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State Policing: Gambari demands 2014 confab report - ITREALMS

ITREALMS :  Given rise to agitations for state policing, the former Minister of External Affairs,  Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, has demand a re...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

State Policing: Gambari demands 2014 confab report - ITREALMS

ITREALMS
Given rise to agitations for state policing, the former Minister of External Affairs,  Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, has demand a revisit to the reports from the National Conference (Confab) held in 2014, reports ITREALMS.

About six years after the conference, there has been calls by stakeholders, experts and atavists,  for adoption of the reports from the conference to tackle challenges facing the country.

Gambari, opined that in the face of growing insecurity, killings across the country and loss of confidence in the security architecture, it was important to adopt the many recommendations provided at the 2014 conference which can be used to re-structure policing and promote synergy among police at all levels.

The former minister made this suggestions on Wednesday in Abuja during a public lecture titled: 'Development Resolution: Overcoming Global Conflicts and their Local Interactions',  organised by Ubuntu Centre for African Peacebuilding in collaboration with West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD).

"There is lack of confidence in the current arrangement, the evidence is that people are being killed everyday. There were  recommendations at the 2014 National Conference. We better go and look at it and see how we can have a structure that will take up to the local, to the state and to the national police that will work together and not one at the expense of the other", he said

Gambari further pointed out that localisation of the security apparatus was paramount, adding that unless Nigeria localise its security apparatus and architecture, it will not work.

According him,  attacking Violence Extremism and terrorism, needs the cooperation of local communities.

"You need intelligence and to get it you  need to become friends and partners of the local community, but when there are human rights violations, you are afraid of the security, you can't get that kind of cooperation", he said.

He also stressed that even as Nigeria is striving to achieve peace, putting in place infrastructures for development will be important because peace development will not be a sustainable means of livelihood. 

"Even if you have peace, you can't eat peace, peace is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for development, because you must have a means of livelihood.

"How do you build employment opportunities, how do build educational system that emphasis entrepreneurship, in order words job providers not job seekers . How do you provide infrastructure for people to invest, how do you encourage local investment", the former minister queried.

While delivering the lecture, Mr. Marek Hrubec, spoke extensively on the four periods of time since independence in Africa and called in the need for Africa to develop it's own in the aftermath of the colonial era other than the popular Chinese model. 

Hrubec who is the Director, Centre of Global Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, said the Chinese model was attractive, transformed infrastructure and lifted millions out of poverty, stressing that Africa needs its own model governed by its own experiences, goals and objectives.

He opined that the model should not just be indigenous to the African culture but should be able to tackle poverty, because according to him, 40 percent of the global poor live in Africa especially sub-Saharan Africa.

Meanwhile, a participant at the lecture, Mr. Ayi Joseph,  stressed that poverty, hunger and ignorance fueling conflict and insecurity and stalling development. He noted that Nigeria has a significant number of poor people who are vulnerable to be used as instrument of conflict.

To this end, Joseph, said in addressing insecurity, Nigeria must develop strategies to reduce poverty and hunger.

Also, the Director General of Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Maj-Gen. Garba Wahab (rtd), advised that in tackling insecurity, Nigeria should settle it's problem internally.

To this end, Wahab urged Nigeria not to rely entirely on neighbouring countries which according to him do not have the wherewithal. 

He however, stressed that collaboration among security agencies was also key.

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Mega gospel concert: Sinach to shutdown Eko Hotel - ITREALMS

Acclaimed Africa’s biggest contemporary gospel musician, Sinach Joseph, is set to thrill gospel lovers with a mega concert in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

The concert, ITREALMS gathered, is the first edition of an annual event that is set to become a mainstay in the gospel calendar.

Entitled Sinach Live in Concert (SLIC 2020), the inaugural edition of the eagerly anticipated concert will hold at the Convention Centre of the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 4pm.

In addition to coinciding with her three decades of influential ministry, Sinach disclosed that she chose the date, which is also Mothers’ Day to celebrate the positive impact of women and mothers around the world.

‘‘Sinach Live in Concert is scheduled for Sunday, March 22, 2020 which incidentally is a date that will be celebrated globally as Mothers’ Day. We have carefully selected this date to mark and celebrate the unerring and life-changing impact of women and mothers around the world.

‘‘A lot has been lined up for this event. Indeed, attendees will be treated to soul-lifting ministration and a wonderful all-round experience in an atmosphere of divine praise and worship to the Almighty God. There will also be a special recognition for all women and mothers in attendance at this event. It promises to be a rewarding experience for all,’’ she revealed.

Equally important, tickets for SLIC 2020 have already gone on sale, with e-commerce giants Konga, one of the major partners on the project, also serving as a dual outlet for ticket sales. Interested attendees can purchase the ticket online on https://www.konga.com/merchant/sinach-live-in-concert or offline in any Konga store nationwide.

Meanwhile, a number of brands have already begun to signify their interest in being a part of the epoch-making event. Among these are telecoms giant, MTN and foremost commercial bank, Zenith, official bankers for the event. Also on board are integrated downstream oil and gas company, Rainoil as well as beverage giant, Malta Guinness, official beverage sponsors for the event, among others.

Sinach, arguably the continent’s biggest gospel musical export to the world, has been on the scene for three decades. The title track of her sixth studio album, Way Maker currently has over 138 million views on YouTube. It has become a global worship anthem and has been recorded by multiple Grammy award-winning artist Michael W. Smith as well as Leeland, Bethel Music, Mandisa and over 30 top Gospel singers around the world.

Equally important, Sinach’s strong brand equity and rich content have garnered her a commendable social media followership, (over four million followers across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), cutting across all age-brackets, with millennials constituting circa 60% of her base. Further, she is recognized by many governments and corporate institutions with her songs being sung in most churches around the world.

Hit songs like I Know Who I Am, Awesome God, More of you, Omemma, I Stand Amazed, Great are You Lord, The Name of Jesus, and many more, have become anthems with a most recent and highly publicized invitation to popular American Televangelist, Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.

