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Onaiyekan: Abuse of Federal Character Act Fuelling Agitations, Tension



Paul Obi in Abuja

As tension build up over recent agitations and threats by some ethnic nationalities, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Metropolitan See, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, wednesday said the flagrant abuse of the federal character Act by the administration is responsible for the agitations and threats by tribal groups in the country.

Onaiyekan who stated this at a press conference on the Centenary of the late Ignatius Cardinal Ekandem, the first Episcopal Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Metropolitan See in Abuja wednesday, warned that the continued domination of government by a particular tribe and the exclusion of others spell doom for the nation.

The cardinal who spoke as a prelude to the centenary celebration for the late Ekandem slated for tomorrow, tasked the federal government to change the rules of governance in addition to yielding to the call by Nigerians to restructure the country.

He insisted that the anger and dissatisfaction expressed by people would continue in the country, considering that abuse of federal character principle leads to injustice and marginalisation
Onaiyekan stated: “We all know what is causing people to be angry, and if you want to be sincere, there is no part of Nigeria where there is no cause for anger, no part.

“May be some people are expressing their anger more than the others. But everywhere, people are dissatisfied. And this has nothing to do with who is president and who is not the president?

“It goes in my opinion to the rules of governance. How we governed ourselves, the whole area of justice system, equality before the law. The whole concept of federal character supposed to be that no part of the country is left behind. Federal character can not mean that some parts of Nigeria will be favoured over others.

“If the federal character leads to injustice and marginalisation, then, it does not make sense. We must change the way we are doing things, we cannot continue like this.

“Definitely, if we do, there will be more anger, more calls for change and we don’t know who will be able to mobilise more people to cause more problem. Don’t forget that this was the one of the major positions held by the Boko Haram.”
Onaiyekan maintained that lackadaisical attitude displayed by some of those at the helms of affairs would do no good for the country, rather, they should look at the agitation holistically to correct the imbalance in the land.

He said: “The issue is, what are those things that are happening in Nigeria now, which we need to critically and effectively look at, in such that, this sense of dissatisfaction, exclusion, injustice that people are feeling will be reduced to the minimum? So, some people put it under big title of restructuring.

“Some people think that restructuring is to create more states, as far as am concerned if you create more states and the system remains the same, you will only have more problems.

“We need to restructure if we want the country to survive. The truth is that things are not organised properly and it makes the people to be dissatisfied.

“It is not only the Biafrans who are disgusted with this country; a lot of us are, even though we still are not thinking of that. It is like a father who is very angry with his son; you will still not throw him away.” Speaking on the process for the canonisation of Archbishop Ekandem who lived between 1917 to 1995, Onaiyekan said though the late Nigerian first cardinal might be canonised, the chances remain uncertain.

He described late Cardinal Ignatiusas ‘a real man of the church’ who laid the foundation for the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria and achieved many first-class in the priesthood.

The Chairman of the centenary celebration, Monsignor Kenneth Enang, told journalists that the remembrance of Ekandem’s centenary birthday is remarkable given his enormous contribution to Nigeria and the Catholic Church.

To that effect, Enang explained Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to grace the occasion on Friday at the Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Catheral, Garki, Abuja.
He added that a biography of the late Ekandem will also be launched during the ceremony.

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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 . ”


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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.

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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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