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  •  80 people in court after South African shame of nation gang rape
    80 people in court after South African ‘shame-of-nation’ gang-rape
     80 people in court after South African shame of nation gang rape
    80 people in court after South African ‘shame-of-nation’ gang-rape
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    80 people in court after South African ‘shame-of-nation’ gang-rape

    More than 80 people arrested following a gang-rape of eight South African women appeared before a court on Monday, as the police minister described the assault as the “shame of the nation”.

    A gang of gunmen forced their way into a music video shoot near a mine dump in Krugersdorp, a small town west of Johannesburg, on Thursday.

    Eight young women from the cast were raped in an incident that shocked the nation, which is usually used for violent crime.

    “What happened in Krugersdorp is just a shame to the nation,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told a press briefing on Monday, adding some of the victims would suffer long-term consequences.

    “Some of those destructions are permanent with those kids,” he said.

  •  Buni approves N619 5m for payment of pensions gratuities
    Buni approves N619.5m for payment of pensions, gratuities
     Buni approves N619 5m for payment of pensions gratuities
    Buni approves N619.5m for payment of pensions, gratuities
    General news2 weeks ago

    Buni approves N619.5m for payment of pensions, gratuities

    Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe has approved the payment of N619.5 million for local government pensions and gratuities.

    Buni, in a statement by his Director-General Press and Media Affairs Alhaji Mamman Mohammed in Damaturu, said the payment was for batch 45. He said N449.6 million of the amount would be paid to 274 retirees, while N169.9 was for the next-of-kin of 93 deceased civil servants.

    Meanwhile, the governor has also approved the placement of 102 allied healthcare students on a Grade Level 05 in the state’s civil service.

    Buni listed the beneficiaries to include students studying physiotherapy, pharmacy, radiography, nursing and medical laboratory sciences in various universities across the country.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Biden says killing of Al Qaeda chief will bring closure to 9 11 families
    Biden says killing of Al-Qaeda chief will bring ‘closure’ to 9/11 families
     Biden says killing of Al Qaeda chief will bring closure to 9 11 families
    Biden says killing of Al-Qaeda chief will bring ‘closure’ to 9/11 families
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    Biden says killing of Al-Qaeda chief will bring ‘closure’ to 9/11 families

    President Joe Biden on Monday said he hoped that the US killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri will help bring "closure" to families of those killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

  •  UN inaugurates alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030
    UN inaugurates alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030
     UN inaugurates alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030
    UN inaugurates alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    UN inaugurates alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030

    UN agencies and others on Monday formed a global alliance to prevent new HIV infections and ensure that by 2030 all HIV positive children can get access to lifesaving treatment.

    According to UN data, more than three quarters of all adults living with HIV are receiving some kind of treatment while the number of children doing so stands at only 52 per cent.

    In a statement issued by the Joint United Nations Programme on (UNAIDS), the initiative was launched by three UN agencies- UNAIDS, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to this startling disparity.

    In addition to the UN agencies, the alliance includes civil society movements, including the Global Network of People living with HIV, national governments in the most affected countries, and international partners, including PEPFAR and the Global Fund. Twelve countries have joined the alliance in the first phase: Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

    The new Global Alliance for Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 was announced at the landmark International AIDS Conference, which comes to a close in Montréal, Canada, on Tuesday.

    Addressing the conference, Ms Limpho Nteko from Lesotho shared her journey from a surprise HIV diagnosis to pioneering the women-led mothers2mothers programme to combat gestational transmission of HIV.

    Pregnant when diagnosed, Nteko highlighted the importance of community leadership in combating HIV.

    “To succeed, we need a healthy, informed generation of young people who feel free to talk about HIV, and to get the services and support they need to protect themselves and their children from HIV,” she told delegates.

    “mothers2mothers has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV for our enrolled clients for eight consecutive years – showing what is possible when we let women and communities create solutions tailored to their realities.

    ” Netko’s emphasis on community leadership will now be backed by the resources of an international coalition.

    According to her, together, stakeholders in the alliance have identified four pillars of collective action: “Close the treatment gap among breastfeeding adolescent girls and women living with HIV and optimise the continuity of treatment.

    “Prevent and detect new HIV infections among pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and women.

    “Promote accessible testing, optimised treatment, and comprehensive care for infants, children, and adolescents exposed to and living with HIV.

    “Address gender equality, and the social and structural barriers that hinder access to services.

    ’’ The potential success of the alliance rests on its unifying nature, according to UNAIDS Executive Director, Ms Winnie Byanyima.

    She argues that, by bringing together new improved medicines, new political commitment, and the determined activism of communities, we can be the generation who end AIDS in children.

    “We can win this – but we can only win together.

    “Only through collaboration at all levels of society, can holistic solutions be created to effectively prevent further HIV transmission,’’ she said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  UN stakeholders advocate policies on widows inclusiveness
    UN, stakeholders advocate policies on widows’ inclusiveness
     UN stakeholders advocate policies on widows inclusiveness
    UN, stakeholders advocate policies on widows’ inclusiveness
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    UN, stakeholders advocate policies on widows’ inclusiveness

    United Nations (UN) and other stakeholders have called for programmes and policies to end violence against widows, and their children, poverty alleviation, education and other support for them.

