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Joy Unlimited as Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation Selects 20 Qualified Parents in Waiting for IVF Treatment



By Eric Elezuo

There was palpable joy at the Agip Hall of the MUSON Centre Friday when over 20 beneficiaries of the 2018 fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination were selected as part efforts of the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation to restore the pride of the woman and recreate joy in homes.

The beneficiaries were picked through raffle draw and random selection as supervised by the Minister in Charge of the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo.

Ibidunni Ighadalo with husband, Pastor Ituah Ighadalo

The programme, which was in its second edition was themed: “Maa Gbe Temi Jo’ (Yoruba for I will dance with my own baby).

The day long event began with a thorough medical screening conducted on all the participants. The screening covered all areas of fertility treatment including cervical examination.

Dr Oluwatoyin Bode Abass

Thereafter, thoroughbred medical experts took turns to educated the parents in waiting on all areas worthy of coming to terms with to live a health life worthy of procreation.

The first among the speakers after Pastor Tera Onyemaka has led the congregation in spirit-filled prayer, was Dr. Ogundiran Babatunde Deji of the Bridge Clinic, who lectured on Fibroid and Pregnancy. He intimated among other things that the womb, semen, ovaries and tubes must be highly functional if fertilisation must take place while also informing that obesity encourages the emergence of fibroid. He therefore urged parents in waiting to maintain a healthy lifestyle in anticipation of their children.

Cross section of participants

Earlier, the chief host of the event and wife of the General Overseer of Trinity House, Mrs Ibidunni Ighodalo, who is also the CEO of Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation, had given an emotional speech of what prompted her desire to put smiles and happiness in the homes of parents in need of children.

Dr Nini Iyizoba giving her lecture

In quick succession, other speakers including Dr. Oluwatoyin Bode Abass (Infertility and the Stigma that Comes with it), Dr. Nini Iyizoba, Dr. Coker, Dr. Adeleke Daramola (Male Infertility), Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi Bero (Surrogacy and Donors), Barr. Muiz Banire and others educated the audience on the psychological and spiritual implications of waiting for the children.

In her lecture, Pastor Ruth inculcated comedy into the serious business of waiting as a parent to be, practically dousing the the tension associated with child expectation. She mixed the physical with the spiritual to drive home her point, and all that listened to her were happy and excessively joyed.

Then the hour every one had been waitng for came, and Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo took the privilege of presenting the 20 beneficiaries for the year’s treatment. He cautioned that faith as already preached is capable of turning around the situation of anyone even without the treatment.

The richest woman in Nigeria, who doubles as the Founder of Rose of Sharon, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, and wife of the former Governor of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola, were on hand to speak to the needs of the parents in waiting through heartfelt prayers and shared experiences.

Pastor Ighodalo and Barr. Muiz Banire

The treatment, it was revealed costs a whopping N1.5 million per person.

Other personalities that graced the event were Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Miss Bola Adesola and a host of others from both the medical and other professions.

The IIF was created by Ibidunni Ighodalo to raise awareness on issues pertaining to infertility and to provide grants for couples that require fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination. It has over time put smiles on the faces of parents seriously in need of babies of their own.

Photo credit: Solomon Ekhaiyeme

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2023 Elections: INEC Deploys 707,384 Presiding Officers




The Independent National Electoral Commission will deploy 707,384 presiding officers for the general elections scheduled to commence on February 25.

The commission also said that since electoral education was important, there was a need to infuse it into the National Values Curriculum of primary schools in Nigeria.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated these during the public presentation of the Electoral Education Curriculum and Teachers’ Guide for primary schools.

The curriculum which was developed by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening  – Sustaining Electoral Engagement for Democracy project funded by USAID and FCDO and implemented by National Democratic Institute and IFES, was in partnership with the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, INEC (through the Voter Education Department), National Orientation Agency, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and academia from across the country.

Okoye said, “We believe that electoral education is important in the goals of our nation. Electoral education is a specialized area and that is why we have this curriculum being infused into the National Values Curriculum in our primary schools.

“For instance, for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the commission will deploy a total of 707, 384 presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.

“These presiding officers will be drawn from the crop of young men and women doing their National Youth Service Corps, while the assistant presiding officers will be drawn from students from federal tertiary institutions.

“It is therefore important for us to understand the importance of electoral education in the development of our democracy.

