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Nigerian displaced communities prepare for rains as first storms raze hundreds of homes

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Zaynab stands next to the remnants of her home she used to share with her six children before it was destroyed by early season rainstorms that brought strong winds and rain to north-east Nigeria.

“I was in the market in the afternoon when the storm came but my six children were inside the house,” said Zaynab as she prepares a meal to break the Ramadan fast. “We lost everything except for a mattress we found across the camp and a few cooking pots.”

As of today (24/05), 395 shelters in camps and camp-like settings in Borno State, including Zaynab’s, have been damaged or destroyed since heavy rains began at the end of April. A total of 41 camps hosting more than 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been classified as prone to flooding; some in hard-to-reach areas like Monguno, Konduga, Bama and others.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Nigeria will respond to the needs of displaced populations through a multi-sectoral rainy season emergency response plan. The Organization will prioritize its interventions toward households with children under five, pregnant women, elderly people and single female households.

IOM teams are being deployed to repair or strengthen shelters in case of flooding, sensitize people to flood risks and conduct shelter and infrastructure maintenance. Other small-scale community-driven mitigation measures include waste management in camps and building or repairing drainage canals.

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Zaynab hails from a farming family from Guduf Nagadio in Borno State, the epicentre of ongoing conflict between Nigerian forces and non-state armed groups. Her husband was killed by armed men as they tried to escape violence three years ago. Since then, her family has resided in an IDP camp in Borno State, home to nearly 1.5 million IDPs.

Storms earlier this month displaced Zaynab’s family yet again. IOM’s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) team have subsequently relocated them and other families to temporary shelters in the nearby town of Gwoza.

Borno State is affected by strong winds, storms and flooding on an annual basis. Yearly rains often ravage shelters where IDPs live, and cause blockage of water circulation pathways and drainage systems.

CCCM teams have constructed water pumps in the affected displacement sites where water ways or drainage systems are non-existent. Sand bags have been used in flood-prone areas to divert water from flowing into shelters or pathways.

“Preventive measures are key,” said Nadia Tithi, IOM Nigeria Shelter Programme Manager. “Urgent needs remain, and this year, we’re reinforcing more than 3,000 emergency shelters before the strongest rains hit,” she added.

Staff are also repairing structures where IDPs live and distributing nearly 4,000 emergency shelter kits throughout Borno and Adamawa States. The kits serve as a contingency measure and in some cases, have already been distributed to affected households.

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With seasonal heavy rains come an increased risk of disease outbreak, particularly cholera, in north-east Nigeria. During the last rainy season in late 2018, the area saw nearly 100 cholera-related deaths. As part of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, IOM is conducting intensive door-to-door hygiene promotion and awareness raising campaigns to prevent the spread of cholera in communities.

IOM Nigeria’s rainy season emergency preparedness is supported by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund. This support enables IOM to attend to the most acute needs of displaced populations. IOM is appealing for further funds to ensure a holistic response to the multi-sectoral preparedness needs in north-east Nigeria.

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Untold story of sex for passport saga at Nigeria Embassy in Germany

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The recent news which gone viral with a video clip alleging that a Nigerian Embassy staff in Berlin,  Germany, one Mr Martins, was  engaged in sex for passport / visa  racketeering and fraud  has been found to be  maliciously subjective  and a deliberate attempt to cast aspersion, dent the image of the Embassy and intimidate the staff into accepting unethical practices  as the norm.

According to a fact-checking news organization based in Paris , – Bureau The Truth described  the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin as one of the very few  best Embassies in the world where the staff strictly adhere and comply with the oath of service and the official charter of duties without compromising or bending the rules.

Bureau The Truth disclosed that the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin has consistently for many years proved to be impregnable for passport /visa racketeers shunned malpractices and diligently mobilized its staff into servicing the needs and attention of Nigerians in Germany and carried out its diplomatic function.

The fact-checking news organization revealed that this seemingly hardliner modus operandi of the Embassy and its staff has been a cog in the wheel of operation of a clique of Nigerians from a particular ethnic group which specializes in Nigeria passport racketeering, child trafficking and immigration sharp practices.

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According to Bureau the Truth, Nigeria Embassy in Germany has been able to wade off immigration rats and cockroaches mainly because of its internal security mechanism which Mr Martins has dutifully guarded and coordinated.

Bureau The Truth revealed that Mr Martins is a man of integrity at his duty post and has never been found wanting in his course of duty and he has never been alleged or being suspected of any official malaise .

The fact-checking organization disclosed further that Mr Martins seemed to be a thorn in the flesh of intruders into the Embassy as his no-nonsense posture at work has made him an enemy of fraudsters who find it hard to penetrate the Embassy.

