FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on September 4, 2021
The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories are 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:
- Buhari Sacks Ministers Of Agriculture And Power
President Muhammadu Buhari has relieved two ministers of their appointments. They are the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, and his Power counterpart, Saleh Mamman. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced this on Wednesday in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council meeting.
He disclosed that the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abubakar, has been redeployed to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, while the Minister of State for Works, Abubakar Aliyu, is to take over as Minister of Power.
The exercise, according to Adesina, will continue in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.Adesina who read the President’s speech said because change was constant, the review has become critical in order to reinvigorate the cabinet to deepen capacity and crystallise legacy achievements.
- Buhari Urges Graduates To Apply For ‘20,000’ Jobs Programme
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged Nigerian graduates to apply for the Jubilee Fellows Programme. The programme, a Federal Government initiative in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims to place 20,000 skilled young Nigerian graduates (under the age of 30) into jobs in private and public sector organizations around the country.
The jobs will last for 12 months, will be fully-paid, and will seek to help prepare recent graduates for their future careers and work environments. The President said his administration has focused on job creation as a way to stimulate the economy.
- Nigeria, Turkey To Strengthen Military Ties To Tackle Terrorism
The Nigerian Army and its Turkish counterpart have pledged to strengthen military bilateral relations to tackle terrorism. This was disclosed on Monday when the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidaye Bayraktar visited the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
Ambassador Bayraktar explained that like Nigeria, Turkey is confronted with challenges of insecurity, pointing out that a collaboration of both countries will curtail the activities of terrorists in both countries. He added that Turkey was prepared to further assist Nigeria to fight insurgency using experiences from similar challenges
The Chief of Army Staff in response said the visit would further enhance the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey. He stated that the relationship between the two countries will bolster the capabilities of the armies of both countries through sharing of intelligence and operational experience.
- FG Set To Commence Rehabilitation Of Lagos/Sango-Ota Expressway
The Federal Government says it is set to immediately commence the rehabilitation of failed portions of the Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta federal highway. The Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, announced this on Tuesday during a teleconference between the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and the minister’s team.
This followed an intervention by Governor Abiodun over the deplorable state of federal roads in that corridor. According to him, those portions of the federal roads have become a nightmare to motorists and commuters. A team of engineers from the Federal Ministry of Works is now expected on Thursday for preparatory assessment ahead of the rehabilitation works.
- Appeal Court Declares Valentine Ozigbo Anambra PDP Gov Candidate
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared Valentine Ozigbo as the validly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Anambra Governorship election slated for November 6, 2021. A three-man panel of justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Honorable Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem, made the declaration on Friday following an appeal filed by Ozigbo.
The court held that the appeal challenging the judgement of the Awka High Court, which barred him from parading himself as the PDP candidate in the coming election, had merit and was, therefore, allowed. It also set aside the decision of the lower court, declaring it null and void.
The appellate court also awarded the sum of N10 million in favor of Ozigbo. It, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the names of Ozigbo and his running mate as the duly elected candidates of the PDP in the forthcoming election.
- Secondus Didn’t Pay Party Dues For Four Years’
Suspended Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus on Thursday faulted his suspension, saying that only the National Executive Committee (NEC) has the power to discipline him or any member of the National Working Committee (NWC). He said those who purportedly suspended him acted contrary to Article 59 (3) of the PDP Constitution, which is clear on the party’s disciplinary measures.
But, defending the suspension, Rivers State PDP Chairman Ambassador Desmond Akawor said the party chairman was ousted because of his refusal to pay his dues in the last four years. Akawor, who spoke in Port Harcourt, said Secondus jeopardised his party membership, following his refusal to pay dues. Akawor said this when he appeared as a guest on 92.3 Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt programme ‘Hard facts’ on Thursday. He said “As of today, he remains suspended. He was suspended at the Ward level, of course ratified by the Local Government Area and the State level. As of today, he is no longer our national chairman. “We now have an acting chairman. He (Secondus) completely derailed from the tenets of the party,” Akawor said.
He said Secondus worked against the interest of the party in the state by balkanising members of his Ward 5, including issuing a directive that the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Davies Ikanya, whose defection to PDP was considered a big harvest, should not be registered in his ward.
