FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on September 11, 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:
- Find Tactics To Solve Security Challenge, Buhari Tells Service Chiefs
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security chiefs to find tactics to solve the security challenges in the country, particularly in the North-West and North Central. He issued the directive on Tuesday, during a three-hour security meeting with Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He reiterated the urgent need to deal with the bandits, who according to the security chiefs, are becoming a nuisance, killing and making reckless pronouncements to solicit attention.
The Minister of Defense, General Bashir Magashi, told State House correspondents after the meeting that the government reviewed the situation in the country and concluded that it can resolve the security challenges, especially in Zamfara State and the North Central, which was of huge concern at the meeting, but with the cooperation of Nigerians. According to Magashi, a batch of six A-29 Super Tucano Jets will arrive in the country next week while the jets in the first batch already delivered are being tested.
- Buhari Visits Imo, Commissions Projects
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited Imo State where he commissioned four newly executed projects. The projects are Naze-Poly Nekede road, Balloon Technology Drainage Tunnel at Dock Tiger, Amakohia Egbeada bypass and the New Government House Executive Chambers. The President landed at the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, the state capital, and was received by state officials and other dignitaries.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had a few days back disclosed that Buhari would be visiting the state to commission some “significant projects” his government has executed. He also noted that Imo has gotten additional support from the President on the management of some ecological problems in the state.
- Governor Wike Threatens Fresh COVID-19 Lockdown In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to impose fresh lockdown on the state if residents fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocols. He issued the threat on Monday during a televised broadcast in Port Harcourt, lamenting the increase in the daily figures of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.
While noting that his administration is committed to keeping the state open and allowing citizens to go about their social, religious, and economic activities unimpeded, the governor asked leaders to encourage their followers to take the vaccine.
On the way forward, the governor called on the people to adhere to the subsisting protocols such as regular washing of hands and use of alcohol-based sanitiser, as well as maintaining social distancing and regular wearing of face masks at all public places.
- INEC Redeploys Five RECs, Four Directors
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has redeployed five Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and four directors across the country.
This was announced in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye. According to the statement, the redeployments are part of the commission’s routine administrative postings.
In the new postings, the REC in Osun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, has been redeployed to Ogun State. At the same time, his counterpart in Ogun State, Prof. AbdulGaniy Olayinka Raji, will take charge as REC, Osun State. In the same vein, the REC in Bayelsa State, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, will take up his new role as the REC for Cross River State, while Dr Emannuel Alex Hart proceeds to Bayelsa State as the REC from his former office in Cross River State.
- No Electronic Accreditation, No Voting, Says INEC Boss
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted on electronic accreditation of voters in the country. INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during a consultative meeting with civil society groups in Abuja, on Tuesday. “The new mantra is that no electronic accreditation, no voting,” Professor Yakubu said, adding that the electoral body will commence the use of a new electronic accreditation in the forthcoming elections in Delta and Anambra states.
The new voter accreditation machine called Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) will be used in place of Smart Card Readers which were used in previous elections. The electoral body will be conducting a bye-election for Isoko-South Federal Constituency in Delta State on Saturday, September 11, 2021, and follow that up with the Anambra governorship election in November. The civil society groups at the meeting applauded the commission for the progress made in the use of technology in conducting elections. They hope that the latest innovation will further improve the voting process.
- Buhari Approves Establishment Of 109 Farm Estates
The Muhammadu Buhari administration has approved the setting up of integrated farm estates in all the senatorial districts across the country. Executive Secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, announced this at the weekend after a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. But to make the plan successful, Ikonne urged state governments to make arable lands available for the project.
The NALDA boss said the land provided for the project would enable the youth to leave the unemployment market and help the country to achieve food security within a short time. He said the Kogi State government had donated 700 hectares of land to NALDA for the integrated land estate, while the 100 hectares of land donated by the Ogun State government had been cleared. Ikonne said the President was committed to and working towards ensuring that the country achieved food security.
- NNPC Open To Collaboration With NGX On Financing Opportunities
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its willingness to collaborate with the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on financing options. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, made this known while receiving the NGX team, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Mahmoud, Kyari said: “the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Act has opened up unique opportunities to create value for our shareholders.
Responding, Mahmoud said:” as an Exchange, we are always interested in developing strong relations with notable institutions such as NNPC, and we are quite delighted at some of the recent developments we have seen.
NGX, is a leading integrated market infrastructure Group in Africa that provides a platform for private and public enterprises to raise capital to support their business objectives. In 2021, NGX raised over N6.71 trillion in financing across fixed income and equity asset classes.
