FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on March 27, 2021
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:
- NNPC: No petrol price hike until after labour talks
There will be no hike in the current ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) until the conclusion of ongoing engagement with organized labour and other stakeholders, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced yesterday.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, told reporters in Abuja that the corporation was, for now, bearing the burden of importing refined petroleum products as the supplier of last resort to guarantee energy security for the nation. He said as a proactive organization, NNPC has made arrangements for robust stock of petroleum products in all its strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied at all times.
- Withdraw Soldiers From Politicians, Wike Tells Chief Of Army Staff
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru to withdraw soldiers from state governors and other politicians. He stated this on Tuesday when the army chief led senior military officers including the new General Officer Commanding the Six Division in Port Harcourt, Major General Sani Mohammed on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Wike charged the COAS to make a difference by fighting the myriads of security challenges in the country ranging from banditry to terrorism, kidnappings, and militancy among several others. He however called for more collaboration in the fight against insecurity.
- Delta state writes formal letter of protest to Buhari over Ibori loot
The Delta State Government has asked the Federal Government to return the £4.2 million James Ibori loot being repatriated to Nigeria by the United Kingdom to the state. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa believes that since the money was stolen from the state, it would only be just to return the funds back to the state. The protest by the state is in reaction to the decision of the Federal Government to spend the funds on federal projects.
Nigeria and the UK had signed a memorandum of understanding on March 9 for the repatriation of the funds stolen by Ibori, a former Delta State. But the development became mired in controversy shortly after the MoU was signed when the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, revealed the money will be spent by the Federal Government.
- Don’t set Nigeria on fire over hijab – PFN tells Abdulrasaq
The President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Wale Oke, has warned the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdul-Raman Abdulrasaq, against engaging in actions that could set the country on fire, saying that the hijab crisis may degenerate if not handled with caution. The PFN president also decried the tenure extension approved for the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, arguing that he should instead tender his letter resignation in view of his abysmal performance as the IGP.
He on Monday at the Cornerstone City, Ibadan, during the visit of the Ekiti and Ondo states chapters of the Fellowship, led by the duo of Bishop Clement Abifade and Bishop Joshua Opayinka. ‘I am appealing to Your Excellency, Mr Governor, to let the sleeping dog lie. Respect the tradition and feelings of others. Avoid divisive politics that can set this nation on fire. Bring everybody together; don’t force hijab on our people, they won’t back down. Your Excellency, stoop to conquer; stoop for peace, stoop for harmony,” Oke said.
- Financial autonomy: Workers shut state assemblies
The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Tuesday began an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of legislative financial autonomy. As a result, activities in state assemblies across the country were paralysed on Tuesday. The national leadership of the Association had on Monday declared an indefinite strike across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Assemblies were shut in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Plateau, Niger, Bauchi, Imo, Jigawa, Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Yobe, Ondo and Cross Rivers. The assemblies were also shut in Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Benue, Kano, Gombe, Kaduna and others.
- No rift between Buhari, Tinubu – Presidency
The Presidency has dispelled rumoured rift between President Muhmmadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It described the rumour as a handiwork of mischief makers. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement noted that one of the reasons cited by authors of the rumour was that Asiwaju Tinubu had not been frequently seen around President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The statement explained: “The Presidency wishes to make it clear that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his strong ally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. “The President and the Asiwaju have a very strong commitment to the All Progressives Congress (APC) towards bringing change and this is a commitment they have made to the Nigerian people. Recent reports of a rift between the two leaders of our party are false; the handiwork of some media mischief makers”.
- 2023: Zulum Calls For Power Shift To Southern Nigeria
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has called for a power shift to Southern Nigeria in the next administration. Governor Zulum stated this on Thursday while delivering a lecture on security and economic growth at a book launch by former Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, with the title”Strategic Turnaround”.
He urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to heed his advice and keep to previous agreements made to shift power to the southern part of the country in the next administration.
The governor used the opportunity to blame poor handling of the Boko Haram insurgency in the early years and corruption of government officials for the insecurity in the country. According to the governor, military interventions and even national restructuring cannot stop the crisis, he is calling for strategic leadership and social re-orientation to end the insecurity in the country.