- Akeredolu dismisses 2023 posters
Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has distanced himself from campaign activities suggesting his interest in the 2023 presidential race. He cautioned the promoters not to distract him from delivering electoral promises to the people.
The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said he had nothing to do with the pseudo campaigners.
Campaign posters and fliers urging Governor Akeredolu to contest the 2023 presidential election have gone viral on the social media. Some of the posters depicted an Akeredolu/Buni joint APC ticket. But Governor Akeredolu described the action as a “needless distraction”.
The statement said: “Undoubtedly, the development is no less a needless distraction. Although Mr. Governor’s constitutional right, qualification and competence are not in doubt, this particular campaign does not represent in any manner, his immediate political disposition. “He, therefore, advises all involved to be guided, just as he holds the view that only God can put men in position.”
- APC Expels Yola LG Caretaker Chairman Sulaiman Adamu For Insulting Buhari
The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress has ratified the expulsion of the party’s Caretaker Chairman of Yola South Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Sulaiman Adamu. His expulsion from the party takes immediate effect.
This was contained in a statement titled, “APC Expels Yola South LGA Caretaker Chairman, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu,” signed by the party’s National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in Abuja, on Thursday. The statement explained that the decision was part of the resolutions reached at the 16th meeting of the CECPC held at the Party’s National Secretariat, Buhari House, in Abuja on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
“Recall the viral video in which Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu made unwholesome utterances on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Leader of the Party. “He was also found guilty of bringing the image of the party to disrepute, thereby creating doubt on his leadership quality and loyalty to the party.
- Six APGA Anambra lawmakers defect to APC
The fortunes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 6 Anambra Governorship Election got a boost on Tuesday night when six Assembly members under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) defected to the APC.
The six lawmakers are: Hon. Nonso Okafor representing Nnewi North; Hon. Timothy Ifedioramma representing Njikoka 1; Hon. Cater D. N Umeoduagu representing Aguata 1; Hon. Lawrence Ezeudu representing Dumekofia; Hon. Arthur Chiekwu representing Idemmih North and Hon. Edward Ibuzo, representing Onisha North 2.
Receiving the defectors at a brief event on Tuesday evening in Abuja, Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Governor Mai Mala Buni restated the party’s determination to win the Anambra governorship election, which informed the zeal in engaging critical stakeholders in Anambra State. The Chairman later presented the lawmakers with the APC flag at the end of a strategic meeting held behind closed doors.
- FG To Make Provision For Subsidy In 2022 – NNPC Boss
The Federal Government will make provision for subsidy in 2022, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said. NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Wednesday at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Finance on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).
Although no provision was made for fuel subsidy in 2021, he informed the lawmakers that the government had begun a conversation with relevant stakeholders to exit the subsidy regime. The NNPC chief, however, stated that the process may not be concluded anytime soon, hence the need to reintroduce subsidy in the 2022 budget.
On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Adeola Olamilekan, raised a concern about revenue generation to curb borrowing to fund the budget.
The lawmakers also want government agencies to equally focus on revenue generation as they do on spending the government’s money.
- Economy On Recovery Path – Zainab Ahmed
The economy is on the path of recovery, Federal Government assured Nigerians on Monday; Minister of Finance, Budget and national Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who said this on Monday, indicated that Nigeria will soon bounce back to pre-COVID-19 economic period. The minister described the 5.01 per cent growth of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) a positive one. She explained that non-oil sector accounted for the GDP growth.
She said 42 out of 46 economic activities expanded during the quarter compared to only 13 at the same time last year. She insisted that the country was borrowing “sensibly and responsibly.” On how the Federal Government will finance budget deficit next year, she said there was an approval to fund deficit 50% locally and 50% externally.
- Buhari Asks New NSIA Board To Make More Investments
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the new board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to make more investments that support economic diversification, as global oil prices are projected to drop to around $40 per barrel by 2030. He gave the charge on Wednesday at the inauguration of the third NSIA board in Abuja, shortly before he chaired a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to implementing long-term projects and programmes that create jobs for Nigerians. He noted that the full impact of most of the strategic projects started under his watch would only be felt long after he had left office.
The President recounted that NSIA, as one of Nigeria’s premier economic institutions, was conceived to be a store of wealth that may be drawn upon at times of economic challenges, thereby encouraging external investors and lenders. He expressed delight that so far the institution has discharged its mandate dutifully, and used the occasion to thank the last Board of Directors whose tenure ended in May.