- Wike Orders Rivers Agency To Fully Enforce VAT Collection
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) to fully implement the State Value-Added Tax Law 2021 which he assented to recently. This follows the failure of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to stop the state government from collecting VAT, having filed an application at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Governor Wike also directed all corporate bodies, business entities, and individuals in Rivers to willingly, truthfully and promptly comply with their tax obligations under the law. He warned that those who fail in such responsibilities risk sanctions, including having their business premises sealed up by the government.
- Buhari Tasks Insurance Firms On Innovation, Diversification
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged insurance firms in Nigeria to take advantage of the Federal Government’s efforts to facilitate the growth of the non-oil sector of the economy through innovation, commending their role in encouraging medical practitioners to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking in Abuja,on Monday, at a virtual opening ceremony of the 47th African Insurance Organization (AIO) Conference and yearly general assembly, the President said the insurance sector will play a vital role in the diversification of the economy by bringing “necessary stability, economic sustainability, revenue generation, job creation, and financial inclusiveness.”
“There is a great future for the insurance industry in Africa. We only need to put the right mechanism in place for it to thrive. I assure you that this administration has and will continue to support Insurance growth in Nigeria and Africa at large. “The pandemic has indeed changed many perspectives and has forced leaders across the globe to think hard for remedies.
- Buhari Names Morayo Adetifa New NCDC DG
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa as the new Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). According to a statement yesterday by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Adetifa is replacing Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who will be resuming an international appointment with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in November this year.
Specifically, Ihekweazu is to resume as the new Assistant Director-General of Health Emergency Intelligence at the WHO and will have his office located in Berlin, Germany.
- Buhari Okays Establishment of Health Sector Reform Committee
President Buhari has approved the setting up of a Health Sector Reform Committee to commence the development and implementation of a health sector reform programme for Nigeria, in collaboration with the state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration.
“The committee will undertake a review of all healthcare reforms adopted in the past two decades and lessons learnt and factor them into the development of the new health sector reform programme,” the statement said. The committee which is set up for a period of six months under the chairmanship of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has members drawn from private and public sector health care management professionals, development partners, representatives from the National Assembly, as well as the Nigeria Governors Forum among others.”
- Japan Orders 150 million Doses Of Novavax Covid Vaccine
Japan has agreed to buy 150 million doses of Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine, with Japanese firm Takeda expecting to manufacture the formula for distribution early next year, the drugmaker said Tuesday. The cost of the deal was not announced, and it is contingent on the vaccine being approved in Japan. Takeda will be in charge of carrying out local clinical trials. So far, Japan has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs, though the latter is being administered in a limited fashion.
Unlike the mRNA products from BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Curevac, Novavax’s two-jab vaccine relies on a more traditional technique, using proteins to carry fragments of the coronavirus rendered harmless to produce an immune reaction. This means it does not have to be stored in ultra-low temperatures, potentially giving it a logistical edge. US firm Novavax says its vaccine has 90 percent efficacy against Covid-19, based on a North American study. US and EU regulators have not yet given their evaluation of the jab’s efficacy.
- Afgan Universities Deserted As Taliban Impose New Rules
Universities in Kabul were almost empty on the first day of the Afghan school year, as professors and students wrestled with the Taliban’s restrictive new rules for the classroom. The Taliban have promised a softer rule than during their first stint in power from 1996-2001, when women’s freedoms in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed and they were banned from higher education. This time, the hardline Islamist group have said women will be allowed to go to private universities under the new regime, but they face tough restrictions on their clothing and movement.Women can only attend class if they wear an abaya — a flowing robe — and a niqab — a face veil with a small window to see through — and are separated from men, the Taliban said.
“Our students don’t accept this and we will have to close the university,” said Noor Ali Rahmani, the director of Gharjistan University in Kabul, on an almost empty campus on Monday. “Our students wear the hijab, not the niqab,” he added, referring to a headscarf. The Taliban education authority issued a lengthy document on Sunday outlining their measures for the classroom, which also ruled that men and women should be segregated — or at least divided by a curtain if there are 15 students or less. “We said we didn’t accept it because it will be difficult to do,” Rahmani told AFP.
- President Bolsonaro Issues Decree Limiting Social Media Moderation
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree Monday that changes the rules of content moderation on social media, a move that critics argue could hinder the fight against disinformation. The decree goes into effect immediately but must be ratified by Congress in order to become law. It aims to combat “the arbitrary and unjust deletion of accounts, profiles and content by providers,” the federal communications secretariat said.
