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Student Dies in Ekiti ‘Juju’ Superiority Contest

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A secondary school student at the Ado Grammar School, Ado Ekiti, Mathew Favour, died on Thursday following injuries he sustained in a superiority contest with a colleague on the efficacy of their charms.

Juju shrine
For Illustration: Juju shrine
Sources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident occurred in the evening within the school’s premises.

The 16-year old was said to have been engaged in a friendly dispute with a colleague over the ownership of a ball before it degenerated into an argument over who had more portent charms.

NAN reports that the late Favour, who was in Senior Secondary (SS2), before his death, was allegedly stabbed in the chest and later died at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, where he was taken to for medical attention.

The suspect, who allegedly killed Favour, has since been taken into police custody.

Sources said Favour, an Ebira indigene from Kogi, was said to have initiated the encounter when he brought out a small axe and a knife wrapped in a white and red scarf and dared his colleague to a fight.

However, his colleague was said to have overpowered him after a while, stabbing him in the chest with the knife and fatally injuring him in the process.

It was learnt that the development brought activities in the school to a halt as other students and teachers alike fled the premises.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said he needed time before he could react, to enable him get a clearer report on the incident.

Police officers from the nearby Odo Ado Division were however, sighted at the main entrance of the school which had been shut.

NAN learnt the police deployment followed alleged threats by the family of the deceased to embark on reprisal attack at the school.

Confirming the incident, the school Principal, Mr Ebenezer Falayi, said the incident occurred at about 2:15 p.m., after the school had closed .

Falayi said the students had dispersed before the incident attracted teachers who mobilised to the scene to convey the victim to EKSUTH.

“This incident really saddened us because it could have been avoided.

“What I gathered from students who were at the spot of the gory incident was that the duo were arguing over who had superior power and the deceased had earlier gone home to bring all those weapons which could not pierce the suspect when used on him.

“I was told that the suspect later overpowered him, collected the weapons and stabbed the victim in the chest.

“Our teachers, including myself, my Vice and Registrar alongside other teachers who were resident on campus here rushed him to EKSUTH; We even took the suspect along.

“The victim was put on life support, but that could not help the situation, as he died in the hospital.

“I had to quickly call the DPO of Odo Ado Police Station who reinforced his men and contacted the police station at Oke Ila to prevent the suspect from being killed by highly enraged family members of the deceased.

“The hospital insisted on doing the autopsy before releasing the corpse but the family resisted this.

“They later released the corpse to the family when it nearly caused trouble in the hospital

“The police also took the suspect into custody. But I had to beg for security beef up around the school when there was a threat that 30 students will be killed in a reprisal attack today (Friday),” he said.
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7,400 Myanmar Women Forced Into Marriage in China

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More than 7,400 women from Myanmar have been forced to marry Chinese men between 2013 and 2017, the authors of a new study said on Friday.

Myanmar women forced into marriage
Myanmar women forced into marriage
Most of those women were also forced to bear children, according to the study, written by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT).

It includes surveys of more than 400 women in more than 40 locations in Myanmar and China.

China’s previous one-child policy has resulted in a population disparity, in which men outnumber women by 34 million, fuelling demand for trafficked women from neighbouring countries.

Conflict, land confiscation and other human rights abuses by the Myanmar government in border areas, primarily in Shan and Kachin states, have forced thousands of undocumented women into the arms of traffickers.

This has also ultimately resulted in forced marriages that they cannot escape from, the researchers said.

“Victims of forced marriage suffer a range of rights violations and exposure to physical and psychological risks,’’ said Courtland Robinson, an associate professor at the Bloomberg School and the study’s lead author.

“This research draws attention to the scope of the problem and to the urgent need for support services for victims.’’

The study calls on Myanmar to end its internal conflicts and to ensure that citizens have personal identification documents, which would allow them to work legally in China.

It also calls on the government of China to grant Myanmar refugees access to a safe refuge and humanitarian aid in order to reduce their vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking.
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FRSC Conducts Psychiatric Test on Traffic Offenders

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Edo says it will soon commence an Emotional Psychological Evaluation (EPE) for all traffic offenders in the state.

FRSC officials on duty
FRSC officials on duty
The state Sector Commander, Mr Anthony Oko, made this known during the flag-off of the Ember Months Safety Campaign in Auchi, Edo, on Friday.

Oko said any driver who contravened traffic laws would be arrested and referred to a psychiatric centre to ascertain the state of his mind.

“Any driver that violates traffic laws will be arrested and thereafter referred to a government hospital for psychiatric test,” he said.

Okon said the task of ensuring that the roads, especially the highways, were accident free was a major challenge facing government, and that the commission was working hard to minimise road accidents.

Speaking on preparations for a traffic free holiday during the Yuletide, the sector commander said officers had been positioned at strategic locations on the road where bottleneck was usually experienced.

He added that towing trucks and ambulances had also been provided in case of any road accident.

“I want to assure you that we will have a great number of officers and special marshals everywhere during the period.

“We are going to man the road 24 hours in case of any eventuality, as we are approaching the Yuletide, we will do much better than the previous years and we are definately going to reduce road traffic crash within Edo,” he said.

Earlier, the Auchi Unit Commander, Mr Moses Bature, cautioned drivers to imbibe the culture of defensive driving in order to arrive safely at their destinations.

“It is our collective responsibility to work in order to restore sanity on our roads.

“Safe driving, safe arrival on the highway can only be achieved when we come together as stakeholders and partners to fight the menace claiming the lives of our people on the road.