In 2018, Sinach pioneered Gosgem, an initiative to harness the gift of talented Christian artistes around the world via an onsite and offsite mentorship platform. The platform provides mentees access to interact and learn from seasoned professionals.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions. Among these are being listed in 2019’s Reputation Poll’s Most Reputable Persons on Earth, an honorary inductee in Bethlehem Hall of Fame 2017 set, top 100 influential Christians in Nigeria, West African Artist of the Year, African Achievers Award for Global Excellence, Songwriter of the Decade by LIMA, and recently, Worship Song of the Year by LIMA.

Sinach’s songs and writings are greatly influenced by the teachings of her mentor and Pastor: Chris Oyakhilome.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Inspire students, not tell them about Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) - ITREALMS

Readiness for the fourth industrial revolution requires a broad array of technical skills combined with a burning curiosity to find solutions to our most pressing problems.

It’s amazing how quickly the world around us is changing. The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is upon us and how we continue to adapt to this era of rapid technological and societal change is crucial. Why we need to adapt and how fast we are able to adapt to these changes remain a core question of our time, and education is a key factor in how we navigate these changes. As our society, its challenges and our possibilities for the future are changing, education needs to transform as an enabler for this progress.

Transforming education to align with the challenges of this new age is a big focus for the team at RS Components (http://www.RSonline.africa). We’re particularly interested in encouraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools, promoting digital skills development at universities and colleges, and also promoting after-study opportunities to prepare graduates for employment in this rapidly changing world.

Readiness for the fourth industrial revolution requires a broad array of technical skills combined with a burning curiosity to find solutions to our most pressing problems. In this context our aim is to inspire innovation and promote the ways which support innovative and design thinking.

The importance of innovation in our industry is inescapable. We supply electronic and industrial components, services and solutions to a wide variety of sectors. Combined, these all power modern equipment and inspire new strategies and ways of doing business. We help companies around the world reach their goals or achieve a competitive advantage by offering our mix of innovative products and solutions. We have supported many customers as they create the 4IR.

Bringing 4IR to education

It is this kind of innovation and experience we want to bring to the education space. The concepts and practical elements that work in industry and that define 4IR are exactly those we want to infuse into education. Our goal is to get students to start thinking about solving critical problems using technology.

It’s while trying to address this idea that we noticed a particular gap in the process. In most traditional education and training environments the topic is approached in a rote fashion. Students are told what to know and connect enough dots to pass a test. These students are therefore not being inspired to think critically about the possibilities in front of them, to think out of the box, to think differently. In this kind of teaching environment, it will be difficult for them to take charge of the technology and apply it to their own thinking to come up with multiple solutions.

This is particularly important if we want to encourage a greater uptake of STEM subjects. Telling a child to choose science, technology, engineering and math is not enough. Teaching STEM isn’t enough.

What we need is the same spirit as those fun chemistry teachers you can find on YouTube. Show-and-tell, then make it relevant to the real world. Show students the tools and platforms, show what they can do, show how they fit into industry and the rest of the world.

Taking 4IR to students everywhere

The journey can start at home. Minecraft-Pi (http://bit.ly/3bUfmjY), which comes bundled with Raspbian (http://bit.ly/2wwoDyn) (the Raspberry Pi’s free operating system), can be manipulated using coding in the game. A child can play and learn Python (http://bit.ly/2wuMtdP), one of the most widely-used programming languages in the world. They can go a step further and install Scratch (http://bit.ly/38JCuj8), a drag-and-drop coding game designed by the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) which is also available for free through Raspberry Pi, or via download from MIT.

The Raspberry Pi computer board (http://bit.ly/32cGeHs) is a marvel of technology, putting everything from basic to very advanced 4IR tools in your hands for around $35. It’s also supported by DesignSpark (http://bit.ly/2SVk1te), an RS platform that offers free tutorials, software and resources for students, teachers, parents and hobbyists.

But you don’t even need a Raspberry Pi to get started. Tools such as Scratch are freely available. We should use these various tools in combination to connect the dots between them and see the amazing things the 4IR is already creating out there. This is how we create the sparks of innovation and imagination in the minds of students.

This approach works. I’ve seen students build small rockets, smart cameras and heat sensors. They can see how their thoughts and ideas can become a reality. But the impact should be felt –in more schools and more homes. If we can focus on inspiring students on what they can do with digital technology, then 4IR stops being a virtual concept and starts becoming tangible in the real world.

*De Wet Joubert, RS Components Sub Sahara Africa

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African Railway Roundtable commiserates with Amaechi over CSO's death - ITREALMS

Rail advocacy group, the African Railway Roundtable (ARR) has described the sudden death of the Chief Security Officer to the Nigerian Transportation Minister,Tony Iwelu as "a deeply sad incident", reports ITREALMS.

The also commiserated with the minister and the late officer's family.

ARR director, Olawale Rasheed told 
ITREALMS that the group described the late security officer as "an effective and dependable official who discharged his duties with highest level of professionalism.


"We know the deceased to be a loyal public servant and a close confidant of the minister who is breaking multiple jinx within the Nigerian rail sector.His supportive role to the minister accounts for his being so long in service of his principal.We sympathise with the minister at this very sad moment.

"We condole with the family and his organisation,the Nigerian Department of State Service. The deceased served the fatherland so well and his name will not be missing when the great achievements of the minister in the railway sector is being recorded",the condolence message concluded.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Pix: Late Iwelu

Sophos’ XG Firewall debuts with 'Xstream' version - ITREALMS

Global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, Sophos, has introduced a new “Xstream” architecture for Sophos XG Firewall with high performance Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic decryption capabilities that eliminate significant security risk associated with encrypted network traffic, reports ITREALMS.

This, latest in shelf, Sophos said, comes with what is often overlooked by security teams due to performance and complexity concerns.

XG Firewall also features AI-enhanced threat analysis from SophosLabs and accelerated application performance.

Equally, Sophos released the SophosLabs Uncut article, “Nearly a Quarter of Malware now Communicates Using TLS,” which explains how 23 per cent of malware families use encrypted communication for Command and Control (C2) or installation.

The article details, for example, three common and ever-present Trojans – Trickbot, IcedID and Dridex – that leverage TLS during the course of their attacks.

Cybercriminals also use TLS to hide their exploits, payloads and stolen content and to avoid detection. In fact, 44% of prevalent information stealers use encryption to sneak hijacked data, including bank and financial account passwords and other sensitive credentials, out from under organizations.

