FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on October 3, 2020
The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories captured in one shot. Find articles ranging from News, to Sports, to Politics, to Entertainment, to Economy, to Metro plus, and many other categories. See below the top news for the week:
- Comic Book Launched In Honour Of Tolulope Arotile
A comic book titled ‘Girls Can Fly’ has been launched in honour of late flying officer, Tolulope Arotile. Arotile, Nigeria’s first-ever female combat helicopter pilot died in an accident on July 14, 2020, in Kaduna State at the age of 24. The Heroes Comic Series was launched on Friday by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar at an event organised by the Ministry of Youths and Sports in partnership with ‘I Choose Life Foundation.’ The comic book is for children between ages three-13. It is written to serve as a source of encouragement to young Nigerians to make choices that will benefit them and their nation. It is also aimed to be a source of inspiration to the girl-child.
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar during the launch of the book described Arotile as a gallant officer whose heroic acts will never be forgotten.
The event, which is organised with the aim of celebrating the Spirit of Young Nigerians had in attendance the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed. The news of Arotile’s death in July 2020 shook the nation, leaving many saddened by her demise at a prime age. The NAF later immortalised Arotile in September by naming a Pilot’s Crew Room after her. CAS Abubakar during the launch of the renovated and remodelled Pilots’ Crew ‘Room’ at the 115 Special Operations Group (115 SOG) in Port Harcourt said immortalising the deceased was in fulfilment of the Force’s promise.
- Sports Minister Hosts Youths As They Discuss ‘My Nigerian Dream’
Sports Minister Sunday Dare on Friday played host to an event in Abuja with a group of young Nigerians and discussed ‘My Nigerian Dream’. The panelists include popular musician Waje; 15-year-old Samira Bello; Valerie Enekwe; Joel Ogunsola; among others. The event is organised by the Ministry of Youths and Sports in partnership with ‘I Choose Life Foundation’ with the aim of celebrating the Spirit of Young Nigerians.
A comic book series titled, ‘Mum I Can Fly’ was also be launched by the Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in honour of Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot who died in Kaduna on July 14, 2020. The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed are also in attendance. The event also had virtual participants from Kano and Port-Harcourt.
- #RevolutionNow protesters storm US embassy, demand Buhari’s resignation
Members of the #RevolutionNow Group on Thursday protested at the United States Embassy in Abuja over the security and socio-economic situation in the country. They demanded the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over insecurity, hunger, and corruption in the country. The campaigners led by the convener of the movement, Omoyele Sowore, wielded a big banner with the inscription, ‘Buhari has failed,’ ‘Resign Now’, and other placards which read, ‘Failed leadership has made Nigeria the capital of the world,’ and ‘#RevolutionNow’. The protesters, who also included #BringBackOurGirls activist, Aisha Yesufu, Ariyo Dare-Atoye, Henry Shield, Adebayo Raphael, Deji Adeyanju of Concerned Nigerians, among others, criticised what they described as oppression in the country. Yesufu in her remarks said Nigerians must make the nation work, stating that things were becoming unbearable. Raphael said Nigerians have passed a vote of no confidence in the country’s political leadership, adding that “under Buhari, our economy is in shambles; under him, hardship has been redefined.”
Adeyanju said Nigerians were dissatisfied with the security and economic conditions in the country, stressing that “Nigeria is not working.” He observed that soldiers, policemen, and other security agents have taken over the Unity Fountain, Maitama, where a rally was supposed to hold. The activist appealed to the US to place a visa ban on the Director-General of the Department of State Services for clamping down on protesters in Osogbo. The campaigners also sang solidarity songs and berated the government for failing to address the insecurity in the country. Newsmen gathered that the protest also held at Area one, Life Camp, Jabi, Kuje, Kwali, Kubwa and Lugbe.
- It Makes No Sense For Oil To Be Cheaper In Nigeria Than Saudi Arabia – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has defended the current price of fuel in the country, stating that a responsible government must face realities. In his Independence Day Speech, President Buhari stated that while petroleum prices are to be adjusted, the government must take tough decisions. The president compared the oil price in Nigeria to those of neighbouring countries, arguing that it makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than it is in other oil-producing nations. “It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia”.The president called for a sincere process of national healing as the nation marks the 60th anniversary of its independence from Great Britain.
The healing, the President said, is necessary as the nation has consistently focused on “contrived fault-lines” that have been “allowed unnecessarily to fester.” “We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are,” the President said. He argued that to achieve a desired great country, the nation needs to solidify its strength, adding that the citizens must increase their commitment and encourage each other to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.
