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We’ve been vindicated – JAMB declares as Mmesoma acknowledges she forged UTME result

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has issued an official statement following the acknowledgment by Ejikeme Mmesoma that she forged her contested UTME result.

The exam body said the report of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Anambra State Government to look into the saga has vindicated the board, noting that it reinforced the position that its system was not and could not be compromised.

Reporters recalls that independent investigation carried out at the behest of the Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, had shown Mmesoma forged her 362 score she was parading against the JAMB authentic score, 249.

In a statement issued via its social media handles on Saturday by Fabian Benjamin, the Acting Director, PAP, JAMB, the board said it would not despair in spite of the painful realisation that some Nigerians would do anything to cast aspersions on its good reputation.

JAMB further said it was highly regrettable that some Nigerians, who did not believe in the strength and resourcefulness of their nation’s institutions, would latch on to any opportunity to pull the board down to their level of perfidy.

The statement read: “The report of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Anambra State Government, an independent and unbiased body, as demanded by some Nigerians to look into the Mmesoma saga, has vindicated the Board. This has further reinforced the position of the Board that its system was not and cannot be compromised.

“It is to be noted that the Board has built a reputation in terms of the conduct of credible examinations over the years and cannot afford to fail the nation at this critical juncture of its development.

“Therefore, we will not despair in spite of the painful realisation that some Nigerians would do anything to cast aspersions on the good name of the Board.

“However, in spite of all the posturing of its detractors, the Board remains resolute and uncompromising in its commitment to give Nigeria the best as far as credible and fair assessment is concerned.

“In fact, the Board is, more than ever, determined to continue to forge ahead unmindful of the shenanigan of those who desire its fall.

“For the benefit of those who are still doubting the capacity of Ms. Mmesoma to commit this egregious crime and those who are pushing the narrative that the girl is just 16 years old even against all available data that indicate her age as an adult of 19 years, Ms. Mmesoma has owned up to committing the heinous infraction, which was carefully crafted to destroy the very foundation of one of the nation’s agencies charged with the critical role of apportioning the limited educational resource of the nation based on fairness equity and integrity.

“It is, therefore, highly regrettable that some Nigerians, who do not believe in the strength and resourcefulness of their nation’s institutions, would latch on to any opportunity to pull the Board down to their level of perfidy.

“One vital lesson that Nigerians should learn from the imbroglio, is to learn to appreciate the genuine efforts of their critical national institutions to chart the course of national rebirth. Hence, this attitude of attacking everything that makes the nation proud even by people who should know better, is disheartening. The flip side of this is to infer that some ethnic jingoists had perhaps been elevated to public office and recognition beyond their mental and emotional capacity.

“The Board would continue to be guided by the principles of inclusiveness and fairness as demonstrated by its seamless and unprompted deployment of a dedicated software called the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS), which not only eliminates human interference in the admission process, but also engenders equity, fairness, transparency to all as we do not know tribe or religion.

“The public is assured of our unwavering commitment to upholding sanctity of the fabric of the nation’s educational system hence our resolve to always deliver credible and fair assessment remains unshaken.
We appeal to all those well-meaning Nigerians, who may wish to support and encourage healthy competition by awarding scholarships and other honours to deserving candidates not to be discouraged but should always endeavour to verify from us any claim, no matter how innocuous, put forward by candidates.

“Candidates, on their part, are warned to stay away from fraudulent Apps that promise to enhance their scores as the end result would always be anguish and misery.

“The Mmesoma case should serve as an eye-opener especially to those who hold the view that anything goes in Nigeria. Ours is a great agency with great potential, which requires everybody’s collective and patriotic support as no nation develops beyond the wishes and trust of its people.

“The Board, on its part, will continue to appreciate the unalloyed support of those who even risked being attacked by the social media mob to stand on the side of truth. Your trust in us would never be taken for granted as we also appeal to our detractors to sheathe their swords and be part of the movement to build a greater Nigeria.

“To those who have sent apologies after seeing the truth, we call on them to continue to believe in the capacity of the Board to deliver.
We commend Anambra State Government for its patriotic and unbiased posture all through the period of the national challenge.

“Let us all put our hands together to build the Nigeria of our dreams as we congratulate Miss Umeh Kamsiyochukwu Nkechinyere as the best scorer in the 2023 UTME exercise.”

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Nigeria deploys troops for peace keeping in Gambia

