Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, on Saturday said the abducted students of the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State might be released today.
Recall that bandits in the early hours of Wednesday stormed the school and kidnapped 27 pupils and 15 staff members after killing a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil.
Gumi who has been meeting with bandits in the forest in an interview on Saturday told Punch, there is a possibility that the abductees might be released today, following the talks between the government and the bandits.
He further stated that the negotiation for the release of the schoolchildren and members of staff was slowed down due to logistics.
According to Gumi, the negotiation does not involve the payment of ransom.
Gumi during the interview said, “What I hear from (our contact) is that they are still negotiating to release them (schoolchildren and staff members) and hopefully, hopefully, we will get them tomorrow (Sunday), hopefully.”
“Up till now, they have not been able to identify the boys, who (did the kidnapping). You know they are splinter groups. So, when you are dealing with groups like that in a vast area, with no communication, no road, then it has to be slow. But the main actors are ready to negotiate and stop the kidnapping altogether.”
Asked if the negotiation involved money, Gumi said, “No, no; it does not. If it involves money, it means the same criminality. They are saying these are our conditions and we will stop this thing. So, negotiation is ongoing and their demands are being looked into, which are very simple.”
According to Gumi, the bandits are mainly asking the state to release arrested bandits in the custody of security agencies.
He explained, “They have just four people in detention and they are asking for them. They also need assurance and that is why we are calling for amnesty for them. They have been fighting for a long time; it’s been more than eight years.
“These people are fighting for their existence because when they go to town they are lynched when the police see them on the road, they arrest them; sometimes they are executed extrajudicially, so they took arms against the state. When you give them amnesty, all of them will drop their weapons.”
Source: Naija News
Trouble As Ondo Chief Judge Accuses Akeredolu Of Plotting To Oust Her
The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu has dragged Governor Rotimi Akeredolu before a federal high court plans to unseat her.
Naija News reports that Justice Inyang Ekwo has restrained Akeredolu, the state House of Assembly, Attorney-General and three others from taking any further steps in relation to the alleged probe of Justice Akeredolu.
Also restrained are the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Judicial Council and the Inspector-General of Police.
This online newspaper gathered that reports had emerged that the Ondo government was planning to probe the Chief Judge over allegations made by Olupelumi Fagboyegun in a viral video.
Justice Akeredolu had claimed that the decision by the state government, through its former AG, Charles Titiloye, to refer the allegations made against her and the state’s judiciary to the House of Assembly for investigation, was an illegal act designed to remove her from office.
Ruling on an ex-parte application, Justice Ekwo granted all the four principal reliefs contained in the application moved by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN).
He also ordered the service of all originating processes in the suit on the defendants and adjourned the case till March 5, 2021 for hearing of the plaintiff’s motion on notice.
“We fear that if there is no intervention of the court, we think it is a ploy to get her out of office. We believe it has political undertone,” Okutepa said.
NCDC Records 634 New Cases Of COVID-19
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 634 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the new cases were reported in a post on the disease control agency’s Twitter handle on Thursday night, February 25, 2021.
The newly reported cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria to 154,476 which includes 131,699 discharged cases and 1,891 deaths.
Below is the breakdown of the latest cases according to states with Lagos State having the highest number of cases with 259 followed by Osun State with 45 cases.
Lagos-259 Osun-45 Edo-38 Ogun-35 FCT-33 Anambra-26 Imo-24 Ondo-24 Akwa Ibom-20 Plateau-20 Abia-19 Kaduna-19 Ebonyi-17 Borno-10 Rivers-10 Kano-9 Delta-8 Kebbi-7 Nasarawa-4 Oyo-3 Enugu-2 Ekiti-2
634 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;
1,891 deaths pic.twitter.com/Ne8r3ASHFX
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) February 25, 2021
Kwara Govt Reveals Position On Use Of Hijab In Public Schools
The Kwara State government has revealed its stand on the use of hijab in public schools as well as grant-aided schools owned by churches.
The government in a statement on Thursday night declared that Muslim girls in all public schools in the state are now permitted to wear hijabs as part of their uniform.
This position was revealed in a statement signed by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Professor Mamma Sabah Jibril on the lingering controversy surrounding the use of hijab in grant-aided public schools in the state.
It also directed the Ministry of Education to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/grant-aided schools in the state.
It will be recalled as previously reported by Naija News that the state government had temporarily shut down 10 secondary schools in the state over the hijab controversy by female students in the grant-aided schools.
However, the statement on Thursday also approved the reopening of the schools as from Monday, 8th March 2021.
The statement containing the position of the state government on the matter reads: “Sequel to recent developments in our state over the status of the hijaab in public/grant-aided schools, the state government has consulted widely with thought leaders and leaders of both Muslim and Christian communities with a view to clarifying issues and reaching a consensus. The last of such meetings was held on Wednesday February 24, presided by His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
At least 10 schools of interest were earlier shut down to maintain peace and public order as well as prevent mischief makers from taking undue advantage of the development.
The state government has considered submissions of all major interest groups on the matter. It has also thoroughly considered the education law of Kwara State, the prevailing court judgments and current global trends of multiculturalism in evolving a consultation-based decision that will bring lasting peace and understanding to our communities. The government has also paid particular attention to the ‘declaratory’ nature of the subsisting judgments of the Court of Appeal and their purports.
Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools. Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear same in public/grant-aided schools.
Also, the government affirms the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.
The government hereby directs that the affected 10 schools should reopen to commence classes on Monday 8th March 2021.
Similarly, the government has carefully noted submissions regarding ownership of grant-aided schools and related issues. While the status of these schools is the subject of judicial determination, this and other related matters will soon be subjected to a technical committee to advise accordingly. The government reassures all members of the public that it will act in good conscience at all times.
The government asserts that there is no victor or vanquished on the hijaab question. It urges the two faith communities, especially the leaders, opinion moulders and media personalities to act with restraint and great responsibility in their public utterances and actions, and continue to live in peace and harmony with one another. The government commends all the thought and religious leaders on both sides for their forbearance, understanding and commitment to peace.
Meanwhile, the National Leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (SSANU) has suspended its strike.
Naija News recalls that the university workers had embarked on a nationwide strike on the midnight of Friday, February 5, 2021.
But in a circular signed by General Secretary, NASU, Peters Adeyemi, and National President, SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, announced the suspension of their strike on Thursday.