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The Independent National Electoral Commission () has presented a cheque of N1.9 million to the family of Late Miss Kemisola Adeniran, a corps member who died in Oyo State during the electoral process.

The News Agency of (NAN) reports that the cheque was presented to the deceased’s next of kin and sister, Mrs Folasade Adeyemi, at INEC in Ibadan on Tuesday.

NAN recalls that the late Adeniran, who was until her death serving in Ona-Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State, died in February, in road accident while returning from INEC training.

Dr Mutiu Agboke, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said that the commission had acted in line with its life insurance policy for officials, including adhoc personnel before and during elections.

“On behalf of the commission and entire INEC staff in Oyo State, I wish to express my profound deep regret for the loss of our illustrious daughter/corps member.

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“We also express the sincere condolence of the commission to the family over this irreparable loss.

“Though, the commission’s insurance policy makes provision for both permanent and adhoc staff, nothing can be counted worthy for the life lost.

“This of token is just to cushion the effect of this irreparable loss to the deceased family,” he said.

The REC appreciated the invaluable services rendered by corps members, saying that INEC would continue to honour its part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NYSC, NAN reports.

He enjoined all stakeholders, particularly the media and security agencies, to collaborate with INEC to establish violence free electioneering process.

Agboke called on politicians to eschew both electoral and political violence, urging them and supporters to desist from fake news as well as hate speeches.

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According to him, “we should all learn the culture of doing things right. I am passionate about this because we are losing our staff. will anyone be happy at the death of others.

“The media should partner with Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC). Electioneering is not during election alone. Let there be collective solution to these problem to have a better society.”

Mrs Eniola Ambekemo, the State Coordinator, NYSC, commended INEC for fulfilling its agreement on the corps members in terms of insurance.

She described deceased’s death as very unfortunate, saying she would have passed out of service with her colleagues in October.

Ambekemo also thanked God that no corps members died in the recently conducted election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

Adeyemi, the deceased’s sister who received the cheque on behalf of the family, appreciated INEC and NYSC for standing by the family.

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“God says we should give thanks in all situations and circumstances. Though, it is hard to bear, but we have to accept it as the will of God,” she said.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Why we increased hate speech fine to N5m – Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government says it increased the fine for hate speech from N500, 000 to N5 million in the ammended National Broadcasting Code to deter people who are willingly violating the provision to destabilise the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the explanation on Friday when he featured on a TVC live Programme, “This Morning”” monitored by the News Agency of in Abuja.

NAN recalls that the minister in 2019 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the increase of the fine which was later stipulated in the ammended Broadcasting Code.

“What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000 we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay,” he said.

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The minister explained that some desperate people, who know that their broadcast content contains hate speech, will insist that the broadcast stations should air it while they bear the cost of the fine.

The minister noted that those attacking the government over the increase, must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.

He recalled that Rwandan lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.

Mohammed said that Nigeria is not the only country to impose sanction on hate speech, adding that some nations have more stringent provisions.

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“Chad has today slow down the speed of its internet service to slow down the growth of hate speech.

“Iceland has a provision in its penal code against hate speech and the punishment is up to five years in jail.

“The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens  can get from the constitution,” he said.

The minister said that hate speech is not new but the social media  and its wildfire capacity to spread information made it to be more problematic.

He, therefore, reiterated the resolve of the government to regulate the social media without stifling the freedom of speech.

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Ogun: Gov Abiodun makes u-turn, stops payment of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun appears to have bowed to pressure as he stopped the payment of N25,000 by students of private boarding schools for COVID-19 and malaria tests.

Abiodun came under heavy criticisms parents of SS3 students in private boarding schools were made to realize on Sunday that they must pay a sum of N25,000 to get their children tested.

Making a u-turn on Monday evening, the governor said, “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the government laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost.

“I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.”

A statement personally signed by Gov Abiodun reads:

“In line with the Federal Ministry of Education recommendation and WASSCE timetable, we decided to open our schools on the 4th August 2020 for SS3 students only. We put in place guidelines that would ensure that our students resume in a safe environment.

“In our pre-opening engagements with stakeholders, opening of boarding houses was discussed. Our State has one of the largest population of boarding students in the country, coming from all over the Country. After consultations with health professionals, we concluded that testing the children for COVID-19 before admittance will reduce the risk of community transmission. This is to reassure parents and even teachers of the safety of everybody concerned.

“The State planned and provided testing, free of charge, for boarding students in our public schools and allowed for the management and parents of private schools to make their arrangements to get COVID-19 tests. The two Ogun State-run laboratories have a capacity for about 500 tests a day and conduct free tests for traced contacts or symptomatic patients. To meet the additional demand for the expected number of boarding students, the statement from the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology listed some private test centers which set up sampling points in some of our Health facilities.

“These private laboratories have been accredited by NCDC and Lagos State Government for walk-in tests and charge N50,400 per test but I understand that the Ministries of Health and Education negotiated this to N25,000 for boarding students in private schools that may wish to use them. There is no financial benefit to the State Government.

READ ALSO  Ogun: Gov Abiodun makes u-turn, stops payment of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee

“After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost. I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.

“The health of our children remains our utmost priority, however in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340 private and 500 public), and bearing in mind the limitation of our installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day, it may not be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to resumption or even exams which commence on 17th August 2020.

“Consequently the State Government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes. We, therefore, enjoin Private School owners to exercise their duty of care to their pupils. The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of such private schools.

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“Ogun State Government recommends that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.

“I have also directed the provision of face masks to all students in both private and public schools.

“The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday is highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.

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“The quality and standard of education and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart.

“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in Ogun State. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”

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