"As SophosLabs’ research demonstrates, cybercriminals are boldly embracing encryption in an attempt to bypass security products. Unfortunately, most firewalls lack scalable TLS crypto capabilities and are unable to inspect encrypted traffic without causing applications to break or degrade network performance,” said Dan Schiappa, chief product officer at Sophos. “With the new Xstream architecture in XG Firewall, Sophos is providing critical visibility into an enormous blind spot while eliminating frustrating latency and compatibility issues with full support for the latest TLS 1.3 standard. Sophos’ internal benchmark tests have clocked a two-fold performance boost in the new XG TLS inspection engine as compared to previous XG versions. This is a game changer.”

Latency too often deters IT admins from using decryption, as seen in an independent Sophos survey of 3,100 IT managers in 12 countries. The survey white paper, The Achilles Heel of Next-Gen Firewalls, reports that while 82% of respondents agreed TLS inspection is necessary, only 3.5% of organizations are decrypting their traffic to properly inspect it.
ITREALMS gathered that some key new features of XG Firewall include:

· Inspection of TLS 1.3 to detect cloaked malware: New port-agnostic TLS engine doubles crypto operation performance over previous XG versions

· Optimized critical application performance: New FastPath policy controls accelerate performance of SD-WAN applications and traffic, including Voice over IP, SaaS and others, to up to wire speed

· Adaptive traffic scanning: The newly enhanced Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine dynamically risk-assesses traffic streams and matches them to the appropriate threat scanning level, enhancing throughput by up to 33% across most network environments

· Threat analysis with SophosLabs intelligence: Provides network administrators with the SophosLabs AI-enhanced threat analysis needed to understand and adjust defenses to protect against a constantly changing threat landscape

· Comprehensive cloud management and reporting in Sophos Central: Centralized management and reporting capabilities in Sophos Central provide customers with group firewall management and flexible cloud reporting across an entire estate without additional charge

· Integration with Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) service: Customers of XG Firewall who also subscribe to the Sophos MTR Advanced service will have deeper actionable intelligence to prevent, detect and respond to threats, as a result of the integration

“Sophos’ new XG Firewall offers a wide array of enterprise-caliber features, with a growing installed base that is now one of the industry's most widely deployed next-generation firewalls,” Eric Parizo, senior analyst for enterprise IT strategy, (according to Omdia, Enterprise Decision Maker, January 2020. Results are not an endorsement of Sophos or SophosLabs. Any reliance on these results is at the third-party’s own risk). “XG Firewall can win against industry competitors in large part because of Sophos Central, its SaaS-based, single-pane-of-glass management system for overseeing deployment, management, policy, updates, and response, with optional log management and analytics. This cloud management platform with the Firewall Management and Reporting feature, plus the TLS inspection, position Sophos XG Firewall as a compelling option for a wide variety of organizations.”

“At Convergent Information Security Solutions, we are engaged in the management and monitoring of both perimeter and internal cybersecurity for our customers, and until now we were somewhat limited in our ability to monitor SSL/TLS encrypted data streams. Sophos XG Firewall helps us solve this problem efficiently and affordably with the new accelerated DPI engine in the latest version. This, combined with new automatically-managed custom IPS rule sets, gives us much more visibility into encrypted traffic going through the network than we ever had before. This feature will immensely improve our customers’ security and we consider this to be critical, based how broadly cybercriminals are capitalizing on TLS encryption to cover-up and carry out their attacks,” said Bruce Kneece, CTO of Columbia, S.C.-based Convergent Information Security Solutions. “We’re also aware of how fast cyberattacks are morphing. With the ability to scan for potentially dangerous files transported inside of SSL/TLS tunnels, in addition to the zero-day detection engine of Sandstorm, we can provide better, faster customer protection, detection and service.”

Sophos XG Firewall is available in the cloud-based Sophos Central platform alongside Sophos’ entire portfolio of next-generation cybersecurity solutions. Sophos’ unique Synchronized Security approach empowers these solutions to work together for real-time information sharing and threat response.'

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

ATCON opens registration for national dialogue on telecoms - ITREALMS

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has opened registration for the national dialogue on telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

ATCON president, Mr Olusola Teniola told ITREALMS that registration is now open for the one-day event with a well-researched theme "Harnessing the Digital Resources for the building of our National Economy" slated for Thursday, March 26, 2020 at NAF Conference Centre and Suites, Abuja.

Teniola was also quoted in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS by the Executive Secretaary of ATCON, Mr. Ajibola Olude as disclosing that Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, is expected to deliver a keynote address.

Also, he said that some of topics to be focused on during panel discussions include "Digital Economy in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities; Private Public Partnership and Development of Mechanism for the seamless Management of Inter-Ministries and Agencies: an imperative for Broadband Infrastructure Development in Nigeria; National Funding and Investment Strategy for Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Economy: The Importance of Education and Awareness; Regulation on Emerging Technologies (AI, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, etc): Leveraging on Nigerian Young Population’s Innovation and Creativity for National Development."

In addition, he said that the strategic objectives for the dialogue comprised to channel collaborative efforts toward Nigerian Digital Economy with the sole aim of accelerating our economy’s performance in relation to other leading African countries; To serve as a forum to discuss the recently launched documents on Digital Economy and take stakeholders input for implementation; To optimally Xray the factors that have worked for and against the telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria; and to discuss regulations and policies around AI, IoT and Blockchain.

Further, 
ITREALMS gathered that the growth across all the sectors of Nigeria’s economy is expected to be exponential as a result of the resolve by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to drive the entire economy through digital resources.

"This strategic dialogue plans to bring together the Presidency, National Assembly, relevant Federal Ministries, State Governors, ICT State Commissioners, Telecom and ICT Operating Companies, World Bank and other international relevant agencies," he said.

Pointing out that one of the overriding deliverables of this national dialogue on telecoms and ICT sector is that the adoption of digital resources by all aforementioned sectors would lead to development which would eventually make Nigeria to join the league of the top 20 global economies.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Unethical practices: Konga Travel may sue Wakanow - ITREALMS

Nigerians have lampooned Wakanow, one of the players in Nigeria’s travel booking industry for engaging in unethical business practices and went up on urge Konga Travel to sue the firm, reports ITREALMS.