- CBN Orders Banks To Publish Names, BVN of Forex defaulters
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all banks to publish names of customers who try to break the rules on Forex acquisition on their website. The CBN on Monday, August 30th issued a circular (BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/14/059) to all banks lamenting that it has “received and noted with concern reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel”.
Some of the unwholesome practices, the CBN said: “include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of PTA/BTA”. Haruna B. Mustafa Director Banking Supervision Department of the CBN, who signed the circular, noted: “this trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market”.
To curb this threat, he ordered all banks “to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them”.
- COVID-19: FG Considers Action Against People Who Refuse Vaccines
As the nation continues to witness high cases of COVID-19 in the third wave, the Federal Government is considering taking some measures against people who refuse to get vaccinated. The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, gave the hint at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
He explained that the Federal Government may “apply the basic rule of law” against such people because they will be endangering the lives of other people.
Shuaib noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is making frantic efforts in making the vaccines more accessible to all Nigerians.
In a bid to win the fight against the disease, authorities have stepped up efforts to ensure citizens take the COVID-19 vaccine for more protection against the virus. The Federal Government has asked people to go to the various vaccination centres to take the first jab of the Moderna vaccine, as well as the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Compulsory Vaccination: NMA, JOHESU Kick As FG Threatens Sanction
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, hinted that it might sanction anybody who refused to take COVID-19 vaccines after they had been made available to all Nigerians. The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, gave the hint of possible sanctions at a press briefing in Abuja. This was as a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, barred the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, from enforcing compulsory COVID-19 vaccination in the state.
The Nigerian Medical Association and health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union faulted the move. While the NMA said the people had the right to reject vaccines the same way they could reject medical treatment, JOHESU stated that the move to make vaccination compulsory was senseless.
Obaseki had last week said any resident of the state, who refused to take the vaccine, would be barred from public places and large gatherings. Also on Monday, the Ondo State Government said it would bar those without a proof of vaccination from churches, mosques and other public places. People rejecting vaccine endangering others, rules will be applied – NPHCDA boss Shuaib hinted that the Federal Government might toe the line of the two state governments.
- ‘An Obvious Misconception – Edo Govt Denies ‘Compulsory Vaccination’ For Residents
The Edo State Government has cleared the air over what it described as the “purported compulsory vaccination” of its residents with the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement signed on Wednesday, Governor Godwin Obaseki said it was an “obvious misconception” that the directive issued by the government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.
Governor Obaseki had given residents up to the second week of September to get a vaccine or risk being barred from public places such as banks, receptions, churches and mosques. But in Wednesday’s statement, the governor said the order was, at best, speculative and pre-emptive as the scheduled date for the commencement of the enforcement of the directive by the state government is the second week of September.
He said Edo State is currently confronted with a situation wherein the Case Positivity Rate (CPR) for COVID-19 hovers between 15 and 25 per cent.
According to him, unvaccinated persons have accounted for 100 per cent of deaths in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
- Lagos, Osun, Ogun lead as JAMB unveils top 10 UTME candidates
A candidate from Lagos State, Monwuba Chibuikem, has emerged as the best candidate at the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination with a score of 358. The information was contained in a document shared by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board at its policy meeting held on Tuesday.
According to the document, Qomarudeen Alabi from Osun and Adeogun Oreoluwa from Ogun jointly came second as they both scored 350. Ajayi Isaiah from Lagos took the fourth position with a score of 349 while Okarike Kenneth from Rivers secured the fifth spot with 348. The trio of Omonona Victor, Owoeye Oluwatimilehin, and Ehizogie Aidelogie took the sixth position with 347 while Ajeigbe Samuel and Yakubu Joshua (Edo) had 346 and 343 respectively to complete the top 10.
A breakdown of the top 10 candidates by their states of origin showed Lagos, Edo and Ekiti had the highest with two students each while Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Rivers had one each. The gender composition of the top 10 candidates also showed that the list had nine males with only one female making the cut.
- Hold Federal Govt. Responsible For Our Next Action – ASUU
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have asked Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible for their next action on the government’s failure to honor an agreement it signed with them. ASUU spoke of a plan to hold an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) this week with its leaders and principal officials to decide its members’ next line of action.
