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Covid-19 lockdown: N-Power beneficiaries drag Buhari’s minister, Farouk for delay of stipends

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Beneficiaries of N-Power, one of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Social Investment programmes, NSIP, have lamented the delay in payment of their stipends since the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, under the leadership of Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, took over the scheme.

Farouk was appointed by President Buhari to serve as the Minister of the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in July 2019.

She was sworn-in alongside other 42 Ministers in August, 2019.

The Npower and other social investment programmes of the current administration were formerly under the office of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

Since the creation of the new ministry, according to the beneficiaries, things have turned out worse and some of them have taken to social media to call out the Minister.

They described as inhumane the failure of Farouk to pay them their stipends in due time even at this period of the Coronavirus lockdown.

In recent months, the beneficiaries had to wait until towards the middle or end of the next month before receiving their stipends.

In some of the comments, the angry beneficiaries even described the Minister as biblical Pharaoh, while some said she is ”heartless and cancerous.”

@timjayy wrote, “Dear ma, how do you justify your stay in that office? You have only worsened the situation you were called to salvage and the greatest you have achieved and has promoted your name is the cry of Npower volunteers always calling you for payment at odd hours which you always ignore.

“All Ministry, Departments and Agencies of the government, MDAs have been paid in this critical time to help their family survive this period, what is delaying Npower Volunteers payment after six months in office? Should we say you @Sadiya_farouq is still going through our files?”

@chinaemezuOdike, “Minister of Humanitarian Affairs please pay Npower their March stipends. We are starving. My four kids really need to be taken care of. Please I am pleading. Thanks ma’am.

@GeorgeMarine, “Its sad and unfortunate that beneficiaries of Npower no longer get their stipends when due, the executives and legislators believe have received their march salaries
#PayNpowerMarchStipend.”

@FaleyeTs, “Enough is enough of [this] deliberate delay of our monthly stipend. Hon. @Sadiya_farouq of @FMHDSD should fulfil her promise of immediate payment to @npower_ng she promised on 31-03-2020. We are not beggars and can’t continue to die of hunger during this #StayHome #PayNpowerMarchStipend.”

@Afrukama, “Madam @Sadiya_farouq please stop being the real disaster to Npower beneficiaries. They are not beggars, pay them their march stipends. They are all suffering from the lockdown and needs money to suvive this season.”

@JosephUsoro6, “Good evening sir….. Please save our soul with new Minister of Humanitarian…… NPower beneficiaries are dying of hunger because of none payment of March stipends by the minister.”

@adaeze-tweets, “Npower Stipend delays is injustice and wickedness especially in this lockdown.”

@Judy4twit, “How can you stay comfortable in your home without paying those you serve yet you sharing money? This is the time they need this money most in their lives you disappointed them madam.”

@acheseogbeinbia, “This must be the Pharaoh against Npower volunteers. A cancer growing speedily affecting 36 states of Nigeria. A mother without heart. A mother without feelings. A mouthpiece without speaker. A venomous snake on a federal tree. Who always making it an habit of not paying.

@Remipetak, “Since @NSIP_NG has been under your ministry, aunty
@Sadiya_farouq you never pay @npower_ng their stipend as at when due. Your month of March not yet end. You better change for good.”

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JAMB reveals 2022 UMTE, DE registration date

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has revealed the date for the commencement of the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and the Direct Entry examination, DE registration.

JAMB’s Director of Public Relations, Dr Fabian Benjamin who made the announcement on Monday, said the registration exercise would commence in February 2022.

In its weekly bulletin the board said the UTME/DE registration would commence on February 12, 2022, and end on March 19.

Details later…

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Kwara Govt warns school principals on imposing hijab, berets on female students

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Kwara state government has warned school principals against imposing the wearing of the hijab (female Muslim headscarf) or beret on any student.

Chairman of the State Teaching Service Commission, Mallam Bello Abubakar gave the warning as conveyed in a statement released on Sunday January 23.

Abubakar during a meeting on Friday January 21, reaffirmed the determination of the state government to promote religious tolerance among teachers and students and enhance peaceful coexistence.

It was noted that the meeting was held with the aim of resolving the crisis over Hijab which erupted recently at Oyun Baptist Grammar School, Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, according to the spokesman of TESCOM, Peter Amogbonjaye.

The statement added;

“He, thereafter, warned the principals in Oyun axis to abide by the policy of the Kwara State Government and desist from imposing Hijab on any student, instead, it should be made optional.”

While warning that the present administration would not tolerate religious bigotry, enjoined all to shun religious sentiments and respect the rights of individuals, Bello reminded the gathering that Kwara State is a state of harmony and advised everyone to remain good ambassadors for the coming generation.

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President of Armenia resigns over lack of influence

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Armenian President Armen Sarkissian resigned from office on Sunday January 23, complaining that he did not have enough power under the country’s constitution to implement necessary changes.

In a statement posted on the presidential website, he attributed his resignation to “a paradoxical situation when the President has to be a guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tool.”

Sarkissian said;

“Because of the responsibility I assumed as the President of the Republic. I was obliged to do everything in my power to rule out further deepening of the internal division, possible clashes, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. I also sought to use my reputation and connections gained throughout my many years of work, my international political and economic potential to build a strong, stable state.”

He pointed out in the statement that due to the lack of appropriate tools endowed by the Constitution, he failed to influence the political events that led to the current national crisis.

The statement added that the president does not have the power to influence important domestic decision-making process which is important for the country.

Sarkissian stressed that the purpose of his proposal “was not to move from one model of government to another, but to create a state system based on checks and balances.”

Before his resignation, the former Armenian President was at the centre of a political crisis following an outbreak of fighting between Armenia and neighbour Azerbaijan, over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

More than 6,500 people were killed in the six weeks of fighting, which ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement, granting Azerbaijan part of the enclave and surrounding areas.

The country has also been transitioning from a direct presidential system of governance to a parliamentary one after constitutional reforms were approved in a national referendum in December 2015. The parliament can elect a president with a three-quarters majority.

Under the new constitutional amendments, although recognized as the head of state, the president will hold a largely ceremonial role with real executive power lying in the hands of the prime minister.

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