- Akeredolu Asks FG To Tackle Insecurity, Warns 2023 Polls Might Be Threatened
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has asked the Federal Government to tackle the deteriorating insecurity in the country. Speaking during an interview on Tuesday, Akeredolu warned that the 2023 general elections might be threatened if the insecurity situation worsens.
Regarding the myriads of security challenges ranging from banditry to terrorism, kidnapping for ransom to cultism, militancy and agitations to secede among several others, Governor Akeredolu renewed his earlier call for the creation of state police. He believes that the setting up of the policy structure at regional levels would complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
- You Must Leave In 2023 – PDP Replies APC Over Boasts Of Extra 26 Years
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as ‘spiteful bragging’ the claim by the APC suggesting that the ruling party intends to retain power at the federal level for at least 36 years. In a communique by its spokesman – Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the APC’s intention is a direct confrontation to the generality of Nigerians, who had already “reached a national consensus to kick them out of office, come 2023”.
The PDP also described APC’s claim of registering 36 million Nigerians in their “failed fictitious” registration exercise as another political hoax and empty claim, which cannot sway Nigerians in any way. PDP says it is aware that the APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni made such “a garrulous statement in the belief that APC’s intimidation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary and security agencies as well as deployment of thugs from neighboring countries, will help them to subvert the will of Nigerians in future elections”.
- Until LG Administration Is Fixed, Promise Of Democratic Governance Won’t be Fully Delivered – Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that for leaders to deliver on the promise of democratic governance, the local government administration must be fixed to meet its expectations. Gbajabiamila said it was time for all efforts to be channelled toward addressing the problems bedevilling the LG system in the country to make it more efficient and effective.
Speaking at the 2021 General Assembly of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Speaker said the House was ready to assist in making the local governments in Nigeria better through the instrument of the law. He said the major task of the local governments was development at the grassroots level.
- North-South power rotation is a covenant – Governor Zulum
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has said it is the turn of the South to produce the President in 2023. Zulum spoke at the golden jubilee lecture and the public presentation of a book titled: ‘Strategic Turnaround’, written by the former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside.
Zulum’s suggestion trailed the views of Katsina State Governor Bello Masari, his Kano counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, and former Military Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who emphasised that zoning of the higest office will foster national unity.
He argued that every part of the country should be given a sense of belonging. Zulum said there must be a demarcation between competency and loyalty.
- We Pay About N120bn Monthly To Subsidise Petrol, NNPC Laments
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it pays between N100 billion and N120 billion every month to subsidise Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol. NNPC Group General Manager (GMD), Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the weekly presidential ministerial media briefing on Thursday at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He lamented that the burden placed upon NNPC by the ongoing subsidisation of the cost of petrol in the country was overwhelming. As a result of the huge sum being paid, Kyari stated that Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for petrol sooner or later. He stated that the NNPC can no longer bear the monumental cost, saying market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country in the nearest future. When asked when the corporation would stop subsidising petrol, Kyari declined to give a specific date.
- CBN Keeps Monetary Policy Rate At 11.5%
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has voted to retain the monetary policy rate at 11.5 percent. The announcement was made on Tuesday by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele at the end of a two-day meeting at the CBN headquarters.
The committee also retained the liquidity ratio at 30 percent and cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 27.5 percent. Emefiele explained that increasing the MPR will increase the cost of borrowing and reduce access to credit for businesses which he said might reverse the growth trend of the economy. He was also concerned over the nation’s rising inflation rate which he says was triggered by insecurity and a rise in the prices of petroleum and electricity.
- NESG launches debt roundtable
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have launched the Debt Management Roundtable to help Nigeria and West African Countries provide a pathway to fiscal sustainability. Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola said Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio has increased over the years but the relationship between both keeps rising.
He stated that Nigeria’s ability to service its debt is concerning, especially given that about 83 per cent of the country’s revenue is spent on debt servicing. He said the roundtable will provide alternatives and recommendations that the government can apply to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is properly managed. He further said debt burden was not about the present but the future.