Specifically, the company has been accused of fraudulently encroaching into the digital business space of Konga Travel; another major player in the industry.

Indeed, the issue highlighted arose from the complaints of a number of customers who had tried to book flights on Konga Travel.

Wakanow had deployed an online ad which clearly has Konga Travel stated but which, when clicked, re-directs to the Wakanow website. The ad which had succeeded in luring unsuspecting customers of Konga Travel to the Wakanow website has drawn the ire of a number of Nigerians; many of whom have urged Konga Travel to sue Wakanow for the deception.

‘‘I have been a customer of Konga Travel since inception,’’ said Mr. Zubby Azubuike. ‘‘I have also followed the current Rolls Royce promo that Konga Travel is running. Usually, I walk into a Konga Travel store when I want to book my flight. But this time, I decided to book online as I wanted to win as well. When I typed Konga Travel, the first link I saw took me to Wakanow. That is fraud. I know Wakanow has been struggling in recent times but I am surprised that they can descend so low unethically and that such a well-known company can go to such lengths in infringing on the goodwill of another company.’’

Another customer of Konga Travel, Haruna Mojeed, a businessman, faulted the actions of Wakanow and defined it as an act of desperation which is not expected from the Obinna Ekezie-led company which was reputed for decency.

‘‘What has changed in Wakanow in recent times,’’ he queried. ‘‘I am disappointed to see this. This kind of unethical business practice should be seriously punished. Nigeria is not a jungle. Why present your business as if it had a connection to that of another when that is not the case? I urge Konga Travel to take action on this.’’

In fact, investigations by this medium confirms the development.

A cursory Google search of the name – Konga Travel – brings up a number of search results. However, the first one reads as follows: Konga Travel | Wakanow has the best deals | wakanow.com

A Business Law attorney, Ibe Okafor, described this as a clear case of passing off. Further, he has urged Konga Travel to take Wakanow to court for the deception and demand hefty damages.

As a matter of fact, the law of passing off prevents one trader from misrepresenting goods or services as being the goods and services of another, and also prevents a trader from holding out his or her goods or services as having some association or connection with another when this is not true.

‘‘This is an open and shut case of passing off,’’ Okafor stated. ‘’The offence of passing off is both a common law and statutory remedy in Nigeria as it is statutorily supported by Section 3 of the Trademarks Act. Konga Travel should institute a suit immediately and demand huge damages against Wakanow,’’ he advised.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Monday, February 17, 2020

2nd winner of Konga Travel Rolls Royce promo: VIP treatment excites Mrs. Iwara - ITREALMS

‘‘For me to be selected as the rightful winner of this Rolls Royce promo, God will replenish whatsoever Konga Travel has lavished on me. My feet are blessed and as I have stepped into that Rolls Royce, the company will be glorified by God. The kind of treatment I received was world class and unprecedented. I never expected it. This is just the start for Konga Travel. I am short of words. But God that has made this happen will accomplish so many great things for them.’’

These were the words of Dr. Mrs. Nancy Iwara, a retired civil servant who emerged the second winner in the ongoing Konga Travel Rolls Royce promo.

The Cross River-born native, who retired as a Confidential Secretary at the University of Calabar, received the VIP treatment with a chauffeur-driven ride to the airport on Friday, February 14, 2020; which incidentally was Valentine’s Day.

Mrs. Iwara, a Ph.D. holder, came out tops in the second raffle draw conducted at the Konga headquarters at Ogba, Ikeja on Wednesday. The customer was booked to fly to the United Kingdom aboard KLM Airlines for a visit to her daughter. Consequently, she was picked up at her residence in Lekki on Friday morning and conveyed in style to the airport. In addition, she was treated to in-car refreshments by a Konga Travel hostess.

However, the VIP treatment did not end there.

Upon arrival at the airport to a red carpet reception, Mrs. Iwara received a Business Class lounge access which accorded her further privileges as a special flyer. In addition, she was also presented with a special gift, courtesy of KLM Airlines. Furthermore, her VIP status ensured her check-in formalities were swiftly handled and fast-tracked.

‘‘Konga Travel and KLM Airlines have made feel special. I wish to express my deep and sincere gratitude to them. Honestly, I did not expect all what I witnessed today. I am so grateful,’’ she gushed.

The Rolls Royce promo, which kicked off on Monday, February 10, until Tuesday, March 31, 2020, offers customers of Konga Travel a chance to travel in style with a chauffeur-driven ride to the airport in a Rolls Royce.

Meanwhile, new winners will be selected in the Konga Travel Rolls Royce promo through the weekly digital raffle. Also, prospective travellers can book their discounted flights online at travel.konga.com or offline in any Konga Travel retail store nationwide. Intending flyers who book their flights during the promo period, between Monday February 10 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020, stand a chance to be selected for the special treatment in the Rolls Royce.

Apart from being picked up and chauffeur-driven in grand style to the airport, lucky winners of the Konga Travel Rolls Royce promo are also in for the time of their lives with in-car refreshments during the ride to the airport and red carpet reception upon arrival at the airport, while also enjoying the privilege of having Konga Travel assist with their check-in formalities.

Konga Travel is Nigeria’s foremost omni-channel travel booking company.

Having emerged on the scene less than two years ago, Konga Travel, which was recently named the Most Innovative Agency by global airline, Virgin Atlantic, has distinguished itself. Within a short space of its existence, the company has grown nearly 25% on a month-on-month basis, acquired all the requisite and major travel certifications and rolled out multiple physical store locations nationwide.
Nenye Dom/Editor

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Turn life into tech gallery with Selphy Square QX10 - ITREALMS

The Canon has launched its Selphy Square QX10, the latest addition to its popular SELPHY range of compact photo printers and the Canon XS-20L square photo paper pack, reports ITREALMS.

Small enough to fit into a handbag or backpack, this portable and hand-held photo printer is the perfect accessory for arts & crafts enthusiasts or passionate Instagrammers, who enjoy printing rich, vibrant photos direct from a smartphone or tablet, by pairing with Canon’s free to download SELPHY Photo Layout app (iOS (https://apple.co/2uFRtvH)/Android (http://bit.ly/2vDNxf2)).