- Lagos celebrates Nigeria’s 60th anniversary with 60,000 cupcakes mosaic
Lagos State government, yesterday, marked Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary with 60,000 cupcakes mosaic, thereby producing the largest anniversary logo in the world. The initiative, in conjunction with Fly Africa, aimed at putting Nigeria in the Guinness Book of World Records as holder of the world’s largest anniversary logo made with cupcakes mosaic.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the historic event held at Teslim Balogun, Surulere, said the state through the laying of the largest cupcakes mosaic, had sent a message to the world that Lagos is a land of creativity and innovations. Sanwo-Olu, represented by the wife of the state’s Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat, at the event monitored by officials of the Guinness World Records, said that the last largest cupcakes in the world was a 30,400 cupcakes made in Singapore in 2015.
The governor, who commended all the founding-fathers of Nigeria, Independence icons and those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Nigeria remains a united nation, said: “I am sure that with this largest cupcakes mosaic today, we have sent a message to the world that Lagos State is a land of creativity and innovations. It is my belief that Lagos State and indeed Nigeria would continue to strive and record greater achievements. “I call on everyone here today to join hands with our administration to build a Lagos that we would all be proud of.” The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said that Lagos State government, through the event, is once again putting itself before the international community, especially tourists across the world, to see what the state can offer in terms of breaking new grounds and in creativity.
- October 1 protests hit Abuja, southern states
Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary was yesterday marked with mixed feelings. While Aso Rock, the seat of presidential power, was making comely speeches and throwing banters, major states of Southwest, South South, Southeast and Federal Calital Territory (FCT), Abuja recorded protests, most of which culminated in a brush with security agents, especially the Police and the Department of State Service (DSS). President Muhammadu Buhari had, during his national broadcast to mark the occasion, expressed commitment to enthroning firm democratic values in the electoral system. Apparently basking in the euphoria of the seamless outcome of the recent Edo State governorship elections, Buhari said he was poised to strengthen institutions to make them stronger in protecting national interest.
Following the dramatic protests, Lagos-based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday condemned attacks on peaceful activists and journalists covering the protests. It said there was physical assault on a photojournalist, Olukayode Jaiyeola, by men of the Lagos State Police Command. During the incident, Security agents reportedly arrested over 30 protesters. Civil Society Organisations, activists and ordinary citizens also gathered at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, for a peaceful protest to Government House, but were prevented from getting to the Brick House by officers of the Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Police Force. However, speaking at the park, one of the activists, Ken Henshaw, said, citizens were tired of the country as a result of insecurity, poverty, insurgency; the reasons different ethnic nationalities wanted to pull out of the country.
- Climate Change: Buhari Signs Doha Amendment To Kyoto Protocol
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change. The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who briefed reporters on the development on Friday, explained that by signing the amendment, Nigeria has become the 144th country out of the 192 signatories to ratify protocol which ends today, October 2, 2020. He also noted that by being the last country to sign the deal, which comes into force on December 31, 2020, and with 144 parties now signed, the Doha amendment enters into force.
The minister disclosed that the signing of the protocol entails that Nigeria has accepted the Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out the stipulations therein contained. He also explained that the protocol will assist Nigeria and other developing countries in tackling most of its environmental challenges including gas emission, erosion, global warming and reducing environmental temperature among others.
- We Need To Scale Up Surveillance To Prevent Surge In COVID-19 Cases – Ehanire
The Federal Government has raised concern over the possible surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Speaking during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, warned that Nigeria might have increased infections if surveillance is not followed. “As business and schools begin to open and as travels begin to pick up, we fear that we may have a surge in the number of cases unless we scale up surveillance and review our response plan to integrate new ways to deal with the disease,” he said.
“In line with this, the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research has developed a molecular test for COVID-19 that can give results in less than 40 minutes. It is the SARS-COV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay (SIMA) which can be performed by low skilled personnel with minimum training.
“This test which is ten times cheaper than the PCR, can be deployed for point of care detection and surveillance. “The technique which was developed by Dr. Chika Onwuamah will be deployed for use as soon as it is validated by the relevant agencies of the Ministry for specificity and Sensitivity.”
- NAFDAC to phase out production of alcohol in sachets 2023/2024
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it will totally ban the production of alcohol drink in sachets by 2023/2024. Its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said on Wednesday that banning of the product would come in phases.She further said that alcohol drink in sachet would be phased out by 2023 ending or the first week of 2024 when it would no longer exist in the society.
Adeyeye had earlier expressed worry over the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume glass and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles. She also decried the negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health and on the safety and the security of the public. According to her, uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles have been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on the society. She, however, called on Nigerians to always do things that would depict the moral values enshrined in the nation’s system.