- FG Considers Reopening Of Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt Airports – Minister
Nigerian authorities are considering the reopening of three international airports in the country, said the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika. The affected aviation facilities are the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano State, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State, and the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State.
In his remarks on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the minister noted that the Federal Government planned to resume international flight operations at the airports. According to Sirika, members of the task force will be visiting the airports for simulation exercises to ascertain their readiness for international operations. The minister also announced the immediate resumption of catering services on domestic flights which were suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Food export records 50% surge as airlines scramble for cargo
Despite the general slump in the Year 2020 air cargo movement, Nigerian export has recorded a marginal growth with food and perishable items accounting for 50 per cent of new uptake. Air cargo data obtained from major players in local aviation showed that exports are steadily on the upward movement, though imports declined as the COVID-19 pandemic burned fiercely.
The development is not unconnected with the growing penchant among Nigerians to export packaged local goods in exchange for scarce foreign currency – a more lucrative alternative to passenger traffic and tourism that have been crippled by a coronavirus. Besides, local exporting is further encouraged by global airlines’ scramble for available cargo to cushion the loss of passenger traffic.
- COVID-19 Vaccination: We Will Ensure HIV/AIDS Patients Are Given Priority – NACA
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says it is working to ensure that all patients of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are given a priority in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country. The Director-General of the NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu, stated this on Sunday while briefing reporters at an empowerment programme organised by the agency in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
He noted that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were safe and would go a long way in boosting the immune system of HIV patients. “The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is safe for everyone, including those with HIV-AIDs, and we are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, to ensure that victims of HIV are prioritised in the vaccination across the country,” Aliyu said.
- Nigeria yet to report adverse events from AstraZeneca vaccine –NPHCDA
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has not received any official report of serious adverse effects from the 215,277 people who have received the first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this on the agency’s official Twitter handle @NphcdaNG on Wednesday. He said that the 215, 277 vaccinated people were from 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The agency said that the proportion of Nigerians vaccinated is 5.5 per cent.
The vaccines are being provided by COVAX, an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The country also received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria. Upon arrival, all vaccines samples were handed to NAFDAC, the Nigerian food and drug regulatory agency, for further examination.
- Tuberculosis should have health insurance coverage, Reps tell FG
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to include tuberculosis treatment in the primary health care package in the country. The House specifically urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government to ensure effective and efficient implementation of tuberculosis-related policies.
The House further urged the Federal Government to consider the inclusion of TB services into the benefits package of the National Health Insurance Scheme “due to its qualification as a disease of high burden and public health concern.” The House mandated its committees on HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control; Health Care Services; and Health Institutions to interface with stakeholders, relevant professionals and the public “to determine the appropriate legislative intervention required for improved TB control and to mitigate the impact of COVID–19 on tuberculosis
- Over 300,000 receive AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, says NPHCDA
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has confirmed that over 300,000 people have received their first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 in Nigeria. The NPHCDA said on its official Twitter yesterday that those vaccinated so far in the country were 9.5 per cent as at March 26, 2021.
It said over 374, 585 people have been vaccinated across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.The Nigeria Immunisation Agency data showed that all states except Kogi have commenced vaccination against the infection in the country. The NPHCDA said Nigerians could register for their COVID-19 vaccination by visiting its website nphcda.gov.ng and clicking on COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration.
- ASUU applauds FG for agreeing to review MoA periodically
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has applauded the Federal Government for agreeing with the union on a period review of the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MoA). The President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, gave the commendation while addressing newsmen at the end of a meeting between the leadership of the union and the federal government on Friday in Abuja.
Ogunyemi said that the meeting was fruitful and that progress had been made. The union, he said, was satisfied with the periodic review of the agreement so to prevent tension and resort to further industrial action. Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, who led the government team, said that both parties discussed every item on the MOA and had reached agreements.
- Why we made NIN compulsory for registration – JAMB boss
Registrar of Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has said the board introduced the use of National Identity Number (NIN) for the registration of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to checkmate examination malpractices. He, also warned that no CBT is allowed to register candidates for NIN, adding that any centre found to engage in such act would be sanctioned.
