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Only four Premier League clubs accept police invitation to fight online racism

Premier League

Only four Premier League clubs accept police invitation to fight online racism

Manchester City, Norwich, Brighton and Chelsea are the only Premier League clubs to have accepted an invitation to work with the police to try to stop online racism.

In July, the chief constable Mark Roberts, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s football lead, wrote to all 92 clubs in the league pyramid to invite them to work with the force to address the problem.

The move came after heightened incidents of racist abuse suffered by players in recent seasons. After England lost the Euro 2020 final via a penalty shootout to Italy in July, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who all missed their attempts, were the targets of racist slurs via social media platforms.

Yet of the 92 clubs Roberts contacted, just 49 responded positively, with only four of them from the top flight – City, Norwich, Brighton and Chelsea. Police are due to visit Chelsea early next month to address their men’s and women’s teams.

“Only 49 have come back with a positive response saying they wish to engage,” Roberts told Sky News. “So far only eight clubs have facilitated us getting the officers, PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association] and Kick It Out [anti-discrimination body] in to speak to the players.

“We hear all the slogans, we hear all the commitment. But when we try and take some positive steps to support players, support the clubs, we need a bit more than words sometimes.”

Roberts is disappointed that those clubs who did not respond in the affirmative are unwilling to be more proactive in helping their players and other staff members who may be affected. “If people know the options in advance and what support is open to them, then there’s a better chance of them knowing what to do and taking positive action,” he said.

Roberts is conscious that social media companies have sped up their response regarding any evidence supplied to the police. Last year, the process could have taken around six months; now it is a few days.

Roberts said: “We want to do this [end the abuse] but I think this is one of those examples where everyone says they are committed, says they want to tackle it, but then we give opportunities [and] it doesn’t happen. [It’s] a really disappointing take-up, and I think, candidly, the numbers speak for themselves.”

The Premier League stated it wanted its other clubs to take up Roberts’s invitation.

“The Premier League is taking action against online abuse,” a spokesperson said. “Since 2019 we have been proactively monitoring social media platforms to report any abuse targeted at Premier League players, and have reported thousands of incidents to social media companies since.

“We also support players, managers and their families through our online abuse reporting system, working closely with the relevant police authorities throughout this process.”

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Bauchi pays N3.418bn in outstanding gratuities

The Bauchi State Pensions Board has announced that, from May 2019 to date, the state government has paid N3,418,288,11.68 in outstanding gratuities owed to retired civil servants.

The Chairman of the Board, Senator Bala Adamu Kariya, made the disclosure at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in Bauchi, held at the State Secretariat.

Although Senator Kariya did not specify the total gratuity backlog, he noted that it exceeds N20 billion.

He stated that since the inception of the current Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in 2019, a total of 4,273 people have retired, and 677 have died while in service, out of 4,948 files processed.

“The Board processes the files of civil servants due for retirement. We are the custodians of the processed files of all state civil servants who have retired,” the chairman stated.

Senator Adamu, however, said that in order to avoid further accumulation of pension and gratuity liabilities, the state government intends to commence the implementation of the proposed contributory pension scheme on June 30, 2021.

“As a sign of commitment, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, appointed a 20-member committee, including a staff member of Messrs Premium Pension Ltd for technical guidance under the chairmanship of Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin (Special Adviser on Civil Service Matters).”

“In line with the Terms of Reference to the Committee, a final report with a draft bill has been carefully produced, tapping from the 2004 Act, 2014 revised Act, and previous efforts of successive state administrations like the 2005 and 2017 draft bills, and was presented to His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, as appropriate.”

He recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed had presented the report to the State Executive Council for consideration and approval, following which a draft bill was forwarded to the State House of Assembly for further legislative process in line with the laid down constitutional procedure.

“After gathering the necessary stakeholders’ input, the State House of Assembly then ratified the draft and returned the same to the Executive Governor for assent. Consequently, on August 5, 2022, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, assented to the bill enacted by the State House of Assembly.”

“It was named the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme. The law also provided for the establishment of the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Commission.”

“The state governor approved the constitution of another high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, the Secretary to the State Government, to facilitate the full implementation process of the new scheme in the state.”

Kariya further explained that prior to this development, the state government appointed two firms of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), who have now engaged stakeholders in a massive sensitization, advocacy, and enlightenment of the scheme across the state.

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Two-storey building collapses in Abuja

A two-storey residential building in Phase 2, site 2, Kubwa Abuja has collapsed

The building collapsed on Saturday morning at about 7:00am.

It was learnt that the building was formerly a hotel, Al-Hilal, but was converted to a residential apartment.

It was gathered that several people are currently trapped in the rubble.

As at time of filing this report, emergency responders and security personnel were at the scene.

 

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Police to enforce e-CMR compliance from July 29

The Nigeria Police Force have given all motor users 14 days to register their vehicles with the newly-introduced digitalized Central Motor Registration (e-CMR), which will end on July 29, to begin the enforcement of its compliance in order to checkmate the rate of vehicle-related crimes and other offenses.

In a press release, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, informed that the move is part of the efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to enhance the security of lives and property and significantly boost the nation’s safety.

The release further stated that the exercise is an advanced form of helping security agencies, mostly the Police Force, in their investigations and operational activities to combat vehicle-related crimes, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other social vices.

It also stated that the introduction of the e-CMR digitalized system will help streamline the documentation and verification process for vehicle ownership and related transactions.

“Following the directives of the IGP, services such as change of ownership, change of license number, change of engine, and change of chassis/body would become seamless as the e-CMR system would ensure the validation of vehicle genuineness and ownership, enhancing the ability to track and recover stolen vehicles effectively, and preventing the purchase of stolen vehicles by innocent buyers.

“Prior to the enforcement itself, the IGP has ordered full publicity of the e-CMR and its enforcement to all members of the public, intimating them of the requirements, processes, and the enforcement procedures. Members of the public are urged to obtain the digitalized CMR certificate online at https://cmris.npf.gov.ng.

‘For further inquiries, individuals can contact the CMR Command Centre at FHQ Abuja (08117777666, 09169892000) and FHQ Annex Lagos (08117777555, 09169891000). Technical support is also available at cmftech@npfcmr.ng,” the release partly stated.

Following this new development, the Nigeria Police have enjoined members of the public to participate in the exercise by ensuring that all vehicle users comply with the new directive, maintaining that the initiative, which is in line with modern technology, remains a strategic approach to enhance public safety and national security.

ACP Adejobi further stated that the enforcement of the e-CMR is necessary to ensure a safer and more secure environment for vehicle ownership and to decimate the trend of vehicle theft by greatly reducing the possibility of selling stolen vehicles in the country.

“We therefore urge all vehicle owners and users to embrace and participate in this initiative promptly for optimum safety and security,” he stated.

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