Far-right leader Bolsonaro, who has himself had content removed from his social media accounts for spreading disinformation about Covid-19, says that the suspension or removal of accounts and content that various platforms have subjected him and some of his supporters to is “censorship.” The new provision establishes a series of hypotheses for which there would be “just cause” to remove content or suspend users — such as committing crimes or inciting violence — and imposes new rules for platforms to do so.
- Vietnam Jails Man For Five Years For Spreading COVID-19
A Vietnamese man has been sentenced to five years in jail for spreading Covid-19 after he breached home quarantine rules. Le Van Tri was convicted of “spreading dangerous infectious diseases to other people” after he travelled to his home province Ca Mau from coronavirus hotspot Ho Chi Minh City in July, according to a report on the website of the provincial People’s Court.
The 28-year old was accused of breaching a 21-day home quarantine regulation in the southern province, which had a lower case rate than Ho Chi Minh City, and he tested positive for Covid-19 on July 7. State media said eight people became infected because of Tri. After keeping case numbers low last year, Vietnam is now dealing with its most serious Covid-19 outbreak so far, with nearly 540,000 infections and more than 13,000 deaths recorded.
- Taliban Claim Total Control Over Afghanistan
The Taliban on Monday claimed total control over Afghanistan, saying they had won the key battle for the Panjshir Valley, the last remaining holdout of resistance against their rule. Following their lightning-fast victory in mid-August over the former Afghan government’s security forces and the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war, the Taliban turned to fighting the forces defending the mountainous Panjshir Valley.
As the Islamist hardliners claimed victory, their chief spokesman warned against any further attempts to rise up against their rule while urging former members of the security forces to join their regime’s ranks. The Taliban published a video of their flag being raised over the governor’s house in Panjshir — underscoring a historic win that has seen the anti-Taliban bastion defeated for the first time during 40 years of conflict. The National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir — made up of anti-Taliban militia and former Afghan security forces — on Sunday acknowledged suffering major battlefield losses and called for a ceasefire.
- Former Army Sniper Kills 4, Including Infant, In Florida Shooting Spree
A former sniper in the US military went on a shooting spree in central Florida, killing four people, including an infant boy in his mother’s arms, officials said Sunday. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Bryan Riley, shot and killed a 40-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman and her three-month-old son in a residential area in Polk County, Florida, said County Sheriff Grady Judd. The fourth victim was the child’s 62-year-old grandmother.
Riley, who was wearing full body armour, also wounded an 11-year-old girl before surrendering himself to the police following an intense gunfight, Judd said.
Riley, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the police he was a “survivalist” and that he had been taking methamphetamine.
The suspect also told the police, without elaborating, “You know why I did this,” according to a statement from Judd published on social media. It was not immediately clear what prompted the attack, Judd said. An investigation is underway.
- India Restricts Religious Festivals Over New Covid Surge Fears
Indian authorities are restricting major religious festivals that start this week and attract huge crowds, warning that a new Covid-19 wave had already begun in the financial capital Mumbai. State governments across the country of 1.3 billion people, which saw a devastating coronavirus surge in April-May, are clamping down on mass gatherings.
He was speaking ahead of the 11-day Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The last Covid-19 wave overwhelmed India’s hospitals and was known to have killed more than 200,000 people. It struck after one of the world’s biggest religious gatherings, the Kumbh Mela, which attracted some 25 million Hindu pilgrims.
That gathering, large state election rallies and the infectious Delta virus variant — first detected in India — were blamed by experts for fuelling the surge. Authorities said a recent spike in cases in the southern state of Kerala after the Onam festival in August should be cause for alarm.
- Marie-Antoinette Diamonds Up For Auction In Geneva
Two splendid diamond bracelets that belonged to French queen Marie-Antoinette will go under the hammer in Geneva later this year, the auction house Christie’s said Wednesday. The bracelets, coated with 112 diamonds in total, will be sold together and are estimated to fetch between $2-4 million when they go under the hammer on November 9. That estimate “includes not only the intrinsic value of the diamonds, but also the possibility to wear jewellery that was once worn by the famous queen Marie-Antoinette,” Christie’s jewellery specialist Marie-Cecile Cisamolo told AFP.
The historic jewels could meanwhile easily go for far more than the asking price. In 2018, a natural pearl and diamond pendant that belonged to the ill-fated French queen was estimated by the Sotheby’s auction house at $1-2 million but was snapped up for $36 million. Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the revolution, was guillotined in Paris in October 1793 at the age of 37.