With its built-in battery and Wi-Fi connectivity, printing high quality square 68x68mm (2.7x2.7in) prints from the Canon SELPHY SQUARE QX10 could not be easier. Simple to personalise and complete with a peel-and-stick back, the Canon XS-20L square format photo paper (sold separately) features a classic look with a bordered edge for adding hand-written captions, providing users a retro and nostalgic feel. Due to the protective film coating, prints are smudge-free, water, dirt and tear resistant.

Without the need for ink cartridges or a printer tray, the SELPHY SQUARE QX10 prints dry and high-quality photos in just 43 seconds and features dye sublimation technology that maintains a print’s high-quality finish and resists the effects of fading for up to 100 years.

Available in four distinct colours (Black, White, Pink and Green), users can select the colour that best suits their style. Scanning the Canon SELPHY SQUARE QX10’s QR code from a smart device will connect the printer to the SELPHY Photo Layout app, from which users can access their smartphone photo library and add creative touches. With stamps, filters, borders and bespoke layouts, the app helps personalise prints to make them truly unique.

The Canon XS-20L label set can be used to decorate everyday items such as scrapbooks, photo journals, phone cases or home decorations for preserving special moments, to adding visual references to shoe boxes or adorning the fridge with treasured memories.

With no leads, no cables and no fuss, the Canon SELPHY SQUARE QX10 is designed to fit into any lifestyle with ease. With speedy USB charging, this battery-powered compact photo printer is the fun, wireless way to create beautifully crafted prints at a moment’s notice and enjoyed for years to come.

The Canon SELPHY SQUARE QX10 will be available at €149 and packs of 20 Canon XS-20L square format photo paper at €16 from Canon’s online store and official Canon retailers from March 2020.

*Nenye Dom with agency reports/Editor

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Judicracy and fairness in unfair - ITREALMS


Preamble:

Abraham Lincoln described democracy as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” during the American civil war in 1863. His notion later became the often quoted definition of democracy and a benchmark of rating its success globally. More than a few nations have actualized Lincoln’s thought, but Nigeria is lagging behind. Her quasi-democratic arrangement is what the writer terms Judicracy: representative government via the verdict of law lords. J-u-d-i-c-r-a-c-y is a flawed democratic system in which the court repeatedly determines who rules, instead of the electorates.

2019 general election is the worst in Nigeria’s history as it produced the highest ever, about a thousand lawsuits. Virtually all the governorship election outcomes were challenged up to the Supreme Court. The judgments issued bagged no dispute, except that of Imo and Bayelsa States. In Imo, the lordships sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the fourth winner. Despite the unprecedented controversy and protests this sparked, the Supreme Court courageously made another upset in Bayelsa by nullifying David Lyon’s mandate barely a day to his inauguration.

The Bayelsa Case

Two lawsuits emerged from the Bayelsa 2019 governorship election. The first is an intra-party candidacy tussle between Hieneken Lokpobiri and David Lyon, both of the APC. The Supreme Court ruled in the case that Lyon was validly nominated. The other lawsuit is an inter-party, deputy governorship candidate qualification case, instituted against the APC by the PDP. Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo was accused of forgery and perjury. The Supreme Court pronounced him guilty, and consequently sacked him and Lyon on the basis of their joint ticket. Lyon did no wrong, but was fired for the sins of Eremieoyo. The judgment is both fair and unfair.

Why the Judgment is Fair

It is fair to sack persons who aspire to rule or are ruling with false documents. Eremieoyo’s deputy-governorship nomination form shows he has answered five different names since he was born. In his first school leaving certificate dated 1976, Eremieoyo bore the name Degi Biobaragha. He bore the name Adegi Biobakumo in his o-level results dated 1984 and Degi Biobarakuma in his bachelor’s degree dated 1990. Also, he bore the name Degi Biobarakuma Wangagha in his master’s degree dated 2002 and he’s currently bearing Degi-Eremieoyo Biobarakuma. One person. Five names.

Eremieoyo’s trial judge proclaimed that only a woman who’s been married five times could have changed names the way Eremieoyo did. My take is Eremieoyo may have been a fraudster who kept changing names to conceal his identity and wrongdoings. Before the advent of fingerprint technology, fraudsters conceal their identity by changing names and appearance.

Eremieoyo’s counsel and apologists argument that his periodic change of name was as a result of the chieftaincy titles he bagged holds no water. Traditional honors rarely require name change; the titles are only placed before the recipient’s conventional name. Though not impossible, it is very rare to come across honors that would require a total change of name. Bola Tinubu’s name didn’t change when he was made the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom. Also, Atiku Abubakar’s name didn’t change when he was turbaned the Waziri of Adamawa Emirate. Even kings don’t change names after coronation.

Nigerians are comparing President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate and identity controversy case to Eremieoyo’s, but the facts are different. Buhari presented an affidavit and a re-issued copy of his disputed result to the court, while Eremieoyo only presented an unverifiable affidavit. Besides, in Buhari’s case, the spelling of ‘Muhammadu’ only changed to ‘Mohammed,’ on a single occasion and Islamic clerics clarified that both names are one and the same. On the other hand, Eremieoyo’s name changed significantly, sometimes completely, multiple times. God forbid a Nigeria where the court would free such a dubious personality to govern despite convincing evidence. Cry or smile, the Supreme Court judgment is fair.

The implication of allowing Eremieoyo rule Bayelsa is grievous. Every deputy governor is a governor-in-waiting. If Lyon had been sworn-in and (God forbid) dies in office, Eremieoyo will take over. By then, the same Eremieoyo the lordships fail to sack will be appointing judges to do his bidding and hounding those who fail to. The same Eremieoyo that has no clean record and certificate will be commanding professors who have many degrees and appointing vice chancellors. Haba! Nigerians should be grateful to the Supreme Court for saving Bayelsa State from such catastrophe.

APC’s failure to act right made her pay the hard price. Eremieoyo shouldn’t have been nominated, or better still, the party should’ve replaced him in the wake of the scandal. The court did no wrong to have enforced the law made by APC members for themselves and the national laws, made by the legislature in which APC is in the majority.

APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s aspersion on the judiciary over the Bayelsa judgment is dishonorable. He should rather resign for failing in oversight. If the party he leads deliberately fail to obey legitimate laws and the court decides to punish accordingly, how dare him utter unfair!

It is indeed a great loss to APC members and chieftains, but protesting Eremieoyo’s sack in the face of overwhelming evidence is a display of sophisticated foolishness. Will any of them, as an employer, retain an employee that secures a job under them with false identity and fake certificate? In this case, Bayelsa people lack the power to sack Eremieoyo for his dishonesty, but the constitution empowers the court to, and that has been done. Instead of belittling the lordships, they should be praised for acting right. Eremieoyo’s sack is fair and should not end there. He should be prosecuted for bringing pain to APC and Lyon.

Why the Judgment is Unfair

The Supreme Court’s verdict is deserving on Eremieoyo, but unfair to Lyon. Recognizing two persons as one is an unfair custom that will always make the guiltless sink with the guilty. That is not justice. If a father cannot be imprisoned for the crime of his son despite their blood ties, it is absolutely unfair to punish Lyon for the crime of Eremieoyo, a nonrelative.

Moreover, Lyon has been a businessman all along, while Eremieoyo is a career politician. Based on the difference in their yesteryear engagements, the governorship election is probably the first relationship between Lyon and Eremieoyo. There is word on the street that Lyon never chose Eremieoyo as running mate. He was imposed on him by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva and the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. With the lordships awareness of the rampancy of imposition in Nigerian politics, crucifying Lyon with Eremieoyo is not justice. It is, in my opinion, a miscarriage of it.

Lyon shouldn’t suffer for Eremieoyo’s misdeed, especially when he never partook in the crime. The judgment would have been fair on Lyon if he’s complicit, but he’s not. With the judges’ awareness of such fact, it is unfair to waste Lyon’s 352,552 votes because his deputy broke the law. Such verdict is an injustice to the electorates that voted Lyon and his party, the APC.

Duoye Diri, the PDP candidate who lost at the ballot shouldn’t have been foisted on Bayelsans by the court. Such action will lead to an increase in political apathy. Electorates will no longer troop out to vote because the court may upturn their will. With apathy, rigging will increase and democracy will die slowly. To my mind, it is undemocratic for the court to keep installing those who lost at the ballot. It happened in Zamfara, and now Bayelsa state. The law should be amended if necessary and politicians must endeavor to always play by the rules.

A number of Supreme Court judgments states that votes are for the parties and not the candidates. This is premised on the reason that the names of candidates don’t appear on the ballot; only the parties’ logo appear. In this respect, it is disappointing that the lordships annul 352,552 votes when some previous judgments can be referenced and applied to save APC’s mandate. The judges should have protected APC’s vote, but punish Eremieoyo. Ordering that he be replaced with another person would have been just. Although the Supreme Court has the power to judge as it pleases, the adverse implication of the judgments on lives and properties must be considered, especially in sensitive cases.

Kogi State’s 2015 governorship election tussle also establishes the inconsistency of the Supreme Court. When candidacy dispute arose after Abubakar Audu’s demise during the Kogi election, the Supreme Court denied his running mate, James Faleke the chance to inherit the votes of the Audu-Faleke ticket. The mandate was surprisingly given to Yahaya Bello, who was selected by the APC to replace Audu. If Faleke wasn’t allowed to inherit the mandate of Audu, then it’s a miscarriage of justice to drag Lyon into Eremieoyo’s conviction. The logic is simple. Since Faleke wasn’t allowed to profit (positively) from Audu, it is unfair to make Lyon profit (negatively) from Eremieoyo.

The people of Bayelsa felt PDP hasn’t served them well, so they voted the APC. Upturning their decision means the court is forcing them to remain under the rule of an unwanted government. Such action itself is a murder of the democracy and rule of law the court is trying to protect.

Since Eremieoyo’s qualification case is a pre-election matter, justice would have been appropriately served if the ruling was given before the election. Democracy would’ve still manifest even if APC was denied participation. Several parties fielded candidates and the people may decide to vote massively for any them if they don’t want the PDP. With that, the leadership production process remains democratic and the people’s right of choice remains protected. The law must be amended to effect this.

A more sad side of the unfairness of the Supreme Court’s verdict is the cost and emotional effects on Lyon’s families, followers and political associates. It would have been kind if the judgment was delivered a week earlier. Governorship inauguration is a big ceremony in Nigeria. Even if Lyon chose to celebrate low key, his nearest and dearest would blow the trumpet with their personal fund.

Think about the level of preparation that would have been in place before Lyon was sacked some few hours to his inauguration. Special attire for the occasion (aso-ebi) have been bought and sown; cows have been slaughtered and stewed; wines have been iced; guests have started landing from across Nigeria and abroad; and all hotels had been booked. Furthermore, Lyon had rehearsed how to inspect the guards of honor and people were already addressing him as ‘Your Excellency.’ Even the President was preparing to grace the inauguration. But, all of a sudden, the Supreme Court threw Lyon into confusion. He was disgraced few hours to his glory for a crime he never committed. That’s unfair!

The Supreme Court should have kindly reduced the emotional and cost effects by issuing the judgment earlier, at least a week or two before the inauguration. Perhaps the judgment was delivered late to teach APC a bitter lesson for failing to learn from the annulment of its candidacy in Zamfara and Rivers States.

End Note

It is unfortunate that the court that is expected to be the last hope of the common man is now taking away the wishes of the common man in Nigerian elections. Judicracy is not good for Nigeria. It is a recipe for crisis that may tear the nation apart. Election must start and end at the ballot. Shifting the contest to court is distracting the APC and PDP from concentrating on governance. Both are devoting their energy and resources on winning in court, rather than tackling the nation’s challenges.

Certificate may not be the perfect means of measuring intelligence, but it is the global standard of confirming that an individual have passed through the rigor of acquiring knowledge and proficiency. Eremieoyo’s ordeal is a lesson for everyone to get some education and always act right. Although Nigerian courts sometimes fail to command justice on apparently guilty influential persons, Eremieoyo’s conviction may be beginning of the long-expected turnaround. The three arms of government must collaborate to address the flaws and lacunas in the laws. They must also devote attention to strengthening the institutions and the electoral process.