Bureau The Truth investigation disclosed that, the alleged Mr Martins is not in any official capacity of influence  to issue a passport / visa or interfere in the process of passport /visa-issuing adding that it found out from its investigation that the video on viral was a deliberate setup.

Bureau The Truth pointed out that there is nothing in the video which indicate any discussion relating to visa or any diplomatic business.

“A  thorough analysis of the video has nothing to show or any discussion about passport /visa or diplomatic business but a deliberate incursion into another man’s privacy by a set of people whose intention is evil and who were forcing their voices on their victim ‘

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Bureau The Truth opined that the video has a touch of ethnic affiliation as the voices were a mix of English and an ethnic language belonging to Nigeria.

It also pointed out that the said video had only Mr Martins who was being bombarded with a flurry of comments without allowing him to have a say and without showing his alleged partner.

Bureau The Truth also observed that one of the invaders of Mr Martins’ privacy was heard telling him why he always refused to take whatever instruction issued to him by another colleague in the office .

Bureau The Truth called on the Nigerian Ambassador in Germany to ensure a thorough investigation of the case with clinical and precise format devoid of media siege and blackmailing tendencies pointing out that the profile, integrity, precedent and business activities of those in the video should be thoroughly perused, audited and noted.

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‘I hold grudges against nobody’ – Outgoing UI VC

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Outgoing University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor, Prof.  Idowu Olayinka has assessed his five-year tenure with a sense of fulfillment, adding that he was happy that he was leaving the citadel of learning   better than he met it.

However, against the controversy surrounding the appointment of his successor which has culminated into the directive by the federal government to the Senate of the university to appoint an acting VC, Olayinka emphasized   that he held no grudges against anybody, pointing out that posterity would judge everyone for the role played.

Speaking after commissioning three projects including water treatment, Post Graduate Hostel at Ajibode and a building at the Faculty of Arts, marking the end of his tenure, the VC who commented on some developments during his tenure stated that petition writing by some elements in the system did not start with his own regime.

“For  instance, immediately the appointment process of Professor  Isaac Adewole began in 2010, some people started writing petition. After the announcement that Professor Adewole was the VC, some people went and placed advertorial in the newspaper, calling for the annulment of his appointment and demanding appointment of Acting VC.

“Even when I was appointed in 2015, some people went to court. They were calling for the disqualification of my appointment. We had to play a hide and seek game to avoid being served a court paper. I am saying all these to let you know that we are in a very hostile and critical environment. But I believe, posterity will judge everyone for the role we played”, he said.

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Olayinka said he would leave the assessment of his performance to the people , however, asserted that he was happy that he was leaving the university better than he met it, pointing out that he took every decision in the interest of the university.

He continued, “I am happy that I turned UI to projects site. Look at this gigantic building in the Faculty of Arts, before now, there was inadequacy of offices and classrooms for both staff and students, yet, Arts was one of the oldest Faculties in the university. Now, everyone is happy. There are things I didn’t plan to do which I did, and there are things which I would have loved to do, but couldn’t do because of the paucity of funds”.

The VC who thanked everyone who contributed to the success of his administration disclosed that after leaving office , he would continue to lecture and contribute to the development of the University, stressing that he has no room for opinion policing about the success or otherwise of his performance.

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Ologburo hails Gov. Makinde for securing sole ownership of LAUTECH

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Construction magnate and businessman, Omoba Tunde Ologburo has congratulated the Seyi Makinde -led Oyo State government for the recent sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) as announced by the National University Commission (NUC).

Ologburo,  in a statement signed on Wednesday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, noted that the ease with which the state acquired ownership of the institution is yet another testimonial to the resourcefulness of Governor Seyi Makinde in getting results, even when the task is a tough one.

The merchant prince lauded both governments of Oyo and Osun State for letting reason prevail on the contentious issue of ownership and administration of the institution saying, “the problem-solving disposition of the two governors, and their private sector experiences came to bear in the outcome that we are celebrating today.”

According to him, “more especially, Governor Makinde has shown that with the mechanism of dialogue and mutual understanding a lot of achievements can be attained.

“This development has placed additional responsibilities on the shoulders of the Oyo State government. In the light of this, it is imperative to encourage teaching and non-teaching staff of the university, as well as the students to cooperate with the state government on the steps the government might be proposing in moving the university forward. Already, the Governor has said that the university would be run in a multi-campus system, which is a good development.”

The statement added that the public policy of qualitative education by the state government would receive further boost by this development, as it would ensure an increase in number of university admission for Oyo State indigenes.

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