- FG Orders Reopening Of Unity Schools
The Federal Government has ordered unity schools in the country, earlier closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reopen on October 12th, 2020. Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced the reopening of the learning centres on Friday in Abuja, during a news conference and explained that the decision was reached after due consultations with stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The Minister explained that with the level of preparations put in place to test and the flattening of the infection curve, the government has come to the conclusion that it is now safe to allow the reopening of schools. According to him, schools across the country, are, however at liberty to fix resumption dates and ensure that there are adequate safety measures while doing so. Mr Adamu equally warned that schools who fail to adhere to outlined COVID-19 safety protocols, risk closure if there is an outbreak from such learning facilities.
- COVID-19: Kwara sets aside N135m for private schools
Kwara said it has set aside N135.5 million under the Kwara state Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) as an interest-free loan to 1,119 private school owners in the state. “KWASSIP has engaged with the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in Kwara State after they reached out for assistance to cushion the effects of school closure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the programme’s Anchorperson in the state, Mohammed Brimah, said. Brimah said the 1,119 private schools have been grouped into two, each category receiving between N200, 000 and N100, 000 depending on their staff strength. Under the arrangement, category A schools, which totalled 236 and have 20 staff and above, will each receive N200, 000 to support their workers. Category B schools with 19 or less staff and totalling 883 schools, are to receive N100, 000 each under the arrangement that is purely voluntary.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, during a recent virtual meeting with umbrella bodies of private schools in the state, pledged to offer an interest-free loan to the owners as salary support for their workers to prevent massive loss of job and poverty surge in the education sub-sector. AbdulRazaq said he would not be blind to the plights of any indigene, including proprietors and workers across private schools in the state who he acknowledged had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of schools and some other businesses for months. The private school owners had during the virtual meeting commended the administration for food palliatives given to them through the COVID-19 committee.
- Kano SUBEB trains 50 teachers on toy making
The Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) says it has begun the training of 50 teachers on improvisation and toy making, to enhance Early Child Care (ECC) development education. The state Coordinator of ECC, Fatima Ibrahim, stated this at the inauguration of a five-day training programme for teachers, in Kano on Monday. Ibrahim said that the exercise was designed to expose teachers to the ‘Radio in Media Child-centred methodology to aid teaching and learning in the early stage. She further said that the training was also aimed at meeting up with the one-year pre-primary education curriculum, in line with the ‘Radio Chart’ methodology.
The coordinator added that participants at the exercise were drawn from Dambatta, Sumaila, Kano Municipal, Nasarawa, Gwale, and Ungogo local government areas of the state. “The training will improve skills to enable teachers to improvise low-cost materials to aid learning. “ECC is to use propagation to educate the child through effective utilisation of improvised learning materials,” she said. Ibrahim added that the training exercise was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).*
- Educating The Girl-Child Is Silver Bullet To Eradicating Poverty – Sanusi
A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi is canvassing for the education of the girl-child and believes it is the ‘silver bullet’ to eradicating poverty in Nigeria. Sanusi spoke on Thursday during The Platform, a programme to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary. “When you look at a country like Nigeria, my sense is that the focus on the education of the girl-child and the place of the woman, are the most critical SDGs we should focus on,” the economist stated. “If you educate a girl-child, you deal with a number of issues. You deal with the opportunities you gave to the rise of poverty, you deal with inter-generational poverty, you deal with mortality, you deal with nutrition; you deal with the education of the child because the children of educated women are more likely to be educated than the children of those who did not go to school; you deal with water and sanitation and so on.”
Sanusi explained that education of the girl-child is at the heart of development and raising the standard of living. “So, the single silver bullet for me, that goes to the heart of underdevelopment and poverty, is educating the girl-child and providing her with an opportunity to raise against poverty,” the 14th Emir of Kano added. He equally lamented that in the country, especially in the public service, there is “a general de-emphasis on merit.”
- Nigeria@60: Peterside Wants Banks To Give Nigerians Easier Access To Loans
Mr Atedo Peterside, an investment banker and pioneer chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, says Nigerians must be granted freer access to loans if financial inclusion is to be deepened in the nation. Speaking as a guest on Covenant Christian Centre’s flagship programme, The Platform, Mr Peterside said a large percentage of funds that banks in Nigeria have within their coffers must be made available for lending. “We have to make sure that all the funds or at least a large percentage of funds that banks and other financial institutions have available are actually available for lending,” Mr Petersided said.
The economist said it is sad that a look at the balance sheets of Nigerian banks shows that they have huge sums of funds which are locked up in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to Mr Peterside, “these are the types of challenges we are to solve” for the nation to attain financial inclusion. He further stated that more important than just having money to be lent is the fact that the nation must progressively enable freer access to the funds which will be borrowed by Nigerians. “What should qualify people for credit should be the quality of the project they want to go into and less of how much collateral they have to offer,” Mr. Peterside stressed.
