOB, South-East governors disagree over Northern quit notice

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The Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) seems not to be in agreement with the position of the Southeast governors that Igbo resident in the North should ignore the quit notice issued by some Arewa youth organisations.

The Biafran group yesterday accepted the quit notice and asked Igbo up north to begin to pack their belongings preparatory to relocation to the south.

This is contrary to the stance of the Southeast Governors Forum which had, late on Friday, dismissed speculations that it had concluded arrangement to ferry home millions of Igbo in the North on account of the quit threat.

It said it had no such plan for now and that the Igbo should remain where they are and continue with their normal life.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a function in Ibadan yesterday pointed out that Nigeria is better off as an entity as opposed to the dismemberment being agitated in some quarters.

He likened the federation to a marriage that is bound to have its ups and downs but which must last for life.

Three northern governors – Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto),Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Aminu Masari (Katsina) – said the Igbo in their states have nothing to fear and should remain where ever they are.

The director of media and publicity of IPOB, Emma Powerful, said in a statement yesterday said it was grateful to the Arewa Elders Forum (AEF), Arewa Youths and Arewa Consultative Forum “for seeing sense in what IPOB has been saying about the need for a referendum to be conducted in Nigeria to decide the fate of the component ethnic nationalities criminally lumped together by the British in 1914,’’ and to “vocal Northerners for at least having the courtesy to issue advance warning this time.’’

It promised to “adhere to your warning to leave Northern Nigeria because a word is enough for the wise. Biafrans and other Southerners should start packing their properties to come down to the South,’’ and advised Northern youths and elders to “keep it on because all they have done is exercise their right to free speech which is not a crime under any law known to man.’’

It said it was not in support of calls for the arrest of such Arewa Youths and their Elders.

The group dismissed suggestion that economic investments of Southeasterners in the north constitutes an impediment to Biafra restoration project.

It branded such view as cheap blackmail “designed to trigger rancour among Biafra populations because the North have always assumed and wrongly too, that the Igbo will place economic well being over and above their life. This assumption is based on a false premise and one we are determined to prove same as events unfold in the coming weeks and months.

“We are not afraid of our enemies; neither will any threat or violence from any quarter deter us. We remain peaceful in our noble quest to restore Biafra but we must caution that we always retain the right as a people to defend ourselves should the need arise.

“Allow Biafrans time to relocate peacefully back to BIAFRALAND, that is all we ask.”

The South East Governors Forum (SEGF), on its part, denied that it had commenced moves to bring back home their kits and kin in the north by mobilisng vehicles and cash for the purported evacuation.

“The rumours should be disregarded, as they are nothing but tissues of lies,’’ the Chairman of SEGF and Ebonyi governor, David Umahi, said in a statement.

“No amount of provocation would lead us to such a precipitate and irresponsible action at this time.

“Those exploiting such vacuous tittle-tattle as a basis for divisive rhetoric in public spaces are simply playing juvenile politics and we urge them to cease and desist.’’

He appealed to Igbo resident in the North to go about their lawful daily engagements without fear of intimidation, hindrance or molestation and assured them of corporate existence of Nigeria.

“The Forum has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to and preference for the existence of a virile, united, prosperous and progressive Nigeria where justice, fairness, equity, mutual respect and equality of opportunity to all citizens regardless of creed, ethnicity or gender will reign supreme under the inflexible rule of law.

“We have had occasions recently to take this position publicly in response to the agitation, but peaceful actions of some Igbo youth.’’

The governors, he said, would continue to take a similar stance in response to any action that might threaten the cohesiveness of Nigeria or designed to cause its rupture.

He said that the lives and property of law-abiding Igbo citizens were as precious as the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of the region of their abode within this Republic.

“These must be guaranteed and defended against all forms of threat and aggression, both domestic and external, by the security forces and agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’

The governors are collaborating effectively with the security agencies to ensure that no harm of any description was done to any law-abiding Nigerian citizen resident in the South East, including those from the North.

H called on all serious minded patriots, religious leadership in the North; the leadership of other socio-cultural groups; Nigerian Governors Forum; and all the service branches to rise up with voices of peace and wisdom to counteract the mischievousness and exuberant excesses of the northern youth.

“The ugly lessons of history are too grim to be stoked with carelessness,’’ he warned and that as leaders, “we must exert the full measure of our powers and influence to forestall a repetition.’’

He expressed appreciation to all Nigerians, including the presidency; reputable socio-cultural group, including Afenifere, who have declaimed the threat by the northern youth, and “thus underscored the unity and oneness of this nation.”

The forum also appreciated Senate President Bukola Saraki; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; “our brother Governors particularly Alhaji Kashim Shetimma (the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum).

The Forum also thanked Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), the Minister of Interior; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State; the leadership of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF); the security agencies and others.

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Education crisis widening social gaps in Nigeria, others –World Bank

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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 . ”

 

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New study finds that 78% of black fathers are unmarried

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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.

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IVF made easy: Scientists create device to identify strongest sperm

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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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