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General News

Outrage Over Demolition Of 12 Churches In Lagos



Outrage Over Demolition Of 12 Churches In Lagos
Image used for illustrative purpose

There has been outrage over the demolition of 12 churches on 2nd Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos State, by officials of the Federal Housing Authority.

It was gathered that a market and a car mart were also affected in the exercise carried out on Sunday.

The demolition started around 5am and continued till around 3pm.

The leader of the Gate of Righteousness Evangelical International Church, Pastor Joshua Obong said he started his ministry in the community 18 years ago and wondered why his church was targeted for demolition.

He said, “The officials first came last week and started marking our buildings. After they were done, they left and returned two days later. That was when they gave us a seven-day notice, which expired last Wednesday.

“On Sunday morning, around 5am, we suddenly saw bulldozers at the First Gate, FESTAC Town. They got to my church at exactly 11am; they demolished all the churches along the road, except the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Communion Chapel and CPM, which they spared. All other churches were brought down.”

Obong said there was no other warning prior to the seven-day notice.

He claimed that the government took advantage of the strike action by judicial workers, adding that nobody could approach the court for injunctions to stop the demolition.

“We wrote to them, seeking extension of time, but the letter was not even acknowledged,” he added.

One of the demolished buildings

The Overseer of Christ Gospel Church International, Pastor William Ehiorenren, said a senior government official had advised them to send a lawyer to Abuja to sort out the matter.

He stated, “He promised that they would not touch any church till the lawyer returned. Our lawyer was still in Abuja when they came on Sunday, a day of service, and demolished our churches. The lawyer called all their staff members, but they switched off their phones.

“We heard that they want to re-allocate the land and sell to moneybags and make millions. I have not seen where seven days would be given for people to vacate their property.

“We have been in that area for years and we spent millions of naira in building our churches. They could not even give us time to move, because they had mapped out their evil plan to sell the land to people.”

Ehiorenren said his church usually paid tenancy rates to landlords, who he claimed had legal claims to the land.

The cleric accused the government of leaving certain churches because their leaders had political connections.

He explained that his church was not served any notice of demolition.

The Deputy Director, Social Security and Intergovernmental Relations, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Lagos State, Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, said 12 churches were demolished by the government.

He explained that the owners of the churches cleared a swamp and built their structures, adding that the affected worship centres had been in the community for between 13 and 20 years.

According to him, the government accused the pastors of “encroachment and erecting illegal structures.”

Otoibhi, however, queried why the demolition was carried out without adequate notice and while some of the occupants were asleep.

He said, “We are wondering why the government would do this on a Sunday. Are they now working on Sundays? Is it the government that is doing this or somebody that is powerful in government or a politician is behind this?

“The notice they sent to them, they called it final notice, without serving them any previous letter. We asked that they should be given time. We were discussing this when the bulldozers came in on Sunday morning. The first church was pulled down at exactly 5.45am. Aside from the churches, they also cleared those selling cars in that line. Only a few buildings were spared.”

The cleric said a protest was planned for today (Tuesday) to kick against the “shabby manner” in which the churches were treated.

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General News

Parents Disappointed As UNN Awards N1,000 To Best Graduating Students



Parents Disappointed As UNN Awards N1,000 To Best Graduating Students

Emotions ran wild at the 49th convocation of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu State when the university awarded N1000 and N1500 to its best graduating students in several categories.

According to SaharaReporters, parents and visitors were disappointed and angry that the first-generation university could award such “ridiculous prizes” to its best brains at a public ceremony.

The prizes and award night programme booklet of the best graduating students, which confirmed that the university awarded the beggarly prizes to its best students.

On-Page 28, the booklet reads, “Faculty of the Social Sciences; Prof Onigu Otite Prize for the best graduating student in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Value (N1000), Onwuneme Victory A.

“Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation Prize to the best graduating student in Economics, Value (N1000), Okafor John Chimezie; Chief Enoch Ifediora Oil Prize to the best graduating student in the Department of Geography, Value (N1000) Ukata Nkemakonam; Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu memorial prize to the best final year student in the Faculty of Business Administration, Value (N1500) Nwankwo Esther.”

Some university workers drew comparisons between the university’s show of shame at its prize and award night and secular shows and awards such as BBNaija, where the winner takes prizes worth millions of naira.

Reacting to the UNN situation, a popular Nigerian-American journalist and host of the satirical show, ‘Dr. Damages Show’, Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, stated that the university authorities should have avoided such ridiculous awards and cash prize ceremonies.