The union said it will follow up its NEC meeting with consultations with all its chapters should the government fail to implement its promises to its aggrieved lecturers. ASUU’s latest threat followed the expiration of the August 31 deadline issued to the Federal Government to meet its demands. The Federal Government has not spoken on the latest agitations by the varsity teachers.
- JAMB Scraps Uniform Cut-Off Marks For Institutions
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has pegged the fee for post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) at N2,000. It also adopted the minimum cut-off marks for 2021/2022 admissions sent by heads of tertiary institutions across the country. The adoption signifies that there will be no uniform cut-off marks for 2021/2022 admissions, as was done in the past. Every institution is expected to maintain its minimum score during the admissions.
These are some of the decisions taken at Tuesday’s 2021 policy meeting held virtually and chaired by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the headquarters of JAMB in Bwari, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, displayed the minimum cut-off marks adopted by tertiary institutions at the meeting. According to the new arrangement, universities are not allowed to go below 120, while polytechnics and colleges of education pegged their minimum cut-off points for admission at 100. The stakeholders approved October 29, 2021 as deadline for the closure of amendments to 2021 admissions.
- ASUU seeks 10-year ban on new varsities accessing TETfund grants
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to bar state governments proposing to establish new universities from accessing Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) for a minimum of 10 years. The union added that owners of proposed universities- whether federal or state- should provide verifiable growth plan for providing not less than 75 percent of their pensionable staff complement plus provision of requisite infrastructural facilities.
ASUU hinge its demand on the precarious state of state-owned universsities in Nigeria. National President of ASUU Prof Victor Osodeke told reporters in Ilorin, Kwara State capital at the end of the union’s national executive council meeting.
Prof Osodeke expressed his dismay on the declining fortune of state-owned universsities and their neglect by state governors “whose responsibility it is to fund, staff, equip and make the universsities nationally and globally competitive.
- Death Toll From Ida Storm Rises: New York Declares State Of Emergency Over Brutal Flooding
The governors of New York and New Jersey have declared states of emergency amid widespread rains, flooding, and reported tornadoes as the remnants of Hurricane Ida cut a deadly path across the northeast United States on Wednesday. The storm had hit the southern US states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida on Sunday, flooding neighborhoods, causing widespread power outages, and killing at least six people. Reconnaissance flights on Wednesday revealed entire communities devastated by winds and floods in Southern Louisiana, as officials continued to assess the damage.
Eight more people were killed as the storm crossed the US northeast on Wednesday, with floodwaters submerging parts of New York City and New Jersey and reported tornadoes ripping through parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. The New York Police Department reported that seven people had died in New York City. Authorities confirmed another death in New Jersey. New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency as remnants of Ida caused enormous flooding in New York City and other parts of the state on Wednesday.
- US Supreme Court Refuses To Block Texas Abortion Ban
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to block a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The divided court denied emergency request for an injunction barring enforcement of the most restrictive abortion measure since 1973. The judges voted 5-4 early on Thursday September 2 2021 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others that sought to block enforcement of the law.
The so-called Heartbeat Act, which went into effect on Wednesday, amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in Texas. Signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May, the law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually about six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant.
Abortion rights groups say such a ban has never been permitted in any state since the Supreme Court decided Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in 1973. The Supreme Court said its ruling does not make any conclusions on the constitutionality of the Texas law and allows legal challenges to the legislation to move forward.
- Biden Defends Afghanistan Exit As ‘Best Decision For America’
President Joe Biden on Tuesday mounted a fierce defense of his exit from Afghanistan as the “best decision for America,” the day after the US military withdrawal celebrated by the Taliban as a major victory. “This is the right decision. A wise decision. And the best decision for America,” Biden said in an address to the nation in Washington, after he stuck to an August 31 deadline to end two decades of bloodshed that began and ended with the hardline Islamists in power.
He spoke after the United Nations warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in Afghanistan, underscoring the daunting challenges that the victorious Taliban face as they transform from insurgent group to governing power. For America, Biden argued, the only choice in Afghanistan was “leaving or escalating.”
And the president, whose critics have savaged him for his handling of the withdrawal, said the frenzied airlift — which saw the United States and its allies fly more than 120,000 people fleeing the new Taliban regime out of Afghanistan — was an “extraordinary success.” “No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history; only the United States had the capacity and the will and ability to do it,” he said.
