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Nigeria: Lawmakers reject bill, insist public officers’ children can study abroad

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The House of Representatives which is the lower chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly has again rejected a bill to prohibit public officials from sending their children and wards to schools abroad without approval of Minister of Education. The bill was sponsored by Sergius Ogun, a member of the main opposition in the country – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) representing Esan North-East federal constituency of Edo. Ogun had introduced a similar bill in the 8th Assembly, but the lawmakers rejected the bill.Mr Ogun argued that the bill will help to address the fallen standard in Nigerian public schools.“This bill is proposed against the background of fallen standards in our educational system and the need to bring the sector up to speed with global best standards.”“Unfortunately, as a result of the inability of the government to provide quality education in its public educational institutions, Nigerians have resorted to private schools and foreign schools for their education,” he said.Some members of the house argued that not all public officers control public funds and should not be prevented from giving their children the best education that they can afford.Nicholas Ossai from Delta State said the bill violates the individual rights of Nigerians. He requested that the bill should be withdrawn. “This bill when passed into law will engender the actualization of the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to which Nigeria is a party”.The rejected bill also proposed that the Minister of Education shall conduct investigation to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted for approval. It also provides a fine of N1 million or three years’ imprisonment for breach of the law.The bill also highlights that “a public officer shall not send his ward or children oversea for studies without declaration of interest subject to approval.”“A public officer declaring interest in sending his ward or child abroad for further studies shall submit the following documents for consideration:Meanwhile, Lecturers in Nigerian universities under the umbrella of The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on 15, February commenced a four-week strike over failure of the Nigeria government to meet an agreement that dates back to 2009.

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Tunisia’s Interior Ministry alleges threats to President Saied’s life

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The Tunisian Interior Ministry has alleged serious threats to the life of President Kais Saied as concerns over a mounting political crisis in the North African country grows.

The Ministry said the country’s intelligence apparatchick revealed that both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president.

Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that “the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security by eliminating the President.”

Though Khelifi did not give out names of the purported planners, he however assured that they would soon be rounded up and made to face trial.

President Saied has been having a running battle with the opposition in Tunisia with opponents accusing him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

This year alone, Saied has moved to consolidate his powers by dissolving the parliament, annuling the electoral commission and taking also taking the war to the judiciary by sacking 57 judges after accusing them of protecting Islamists.

Critics have also accused him of clamping down on the opponents with the arrest of leading opposition figures and a widespread crackdown on the opposition parties.

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Senegal’s opposition leader calls for nationwide mega protest on June 29

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Despite clashes between government security forces and anti-government protesters which led to the death of three people last week, Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, has called for a fresh demonstration to be held on June 29.

Sonko who came third in the last presidential election in the country and has a large followership made up of mainly youths, had also called on citizens to bang pots and pans in protest on Wednesday which was a huge success, prompting in his call for the July 29 showdown.

“On the 29th of July, with or without authorization, we are going to organize our demonstration,” Sonko, a leader of the PASTEF party said in a press conference on Friday.

“If President Macky Sall wants to prevent this affair, he should be ready to arrest us or terminate us.

“Let the whole of Senegal rumble and let Macky Sall understand that the Senegalese people do not agree with his dictatorial designs or his ill-fated plan for a third term,” Sonko added.

Though the police has banned protests in the West African country citing risk of unrest, Sonko and other opposition figures have called on citizens to come out enmasse for the demonstration.

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