“A national civic education curriculum and teachers’ guide with a specific focus on electoral education will prepare our children for the challenges ahead and also prepare them on how to respect other people’s races and also prepare them to assume leadership in future.”

The President of IFES, Anthony Banbury, said its contribution to the project was to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral process through effective teaching and learning of civic education in primary schools.

“To catch them young, the revised curriculum is a hallmark innovation that will introduce children and youth very early to the concept, processes, ethics, and values of democratic systems and governance.

“It will be essential for the young people’s orientation to initiate a shift from the existing norms. In the long term, it will increase civic participation and knowledge of democratic systems and values, as the children of today become the adults and the voters of tomorrow,” Banbury said.

The Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, said the aim was to strengthen the fabric of the nation’s democracy for sustainable growth and development.

According to him, since the return of democracy in 1999, citizens’ participation in elections and the electoral process had remained an issue of concern.

He also said that a known reason for this was the lack of adequate electoral knowledge.

“Hence, promoting democratic electoral culture and developing civic skills are therefore necessary for well-informed and responsible participation in elections and in the electoral process,” Junaidu said.

He said that the above informed the initiative of the NERDC in collaboration with IFES to develop the Electoral Education Curriculum for primary schools in Nigeria.

According to him, the curriculum, generally, is developed to expose young learners to the rudiments of democracy and inculcate in them the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for active citizens’ participation in the democratic process.

“Specifically, the curriculum is designed to achieve five key objectives, which are to: equip learners with basic knowledge of the concept of democracy, the role of elections in democracy and good governance.

He said the choice of primary school learners was hinged on the core principle of using education as an instrument of socialisation for the young to assume adult roles for the good of society.

“Thus, the teaching of electoral education at this level will ensure that when children reach voting age, they would have already understood the fundamentals of active participation in the political and electoral process,” Junaidu said.

While commending the management of NERDC for the initiative, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr Claris Ujam, said the curriculum had become a dynamic process for sustainable national development.

He said, “Every time, there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected.

“Therefore, the inclusion of concepts and contents of electoral education under Civic Education is in line with the drive under the Ministry’s Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan.

“This is to enable the acquisition of citizenship values and skills through quality education. The electoral education curricular contents constitute a remarkable step to create positive change in the election landscape and political development.”

The Punch

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Pro, Anti Ekweremadu Protesters Storm UK Trial




The human trafficking case against a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, resumed in a London court on Tuesday.

However, anti- and pro-Ekweremadu protests were staged in front of the court ahead of the proceedings.

AFP reported that before court proceedings, there was a gathering of protesters, some of whom were in support of the lawmaker while others were against him.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested alongside his wife at Heathrow Airport in London on the allegation that they flew a young man from Nigeria to the UK to harvest his organ.

The allegation added that the organ was meant for Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, who is currently hospitalised with a kidney-related illness.

Some Nigerians had in October 2022 protested in Abuja against the continued detention of the lawmaker who has now spent 223 days in the custody of UK authorities.

Protesters, once again, gathered at the court on Tuesday to either support the embattled lawmaker or protest his continued detention in UK custody.

“I mean, this case is unbelievable,” one protester, Citizen Gbola, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“Where else in the world would you have a deputy senate president, who is still a serving senator, he’s still getting his regular wage?”

According to Daily Mail, Sonia couldn’t make it to court on Tuesday but sought permission with a psychological report by her team claiming she was not fit to stand trial.

She had pleaded not guilty to the allegation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself, when she appeared in court on November 7, 2022.

The young man, who levelled the allegation against the Ekweremadus, told Staines Police Station that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

A 50-year-old medical doctor from South London, Obinna Obeta, was also arrested in connection to the allegation.

During proceedings at the Old Bailey court, Ekweremadu who wore a grey tracksuit top only said “Yes, miss” when asked to confirm his name.

Seated beside the lawmaker in the dock and dressed in black was his wife who was granted bail in July 2022 while her husband was said to be a flight risk.

The Punch

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New Naira Notes: Emefiele Finally Appears Before House of Reps




The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has finally appeared before the House of Representatives which summoned him over the crisis caused by the redesign of some naira notes and the exchange of old naira notes with new ones by the populace.

Emefiele is appearing before the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the crisis, which is chaired by Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, was to issue a warrant for Emefiele’s arrest over his repeated failures to answer at least four summons from the House.

The House had shelved its plan to go on break for the presidential and National Assembly elections, which was to commence on Thursday, over the CBN governor’s failure to answer the last summons issued to him by the committee.

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