- Over 7,000 Schools Damaged By Tigray War – Ethiopia Minister
More than 7,000 schools have been damaged as a result of the expanding conflict in Ethiopia, the education minister has said, with 1.42 million students unable to attend classes in the war-torn region of Tigray. Northern Ethiopia has been wracked by violence since November, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional ruling party, saying the move came in response to attacks on army camps.
The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner promised a swift victory, but the war has dragged on for months, triggering a humanitarian crisis in Tigray, while the rebels have pushed into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions. Earlier this month US aid chief Samantha Power accused Ethiopia of blocking humanitarian access to the region, a claim Abiy’s spokeswoman denied. According to OCHA, more than 5.2 million people require food supplies in Tigray while over 300,000 people are now estimated to be displaced in Afar and Amhara.
- Tanzania Opposition Leader Appears In Court
The leader of Tanzania’s main opposition party appeared in the country’s high court on Tuesday to face terrorism charges in a case described by his party as a politically-motivated move to crush dissent. Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe and his supporters accuse police of torturing him in custody to force him to make a statement in the trial which opened under tight security, with most journalists banned from the courtroom by police.
Mbowe has been behind bars since July 21 when he was arrested along with other senior Chadema officials in a night-time police raid just hours before they were to hold a public forum to demand constitutional reforms. The 59-year-old has been charged with terrorism financing and conspiracy in a case that has sparked concerns about the state of democracy and the rule of law under President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
- Taliban Celebrate Victory Where Last US Troops Departed
Hours after the final foreign forces flew out of Afghanistan, a group of Taliban leaders walked victorious through the airport, flanked by their elite “Badri 313” guards, to inspect what had been left behind. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid — tipped to be minister of information when a new government is named — led a group of officials onto the runway, his usual stoic expression replaced by a broad grin.
The special forces unit posed for pictures, brandishing US M-16 rifles and flying the Taliban’s white flag. The atmosphere was one of triumph and victory, but all around was evidence of the chaotic withdrawal of US troops after a 20-year occupation, and the hurried evacuation of more than 120,000 people fearful of the Taliban’s return to power. Once one of the most secure sites in Afghanistan, the airport’s passenger terminal was trashed.
- Putin Gives Cash To Police, Soldiers Ahead Of Polls
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered law enforcement officers and army staff to receive $200, as he seeks support for his unpopular United Russia party ahead of parliamentary elections next month. The cash handouts follow earlier one-time payments for pensioners of $135 ahead of lower house State Duma polls in September, with United Russia’s ratings hit by rising prices coupled with falling wages. Russia’s legal information portal showed Putin had signed decrees ordering one-time cash payments of 15,000 rubles ($200) for members of the military and law enforcement bodies to be handed out in September for their “social protection”.
Ahead of the September vote, Russian authorities have pursued a crackdown on the opposition and independent media. Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny has seen his organisations declared “extremist” and banned in the country, while all of his top allies have fled. Meanwhile, leading independent media outlets including the Meduza news website and the Dozhd TV channel have been designated “foreign agents”, while investigative outlet Proekt was declared an “undesirable organisation”.
- Hurricane Ida Batters Louisiana, Leaves New Orleans In Darkness
Hurricane Ida battered the southern US state of Louisiana and plunged New Orleans into darkness Sunday, leaving at least one person dead 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm but had weakened to a Category 1 by early Monday.
The storm knocked out power for all of New Orleans, with more than a million customers across Louisiana without power, according to outage tracker PowerOutage.US. Electricity provider Entergy said it was providing backup power to New Orleans Sewage and Water Board, which operates the pumping stations used to control flooding.
The National Weather Service issued warnings of storm surges and flash floods for several areas, including the town of Jean Lafitte, just south of New Orleans, where mayor Tim Kerner said the levees had been breached by rapidly rising waters.
Most residents had heeded warnings of catastrophic damage and authorities’ instructions to flee. In one neighborhood in eastern New Orleans, a few residents were completing preparations just hours before landfall.
- Gulder Ultimate Search Returns 7 Years After
Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS), the popular reality television show of the early 2000s, is making a comeback after seven years. The reality TV series officially kicked off in 2004 and saw 11 seasons before its abrupt interruption in 2016.
Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc announced the return of the reality TV tagged the comeback 2021 edition with the “The Age of craftmanship.” Corporate Affairs Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sade Morgan, said the registration will kick off on September 1 and round-up September 8, 2021.
The first screening session is slated to begin September 13 in Abuja and Enugu, while the second screening session kicks off on September 16 in Lagos. The TV premiere is set for October 16, 2021, and will run till December 19, which will be the grand finale.
- Why My Music Is Different From The Contemporary Nigerian Music – Ric Hassani
Pop singer, Ric Hassani, has revealed why his sound differs from the normal “Nigerian music” sound. The 32-year-old revealed this while speaking about his career during an interview on Sunrise, breakfast programme. He also spoke about why he does the kind of music he does.
“You come with what you know how to do best”, he said. So, the kind of music he makes, in his opinion is his go-to choice because he believes that is the kind of music he can do best. “I know how to make other styles oh, but not as good as this one.” The ‘Thunder Fire You’ crooner revealed that he used to rap at some point.
The artist with the sonorous voice opened up about quitting his job as an assistant lecturer for music because of his love for the craft. “I used to be an assistant lecturer. If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be a lecturer for sure. I genuinely love teaching, I love explaining stuff but I so much love entertainment, I love [singing] as my job,” he said.
When asked what was the one thing that could be done to fix Nigeria, he said, “It’s complex, but I’ll say we have a great number of people so, we have a greater effect than any one person, leader. So, I feel like if the people come together and more intentionally, we can actually make some level of change.
- Sammie Okposo Marks 50th Birthday With US Tour
Gospel music act Sammie Okposo is gearing up for the second leg of his American tour to celebrate his 50th birthday. The Wellu Wellu singer, who recently turned 50, expressed his gratefulness to God for the achievements in his career and for sparing his life. “Turning 50 has been an exciting journey and God has been faithful. When we were much younger, we used to think that the people in their 50s were very old but we know better now. I am most grateful to God that I’m alive to celebrate my 50th especially after the whole world was plagued with the Covid-19 pandemic.
He expressed his delight in the evolution of gospel music in Nigeria but admitted that more still has to be done. “Gospel music in Nigeria has thrived very well. It has moved from where it used to be. A few of us that were pace setters kept it alive while the new artists that have joined us brought in more fire. So it is a whole lot better than what it used to be. We are having international collaborations, concerts, and tours. There will always be room for improvement anyways”.
- Cracks in 2Baba’s Marriage To Annie Over Baby-mama, Pero
There are seeming cracks in Innocent 2face Idibia’s nine-year-old marriage to wife, Annie Idibia over one of his baby mamas, Pero Adeniyi. In an Instagram rant in the wee hours of Thursday night, Annie Idibia called out Tuface, for defying their marital vows and spending a night together with Pero. She alleged: “Your baby mamas constantly use your children as an excuse for all sorts of rubbish.”
She slammed Tuface for sleeping under the same roof with his children’s mother, Pero Adeniyi, whenever he’s visiting the kids they share. Continuing, the ‘Blackberry Babes’ actress wrote,:“I try to stay gracious, you are not the first man on planet to have kids by different women. Everything I do is to show the good human that I’m, but today this move you, Efe Frankie and your family took is unacceptable.” She also accused her husband of always ganging up with his family members to do things that will bring public disgrace to her.
- Oyo State Unveils Sports complex, Atiku, Akeredolu, Others Storm Ibadan
Former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku, chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and his Edo State counterpart, Governor Godwin Obaseki as well as the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, joined the Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, to officially unveil the remodelled Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Wednesday. Other notable Nigerians at the event were: General David Jemibewon (rtd), High Chief Rashidi Ladoja and a former Super Eagles coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde.
The event featured a novelty match between ex-Shooting Stars players 94/98 set and former Super Eagles players 94/96 set as well as a friendly match between the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and NK Tabor Sezana, a top Slovenian league side.
Top entertainment figures, Taye Currency and QDot performed live at the unveiling ceremony.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the project included the remodelling of the mainbowl, construction of a state-of-the-art media centre and a FIFA-standard studio with equipment, construction of FIFA-standard mixed zone including changing rooms, wet rooms, match officials’ rooms, referees’ rooms, doping control room, youth centre/ball boys’ room, clinic and others. Speaking during the award of the project, Governor Makinde had maintained that the remodelling of the stadium is targeted at repositioning the state to attract investments, especially in the lucrative sports sector.
