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UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced the call for entries for the 2017 edition of its annual UBA Foundation National Essay Competition in Nigeria.

The essay competition which is put together for senior secondary school students is organized as part of UBA Foundation’s Education initiative to promote a reading culture and encourage healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.

Speaking at a well-attended Press conference on Tuesday at the Bank’s headquarters’ in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said the essay competition which is eligible for all senior secondary schools students across the country provides an opportunity for students to win prizes in the form of educational grants to help them realise their goals in life.


“We are well aware that if you help get one child educated, you help support an entire family as that child will eventually positively impact his/her community. The competition is a key aspect of our investment drive in human capital and we will continue to sustain the initiative because education is very important to UBA and we are more than committed to providing the necessary support for students in Nigeria and throughout the African continent,” she noted.

Atta also explained that each year, the bank donates thousands of books to students in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative to encourage and promote the reading culture in secondary schools. “We are driven by the mantra to do well and do good and we will not relent in our efforts at touching lives through our various projects, and initiatives,” she told the excited students.

According to her, the first prize for the UBA National Essay Competition is a N1 million educational grant for the winner to study in any African university of his or her choice while the second and third prizes are N750,000 and N500,000 educational grants respectively.

She explained that entries received from students for the competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of professors from reputable Nigerian Universities, who will then shortlist 12 best essays for further assessment. A second round of the competition will involve the 12 finalists who will write a second supervised essay from which three best essays will be selected. “Three best essays will be selected as the overall winners from 12 finalists that will emerge from the first round of the competition” she noted.

Atta explained that the choice of essay for this year’s competition is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students. The students are to develop a manual on any chosen form of technology or innovation(real or imagined) and make this manual discernable for the simplest of minds

It is important to note that apart from Nigeria, the national essay competition is also held in other African countries including Ghana and Senegal with more countries to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2018.

Also Speaking at the event, Deputy CEO, Anglophone Africa, Ebele Ogbue asserted that Knowledge is power and the only effective way to transform Africa is through Education. “Undoubtedly, the future of any nation rests on the younger generation. Hence, the legacy passed on by the preceding generation could make a nation. Therefore, investing in the future of the youths is key to redeeming the economy for the collective good. This is why UBA’s support of education across Africa is relentless” he stated.

As a the CSR platform for the UBA Group, UBA Foundation embodies the Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on the society through a number of laudable projects and initiatives.

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NEWS

80-Year-Old Herbalist, Two Others Behead, Remove Mobile Police Sergeant’s Eyes [PHOTO]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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An 80-year-old herbalist, Ussaini Musa, and two others have been arrested by operatives of the Katsina State Police Command for allegedly beheading and removing the eyes of a Police Sergeant, Unana Ishaya.

The Police Sergeant was attached to 56 PMF, Special Duty, Operation Safe Haven, Jos, Plateau State.

The Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Muhammadu Wakili, paraded the suspects on Wednesday.

Wakili gave the names of others as Abubakar Sani, 35, and Abubakar Muhammed, 28.

While Sani resided in Katsina, Muhammed and Musa resided in Jos.

He said the victim was in mufti when the incident happened.

He said the suspects beheaded and removed the eyes of Ishaya for charm.

The suspects allegedly told the herbalist that they wanted the invincible jacket to enter a house where huge sums of money were kept.

The herbalist reportedly told them to get the eyes of a human being who was alive as part of items to make the jacket.

Sani said they wanted to use the charmed jacket to rob the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Jos, where they suspected there was a huge amount of money, without resorting to forceful break-in.

Wakili said: “So they surprised the officer, who was on a special duty at a joint, though not in uniform, and beheaded him.

“According to them, the policeman was drunk, though an investigation is in progress to ascertain what happened.

“Part of the requirements is to dry the eyes.

So they were arrested while drying the eyes in their apartment.

“The suspects have confessed to the crime, each stating the roles he played.

“They will be arraigned immediately investigation is completed.”

The eyes of the policeman were among exhibits recovered from the suspects.

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NEWS

Muslims Blow Hot As Principal Ejects Students For Wearing Hijab To School, Blame Ambode

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President of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria in Lagos State, Alhaji Saheed Ashafa, has condemned the ejection of five students of Isolo Senior Secondary School by their principal for putting on hijab (Muslims head cover) to school.

Ashafa blamed the Akinwunmi Ambode-led Lagos State Government for the situation, accusing it of failing to enforce a court order which was in favour of hijab.

He noted that after being sent out of school on Wednesday, the students converted a tricycle popularly known as ‘Keke Napep’ to their classroom.

The Principal, Mrs. J O Sadare, had last Friday allegedly announced at the assembly ground that students should not wear hijab to school.

After the announcement, some of the students wore the hijab to school and were given a letter to come with their parents on Tuesday.

When the students got to the school with their parents, the principal allegedly walked them out of her office after their insistence that their daughters must put on the hijab.