Oloyede explained that the directive for the use of NIN as a prerequisite for registration was from the Minister of Education, saying the motive was also for security reasons. He further noted that candidates must make use of accessible sim cards which has never been used for UTME registration, as he said talks were ongoing with the minister of Communication and Digital Economy to grant a conditioned waiver to an estimated 20 percent of candidates without a sim card.
- JAMB Releases Timetable For 2021 UTME/DE
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has released the timetable for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry examination. According to the board, the UTME would hold from Saturday, 5th to Saturday, 19th June 2021
The board said registration for the examinations will start on Thursday, 8th April to Saturday, 15th May 2021. It said there will be no extension of time for the sale of the UTME/DE application documents. The board made the announcement in a statement by its, Head, Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin on Wednesday.
- UI to commence post-UTME screening April 6
The management of the University of Ibadan says it will commence its post-UTME screening for registered candidates on April 6. This was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday by Mr Olatunji Oladejo, the University Director, Directorate of Public Communications, on behalf of the Registrar, Mrs Olubumi Faluyi.
Faluyi said that the screening which would be a computer-based test would start on Tuesday, April 6, to Saturday, April 10, 2021.
- President Biden Calls For Assault Weapon Ban After Colorado Shooting
President Joe Biden called Tuesday for a US ban on assault weapons, after the country’s second mass shooting in a week left 10 people dead in Colorado and sparked urgent new calls for gun control. Tighter gun control is overwhelmingly popular with Americans — but Republicans have long stood against what some view as any infringement on their right to bear arms.
That massacre came less than a week after another gunman shot dead eight people at multiple spas in the Georgia state capital Atlanta. Together the killings ignited new calls for politicians to act — but on Tuesday the familiar bipartisan divide was emerging once more. Former president Barack Obama said in a statement that “we should be able to buy groceries without fear … But in America, we can’t.” It is “long past time” to act, he added, urging lawmakers to “overcome opposition by cowardly politicians” and powerful gun lobbyists.
- US Trial Finds AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine 79 Percent Effective, No Blood Clot Risk
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is 80 percent effective at preventing the disease in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots, the biotech firm said Monday, following its US phase III efficiency trials. It was 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in the overall population and 100 percent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization, it said.
Several countries had advised against administering the jab to older people due to a lack of data among elderly participants in previous trials. Earlier this month several countries also paused use of the AstraZeneca shot over fears it may cause blood clots. The US phase III trial of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University involved 32,449 participants, with two thirds receiving the jab, the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement.
- Merkel Backs EU Chief’s AstraZeneca Export Ban Threat
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday voiced support for EU chief Ursula von der Leyen’s threat to block AstraZeneca vaccines produced in the bloc from being exported, ahead of a crunch EU summit on the escalating row. “I support Commission President Ursula von der Leyen,” said Merkel. “We have a problem with AstraZeneca,” she added.
European officials are furious that AstraZeneca has been able to deliver its UK contract in full while falling short on its supplies to the EU. In her tough warning to the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant last Saturday, von der Leyen said: “That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first before you start delivering to other countries.” Von der Leyen said AstraZeneca had delivered only 30 percent of the 90 million vaccine doses it had promised for the first quarter of the year.
- Prince Harry Joins $1.7bn US Counseling Startup
Britain’s Prince Harry on Tuesday added to a growing portfolio of post-royal jobs, becoming “chief impact officer” at a San Francisco startup that provides mobile-based coaching, counseling, and mentorship. Amid a highly public spat with Buckingham Palace, Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle, a mixed-race former television actress, now live in California after stepping away from royal duties.
An explosive interview they gave to Oprah Winfrey this month — in which they claimed an unnamed royal had asked how dark their baby’s skin would be — plunged the monarchy into its biggest crisis since the death of Harry’s mother, princess Diana, in 1997. In his new role with BetterUp, the Duke of Sussex will champion the importance of maximizing human potential worldwide, according to chief executive Alexi Robichaux. Founded in 2013, BetterUp has grown to more than 270 employees and a network of some 2,000 coaches. A list of its clients included NASA, Chevron, Mars, Genentech, Snap, and Warner Media.
