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Thousands of Anti-Trump Protesters Say ‘Not my President’

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About 10,000 anti-Trump protesters marched in New York to shouts of “not my president!” on Monday, joined by others in cities across the United Nations as the nation celebrated its Presidents Day holiday.

After a raucous first month in office, President Donald Trump is due to return to Washington after spending a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Miami Beach, Florida, dubbed the “Winter White House.”

Thousands of Anti-Trump Protesters Say ‘Not my President’
US President Donald Trump
The “Not My Presidents Day” protests aim to show grassroots opposition to the Republican president remains fervent one month after his January 20 inauguration.

Controversies over the property tycoon’s unprecedented approach to running the world’s remaining superpower are at full-pitch amid investigations into ties between Trump and his associates with Russia.

The 70-year-old political novice has raised eyebrows in Twitter postings, his preferred method of public communication that bypasses the nation’s media, which he calls “the enemy of the American people.”

He tweeted an all-caps message to celebrate the holiday, writing: “HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

With his job approval rating at a historically low 40 percent, according to a Gallup poll published Friday, the 45th US president is expected this week to work on filling out his administration’s top spots and rejigging his controversial immigration order that was blocked by the courts.

On Monday, he named counterinsurgency strategist US Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as his new national security advisor.

McMaster takes over the post left vacant after Michael Flynn was ousted on February 13 after giving misleading statements about his contacts with Russia to Vice President Mike Pence.

Earlier in the day, the president played 18 holes of golf with Irish golf superstar Rory McIlroy at Trump International Golf Club, according to media reports.

Trump won’t listen to us

Anti-Trump activists took advantage of the federal public holiday, dedicated to US presidents, to organize rallies in a number of cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington.

On the streets of New York, Trump’s home base, demonstrators of various ages and backgrounds gathered in Columbus Circle, in front of Trump International Hotel and near Central Park, to voice their dismay.

The mood was festive, and the crowd grew to 10,000, according to an unofficial police estimate.

One of the protesters, retired psychotherapist Rima Strauss, wore a denim jacket with a button that read “Not my president” and another one showing a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a baby Trump in diapers.

“He’s hurting our country. We’re losing our country if we don’t do something,” Strauss said.

“Trump won’t listen to us, but if ordinary people march in the streets, maybe we’ll have some kind of revolution against Trump, I hope.”

Qamar Khan, a 26-year-old medical school student from Pakistan, said that as a Muslim he wanted to voice disagreement with Trump.

“We are Muslims. We want to spread the message of peace and love, true Islam,” he said, adding, “I do obey President Trump as our president, but I don’t have to agree with his policies.”

In Los Angeles, protesters carried anti-Trump signs outside City hall, some reading “1. Resist 2. Impeach” and “Trump is Mentally Ill,” with the “u” in his name replaced by the Russian Communist symbol of a hammer and sickle.

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Osinbajo Assures Farmers of FG’s Continued Support

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Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has assured farmers, millers and, indeed, all stakeholders in rice and wheat production of Federal Government’s support to enable the country achieve self-sufficiency in food security soon.

Osinbajo gave the assurance during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Monday.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, which lasted about five hours, chairman of the Task Force and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, said the meeting was principally called to review the rice and wheat programme in the country.

Osinbajo assures farmers of FG’s continued support
Ag. President Osinbajo
He said: “This is the meeting of Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat and we reviewed the wheat programme and what we can do more to support states in order to increase production of wheat.

“To ensure that our farmers, who have responded to the call are supported in terms of getting good price for their output in order to sustain their interests.

“We reviewed where we are with rice production, the Acting President noted with satisfaction all the efforts be different stakeholders to attain sufficiency in the shortest possible time.

“The Acting President assured the meeting that the Federal Government will continue to support the drive towards self sufficiency in food security.

“He said the government of necessity will support the farmers, the millers and other stakeholders involved in the value chain.”

The governor added that more states other than the previous fives, had joined in the production of wheat, to bring the number to eleven.

He said Nigeria was on course towards achieving self-sufficiency in rice and wheat production.

“I think we have done very well, we have remarkable increase in the number of states that have produced wheat from the last season.

“Last season we had about five states but today we are hearing reports from about 11 States and the increase in output per state is quiet significant as well.

“So we believe that with sustained trajectory that we are seeing we will be able to achieve our self sufficiency,” he said.

The governor, however, could not confirm if Nigeria was the second largest producer of rice in the world as he didn’t readily have the statistics.

“I don’t have that data but I know that our farmers have responded and all parts of Nigeria, about 32 states, have increased production,” he said

Those who attended the meeting include governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu; and Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar.

The M inister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Audu Ogbeh, his counterpart in Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, as well as governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emiefele, were also in attendance.

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Not All Fertile Men Can Donate Sperm — Expert

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Not all fertile men can donate sperm

Dr Stephen Hwande, Managing Director, First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi, on Monday said that some fertile men might not be suitable as sperm donors.

Hwande told the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi that sperm donors were usually healthy, fertile men of normal intelligence, who had no history of mental disorders and genetic or inherited diseases.

According to the fertility specialist, sperm donors usually undergo complete physical and genital examinations which include checking for urethral discharge, genital warts and ulcers.

“The presence of any of the above will not make the donor acceptable.

“Donors are also screened for infectious and genetic diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and gonorrhea, as well as sickle cell disease.

“The blood group and Rhesus factor of donors are also determined.

“Also, because some sperms die during freezing procedures, we usually insist that only men with a high number of motile sperms in the ejaculate are acceptable as donors,’’ he said.

Hwande said that donated sperms were frozen and stored for a minimum of six months as quarantine period, before they are tested again.

According to him, the retest is to detect infectious diseases, especially HIV, before the sperm is used.

