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COVID-19 taking patriotic Nigerian leaders – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, said COVID-19 was claiming Nigeria’s and patriotic leaders.

Obasanjo regretted that resourceful citizens, who served the nation in various capacities including the late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd) had succumbed to the virus.

In a letter of condolence to Mrs. Gladys Ndubuisi Kanu, Obasanjo eulogized wife of the ex-military administrator of Imo and Lagos States.

The former Nigerian leader described the deceased as a dedicated officer, a gentleman and a real patriot.

He noted that Kanu’s inspiring career traversed soldiering, public administration, pro-democracy activism and business.

“It is noteworthy that in the course of his military service which straddled more than two decades, he acquitted himself as a dedicated officer, a gentleman and a real patriot.

“From the thick of the Nigerian Civil War where he commanded various regiments and corps, to the post-war re-organisation of the military, he distinguished himself as a seasoned military officer to which I could bear witness. Admiral Kanu was acknowledged as a disciplined, detribalised, transparent and humane public officer with an enviable track record.”

Similarly, Obasanjo said Bolu Akin-Olugbade, who also died of coronavirus complications, was a passionate citizen, who was always in defence of his roots and the country’s unity.

He remarked that the late businessman would be greatly missed by his community, Local Government, Ogun State and the nation.

“All Owu people have lost a great son,” Obasanjo remarked.

“Given Bolu’s pedigree, it is not surprising that the life of his brilliance as a lawyer began to show itself right from his days at the University of London, University of California (Los Angeles) and Cambridge University where he had his legal education.

“Ever resourceful and conducting himself with dignity and forthrightness, the late lawyer and business mogul acquired a well-deserved reputation for his deep knowledge in legal matters and business acumen. It is thus not surprising that he had the way of ingenious participation in several areas of the economy”, he added.

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International Organisations

UN: 43% of Yemen families reduce daily meals due to economic volatility

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43 per cent of Yemeni families have been forced to reduce the number of their daily meals due to the country’s economic fluctuations, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) in Yemen announced yesterday.

“Economic volatility & conflict means that many in Yemen regularly reduce the frequency or size of their meals or parents eat less so they can feed their children,” the WFP posted on Twitter.

Experts have said in recent months that Yemeni citizens’ purchasing power had declined due to a collapse of the national currency, with more than 900 riyals against the US dollar, reaching its peak last November.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in a conflict since the Houthis ousted the government from power in the capital city of Sanaa in late 2014. The conflict escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened, backing the Yemeni government.

The UN has said that the war has led to the worst humanitarian crisis globally, leaving 80 per cent of the population dependent on humanitarian aid to survive, and more than 100,000 dead.

READ: Biden to review Houthi terrorist designation and curb support for Saudi coalition

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Ireland

Nothing rushed about special education reopening says Foley

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The Minister for Education has denied there was anything rushed about the botched reopening of special education, as talks with unions continue.

Norma Foley says every effort is being made to ensure children with special educational needs can return to school.

Students with special education needs had been due attend classes in-person once again from today, before talks between the Department of Education and the unions collapsed on Tuesday.

Union representatives said staff were hesitant to return to the classroom with the current high levels of Covid-19 in the community.

Ms Foley accused the unions of being “disingenuous” saying it was regretful they would not accept the public health advice that schools are a safe, controlled environment.

Describing Ireland as an outlier when it comes to students with special educational needs not attending classes in-person, Minister Foley said opposition assertions that the plan was not thought through are wrong.

Referencing the Minister’s comments regarding the talks with teachers’ and special needs assistants’ representatives, Labour’s education spokesperson Aodhan O’Riordain said Ms Foley should not make comments in public if she wants to get a deal.

“Say what you have to say in private with those unions who have also committed to do the same thing and then potentially we may have a road map for achieving what we all want, which is that education can be delivered [to] those who need it most,” said Mr O’Riordain.

Despite the difficulties, Fórsa, which represents special needs assistants, has reaffirmed its commitment to resuming education for students with additional needs, resuming engagement with Department officials this afternoon to “improve safety provision and re-build confidence”.

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