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Hijab: Kwara govt deploys task force against churches, shut Christian schools

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The Kwara State Government, on Friday, deployed a task force to implement its directive to all schools in the state to reopen and all teachers to resume, despite the ongoing crisis over wearing of hijab in Christian mission schools.

The government had ordered the reopening of the schools on Wednesday as Christian missions insisted that they would not allow the use of hijab by Muslim female students in their schools.
The state Teaching Service Commission, on Thursday, had directed teachers of the affected schools to report to their respective schools on Friday (yesterday).

Saturday PUNCH reports that the teachers arrived promptly at their respective schools but were locked out by some churches, which insisted that they would not allow students or teachers to resume unless the state government rescinded its decision on wearing of hijab in Christian mission schools.

But the Press Secretary in the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Yakub Ali-Agan, in a statement on Friday, said all the 10 schools involved in the hijab controversy had been fully opened, hours after the state government directed all the principals and teachers in the affected schools to resume for academic activities.

The statement read, “The schools were opened by a government task force which moved round the metropolis to ensure that the directive is followed and that teachers and students are protected and allowed to begin academic activities.

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“At Cherubim and Seraphim College, Sabo Oke, Ilorin, some church leaders locked and barricaded the entrance to the college until government officials escorted by security officials opened the school gate. At Baptist LGEA primary and secondary schools, Surulere, Ilorin, everything went on peacefully with teachers and students seen in their classrooms.

“The government task force, led by officials from the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development and the Teaching Service Commission, reassured members of the public, especially parents and teachers, that the unfortunate incident of Wednesday had been put behind the state and that the schools are safe for schoolchildren to resume learning in earnest.”
According to Ali-Agan, the task force said the government would continue to engage all stakeholders to remain law-abiding and peaceful.

The affected mission schools closed by the government were said to include C&S College, Sabo Oke; St. Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School; and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.
Others were CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St. John School Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale; and St. James Secondary School, Maraba, all in Ilorin, the state capital.

When our correspondent visited some of the schools on Friday morning, Christian faithful were seen gathering in front of Cherubim and Seraphim College, Sabo-Oke area in their Church regalia singing and dancing.

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A lorry load of sand was also seen in front of the gate to prevent both teachers and pupils from gaining entrance.
Although the teachers turned up at St. Anthony School, as directed by the government, they were seen gathered in groups discussing the situation outside the school fence as the gate was locked.
Staff of Kwara TESCOM, who monitored compliance of its directive to teachers to resume duty, later invited security operatives who forced open the gates of both schools.

Teachers in St. Anthony Secondary School later entered the school to register their presence, while the students were seen taking tutorial classes, but the gate of C&S College could not be opened because of the  heap of sand at the gate.
Similarly, teachers at Bishop Smith Memorial College, Agba Dam Road were engaged in discussion outside the gate of the school.

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Crime

Just In: Kogi Polytechnic Security Operatives Nab Students With Revolver Pistol, Round of Ammunition.

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The security operatives of Kogi State Polytechnic have arrested one Shehu Tenimu Mohammed, an ND II student of the Department of Public Administration of the institution for being in possession of a locally fabricated revolver pistol while making his way into the campus.

The student with Matriculation Number 2018/ND/PAD/170 was, in addition to the illegal possession of the pistol, also carrying five rounds of live ammunition while making his way through the main entrance of the Polytechnic on Friday, 9th April, 2021.

The arrest of the student was made possible by the strong security network put in place to halt any attempt to breach the ban on End-of- Examination Celebration.

It should be recalled that the ban itself came into force in view of intelligence report that some suspected cultists would be coming to the campus with ammunitions to avenge their colleague who was killed after the end of examination in 2019

Management under the the proactive leadership of Dr S.

O. Usman therefore beefed up security on campus, including daily routine check at the Polytechnic entrance and the premises.

Ever at alert, the security operatives of the institution had on Thursday, 8th April, 2021, impounded a Tricycle, (Keke NAPEP) which apparently was intended as a decoy for hiding and releasing gun shots outside the school gate.

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In the same vain, the gallant security operatives also arrested a non student suspected to be a hired merchainary with a cham made “African – bullet” proof on the campus on 7th April, 2021. The suspect who have since been handed over to the law enforcement agency claimed that, he came to the campus to celebrate end of the examination with his sister.

It was the continuation of the security check at the gate that led to the arrest of Shehu Tenimu Mohammed who was coming to the campus purportedly to write his ND II final examination on Friday, 9th April, 2021.

Mohammed was stopped by the ‘stop and search’ officer and was asked to hand over his belongings.

He took to his heels when he realised he would be caught with live ammunition, but it was too late for him

He has since been handed over to the appropriate law enforcement agency for further interrogation and investigation.

Meanwhile, the Rector, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, has assured members of staff, students and the general public that no stone would be left unturned in the efforts to ensure that sanity is restored on the campus to make the atmosphere conducive for teaching and learning.

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The Rector who commended the security unit of the institution for a yeoman’s job however appealed to members of the Polytechnic community to always be on the side of the law.

Compiled By:
Uredo Omale
Head, Public Relations and Protocol Unit.
Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.

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Education

Kogi poly expels four students for exam malpractices, other

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The Academic Board of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja has approved the expulsion of four students over issues bordering on examination misconduct and other social vices.

A statement issued on Thursday by Uredo Omale, the institution’s Head public relations and protocol unit stated that the expulsion was part of far-reaching decisions made at the Board’s meeting held at the institution’s Main Campus in Lokoja.

The Board chaired by the Rector, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, also approved the results of the First Semester for the 2019/2020 Academic Session.

The students expelled for examination malpractice were Abdulrahman, an ND I student of Science and Laboratory Technology (2019/ND/SLT/216), Danjuma (HND I), Graphic Department (2018/HND/IDD/011), and Abubakar (2018/HND/CPS/183), an HND II student of Computer Science Department.

Another student, Wahab of the Mechanical Engineering Department (2018/ND/ME/043) was also expelled and with an added clause of never to be offered admission into the institution, for being in possession of a dangerous weapon and evidence of involvement in cultism.

Durojaiye Helen Taiye, an HND II student of Industrial Design (2018/HND/IDD/007) was found with extraneous materials not related to the particular examination inscribed on her palms and was rusticated for one semester.

The Rector, who appreciated the committees on examination misconduct for the thorough job done, said the polytechnic would not condone any act capable of bringing it to disrepute, and therefore, appealed to students to always be on the side of the law.

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Education

NUC grants licenses to 20 new private varsities

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Friday directed universities to reopen for academic activities on January 18.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, gave the directive in a statement issued by the commission’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), Chris Maiyaki, in Abuja.

He said the announcement on reopening of the universities was in compliance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its nine-month strike on December 23 last year.

The commission, however, directed officers on Grade Level 12 and below to remain at home for a period of five weeks as earlier directed by the Federal Government.

The statement read: “I am to add that universities on the resumption of academic activities must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the university semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines.

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