The fertility specialist said that preferred donors were those within the ages of 18 and 55 years, who also preferably, had children of their own.

He stressed that counseling was very important in sperm donation.

He said: “One of the issues that donors need to know is that they have to renounce all rights to the donated sperm.

“Their identity and that of recipients are not to be disclosed, except if it is acceptable and agreed upon by both parties.

“In spite of these, one also has to pay attention to the ethical, psychological and moral issues involved in using a known donor,’’ Hwande said.

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Xenophobia in South Africa: No Country Has Monopoly of Violence, Rep Warns

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Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Matters, Rep Rita Orji has condemned the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards the protection of Nigerians outside the country saying that the government paid more interest in remittance from citizens abroad and not their welfare and that no country has monopoly of violence. 

The lawmaker said that even if the government decided to keep quiet in the midst of the incessant attacks on Nigerians especially in South Africa, she will not keep mute when Nigerians were being subjected to all forms of attacks and inhuman treatments.

Addressing journalists in Abuja Monday, Orji who represents Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos State said that the government was not doing anything to protect her citizens in the Diaspora.

Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa

Reacting to the recent Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, she said she was not going to be part of the “conspiracy of silence”, adding that Nigerians in Diaspora were only dear to the government of Nigeria because of the funds they remit to the country.

She also accused the government of over-protecting the businesses and interests of South Africa to the detriment of Nigeria. The government, she said, is not “taking a critical look at what Nigerians in Diaspora face in the countries that they are.

According to her, “Are they only important to us just because they need to contribute to National Development? Are we calling them ours because we needed to get hard currencies remitted by them? What about their health and their businesses, are they being protected? Are they being taken care of in the treaties we’re signing in this country?

“Have we taken any bold steps to make sure that incessant killings of Nigerians abroad unlawfully are being taken care of? These are pertinent questions that any Nigerian that loves life would ask. And why would this conspiracy of silence linger while blood is being shed, while Nigerians are being killed like chicken in various countries, while Nigerians are becoming endangered species.”

Orji recounted some of the gory murders of Nigerians in South Africa, Libya and other countries some of which she said her committee had investigated and given the report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with no visible action taken.

She flayed the recent South African violence against Nigerians in which their businesses have been burnt and their goods looted.

Warning that no country has a monopoly of violence, she said, “South Africa has a lot of business interests in Nigeria, MTN is there, Shoprite is springing up all over the place.

“Must we protect the foreign interest to the detriment of Nigerians. Now NCC is hellbent on reviewing upwards the price of data and voice calls in Nigeria to the detriment of Nigerians, even with the intervention of National Assembly, NCC is bent on doing that on their own, just to protect the interest of the foreigners.”

Representative Orji called on the Foreign Affairs to rise up and call for a full briefing from the Nigerian Embassy in South Africa “on how many Nigerians killed and how many houses were burnt and property looted.

“The South African Government should bear in mind that Nigerians know that they have interests, they have businesses here, they have South Africans here, they should not put their people in jeopardy.”

However, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim told the committee that though it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians abroad, funds were not made available to the Ministry until the present 2017 budget proposals.

According to the Minister, “it is estimated that there are up to 15 million Nigerians abroad. It is therefore a herculean task for the Ministry to provide protection and welfare assistance when no provision was made for that purpose in the Mission’s budget.

“Other countries make financial provision for repatriation of remains, lost income and loss of passport, funeral expenses, medical bills, amongst others, which our missions can’t, due to the paucity of funds. Yet, Nigerians expect, unrealistically, missions to offer these services.”

According to her, it is only in the 2017 budget that the sum of ( 400,000,000.00 ($1.3 million) was appropriated. “This is clearly inadequate to cover the sheer volume and complexity of the consular challenges facing Nigerian Missions abroad, including the strategic engagement with Nigerians in the Diaspora.”

She said the number of Nigerians in prisons abroad was 15,316 as at December, 2015, noting that, “The update for 2016 is not complete as the Ministry is awaiting updates from our missions abroad.

“Regrettably, some Nigerians are on death row in Countries like Indonesia, with about 13 inmates for drug related offences.”

The Minister said Nigerians in Diaspora remitted over $21 billion in 2015, and that in recognition of the huge potentials of Nigerians in Diaspora for National Development, the Diaspora Desks in Nigerian Missions abroad are now to be part of the Economic Section.

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Zuma Not Backing Hayatou — Minister

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South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula Monday denied a Confederation of African Football statement that President Jacob Zuma was backing incumbent Issa Hayatou in the CAF leadership race.

A CAF statement made the claim after its president met Zuma at the weekend ahead of the African Super Cup match in Pretoria between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The statement read in part: “He (President Zuma) thus assured his host (Mr Hayatou) of South Africa’s flawless support for his candidacy for a new term at the helm of the CAF.”

Zuma not backing Hayatou — minister
South African President Jacob Zuma (R) shows the paper Cape Verde to Confederation of African 
Football (CAF) Issa Hayatou during the final draw of the Africa Cup of Nations 2013
 in Durban on October 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO
Mbalula said the state president had not take sides ahead of the mid-March CAF presidential election in which Hayatou is seeking an eighth successive term and being challenged by Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar.

“President Zuma wished Mr Hayatou well as he would any other candidate,” the sports minister said.

“Abiding by the principles of non-interference in the affairs of football democracy, President Zuma did not pledge his personal support or that of the South African government behind the name of Mr Hayatou.”

Cameroonian Hayatou was elected CAF president in 1988 and his 29 years in charge is a record for a leader of the Cairo-based organisation.

The 70-year-old has been challenged twice for the presidency, with rivals Armando Machado from Angola and Ismael Bhamjee from Botswana suffering humiliating defeats.

The 2017 CAF presidential election is scheduled for March 16 in Addis Ababa and the winner will serve a four-year term.

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