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Five states to witness sun's eclipse on March 29

Posted by From Madu Onuorah, Abuja on 2006/02/01 | Views: 742 |

Five states to witness sun's eclipse on March 29

NIGERIA will on March 29, 2006 experience a total solar eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will be fifth in the country.

NIGERIA will on March 29, 2006 experience a total solar eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will be fifth in the country.

It first occurred in 1898 and later in 1947, 1959 and 2001.

The total solar eclipse, which in scientific terms, signals the realignment of the sun, the earth and the moon, will affect five states in the country. They are Oyo, Kwara, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states.

The other 31 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), will experience partial solar eclipse.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun, told journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja yesterday that the total solar eclipse would occur between 9.15 a.m. and 9.45 a.m., approximated to 31 minutes.

Isoun said that the Council had directed the Ministry of Information and National Orientation to enlighten Nigerians about the eclipse to avoid the experience of 2001 when an eclipse in parts of Borno State sparked riots by indigenes, who blamed "evil" people in their midst for precipitating it.

Also, the Police have been directed to be on the alert to ensure that unscrupulous people do not take advantage of the eclipse to pose a threat to life and property of the people.

The minister said that, "the total solar eclipse will come up on March 29, 2006. It calls for early preparation. The eclipse is expected to start from the North East of Brazil and extend to Europe through Africa. Part of the total eclipse that will cause complete darkness will pass through South Western and North Western Nigeria between 9.15am and 9.45 a.m., almost 31 minutes on the 29th of March, 2006. The states in Nigeria that will experience the total eclipse include Oyo, Kwara, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states. The remaining 31 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, will experience partial eclipse.

"The Council was informed that we have had over a period, a number of incident of solar eclipse in Nigeria. One occurred in 1898, another one in 1947 and another in 1959. The most recent was in 2001. The particular case in Borno State in 2001, people did not understand. There were riots. And they explained it that something bad had happened by some evil people in the community. So, the Council has directed the Ministry of Information and other stakeholders to start public enlightenment so that people can know what is about to come. The Council also directed the Police to be on the alert and be prepared. This is to enhance public enlightenment and ensure that we handle the issue correctly."

Isoun continuing: "You can imagine that you are in Niger or Oyo State where you have 30 minutes of darkness when everybody is at work. It can really be very upsetting. Fortunately, through our scientific analysis, we can predict. So, we have at least two months notice. And we thought we should solicit the help of the media to enlighten the public. The eclipse is predictable and calculable. It is all mathematics, it's all physics and astronomy. It has no real damaging effect. It is just a realignment of the earth, the sun and the moon. It may only have social effects. People may interpret it as the work of their enemies. By presenting it to the Council, we want to prepare people's mind for them to know what will be happening."

The Council also constituted an inter-ministerial committee to work out a comprehensive national geo-information policy for the nation.

Isoun explained that the national geo-information policy "is important because it deals with national geo-educational data infrastructure. What that means is that in every country, you want to have your data both in figures and in maps, you want to take the map of Nigeria, how your oil pipelines are working, how your railways are running and how your powerlines are running and where your mineral resources are located or where your cities and villages are located. This is very strategic information. We thought that if anybody wants to make investments and there was adequate data, they could know where to go to," he said.

The Council also agreed that the policy was fundamentally important and therefore, set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Minister of Science and Technology. Other members of this committee are the Ministers of Defence, Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Solid Minerals Development, Water Resources, Works and Attorney-General of the Federation.

Other decisions of the Council include approval of contracts for water, ecological and railway projects.

The contracts are the rehabilitation of water projects at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria (N410.9 million); construction of soil erosion measures at Zuba, FCT (N107,859,555.80); construction of gully erosion measures at Umuola, Amaifeke Orlu, Imo State (N258,611,650) and the construction of rail tracks along Iju-Ijogo, Lagos State, at a cost of N105,666,792.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.