- Ronaldo Breaks All-Time International Scoring Record With 111th Portugal Goal
Cristiano Ronaldo broke the all-time international goalscoring record with his 110th Portugal goal and then scored an injury-time winner to salvage his country a dramatic 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over the Republic of Ireland in Faro on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo, whose return to Manchester United from Juventus was confirmed on Tuesday, had missed a penalty in the 15th minute before John Egan gave Ireland a half-time lead. But Ronaldo equalised in the 89th minute with a header, before outjumping the Irish defence again in the sixth minute of added time.
He passes Ali Daei, who scored 109 international goals, after equalling the Iranian great’s record tally during Euro 2020. Portugal sit top of Group A with 10 points from four matches, although Serbia are only three points behind with a game in hand. The group winners qualify automatically for the finals in Qatar, with the runners-up heading into the play-offs.
- Atletico Madrid Welcome Back Griezmann As Real Sign Camavinga
France forward Antoine Griezmann has made a shock return to Atletico Madrid just two years after leaving to join Barcelona, on the final day of a hectic European transfer window. Real Madrid also bagged a French international star as Eduardo Camavinga arrived from Rennes — but their attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain failed.
World Cup-winning 30-year-old Griezmann, who scored 133 goals in his first spell with Atletico, has rejoined on a one-year loan deal with an option to extend by another year and an obligation to buy, the club said. “Welcome back, Griezmann!” Atletico wrote on its website.
Barcelona have been struggling financially and had to allow six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi to leave for PSG last month. Midfield prodigy Camavinga, who is just 18, penned a six-year deal at Real, the club reportedly paying a fee of 31 million euros ($36.6m) plus nine million euros more in bonuses. It is a considerable sum for the Angolan-born player, who was in the final year of his contract at Rennes.
- Manchester Utd Confirm Cavani To Miss Uruguay World Cup Games
Manchester United confirmed on Monday that Edinson Cavani will miss Uruguay’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador after his call-up was withdrawn by the Uruguayan Football Association. The Premier League announced last week that its clubs will not release players for international matches played in countries on the United Kingdom government’s red-list for travel.
Players who do travel to red-list countries on international duty have not been given an exemption from quarantine on their return so would have to spend 10 days in a government-allocated hotel. A further complication for South American internationals is that the third round of qualifiers is due to take place on Thursday, September 9, just hours before many are supposed to be in action for their clubs.
Spain’s La Liga failed in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the weekend for clubs to be able to refuse to release their players after FIFA extended the window for international games by two days. CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, is trying to make up for lost time after March’s World Cup qualifiers were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Ronaldo Completes Man United Medical
Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his Manchester United medical as he inches closer to a return to Old Trafford, Sky Sports reported on Monday. Manchester United had announced that they had reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical. He is expected to fire the Red Devils back to the top of the English and European game.
Ronaldo had arrived at United as a skinny 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 with a bag of tricks. In six years under the tutelage of Alex Ferguson his physique and end product were transformed to lead United to three Premier League titles and Ferguson’s final Champions League in 2008.
However, even United could not resist Ronaldo’s desire to move to Spain when Real Madrid offered a then world record £80 million ($110 million) in 2009. Real were more than rewarded with nine years of Ronaldo in his prime.
- Manchester United Complete Signing Of Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United completed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday for his second spell at Old Trafford for a fee that could rise to 23 million euros ($27 million) from Juventus.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo on a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further year, subject to international clearance,” United said in a statement.
- Djokovic Launches Slam Quest With US Open Win
World number one Novak Djokovic won without playing his best to reach the second round of the US Open on Tuesday in his quest for a calendar-year Grand Slam and record 21st major title. The 34-year-old Serbian star dominated much of the way in beating 18-year-old Danish qualifier Holger Rune 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 after two hours and 15 minutes in the night feature at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
History-chasing Djokovic, who has won eight of the past 12 Grand Slam events, will next face 121st-ranked Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, a rival the top seed admitted he didn’t know much about. Djokovic would complete the first men’s singles calendar-year Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 by winning the crown on the New York hardcourts. He would also break the deadlock for all-time men’s Slam titles at 20 which he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent due to injuries, as is defending champion Dominic Thiem.
