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Education

UNIBEN graduate who wrote O’level exams 17 times completes NYSC with multiple awards

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For taking giant strides in his service to the nation and commitment to uplifting the underprivileged, seemingly hopeless and vulnerable in the society, the 2018 graduate of Mass Communication from University of Benin (UNIBEN), Emmanuel Oluwasayomi Ahmadu, popularly known as Mr Voiceover, has been bestowed with numerous outstanding awards following his impacts during his service year in Kwara State and Nigeria at large.

Emmanuel was commended for his outstanding performance and sterling qualities as a member of the NYSC during the Batch B Stream II, 2019 passing out parade ceremony on Thursday, 16th July, 2020, at the National Youth Service Corps Secretariat Oke-Oyi in Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Imbued with passion to positively impact on society and provoke change, Emmanuel, who was deployed to Kwara State for the mandatory national service in 2019, executed several personal community development projects to address some critical social amenity needs of his host community and State.

The Kogi State-born Mass Communication graduate had during his time in Kwara State distributed preventive kits (face masks) to Five hundred (500) community households and teamed up with NYSC, Kwara State Government COVID-19 Team, NGOs, Traditional Rulers, Community Leaders and Volunteers on the sensitization of thousands of community dwellers on safety measures against Covid-19 in Oke-Oyi Community in Ilorin East Local Government Area, to prevent the spread of the virus among the vulnerables in the community.

On the health front, Emmanuel channeled his meagre resources towards tackling the increasing menace of depression, hopelessness, despair and suicide attempt which has become a serious societal challenge that have received little attention over the years.

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Laden with this crucible yet driven by passion and love in his heart to restore hope to those going through mental insecurities heightened by social pressures, he volunteered his wealth of experience to spare head series of personal projects on “Mental Health Awareness And Sensitization Programmes” in Kwara, Edo and Kogi, focused on tackling the menace of depression and suicide in Nigeria, reaching over 200,000 young people and adults in schools, campuses, communities amongst other social institutions.

Emmanuel researched depression to be one of the major societal problems globally and thought it wise to tackle the menace which has emerged as a predominant challenge in Nigeria leading to young persons and adults taking their own lives and indulging in societal vices, due to inability to cope with societal pressures, thereby giving rise to hopelessness, cultism, exam malpractices, drug abuse, rape, robbery, trafficking, prostitutions, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, internet frauds, suicide and other societal misconducts prevalent among adolescents and youths in the country.

The Kogi-born Corps member discovered that depression as a mental illness occurs in different stages which ranges from the mild stage to the moderate stage and to the severe stage. In the mild stage of depression, the individual experience some symptoms of which is the best time to seek help or professional counsel before it get worse. He said that most people don’t speak up to get help from the appropriate quarters or they do not know where to go when they face mental distress, they rather prefer to endure the pain and die in silence, unless they are able to find trust to share their pain with someone who won’t judge them or better still, someone who have gone through similar or worse experience and have come out strong.

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So he planned to make it one of his personal community development projects under the NYSC scheme in Kwara State to host ‘Mental Health Awareness And Sensitization Programmes’ that could serve as platform to bring together survivors, relevant NGOs, agencies, mental health advocates and free professional mental health services to the people at their door steps in schools, campuses, communities, mosques, churches and other social institutions inorder to meet the psychological and mental needs of these people and giving them a reason to regain hope once more. His project successfully reached and restored hope to fifty (50) selected secondary schools across three (3) Local Government Areas and Community in Kwara in One Hundred and Fifty Four (154) days.

Speaking on the occasion of the award, Emmanuel said he believed that the true essence of life is embedded in service to humanity, and that is why he is going all out to ensure that mental insecurity does not become a plague in Nigeria and beyond.
He revealed that millions of people have been thrown into hopelessness, despair and depression in Nigeria affecting both the rich and the poor, due to the impact of the global pandemic (covid-19). It has been predicted by World Health Organisation (WHO, 2018) that depression will rise in 2020 to become the second most prevailing health problem in the history of the world, leading to increased suicide rates, societal misconducts and mental health issues.

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Speaking on his aspirations, the international award winner, who is an anti-depression and suicide advocate aspires to be the hope in the mind of troubled adolescents and youths in Africa. According to him, he seeks financial support to complete the registration of his NGO with hope of joining forces with International and national agencies, brands, state governors, NGOs, stakeholders and individuals who mean well in tackling this leading cause of death in communities, high schools, campuses amongst other social institutions across Nigeria and Africa.

According to him, the impact of the global pandemic (Covid-19) is leading to increased suicide rates, societal misconducts and mental health issues amongst young people and adults.

