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Protest: Women take to the streets on Women’s Day

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Protest: Women take to the streeets on Women’s Day

While the entire world celebrated the International Women’s Day on a peaceful note, remembering the importance of women in the family, the Nigerian women went on a protest, at the Federal capital of Nigeria.

The Women in the Abuja on Monday,  staged a protest, with the motion against hunger, hardship and insecurity in the country .

They also called for the immediate resignation of the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for incompetence.

Addressing journalists on behalf of the women, Mrs Stell Ajadi, lamented the lack of basic amenities in their community.

Ajadi rebuked the President for his silence over the persistent attacks by Unknown gunmen, bandits and herdsmen across the nation.

Read More: Year-Old Baby and 7 Others In Taraba Abducted by Gunmen

Ajadi said, “We need empowerment, no money to do business. We don’t have potable water. We are wives and mothers and we are suffering. The insecurity and economic situation  which led to general increase of prices of goods is worrisome and uncalled for. The President should resign if he cannot protect the people.”

However, Buhari (retd.), on Monday felicitated with Nigerian women on International Women’s Day, describing them as the bedrock of society.

Understanding that the feminine gender forms about half of the country’s population, the President said any “government which neglects such a crucial component of its demographic asset stands the risk of stunted growth and likely failure.”

The message from the President was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, “2021 International Women’s Day: President Buhari salutes Nigerian women, calls them bedrock of society.”

Noting that the theme of the 2021 celebration, “Choose to challenge,” is apt, the statement said Buhari rejoiced with the womenfolk and restated his administration’s commitment to addressing the challenges confronting them.

 “I am proud of our women who have shown by dint of hard work and capacity that they can perform creditably if given the opportunity at home and on the global stage,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration plans to launch N1bn fund for widows, whose livelihoods were adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

He disclosed this while addressing a cross-section of women at an event in Government House, Benin, to mark theInternational Women’s Day.

Obaseki said: “As a response and gift to women, Edo State Government will be launching a N1bn fund for widows whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

“The state will give a seed capital of N250m. We will work with financial partners to raise the balance as the fund will be managed professionally, not politically, mostly by women, to address vulnerable women in the state.”

Also, in Kwara State, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq  said that his administration would continue to give voice to women because doing so was key to achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Abdulrazaq in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye on Monday to mark the International Women Day,  said, “Our agenda to empower Kwara women aligns with the theme of this year’s celebration which is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World’. The administration is committed to socioeconomic and political empowerment/inclusion of women because of their critical roles in building a stronger and healthier world where both genders work in harmony for the larger good of our communities. This commitment is glaring in our appointments, programmes, and policies just under the last two years.”

Similarly, the Ondo State Government has called on the women in various leadership positions to continue contributing to the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic .The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Women Affairs,  Mrs Kehinde Adeniran,  stated this while speaking at a programme in Akure to mark the 2021 Women’s Day celebration.

She said, “The theme is a wakeup call for women,  particularly those in position of leadership to reposition themselves in their resolve to combat COVID-19 which is presently ravaging the whole world.”

An estimated 18 million female students, including university undergraduates were affected by the closure of schools due to COVID – 19 pandemic, the United Nations women said on Monday.

The Country Representative of UN women in Nigeria, Comfort Lamptey, stated this during a national policy dialogue in commemoration of the International Women’s Day.

She said, “As estimated, the 18 million female learners across primary, secondary and tertiary education have been affected by the school closure. This is deeply concerning for the future of girls education in communities where their enrolment was already low.

“The COVID – 19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the lives of women and girls. Without a doubt, this pandemic in the words of the UN Secretary-General, has a woman’s face.”

While explaining the various struggles of Nigerian women through the years, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said the IWD presents a unique opportunity for women to take stock of their demands for equality, development and peace.

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COVID-19

Six things you didn’t know about India COVID-19 variant

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The India COVID-19 variant has been detected in Nigeria, leading to a call for concern.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the COVID-19 was detected by the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in the Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State nearly three weeks ago.

As this detection has been communicated to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, here are six things you didn’t know about the India COVID-19 variant:

1. The Indian COVID-19 variant is officially known as B.1.617.

2. The variant was first detected in India in October 2020.

Read Also: Osun mosque shut, sallah prayers banned as imams battle for seat

3.The variant has been classified by the World Health Organization as a “variant of global concern”.

4. Between January and March, the variant was detected in 220 out of 361 Covid samples from Maharashtra, a state in Western India.

5. Experts around the world believe that the variant is rapidly spreading and has an impact on the second wave of COVID-19 in India.

6. According to WHO, the variant has been discovered in 44 countries as it was detected in more than 4,500 samples that were uploaded from those countries.

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COVID-19

[BREAKING] COVID-19: FG returns curfew, restriction on mass gatherings

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The Federal Government has re-introduced a nationwide 12am to 4am curfew as part of efforts to curtail further spread of COVID-19.

The National Incident Manager, Mukhtar Mohammed, disclosed this at a press briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Mohammed said the curfew would take effect from midnight on Monday, May 10.

Read Also: Buhari celebrates national flag designer, Akinkunmi @85

He also said with effect from Tuesday, night clubs, gyms, and others would remain closed till further notice.

He said gatherings of religious groups and weddings among others have been reduced to 50 percent attendance, while official engagements, meetings, and conferences should continue to hold virtually.

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Large Chinese rocket segment disintegrates over Indian Ocean

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A large segment of a Chinese rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, the Chinese space agency said, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down.

Officials in Beijing had said there was little risk from the freefalling segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth orbit on April 29.

But the US space agency NASA and some experts said China had behaved irresponsibly, as an uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object risked damage and casualties.

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

It added that most of the segment disintegrated and was destroyed during descent.

The US military’s Space Command said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8 (0215 GMT Sunday)”.

“It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.”

Monitoring service Space-Track, which uses US military data, said that the location in Saudi Arabia was where American systems last recorded it.

“Operators confirm that the rocket actually went into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives,” it tweeted.

The segment’s descent matched expert predictions that any debris would have splashed down into the ocean, given that 70 per cent of the planet is covered by water.

Because it was an uncontrolled descent, there was widespread public interest and speculation about where the debris would land.

American and European space authorities were among those tracking the rocket and trying to predict its re-entry.

– Accusations of negligence –

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate. But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

Their wreckage can land on the surface of the planet and may cause damage and casualties, though that risk is low.

Read Also: COVID-19: Ruthless South Africa variant hits Ghana, Togo, 21 others, says WHO

Last year, debris from another Chinese Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

That, and the one that came down Sunday, are tied for the fourth-biggest objects in history to undergo an uncontrolled re-entry, according to data from Harvard-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The uncertainty and risks of such a re-entry sparked accusations that Beijing had behaved irresponsibly.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested last week that China had been negligent, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson echoed that after the re-entry on Sunday.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” Nelson said in a statement.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

– China’s space ambitions –

To avoid such scenarios, some experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket — which is not equipped for a controlled descent.

“An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely,” McDowell tweeted.

“It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless.”

Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk, however.

“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or (on people and activities) on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into space exploration to boost its global stature and technological might.

The launch of the first module of its space station — by the Long March rocket that came down Sunday — was a milestone in its ambitious plan to establish a permanent human presence in space.

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