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700 Ex-military Officers Amputated, Dismissed Over Boko Haram



No fewer than 700 ex-military personnel had their limbs amputated and eventually dismissed from the service due to the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. This was as the United States and Nigeria have opened discussions on how to tackle the threat posed by the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) and its affiliate terrorist organisations in West Africa.

National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), which disclosed the state of the 700 ex-military personnel yesterday during its 2021 budget defence at the National Assembly, said that it had integrated the affected exsecurity personnel. The commission pleaded for an upward review of its budget to meet with the increasing demand of its capital budget.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, James Lalu, in his presentation before the Senate Committee on Special Duties, explained that there were about 31.5 million Nigerians living with disability, lamenting that the number kept increasing on everyday especially with the challenges of insurgency in the country.

He said: “Recently, we have to integrate about 700 ex-military personnel who had their limbs amputated and eventually dismissed from the service due to the Boko Haram insurgent. We have to provide artificial limbs for them to ensure they are reintegrated back into the society and live a normal life.”

Lalu noted that disability was no more a charity issue, but had become a developmental issue that needed to be properly tackled in the society. He warned that failure to address this issue would place serious burden on government, which would be grappled with the challenge of giving out stipends that would never achieve the lasting solution.

According to him, the budget increase will take care of education, healthcare needs and livelihood of people with disabilities, pointing out that a lot of disabled persons take to begging on the street when they cannot meet with their basic needs.

Lalu also notified the Senate committee that, in its 2021 budget, the Commission proposed to open up zonal, states and local government offices to reach out to all its members living in the rural areas. Responding, the Chairman of the Committee on Special Duties, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, urged the Commission to create a database of all its members across the country and design empowerment training for them, especially those in the rural areas for a positive impact.

Meanwhile, the United States and Nigeria have convened a virtual meeting with members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and representatives of West African States and relevant regional organizations to discuss ways the Coalition can contribute to collective efforts to ensure ISIS’ enduring defeat in the region. U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has described the global coalition against ISIS as a great progress into efforts to defeat the dreaded terror organisation.

“We will use all tools at our disposal to counter ISIS and its affiliates anywhere in the world. My thanks to Nigeria for co-hosting the event,” Pompeo tweeted. U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, who is the newly designated Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, outlined the Coalition’s increasing focus on defeating ISIS’ global branches and affiliates.

Sales also expressed his appreciation to the Nigerian delegation led by Rear Admiral Yaminu E. Musa, Coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Centre in Nigeria’s Office of the National Security Adviser, for co-hosting the event.

With this focus on West Africa, the Coalition also announced Mauritania’s accession into the Coalition as the 83rd member. Since January 2017, the Coalition has welcomed 14 new members from Africa and Asia and continues to expand its reach and cooperation against ISIS branches and affiliates.

The meeting included sessions on understanding and countering the threat, moderated by U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel, Ambassador J. Peter Pham. Representatives from Global Coalition members – Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger and co-host, Nigeria, provided key insights on troubling developments of ISIS affiliate activity in West Africa and suggested ways the Coalition could enhance efforts to counter these trends.

As the Global Coalition seeks to apply lessons learned from the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria to other locations, participants reviewed potential lines of effort, including the use of battlefield evidence and border security measures that could be applied in West Africa.

Source:- Newstelegraphng

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INEC reschedules pending by-elections for Dec 5



By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja 

All the 15 pending by-elections in 11 states will now come up on December 5, according to a time table released on Friday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The by-elections were originally slated for October 31 but were suspended following the #ENDSARS protests and the mayhem that followed.

INEC’s offices in some states were attacked during the mayhem.

The Commission said the new date was chosen on Friday after consultations with stakeholders in the affected  states.

The commission’s  National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said in a statement on Friday that INEC “believes that security in the affected states has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.”

He said:  ”The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today (yesterday) November 13, 2020 and, among other things, reviewed the outcome of its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending bye-elections in 11 states.

“It will be recalled that the Commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the said bye-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.

“The Commission met again on Thursday, 5th November 2020 and reviewed the situation. It noted among other things the extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold. Consequently, the Commission decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the by-elections.

“The Commission consulted with Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and with the Media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020. Finally, it met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020.

“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected states has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending by-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020.

“The Commission acknowledges the support, understanding and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media, civil society organisations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the by-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.”

The Nation

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Amaarae’s New Album “The Angel You Don’t Know” is Totally Worth Listening To



Alternative singer Amaarae has released her first studio album “The Angel You Don’t Know“. She says,

Finally, My first full length project “The Angel You Don’t Know” is OUT in the world for everyone to live with, have sex to, fuck shit up to, cry to – whatever you wanna do, there’s something on there for everyone. LINK IN BIO! It took a lot for us to get here and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to getting this project out.

The 14-track album holds features from various artists like Maesu, Ckay, Kojey Radical, Cruel Santino, Moliy, Princess Adjua, KYU Steed, 6ix, KZ and Odunsi (The Engine).

Producers who worked on the album include Amaarae, Gothic Tropic, Haze, KZ, Rvdical The Kid, AYWY, Kuvie, John Wav, Yellow Shoots and other creative producers.

Stream below:

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Strike: We Will Explore Other Options If ASUU Remains Adamant – Ngige



The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has expressed optimism that the prolonged strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities will be resolved by next week when the Federal Government team meets the union leaders again.

He, however, said if the matter was not resolved by then, he would explore the provisions in the labour law and other channels. Government had previously appealed to the union to call off the strike.

The union had on March 24 2020 embarked on an indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action between them as well as the lingering disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System that ASUU rejected.

Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television on Friday, the minister said the government had met six of the union’s nine demands and that they would meet again next week with the hope of ending the prolonged strike.

He stated, “Even if countries go to war, at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table. I’m inviting them (ASUU) next week. We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything. I’m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation’s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter.

When asked if it meant that the lecturers may not return to the classrooms in the next one or two weeks, he said, “I’m not looking at that (long) period. I’m an optimist on this matter. By next week, we will conclude this matter. There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws. I have other channels.”

The minister, who said his children had also been at home as a result of the strike, explained that government had agreed to give the University Transparency Academic Solution, the payment platform proposed by ASUU, a trial. He however said the feedback he got from the National Information Technology Development Agency, the agency mandated to follow-up the trial with ASUU, showed they had just concluded the first phase and that the second phase to assess the functional requirement of UTAS had not been done.

He added, “UTAS has yet to be ready but government will not discourage them. And we have told them there is no need using the same old method of strike to make demands since such had been deployed since 2017.”

On the revitalisation fund, he said government had agreed to release N30bn out of the N40bn demanded by the union as the payment for November 2019 and September 2020, adding that the remaining N10bn would be staggered.

“A committee that looked into the Needs Assessment of universities held a workshop on how funds could be generated came up with the recommendation that other things could be done to raise funds, because revitalisation cannot be done through the budget, especially when the country is running a deficit budget,” Ngige added

Source:- Punch ng

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