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Osibanjo visits site of Boko Haram attack

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Nigeria’s acting President Yemi Osinbajo visited the northeastern city of Maiduguri twenty-four hours after multiple Boko Haram attacks killed at least eighteen people there. Osinbajo’s visit was brave as well as politically astute, demonstrating that he is not intimidated by terrorism. Another reason for his visit was to open grain distribution centers, highlighting government efforts to respond to the widespread humanitarian disaster in the region, which hosts more than two million internally displaced persons. Mindful of northern Nigerian protocol, his first stop in Maiduguri was a visit to the Shehu of Bornu, the most senior Islamic official in the northeast, and its traditional ruler.

Osinbajo is receiving high marks from business leaders and many journalists, both at home and abroad, because of his economic policies–perceived as more flexible than those of President Buhari–and his general projection of engagement and competence. The Maiduguri visit will only add to this praise.

Inevitably, there is speculation that he could be a strong presidential candidate in 2019. Born in 1957, Osinbajo is married to the granddaughter of Obafemi Awolowo, a Yoruba politician and one of the founding fathers of Nigeria, and was a successful lawyer before being elected as vice president. With a net worth over $900 thousand, Osinbajo is much richer than President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared total assets of just under $100 thousand. However, his personal wealth does not approach that of many Nigerian oligarchs, nor are there whispers of corruption. He is a Pentecostal preacher in the Redeemed Christian Church of God and has said that he remains a preacher, and is only “on loan” as the vice president.

Nigerian politics is shaped by the understanding that the presidency and the vice presidency alternate every eight years between the north and the south, in effect, between Muslims and Christians. If the president is Muslim, the vice president is Christian. (Buhari is a Muslim). Under that arrangement, the Muslim north is still set to hold the presidency through the 2019 elections. However, power alternation is not mandated by law, and many Nigerians, especially in the south, will argue that this formula is no longer necessary nor desirable. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen what the north’s reaction would be to a southern Christian candidate in 2019, even if the candidate is as politically skilled as Yemi Osinbajo is proving to be.

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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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