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Nigeria, Cuba to sign bilateral agreements on Education, Science and Technology

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Nigeria, Cuba to sign bilateral agreements on Education, Science and Technology

By: Michael Mike

Nigeria and Cuba are to sign bilateral agreements that will cover Education, Science and Technoligy and other sectors.

The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Miriam Morales Palmero disclosed this at the weekend during the celebration of 65th Anniversary of the triumph of Cuban Revolution and 50th years bilateral relations with Nigeria.

The envoy said: “We have an agreement on education and about 300 Nigerians are studying in Cuba and more in the nearest future.

“We are signing another Memorandum of Understanding in Science and technology, Cutural and agriculture amongst others.

“We want to collaborate with Nigeria. This is my second home and I want to increase our relations economically and in other areas.”

She noted that Nigeria and Cuba share common values and are committed to the education of their citizens.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman solicited for Cuban support to revive the education agreement between both countries.

The Minister of Education, who was represented at the occasion by Ruqayatu Gurin, a Director in the Ministry, said: “Let me use this unique opportunity to solicit the support of the Cuban Government to revive our bilateral relationship on education with renewed vigor in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Therefore, I call on the Government of Cuba to extend hands of fellowship to explore academic exchange, scholarships, research, cultural interactions, and other areas of mutual benefit with Nigeria.”

The Minister also added that: “The diplomatic relations between the two countries have impacted several young Nigerian doctors as well as contributed to the development of the Nigerian Education Sector under a legal framework and a protocol of implementation signed on 24th March, 1981 within the existing Omnibus Agreement.

“Through the existing bilateral agreement on education between Nigeria and Cuba, about 100 Nigerian students benefitted from scholarship programmes in the fields of medicine and engineering offered by the Cuban government between 2000 and 2012. I extend our gratitude to the Government of Cuba and I hope that this cooperation is sustained.”

Nigeria, Cuba to sign bilateral agreements on Education, Science and Technology

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NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

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NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

By: Manzo Ezekiel

The attention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been drawn to media reports on Sunday alleging that the Agency’s warehouse was looted by some hoodlums in Abuja.

This is to clarify that the looted warehouse does not belong to NEMA. However, the Agency sympathizes with owners of the looted facility.

To forestall any security breach at NEMA facilities, the Director General Mustapha Habib Ahmed has directed Zonal Directors and Heads of Operations to strengthen security in and around the Agency’s offices and warehouses nationwide.

NEMA deny looting of its warehouse on Sunday in Abuja

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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

By: Bright Olunusi

The term “wild” implies creatures untouched by the direct influence of humanity, preserving their instincts and behaviors. On the other hand, zoological gardens serve as ex-situ conservation sites, showcasing these magnificent animals to the public, albeit in a tamed and controlled environment. Families flock to zoos for leisure and education, seeking to witness the wonders of nature up close. One of the questions bothering the minds of tourists and non-experts from the field is, are these wild animals truly domesticated?
While years of captivity may temper their ferocity to some extent, labeling them as pets would be a grave misjudgment. Instances abound where wild animals, including lions, have lashed out at unsuspecting visitors, reminding us of the untamed essence that lies beneath their captive facade. Such encounters often end in tragedy, as evidenced by the recent incident at the zoological garden of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Without prejudice to the university’s ongoing inquiry into the remote cause of the death of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a veterinary technician in the zoological garden of the institution, whom the employer claimed had been tendering the nine-year-old lion from birth. Consider the plight of the zookeeper who, for close to a decade, tended to a lion under the mistaken belief of familiarity and safety. Tragedy often struck when zoo users or the attendants ignored the established protocols for handling wild animals. This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent dangers posed by human-wildlife interactions within captive settings.
Indeed, human-wildlife conflicts manifest in various forms, ranging from loss of life and property to the transmission of diseases. The OAU Ife Zoo incident epitomizes this perilous nexus, underscoring the need for stringent safety measures and heightened awareness among zoo personnel and visitors alike. There are documented instances of wild animals attacking their caregivers, tourists, or those who cross their paths in their wild moments. For instance, in 2017, a harrowing incident unfolded at the Agodi Zoological Gardens when a lion managed to escape from its enclosure, leading to the devastating loss of a zoo curator’s life. This incident led to the temporary closure of the facility by the Oyo state government as a precautionary measure. In a similar vein, a tragic event unfolded in Texas in 2010 when a man was fatally kicked by his pet deer while trying to feed it, necessitating the deer’s euthanization. In 2011, in Indonesia, seven dogs, starved for two weeks, fatally attacked their owner upon his return. In 2012, a horrifying incident occurred at the Pittsburgh Zoo when a toddler fell into an African-painted dog enclosure and was fatally attacked.
To mitigate such human-wildlife conflict (HWC), especially in conservation areas, several safety precautions must be adhered to. Visitors should supervise their children closely to prevent them from wandering off and should refrain from leaning over cages or attempting to view animals from unsafe distances. It is crucial not to touch or feed the animals and to maintain a safe distance from enclosures. Proper sanitation practices, including thorough handwashing after visits, are essential to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Furthermore, zookeepers must exercise caution. They should avoid becoming overly familiar with the animals and must ensure that enclosures and cages are securely locked before and after feeding times. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and address any structural weaknesses or faults in facilities.
In conclusion, as a wildlife conservationist who has witnessed firsthand the delicate balance between human presence and animal instincts, I implore greater vigilance and respect for the wild within captive environments. Only through fostering a deeper understanding of wildlife behavior and implementing robust safety protocols can we mitigate the risks inherent in our coexistence with these magnificent creatures.