“Being a survivor of depression whose success story has made headlines globally and have served as a source of hope to millions of people worldwide, thereby contributing towards tackling depression and suicide menace, I have written a precise proposal ready for submission to identifying my story as a symbol of hope with any telecommunication brand who sees mental security of Nigerians as a priority both during the covid-19 and post covid-19.

I wish to contribute my wealth of experience by partnering as a brand ambassador on corporate social responsibility with any telecommunication brand to serve as a platform where people who are going through emotional trauma, hopelessness, depression and suicidal thoughts can speak up to get help through professional support.
I await ready hands and burdened heart to join me in paddling the canoe that sails affected people off the shore of depression and suicide, it begins with you!” He said

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Education

Common Entrance; Kogi Parents Groans Over Inability To Pay 13,500.

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Some parents in Kogi state has described as an extortionist policy by kogi state government, for payment of common entrance examination fees of 13,500 by pupils preparing to transit from primary school to secondary school, OBSERVERS TIMES report.

This is against the background of the government policy directing Principals of secondary schools to channel such payment through a pay platform, created by the state government through the Ministry of Education.

Hithero, payment for common entrance examination is usually free of charge,so the new development has raised unnecessary pressure on the poor parents in Kogi state.

This is coming at a time salary payment to workers is in percentage and not forthcoming to sustain the daily running of various homes,with poor business environment.

Most parents can not even afford such payment as it is on the high side,as many of the pupils may loose the chances of transiting to secondary schools for lack of funds.

The state government has resorted to mopping up of funds from agecises of government and parastatatals, owing to dwindling federal allcations and inability to access further loans from commercial Banks or financial institutions.

Kogi,though not on the disadvantaged states list educationally,but the indices in the last five years shows alot of backwardness in its education program owing to policy somersault.

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Crime

The Abducted students were moving in a mini van from Okigwe to Uturu between 7pm – 8pm,Abia State gives detail

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Press Release

Abia State Government is currently monitoring an incident that happened in Okigwe, Imo State, yesterday which led to the suspected abduction of yet to be determined number of students of the Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), who apparently ran into a yet to be identified gang of hoodlums operating along the Okigwe-Uturu Road.

Preliminary information available to us indicates that the students were moving in a mini van from Okigwe to Uturu between 7pm – 8pm when they ran into the armed gang who marched them into the nearby forest along with other yet to be identified travelers. Two of the students managed to escape from the hoodlums while others are still being held at a yet to be identified location.

We are working with the government of Imo State and relevant security agencies in both states to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and others.

Members of the public and ABSU community are advised to remain calm as we will spare no resource in ensuring the safety of the victims.

No criminal operating within our environment will be allowed to escape justice as we take the job of protecting lives and property of Abians and visitors to the State very seriously

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Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State

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Crime

EXCLUSIVE: Abuja Schools Shut Down As Truckload Of Bandits Arrives In Border Town

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Despite assurances by the police authorities that the Abuja is safe, private schools in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, yesterday, hurriedly shut down their activities over fear of possible attack by kidnappers.

LEADERSHIP learnt that some schools hurriedly sent their students home when news got to them over 200 unidentified men suspected to be bandits were dropped by a truck in Sabon Wuse area of Niger State, a border town with Bwari, Abuja.

A source disclosed  that some private schools closed their schools with instructions to student to remain at home till further notice.
Some parents who do not want their identities revealed told our correspondent that the schools gave the instructions on various group WhatsApp platforms of the schools.

In the last two weeks, over ten persons have been kidnapped in Bwari area council with ransom of about N10million paid to secure their release.

Last week, about seven persons were kidnapped in Sabon Fulani area of the council and about N5 million ransom was said to have been paid.
According to residents, the fear was heightened following the report that over 200 unknown persons were dropped from a truck in Sabon Wuse area.
A parent who spoke to LEADERSHIP said, “We were asked to come for our children in their school before the time they were supposed to close for the day.
”I don’t know if they will be going to school tomorrow because we are still waiting for further directives from their school group WhatsApp platform”, the parent, who does not want her identity revealed said.

Another parent told LEADERSHIP that there was specific instruction for students to remain at home until further notice from the school authorities.
”My children came back home before the usual closing hour. When I enquired, the school said there were reports that kidnappers had surrounded Bwari area council and they (school authorities) do not want to be responsible for any kidnapped student, hence the closure of the school.
”As we speak, the school has been shut down indefinitely,” he said.

Some of the schools in Bwari area council that sent their students home yesterday for fear of possible attacks by kidnappers include De-Goopherwood Montessori School (close to Nigerian Law School), Glorious Bright School, Tundun Fulani and Asusi International School.