“We appeal to all road users to ensure they comply with all traffic rules and regulations, and maintain their vehicles for safe driving and safe arrival in this Yuletide and beyond,” he said.
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2019 Elections: NGO Proffers Solution to Vote Buying

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The African Electoral Integrity Initiative (AE2i), an NGO has said that citizens attitudinal change against vote buying and selling was necessary to guarantee the integrity of the 2019 general elections.

 Voters queue to cast their vote in an election
Voters queue to cast their vote in an election
Dr Daniel Omofoman, Convener and Regional Director, West Africa of the group, said this at a National Conference on Electoral Integrity with the theme:“ Sustaining the Integrity of 2019 General Elections’’, organised by AE2i ‘in Abuja.

Omofoman said that there are many issues threatening the integrity of the 2019 general elections especially vote buying and selling, under age voting ,fake news, partisan law enforcement, among others.

He said that the issues were not so much on the electoral system because the process had been put in place by the electoral commission but the challenge was mainly with the politicians.

“The conference is aimed at sensitising stakeholders on the need to sustain the integrity of the 2019 elections and restoring voter confidence in the integrity of officials, voting procedure and materials used in the election.

“Nigerian elections have often been treated as a do-or-die affair as they are viewed as a pathway to achieving wealth and power. These elections are therefore characterised by vote buying, ballot snatching, bribery etc.

“So, we believe more is coming up with solutions that will resolve these issues and what we are learning here today is on best ways to sustain the integrity through advocacy,’’ the convener said.

Omofoman said that series of nationwide programmes that had to do with educating the voters to sustain the election by not buying or selling votes would be conducted by the NGO.

This, he said, was because poorly conducted elections could be catastrophic to any civic setting, and therefore, free, fair and credible elections were critical to the peace and development of Nigeria.

He said that electoral integrity was essential to good democratic governance because without it, public officials in power would manipulate and continue to ignore appropriate dealing, due diligence and good governance.

Prof. Yusuf Zoaka, Dean Faculty of Social Science, University of Abuja, in his presentation titled: “Principles of Electoral Integrity”, said a good election is hinged on fairness and a level playing ground for all.

Zoaka, who was represented by Dr Agaba Halidu, a lecturer in the university, also listed ethical conduct, professionalism and accuracy among others as the criteria for good elections.

He said that for Nigeria to have an election with integrity certain guidelines should be followed which were enforcement, transparency and respect for the rule of law.

He said that for election to have integrity, Nigerians should rise up to their responsibilities and the electoral commission should ensure equal voting power for all, secrecy of balloting, among others.

He advised politicians to shun hate speech that could lead to violent campaigns, and urged INEC to remain impartial to avoid voter apathy and rejection of results.

Mr Mohammed Baba , Commissioner in charge of Education at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission( ICPC), said that vote buying was becoming a threat to democracy; so, all hands must be on deck to curb it.

Baba said that ICPC would embark on a nationwide sensitisation programme this December to change the people’s attitude against the practice.

He said that the commission had the mandate for enforcement, prevention, education, among others, and was working under its prevention mandate to curb vote buying for a successful election in 2019.

He said that most electoral offences and malpractices were punishable under the ICPC Act, adding that the commission would work toward ending electoral bribery and gratification, among others.
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NGO Urges INEC to Deregister Political Parties Without Win in 2019

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Dr. Dan Mou, Executive Chairman, Centre for Poverty Eradication, Development and Equal Opportunity (CEPEDEO), says political parties that failed to win at least a counselor seat during the 2019 election should be de-registered.

INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu
INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu
Mou said this in Abuja at a National Conference on Electoral Integrity with the theme“ Sustaining the Integrity of 2019 General Elections’’, organised by the African Electoral Integrity Initiative.

He said there were many political parties that have no business being registered in the first place.

“The law can be changed because laws are meant for humans and not human for the laws, I am of the position that after the 2019 election, parties that did not win even one councilor should be thrown out.

“The thing is that most of these political parties belong to top politicians, it may interest you to know that some presidential candidates have 25 parties, I know a presidential candidate that has 40.

“So the point is that just like in the regime of Retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, there should be a certain criteria for a political party to be allowed to continue to operate.

“If a party cannot even win five councilors why should it be retained in the books as a political party,’’ he said.

According to Mou, it gets very complicated to be able to conduct election and come out with a ballot paper with 91 political parties.

He said it was a decision to be taken as a nation, adding that Nigeria’s political history showed that there is a tendency towards two or three parties at the end of the election.

He urged stakeholders to look into the issue of proliferation of ineffective political parties.

Also speaking, Mrs Aisha Aminu, a politician advised political parties to maintain internal democracy adding that parties needed to engage in violent free campaigns abhorring hate speech.

Aminu said so far the political environment is peaceful and healthy compared to how it was in the pre-election period of 2015 adding that “I hope it remains so’’.

She said peace was necessary because without peace election would not hold.

“This will in turn truncate democracy since election is an integral part of democracy,’’ she said.

She called on stakeholders to collectively come together to ensure there was integrity in the process to avoid apathy especially by providing a level playing field where everybody is given the right to participate.

Dr Daniel Omofoman, Regional Director, West Africa, African Electoral Integrity Initiative said the conference was organised to sensitise citizens on the need for electoral integrity.

Omofoman said this was because for a volatile country like Nigeria, increasing electoral integrity was central to the consolidation of democracy, security and stability.

He said the organsiation would embark on nationwide voter sensitisation programme to educate the electorate on their role and responsibilities in the election, especially against vote buying.

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