- Nigeria Has Achieved Progress In Food Security – Finance Minister
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and Planning Zainab Ahmed says she believes that Nigeria has achieved progress in attaining self-sufficiency in food security. The Minister said this while responding to questions during an interview on The Platform, a programmed aired on Thursday on Channels Television. She said the nation would have been faced with serious problems during the lockdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic if the nation was not self-sufficient in food sufficiency. “We are doing everything that we can to make sure that our country is self-sufficient, especially in the area of food security.
“I must say that we have achieved some progress in that regard because if we didn’t have self-sufficiency in food security when there was the lockdown and there was no movement in and out of the country, we would have very significant problems. “We were able to grow it and the situation was not as bad as it probably would have been,” she said. Ahmed also highlighted that the COVID-19, although an unfortunate reality presented some opportunities to Nigeria economy “One of those opportunities was the removal of fuel price which was quickly followed by the relaxation of the control of electricity tariff,” she said noting that the Federal Government is working to ensure that the reforms that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic are sustained.
- Buhari Allows Us To Take Loans, We Are Borrowing To Develop – Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says President Muhammadu Buhari has given his approval for Nigeria to take loans. Amaechi disclosed this during an interview which held on Thursday to mark Nigeria’s diamond independence anniversary. According to him, the borrowings were done for infrastructural development in several parts of the country. “The President (Muhammadu Buhari) allows us to borrow and we are borrowing to develop and things will change,” he said.
Speaking on rail transportation, the Minister said Nigeria had money from the excess crude oil account before Buhari’s administration in 2015. He argued that when crude oil was sold at $120 per barrel, the total amount meant to develop the nation’s railway across the 36 states and the FCT was between $35 to $40billion. “It wasn’t like this before. We had money to construct this railway. The total fund that we needed to complete the entire railway in the country was about $36 to $40billion. “We had this kind of money when we were selling crude at $110 to $120 per barrel. Now, the money is no longer there,” Amaechi said. While reiterating the Federal Government’s commitment to delivering laudable projects for infrastructural developments, the Minister asked Nigerians for more time. He however explained that logistics is crucial in dealing with economic development in the country for the well-being of the masses.
- Buhari Calls For Reallocation Of IMF Reserve Assets
In an effort to address urgent financing needs and advance the sustainable development of countries in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the reallocation of unused International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve assets also known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currently held by developed countries, to support recovery efforts in developing economies. The President, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this Tuesday at the virtual high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond.
The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. The facility was designed to help in stabilising the global economy during financial shocks and IMF member-countries had previously contributed to making up the reserve totaling about $204B. And since the global financial shocks that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, some developing countries including Nigeria had called for its contribution. However, as of last month, there was still an estimated $176B balance from the asset belonging to developed countries who have not used their contributions.
- Buhari Commissions Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated 326 km Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line for commercial operation. At the commission which was done virtually, President Buhari described the rail project as an important link for the country’s economy and added that the rail line will link people across the cultural divides and expand the frontier of trade and commerce. The President made this disclosure in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. “The Railway Infrastructure that I have the honour to commission today is the rail line from Itakpe via the steel town complex of Ajaokuta to Warri, and is an important link for the country’s economy as the central rail line.
“This Government has also approved to link this line further from Itakpe to Abuja, thereby, connecting the Northern Zone of the country and also extending southwards to link the Warri Ports,” he said. The President said further that he has approved the prioritisation of viable railway routes for either new rail lines or the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some, to achieve effective and efficient train services supporting the country’s trade and commerce. He expressed confidence that the project, which serves as a vital link of South-South geopolitical zones of the country to the Northern zones, would be completed during the tenure of this administration.
- Nigeria@60: PDP Asks Buhari To Rejig Cabinet, Save Nigeria From Collapse
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig its cabinet and save Nigeria from collapse even on the occasion of the 60th anniversary. The party in its statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan asked the President to “inject new blood” into his administration. “The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to save the nation from collapse by using the occasion of this 60th independence anniversary to reposition his government and urgently address the economic and security challenges that have escalated under his watch.
PDP, however, lamented that under five years, “the gains achieved as well as our pride as an independent nation, have all been reversed by thoughtless policies including the mortgaging of our nation’s sovereignty to foreign interests through loans and utter neglect of our productive sector.” “Escalated insecurity, insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, and banditry have continued to ravage various parts of the nation to the extent that citizens have lost hope in the government and now resort to regional and states security arrangements,” it added. The party said despite these challenges, it intensely believes in an indivisible, virile, cohesive, and prosperous Nigeria, governed by the rule of law and fear of God.
- Nigeria’s Future Depends On Our Commitment To A Common Destiny – Atiku
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, says Nigeria’s future depends on the nation’s commitment to a common destiny. In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Atiku said the nation is in dire need of healing. “We must foster unity and douse the tense atmosphere which is breeding feelings of alienation. We must promote freedom of speech and freedom after the speech,” the elder statesman said. Atiku also said that force alone is not enough to defeat separatist agitations in Nigeria. He advised the government to do everything to address issues that have given rise to various agitations.