- Singapore Blogger To Pay $100,000 For Defaming PM
A Singaporean blogger was ordered Wednesday to pay almost $100,000 in damages for defaming the prime minister by sharing an article on Facebook linking the leader to a corruption scandal. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had accused Leong Sze Hian of spreading false claims about him over the article related to the money-laundering scandal at state fund 1MDB in Malaysia. Critics say the case is the latest example of the tightly-regulated city-state’s government being heavy-handed and seeking to silence dissent online.
Singapore’s leaders have frequently turned to the courts to take on critics, ranging from political opponents to foreign media outlets, and insist such action is necessary to protect their reputations. Leong’s lawyer Lim Tean described the verdict as a “wrong and deeply flawed decision”.
- Myanmar activists cited for Nobel Peace Prize
The civil disobedience movement that has sprung up in Myanmar since the military coup has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, a Norwegian academic said Friday. Kristian Stokke, professor of sociology at the University of Oslo, said the movement represents an exemplary peaceful response to the power grab by Myanmar’s army on February 1.
According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group, 320 people have been killed and nearly 3,000 arrested since the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi — who herself received the prestigious award in 1991. The Norwegian Nobel Committee only accepts nominations submitted before the 31 January deadline, so the proposal submitted last week by Stokke and five other academics can only be considered for next year’s prize.
- Wizkid wins second NAACP Image award
Nigeria’s Starboy, Wizkid, has won his second NAACP Image Award for his feature on Brown Skin Girl alongside Beyonce, Saint Jhn and Blue-Ivy Carter. They were announced as the winners of the “Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album” of the year category for, Brown Skin Girl.
This feat comes a few weeks after the Nigerian superstar won a Grammy Award for his collaborative effort on the same project. The award was announced via a tweet by the show organisers on March 26, 2021. Wizkid and Beyonce had previously won the award for the “Outstanding duo/Group of collaboration” at the 2020 edition of the NAACP Image Awards.
- Sanwo-Olu gifts veteran actress Iya Awero three-bedroom apartment
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has gifted veteran Nollywood actress, Lanre Hassan popularly known as Iya Awero, a three-bedroom apartment. The governor gave Iya Awero the apartment as he commissioned, delivered and renamed the LagosHoms, Igbogbo as Prince Abiodun Ogunleye Housing Estate, Igbogbo. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, made the announcement via his Twitter account on Wednesday.
The elated actress thanked the governor and his team for their kind gesture. She said, “I don’t know what to say. I am so short of words. I am so happy today. Thank you so much, my governor, may the Almighty Allah continue to bless you. Also, deputy, thank you so much. I am so grateful. If anyone shelters you whenever you wake up, all you do is pray for the person. God will keep blessing, helping and supporting you. This our land will be peaceful, God will fix Nigeria and take the country to greater heights. Once again I thank everyone for this gift.”
- Bobby Brown’s son died of overdose on drugs, alcohol- Coroner
Bobby Brown Jr, the son of legendary American singer, Bobby Brown, died of an overdose of alcohol, cocaine and the powerful opioid fentanyl, according to a coroner’s report. He died at his Los Angeles home on November 18, 2020. His unresponsive body was discovered in his bedroom by Anna Reed, his 28-year-old girlfriend. She called the paramedics, who declared him dead.
An autopsy report released on Monday referred to his death as an accident. The musician had a history of drug and alcohol use, the report said. The night before his death, he had consumed tequila and cocaine, and “snorted” the painkiller Percocet, a witness told police. Brown Jr was one of two children from his father’s 11-year relationship with Kim Ward, which ended in 1991.
- Injured Pepe Out Of Portugal World Cup Qualifiers
Pepe has withdrawn from Portugal’s first three upcoming World Cup qualifiers after suffering an injury in a league match for Porto, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) said. Sporting defender Luis Neto will take Pepe’s place in coach Fernando Santos’ squad, the FPF said in a statement on Sunday evening.