Narrating the incident, Ashafa said: “The entire drama started on Friday in the school when the Principal announced to the students that no one is allowed to wear hijab in the school.

“Surprisingly for her, some of the students still wore the hijab to school on Monday. She gave the students letters to invite their parents to school. In the letter, she threatened that the students will not be allowed into the school without their parents.

“When she shared the letter, a majority of students fidgeted and agreed to stop wearing the hijab. She collected the letters and let go of those ones, but about five of them refused to return the letter. When we were contacted, we asked the parents to honour the Principal’s invitation.

“They went there with our (MSSN) representatives but were embarrassed by the Principal, who gave them the option of either their children’s education or religion. She eventually walked them out of her office after they insisted that their daughters must put on the hijab.

“The parents subsequently proceeded to the Education District in charge of the school and they were assured that something would be done. With the hope that her (the Principal) superiors should have spoken with her to realise that what she was doing was wrong with the subsisting Appeal Court judgement, the students went to school on Wednesday (today) and were still prevented from entering the school.

“These are Senior Secondary School Two and Three students who need to study hard for their examinations. When we got to the school this morning, we saw some of the students copying notes for lessons they have missed on Monday and Tuesday while the others were teaching themselves old lessons inside a tricycle on the street.

“This is disastrous for us. While their colleagues were in the classrooms learning, they were on the street just for being Muslims. As we speak, the assistant head girl, who is one of the students that refused to put off her hijab has been removed and replaced.

Ashafa explained that the Lagos State Government has continuously disobeyed the Court of Appeal ruling granting the use of hijab in schools.

“We wish to inform the general public that we have been very peaceful on this matter. Even when some of the principals harassed our members, we go there to engage them amicably. We will not allow this to stay. This Principal must be sanctioned, removed and the students must return to school immediately.

“As a law-abiding student-based organisation, we approached the Court of law on the usage of hijab by students. At the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on October 17, 2014, Justice Modupe Onyeabo banned the use of hijab in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.

“But we headed to the Court of Appeal. A five-man special appellate court panel, presided by Justice A.B. Gumel, on July 21, 2016, overruled the October 17, 2014 judgment of Justice Modupe Onyeabo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, which banned the use of hijab in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.

“While striking down Justice’s Onyeabo’s verdict, the Justice Gumel panel held that the ban on hijab was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in the state.

“Dissatisfied with the decision of the appellate court, the Lagos State Government approached the Supreme Court after failing to secure a Stay of Execution, but no judgment has been delivered yet. In law, where there is no other contrary judgement, the subsisting judgement remains valid.

“Thus, the ongoing harassment of our members is not only unconstitutional, an infringement, but also a contempt. Again, we repeat that this will never be allowed to stay. We will give this lawless, anti-democratic and anti-masses government what it wants and likes to witness.”

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BIG STORY

Ex-Kebbi Governor Writes Tinubu, Seeks Forgiveness For Ambode

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Former Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero, has called on the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to allow Akinwunmi Ambode continue in office as the governor of Lagos despite the perceived political crisis between them.

Aliero, in a letter he personally signed and addressed to Tinubu, pleaded with the APC chieftain to allow Ambode retain the party’s ticket ahead of next year’s governorship election.

Aliero, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, while commending Tinubu for his immense contributions to the nation, the South West region and APC, also pleaded with him to give Ambode a second chance, adding that Lagos State and indeed the entire South West is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections

According to Aliero: “I am writing this letter out of concern for the odious, concerning news in the media about your relationship with your protégée, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State.

“I have known you for ages – long before you assumed the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. You and I have, over the years, had cause to discuss Nigeria on many occasions; never have you, at any time, left any iota of doubt about your love – indeed, passion – for this great country and your desire to make optimal contribution to its growth and development…

“Lagos is growing faster than Nigeria because of your commanding and purposeful leadership. It would therefore not be too much for me to ask you to allow Ambode to retain the ticket of the party. No reward should be bigger for you than the victory of the APC at the forthcoming general elections.”

Continuing, Aliero, who hailed Tinubu’s leadership qualities and ability to spot, groom and nurture brilliant leaders, urged him not to pick a quarrel with Ambode, but rather use his image and status to secure victory for the party at the forthcoming general elections:

He said: “Our dear Asiwaju, knowing who you are – a visionary leader with a distinctively outstanding ability to identify and work with brilliant, focused and hardworking young men and women, I know of no endeavour that would have denied you your standing and image in the Nigeria of today. In view of your giant status as the undisputable leader of our great party and considering the times in which we are, I am certain that you will not, without good reason, pick a quarrel with Governor Ambode.

Lagos State, indeed the entire southwest, is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections. It is in the same spirit that I want to plead with you not to spare any sacrifice that is necessary for the stabilization of the ship of our dear party in Lagos State.”

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