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Lagos Govt Warns Private Schools Against Third Term Resumption Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

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The Lagos State Ministry of Education has warned private schools in the state to shun the idea of resuming for the third term academic session until the lockdown period is over.

Recall that the state government had on March 18 ordered public and private schools in the state to close down from March 23, as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, in a statement on Thursday, said all private and public schools in the state would remain closed to protect pupils from the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adefisayo noted that the state government would intensify efforts in the ongoing free teachings on various media, especially radio and television, rather than reopening schools and endangering the lives of pupils.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who disclosed the government’s stance on the reopening of schools for the third-term academic session, urged proprietors aiming to commence academic session for third-term amid the COVID-19 outbreak to abandon the plans.

She said, “The attention of the Lagos State Ministry of Education has been drawn to the plans by some private schools in the state to resume academic activities for the third term of the 2019/20 session by online teaching. This is with effect from Monday, April 27, 2020.

“The Ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. The state continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television.

“Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.”

Adefisayo appealed to the proprietors to persevere and adopt the online teaching strategy to keep their students busy while staying at home to avoid contracting COVID-19.

The Commissioner disclosed that some secondary schools in the state have commenced online teaching to engage their students charging discounted tuition fees, while some schools were charging full tuition rates.

“Parents are concerned about the cost of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to the cost of data and devices as well as the cost of fuelling generators to ensure steady electricity power supply.

“Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography, in addition to online harassment and bullying”, Adefisayo said.

The Commissioner for Education called for a continuous dialogue between school administrators and parents to seek ways to resolve issues related to the inability of parents to earn income during this period, the need for schools to pay their personnel who provide online teaching as well as the purchase of devices for teachers, including the provision of data to prepare for the daily teaching activities.

“In view of the aforementioned, we ask that schools consult extensively with parents and find a win-win solution that will be acceptable to all stakeholders,” she added.

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BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu Lifts Curfew In Lagos

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has lifted the curfew imposed on the state with immediate effect.

This was contained in a press statement by the Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, on Saturday.

The statement read, “The curfew imposed on Lagos State after the hijack of the peaceful #EndSARS protests has been lifted immediately. The 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew imposed by the Federal Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 remains.

“Lagosians are free to go about their businesses without any hindrance whatsoever. Security agencies will continue to discharge their duties. Lagosians are urged to co-operate with them to maintain the status of our state as one of the most peaceful.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu thanks security agencies for their efforts in restoring peace to our troubled communities. He commends Lagosians for observing the curfew and ensuring the return of normalcy.

“The Governor urges the citizenry not to do or encourage any action that may turn back the clock, but to keep living in harmony as we get set to rebuild our dear State and strengthen the unity that we are known for.”

Details later…

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JUST IN: US Special Forces Storm Nigeria, Rescue Kidnapped American, Kill 6 Bandits

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An American citizen held hostage in northern Nigeria has been successfully rescued by the United States forces, CNN is reporting.

This was revealed in a statement by the Pentagon Spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, on Saturday.

The hostage, Philip Walton, was abducted Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometers (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

Part of the statement reads, “U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of October 31 in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men.

“This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation.

“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN.

The US forces who conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said.

The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region and were more likely bandits seeking money.

The State Department confirmed earlier this week that a US citizen had been abducted in Niger.

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SARS Detained Me For 22 Days, Took Me To A Shrine, I Lost Two-Month Pregnancy To Torture —- Schoolteacher Tells Lagos Panel

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Hearing by the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry into complaints of human rights violations by men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad continued on Saturday with a schoolteacher, Ndubuisi Obiechina, narrating to the panel how she was arrested in 2017 on a bogus allegation of being a thief and a kidnapper and tortured by SARS men till her then two-month-old pregnancy was aborted.

The schoolteacher, who appeared before the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel alongside her husband, told the panel that she was detained for 22 days and tortured till she lost her pregnancy.

She named the officers who tortured her as Phillip Rilwan, Christian, and Haruna Idowu.

She alleged that the policemen stole her husband’s N50,000 and compelled them to part with N400,000 as bail fee before they were freed.

Narrating their ordeal in the hands of the SARS men, she said, “On June 1, 2017, I received a text message from an unknown number that I had a parcel from DHL. A caller using different numbers asked for my home or office address and I gave him my school address upon my husband’s advice.

“The following day, I saw a black jeep with huge men inside it. One of them was in a DHL uniform. Immediately, they approached me, they started beating me. They said I should enter inside. They said I was a thief, an armed robber. The one in the DHL uniform removed it. My HM (headmistress) was peeping at us. I said let me go and tell her. They said no.

“I said my kid is there, they said no, that I should follow them, that my kid would die there.

“My HM came to the gate; they pointed a gun at me. She asked what was going on. They said, ‘This woman is a thief, a kidnapper. She must follow us and go. They said they were Police, SARS’.

“They pushed me inside the car and moved. The men were slapping, beating me. I was two months pregnant. I started vomiting. That’s when they found out I was pregnant. But they kept torturing me. I told them I did not know the suspect.

“They took me to their office at Ikeja. They took me to a shrine. They hanged me, beat me. They said they would force my baby out of me. They said I must produce the person or die there.”

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