He appealed to separatist groups to lay down their arms in the interest of the nation, arguing that taking up arms against the nation will further harm the country’s growth. Further appealing to the dissidents, the former vice president was of the opinion that “If Nelson Mandela could reconcile with those who imprisoned him for twenty-seven years, we can reconcile with those who have disagreed with us. “I call on those who have taken up arms against Nigeria to have a rethink. Whatever differences they may have with the rest of Nigeria, whether religious, ethnic, or political terror, violence and separatism are not the way. Let us learn from history.
- Ondo Election: APC Accuses PDP Of Violence In Owo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of attacking its party properties in Owo the hometown of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. They also accused some supporters of the opposition party of shooting at passers-by and damaging their vehicles, shops and other building in an attack reportedly carried out on Tuesday evening. According to reports, the APC campaign train was at Oka-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Council Area when the violence broke out.
Meanwhile, PDP candidate in the upcoming Ondo governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede had earlier condemned the attack on his campaign train in Owo. Jegede who was speaking to newsmen at his campaign office in Akure alleged that some suspected thugs allegedly working for the APC attacked his supporters in Ipele and Owo during the campaign. According to Jegede, many PDP supporters were reportedly wounded while a campaign truck was set ablaze in Owo.
- Appeal Court Overturns Nullification Of Diri’s Election As Bayelsa Governor
A five-man panel of the Appellate Court has overturned a ruling which nullified the election of Douye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State. The court held that the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal acted outside its jurisdiction by nullifying the election of Governor Diri. In a unanimous judgment, the five-man panel of the court said the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party failed woefully to show that it had a valid candidate that was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court berated the tribunal for ignoring the fact that the petition of ANDP was status barred in addition to the fact that the party presented an unqualified candidate to INEC in the November 16, 2019 Governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Justice Yunusa Musa, who delivered the lead judgment in the petition against Governor Diri said INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate and insists that the petition of the ANDP stands. He also added that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election and that the petition was filed within 21 days, which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed. Justice Musa described the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegal, hence leading to the decision to nullify Governor Diri’s election, a judgment which the appellate court has now overturned.
- Ondo Election: NYSC DG Urges Corps Members To Be Of Good Conduct
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has warned corps members who will be participating in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State not to post results of the election on social media. Brigadier Ibrahim gave this admonition to the corps members in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Saturday, during his official visit to the state ahead of the forthcoming governorship poll. The NYSC DG also advised them not to compromise the integrity of the organization in all their activities.
Ibrahim was also at the palace of the paramount ruler of Akure kingdom, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, where he appealed to the monarch to speak to their subjects to protect the corps members officiating in the election. According to him, traditional institutions are major stakeholders in the electoral process and are in the best position to speak to their subjects on peaceful conduct during elections.
On his part, the monarch thanked the DG for the visit. He said the peaceful, free and fair election in Edo could be replicated in Ondo State, adding that all stakeholders should work together to achieve this.
- US President Trump, Wife Contract COVID-19
US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, have contracted COVID-19, with the US leader taking to social media on Friday to confirm the development. The extraordinary setback for Trump had immediate political consequences just 31 days before election day, forcing him to cancel campaign trips and adding new volatility to a contest already steeped in tension. Trump’s challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, is well ahead in the polls and has made criticism of the Republican’s handling of the coronavirus — and frequent downplaying of the pandemic’s seriousness — a key issue. Trump, in response, has been betting on an evermore aggressive schedule of campaign rallies around the country. The events, which he says prove his true political strength, bring together thousands of people, often without masks and sometimes in contravention of local rules. That strategy is now in doubt, with the White House immediately canceling a planned campaign rally in the crucial swing state of Florida later Friday.
A second televised debate with Biden is scheduled for October 15. Technically obese and in his 70s, Trump is in a higher-risk category for coronavirus patients. Trump’s official physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement that the president and his wife “are both well at this time.”
“They plan to remain home at the White House during their convalescence,” he said. However, “I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”
- Trump, Wife Postpone Campaign Trips After Contracting COVID-19
US President, Donald Trump and First Lady, Melania, have postponed all upcoming engagements after the duo tested positive for COVID-19. “As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19,” Melania tweeted, Friday. “We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
Trump’s challenger, Democrat Joe Biden has made criticism of the Republican’s handling of the coronavirus — and frequent downplaying of the pandemic’s seriousness — a key issue.
- Obama Extends Support To Trump, Despite ‘Political Fight’
Former President Barack Obama on Friday sent a message of support to White House successor Donald Trump and his wife Melania, setting aside the bitter election battle to wish them a rapid recovery from COVID 19. “Although we’re in the midst of a big political fight, and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States, the first lady,” Obama said at the start of a fundraising event with vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
“Michelle and I are hopeful that they and others that have been affected by Covid-19 around the country are getting the care that they need, that they are going to be on the path to a speedy recovery.” he said. “We’re all Americans and we’re all human beings, and we want to make sure everybody is healthy.”
