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We’ll explore constitution amendment to address violence against women, says Gbajabiamila




The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has reiterated the determination of the 9th House to remove all obstacles militating against the development of women through relevant legislation.

In addition to collaborating with all critical local and international stakeholders, Gbajabiamila said the ongoing constitutional amendment exercise would be explored to achieve the set goals which was a priority area on the Legislative Agenda of the 9th House.
The Speaker, who disclosed this on Monday, while declaring open the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, organized by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians at the National Assembly, expressed the determination of the House to holistically address the issue of violence targeted at women. 

He said: “I assure you that this 9th House of Representatives will continue to take actions to address the challenges militating against the advancement of women in all spheres of human endeavour.

“I ask all of you here today to support the House in this regard so that together we can make the world a better place for all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues. 
“This is part of our Legislative Agenda, and we must at the end of it be able to tick that box that we said we would; we have this contract with Nigerians and we did”. 

“This is a matter of constitutional amendments in many regards, and we will be up and doing. I trust the 9th House to be up to the ultimate task in removing whatever obstacles in the past to make sure that this thing is a thing of the past”.
Earlier, the chairperson, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Rep. Zainab Gimba, said gender inequality remains one of the greatest threats to Africa’s future, noting that the International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the socio-economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a platform for action to accelerate gender parity.
“To achieve this goal, we must take conscious steps to ensure women’s involvement in every sphere of the decision-making process to usher in an inclusive development,” she said.

On his part, the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Arc. Ojo Amos Olatunde, tasked women parliamentarians in the National Assembly to rise to the occasion to drastically reduce domestic violence against women in Nigeria.



Breaking: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, dies at 99





Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

In March, the Duke of Edinburgh left hospital after a month-long stay for treatment.

He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.

Prince Philip and the Queen had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921.

His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes.

His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.


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Ecuador loses third health minister in 40 days





Ecuador’s Health Minister Mauro Falconi has resigned less than three weeks on the job, the government said on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of his predecessor.

Falconi is the third health minister to resign in some 40 days.

Local media reported major issues on Tuesday and Wednesday with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine rollout in Quito, where senior citizens were made to wait over eight hours in line before being inoculated.

Newspaper El Comercio reported that there were also coordination issues with the delivery of jabs, saying that similar issues occurred in Guayaquil.

“Our seniors deserve the utmost respect. What happened today has no justification.

“I have asked for the resignation of the health minister and he will be replaced by Dr Camilo Salinas,” President Lenin Moreno tweeted on Wednesday.

Secretary General of the Cabinet Jorge Wated Reshuan called the events in Quito “unacceptable” in a tweet.

His predecessor, surgeon Rodolfo Farfan, was previously appointed to the post on March 1 to replace Juan Carlos Zevallos, who resigned in late February amid allegations of favoritism in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Farfan resigned on March 19.

Salinas is the sixth health minister in the current government and the fifth since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, El Universo reported.

Ecuador, with a population of around 17 million, has so far recorded over 328,000 infections and almost 12,000 COVID-19 related deaths. (dpa/NAN)

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Sudan pays $335m compensation for U.S. embassy attacks, others




The United States says it has received $335 million (N127.3 billion) from Sudan as compensation to victims of terrorist attacks on American targets between 1998 and 2008.

Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, listed the attacks to include the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Reports say 12 Americans, including two employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), were among the 224 persons killed in both attacks.

Families of the 17 U.S. sailors who died when al-Qaeda militants blew their ship, the USS Cole, at a port in Yemen in 2000, will also benefit from the payment.

Blinken also listed the family of John Granville, an American diplomat assassinated by gunmen in Khartoum on Jan. 1, 2008, as beneficiaries.

The U.S. blame Sudan for the attacks on the ground that the perpetrators were trained on its soil.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the compensation was a key condition for the removal of Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism on Dec. 14.

Blinken said: “Achieving compensation for these victims has been a top priority for the Department of State. 

“We hope this aids them in finding some resolution for the terrible tragedies that occurred.

“Last week, the Department transmitted to Congress the Secretary’s certification restoring Sudan’s sovereign immunities pursuant to the Sudan Claims Resolution Act, enacted last December. 

“We appreciate Sudan’s constructive efforts over the past two years to work with us to resolve these long-outstanding claims.”

The Secretary of State said the U.S. and Sudan could now start a “new chapter” with the conclusion of the process to normalise relations.

“We look forward to expanding our bilateral relationship and to continuing our support for the efforts of the civilian-led transitional government to deliver freedom, peace, and justice to the Sudanese people,” he added.(NAN)

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