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A parent, who has children at Glorious Bright School said she got a call from the school management to come and pick their children before the normal closing hour for fear of attacks by kidnappers. Another parent who has children at De-Goopherwood Montessori School also confirmed that his children closed before the normal closing hour.

According to her, the students were asked to go home after information got to them that there is a likelihood of a breach of security in Bwari.
LEADERSHIP learnt that Veritas University, in Bwari, has been closed down and students sent home.

According to a senior lecturer of the school, who said she was not authorised to speak with journalist, ”The school was shut this morning by the vice chancellor. ‘We received a circular that everyone should vacate the school by 11am today (yesterday). ”

She said the students had been on holiday since last week but the academic staff and other staff were still going to school before the circular was sent out.
”Though the students were on holiday, we were still going to school until we got a circular today (yesterday) from the office of the Vice Chancellor that everyone should leave the campus”, the source said.

Another polytechnic in the area also sent its student out of the hostel.

A 200-level student of Dorben Polytechnic, Bwari, told LEADERSHIP that the school authorities issued a circular asking the students to vacate the hostels and that henceforth they will holding lectures online.

The student who studies public administration at the polytechnic said all the student promptly complied with the directive and quit the hostels.
About three days ago, the FCT Police Command faulted information that the territory was under possible the attack of Boko Haram terrorists. The command had, in a press statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Yusuf Mariam, said, “The attention of the FCT Joint Security Team has been drawn to a viral publication in the social media purporting that the ‘Federal Capital Territory is under the attack of Boko Haram Terrorists’.

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”The Joint Security Team of the FCT wishes to refute the mischievous publication targeted at creating palpable tension amongst the well-spirited residents of the FCT.”

We’re Monitoring Situation – Police

Meanwhile, following the social media report of invasion of Bwari axis of the FCT by suspected Boko Haram terrorist, bandits or kidnappers, the Nigeria Police have said they monitoring the situation.

Though the spokesperson of the police and the FCT PRO did not comment on the issue, a reliable senior police officer, who pleaded anonymity, told LEADERSHIP that the police management had deployed tactical teams which are monitoring the situation, but that there is no cause for alarm.
According to the source, the situation is very critical and the police are not taking it lightly.

There were reports on social media of invasion of Bwari by a group numbering about 800.

This led to report of closure of schools around the area fearing abduction as has been the case in recent times.

27 Abducted Kaduna Students Regain Freedom
Parents and family members of the kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State can now heave a sigh of relief after they were released by their abductors yesterday.

According to the chairman of the parents committee, Malam Abdullahi Usman, 27 of the students who were in the captivity of the abductors were released unharmed.

He said two of the students had escaped on the day they were abducted but that the parents chose to keep mute in other not to jeopardize the chances of securing the release of the remaining students.

Earlier, 10 of the students were released in two batches of five each after it was reported that ransom was paid.
When asked whether ransom was paid for the release of the 27 students, Usman declined to speak on it, stressing that the parents worked tirelessly, including reaching out to prominent persons to assist towards their release.

“We are indeed thankful to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Kaduna-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Ahmad Gumi among others for their roles towards the eventual release of the students.

“We also thank the journalists who helped to publicise our cries and worries, and Nigerians who encouraged and prayed with us for the safe release of our children. We are indeed grateful and pray that God will bless them all,” he said.

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The parents of the students had on Tuesday stormed the National Assembly in Abuja to protest the continued holding of their children in captivity and government’s apparent indifference over their abduction.

The students, 39 in all, comprising of 23 females and 16 males, were abducted on March 11, 2021 from their school premises. Two of the students were said to have escaped from their abductors leaving 37 of the students, out of which ten of them were released before the final release of the balance of 27.

Meanwhile, the students were taken straight to the Kaduna Police command headquarters in two 18-seater buses, accompanied by an ambulance and nurses.
They looked emancipated and one of them could hardly work and had to be helped and later rushed to the hospital.

In a short address, the Commissioner Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan, who spoke to newsmen at the police headquarters in company of the police commissioner, said details will be given about the students today.

“Yes we can confirm that the students have been released as you can see, but details will be made available on Thursday. They will be taken for proper medical checkup now,” he said.

Meanwhile the state government has confirmed that the Police Command had reported the release of the remaining students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in Kaduna State.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the release of the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, near Kaduna and congratulates their friends, families and the government and people of Kaduna State following the happy end to the saga.

“We are happy they have been released,” says the President.

“We express our deep appreciation to all the actors who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome,” President Buhari said in a statement by his media aide,Garba Shehu, yesterday.

Credit Leadership Newspaper

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