    Representing UN Secretary, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, who is the Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) joined in the call at the widow’s event with the theme-‘Widows: Unseen, unsupported and unmeasured; Voices and experiences of Nigerian Widows’ held in Lagos.

    Some of the stakeholders were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Speaking Fingers Network, Widows Advocacy Coalition in Nigeria (WACIN), Head High Organisation, Women Laws and Development Centre Lagos, among others.

    The UN drew attention to the voices and experiences of widows and galvanised the unique support that they needed.

    “For many women around the world, the devastating loss of a partner is magnified by a long-term fight for their basic rights and dignity.

    Even though more than 258 million widows around the world, have historically been left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies.

    “Tens of thousands of women have been widowed by the virus (COVID-19 Pandemic) and may be grieving, while being cut off from their usual socio-economic and family supports.

    “As Nations continue to fight the virus on the front lines or begin recovery efforts, widows must not be left out of economic stimulus and social assistance programmes.

    “Women cannot inherit equally as men in 36 countries, cannot be heads of households or families in 31 countries and cannot have a job or pursue a profession in 17 states.

    Such discriminatory laws, which rob widows of property, shelter, income, social benefits and opportunity must be struck down to advance women’s rights worldwide,” Kayanja said.

    Mrs. Foluke Ademokun, Executive Co-ordinator, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation, stated that empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing social stigma as that creates exclusion and discriminatory or harmful practices.

    According to her, the foundation’s investment in education for children is informed by how low level of education entrench widow-headed households in poverty and by extension poor nutrition, poor health and poor housing.

    These, she said, combined to increase the vulnerability of widow-headed households.

    “Innovative social protection strategies that deploy investment into technology, information management, education and entrepreneurial skills are critical to ejecting widow-headed households from poverty.

    ”“It is important that post-COVID-19 recovery efforts are extended to widows, particularly, because of the emerging young demographics,” she said.

    Ademokun adds: “In the face of ravaging pandemic, this is the time for the state to develop functional social protections strategies that are diverse, inclusive, transparent and adaptive in the delivery of women empowerment programmes.

    While the state tries to reframe the concept of who sit around the decision tables on widows priorities and needs, women themselves must present for work as they shun the toga of welfares.

    ” Mrs. Hope Nwakwesi Ifeyinwa, Co-convener, Widows Advocacy Coalition in Nigeria (WACIN) said there are several Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) doing related works , such NGOS should have data base of widows and work collectively to address the widows plights.

    She added WACIN is ready to spearhead the course of all the widows.

    Mr. Abayomi Bamidele Adisa, Senior Journalist BBC observed that most widows plights are not well reported, since a lot of widows are sad about the new status and do not want publicity.

    He disclosed that the media is willing to project the challenges and achievement of widows.

    Barrister Mandy Asogba, President African Women Lawyers Association advised widows who are facing legal issues, domestic violence, should speak up, so they can be help with relevant information, capacities offered by the group.

    She also appreciated those agencies like Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and the Lagos state Domestic Gender Based Violence team who handle victims in the society.

    According to her, widows’ children should be protected from toxic families and environment, they need to be protected, nurtured and groom in safe environment or home.

  •  We treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws FRSC traffic personnel
    We treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws – FRSC, traffic personnel
     We treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws FRSC traffic personnel
    We treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws – FRSC, traffic personnel
    Defence/Security2 weeks ago

    We treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws – FRSC, traffic personnel

    Some officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and state owned traffic personnel in the South East, said they treat motorists with human face in enforcing traffic laws across the country.

    They disclosed this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria while reacting to alleged violence meted on motorists by traffic officials enforcing traffic rules and regulation.

    The traffic personnel claimed in the contrary, that they had been victims of assault by motorists during enforcement of traffic laws.

    Mr Adeoye Irelewuyi, Sector Commander, FRSC in Anambra, says there are no cases or complaints of violent conduct by its personnel in traffic laws enforcement.

    Irelewuyi told NAN that FRSC officials were on the recieving end of such assault as some motorists harassed and manhandled them.

    “We have always been on the recieving end of such assault.

    We have had instances where members of the public assault our operatives when they try to enforce traffic laws.

    “I can assure you that if any member of the public brings such complaint against our operative to the Corps with concrete evidence, such operative will face severe disciplinary action.

    “We are a very civil elite corps and we do not condone indiscipline of any kind.

    We encourage our officials to be civil when dealing with the public, ” he said.

    The sector commander said that the corps held pre-patrol briefings on daily basis as well as in-house weekly trainings to ensure civility in the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations in the state.

    He however, advised motorists and road users to see the FRSC officials as partners in progress and sustain good driving habits to safety on the roads.

    “FRSC personnel are on the road working for the public to ensure safety, not to work against the public or inflict pain on anybody.

    “The public or motorists should see us as partners in progress, so that together we can reduce accidents on our roads,” he said.

    Mr Joseph Toby, the Sector Commander of the FRSC in Enugu State, said that its personnel had been trained to be courteous with motorists on the road.