Lyon’s misfortune shouldn’t be the end of his political career. President Buhari should appease him with a major appointment. The APC should also give him an automatic ticket in the next election. On the other hand, PDP should not over rejoice as it may suffer the same tragedy if it doesn’t learn from APC’s mistake. Nigerian politics is an intriguing, suspense-filled, unending movie. New issues keep evolving each time the population thinks they’ve seen it all. It won’t be a surprise, if for the first time, the Supreme Court reverse either the Imo or Bayelsa verdict. Even at that, politicians must always abide by the rules, else the court will keep determining who rules.

*This piece is an innocent analysis and not an aspersion on the integrity of the Supreme Court. The writer, Omoshola Deji has profound respect for the judges, their decisions and the institution they represent. Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

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2020 Anzisha dangles USD100,000 prize @10-yr commemoration - ITREALMS

The Anzisha Prize–Africa’s premier award and fellowship for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, is excited to announce that the 2020 call for applications is now open to mark the 10th year commemoration with some USD100,000 prize, reports ITREALMS.

Every year, 
ITREALMS gathered, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 years and younger, each of whom have a chance to win a shared prize of US$100,000. The grand prize winner receives US$25,000, the 1st runner-up US$15,000, and 2nd runner-up US$12,500. Every finalist receives US$2,500.

In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners and become Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts. They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund – a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment.

“It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent’s brightest and youngest entrepreneurs. With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we’ve been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years,” says, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

To celebrate the decennial, the Anzisha Prize has planned five regional events across the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya. The events end in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where the 2020 winners will be announced. Each event is designed to catalyze conversations around youth entrepreneurship and to gather key stakeholders within the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with and support these young entrepreneurs.

“The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation. “Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply.”

Young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-22 years old, who are running job generative businesses, are encouraged to apply before 31 March 2020. Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka (http://bit.ly/2STVncc) from Democratic Republic Congo (DRC). Yannick grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern Province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education. By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM’s School Complex – a nursery and primary school which aims to improve the education of young children in her community.

As the program continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one. To encapsulate the last 10 years of the program, the Anzisha Prize has chosen the word 'Sankofa' in the Ghanaian Twi language, which means "We have the capacity to revisit the past and extract knowledge and wisdom that we need to remake the future".

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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N15m FOI suit against UNILAG: Journalist scales first hurdle - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The award-winning investigative journalist, Ms Tobore Ovuorie, has won the first round of her N15 million lawsuit against the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and its Vice-Chancellor at a Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged unlawful breach of the Freedom of Information Act and her right of access to information, reports ITREALMS.

The presiding judge, Justice Maureen Adaobi Onyetenu, who granted her leave to proceed with her action to compel UNILAG to obey the Law, fixed March 4, 2020 for further hearing on the matter.

With the court’s decision on the preliminary motion, the stage is now set for the hearing of the substantive suit, initiated on behalf of Ms Ovuorie by Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Agu David Nwaze, a member of the Freedom of Information Legal Response Network, established by Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

ALSO READ: For denial of FOI request: Journalist sues UNILAG for N15m - ITREALMS

In the suit, in which the Attorney-General of the Federation is also joined as a respondent, Ms Ovuorie is seeking:

· A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by UNILAG to proactively publish certain information in its custody as specified in Section 2(3) of the FOI Act and widely disseminate the information as required by Section 2(4) of the Act amounts to a violation of her right of access to information, established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) and 2(4) of the Act;

· A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by Unilag to proactively publish the title and address of its appropriate officer to whom applications for information should be sent as required by Section 2(3)(f) of the FOI Act amounts to a violation of her right of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) and 2(4) of the Act;

· A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by Unilag to comply with Section 13 of the FOI Act under which it is obliged to train its staff and officials on the public’s right of access to information and records held by it for the effective implementation of the Act amounts to a violation of her right of access to information under the Act;

· A declaration that the failure of Unilag to widely disseminate and make readily available to members of the public information about its activities as required by Sections 2(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the Act through print, electronic, online media and at the Head office of the institution amounts to a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Act;

· A declaration that the failure of Unilag to submit to the Attorney-General of the Federation its annual reports on its implementation of the FOI Act amounts to a violation of Section 29(1) and (2) of the Act;

· An order of mandamus compelling Unilag to comply with the provisions of Section 2(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the FOI Act by widely disseminating and making readily available to members of the public by print, electronic, online media and at the Head office of Unilag the activities, records and information specified under these provisions of the Act;

· An order of mandamus compelling Unilag to train its officials on the public’s right of access to information and records held by the institution for the effective implementation of the Act as required by Section 13 of the Act;

· An order compelling Unilag to submit its annual report for the year 2018 and those of previous years, on its implementation of the FOI Act to the Attorney-General of the Federation, as required by Section 29(1) of the Act; and

· The sum of N15 million as exemplary and aggravated damages for the unlawful violation of her right of access to information established and guaranteed by Sections 1(1) and 4 of the Act.

At the preliminary hearing, Ms Ovuorie’s lawyer, Mr. Nwaze, moved three separate motions for an extension of the time allowed by Law for her to file her suit; for leave of the court to apply for judicial review of the actions of UNILAG; and for an order to abridge the time within which the court should hear and determine all pending applications.

Justice Onyetenu granted the three applications and adjourned the matter to March 4, 2020 for further hearing.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Scientists identify 24 genetic varaints on women to endometrial cancer - ITREALMS

An analysis of 149 scientific studies has identified 24 genetic variants which predispose women to endometrial cancer, reports ITREALMS.

The systematic review, led by Emma Crosbie, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology from The University of Manchester, part of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), could help scientists develop targeted screening and prevention strategies for women at greatest risk of the disease.

Although each genetic variant, called single nucleotide polymorphysms (SNPS), changes cancer risk by a small fraction, when all 24 variants are combined in a so-called polygenic risk score, women who score within the top 1% have a risk of endometrial cancer more than three times higher than the average risk.

