Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 1st February, 2018.

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Hundreds of people, yesterday, trooped to the Yar Adua Centre in Abuja, for the official launch of what was supposed to be former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s ‘Coalition for Nigeria Movement’, known also as the Third Force.
Obasanjo, in a letter highly critical of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, a week ago, had asked: “If neither the All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do?”

He then went on to call for the establishment of the group, saying: “We need a Coalition for Nigeria. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic wellbeing and progress; a coalition to salvage and redeem our country.”

The former leader, however, was conspicuously absent from yesterday’s event, even though in his letter he had stated: “You can count on me with such a Movement…I will gladly join such a Movement when one is established as Coalition for Nigeria, taking Nigeria to the height God has created it to be.”

In attendance were APC Board of Trustees member, Buba Galadima, former governor of Osun State and Chairman, Board of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former PDP National Chairman, Amodu Ali, former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, and supporters of former Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, currently the senator representing Kano Central, among others. 

Kwankwaso emerged second after Buhari during the party’s 2015 primaries in Lagos. 

The convener, Oyinlola, an ally of Obasanjo, said the movement for now “is not a political party” but stressed it could metamorphose into one soon.

“To say that we are legitimising Obasanjo’s legacy is wrong. I think what he has done is stir us from slumber. Nobody can fault Obasanjo’s letter. We are not a political party for now. Our aim is to help Nigerians take the country from those who run it as business. It is not the destiny of Nigeria to remain in crisis and in doldrums,” he said. 

Oyinlola noted that if Nigeria must be rescued from its present crop of leaders, there was the need for synergy between all groups.

He called for commitment from all Nigerians and assured that youths would be at the forefront of the initiative. “There is no other assurance for this movement other than your commitment. Don’t say we are going to carry you along. No, you are the ones (youth) who will carry us along,” he said.

Asked whether he was ready to quit the Buhari government and dedicate time to the movement, Oyinlola said: “I am not tied down to a political party. This is a part-time commission, which means I have only four meetings in a year. But get it straight, I joined a political party to serve my country and my service in NIMC is to my country and countrymen. 

“If being chairman will rob me of my desire to see this movement to its greatest height, then the chairmanship will yield. The style of convening this movement is noble and it is quite different from any other we have had in this country.”

Duke, a co-convener, stated that the movement had received overwhelming support.

He said: “Forget about the story that we are the largest economy in Africa. It is an imagination of numbers. There are so many people in Nigeria and even if we are doing nothing, it will still be the largest economy. But in terms of productivity, we are nowhere…it practically explains where we are and what we have to do; the need to work as a coalition and change our nation.”
Galadima, who was Kwankwaso’s campaign head in the buildup to the 2015 APC primaries, declared support for the coalition, saying it did not violate his membership of the APC. “It is not a political party; it is a movement being put together to salvage our country from the verge of disintegration,” he said.

Meanwhile, an elder statesman and renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Nwabueze, yesterday, called for a change of leadership in the nation.

In a letter entitled: ‘Nigeria Under President Buhari Is Categorised As A Failed State By An Internationally Recognised Agency’, he said: “Buhari must be stopped before he pushes Nigeria further down the rank of the worst failed states to which Zaire, under Mobutu, had been reduced.”

He added: “God forbid that he (Buhari) should ever get a second term. Or Nigeria will cease to exist, except in the sense in which Zaire, under Mobutu, existed. That is as an idea without an existential content; a state existing only in name or on the map as a mere geographical expression.”

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
An American actress and humanitarian worker, Sienna Rose Diana Miller, has drawn the attention of the Nigerian government and the international community to the deplorable living condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in North East Nigeria.

She made the call, yesterday, in Abuja, on her return from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where she had gone to provide care to vulnerable women and children in displaced persons camps.

Miller, an International Medical Corps (IMC) global ambassador, who was in Nigeria for the first time, said the IDPs were still exposed to starvation and lack of life’s basic necessities.

“They need food. From what I saw on ground, the first thing they need is food. They are very, very hungry. Then, things that are basic to life such as water, health care, protection of their rights, soap, and also skills, so that they can get back on their feet,” said Miller.

She decried the sharing formula for food, saying it lacked consideration for refugees with larger families. According to her, a family of three received the same portion as a family of 10, thereby making mealtimes complex and characterised by tears and struggle.

Notwithstanding their situation, Sienna described Nigerians in various camps in the region as resilient and brave people, who in spite of their plight have remained warm, hopeful and dogged.

She, therefore, pledged the support of the IMC, saying it has been at the forefront of delivering aide to violence-ravaged people across the world and would provide additional funding to support the refugees.

“Most of them have hope. They don’t want to give up hope because if they do, it means they have lost everything. I think that is what they have learnt. If they know that we are around them – that somebody is coming and offering them support, that they have not been ignored, and that they are not forgotten – they would be very encouraged. And we will endeavour to raise more funding and try to support them in anyway we can,” she said.

