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Early Marriage: Kano to ban parents from marrying off schoolgirls

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Nasiru Yusuf

Chairman of  the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Danlami Hayyo says the state would soon enact a law that will stop parents from marrying off their daughters before completing secondary education.

Dr. Hayyo disclosed this on Tuesday during a dissemination of research findings on impact of violence in schools on girls’ education in Northern Nigeria organized by SUBEB in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The SUBEB Chairman said the law if introduced will help to increase the literacy level among  female children in the state.

According to him, “It is supposed to have been put in place long ago because normally, most of our children especially girls at the primary or junior secondary school level in some areas in Kano state get married before they finished the school.

“So that is the reason why the government wants to impose a law that every child most especially the girls must finish senior secondary school before marriage at least to improve or increase the literacy rate in the state.They go into marriage and have problems because they didn’t go to school.”

He explained that the law will help in producing female professionals in different aspects of human endeavor.

“If that is done, it will help produce female children in all field of work who will take charge where their services is needed. It will also bridge gaps where women in some cases needs service of their women folks but left with no option than to be attended to by their male counterparts,” he said.

Dr. Hayyo said many parents often withdraw their children from private schools to public schools in the state to benefit from the free and compulsory education put in place by the government.

Presenting the research findings, a member of the team, Hadiza Umar said 60% out of 13.2 million out-of-school children in the country were girls from Northern Nigeria while attributing the cause to various forms of violence against them while in the school.

Mrs Umar further said corporal punishment and emotional violence are top among the factors that discourages girls from going to school.

On his part, UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Kano Office, Maulid Warfa called for zero tolerance to any form of violence on children either in schools or in the larger society.

Warfa, represented by the Senior Education Manager, Michael Banda called on the state government to act by putting in place a legal system that will penalize violence against children.

“The findings today, have been outstanding particularly that it shows that violence in schools is almost a norm, meaning that it is been accepted by teachers and by the learners. That corporal punishment and others forms of punishment are a norm and that is the very beginning of our struggle to ensure that norm is no longer a norm,” he said.

“For UNICEF, we are going to take measures to ensure that teachers are well grounded to understand that there are alternative ways to discipline a child without resort to corporal punishment or any other form of physical or psychological punishment to children.

“For UNICEF, we take a stand that there should be zero tolerance to any form of violence to children be it in schools or communities,” Mr Warfa emphasised.

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Kano records 1,114 cases of gender based violence in 2019

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano state sexual referral centre, Waraka, has recorded 1,114 sexual and gender based violence in 2019, according to the state’s chief judge Nura Sagir.

Justice Sagir revealed this on Monday during the public sitting of the special investigation panel on sexual and gender based violence organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for North West geo-political zone, held in Kano.

The chief judge, represented by Maryam Sabo, said the judiciary has treated 194 sexual and gender based cases in 2019.

He also assured speedy trial and severe punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, all hands must be on deck to address menace of sexual and gender based violence.

In his address, the Executive Secretary of National Human Right Commission, Tony Ojukwu, said the panel was constituted to hear complaints and investigate alleged violation of human rights by individuals, security agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

Other mandate of the panel according to him is to identify victims of violation and abuse and make recommendations for further action including prosecution, disciplinary proceedings and damages.

Mr Ojukwu recalled that, the panel was constituted as a result of complaint received, where armed security personnel led by Abuja Environmental Protection Board under the auspices of the FCT Joint Task Force raided night clubs and the streets of Abuja.

He observed that, although about 71 women accused of prostitution were arrested in the raids, no men were arrested for committing similar offence.

The Executive Secretary noted that, members of the panel were carefully selected to represent diverse interests of the society. They include academics, gender experts, civil society and professional groups.

“So far the panel has received 114 complaints and memo across 6 geopolitical zones, with South East accounting for the highest number of 35, representing 30% of the total complaints received. North Central accounts for 19; North West has twelve; South South has 26; South West 15 and North East 4.

“The commission has completed its sitting in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri, and has recorded success stories already where victims of SGBV and other members of the public who submitted memorandum and complaints were heard in close chambers,” Mr Ojukwu said.

He noted that, the essence of the public sitting is to check the scourge of sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria and provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complainants and alleged violators of human rights.

Also speaking the executive chairman of Kano state Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) Muhyi Rimingado said over 30 percent of over 7,000 cases treated the Commission, were human rights related.

