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We Must Avoid Another Civil War. Okogie warns

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Biafra will not stand — Gov Masari

•Igbo agenda cannot be wished away — Chekwas Okorie

By Emeka Mammah, Cliford Ndujihe, Johnbosco Agbakwuru and Sam Eyoboka

ARCHBISHOP Emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, says Nigeria should avoid another civil war.
 Okogie spoke, yesterday, as Acting President Yemi Osinbajo engaged in meetings with leaders of some Igbo and northern groups, last week, after some northern groups asked Igbo in the North to vacatetheareaby October1.

The northern groups had reacted to the lingering agitation by some groups to allow the Igbo to break away from Nigeria on the auspices of Biafra, the name under which the South-East tried to secede between 1967 and 1970.

Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State says the Igbo do not have the capacity to actualise Biafra.

The National Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, countered that Biafra cannot be wished away.

Okogie, who spoke on the occasion to mark his 81st birthday in Lagos, said, “We in Nigeria once made a mistake—a grave one for that matter—goingtowarwhenwe could have resolved our differences peacefully. The scar of the war remains.

To avoid another war is an obligationweallmustassume. To avoid going to war is not cowardice. It is to have the courage to subdue our ego and negotiate. To go to war when we could and ought to have avoided it is not courageous but reckless.

To assume the obligation of avoiding a war, we must refrain from revisionist accounts of the 1967-70 war”.

The archbishop emeritus blamed the Nigerian political class for failing to see the urgent need for far-reaching constitutional reforms and are pitching the youths against themselves while the elders are stoking the embers of disintegration.

According to him, similar circumstances precipitated the Rwandan genocide of 1994. “Would it not be wise to learn from past mistakes, ours and others? This is the time to stand back from the brink”, he stated. Saying the quality of life of the average Nigerian is low, Okogie said: “Whether one talks of education, medical service delivery, security or the economy, every aspect of our life in this country is in downward motion.

The extent of poverty experienced by our people is simply unacceptable. “This country has more than enough resources to make life liveable. If there is so much discomfort, we must interrogate those who manage the affairs of our country. Why is it that government—federal, state and local—has failed Nigerians?”

“We have said it before that we live in clear and present danger. We said it when herdsmen went on the rampage and arms were being brought into Nigeria by “ghost importers”. Now we should ask ourselves: is there a correlation between illegal importation of arms into Nigeria and the drumbeats and dance steps of war we are currently witnessing?”

Why Biafra will not rise again’

Governor Masari said, at the weekend, that Biafra will not stand even if a referendum was called to determine its fate.

“Referendum on what? If we are to have a referendum on Biafra, it will fail; even if it will win, it will only be in the South- East zone which has only five states against 31”. Masari said in an interview

‘Igbo agenda cannot be wished away’

In a reaction, Okorie said: “The issue of Biafra cannot be wished away with provocative statements.

“Nigerians are talking about constructive dialogue. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has engaged leaders of ethnic nationalities across the country to douse tension.

“Apart from Biafra, groups in South-West are agitating for Oodua Republic; people are also agitating for Niger-Delta Republic and even gave northerners October 1 deadline to leave the Niger- Delta as Arewa youth coalition gave to the Igbo living in the North. The country is at the edge of the precipice.”

Also reacting, the founder of the Igbo Youth Movement and Deputy National Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu- Uko said, “Nigeria is drifting simply because those scared of restructuring are using all sorts of excuses, making all kinds of threats and hoping still to intimidate the political elite from other regions into accepting the northern view point as standard gospel.
“They are repeating themselves like a broken record. If Biafra is dead, why are they so frightened of the very successful May 30th stay at home, to the extent that they reacted childishly with a 90 day quit order?

“Truth actually is: the ongoing tugofwarbetweenthoseforand against restructuring is dragging this long, simply because some people are afraid of change, any kind of change. They see a restructured Nigeria as creating a level playing field for all.”

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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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