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Plateau: Lalong pledges to address take off challenge of Karl Kumm University



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From Gyang Bere, Jos

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has directed the Commissioner for Higher Education and the Head of Service to immediately engage all stakeholders in resolving the misunderstanding that led to the suspension of the licence of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) owned Karl Kumm University (KKU) in Vom.

Governor Lalong disclosed this when the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university led members of the Council on a courtesy visit to Government House, Rayfield, Jos.

The governor expressed displeasure on how the new University which got an operational license in 2021 could not take off due to a misunderstanding with the host community over the appointment of the Registrar in line with an MOU signed with them.

He said the issue must be resolved quickly as the University which had been in incubation for over 18 years was finally given the green light to operate having fulfilled the conditions of the NUC, only to have this joy truncated.

The governor said the state government has restrained itself from meddling in the affairs of the private Institution with the hope that things will be sorted out quickly, but would now have to be involved based on the request of the council and the fact that the entire state stands to lose if the University does not take off.

‘Plateau State is known as a hub for education and we are proud of COCIN for the contribution of its educational institutions which have produced great minds in Nigeria. However, this development at the KKU does not speak well for the State and must be addressed immediately,’ he said.

‘Just last week I visited Mr President and appealed to him to sign the bill passed by the National Assembly to upgrade Federal College of Education Pankshin to a University of Education. While we are looking for more Universities, we have to show that we are ready to be good hosts.’

The Pro-Chancellor of KKU, Prof, Ochapa Onazi, informed the governor that the unfortunate incident has robbed the University of one year since the approval of its licence, explaining that the matter in question was very clear and easy to resolve as the Management of the Institution acted on truth and justice.

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He said the decision not to appoint the Registrar candidate which did not go down well with the host community, is not in bad faith but in keeping with the laid down procedures of ensuring that all staff engaged to meet the requirements set by the NUC.

‘We have explained to the host community that we could not have gone ahead to appoint a candidate with deficiencies and create further problems for the new institution,’ he said.

‘We have also explained to the community the fact that there are other appointments of principal officers for the University yet to be done which we hope will consider their interest based on the MOU. However, the youths have refused to budge despite all entreaties from us and the plea by the Dagwom Rwei, the traditional ruler of the area,’ he said.

Prof Onazi explained that the University prefers to embrace dialogue rather than confrontation which is why despite acts of provocation, it has maintained a peaceful posture.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Nanven Audu Gambo, said the intervention of the governor will go a long way in ensuring that the University takes off immediately to avoid further waste of time and resources.

He recalled that throughout the construction of the University, the youths of the host community including the supervising architects were involved to ensure that they benefit from the institution.

The university also received assurances for the completion of the university library being carried out by the Plateau State Government.



Kalu meets Abdulsalami Abubakar



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Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Saturday night paid a private visit to former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

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Kalu who made the announcement through his verified Facebook page, revealed that his discussion with the former president centered on national issues and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
He wrote: “ Tonight, I paid a visit to the former President of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to greet him for the new year. We also discussed major national affairs and peaceful coexistence of our nation.”


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Lagos police arrest NURTW members amid calls for ban



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By Moses Omorogieva/Lagos

The Police Command in Lagos State on Saturday said that its men arrested some members of the National Union of Transport Workers ( NURTW) who clashed on Lagos Island on Friday.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) , CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.

Ajisebutu did not mention how many people were arrested and where they were being detained.

He added that normalcy had returned to the Island as more operatives had been deployed there.
“The police have quelled the crisis. Sufficient facilities were deployed in the area immediately we received a distress call and normalcy was restored.

”Investigation into the crisis is ongoing,” he said.

Two factions of the NURTW clashed over the control of some motor parks on the Island on Friday.

The videos of the clash went viral showing the hoodlums using dangerous weapons against each other

The arrests come amid call by Accord Party for a ban on the notorious union in Lagos.

