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[POETIC MOMENTS]: Optimist, by Lukman Saleh

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You taught me more than a bunch.
You evince me not to punch.
Your thought overflows in my veins.
I’m no more in pains.

I got you again in a spars word,
More of soaring words;
My thoughts are towering
Not that of Danish in Viking.

Not only spontaneous feelings
That overflows to wings;
M. Jackson’s move is involved,
And I also revolved.

You’re more of blessing,
Cute and charming,
Full of passion,
And more of vision.

Your piece is more of thoughts,
Thoughts that chases away your woos.

Lukman Saleh is a Student of English and Literary Studies at Bauchi State University, Gadau.

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Education

NECO dismisses over 70 staff over certificate forgery

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The National Examinations Council (NECO) has fired no fewer than 70 staff for alleged certificate forgery.

The approval for the sack of the affected staff was made at NECO’s 17th extra-ordinary meeting of the Governing Board after vetting a report by a verification committee set up by the management.

The decision was part of a statement signed by the Head of Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani in Minna.

The exam body said that the dismissal of the staff was as a result of a report submitted by a committee constituted to verify the certificates of staff by the management of NECO.

“The certificate Verification Committee carried out its assignment diligently by inviting all staff with questionable credentials to appear before it, during which some staff actually attested that their certificates were fake,” the statement said.

“The Committee also contacted the Schools and Institutions the affected staff claimed to have attended and the Schools and Institutions denied having certificated them.”

It added that the sack is the first phase in the series of the on-going staff certificate verification exercise in the Council.

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Education

LASU students to pay additional N150,000 tuition

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Students of the Lagos State University will start paying a sum of N150,000 tuition fee for a second stream undergraduate programme.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said the second stream degree programme was introduced to help deepen the entrepreneurship skills of students of the institution.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Vice-Chancellor as saying, “Our regular Stream 1 programme tuition fee is still N25,000, while medical students pay N37,000.

“But for Stream 2 entrepreneurship programme, the tuition fee is N150,000, aside from acceptance and medical fees,”

However, Fagbohun was said to have refuted speculation that LASU had increased tuition fees for its undergraduate programmes.

It is not clear whether or not the second stream degree programme would be optional or mandatory for students of the university.

According to NAN, Fagbohun said the entrepreneurship programme, which would run along with normal undergraduate degrees, would prepare students to be self-employed and employers of labour.

The Vice-Chancellor added that “Research indicates that small-medium enterprises employ more than 80 per cent of the workforce in Nigeria.

“That is why we have a very close working relationship with SMEs, so they can impact on the university and impart right entrepreneurship skills to the students.

“Before starting, the Stream 2 entrepreneurship programme will go through all the approval processes of the university.

“Critical thing for LASU is quality assurance which means the two-stream programmes will be standard and run successfully together without any programme failing.

“We have a directorate of quality assurance that monitors every programme of the university in order to achieve best practices,” the vice-chancellor said.

He said that entrepreneurship courses would be taught only during the first year of the regular Stream 1 programme, while it would be taught throughout the duration of the Stream 2 programme.

Also speaking, Prof. Martins Anetekhan, Director, LASU Centre for Entrepreneur, said the university was concerned about widespread unemployment among graduates of Nigerian universities.

“After the investigation, we realised that most graduates are not getting jobs because the available job vacancies can not accommodate them.

“It means they have to be skillful and adjust their mindset to become entrepreneurs who can also employ others and contribute to national development.

“Apart from giving them knowledge on normal degree programme, LASU introduced Stream 2 programme so they can also acquire some skills, knowledge through entrepreneurship programmes,” he said.

Anetekhan said that there were 79 different areas of entrepreneurship for the Stream 2 programme and teaching had been arranged such that it would not clash with the normal degree programmes.

“We should all know that entrepreneurship programme is the delivery of handsome skills and LASU partnered with many small scale industries to teach the students,” he said.

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Police recount how suspected gunmen killed Taraba school principal

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The principal of Government Day Secondary School, Tsokundi Yusuf Yaro, has been killed by gunmen from the Tiv community in Taraba State.

The principal was killed Wukari on Wednesday.

The Taraba state police command confirmed the incident and said it had deployed cops to the community to control outrage that followed the death of the principal.

David Misal, the spokesperson for the command, disclosed this to journalists in Jalingo.

Misal said upon learning of the killing of the school principal, the command quickly deployed men in the scene to avert an escalation of the situation.

“Information indicated that two men on a motorcycle coming from Tsokundi to Wukari were attacked by yet to be identified armed men on Tuesday.

“One died while the other is receiving treatment. We have since mobilized our men to the area for possible arrest,” he said.

The Punch also reported that the Caretaker Chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, Daniel Adi, told journalists that people suspected to be Tiv attacked and killed the principal on his way to Wukari on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the President General of Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Chief Goodman Dahida, has called for proper investigation into the attack.

“The insecurity in southern Taraba has been taken over by criminals. It is possible that what happened was the handiwork of the same criminals.

“I want to appeal for calm and trace the incident with care before jumping into the conclusion that Tiv people are behind the attack,” he said.

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