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Africans, Apologize To Family Members For Witchcraft Accusations, Witch Persecution. – AfAW



Africans, Apologize To Family Members For Witchcraft Accusations, Witch Persecution. - AfAW

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches has urged witch-suspecting and accusing Africans to apologize to family members.

According to Dr Leo Igwe of AfAW, this appeal follows a video message where a Nigerian expressed regret to his family members for branding them witches and blaming them for his problems. In the 2-minute video message, recorded in pidgin English, this young Nigerian who traveled abroad made it clear that traveling overseas opened his eyes to so many things. He called poverty a bastard and that living overseas had made him not to remember certain things. This young man noted that if one were in Nigeria, one would think that every neighbor was a witch. That one’s relatives, uncles, and aunts who did nothing to harm someone were witches. He attributed witch belief to poverty. He explained that there was a point one could be poor, or one would live and languish in poverty and the miserable situation would destroy one’s thoughts and mind.

 READ ALSO: Police Stop Seminar On Witch Persecution In Makurdi

The statement issued on Thursday said : “To add to it, one could start attending one of these useless churches (yeye church) and the pastor would prophesy that the problems that one was encountering were from the family. Subsequently, one would begin to suspect any of the uncles and other relatives, especially the poor ones of witchcraft; that they were the people withholding the destinies. He further stated that since he traveled out of Nigeria, he realized that all those allegations and suspicions were false and baseless; that no one was withholding any person’s progress. That it was poverty. This guy noted that he had stopped saying certain kinds of prayers. He only prayed to thank God for helping him see a new day. He had stopped praying against spirits from the father’s compound. This young made it clear that there was no spirit anywhere; that we had accused innocent people for nothing. He used the video message to apologize to his uncles and aunts whom he had suspected of witchcraft or imagined to be withholding his progress every time he prayed in the church. He told those relatives that he was sorry and that it was not true that they were hampering his progress in any way. This guy went further to enjoin all Africans in Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia, and Togo who suspected their relatives of witchcraft or occult harm, to go and apologize to them. He declared: ‘Nobody is a witch; there are no witches, it is poverty’. He noted that poverty and hunger could destroy people’s thinking processes and could engender witchcraft fears and anxieties. He concluded the video message by urging those who watched it to share the video so that God would bless them so that they would travel and stop suspecting people of witchcraft. ”

AfAW commends this young man “for the educative and enlightening video message that reiterates the position of AfAW. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches maintains that witches are imaginary beings and witchcraft is a form of superstition. AfAW is of the view that suspected witches are innocent people. More especially, AfAW welcomes the move to apologize to relatives suspected of witchcraft. Many Africans who realize their error in accusing and persecuting family members for witchcraft do not usually express remorse or regret. They simply keep mute. And this approach is wrong.

READ ALSO: Treat Witch Persecution In Africa With Urgency – AfAW

“Unfortunately, many Africans who travel overseas have not realized their mistake in suspecting family members of witchcraft. To this end, some western anthropologists have attributed this trend to African witchcraft going global. Africans who live abroad actively suspect relatives of magically harming them or using occult means to undermine their progress. There have been cases where Africans who live in Europe or America suspect relatives back home of bewitching them and making it difficult or impossible for them to make progress. These suspected witches are family members who never traveled abroad. From overseas, they threaten or accuse these family members, abandon them or deny them support and assistance. They would hope and pray for them to die.”

AfAW supports the process of African enlightenment going global. AfAW enjoins all Africans to emulate this young man and openly express remorse for witchcraft allegations.

“Africans should abandon witchcraft beliefs because witches do not exist. Africans should apologize to family and community members for suspecting or accusing them of witchcraft”, the group said.

It stated: “In addition, Africans do not need to travel overseas before realizing that witches do not exist. That witchcraft is a form of superstition. Look, it is not all Africans that have or will have the opportunity of traveling overseas. While traveling is helpful, it is not a necessary condition to overcome witchcraft fears and anxieties.

READ ALSO: Witch Hunting: Torturers Should Not Get Away With Their Crimes – AfAW

“AfAW acknowledges the role of poverty and hunger in witchcraft accusations and witch persecutions. But witchcraft fears and anxieties are rooted more in poverty of the mind, and intellect, not of the pocket because rich Africans also believe in witchcraft and suspect family members of perpetrating magical harm. Rich Africans who live overseas entertain witchcraft fears and anxieties and are drivers of witch hunting and accusations of demon/spirit possessions in families. Many Africans attend witch-hunting churches in Europe and America where illiterate pastors and charlatans reinforce these beliefs. Witch-believing Africans who live overseas hire witch-hunters, and support witch-hunting in their communities. All witch-suspecting and witch-persecuting Africans should apologize to family members now. Like this young man, they should express remorse and regret from wherever they are, in Africa or overseas, for their misdeeds and for victimizing innocent family members.”

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BREAKING: Govt Increases Salaries Of University Lecturers, Others



Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamma

In a bid to improve the lot of tertiary education, the Federal Government has increased the salaries of the lecturers and non-academic staff in the nation’s public universities.

The increase was approved by the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.

This includes payment of a newly approved percentage increment in salaries for academic and non-academic staff of all Federal Government’s tertiary institutions in the country.

This is as the percentage increment for junior staff of tertiary institutions was raised from 23.5% which was reviewed last year to 25%. Our correspondent gathered that the arrears of the increment from January 2023 will also be paid.

Though nothing was said about the withheld salaries of the academics and non-academics who embarked on strike in 2022, it was learnt that the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, earlier wrote the Chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, to demand the status of the collective.