Okonkwo, who lectures AfroDiasporic Literature and Post-Colonial African History at the School of Visual Arts in New York, United States, added that if he noticed that the best student in his Humanities Department was getting a $120 prize at a graduation event, he would be so embarrassed that he would personally add his own money.

Reflecting on the ridiculous prizes, Okonkwo said, “These top students got N1000 and N1 500 as cash rewards. That is about $2. It was embarrassing. Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu Memorial Prize gave N1,500 ($2.5) to a First Class student of the Department of Accounting, and Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation gave N1000 ($2) to Nwankwo Nnenna, First Class honours in Accounting.

“Yes, some of these awards have corporate sponsors. How could UNN authorities allow this to happen? Are the corporate sponsors aware that their names are associated with such a fallacy of a reward?

“Superimpose that with the millions of naira that the winners of Big Brother Naija take home? How does the faculty live with giving N1000 to best-performing students of their departments? What does that say about our attitude to education in Nigeria? If one of the foremost universities in Nigeria cannot find a way to substantially reward excellence, who else can?”

Okonkwo noted that he doubted if the university administration contacted the families and corporations that sponsored the awards.

He added, “Even if the families or corporations that endowed these prizes have no interest in upgrading the cash award money, the university should do the right thing, rather than embarrass themselves by giving their top students less than $4 for four years of excellent academic accomplishments.

“Unfortunately, university administrators in Nigeria are only interested in pursuing personal contracts and punishing students. They do not know that part of their responsibilities is raising funds for the university, negotiating partnerships, and working with alumni to support the institution.

“I am sure that so many great alumni of UNN would gladly give Nigeria’s minimum wage as a prize to top students in their department. But someone had to reach out to them.

“My 14-year-old son just graduated from middle school. For being the best student in technology, he got a prize that came with a cash of $150 – middle school, not High School.

“If university professors could not see the absurdity, why do we blame politicians who leave retirees on the same pension for 20 years when inflation has made it inadequate.

“The lion has truly died at UNN. My late father, Hon. J.C. Okonkwo, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in English (with honours) at the university, would be turning in his grave reading this.”

It was also observed in the awards booklet that the university also awarded N1,000 to two students and asked them to share it.

“Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation prize to the best graduating student in Banking/Finance; Value (N1000), Okoye Emmanuel Obinna, GPA – 4.63; and Ugwuanyi Chinenye, GPA – 4.63; Prize to be shared between the winners,” a section of the booklet reads.

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General News

2021 UTME: JAMB Advice to Candidates With Incomplete Registration



2021 UTME: JAMB Advice To Candidates With Incomplete Registration

Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has advised 2021 UTME candidates whose registration process is incomplete to visit special centres to finish the process.

JAMB’s Head of Media Dr Fabian Benjamin gave the advice in a statement on Monday.

Benjamin said the advice affected only those who could not complete their registration during the earlier scheduled registration period.

READ ALSO: 2021 UTME: JAMB Announces Registration Date, Makes NIN Compulsory

He said only candidates whose names were compiled after giving reasons for the incomplete registration process and had been contacted “are expected to visit the centres”.

“At the end of the period originally scheduled for the 2021/2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) registration on May 15, the registration period was extended.

“Another two weeks that elapsed on May 29, was given to accommodate candidates who, largely due to issues related with newly introduced pre-requisite of National Identification Number (NIN), could not register.

“Additional extension of two weeks was made to compile the list of all prospective candidates who for any reason were unable to register.

“The candidates who have not registered but have secured the profile codes and initiated the registration process are expected to visit the specially designated registration centres to complete the registration on Tuesday, June 15.

“Designated registration centre for each candidate is being forwarded to them through the GSM text (SMS) messages and also available on the website of the Board ( from 12 noon on Monday, June 14.

“The identification number on each form given to the candidates has been used to assign the candidates to their registration centres.

“Only candidates who have secured their profile codes are expected to visit the centres.

“Also, the names of the few who have not yet obtained their NIN or profile codes have been forwarded to NIMC and would be contacted as soon as they are cleared by NIMC.

“Each candidate posted to any non-JAMB owned CBT centre is expected to pay the registration fee of N1,000 to such CBT centre,” Benjamin said.

The 2021 UTME is scheduled to commence from June 19 to July 3.

The Registrar of the board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, however, disclosed the possibility of conducting a second UTME for candidates with genuine registration challenges.

Oloyede made disclosed this on Wednesday in Lagos while monitoring the profiling of candidates with 2021 UTME registration challenges.

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