- First Man Cured Of HIV Dies
The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown — known as the “Berlin Patient” — has died after a battle with cancer, the International Aids Society (IAS) announced Wednesday. Brown made medical history and became a symbol of hope for the tens of millions of people living with the virus that causes AIDS when he was cured more than a decade ago. He had been living with a recurrence of leukaemia for several months and received hospice care at his home in Palm Springs, California. “On behalf of all its members… the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” said IAS President Adeeba Kamarulzaman.
“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible.”
Brown was diagnosed with HIV while was studying in Berlin in 1995. A decade later, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. To treat his leukaemia, his doctor at the Free University of Berlin used a stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that gave him natural resistance to HIV, hoping it may wipe out both diseases. It took two painful and dangerous procedures, but it was a success: in 2008 Brown was declared free of the two ailments, and was initially dubbed “the Berlin Patient” at a medical conference to preserve his anonymity. Two years later, he decided to break his silence and went on to become a public figure, giving speeches and interviews and starting his own foundation. “I am living proof that there could be a cure for AIDS,” he told AFP in 2012. “It’s very wonderful, being cured of HIV.”
- Trump, Biden meet in bitter first debate
Frontrunner Joe Biden and a politically wounded Donald Trump took the stage in Cleveland for their first televised debate Tuesday, watched by a deeply divided nation 35 days ahead of the most tense US election in recent memory. There was no handshake as the two men took the stage and while this was due to Covid-19 restrictions, the absence of the traditional greeting symbolized the bitterness engulfing the country in the final countdown to November 3. From the opening exchanges over healthcare, where Trump accused Biden of being a “socialist,” the tension was palpable, interrupting each other. But before they even appeared for the first of three 90-minute TV showdowns, barbs were flying.
Biden, seeking to eat into Trump’s crucial support among blue collar voters, capitalized on bombshell revelations that the billionaire Trump managed to avoid paying almost any federal income taxes for years. And Trump, facing the threat of being made a one-term president, pushed a conspiracy theory suggesting his challenger needs performance enhancing drugs and might wear an earpiece to get answers during the debate.
- Trump Signs Bill Averting Government Shutdown
President Donald Trump signed on Thursday a spending bill that averts a government shutdown and extends funding weeks beyond the November 3 presidential election, after Democrats reached a deal with the White House and Republicans. The bipartisan text easily cleared the Senate Wednesday by 84 votes to 10 a week after it passed the House of Representatives. It then went to Trump, who signed the so-called Continuing Resolution in the wee hours of Thursday, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
Trump needed to sign the stop-gap measure by 11:59 pm Wednesday to avoid a partial government shutdown, as fiscal year 2021 technically begins on October 1. He signed shortly after midnight, after returning from campaign stops, so technically there was in fact a mini-shutdown. The short-term legislation keeps government federal agencies operating at current funding levels until December 11, easing pressure on Congress — and presidential candidates Trump and Democrat Joe Biden — to address the issue during a heated election. The measure adds nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for children and families, and extends funding for community health centers to continue to address Covid-19 and health disparities.
- EU Launches Legal Action Against UK Over Attempted Change In Brexit Deal
The European Union launched legal proceedings on Thursday in response to the British government’s attempt to overturn parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The infringement procedure, which could come before European courts, has not yet derailed post-Brexit trade talks, but reflects the pessimistic mood in Brussels as time runs short for a deal. On Thursday, the Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to the UK Government. This is the first step in an infringement procedure,” EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said. “The letter invites the UK Government to send its observations within a month,” said von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the EU executive.
On Tuesday, British lawmakers adopted a bill to regulate the UK’s internal market from January 1, when Britain will complete its post-Brexit transition period and leave the EU single market and customs union. The proposed law, by London’s own admission, overwrites parts of the withdrawal treaty that Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed with EU leaders last year, resulting in a breach of international law. Johnson’s government has described this bill as a “safety net” in case post-Brexit trade talks fail and the EU tries to impose a customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But EU capitals — including Dublin — see these provisions as key to preventing a return of a hard border with Ireland and preserving the good relations underpinned by the Good Friday peace deal in Northern Ireland.
