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Rhoda Jatau was arrested after voicing concerns about the killing of Deborah Samuel Yakubu in 2022 (Image: Open Doors) Woman Set for 'Blasphemy' Trial for Condemning Vile Mob's Lynching of Christian Student By CIARAN MCGRATH A healthcare worker charged with blasphemy laws simply for condeming the brutal killing of a student in Nigeria has today failed in her attempt to get a trial date in order for her case to be heard. Mother-of-five Rhoda Jatau, 45, appeared at the High Court in Bauchi in the north of the country, having spent the last 18 months in prison. She has reportedly been held without a trial and without the ability to communicate with her family. Ms Jatau was arrested was taken into custody after sharing a video of and commenting on the horrific lynching of 22-year-old Deborah Samuel Yakubu in May of last year. Ms Yakubu, a Christian, used a student WhatsApp group to thank Jesus Christ for helping her pass her exams at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Nigeria, where she was studying. As a result, she was dragged from her college dormitory by male students, stoned and burned to death. Despite the faces of her killers faces being clearly visible in gruesome viral footage circulated on West African social media networks, nobody has so far been charged with her murder. Five days after her killing, healthcare worker and mother Rhoda Jatau commented on the case to her colleagues. Sharing a video clip with a WhatsApp group of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare workers, she condemned the murder, defending Yakubu’s right to express her religious beliefs. Ms Jatau’s colleagues forwarded her message, at which point she was accused of blasphemy. Her neighbourhood in Katanga, Warji Local Government Area, was engulfed by rioting and violence. She was arrested, and her husband and children fled their home.................... READ MORE Remain Calm, Governor Mutfwang Appeals to Agitated Plateau Indigenes By Seriki Adinoyi Indigenes of Plateau State yesterday turned out en masse to receive Governor Caleb Mutfwang at the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Heipang, Jos, reaffirming their total support for the governor. Mutfwang was returning to the state one week after the verdict of the Court of Appeal that nullified his election. The mammoth crowd who converged at the Airport and other strategic locations in Jos expressed confidence in the Supreme Court for fairness and justice. Mutfwang polled a total of 525,299 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, who scored 481,370 votes. His victory was reaffirmed at the election tribunal, but a panel of the Court of Appeal nullified it. The Supreme Court is now the beacon of hope for Plateau citizens who are eagerly waiting. Addressing journalists at the airport, the governor described the sack as a temporary huddle and reassured the people that God would restore the mandate they gave to him. He said: “I am excited to be back home, I feel so loved by the people and I have come to say thank you to the Plateau people. I have come back home to say thank you to the good people of Plateau State for their prayers, and for standing with us. I want to also thank our friends across Nigeria and the world who have stood with us, they have shown interest in what is happening on the Plateau and I want to say a very big thank you. “I want to assure you that we began this project with God on our side and I want to assure you that God is still on our side and that by his grace, Plateau people will smile; by his grace, Plateau people will rejoice. For we bear no grudges against anyone and we are confident in the judiciary despite all that has happened. God who controls the hearts of men is going to ensure that what will bring joy to the people of Plateau State is done. “I, therefore, encourage you to stay steadfast in prayer, there is no need for evil talk, and we will not reply to those who mean evil for us. We will continue to encourage our people to remain calm. This is our land, we will not allow anybody to destroy it, therefore we must stay together.” .......... READ MORE Nigeria Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis By Care.orgA decade-long conflict with no end in sight has led to one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises. 27,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed as a result of the conflict. In Nigeria, 7.1 million people are in need of urgent assistance this year. 1.8 million people are internally displaced; 80 percent are women and children. Women and girls are the most vulnerable. Thousands have been abducted since the crisis began in 2009. Many more face gender-based violence, including sexual violence, trafficking, and forced survival sex in exchange for food and basic items. Heavy rains and flooding have further exacerbated the country’s food crisis, adding to the already dire humanitarian situation caused by the decade-long conflict. Borno, a state in northeastern Nigeria, is the epicenter of the crisis and faces the most major security concerns. Armed groups continue to attack civilians and aid workers in the region. Rann, a remote town in Borno, is particularly difficult for humanitarian assistance to reach due to poor road conditions and frequent violent attacks from armed groups. Flooding has further damaged roads to Rann, blocking food and other commodities from entering the area. More than 40,000 people – mostly internally displaced people – have little or no access to food or services. ................ READ MORE Cost Of Operating Business In Nigeria Up By Over 50% In The Last Nine Months By Chris Ebong Mr Tunde Mimiko, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sanlam Life Insurance Nigeria Limited, in this conversation with CHRIS EBONG, bares his mind on the insurance industry in Nigeria and the larger economy in 2023, noting that the cost of operating in Nigeria has hit the rooftop. It has been a long year 2023 and the econ­omy is still unsettled for obvious reasons: the removal of the fuel subsidy, high rates of inflation and forex. How have these macroeconomic indices affected insurance operation in 2023? Thank you very much. It’s been a tough year indeed as you rightly men­tioned but it is in times like this that creativity and resilience of leadership comes to bear. So as a business, the ex­ecutive management has been working very hard, putting on our thinking cap and fashioning out ways to navigate through. Responding specifically to your ques­tion on how this affects our business and not just our business, but business­es generally, I would like you to know that the cost of operating in Nigeria has gone up by over 50per cent in the last nine months. You do know that we use diesel to run our day-to-day busi­ness, cost of fueling multiple vehicles around for our sales representatives has also gone up. Think about it, any cost associated with our business has gone up. Is it to buy laptops or to buy anything that has to do with our tech­nology? They’ve more or less tripled due to high foreign exchange rates. So it’s been very tough, the operating ex­penses of the business are so high. That also put some strain in the pocket of our customers and even the prospective customers because the cost of living has increased and that has af­fected their disposable income. Insur­ance, really, wouldn’t be their priority at times like this. We also witnessed some dip in terms of the uptake of insurance products generally. Those that have not been able to meet up with their recurrent payments are surren­dering their policies and in many cas­es, the policies are lapsing before the maturity. All these have effect on our percentage ratio and in key financial metrics. However, as a business, as I men­tioned earlier, we have been creative, putting on our thinking cap to ensure that we are able to break even.................READ MORE

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