- ‘The Wire’ Star Michael K. Williams Dead At 54
US actor Michael K. Williams, one of television’s most memorable stars of recent years for his role as Omar Little in “The Wire,” has been found dead in his New York City apartment, police said Monday. News of the death of the 54-year-old, who starred as the iconic Baltimore stick-up man in the groundbreaking television series, triggered an outpouring of grief among fans and former colleagues.
An officer for the New York Police Department told AFP that Williams had been found dead in his apartment in Brooklyn by a family member. No official cause of death was given, but several US media quoted law enforcement sources as saying they suspected a possible drug overdose. Williams had spoken openly of his past struggles with drug addiction, and had told US media that he had spent much of his earnings from “The Wire” on narcotics. The NYPD told AFP the cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner.
- Ministry Picks November 30 For Federations’ Elections
Youth and Sports Development Ministry has affirmed that elections into the boards of the national sports federations will hold on November 30, 2021. The Sports Ministry, on Wednesday, said in a statement signed by its Director, Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga, the new date is in keeping with its commitment of holding the National Sports Federations election in September 2021.
According to the ministry, “the six national sports federations that have their constitutions ratified by their international sports bodies and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) will conduct their elections based on their respective constitutions.” It directed the federations to begin the necessary process as outlined in their constitutions towards having an elective congress that will hold on September 30, 2021 in Abuja.
The ministry encouraged all Nigerians with interest and passion for their identified sports to feel free to be involved with the process of elections in keeping with democratic principles. By this confirmation, all the federations except the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, which recently held its elections as directed by World Athletics, will elect new board members on November 30.
- Egypt Name Ex-Real Madrid Boss Queiroz As New Coach
Carlos Queiroz was appointed Wednesday as Egypt’s new coach following the sacking of Hossam El-Badry after an unconvincing start to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. The Egyptian football federation said Queiroz, a former Manchester United assistant and Real Madrid manager, would be supported by Diaa El-Sayed and long-time former national team goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary on his coaching staff.
It is the latest in a long line of international jobs for the 68-year-old Queiroz, who took Portugal to the 2010 World Cup. He also coached Iran at the 2014 and 2018 tournaments. The Portuguese will take over from El-Badry, who was dismissed Monday in the wake of a 1-1 draw in Gabon.
- Football Legend Pele Recovering After Tumor Operation
Brazilian football great Pele has undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor and is recovering, the hospital in Sao Paulo treating him announced on Monday. “The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele has been treated since August 31.
“I thank God for feeling very well,” the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page on Monday. “Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you. “I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”
Pele is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.
His former club Santos shared a message of support for the star on Twitter. “It will be one more victory in your life, we wish you a good recovery!” the club said. Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various spells in hospital, most recently in April 2019, in Paris, because of a severe urinary tract infection.
- Fish Out Sowore’s Killers – Fayemi Tells Police
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Monday added his voice to the calls on the police to fish out the killers of Mr Olajide Sowore, younger brother of publisher and rights activist, Mr Omoyele Sowore. Olajide, a student of Igbinedion University in Edo, was reportedly killed by suspected kidnappers on Saturday on the Lagos-Benin Expressway.
In statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi described the killing as unfortunate. Fayemi urged the police to urgently find the killers and rescue five people reportedly abducted by them.
According to him, killing of innocent citizens is a cause for concern. He urged security agencies to intensify efforts in tackling insecurity.
- Usifo Ataga: Lagos Govt Charges Chidinma, Quadri With Murder
The Lagos State Government has filed murder charges against Chidinma Ojukwu and another person, Adedapo Quadri, for the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga. Newsmen gathered this on Monday when Chidinma was brought before a Chief Magistrate court sitting in the Yaba area of Lagos. Counsel to the police, Cyril Ejiofor told Magistrate Adeola Adedayo that the police had received legal advice from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution(DPP) on the case.
Newsmen obtained a copy of the DPP’s advice which says that after careful consideration of facts available in the case file, a prima facie case of conspiracy to murder, murder, and conspiracy to commit felony exists against the 300 level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, Chidinma and Quadri.
A prima facie case of stealing exists against Chidinma alone. The DPP also established the offence of having possession of a stolen item against Chidinma’s sister, Egbuchu Chioma from whom the deceased’s iPhone 7, was said to have been recovered. As a result, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, has filed charges against the three suspects at the Lagos High Court but has yet to get a date for the hearing of the case.