Published in the Journal of Medical Genetics, the study is the most comprehensive systematic review carried out to critically appraise the evidence on genetic variants implicated in predisposition to endometrial cancer.

The team was based at The University of Manchester, University of Cambridge and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and was funded by the NIHR Manchester BRC.

“Manchester BRC’s cancer prevention and early detection research is helping transform the latest scientific breakthroughs in endometrial cancer, into lifesaving screening and treatments for patients.” said Professor Crosbie, BRC Cancer Early Detection Lead.

“Because many of the studies carried out to date have been of variable quality, we felt it was important to understand more fully genetic predispositions to endometrial cancer. We hope our work will facilitate personalised risk assessment so that prevention and screening could be targeted more efficiently.”

She added: “These genetic variants linked to endometrial cancer risk are involved in cell survival, oestrogen metabolism and transcriptional control - when the information stored in our DNA is converted into instructions for making proteins or other molecules.

“Studies with larger cohorts are needed to identify more variants with genome-wide significance but until data from larger and more diverse cohorts are available, these twenty-four SNPs are the most robust common genetic variants that affect endometrial cancer risk.”

The research is an important milestone in the study of endometrial cancer, the sixth most commonly occurring cancer in women and the 15th most commonly occurring cancer overall according to the World Cancer Research Fund.

In the UK there are about 8,600 new cases per year according to Cancer Research UK.

The team searched 2,674 abstracts, narrowing them down to 149 papers which were eligible for inclusion in the study.

Specifically, genetic variants in HNF1B, KLF, EIF2AK, CYP19A1, SOX4 and MYC were strongly associated with the cancer.

Nineteen variants were reported with genome-wide significance and a further five with suggestive significance.

They found no convincing evidence for the widely studied MDM2 variant rs2279744 as a risk factor.

She added: “These genetic variants linked to endometrial cancer risk are involved in cell survival, oestrogen metabolism and transcriptional control - when the information stored in our DNA is converted into instructions for making proteins or other molecules.

“Studies with larger cohorts are needed to identify more variants with genome-wide significance but until data from larger and more diverse cohorts are available, these twenty-four SNPs are the most robust common genetic variants that affect endometrial cancer risk.”

The research is an important milestone in the study of endometrial cancer, the sixth most commonly occurring cancer in women and the 15th most commonly occurring cancer overall according to the World Cancer Research Fund.

In the UK there are about 8,600 new cases per year according to Cancer Research UK.

The team searched 2,674 abstracts, narrowing them down to 149 papers which were eligible for inclusion in the study.

Specifically, genetic variants in HNF1B, KLF, EIF2AK, CYP19A1, SOX4 and MYC were strongly associated with the cancer.

Nineteen variants were reported with genome-wide significance and a further five with suggestive significance.

They found no convincing evidence for the widely studied MDM2 variant rs2279744 as a risk factor.

Neny Dom/Editor

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Oyo State inaugurates Park Managers in 33 LGs. quarry parks - ITREALMS

The Oyo State Government has inaugurated the Park Managers in 33 local governments across the state, reports ITREALMS.

Also inaugurated on Monday are the two Disciplinary Committees which are to intervene whenever conflicts arise between the Oyo State Government and Park Managers on the operations of the parks.

The Oyo State Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Professor Raphael Afonja, who inaugurated the Park Managers and the Disciplinary Committees at the Conference Hall of the Ministry, said that the new Park Management System, PMS, would bring sanity in the management of motor parks in the state.

Afonja, who further clarified that the Park Managers will be coordinated by a Consultant to ensure compliance with the terms of reference, while the Disciplinary Committees would intervene where there are issues between the State Government and the Park Managers, stated that the new Park Management System (PMS) would aid the efforts of the state government to double the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in inherited from the previous administration.

The Commissioner said: “This instruction was given by His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde. It is a new PMS that we are implementing. We are trying this to make sure we bring in a better structure into our motor parks and garages.

“Soon, other things like infrastructure will fall in place. So, for the main time, these people have been assigned to take charge of the parks on behalf of the state government.”

He added that the new PMS architecture has no links with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), as according to him, the managers were engaged by the government to ensure that financial leakages are blocked and that “there is increase in the internal revenue of the state.”

He stated: “This is not a union matter at all, as the PMs are basically employed by the state government. One of the things the governor is doing is to ensure that leakages are blocked and that there is an increase in the revenue of the state. So, that is why we have this management system in place; to coordinate on behalf of the government.

“Another reason that the governor is doing this is to avoid violence among the unionists, because our people feel insecure whenever issues of NURTW come up in the state.

“If there is anyone who, in some way, wants to threaten the peace of the state, such a person will face the wrath of the law. Governor Makinde is the number one citizen of this state and he has all rights to do what is good for the people of the state.

“We are asking the PMs and the committees to make sure that there is no traffic congestion in our state. They should coordinate Parks and make sure that the revenues, which the state is entitled to, get into the state coffers. These are the things this government is concerned about.”

He listed members of the Motor Park Disciplinary Committee as including Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi as the Chairman; Alhaji Jimoh Tajudeen as vice-chairman and Alhaji Wasiu Omolewa, as secretary.

He also named Mr. Wasiu Yekeen Olawale as the Chairman, Oyo State Tipper and Lorry Disciplinary Committee.

“Strictly speaking, the Disciplinary Committees are to concern themselves with disciplinary issues arising from the operations of the PMs in relation to the terms of reference. In reality, they are not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the parks,” the commissioner added.

While speaking as the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Alhaji Lamidi clarified that he was not selected into the Committee because of his links with the NURTW, adding that his appointment as Disciplinary Committee chairman “is different from his role as a union member.”

He said: “First, let me thank God. I also appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde and God will always guide his steps aright. I want to assure the people of Oyo State that this position we have assumed is different from that of the union. It is very different because the governor said he does not want to hear about union in this state until all our internal crises are resolved.

“By God's grace, I am assuring the people that we will be positive role models. We will work hard to ensure that peace reigns in this state and the park fee that is currently on the high side will even reduce.

“I also want the people to know that we have resolved and are really ready to help the government to get enough funds to boost the internally generated revenue of the state in a peaceful manner.”

Ayo Midele/Editor

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