He noted that human rights abuses is so alarming in public and private institutions more especially sexual and gender based violence.

The Kano state ombudsman said many victims of sexual abuses are suffering in silence due to stigmatization and cultural values.

The public sitting continued in private after the opening ceremony.

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Pantami tasks NCC to get rid of ‘improperly-registered’ SIM cards

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has directed the new Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande to purge the industry of improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

Dr Pantami also charged the NCC to develop regulations on the number of SIM cards an individual or organisation can have at any particular time, as well as ensure seamless integration of SIM data with the national database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Dr Pantami said this on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony for Mr Akande, who is representing the South West zone, as the chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners, and Chief Uche Onwude, the commissioner representing the South-East zone.

The event took place at the Minister’s office in Abuja.

Mr Pantami gave the new chairman a marching order to hit the ground running by providing necessary direction for effective regulation of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

He said: “The NCC board must hit the ground running. There is no time for celebrations now and no time for honeymoon. We would congratulate the NCC board after you must have completed your tenure with resounding successes and achievements that have positive impact on Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, Mr Akande, who spoke after taking his oath of office, assured of his readiness to work with other members of the Board and Management team of the Commission to exceed expectation in providing quality directions for effective regulation of the nation’s telecommunications industry.

Mr Akande, who had served as chairman of the board of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) before his present appointment, said there is no doubt that the NCC, as the nation’s telecom regulator, has a major role to play in the development of the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of effective regulation that can bring efficiency across sectors.

He said: “We want to thank everybody who has been with us since our nomination by the President in the last two months. There is no doubt that NCC has a major role to play in our national life at this time, especially in the area of security.

“For instance, many people on the street believe that security of lives and property will be bolstered once the NCC is able to properly address issues connected to Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration because we would have helped to resolve a critical percentage of our security issue significantly.

“I know our minister is someone, who normally sets high expectations and standards. I have worked with him at NITDA and I know he is somebody who normally expects the best from his team. To this end, I give you the commitment of the board and management of the NCC to work together to meet and exceed expectations”.

Who is Professor Adeolu Akande?

Mr Akande is a professor of political science and notable scholar of media and politics. He was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of the NCC Board on December 23, 2019.

He was subsequently confirmed on February 5, 2020 by the Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s federal bicameral legislature.

With the swearing-in of Akande and Onwude, the NCC now has a fully-constituted board of commissioners as stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, and all the six geopolitical zones are represented on the Board.

While giving the Vote of Thanks, Prof. Umar, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Minister for his continuous support to the Commission and requested the minister to kindly convey the Commission’s appreciation to the President for “ensuring that we now have the full complement of the NCC board members.”

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Woman, 4 girls die in pit while excavating sand in Kano

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By Abubakar Abdulkadir Dangambo.

A woman and four children died in Dauni village of Minjibir local government area of Kano state while excavating sand following the collapse of the tunnel from which they were conducting the activity.

KANO FOCUS reports that the accident occurred on Thursday.

Spokesperson of the Kano State Fire Service, Malam Sai’idu Mohammed, identified the victims as Sa’ida Lawwali, 32, Dije Shu’aibu, 8; Hadiza Shu’aibu, 12; Nana Idris, 12; and Wasila Nuhu, 13.

He added that a 5 -year old boy Ibrahim Shuaibu was rescued from the site with injuries along with other survivors.

Mr Mohammed said most of the survivors sustained serious injuries in the accident and are currently receiving treatment.

According to him, the accident occurred on Thursday at about 2.45 pm at Ramin Farar Kasa in the village when the victims were excavating white sand used for make-up powder.

“We received a distress call on Thursday afternoon from Dauni village through one Malam Danlami Murtala at about 02:45 pm that a heap of sand has trapped six people, who were digging sand.

“Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our firemen and a fire engine to the scene of the incident. We made frantic efforts to rescue the victims but we were only able to successfully rescue the little boy of about four years old, who was found alive,” Mr Mohammed told reporters.

He said bodies of the victims have been handed over to the village head of Dauni, Alhaji Bello Rabi’u for burial.

A resident of the area, Zakari Ya’u Sanbauna said the victims usually visited the site to extract a particular variety of sand that is used to produce makeup powder for women.

“They usually take the sand to Kano city, they are very popular in the village, this is a sad incident for us because it has never happened before,” Mr Sanbauna added.

Another resident Abdulkadir Hassan, called on government to regulate sand excavation and mining activities in the area through training on safety standards.

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