- UN Needs ‘Immediate Infusion’ Of $15 Bn For Global Vaccine Fund
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Wednesday for an “immediate infusion” of $15 billion to a global pool for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at a virtual summit hosted by the world body. The ACT-Accelerator, led by the World Health Organization, has received around $3 billion of the $38 billion needed to meet the goal of producing and delivering two billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million diagnostic tests over the next year. Notable new pledges included an additional 100 million euros ($117 million) by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, beyond the 675 million euros Germany has already committed. Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab said his country, which has committed 250 million pounds ($320 million), would spend another pound for every four dollars committed by others, up to an additional 250 million pounds.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven pledged $10 million while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted a Can$440 million ($332 million) commitment made last week, half of which will go to low or middle-income countries. The World Bank’s president David Malpass said he had proposed “up to $12 billion of fast-track financing” to countries for the purchase and deployment of Covid-19 vaccine, also previously announced. “These resources are crucial now to avoid losing the window of opportunity for advance purchase and production, to build stocks in parallel with licensing, to boost research, and to help countries prepare to optimize the new vaccines when they arrive,” Guterres said.
- Chinese teacher sentenced to death for poisoning children
A kindergarten teacher in China has been sentenced to death for poisoning dozens of children in an act of revenge against a colleague that left one toddler dead. A court in the central Chinese province of Henan said Wang Yun put sodium nitrite into porridge being prepared for her colleague’s students, sickening 25. The attack took place in March 2019 and left one boy severely ill for months before he died in January this year, according to news reports. News reports last year said the children began vomiting and fainting after eating their breakfast. The death sentence was handed to Wang this week for the offense of using dangerous substances.
Wang concealed her reasons for the poisoning after carrying out the crime and her “motives were despicable”, the court said. Her “criminal methods and circumstances were exceedingly bad, with especially severe circumstances, and she should be severely punished in accordance with the law,” the sentencing statement said. The court added that Wang and the manager of the kindergarten must compensate the children’s families. It was not the first time Wang used sodium nitrite to poison someone, authorities said. In 2017 she put it in her husband’s mug, causing him minor injuries.
- Delta FIFA mini-stadium kicked off
It was a colourful atmosphere at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a FIFA Mini- Stadium in Delta State on Tuesday, with 5 communities in the riverine area of State set to benefit from the citing of the project in Ugborodo, a small community of over 500 years in Delta State. At the event were Delta State Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro (who represented Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa), Chairman of Warri South-West Local Council, Taye Tuoyo, President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF General Secretary Dr. Mohammed Sanusi among other high-ranking officials.
According to the Deputy Governor, the citing of the project in Ugborodo is strategic and historical and will go a long way to foster unity among the Itsekiri, Ilaje, and Ijaw people and it will also aid the development of the area in all facets. He promised that the government will be an integral part of the project and thanked FIFA and the NFF for the project. The Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro subsequently led in the performing of the ground-breaking ceremony rites even as the General Secretary handed over the certificate of the project to MoniMichelle Construction Company to signal the commencement of the project. The project is expected to be completed within six months.
- My commitment to Barca intact – Messi
Lionel Messi has spoken about what was a difficult summer, explaining some of the criticism he has made of Barcelona in recent weeks. The forward was critical of the club’s planning in an interview given after he’d decided to stay and he also hit out at the way Luis Suarez’s departure was handled. In an interview with Sport Messi has clarified his position. “I only said what I felt in some moments that were tough for me,” he told the Catalan publication. “I understand some people will think I should shut up or let things go, like I have done with many other things, but many things hurt me in these past few weeks and this was my way of expressing this.”
Now, Messi is looking forward with optimism and is calling for unity.“We should leave differences behind,” he said. “I accept responsibility for my mistakes. If they existed, it was only to make a better and stronger Barcelona. Now we should focus on doing the best possible and on doing all we can to achieve things together as a team and a fanbase. We should be united and pull in the same direction.
- Barcelona Sign Defender Sergino Dest From Ajax
Barcelona have completed the signing of Ajax defender Sergino Dest, the clubs announced on Thursday. The deal will include Barca paying 21 million euros for the 19-year-old, with a further five million euros in variables. “The player will sign a contract for the next five seasons, through to the end of the 2024/25 season, with a buyout clause set at 400 million euros,” Barca added in a statement.
Dest will offer competition at right-back after Nelson Semedo was sold to Wolves. He made 35 appearances for Ajax last season, after making his debut in July. The United States international becomes Barcelona’s fifth arrival of the transfer window, joining Miralem Pjanic, Trincao, Pedri and Matheus Fernandes in moving to Camp Nou. The signing also continues the club’s attempts to refresh the squad.
- England beats Nigeria in race to tie down Bukayo Saka
In a move that would tie down Bukayo Saka and make it difficult for him to switch allegiance to Nigeria in future, England has included the Arsenal striker in their squad to face Wales, Belgium and Denmark this month. Super Eagles’ fans have been calling on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to move fast and get the Arsenal star to toe the path earlier followed by Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo by playing for the Eagles. But yesterday’s move by England Manager, Gareth Southgate, may have dashed such dreams. Saka, 19, only made his England Under-21s debut last month but Southgate said he had been “impressed” with his progress through the Three Lions’ youth system. “At times for Arsenal he has been very exciting,” Southgate said. “He is improving all the time – really high potential, really high quality.“Everyone tells me he is intelligent and a really level-headed boy. It is an area of the pitch we are keen to look at a different profile of player and he can play a number of roles comfortably.”