Bright Olunusi
Boston University, Massachusetts, USA.
brightolunusi@gmail.com

Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

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NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

By: Michael Mike

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted a 40-year-old businessman, Ejike Solomon with 1.45 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in his luggage while attempting to board an Ethiopia Airlines flight number 950 to Vietnam via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

According to a statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Ejike was arrested at the Abuja airport on Saturday after NDLEA officers subjected him to a thorough search, and in the process, the illicit substance was discovered concealed, factory fitted, in his bag.

In the statement the suspect gave to NDLEA, he claimed he was on a business trip to Vietnam.

Also, operatives of a special unit of the agency last Friday swooped on members of a syndicate that deals in methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in their hideouts in parts of Lagos.

Babafemi said the operatives assigned for the operation raided the home of Esimone Amachukwu at 14 Arochukwu street, Ejigbo, where 10.012 kilogrammes of methamphetamine was found in possession of his associate, 40-year-old Evelyn Nneka Okem. Esimone is said to be currently at large.

The NDLEA spokesman said while the Ejigbo operation was going on, another set of officers were simultaneously busy in the residence of another member of the syndicate, 45-year-old Ebele Iwuegbunam, located at Plot 1604 Close D, 4th Avenue, Festac town, Lagos where they arrested him and recovered 429.5 grammes of cocaine and 7 kilogrammes of heroin.

In Kogi state, NDLEA officers on a stop and search operation along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway last Friday intercepted a commercial bus marked GRM 347XA (Borno) conveying 28 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 11 kilogrammes; 100 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup and 500 tablets of diazepam, all concealed in three plastic drums covered with cattle fats, heading to Jos Plateau state., while operatives in Ogun state last Thursday recovered 169 kilogrammes consignment of cannabis abandoned in a truck at Sagamu tollgate, their counterparts in Lagos seized 25 cartons of tramadol containing 325,000 pills in Ikeja the previous day Wednesday.

On the same day, a suspect, Abdullahi Khalil, 42, and 2,745,000 capsules of pregabalin recovered from him at Singer market, Sabon Gari area of Kano were handed over to the Kano state command of NDLEA by the Department of State Security, DSS.

In the same vein, the 243 Recce Battalion, Nigerian Army, Badagry on Saturday transferred 27 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 1,110 kilogrammes recovered at a coastal community, Ajido by soldiers, to the Seme Special Area Command of NDLEA. A suspect, Hassan Muhammad, 34, was on the same day arrested with 44,950 pills of tramadol at Moranti area of Borno state by NDLEA operatives.

In Abia state, NDLEA operatives last Thursday raided a drug joint at Cemetery Barracks, Aba, where Ifeanyi Uche, 37, was arrested with different quantities of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Another raid was carried out at the abandoned Eyimba Hotel, Ogbor Hill, Aba, where illicit substances were seized and suspects arrested last Friday.

Babafemi said with the same zeal, the various commands of the agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week.

Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the NAIA, Abia, Ogun, Kogi, Lagos, Seme, Borno and Kano commands of the agency as well as those of the Special Unit for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) equally applauded them and their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures.

NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

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