- Court freezes N19.17bn belonging to convicted ex-bank boss, Atuche
A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has frozen assets and funds worth N19.17bn allegedly kept in 24 banks by a convicted former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche. Justice Lateefat Okunnu made the order sequel to an August 17 application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a suit between the Federal Government and Atuche, as well as Ugo Anyanwu, the first and second defendants respectively.
Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, is also serving time in jail following his conviction and sentencing to six years’ imprisonment on June 16, 2021 for fraud involving about N25.7bn. Justice Okunnu, while sentencing the duo, had ordered that they should make a restitution of the N25.7bn to the Federal Government in order to replace the funds stolen from the public to bail out the bank.
The application was filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission prosecution team, led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Kemi Pinheiro. EFCC had said that 15 persons were used by Atuche to launder the funds. They are Anthony Atuche, Emeka Atuche, Paul Okobi, Felix Oyiana, Moruf Adisa, Olatunji Abiodun, Daniel Enebeli, Aina Olugbenga, Augustine Nwabueze, Omonua Benedict, Oliver Nduaaron, Chris Ogbechie, Murat Bektaslar, Attah Olukemi, and Thomas Etuh.
- Driver Returns Bag Containing $40,000, Other Valuables
A driver conveying passengers from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos Terminal II (MMA2), has returned a bag containing the sum of $40,000. This was disclosed in a statement issued by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) on Wednesday.
There were also bundles of local currency, jewelry and other valuables worth millions of naira forgotten inside the bus.
According to BASL, the bag belonged to a prominent Nigerian who boarded an Arik Air flight from MMA2 to Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Monday, August 30.
“At about 1510hrs of 30th August 2021, a black bag that was forgotten inside a coaster bus, used for conveying passengers at the Airside, with the number plate BDG 689 GW, was picked up by the driver of the bus, Mr. Emmanuel Eluu,” the statement read in part. The bag has, however, now been returned to the owner by operators of the terminal.
- Plateau Security: Lalong Relaxes Curfew In Jos, Bassa
Governor of Plateau State Simon Lalong has relaxed curfews imposed on parts of the state due to insecurity. The Governor, in a broadcast on Monday, said the 24-hour curfew in Jos North is now to be enforced from 6pm to 6am until further notice.
The Governor noted that the ban on tricycles (Keke Napep) and hawkers remains in place within Jos/Bukuru metropolis. Also, he announced that the Plateau Economic and Investment Summit earlier scheduled for September 1 and 2 has been postponed.
Recent attacks in Jos North, Bassa, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi have plunged Plateau into a state of high tension. About 36 people were killed last week in Yelwa Zangam village, Zangam District in Jos North Local Government Area.
Many state governments have transported their indigenes from Jos metropolis and the University of Jos has been shut down. While some have attributed the killings to ethnic and religious reasons, the state government has maintained they are “purely criminal activities that must be treated as such.”
- Senator Na’Allah’s Son Killed By Gunmen
Gunmen have killed the eldest son of Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah representing Kebbi South Senatorial District. Thirty-six year old Captain Abdulkarim Na’Allah, a pilot, was found dead in his bedroom in the Malali area of Kaduna metropolis. It was learnt that Captain Na’Allah, who got married recently, was tied and strangled in his residence while the killers escaped with his vehicle and other personal belongings.
Special Adviser to Senator Na’Allah, Garba Mohammed, who confirmed the incident, said that the assailants entered the house through the roof and accessed his section of the building through the ceiling. According to Garba, a neighbour’s security guard noticed that the pilot’s gate was open and raised the alarm, which led to the discovery of the younger Na’Allah’s remains. Governor Nasir El-Rufai confirmed the killing of the pilot.
- Kaduna Govt Bans Sale Of Petrol In Jerrycans
The Kaduna State Government has banned the sale of petroleum products in jerry cans or any other containers in five local government areas which have seen a surge in banditry and kidnapping. The affected councils include Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Giwa, Igabi and Kajuru. This was disclosed via a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Monday. He noted that the ban is with immediate effect.
While directing security agencies to ensure compliance with the directives, Aruwan asked residents of the affected areas to cooperate with the government as necessary steps are taken against banditry and criminality across the state. The state government also directed the suspension of weekly markets in five local government areas which have witnessed a spike in kidnapping and banditry in recent times.