Saka could still switch to Nigeria in future if he plays only in the game against Wales, which is an international friendly. But if he is selected for the matches against Belgium and Denmark, which are UEFA Nations League ties, he is completely ruled out of coming to the Super Eagles.
FIFA’s new eligibility law, which seeks to help players switch allegiance and represent a second national team allows players switch eligibility if they played a maximum of three times for the first national team — including tournament qualifying games — before they turned 21, and at least three years earlier.
- Save me from depression – Baba Fryo cries out to govt
Veteran singer, Friday Igwe, popularly known as Baba Fryo, has cried out for help from Nigerians and the government. The singer took to his Instagram page seeking help as he battles depression.Baba Fryo appealed to the Rivers, Delta, and Lagos State governments to come to his aid.
‘His post read: ‘I’m having a serious depression. “Igweh family, friends, Delta state government, Lagos and Rivers government save me.” Baba Fryo was popular for releasing street songs like ‘Dem go dey pose’ in the late 90s.
- Laycon Crowned Winner Of Big Brother Naija Season 5
After 10 weeks of undiluted entertainment, the Big Brother Naija Lockdown season has come to a rousing end with Laycon emerging as the winner. What started off as a stiff competition between 20 housemates ended on Sunday with Laycon – a clear favourite on the show, going home with the grand prize of N85 million (30 million cash prize, an Innoson Motors Jeep and a two-bedroom flat by Revolution Now Properties). When asked what would be his approach to Nigeria and Africa at large, he said he would use his music to connect to people easily. He said: “I will use my music to connect people and let them know that you’re not just existing for yourself you are not just successful for yourself but you are successful for a whole lot of other people and you have to enrich their lives and have a positive impact in their lives basically.”
Other finalists included Vee, who was the first to be evicted on Sunday, followed by Neo, Nengi and Dora who was the first runner up.
Before the winner was announced, viewers were treated to entertaining performances from fast-rising stars, Fireboy_dml and Rema and later, 30 Billion Gang mates, Mayorkun and Davido. Like every other reality tv show, the Big Brother Naija Lockdown season was not without its own doses of drama which kept viewers glued to their screens even as the nation battled a pandemic. From the Head of House tasks to the Friday night games, the lit Saturday night parties, and endless after-party dramas, Kaisha and her ‘origin moments’, love triangles, makeups and breakups, the inevitable evictions and an unfortunate disqualification, fans of the show will have to wait until next year to catch another thrilling edition.
- Five suspects rape 11-year-old to death in Lagos
An 11-year-girl was on Thursday raped to death in Lagos. Five suspects have been arrested by police in connection with the incident. It was gathered that the victim, Favour Okechukwu, was gang-raped until she died in a shack in the Power Line area of Ejigbo community. Sources said the assault on the 11-year-old may have started on Wednesday afternoon and ended about 6am on Thursday when she reportedly passed away. The incident was reported at Ejigbo Police Station where sources said five men have been arrested, including the owner of the shack where the body was discovered.
President, International Charitable Initiative for Girl Child and Women Development Foundation (ICI-WODEF), Mrs Helen Ibeji told newsmen that the girl came back from school on Wednesday and was asked by her mother to buy a carton of sausages, the last time the girl was seen alive. Ibeji said when the girl did not return from from the errand, her parents started looking for her. Her body was found in the shack stark naked. It was gathered that police invited officials of the Lagos State DNA & Forensic Centre (LSD&FC) who took the body away for forensic analysis. Obe and Ibeji have appealed to security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to book.
- Nursing mother detained in Lagos hospital over N95,000 debt
For owing N95,000 hospital bill, a nursing mother, Blessing Bassey and her baby have been sleeping on the floor of one of the wards of Mojol Hospital, Church Street, in the Shasha area of Lagos State, for seven months. Newsmen gathered that the hospital management ordered nurses and doctors to ensure that Blessing and her daughter did not leave the hospital premises. Blessing, who bemoaned her fate, said efforts by her husband to raise the money had been abortive. The Cross River State indigene explained that her husband, a mechanic, tried to do menial jobs to raise the funds, but failed.
The Administrative Officer of the hospital, Salami Akindayo, told newsmen that similar patients released with the hope of getting paid by instalments defaulted. A rights activist, Esther Ogwu, who condemned the action of the hospital, stated that money was being contributed for Blessing’s release. “What the hospital should have done was make her sign an undertaking to pay the balance,” she added.