According to sources within the Ministry of Education, the decision of the minister to write the NSIWC might not be unconnected from visitations by some of the academic unions and intervention by some pressure groups.

When asked if polytechnic lecturers were aware of the new development, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said that the union heard of the news and were looking forward to the implementation.

“Definitely, we heard of it and we are looking forward to it. There will be 25% increment for junior lecturers while chief lecturers and professors will benefit from 35% increment,” he said.

The National Vice-President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Chris Piwuna, disclosed that such a letter would be addressed to the management of universities and not ASUU.

A letter by the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the NSIWC, Eyo Nta, which was addressed to the Minister of Education on September 14,2023 shortly before his departure to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
tagged ‘RE: Implementation of the 35% and 23.5% salary increment for staff of tertiary institutions,’ reads: “I refer to your letter No. FME/IS/UNI/ASUU/C.I/IT?/90 dated 8th September 2023 in respect of the above-subject. Find attached the circulars pertaining to the four salary structures in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for your information (attached).

“The 23.5% earlier reflected in our letter SWC/S/04/S.149/I/59 of 28 July 2022 and stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, has been increased to 25% which accounted for the increased cost implications. This Commission is really pleased with the success your informal discussions have achieved. We shall endeavour to support all your efforts aimed at repositioning the Education Sector. Please accept the assurances of my warm regards.”

Consequently, the commission proceeded to issue a circular also dated September 14, 2023 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation among others informing them of the implementation of the newly reviewed salaries.

The circular reads: “ The Presidential Committee on Salaries at its 13th meeting having taken into consideration the various stages of collective bargaining in various sectors, and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions, and consequent upon the Federal Government’s approval, as well as 2023 budgetary provisions, approval is hereby conveyed for the revision of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for academic staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January 2023.”

Also, a letter from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation dated September 21, 2023 which was made available to our correspondent on Friday in Abuja confirmed the increment.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Director, Human Resource of the office, Ajanaku F.O reads, “I am directed to inform you that the Presidential Committee on Salaries at it’s 13th meeting having taken into consideration the different stages of collective bargaining in various sectors and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions and consequently the Federal Government’s approval, is hereby conveyed as revised for the following:-

“Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II for non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities, with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure for non – Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) for Academic Staff of Federal University with effect from 1st January, 2023.”

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Canada’s Dallaire Institute Invites Nigerian Security Personnel For Elite Child Protection Training



Dr.Shelley Whitman

The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, a global leader in preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence, has invited two members of Nigeria’s security forces to participate in its first regional lead trainers course on child protection. The course will run from September 25 to 29, 2023.

Maj. Edwin Okpala (rtd), a chartered mediator, and a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration expert at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, and Capt. Grace Watirahyel Samuel, will join other members of the armed forces, police, and civil society groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Sudan, and Uganda for five days of theoretical training and scenario – based simulation in Rwanda.

Organized through the Dallaire Institute’s Africa Centre of Excellence, the course, which is specifically for previously trained facilitators, will be delivered by lead facilitator Maj. Musa Donald Gbow, the first-ever child protection advisor in an African Union peacekeeping mission and a master trainer for the Dallaire Institute.

In a statement, the Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute, Dr Shelly Whitman disclosed that the course will bring participants up to speed on best practices in preventing the recruitment and use of children, while enhancing their ability to independently lead Dallaire Institute courses across the continent.

“The Dallaire Institute believes in the importance of collaboration that leads to long-term systemic change to place children at the heart of peace and security. The lead trainers’ course will bring together our champions for change from military and police institutions across the African continent, so they can support and learn from each other on how to prevent the recruitment and use of children and we as the Dallaire Institute can continue to learn from their lived experiences to ensure our approaches are effective”, Whitman noted.

The Dallaire Institute has worked with the Nigerian military, police, and civil society groups since 2017. In 2021, as part of collaborative efforts, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Martin Luther Agwai Leadership and International Peacekeeping Centre (MLALIPKC) and the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA) to support capacity building activities.

Founded by renowned humanitarian and former Canadian Forces Lieutenant General, Roméo Dallaire, the Dallaire Institute was created with the unique premise that preventing violence against children requires a dual lens that is focused on prioritizing the protection of children, as well as understanding the significant operational impacts upon security sector actors.

As co-developers and custodians of The Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, the institute’s stakeholders advise governments and multilateral partners on integrating the principles into security sector governance.

The Institute also hosts a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair on International Peace, Security and Children and offers undergraduate and graduate courses that will lead to the creation of a certificate program on children, peace and security. Through academic and practitioner training, and community engagement, the Dallaire Institute’s interdisciplinary and applied research advances innovative strategies for preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts and violence. The Dallaire Institute is supported through private, public, and international contributions.

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Security Operatives Crack Down On Sagamu Cultists, House of Assembly Member, Six Others In DSS Net



Acting IGP Kayode Egbetokun

Security operatives in Ogun State on Wednesday tracked six suspected cultists, allegedly involved in the violence that erupted in Sagamu at the weekend to the official residence of a member of the state House of Assembly.

The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Hon. Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter to the fleeing cultists.

A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects on the premises of the lawmaker.

Those arrested, according to sources, include Damilare Bello Mohammed aka DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade.

They are currently undergoing interrogation at the Department of State Service (DSS).

Sources revealed that many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from the suspects.

It would be recalled that Hon. Bello was arrested by the DSS for masterminding the violent protest that took place in February this year in Sagamu over the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

During the protest, irate youths vandalised about 10 banks and other public infrastructures.

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