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Schools to reopen in Delta when COVID-19 subsides, says commissioner

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Army cautions against the use of military camouflage, uniforms

The Delta State Government has declared that schools will only reopen in the state, as soon as there is enough assurance that coronavirus will not adversely affect pupils and students.

Commissioner for Education, Charles Aniagwu, stated this yesterday in Warri, saying certain procedures needed to be put in place to guarantee that the children would go to school and come back safely without contracting the virus.

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He made the clarification to refute reports that schools might reopen on Monday, June 8, 2020, during a media briefing at Government House, Annex in Warri, insisting that it was not government’s wish to shut down schools indefinitely or truncate the education of the children, but the decision was made to safeguard the students.

Aniagwu added that the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS’s) ranking of the state as second least poor state in the country after Lagos was well deserved because the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration had initiated several economic programmes that had taken a lot of people out of poverty.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Checkmate, 63 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Asaba, Delta State have cautioned members of the public against use of military camouflage or uniforms in any guise.

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In a statement issued by Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Captain George Okupe, it stressed that the criminal code makes it unlawful for non-military personnel to wear army uniform or any semblance of force appearance, adding that camouflage was part of the military uniform under the law.

“Consequently, the Brigade wishes to inform members of the public and law-abiding citizens to be wary of persons who parade themselves as military personnel.

“Locals are advised to report any unusual or suspected presence, movement of imposter or fake soldiers to the nearest security agencies,” the statement added.

The Army also disclosed that officers of Operation Checkmate arrested a fake soldier, identified as Green Ogonna 25, who hails from Nnewi South Council Area of Anambra State at his residence in Asaba, during routine patrol.

Ogonna is being quizzed at the Brigade Military Police, after which he would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

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This followed the arrest of 43-year-old Mrs. Joyce Suleiman, who was arrested and handed over to the police for impersonation as an army officer in July 2018 along with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) expressway in Uvwie Council Area.

She was dressed in complete military camouflage, claiming to be a soldier, extorting money from locals and escorting vehicles carrying substances suspected to be Indian hemp and scraps.

“During preliminary investigation, a picture showing her in possession of an AK47 rifle was seen in her mobile phone and was again handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.

“Operation Checkmate on May 20, also rearrested one Mohammad Abdul 40, who was earlier arrested on Anwai Road, Asaba for impersonation and handed over to police. He mounted a roadblock and was extorting money from motorists along the Onitsha-Asaba Road,” he stated.

Okupe, therefore, urged members of the public to watch out for such impostors and promptly report to the nearest security agents, stressing that perpetrators of such crime should desist or face the full weight of the law.

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