Lagos State chapter of the Accord Party called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to proscribe the union following repeated violence by its members.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Dele Oladeji, in a statement on Saturday called on Sanwo-Olu to tame the members of the NURTW by proscribing the union with immediate effect.

“Again, the members of the NURTW were enmeshed in a deadly fight on Lagos Island which was reported to have resulted in the untimely death of some four youths.

“This deadly clash created a security scare, in which innocent and hardworking residents of Lagos had to scamper into shops, crevices, under table and inside gutters for dear lives.

“Many rushed into shops and were locked in with the shop owners, just to stay away from stray bullets or being caught up in the fracas.

“Traders were forced to shutdown their businesses, which led to the loss of transactions running into billions of naira.

“We advise the Lagos State governor to, with immediate effect, proscribe the NURTW for a peaceful and safe Lagos city.”

The spokesman said that the recent violence was one too many among the members of the NURTW in Lagos State.

Oladeji said that though members of the union were always in the habit of killing themselves during such fracas, their action had always defied the security set up in Lagos State and had always created a state of insecurity among residents.

“Ask an average resident of Lagos, and they will tell you they live and commute in utter fright of these ‘union boys’ daily on the streets and roads.

“Gov. Sanwo-Olu should rise up in service to residents of the state and proscribed these lawless group for a safer Lagos State,” he added.

He said that NURTW factions were known to frequently engage in free-for-all over power tussles at different locations and parks.


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Pakistan proud of pig-to-human heart transplant pioneer



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Friends and former classmates of the Pakistan-born surgeon behind the world’s first pig-to-human heart transplant say they earmarked him for greatness from his medical school days.

Karachi-born Muhammad Mansoor Mohiuddin made headlines last week as the co-founder of the US university programme that successfully transplanted the heart of a genetically modified pig into a gravely ill American man.

While hailed as a medical breakthrough, the procedure also raised ethical questions — particularly among some Jews and Muslims, who consider pigs to be unclean and avoid pork products.

None of that worried Mohiuddin’s friends and former colleagues in Pakistan, who remember him as an ace student with a passion for medicine.

“He would be so interested, always there, always available and always ready to get involved in surgery,” said Muneer Amanullah, a specialist who attended Karachi’s Dow Medical College with Mohiuddin in the 1980s.

College vice-chancellor Muhammad Saeed Qureshi said pride in Mohiuddin’s achievement had flooded the campus.

“There was exhilaration that this has been done by a graduate from this college,” he told AFP.

Mohiuddin was quick to share the limelight with a team of 50 from the University of Maryland Medical School.

“They were all experts of their respective fields,” he told AFP by phone.

“They are the best surgeons, the best physicians, the best anaesthetists, and so on.”

While the prognosis for the recipient of the pig’s heart is far from certain, the surgery represents a major milestone for animal-to-human transplants.

About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 6,000 patients die each year before getting one, according to official figures.

To meet demand, doctors have long been interested in so-called xenotransplantation, or cross-species organ donation.

“We were working on this model for 18 years,” Mohiuddin said.

“Those 18 years were dotted with different phases of frustration — as well as breakthroughs — but finally we have done it.”

The surgery is not without controversy, however, especially given Mohiuddin’s Islamic faith.

Pigs are considered unclean by Muslims and Jews — and even some Christians who follow the Bible’s Old Testament literally.

“In my view, this is not permissible for a Muslim,” said Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, a prominent Islamic scholar, in a video blog where he discussed the procedure.

But another Islamic scholar in Pakistan gave the procedure a clean bill of health.

“There is no prohibition in sharia,” Allama Hasan Zafar Naqvi told AFP, calling it a “medical miracle”.

“In religion, no deed is as supreme as saving a human life,” added Mohiuddin.

In Karachi, the surgeon’s fellow alumni feel their former colleague may now be destined for even greater glory — medicine’s top prize.

“I think… the whole team is in for it, in for the Nobel Prize,” said vice-chancellor Qureshi.


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