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Mixed reactons as FG declares 14-day paternity leave

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Mixed reactions have continued to trail the 14-day paternity leave approved by the Federal Government on Sept. 29 for fathers of new-born and adopted babies.

While some respondents commended the Federal Government for the gesture, others said that the approval was not necessary.

The approval seeks to allow men to properly bond with their new-born babies or adopted ones.

Mr John Silas, a civil servant, who appreciated the gesture, said that it would help lactating mothers to be more comfortable.

“It is a welcome development because it will help me to support my wife in taking care of the baby, most especially in making sure that exclusive breastfeeding is fully applied,’’ he said.

Another respondent, Mr Mohammed Bashir, said that the responsibility of child care after childbirth should not be left to mothers alone.

According to him, the policy is apt because it will encourage men to also play key roles in child upbringing after birth.

“The policy is a right step in the right direction since sometimes children are left alone in the hands of people we they do not even know.

“It should not be the responsibility of women alone to look after the new-born; men should have a stake in the process. Government has really done what needs to be done,’’ he said.

Mr Sunday Ukoha, another civil servant said he supported the Federal Government for the approval.

“I am happy with the approval of the paternity leave because it will help me to support my wife, particularly soon after she is delivered of the baby.

“It will help her to have adequate rest,’’ Ukoha said.

Rachel Chigozie, a businesswoman, also thanked the Federal Government for the gesture.

“I fully support the paternity leave; imagine my husband being there for me after delivery; it will be encouraging.

“He will help me out in so many ways like in house chores in the early stage or in running some errands that will be required of him.’’

On the contrary, Mrs Phina Mefor, a public servant, told NAN that the paternity leave was not necessary.

“What will men be doing during the paternity leave? Breastfeeding the baby or bathing the baby’’? she queried.

“I don’t think it is necessary because my mother is always there to fully support me.

“Men can request for casual leave if need be and not an official paternity leave,’’ she said.

Mr Adabayo Olabisi, another respondent said that the paternity leave should be designed to suit both fathers and mothers.

“Paternity leave for fathers is good on the one hand and bad on the other hand; how will a 14-day leave impact on the neo-natal period in the upbringing of the new-born?

“The policy should be tailored for both mothers and fathers to take care of their new-born together at the early stages,’’ Olabisi said.

Mr Abubakar Kabir, a lecturer, also argued that the men would not be doing anything at home during the leave.

“I totally disagree with it because the mother and the child need financial support than just for the man to be at home doing nothing.

“It is more meaningful if the man is given some more money to take care of mother and child.

“Besides, the mother of the woman will be around to support the nursing mother,’’ he said.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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