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New Covid: Security Agents Ordered To Keep Workers Out Of Offices

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The Federal Government has directed security agents manning the gates to government offices to ensure that only civil servants on grade levels 13 and above are granted access to the premises from today, Wednesday.

This is in compliance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that officers on GLs 12 and below should stay away from work for a period of five weeks as part of measures to curtail further spread of the virus.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, gave the directive to the security men in a circular dated December 22, 2020 and marked, HCSOF/3065/VOL. 1/47.

The circular was titled, ‘Re: Second wave of COVID-19: Stay-at-home directive to GL 12 officers and below.’

In the circular addressed to heads of government’s agencies, Yemi-Esan asked the security personnel to check workers’ identity cards to ensure that only those expected at work gain access.

The circular reads partly, “Following the President’s approval of recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in the light of the second wave of infections in Nigeria, officers on Grade Levels 12 and below are hereby directed to stay at home for a period of five weeks, effective Wednesday, December 23, 2020, and await further directive.

“This has become necessary to streamline the number of officers that come to work daily. Notwithstanding, the affected officers are expected to perform their duties from home.

“Meanwhile, in reporting to their offices for duty, officers on GLs 13 and above are to adhere to other preventive measures including the maintenance of physical distancing, wearing of face masks and reducing the number of visitors.

“Furthermore, in line with the prescription of the PTF, virtual meetings are to be encouraged in offices with a view to minimising physical contact. In addition, Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers are expected to sustain the provision and use of necessary amenities in compliance with the existing guidelines on prevention of the spread of the pandemic.

“Security operatives manning the gates to offices should be directed to demand the identity card of staff coming to the office to ensure that they are on GLs 13 and above before granting them access to the premises.”

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Man With 39 Wives, 94 Children, Dies In India

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Children

The death of Ziona Chana, a 76-year-old patriarch in India who was recently recognized as head of the world’s largest family, has been reported by Indian authorities.

 

Ziona, who was the head of a local Christian sect that permits polygamy, had 39 wives and 94 children.

 

His demise was announced on Sunday by Zoramthanga, the chief minister of his home state, in Mizoram area of northeast India.

 

Zoramthanga broke the news via a tweet.

With a total of 167 members, the late Ziona’s family is the world’s largest, according to local media, although this depends on whether the grandchildren, of whom Ziona has 33, are counted.

 

Aside from Ziona, Winston Blackmore, the head of a polygamous Mormon sect in Canada, who has around 150 children from 27 wives – 178 people in total, is another personality who is close to matching his record.

 

Ziona lived with his family in a vast, four-story pink structure with around 100 rooms in Baktawng, a remote village in Mizoram that became a tourist attraction as a result, according to Zoramthanga.

 

The sect, named “Chana”, was founded by Ziona’s father in 1942 and has a membership of hundreds of families.

 

Ziona married his first wife when he was 17, and claimed he once married ten wives in a single year.

 

They shared a dormitory near his private bedroom, and locals said he liked to have seven or eight of them by his side at all times.

 

Despite his family’s huge size, Ziona told Reuters in a 2011 interview that he wanted to grow it even further.

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Igbo’ll Feel Less Marginalised If They Produce Next President, Says Ngige

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Marginalised

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said the South-East producing the next president will help in addressing the feelings of marginalisation in the region.

 

He, however, lamented that the 1999 Constitution doesn’t support zoning, which would have boosted the chance of the region in the 2023 presidential election.

 

Ngige who spoke during Channels Television’s Newsnight programme stated that what suits the current situation is the 1995 Constitution by the late General Sani Abacha.

 

“The people in the area have perceived that they are marginalised, that they are unappreciated, whether it was done by propaganda and brainwashing or not, that is now immaterial.

 

“So I agree with that proposal, unfortunately, the Nigerian Constitution does not have that. This is where I quarrel with those who authored the 1999 Constitution.

 

“I still believe today, tomorrow, the Abacha Constitution of 1995 that espouses rotational presidency into the six zones in Nigeria, a single five-year tenure in order to heal all the wounds; the wounds of civil war, and the wound of June 12.

 

“Now, that constitution would have been the best constitution for Nigerians to use for the next 30 years by which the six zones would have tested the presidency,” the minister stated.

 

 

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ECOWAS Court Fixes June Date On Twitter Ban Suit Hearing

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Twitter

The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States has fixed June 22 for a hearing in the suit challenging the Federal Government’s suspension of the operations of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in Nigeria.

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and 420 Nigerians, including a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili and the co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, Aisha Yesufu, had filed a suit before the court, challenging the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, criminalisation of Nigerians and other people using Twitter, and the escalating repression of human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in the country.

 

In the suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, the plaintiff sought an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and subjecting anyone, including media houses, broadcast stations using Twitter in Nigeria to harassment, intimidation, arrest and criminal prosecution, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

 

The plaintiffs stated, “The suspension of Twitter is aimed at intimidating and stopping Nigerians from using Twitter and other social media platforms to assess government policies, expose corruption, and criticise acts of official impunity by the agents of the Federal Government.

 

“The free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues between citizens and elected representatives is essential. This implies a free press and other media able to comment on public issues without censor or restraints and to inform public opinion. The public also has a corresponding right to receive media output.

 

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy but indispensable to a thriving civil society.

 

“The arbitrary action by the Federal Government and its agents has negatively impacted millions of Nigerians who carry on their daily businesses and operational activities on Twitter. The suspension has also impeded the freedom of expression of millions of Nigerians, who criticize and influence government policies through the microblogging app.

 

“The suspension of Twitter is arbitrary, and there is no law in Nigeria today permitting the prosecution of people simply for peacefully exercising their human rights through Twitter and other social media platforms.”

 

However, the court, in a notice to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) and the respondent’s counsel Maimuna Lami Shiru, stated that the hearing would be virtual.

 

“Notice is hereby given that this application has been fixed for hearing of the Application for Interim Measure on the 22nd day of June 2021 at 10 am and will be heard on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjourned day of which you may not receive further notice,” the court stated.

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