Pepe was due to return to the Selecao for the first time since October. The 38-year-old former Real Madid defender picked up a “muscle injury in his right leg” in a 2-1 league win at Portimonense on Saturday, Porto said. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio has also been forced to withdraw from the squad after failing to recover from a head injury sustained playing for his club Wolverhampton. He was replaced by Olympiakos goalkeeper Jose Sa.
- Chad Disqualified From Africa Cup Of Nations
Chad were disqualified from 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Monday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said in a statement. The move by the Cairo-based organisation follows the unexplained dissolution of the Chadian national football federation by the Sports Ministry in the Central African country.
Chad were already bottom of qualifying Group A. Namibia and Mali, who were scheduled to play Chad this week in the last two matchdays ahead of the tournament in Cameroon next January, were awarded 3-0 victories. The suspension of Chad will not affect the 2022 World Cup qualifying in Africa as they have already been eliminated.
- Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay Begins After COVID-19 Disruption
The Tokyo Olympics torch relay got underway on Thursday after a year’s coronavirus delay, with officials hoping it will be a “ray of light” after the problems caused by the pandemic. Spectators were barred from the departure ceremony and first leg over ongoing fears about the coronavirus, which forced the 2020 Games’ historic postponement a year ago. But they will line the rest of the route during the 121-day relay, which will criss-cross Japan and involve 10,000 runners before the torch lights the Olympic cauldron on July 23.
Organisers are hoping the relay will dispel doubts about holding the Games during a pandemic, and Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto called the flame “a ray of light at the end of the darkness”. The torch will travel through all of Japan’s 47 prefectures and take in landmarks including Mount Fuji and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
- Reps Condemn Attack On Ortom, Say Offenders Must Face Justice
Members of the House of Representatives have condemned the attack on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom. The lawmakers condemned the incident when the matter came up during plenary on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
They described the attack on the governor as an indication of anarchy and full-scale lawlessness in the country. The lawmakers, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly ordering an investigation into the incident. They also called on the security agencies to ensure that those involved after the investigation were brought to justice, to serve as a deterrent to others.
- ‘Makinde never asked me to kill ex-Rep Majority Leader’
The Chairman of Oyo State Motor Parks Disciplinary Committee code-named Motor Parks Management System, Mukaila Lamidi popularly called Auxiliary, on Tuesday denied an allegation that he is after the life of former House of Representatives Majority Leader Alhaja Mulikat Adeola-Akande, on the instruction of Governor Seyi Makinde.
He told politicians to desist from soiling his name over issues he knew nothing about.
Adeola-Akande had last week alleged that Auxiliary is after her life on the instruction of Governor Makinde, hence she is asking the government to give her maximum security. Reacting to the allegation, Lamidi at a news conference in Ibadan said he could not even identify the former majority leader who accused him. He asked her to desist from politics of destruction.
- Court Jails UNICAL Professor For Manipulating Election Results
Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene on Thursday sentenced Professor Peter Ogban of the University of Uyo to three years imprisonment in a two-count of manipulation and falsification of election results. The lecturer has been standing trial before a State High Court in Ikot Ekpene division since November 2020 on the allegation that he manipulated scores of two political parties, falsified and announced fake results in two local government areas of Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam.
Witnesses testified during the trial. The witnesses, who served as collation officers for Orukamam and Etim Ekpo LGAs respectively, told the Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by Justice Augustine Odokwo, in their separate testimonies that the results they presented was different from the one declared by the accused.
- Two Dead As 70 Students Contract Gastroenteritis In Sokoto School
Two students of Government Girls College Sokoto have so far lost their lives following the outbreak of Gastroenteritis at the school. Gastroenteritis, also known as infectious diarrhea and gastro, is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract—the stomach and intestine.
Sokoto State Commissioner for Science and Technology Kulu Haruna confirmed the outbreak of the disease in a press release to newsmen in Sokoto. According to her, 70 students were affected by the disease and 50 of them have been discharged with only 20 students still in admission. She said the state government has been working together with the Ministry of Health to bring the spread of the infection under control.