The 36-year-old actress said she was moved by passion to render assistance, irrespective of the potential dangers inherent in such a volatile environment.

“I didn’t mind the danger aspect. I believe this is the part of the world that we need to support. Seeing the programmes that are being run and how desperate the people are, how much in need they are, I am happy that I am making input too,” she said.

On her impression about Nigeria and its people, Sienna said: “I found out when I got to Maiduguri that it feels like life is usual. People are incredibly resilient, going about their normal duties. I didn’t feel any sense of danger.

“I was considering the fact that it is a conflict zone. But we didn’t feel any impact. The focus is really on supporting and providing care. People go to work everyday, delivering aide to people in need. If they can do that every day, why shouldn’t we?

“About 85 per cent of the workers are from Nigeria and they risk their lives potentially everyday to help people. So, if I can support in any small way, I will.”

She added: “But it is interesting knowing that the refugees are optimistic, they are resilient, they are so brave that you wouldn’t know that they have lost everything, that they were forced out of their homes, that they were trained professionals, who have nothing left.

“Yet, (they are) smiling and gracious, warm and loving. It is really inspiring to be around people who have been in the most unimaginable situations, who have absolutely nothing to provide to you, yet, they have held on to their spirit.”

The IMC works in four major sectors in Maiduguri: collaboration with other international and local NGOs and the government to eradicate polio in Nigeria; prevention and treatment of malnutrition; prevention of gender-based violence; and educating people on water sanitation and general hygiene.

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
The management of Benson Idahosa University, Benin City has threatened to revoke the admission of any of its students found to act contrary to his oath of admission.
The vice chancellor, Prof Ernest Izevbigie who stated this during the school’s matriculation ceremony said the university would not hesitate to get rid of any student that refused to abide by the oath.
He urged the students to study hard with a view to bringing honour to their parents who are struggling hard to pay their fees and promised that the institution would not disappoint them in terms of quality of service that would be provided.
Izevbigie added that the institution’s forensic science department would soon be completed as part of efforts to assist the police in solving criminal cases across the country.

“You are supposed to graduate in four years time but we will not hesitate to sanction any student that engages in cultism. The founder of this university placed a curse on whoever introduces cultism to this institution.”
The institution recently held its first convocation ceremony where Edo state governor, Godwin 0baseki urged the graduands to be worthy ambassadors both in character and learning to enable them impact the society.

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
The media has been awash with reports of killer-flu ravaging the United Kingdom (U.K.), United States (U.S.) and Europe. Here in Africa, Nigeria is within the belt of so many infectious disease epidemics that thrive during the dry season (November to May). Although there are vaccines for some of the diseases such as meningitis, yellow [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
In its bid to deliver quality education service in its secondary schools, the Kaduna State Government said it is remodeling boarding school system across the state. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ja'aru Sani who disclosed this while receiving Government Secondary School Old Boys Association in his office said the move was part of [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Education Director, Mind Builders School, Lagos, Mrs. Bola Falore, has commended Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, over his administration's upward allocation to the education sector. She made the remarks during the handover ceremony of the newly renovated block of classrooms at Olowora Nursery and Primary School. The renovation, which is the school's Corporate Social [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
A group of American educators on cultural exchange programme at Bethel American International School, Fiditi, Oyo state have expressed optimism over the future of Nigerian youths who they believe can become great leaders in the future. The experts, Geri Von Grey, Peggy McCormic and Mary Lindell , who are faculty members of the prestigious Bethel [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA) Ondo State, has become a major partner in the Federal Government's efforts to rejuvenate cocoa production and the training of a new generation of cocoa farmers in the country. The vice chancellor of the university, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun who disclosed this to reporters said, 'As a University that is [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Nigeria yesterday in Marrakesh, Morocco proved that when you have the guts you could achieve your dream. The odds were stacked against... 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Human rights activist; Femi Falana has called for educational revolution in Africa to help the continent transform the neo-colonial and dependent economy in each of the countries to a knowledge-based one. Expressing dismay that Africa is being left behind in the global educational revolution, the legal luminary argued that, 'the main pillar of knowledge [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
The National council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) has cautioned that tackling Nigeria's problems must be now or never. The royal fathers declared this in Port Harcourt at the 9th General Assembly of the body. According to them, there is an urgent need toright the wrongs in the country without political sentiments otherwise the [] 

Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Vice Chancellor, Redeemers University (RUN), Ede, Osun State, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, has lamented that contmporary Nigerian universities are not living up to their mandates particularly in the area of research. Rather than place emphasis on research and societal development, Adeyewa expressed regrets that university education places emphasis on widening access more than its core mandates. [] 
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