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The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday, announced the deployment of 197 personnel for the peace keeping mission in the Gambia.
The Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Boniface Sinjen made the announcement in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of troops of Nigerian Company 9 Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).
The 197 troops began Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji Kaduna State.
According to him, the PDT is in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff , Lt -Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in deploying quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security.
He said that the training had equipped them with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.
“It  has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate.
“You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership and cultural sensitivity as well as other factors that would ensure your success in the mission area.
“You have been trained in the latest techniques and procedures for maintaining peace and stability in a complex environment and instilled with the values of discipline, respect for human rights and compassion for the people you are going out there to protect.
“Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of
uncertainty and instability, “he said.
According to him, the country’s political crisis has affected the lives of many innocent civilians and their presence will sustain the existing peace and stability to the region.
“Your role is crucial in maintaining peace, protecting lives and promoting sustainable development.”
Sinjen  charged  the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights.
He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS’ mandate, which guides your mission and ensure that your actions align with the principles of peace, stability and human rights.
”Remember that your conduct will not only reflect on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region and the international community.
”Additionally, your training has exposed you to the culture and religious diversity of The Gambia.
 “You are, therefore, expected to approach all interactions with sensibility and respect. Be mindful of the local customs, traditions and socio-political dynamics of the mission area.
”You must remain vigilant in the face of potential security threats and   avoid any actions that may be perceived as insensitive,” he said.
He said that as peacekeepers in a sovereign nation, they must adhere strictly to the UN principles and guidelines for peacekeeping operations.
 “Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia and avoid any actions that may be perceived as interference in the country’s internal affairs.”
He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria had zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in line with United Nations’ policies.
”Therefore, any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences.
“As ambassadors of the armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country, “Sinjen said.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the six weeks training had been intense, comprehensive, and was conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules.
Adedoja said the PDT was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to the Gambia.

He said as  part of their training, the troops were taken through crosscutting issues like Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline as well as Protection of Civilians amongst others.

“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of the MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited Centre to conduct quality training of prospective peacekeepers for deployment to multidimensional Peace Support Operations in fulfillment of her mandate.

“The Centre has within the last six weeks been able to train, retrain and refresh the troops on requisite knowledge and expertise to succeed in a Peace Support Operation environment.

” It is my fervent belief that these men are better informed and equipped to perform their roles in the Gambia, “Adedoja said.

He said the graduation ceremony once more showed the commitment of Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces to global peace and security.

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Tinubu calls for stronger collaboration with FBI to fight cybercrime, terrorism

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President Bola Tinubu has called for stronger collaboration between Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fight against cybercrime, terrorism, and other related crimes. 

The President made the call during a meeting with FBI Director, Christopher Asher Wray, at the State House on Friday in Abuja.

Tinubu described the presence of the FBI Director alongside his team in Nigeria as a recognition of the enduring partnership between Nigeria and the U.S. in the fight against financial crimes and terrorism. 

Security chiefs who attended the meeting included the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Also in attendance were the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede; and the National Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, were also present.

Tinubu said it was an honour for him to receive Wray, the leader of an organisation that had demonstrated consistent procedural sophistication and a reputation for excellence over several years.

“Your visit conveys the importance of Nigeria and Nigerian partnership in the work of America’s law enforcement institutions and vice-versa.

“For us, it is a recognition of what stage we are at, who we are, and the level of interest both countries share in eliminating crimes locally and globally.

“We cannot achieve this important feat of eliminating crimes without collaboration.

“Incidentally, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigeria is also collaborating with other West African countries to fight economic and other related crimes,” the President said.

He told the FBI Director that his administration had prioritised education as a tool against poverty, which was generally believed to be a driver of criminal activities.

“We are working hard to eliminate terrorism, cybercrimes, sextortion, and I am glad that we have a good number of agencies that are involved in reducing these crimes to the barest minimum, and they are also well represented at this meeting,” said Tinubu.

Noting that no single country could combat financial crimes in isolation, he called on the U.S. to support developing countries with the requisite technology and knowledge transfer required to combat complex international crimes.

In his remarks, Wray said he was in the country to enhance the “outstanding partnership” that existed between the government of Nigeria and the government of the U.S. 

He lauded Tinubu for supporting the growing partnerships between various agencies of government and the FBI in order to protect the citizens of both countries. 

“We appreciate the President’s vision in countering terrorism in the region, which is a dangerous threat, not only to the countries in the region but also to the United States. 

“We appreciate your vision in re-engineering the role of the Office of the NSA to effectively coordinate efforts on counter-terrorism, and this has already started to bear fruits in terms of the success you are recording against ISIS in West Africa and other terrorist groups. 

“We appreciate your support and collaboration on cyber-enabled crimes and sextortion, which has unfortunately resulted in a few tragic deaths in the United States. 

“I want to assure you of our support whether it is on counter-terrorism, cyber-enabled crimes, kidnapping, joint investigations, and intelligence sharing. Our relationship with Nigeria is a very important one,” the FBI Director said. 

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Saudi Weather: NACHON urges pilgrims to avoid direct sunlight

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has advised Nigerian pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen, on Friday in Mina, a valley located eight kilometres South-East of the city of Mecca.

This year’s hajj is taking place in sweltering temperatures that test the endurance of worshipers during the mostly outdoor rituals.

He implored the pilgrims to always seek shade whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight.

Arabi said,” It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

” Pilgrims are also advised to pay close attention to all health advisories and instructions provided by the medical team.

” To limit sun exposure, pilgrims should avoid going outside during peak heat. They should also stay cool by refraining from walking on or touching hot surfaces like rooftops.”

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has issued a heat advisory for the pilgrims in the wake of scorching surface temperatures, which pose a significant health risk.

The ministry highlighted the intense heat in Makkah as a major challenge for hajj, adding that prolonged sun exposure could be dangerous.

On Saturday morning, pilgrims will proceed from Mina to the plain of Arafat for the major ritual of standing.

Spanning approximately 33 square kilometers, Arafat hosts over two million pilgrims each year.

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