    He said that FRSC officials had stopped chasing vehicles and forcefully following traffic defaulter both physically or verbally.

    According to him, you can see that in the state, we do more of education and enlightenment than enforcement or ticketing motorists. 

    “We give benefit of doubts to first offenders at times and special consideration to motorists or those with passengers under peculiar situation or health condition.

    “We do visit accident victims in hospitals as well as regular check and follow up on those involved in accident we evacuated to any hospital and ensure their property and valuables are kept intact.

    “So, our work is always carried out without violence and we ensure touch of humanity in all we do in the corps,” he said.

    Contributing, the new Commissioner for Transport in Enugu State, Dr Peter Omeje, pledged that enforcement of traffic rules would be done with human face in the state. 

    Omeje said the ministry would embark on some reforms meant to enhance its service delivery on traffic flow to the public.

    According to him, we must reorient our traffic officers to ensure we remain relevant and work with human face.

    “I will be embarking on training and retraining of traffic officials under the Enugu State Traffic Management Authority (ESTMA) to make them more responsive and achieve set targets in courteous manner. 

    “The ministry is never after fines; but to see that everyone is safe on the road and the traffic keep flowing,” he said.

    Meanwhile, some Stakeholders in Ebonyi have expressed worry over the violent conduct of some security personnel in enforcement of traffic rules and regulations in the state.

    They suggested sack over the violent conduct for the pesonnnel including the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Federal Road Safety Corps and the Police.

    A commercial bus driver, Mr Chikere Okorie, told NAN that their conduct was worrisome and urged the federal government to make law stipulating punishment of such erring personnel.

    Okorie said he had encounter with the FRSC and police on several occasions even when he did not violate any traffic rules.

    “It is appalling, the way the officers on the road have been treating us even when we did not violate any traffic rules.

    “Sometimes, they will be asking for some irrelevant documents, especially the police.

    “When you have your driving license, they will ask for the vehicle paper; when you provide them, they will go ahead asking you for what does not even concern them on the road.

    “The federal government need to call them to order, in fact, I suggest sack for any of the personnel over such act of violent conduct,” he stated.

    Mr John Anoke, a Tricycle Operator, also decried the act of violent conduct in enforcement of traffic rules and suggested capital punishment for such officers.

    Anoke said that the major cause of such violence with the police, VIO or the FRSC personnel include demand for money even when you have your vehicle papers complete.

    “The police have seen us as their source of income on daily basis.

    On several occasions, they will fight and quarrel with drivers because of money, which they tagged as “settlement.

    ” This is bad.

    Mrs Chinelo Jude, a passenger said she was also worried over the way officers on the road handled some of the drivers.

    “The character they usually exhibited in terms of money deserve capital punishment,” she added.

    SP Chris Anyanwu, Spokesman of the Police Command in Ebonyi told NAN that the command had not received such report of violent conduct of personnel in recent time.

    Anyanwu, who resumed office as Spokesman of the Command in May, said that its men and officers in the command were committed to service of the nation. 

    In Imo, stakeholders in the transportation industry blamed most accidents, especially on highways, on violent conduct of officials responsible for traffic enforcement.

    In his reaction, the Okigwe Zonal Chairman of National Association of Road Transport Workers, Mr Linus Ibeh, recalled that in August 2007, 11 students of Owerri Girls Secondary School allegedly died in auto crash by over speeding trailer being chased by traffic agents.

    He further said that in 2017, a passenger bus crashed into a ditch in Njaba Local Government Area leading to the death of seven people.

    He said investigation revealed that officers of Federal Road Safety Corps chased the driver after he refused to stop on demand until the accident occurred.

    Ibeh gave another example when police officers chased a driver of a Toyota Camry and the vehicle crashed into a ditch in World Bank area of Owerri and all the occupants of the vehicle died instantly.

    He condemned the attitude of applying force to enforce traffic.

    He said the road actors should apply more civil ways of enforcing traffic, adding that the dangers in the use of force to enforce traffic were higher than the traffic offense.

    “Sometimes, human lives are endangered in the process of enforcing traffic by road actors.

    “They should be more tactical in discharging their duties; I recommend that officers of FRSC, VIO and Police enforcing traffic should have communication gadgets, which will make it easier for them to arrest offenders through signal,” he said.

    In his remarks, Commissioner for Transport in Imo, Mr Rex Anunobi condemned the use of force to enforce traffic laws.

    Anunobi also condemned drivers, who were in the habitof violating traffic rules, adding that violation of traffic laws were the major reason for most auto crashes in the city.

    He said his ministry had organized numerous sensitization workshops on the need to stop the use of force to enforce traffic law violation.

    Also contributing, Chairman of Imo Chapter of Trailer Drivers Association, Mr Chidiebere Isikaku, said government should set up a monitoring team to arrest road actors who applied force to enforce traffic law violation.

    “As a trailer driver, I know that it is very wrong and high risk to apply force on trailer drivers because the trailer can lose control at anytime.

    “We must be very cautious when enforcing traffic laws in order not to endanger the lives of the violator and other road users,” he said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN