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:

NEWS

  • Destruction In Lagos Too Much For State To Bear – South-West Senators

Senators from the south-west zone have visited Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to commiserate with him on last week’s coordinated destruction of public and private properties in the state. The delegation of the South-West caucus in the Senate led by Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North) visited the governor on Tuesday at the State House in Marina. According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the lawmakers sighed endlessly as they were shown pictures of the buildings destroyed in Lagos. In his reaction, Senator Boroffice described the destruction as an “orchestrated tragedy” that must be thoroughly investigated. He was worried that many youths working in the businesses that were destroyed would be rendered jobless, adding that it would take time for the owners of such businesses to recover, given the extent of the loss.

“Members of the South-West caucus in the Senate are here to console you over the demonic violence unleashed on Lagos. Government and private individuals suffered an incalculable loss in the unfortunate destruction that trailed the EndSARS protest,” he stated. The lawmaker added, “Adequate decision had been taken by the government to attend to the demands of the protesters. Of course, some of the demands require a constitutional amendment and cannot be done immediately. “The Senate showed its readiness to look into the issues with the necessary amendments.” He said the burden occasioned by the destruction could not be borne by Lagos State government alone, stressing that the senators would be meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly to prevail on the Federal Government in assisting the state to recover and rebuild.

  • Rinu, Majekodunmi Selected To Join Lagos Judicial Panel On #EndSARS

Rinu Oduala and Majekodunmi Temitope, two Nigerian youths who have been at the forefront of the fight against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the country, have been selected to join the Lagos Judicial Panel on SARS. The Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu announced this on Tuesday. According to the governor, this forms part of the government’s commitment to justice and compensation for victims of police brutality. The panel is also expected to bring justice for victims of last Tuesday’s shootings at the Lekki Toll Gate, which has been one of the major converging points of the #EndSARS protests. Meetings are expected to hold on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

This is coming weeks after a series of protests broke out, demanding an end to police brutality in the country. As the agitations progressed, there have been calls for the protesters to produce leaders who would join the government in finding solutions. But the protesters insisted that there are no leaders in the movement, over fears that they could be compromised if selected. The development, however, follows a careful selection of people who many believe will ensure justice is served and the voice of the youths will be well-represented.

  • I Am Avoiding Debates Over Lekki Tollgate Incident Until All Facts Are Established – Buhari

Few days after he addressed the nation regarding the violence and unrest that marred the #EndSARS protests, President Muhammadu Buhari says he is avoiding to get into any debates until all facts are established. President Buhari disclosed this on Sunday in a communique by his special media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu. The president who said he had all along avoided going into a debate about the Lekki Toll Gate incidents until all the facts are established, appealed to the people all over the country to maintain peace and brotherhood as the machinery of the government and the wheel of justice turn against the perpetrators of murder, arson, stealing, rape, assault and malicious damage to public and private property. He also has asked parents and guardians not to encourage their children and wards to partake in the ongoing nationwide looting, destruction of property.

“Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods, in the same way, wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home,” the President said. President Buhari’s statement is coming just as the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government and other states start sitting on Monday to look into the pillage that ensued following a rather abrupt halt to the #EndSARS protests across the country. He expressed his full support and optimism that it will assist the nation to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men who were murdered, and property owners whose assets were vandalized and looted.

  • NASS Will Secure Justice For Police Brutality Victims, Ensure Five-Point Demands Are Implemented – Lawan

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has assured Nigerian youths that the National Assembly will ensure that victims of police brutality will get justice. Senator Lawan disclosed this in a statement signed by himself on Monday. “I want to seize this opportunity to re-assure our youths that the National Assembly will collaborate with the Executive to ensure justice for victims of misconduct and rights abuses by personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police. “In the same vein, to discourage impunity, we will insist that the perpetrators of the alleged abuses be prosecuted and sanctioned as appropriate”. The Senate President also assured Nigerian youths that the National Assembly will work with the Executive arm of the government to ensure their five-point demands are implemented. “We will also work with the Executive to ensure that the five-point demands of the #EndSARS protesters which the government has committed itself to be fully implemented. “In spite of the unfortunate hijack of the protests against police brutality by hoodlums to unleash horrifying violence, arson, looting and wanton destruction of public and private property on the country, we will ensure that government fulfills the commitment it has made to the well-meaning agitators for police reform and good governance”.

Senator Lawan noted that the National Assembly is fully committed to putting the necessary legislation in place for comprehensive reform of the Police to enhance their institutional integrity and efficiency. He condoled with the victims of the reprehensible violence and criminality witnessed in the last few days in many parts of the country. He urged the youths to join hands with the authorities in bringing an urgent cessation to the violence. “I call on our patriotic youths to leave the streets as Government has heard their voices and is addressing their grievances. This is also necessary to avoid unwittingly continuing to provide covers for the criminals and fifth columnists in our midst”. However, as regards those criminal elements unleashing terror on our cities under the guise of the protest, I urge the security agencies to forthwith but with utmost restraint, restore law and order across the country and bring the criminals to justice.

  • Governors didn’t hoard COVID-19 palliatives — NGF

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Monday denied allegations that governors hoarded palliatives meant for distribution to Nigerians in order to ameliorate their sufferings during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the forum, governors have held several meetings since the #EndSARS street protests started to address concerns of members of the public and that they identified calls for justice and an end to police brutality. Towards this end, the forum noted that governors have since set up judicial panels of inquiry to look into such cases. This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Governors and the CACOVID Palliatives,’ signed by the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF, Abudulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.

The statement read in part, “The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm. “The NGF reemphasises and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society, especially our vulnerable citizens. “The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.” Bello-Barkindo further said, “For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous. The NGF declared that no state has been involved in or has hoarded any palliatives. It also assured all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of these warehouses, states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.

  • Sanwo-Olu needs N1tn for reconstruction – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday said the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, told him the state would need N1trn for reconstruction in the aftermath of the destruction caused by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests. Gbajabiamila spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a tour of some of the destroyed assets in Lagos. He said, “The House of Representatives will do all it can to compensate all those who suffered brutality, including policemen that lost their lives in the process.

“However, we want to know what exactly happened at the Lekki Toll Gate. The judicial panel must reveal this. However, I want to encourage Nigerians to allow peace to reign. “I learnt from the governor of Lagos State that it will take N1trn to rebuild what had been lost and asked him what’s the budget size of the state, he said about N1trn. You can see we are moving backward. “Hence, we must consider the consequences of our actions before embarking on any venture. I therefore appeal to the youth to allow peace to reign henceforth. I still believe in the unity of Nigeria.”

  • Fish Out Those Who Ordered Lekki Shooting, Bakare Tells Buhari

The Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to fish out those behind the shootings at Lekki Tollgate during the #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos State. Bakare, who spoke on Sunday during his sermon in church, asked President Buhari to prosecute the soldiers who sent many young Nigerians to their early graves and left other with varying degrees of injuries. “I strongly recommend that President Buhari should ensure that those who ordered armed soldiers to fire on innocent citizens are fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said. The senior pastor admonished Nigerians to be wary of ethnic colorations, religious differences and other divisive means designed to distract them from the real issues of governance. He also urged the citizens to keep their hopes alive, adding that the New Nigeria everyone yearned for is within reach.

“This is not the nation we hope to bequeath to our children. We will build this nation, not upon the altar of the blood of our young people, but on their visions and aspirations,” Bakare said. Speaking further, he said that no degree of brutal repression of protesters can overcome the desire of protests in the hearts and minds of the people. To Bakare, any attempt to resolve the issues must go beyond the surface to excavate the underlying factors that led to the protest. “Your bullets may drive them off the streets, but your bullets cannot pierce their spirits or puncture their resilience. “Our overarching challenge is systemic governance failure which, over the decades, has worsened the living conditions of Nigerians. As a result, although the Special Anti-Robbery Squad has been disbanded, the spirit of SARS continues to prowl unchecked,” he said.

  • Police abandon streets in Lagos, Abuja

Fear has gripped residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and Lagos State due to the absence of policemen on the streets. They have also withdrawn from major highways since the weekend. Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu last Saturday ordered the mobilisation of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property in parts of the country, but has been largely ignored. Hoodlums in Lagos have been having a field day as they mount roadblocks on major roads to extort motorists. Aggrieved policemen in most cities have retreated to their barracks following the murder of their colleagues and the torching and looting of their stations by criminals who hijacked the #ENDSARS protests.

Police sources said officers and men felt unappreciated by both the government and citizens that they suffer discomfort to protect. They went into their shells in silent protest, a source said. In Lagos, terrified residents recounted how armed hoodlums mounted roadblocks on all major roads, streets and had a field day extorting motorists. From Adekunle, the University of Lagos Road through Ikorodu Road to Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Agege Motor Road, hoodlums have held sway. They mounted scores of illegal barricades, coercing road users to pay between N500 and N1,000 at each roadblock. Reporters who went round some parts of Lagos observed there was no security presence.

  • Protesters, lawyers tackle Buratai as Army chief dismisses ICC threat

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Monday dared human rights activists, who had threatened to drag him and other officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the International Criminal Court. Buratai, who stated this while addressing principal staff officers, general officers commanding and field commanders at a meeting in the NA headquarters, Abuja, said the commanders should not be afraid of the ICC while performing their duties. He also ordered military commanders and troops to go after looters and hoodlums raiding warehouses and vandalising property across the country, adding that sponsors of #EndSARS protests were out to discredit the Army. The chief of army staff made it clear to his men that there must be no room for disloyalty amongst all officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army. There has been outrage over soldiers’ shooting of peaceful protesters on Tuesday last week in Lekki, Lagos, with some of those who condemned the incident threatening to take Buratai to the ICC. Buratai said: “I am not afraid of travel ban, I am ready to live the rest of my life in Nigeria”.

A leading member of the #EndSARS movement, Deji Adeyanju, said the COAS had escaped justice, insisting that he would not get away with soldiers’ killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate. He admitted that his group had been leading the campaign for visa restrictions on Buratai and those who undermined democracy in the country. Adeyanju berated the Army chief over the killing of about 1,000 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shi’ites and hundreds of Indigenous People of Biafra members. Another #EndSARS protests member, Uche Philip, also vowed that Buratai would not get away with soldiers’ killing of protesters. On his part, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, described Buratai’s claim that the protests were organised to discredit the army as baseless. Ogunlana said, “It shows, with due respect, how myopic, how grossly lacking in understanding, how disconnected those who purport to lead us but are actually misleading themselves and the country are.

  • CACOVID explains delay in distribution of palliatives

The Coalition Against COVID-19 has explained that the scale of the nationwide food distribution programme and the magnitude of persons to benefit from the palliatives were some of the reasons that delayed the delivery of the items. In a statement issued by its spokesperson in Abuja, Nwanosiobi Osita, the coalition stated that it had been working with governors, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to procure, deliver and distribute these relief items. It said the distribution was to almost two million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria as part of its support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coalition said, “The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner. “The very large size of the order, and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”

  • Criticisms greet NBC’s fines on Channels, AIT

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has come under fire for fining Arise TV, Channels Television and the African Independent Television (AIT) about N3m for alleged “unprofessional coverage” of EndSARS protests and the use of unverifiable social media reports. Acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, who announced the punitive measures on Monday in Abuja, had alleged that at the early stage of the protest, reports available to the commission indicated the broadcast industry largely gave a fair and balanced coverage but the trend became completely reversed when violence, wanton destruction and looting were introduced.
Idachaba alleged that “Channels Television, Arise TV and AIT especially continued to transmit footages obtained from unverified and unauthenticated social media sources, adding that the pictures stimulated anger and heightened the violence that was witnessed during the crisis.”

BUT the Nigeria Union of Journalists has urged the NBC to immediately withdraw the fines. NUJ, which called for an end to contempt and disrespect for the Media by NBC, said the fines were unnecessary, discriminatory, an attempt to discourage a free, independent media, and should be withdrawn immediately. In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, the National President of the union, Mr. Chris Isiguzo, observed that the NBC decision further exposed the nation’s anti-democratic tendencies. It noted that rather than trying to muzzle the media, the NBC should applaud media coverage of the protests and the professionalism of journalists who, despite enormous risks to their lives, ensured comprehensive coverage of the protests.

  • Reps caution FG over insistence on anti-social media law

The Federal Government has warned that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder if the issue of fake news is not urgently addressed, insisting on regulation of the social media in the country. The House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, however, warned against clamping down on free speech and press freedom. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while appearing before the committee to defend the 2021 budget proposed by his ministry, noted that the next war to be fought in the country and across the world might be that of the social media.

A member, Emmanuel Oghene, however, warned against any attempt to shut down the social media in the country, saying the action will be counter-productive. The Chairman of the committee, Olusegun Odebunmi, urged the Nigerian government to apply a technology that can regulate the social media and still allow the cyber space in the country to work.

  • Nigerian Army Denies Shooting Protesters, Says Lagos Govt Requested Military Intervention

The Nigerian Army has insisted that soldiers did not shoot at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State. Although they admitted that soldiers were deployed to ‘restore normalcy’ in the area, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division, Army Public Relations, Osoba Olaniyi in a statement on Tuesday, described reports of a massacre by the officers as “untrue, unfounded, and aimed at causing anarchy in the country”.

Olaniyi also stated that the decision to involve the military was taken by the Lagos State Government after a 24-hour curfew was imposed. “From the onset of the onset #EndSARS, there was no time personnel of the 81 Division, Nigerian Army Lagos, were involved,” the statement read. “This was a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released, and weapons carted away. “The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that the LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.”

  • Our Substantial Records Are Intact, Lagos Chief Judge Reacts To Attack On Nigeria’s Oldest Court

Igbosere High Court is a monument with its existence dating back to when Lagos was known as a British protectorate. The building came under attack by some hoodlums on October 22. The buildings in the court premises and properties in it were destroyed and completely vandalized. The hoodlums spent hours burning vehicles, vital documents, case files and looted properties including furniture, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Chief Judge of Lagos State, Kazeem Alogba in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday, October 27 said substantial records of the court were not affected as wrongly believed by many. He said the archives remain intact.

“Fortunately, it is not all our records that are lost. In some of the key areas, we still have a substantial part of our records intact. Like our archives and the probate registry, to a reasonable extent, some of our records are still intact. “We are working day and night to ensure that we find alternative accommodation for our judges and magistrates and they will soon start sitting,” he said. While the impact of the damage done on the High Court is still been accessed, the Chief Judge said reconstructing the building will cost over a billion naira. He said, “in terms of equipment and other items vandalized. It is also almost one billion. We have several vehicles there. All our computers, the air conditioners, the refrigerators and all sorts of electrical gadgets. Even the furniture.” The court is however planning a comeback soonest.

  • Bring To Justice Those Involved In Lekki Shooting, Amnesty International Tells FG

Human rights group, Amnesty International has asked the Federal Government not to cover up the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSARS protests but rather bring to justice those involved. In its latest report published on Wednesday, the rights group released details of the timeline of events from when the protests started on October 20, 2020. “Amnesty International is again calling on Nigerian authorities to bring to justice those behind the shooting and to protect those who are exercising their right to freedom of assembly,” the report read. “The organization is still investigating the shooting and the reported removal of bodies of those killed by the military in an attempt to remove evidence.” The rights group noted that it had been monitoring developments across the country since the #EndSars protest began on October 8. “What happened at Lekki Toll Gate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings,” the group added.

“One week on, the Nigerian authorities still have many questions to answer: who ordered the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters? Why were CCTV cameras on the scene dismantled in advance? And who ordered electricity being turned off minutes before the military opened fire on protesters?” According to the Country Director of Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, “The initial denials of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting was followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military’s attack against the protests. “Many people are still missing since the day of the incident, and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath.”

  • Looters Not Necessarily Hungry, It Is Pure Greed – Femi Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says the looting of warehouses and shops by hoodlums were not necessarily caused by poverty but greed. Adesina who disclosed this in an interview insisted that the looting spree which occurred in days after the #EndSARS protest was propelled by greed and criminality. He said he completely disagrees with the idea that the pandemonium which accompanied the #EndSARS protests is a true reflection of the people’s hunger and anger. “I wouldn’t agree completely with that (that the looters are hungry) because criminality is criminality, would you justify armed robbery because the man was poor? “Just as you can’t justify armed robbery because a man was poor and then he took a gun to rob another person.

You can’t also justify the lootings that are going on. It is pure criminality. “It is not everybody engaged in that looting that is hungry, that is the truth. It is pure greed and criminality,” Adesina said. He added that a situation was created for anarchy in the country and this created room for criminality and looting. Adesina insisted that the looters are not necessarily hungry and angry they took advantage of the breakdown of law and order. The President’s spokesman said further that, “Criminality will always be criminality and mere anarchy promotes criminality. What has happened in the last two or three weeks led to what has happened now. If there was cohesion and tranquillity in society, this wouldn’t happen.

  • Presidency rejects Amnesty’s report on Lekki shootings

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has rejected the report by Amnesty International on the Lekki shootings. Adesina, who is the President’s most senior spokesman, said on Thursday that Amnesty could not have more facts about the country than the Presidency which has a ‘helicopter view’ of things happening in the country. Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Adesina said the looting and rioting were not caused by the military shootings because there was already violence before the Lekki incident.
Responding to a question on the Lekki shootings, he said, “You are not quite correct. You are falling for the narrative of Amnesty International. And Amnesty is wrong. Anarchy had broken loose before even Lekki. The prisons in Benin and Oko had been broken open before Lekki. Orile police station had been burnt before Lekki. “Many policemen had been burnt before Lekki. So, you cannot say it was Lekki that precipitated all those things. Look at the timelines, look at when all those things. You will discover that it had happened before Lekki. So, you are falling for the gambit of Amnesty International. “Amnesty International does not have all the facts, they don’t run this country, they shouldn’t know beyond what they have been told. They shouldn’t know more than you and I should know as media people as watchers of developments.” When asked if it was the President’s thinking that Amnesty’s report was wrong, Adesina said the global watchdog had been known to always make unsubstantiated reports about Nigeria.

Speaking further on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Femi Adesina said the looting of warehouses and shops by hoodlums was not necessarily caused by poverty but by the pandemonium that accompanied the #EndSARS protests. Adesina said attributing the looting to poverty was like justifying armed robbery. “Criminality is criminality. Would it justify armed robbery because the man was poor? Would it justify armed robbery because the man didn’t have money? Just as you cannot justify armed robbery because a man was poor and took a gun to rob another person, you can’t also justify the looting,” he said. Adesina claimed the protracted protests provided an atmosphere for looting to take place.
When challenged with the fact that Nigeria had become the poverty capital of the world, the President’s spokesman said the high level of poverty was caused by 60 years of mismanagement of public funds which could not easily be addressed in two years. He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to leaving a legacy that would see that 100 million Nigerians are lifted out of poverty in the next 10 years.

ECONOMY

  • Makinde Approves N9.3b For 106 Mass Transit Buses, N2.5b For Traffic Light

The Oyo state government has approved the procurement of one hundred and six mass transit buses to enhance intra city mobility and complement its fleet of buses from the pacesetter transport service with an estimated cost of 9.3 billion naira The approval was part of the resolutions reached at the 29th State Executive Council Meeting The Commissioner for youth and sport, Mr. Seun Fakorede who disclosed this in a press briefing on Wednesday, explained that the rapid transit system would be involved in interstate services, assist in mobility of agricultural produces and positively impact on the state economy.

Also, the commissioner for budget and economic planning, Barrister Niyi Farinto hinted that council had granted approval for the rehabilitation and construction of two link roads around Akobo, with one beside NNPC mega station and the other at general gas, to relieve traffic tension in the axis. He equally added that the project would be executed through direct effort labour from the Oyo state transport and road management agency (OYTROMA) with an estimated cost of 64 million naira to be completed in two months. A representative of the state government also noted that a 2.5 billion naira traffic signal and light system as well as its control room has been approved for Challenge to Idi Odo and Challenge roundabout in Ibadan to reduce traffic in that axis.

  • FCT, Lagos, other artisans set to receive N30,000 grant – Presidency

The Presidency on Tuesday said the payment of N30,000 one-time grant to 330,000 artisans across the country under the Economic Sustainability Plan has commenced. The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Payment of N30,000 grants to 330,000 artisans under ESP begins’. Akande said the payments were being made to sets of verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund.

The statement read, “In the first stream of payments starting today (Tuesday), beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. “They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10. “The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020. The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan.

  • NIRSAL MFB gets framework for N75bn youth fund disbursement

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released the framework for NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to commence the disbursement of the N75bn Nigeria Youth Investment Fund. It said this in its statement titled ‘Framework for the operation of the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank window of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund’ released on Wednesday. The CBN said the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan was developed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as a built-in strategy to respond effectively to the youth employment challenge in Nigeria. The major objectives of the plan were to address fragmentation of youth initiatives that prevented assessment of impact, and to provide Nigerian youths with investment inputs required to build successful businesses. This, according to the framework, will enable them to become sustainable employers of labour and contributors to Nigeria’s development.

It said the NIRSAL MFB window would be funded with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5bn. The plan targeted young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years and detailed the needed actions required to support business establishment, expansion and consequent employment creation for youths in critical economic and social sectors. It added that the fund would institutionally provide the youths with a special window for accessing the funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development. The CBN said the FMYSD was the lead implementation entity and was responsible for budgetary provisions and for the mobilisation of the fund. It said the NYIF aimed to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023

  • Why leaders must address poverty, unemployment now — Tambuwal

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has said for Nigeria to overcome its challenges, the country’s present crop of leaders must address poverty and unemployment amongst the youths. The governor said this on Thursday in Abuja at the National inauguration of a project tagged ‘Project 20 million’. Tambuwal, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Akibu Dalhatu, said that for Nigeria to enjoy peace, these challenges must be addressed. He said that governments at all levels needed to first address poverty and youth unemployment, adding that only then would the impact of governance be felt by the people. “In our country today, we are faced with banditry, rape cases, corruption, mismanagement of funds, nepotism, insurgency, and so many issues that threaten the unity of this country. “Posterity will not fail to judge us all for our actions and inactions if we do not speak; it is we the people that will change Nigeria.

“The recent #EndSARS protests that rocked across the country and even beyond is a wake-up call to our leaders. “The fact that they have pushed us so much to the wall shows that Nigerians are ready to start pushing back,” Tambuwal stressed. He added that those at the top must effectively engage the citizenry in the budget making process, saying that appropriation bill at the Federal Level must not remain an executive affair. The governor said, “We must adopt the participatory approach to budget making; before the budget office of the Presidency, the Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning finalise any budget, they must organise town hall meetings. This will gather the inputs of the people and determine priority areas.

  • Niger, Benin, Togo pay Nigeria N2.04bn electricity bill

International customers – Niger, Benin, Togo – who purchase power from Nigeria remitted a total of N2.04bn in the first quarter of this year as their outstanding electricity bill to the Market Operator of the sector in Nigeria. But special customers, Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and its environs, did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27bn and N0.05bn invoices issued them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the MO respectively, during the period of review. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission disclosed this in its report for the first quarter of 2020. It said a total of N4.05bn ($13.22m) invoices were issued by the MO to international customers including Societe Nigerienne d’electricite or NIGELEC; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique or SBEE; and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo or CEET.

The commission stated that during the quarter, NIGELEC made a payment of ₦1.61bn ($5.27m) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by the MO. It stated that it was noteworthy that tariff shortfall (represented by the difference between actual end-user tariffs payable by consumers and the cost-reflective rates approved by NERC) had partly contributed to liquidity challenges being experienced in the industry. It, however, stated that the settlement ratio to the expected Minimum Remittance Thresholds, having adjusted for tariff shortfall, indicated that power distribution companies needed to improve on their performance.

  • National carrier will take off 2021 – FG

The Federal Government on Tuesday said adequate preparations had been made and the sum of N78.96 billion had been budgeted in the 2021 Appropriation Bill to implement the plan for a new national carrier, among other projects next year. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this during the defence of the 2021 budgetary allocation to his ministry before the Senate Committee on Aviation, said the establishment of the national carrier would be carried out in partnership with the private sector. The Senate Committee on Aviation, however, frowned on the state of disrepair of Ilorin, Minna and Makurdi airports. Sirika explained that the Aviation Roadmap that was unveiled in 2016 would get good attention in the 2021 budget, with the national carrier, already christened Nigeria Air, taking the lead.

He said: “In 2021, the sum of N78.960 billion is being proposed for capital expenditure at the headquarters in the aviation ministry and the emphasis will focus on the implementation of the Aviation Roadmap as directed by Mr. President. “The roadmap would be implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP), topmost of which will be the establishment of a national carrier”. Other projects to be executed, according to him, are establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRC) facility, Agro-Allied Cargo Infrastructure, Aviation Leasing Company, Search and Rescue Unit and Aerospace University with the support of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

  • Petroleum queues: No need for panic buying – NNPC

Petrol queues surfaced in parts of Abuja on Monday evening and intensified on Tuesday morning. But the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation tweeted on Tuesday morning that it had enough product that would last the country for about 60 days, adding that there was no need for panic buying. Newsmen had reported that the vandalism of petrol trucks by angry protesters forced oil marketers to temporarily suspend the movement of petroleum products, a development which warranted disruptions in supply.

Reacting to the queues that surfaced in Abuja and neighbouring states on Tuesday morning, the NNPC said in a tweet that there was no need for panic. It said, “There is no need for panic-buying, rest assured that the NNPC has over two billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit in stock to guarantee steady supply and at least 60-day-product supply sufficiency.”

  • Nigerian economy at risk over lingering crisis

Nigeria’s economy, following weeks of youth protests, faces more economic risks in areas of unemployment, capital flight, and cost of living. Tension continues to build across the country as protests against bad governance and police brutality become widespread. Experts project that the current situation could worsen the already compromised economy, evident in the rising cost of living as a result of inflation. Cost of living reached post-recession’s all-time high in September when the inflation rate hit 13.71 per cent. It was the highest in 31 months, after the 2017 price crisis.

While inflation has remained upswing in the past few months, some economists believe the youth protests would reduce the purchasing power of Nigeria, leaving the inflation rate better off. Godwin Owoh, an Abuja-based professor of Applied Economists and debt management expert, added that many Nigerians would have postponed part of their immediate demand, which would have a positive impact on the country’s inflationary pressure.

  • Labour seeks immediate release of warehoused COVID-19 palliatives

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged federal and state governments to immediately release food items meant to alleviate the hardship of Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic. It argued that heeding the call would stem ongoing nationwide looting. The labour centre noted with concern the stealing of goods procured to relieve citizens during the lockdowns. It observed that “it is now obvious that the palliatives procured by the government for immediate distribution to our people at their critical time of need, and to assuage the hardship occasioned by the lockdown were hoarded by some government officials.” NLC stated that the “real reasons for hiding the products” were yet to be disclosed to the public, while “many of the palliative provisions are already getting rotten in the warehouses they were stored.”

Condemning the mass looting of the relief materials, the movement equally deplored the conduct of some government officials in the whole episode.
It added: “We call on the Federal Government to investigate the conduct of those who hoarded the palliative provisions. “To forestall riotous plundering of the remaining relief palliatives, the Nigeria Labour Congress demands that the Federal Government should order the immediate release of all the welfare provisions and materials to citizens.

  • Manufacturing Sector Sustains Slow Growth In Six Months, Contracts 49.4 In October

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has continued its contraction for the sixth consecutive month in October, the latest Purchasing Managers Index report from the Central Bank has shown. The manufacturing PMI witnessed a 49.4 points dip, below the 50 percent threshold used to aggregate activities and performances, since it started the contraction in May this year. According to the PMI report, eight subsectors from the 14 subsectors surveyed, had a slow contraction, while the remaining six recorded expansion above the 50 points.

“Of the 14 subsectors surveyed, 6 subsectors reported expansion (above 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order: Electrical equipment, Transportation equipment, Printing & related support activities, Chemical and pharmaceutical products, Textile, apparel, leather and footwear, and Cement. “The remaining eight subsectors reported contractions in the following order: Primary metal, Petroleum and coal products, Paper Products, Fabricated metal products, Furniture, and related products, Non-metallic mineral products, Plastics & rubber products and Food, beverage and tobacco products,” the report showed.
Meanwhile, seven out of the subsectors recorded an expansion in production level, one remained at the current level, while six recorded declines in production level.


POLITICS

  • APC group succumbs to pressure, suspends planned nationwide protest

Supporters of the All Progressives Congress, under the aegis of Concerned APC members, on Tuesday, suspended their planned nationwide protest. The group had two weeks ago issued a 14-days ultimatum to the party leadership, to either release a time- table for the national convention, or be prepared for mass action. The ultimatum expired by midnight on Monday. Spokesman for the group, Abdullahi Dauda confirmed this development to newsmen in an interview, in Abuja. He explained that the suspension became imperative as a result of several entreaties by unnamed party leaders and the show of good faith by the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker /Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee. Dauda said, “We are loyal party members.

We are not unmindful of the situation in the country today. I can confirm that some of our leaders talked to us and we also see reason to give the caretaker committee the benefit of the doubt since the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, has come out to address some of our concerns on the issue of convention. “We want to give them the benefit of the doubt to see whether they are deceiving us.” The group’s spokesman further explained that members agreed to suspend the proposed mass action in honour of youths who recently lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests. Dauda added that, as loyal party members, the concerned APC members will continue to identify with the aspirations of President Muhammadu Buhari who is determined to provide leadership to take Nigeria to the next level of good governance.

  • Lekki tollgate killings have complicated matters for me – Tinubu

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said the #EndSARS protest, and its fallout, including the shooting of the peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate by soldiers, has “complicated matters” for him. Tinubu lamented that he was first accused of sponsoring the #EndSARS protest, then later accused of sending soldiers to shoot at the protesters at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday night to disperse them. He said his political enemies falsely claimed that he sent soldiers to the tollgate because he has financial interest in the tollgate and he was losing revenue due to the prolonged protest.
He, however, described the claims as “complete and terrible lie,” saying they were being sponsored by his political enemies to pit him against the state and the Federal Government. In a statement on Sunday titled, ‘The #EndSARS protests: A fundamental lesson in democratic governance,’ Tinubu stressed that he neither have investment in the Lekki tollgate nor sent soldiers to disperse the protesters but admitted that “I am, indeed, a promoter and financial investor in The Nation newspaper and TVC.”

He said he got prior information that facilities of both The Nation newspaper and TVC were going to be attacked by “certain malevolent elements” hiding under #EndSARS protests, yet he did not send soldiers or policemen there to prevent the attack, because he didn’t want anyone to die. “There is no rationale that can adequately explain why I would order soldiers to repel peaceful protesters from the tollgate, where I have no financial interest, yet, choose to do nothing to protect my investments in The Nation and TVC,” Tinubu said. He said the attacks on TVC and The Nation newspaper were carried out by the “hirelings” of his political enemies. Tinubu said, “The present situation clearly does nothing to profit me politically or otherwise. It has complicated matters for me because many people now wrongfully blame me for a violent incident in which I played no part. Still, I stand strongly behind the people of Nigeria and affirm their right to protest peacefully. “Along with all well-meaning, patriotic Nigerians, I want to see an end to all forms of institutionalised brutality and I shall do my utmost to see that this humane objective is realised.”

  • Akeredolu, Abiodun condemn Igbo ‘quit notice’ video, say it’s senseless

The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has described a video that has gone viral, giving quit notice to the Igbo people to leave Yorubaland, as a senseless and one capable of causing destabilisation in country. A group, Young Yoruba for Freedom, in a viral video had told the people of Igbo extraction residing in the South-West to leave the region.
But the governor on Sunday while speaking on the violence that characterised the #EndSARS protest in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said, “We strongly condemn the puerile, divisive and revisionist video by one inconsequential individual going viral that has given the Igbos an ultimatum to leave the South West Region. “This video is not just senseless; it is the product of an agent of destabilisation who does not even mean well for Yorubaland. The Igbo, like every other tribe in the South-West are free to go about their legitimate businesses. They are enjoined to ignore the ultimatum.”

Similarly, the Ogun State Government dissociated itself from the notice to quit. The government on Sunday in a statement issued by Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, Kunle Somorin, described the threat by the group led by one Adeyinka Grandson as irresponsible. The statement read, “As a responsible government, we consider such a pronouncement barbaric, reckless and irresponsible. “Ogun will remain home to all Nigerians and foreigners, who have legitimate reason to live, work, visit or do business here. “We shall also protect their lives and properties and look after their wellness, welfare and wellbeing. “We believe YYF’s position neither represents the views of the Yoruba race that is reputed to be accommodating, tolerant and refined. YYF is definitely not speaking for the Yoruba and the good people of Ogun State.”

  • #EndSARS Protests Politically Motivated – Kogi Governor

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has described the #EndSARS protests as politically motivated. In an interview on Tuesday, the governor explained that although he supports the agitations of the youths, the fact that they refused to relent after some demands were met, means the protests have political undertones. “Dear Nigerians, let me tell you, what is happening today, this so-called #EndSARS is politically motivated,” he said. “Whether anybody says it or not, I am saying it once again and you can quote me anywhere, anyday and I will prove it to you.
“Why will you demand for five items and you and granted and you refuse to take it? Which struggle, agitation or uprising across the world has ever succeeded without leadership?. “100 per cent, I agree (with the agitations of the protesters) but if you look at what is happening today, you will have no option than to classify it as politically motivated”.

According to him, it is a “ploy to set we the youths of this country against one another”. The governor also said not everyone wants an end to SARS so the agitations are only fuelled by some politicians and those who are profiting from it. “Those who continue to shift the goal post when the demands were met, those who continue to profiteer from it. “Not everybody believes in ending the SARS. And if you say SARS are even wrong in doing one thing or the other, the best way to agitate was to even ask for a total security overall”.

  • Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has signed an Executive Order proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state. The governor who disclosed this on Wednesday during a state-wide broadcast in Port Harcourt made it clear that the state is home to all tribes. “We have everything against the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State,” he said. “This is clearly a terrorist group whose existence, creed, mission, and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of the South-Eastern States of the country.

“I have therefore signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety.” The announcement comes hours after the government also lifted a ban on movement which had been imposed in some parts of the state. Some of the areas include Mile 1, Mile 2, Ilabuchi, Ikokwu areas among others. Wike however said the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area stile remains while the Ikokwu market remains shut. The governor also revealed he has approved the ban of tricycles better known as Keke Kapep on all major roads in the state.

  • I’m not in politics for money, but to serve – Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said politicians must prioritise governance to benefit the people. Obaseki, who said this in Benin City on Thursday, added that he was not in government to be famous or make money at the expense of ensuring development that would benefit the people. The governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Crusoe Osagie, noted that there was the need for a mechanism to be put in place to ensure transparency in government, He said, “Only few persons in government are held accountable for their decisions in government.

“I am not in government to make money; I am not in government for fame. I am in government to serve. Our youths are the reasons why I am in government. If I cannot serve you, I will quit. “The issues of better government, proper governance and transparency are what we are emphasising. When we have younger people who can use technology in government, we will have transparency and accountability, which informed my decision to have many younger people working in my government.”
Obaseki called for a strong institution that would ensure law and order.
He said, “And that is why we have the security agencies. Our security arrangement in the country must reflect our federal system as I can’t be a governor of a state and not able to hire and fire my Commissioner of Police, but #ENDSARS protests have helped us start the process.”

EDUCATION

  • ASUU Maintains Position On IPPIS, Says Some Professors Received N8,000 As Salary

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that there is no going back on its position on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System of the Federal Government. ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, stressed that it was wrong to use the payment platform for university lecturers. He blamed this for the alleged irregularities in the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, stressing that some academics received very poor remuneration in some cases. “The issue of what we call amputated salary came into it because the IPPIS platform was not designed for the university system. “So, the platform does not recognise negotiated agreements like we are talking about allowance – unacademic allowances, research journal, and other things,” the don said on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today. He added, “In fact, there were professors that were paid like N8,000 in some months on our campuses. So, we don’t expect anything otherwise because that platform was not meant for the university system.”

The ASUU president stated that the IPPIS cannot work for the university system, especially in the area of taxation. According to him, the government gave the lectures a one-line salary scale which means taxed are being deducted from allowances and that is not the case with those in the civil service. Professor Ogunyemi argued that the programme was designed for the civil service, adding that lecturers were losing as much as 50 to 70 percent of their salaries. Asked whether the lecturers are willing to return to classes despite the failure of ASUU and the government to reach a decisive conclusion, he said, “I believe our students and their parents would understand.” “If we have lecturers that have not been paid for eight, nine months, how can we have that person putting in his or her best in a system? “If people are going back to the universities and they will be paid less of their usual salary, how can we cope with that?” the ASUU president questioned.

  • FEC Approves N2.9bn For Printing SSCE, Basic Education Exam Materials

The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N2.9 billion for the printing of materials for the upcoming Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), common entrance and basic education exams. The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting which was held at the council chambers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adamu noted that the contract will be handled by eight printing companies. Meanwhile, the minister also noted that the council approved N900 million for the rehabilitation of roads in Gwagwalada township and N719 million for the upgrade of roads in Kwali Area Council. Both road projects have a timeline of six months each.

  • Ex-JAMB registrar awarded N7.3bn contracts without due process – AuGF

The report of the Auditor General of the Federation, currently being considered by the Senate Public Account Committee, has indicted the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board for awarding N7.3bn without recourse to due process. The AuGoF, Anthony Ayine, submitted the report to the leadership of the Senate, which later forwarded it to the Chairman of SPAC, Senator Mathew Urhoghide. The report, sighted by newsmen, indicated that the contracts were awarded by JAMB between 2012 and 2013. It indicted then JAMB Registrar for approving contracts worth N7.1bn without due process and deliberately splitting contracts worth N247m in breach of an extant circular issued in March 2009.

“The registrar/chief executive was requested to explain why he acted outside his authorised approval threshold and also to furnish evidence of ratification by the JAMB Tender Board, Ministerial Tenders Board or the Federal Executive Council. “In response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127Vop.2/171 dated May 2016, the registrar stated that the awards were based on agreement entered into for a pre-determined period preceding the time of the audit and certain job cannot be subjected to general contracting. When contacted, the Spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said, “No comment.”

  • Why we haven’t called off strike –ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it has yet to call off its ongoing strike because it is waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. The UTAS is the payment platform created by ASUU in place of government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. ASSU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi in an interview with reporters said the government needed to give the clearance to National Information Technology Development Agency to conduct integrity test on UTAS. “The integrity test will be handled by NITDA, it is government that will facilitate it because NITDA is a government, agency and unless you get clearance from the government that test cannot be conducted.”

While speaking on whether the government had accepted UTAS, Ogunyemi said, “We are still talking, we have given them the position of our members, we are thinking we should be able to hold a meeting this week if they have not changed plans. Ogunyemi also explained that ASUU was ready to resume academic activities if the government was ready to play its part. As far as we are concerned, we don’t have issue with going back to work, but we want more sincerity on the side of government. “We have not seen enough reasons to believe that they don’t mean what they are telling us but as soon as we see any sign to that effect. we will tell Nigerians.”

  • WAEC to release 2020 SSSCE results next week

The West African Examinations Council has said the results of the 2020 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination would be released next week. The results were supposed to be out today but the examination body said the postponement was due to the violence and arson in the country which affected some of its offices and some of its operations nationwide.
The unrest experienced in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality had forced governments to impose curfew in their respective states.

“WASSCE SC 2020 Results Release Date: Dear candidates, the Council had planned to release the results today in fulfilment of our Project 45 but due to the curfew imposed last week, it had to be postponed till next week. “The exact date will be made known soon,” @waecnigeria tweeted on Wednesday. When contacted, the Head of Public Affairs, WAEC Nigeria, Demianus Ojijeogu, confirmed the development. Ojijeogu told newsmen that the examination body’s “Calabar Office, in Cross River State was looted, vandalised and burnt down by hoodlums.”

  • FG, ASUU Meeting Ends In Another Stalemate

The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) has once more failed to reach a decisive conclusion. The closed-door meeting which was held on Wednesday at the conference room of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Abuja lasted for five hours with newsmen being excused after opening remarks were made ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, led the delegation of striking lecturers to the meeting which had the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in attendance. In his opening remarks, the Minister said the Federal Government sees the meeting as a top priority and efforts were being made to ensure that Universities reopen as soon as possible.

The ASUU delegation, however, insisted that lecturers will not register on the Government Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), but would prefer the platform of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution when it is established. While details of the meeting appear vague there appears to be no conclusive agreement as both parties refused to speak to the press Earlier in the month, Dr Chris Ngige, said that Government had pledged to pay the sum of N40 billion with N30 billion to be paid on or before 6th November, while the remaining N10 billion would bespread equally over two tranches to be paid on May 2021 and February 2022.

  • Lagos Approves Full Re-Opening Of Schools From Next Week Monday

The Lagos State Government has approved the re-opening of schools for all classes in public and private schools across the State beginning from Monday, 2nd of November, 2020. Borders in public schools are to resume on Sunday, November 1st. This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday by the Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi. The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo said that this has been an unprecedented year with the recent happenings that have regrettably led to frequent closure of schools with attendant learning disruptions faced by all children.

“We pray and hope that there will be no more disruptions in the academic calendar. However, the State Government will always regard the safety of pupils/students, parents, and all staff as a matter of priority. “We recommend that when schools resume on Monday, teaching and learning should continue unhindered till the end of the term.” she added. The Commissioner, therefore, advised pupils/students to take their studies more seriously in a bid to recover the lost period and thereby excel.

  • Kano Govt directs private schools to slash 3rd term school fees

Kano State Government has urged proprietors of private schools to reduce school fees by 25 and 30 per cent for the 2019/2020 Third Term academic session. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Sanusi Kiru, stated this in a statement signed by Aliyu Yusuf, the Public Relations Officer of the ministry, on Thursday in Kano. Kiru said the ministry was considering cancellation of the Third Term session if the school proprietors remained adamant to reduce the fees. He said the measure was imperative in view of the economic realities occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “Two parallel ad-hoc committees were constituted to discuss with proprietors of the schools on the downward review of the fees as done in some states. “Failure to do so; the ministry will cancel the Third Term session, and the academic calendar will commence with a new session in January 2021. “Proprietors of private schools should appreciate the support they enjoyed from the state government and extend the same gesture to the good people of the state.” The Commissioner said the ministry had fixed Nov.1, the dateline for the schools to comply, warning that: “the ministry will be left with no option than to take such a revolutionary decision in public interest.”

  • ‘My Emotions Got The Best Of Me’: Desmond Elliot Apologizes Over Comment On Youths

The member representing Surulere 1 Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot has apologized for his comments on youths and social media. In a series of tweets on his handle, Thursday evening, the 46-year-old said, having gotten suggestions and feedback from people, he realised he made a mistake by referring to youths as “Children.” “I did not mean to be insensitive with this, it was borne out of the magnitude of destruction and looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency,” the actor added. “I saw women crying and my constituent members distraught as a result of the damages inflicted on their source of livelihood. I was moved by this while giving my submission on the floor of the House.

“I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and for this, I apologize to everyone my earlier statements may have hurt.” While admitting that even the “best of us make mistakes,” he called for dialogue and engagement on the issues that “affect all of us” and promised to do the same. “The pain that I feel for my constituents, the calls for assistance that I continue to get, and the need to mitigate against further destruction and violence will continue to drive my engagements and my work,” the lawmaker explained. “I thank you all for expressing your views, and in the future, I promise to be more conscious and aware.”

  • We’ll cancel third term if private schools don’t reduce fees – Kano

The Kano State Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, on Thursday, threatened to cancel the third term in the state if proprietors of private schools fail to reduce their school fees by at least 25 per cent before November 1, 2020. The Chief Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Aliyu Yusuf, in a statement, said the state would be left with no other option than to cancel the third term of the 2019/2020 academic session if the proprietors fail to adhere to the directive of the state government.

He explained in the statementthat the decision of the Ministry became necessary in view of the ongoing difficult economic situation, following the lockdown due to the menace of COVID -19 which affected both the socio-economic position of the general public. Recall that the Kano State Government had directed the reopening of private and public schools from October 11, 2020, after over six months of closure due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. According to the resumption schedule, the first three weeks would be used for the conduct of the second term examination, while the third term 2019/2020 academic session commences thereafter.

HEALTH

  • We Must Do All To Avert Second Wave Of COVID-19, Buhari Charges Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigerians to do everything to avert a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buhari, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Nigeria’s economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown.

“Looking at the trends in the other countries, we must do all we can to avert the second wave of the pandemic. We must make sure that our cases, which have gone down, do not rise again. Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown,” he said. While advising all citizens to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols of social distancing, wearing of face masks, and washing of hands, the President noted that the country has so far managed the problem successfully by keeping the numbers as low as possible.

  • Health Sector Yet To Be Properly Equipped Despite COVID-19 Pandemic – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the inability of the government to adequately equip the health sector and properly kit health workers across the country. NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, stated this at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja to mark this year’s Global Day of Action on Care. Speaking on the theme, Invest in Care Now, he believes the inadequacies of the government come even at a time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The NLC president explained that the theme was to drum up demands for heavy investments in the sector by the government and big businesses, if Nigeria must keep a healthy society and productive human resource base. He insisted that the health sector has been neglected for too long, adding that workers have also been subjected to unfair treatment.

According to Wabba, the health workers do not have the necessary personal protective equipment to work with, especially before the outbreak of COVID-19. He stressed that the government waited for the pandemic before it woke up to the reality of the decadence in the sector. The NLC leader argued that with the massive resources at the government’s disposal, Nigeria can afford to build and effectively equip some of the best hospitals in the world, with global best practices and personnel. He, however, accused successive governments of failing to take health care as a top priority beyond mere policy statements. Wabba, among other demands, called on the government at all levels to demonstrate more than keen attention to the health sector. He stated that the current pandemic has shown how important health care was to all sectors and citizens of any country.

  • COVID-19: Expect protests’ consequences in 2 weeks – NCDC warns

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chike Ihekweazu, has said that the curfew imposed by state governments to halt the looting of warehouses and destruction of property have slowed down testing for COVID-19. He said posting of results on the centre’s social media handles was halted out of respect for those who lost their lives as a result of the incidents of the past days.

Speaking at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, Ihekweazu said the nation must be careful about the expected spike in COVID-19 cases on account of the nationwide street protests. He said, “Forty to 60 per cent of our testing cases are reported from Lagos. Our labs in Lagos have not been able to perform as they normally would for the past two to three weeks. “As we move into the next two weeks, it will not take a rocket scientist to know that we have to watch the numbers very carefully. Encouraging Nigerians against despondency, the DG said, “We cannot let down our guards; we cannot afford to add this to the many challenges that we have. Many states have done well by raising their testing capacity. So, we must stay on the ball.”

  • Ondo health workers ask Akeredolu to constitute PHD board

The medical and health workers in Ondo State have called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to constitute the governing boards for the Ondo State Hospital Management Board and the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board. The workers, under the auspices of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, explained that the constitution of the two boards would bring about in government-owned health institutions.
This was contained in a congratulatory message sent to the governor on Wednesday on his victory in the just concluded governorship election in the state.

The letter read, “The Act that established UNIMEDTH needs to be amended. There is a need for a Memorandum of Understanding between HMB and UNIMEDTH to foster a greater relationship and enhance good staffing of UNlMEDTH. “Constitution of Governing Board for Ondo State Primary Health Care development Board and the inclusion of a representative of our great union as a member of the Governing Board, due largely to the erroneous exclusion of our Union from the Act that established the Board. The union added that as a governor, who “derive’ enjoyment in the wellbeing of workers, most especially the Health Workers in the State, we have no doubt in our mind that your second term will record a tremendous upliftment in the life of entire civil servants and our dear state.”


WORLD

  • 26 Dead, Buildings Collapse As Major Earthquake Hits Turkey, Greece

Rescuers dug through heavy blocks of concrete with their bare hands Saturday in a desperate search for survivors from a powerful earthquake that levelled buildings across Greece and Turkey, killing at least 26 people. The quake struck late Friday afternoon, causing a mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samos and a sea surge that turned streets into rushing rivers in a town on Turkey’s west coast. The US Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude tremor hit 14 kilometres (nine miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos. Felt in both Istanbul and Athens, it also created a diplomatic opening for the two historic rivals, with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis placing a rare call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences and support.

Much of the damage occurred in and around Turkey’s Aegean resort city of Izmir, which has three million residents and is filled with high-rise apartment blocks. Parts of entire apartments, including toys, pillows and shattered appliances, spilt out on the streets, where survivors huddled in tears, many too shocked to speak. Aerial footage showed entire city blocks turned to rubble.

  • Thai PM Says ‘Illegal Protests’ Must Be Controlled As Parliament Opens

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Thailand needs to bring “illegal protests” under control on Monday as he opened a special parliamentary session to address months of pro-democracy rallies. Prayut, the former military chief who staged the 2014 coup, has faced increasing pressure in recent weeks from tens of thousands of protesters demanding his resignation. The student-led rallies are also calling for a rewrite of the military-scripted constitution and an end to alleged government harassment of political opponents, as well as reform of the once-unassailable monarchy. “Though the people have the freedom to protest based on the constitution, authorities need to control the illegal protests,” said Prayut, who recalled parliament from recess last week.
“We do not want to see clashes or riots in the country,” he said, accusing some protesters of “inappropriate actions”.

While Prayut acknowledged the protesters’ demands in his opening speech, the two-day parliamentary session has not listed them on its agenda. But parliament will discuss an incident this month when protesters flashed three-finger salutes — a symbol of their movement — at Queen Suthida’s motorcade. Such an overt challenge is unprecedented in Thailand, where the royal family is protected under harsh anti-defamation laws, and criticism of them is taboo. “The protesters say it was not in the plan for the Queen to pass that way, but the government says she can go anywhere,” said Tankhun Jittitsara, one of the secretaries of House Speaker Chuan Leekpai. “No one knows the truth so we’ll talk about that.”

  • Melbourne Lifts Lockdown After Zero New COVID-19 Cases

Australia’s second-biggest city will this week exit its coronavirus lockdown following nearly four months under onerous restrictions, authorities announced Monday, after no new daily cases or deaths were recorded. Stay-at-home orders for Melbourne’s five million residents will be lifted from midnight Tuesday into Wednesday while restaurants, beauty salons, and retail stores will be permitted to throw open their doors.
Melbourne and the surrounding Victoria state recorded the first 24-hour period without any new Covid-19 cases since June 8 — before security bungles at quarantine hotels housing returned international travelers sparked a major outbreak in July. Announcing the much-anticipated relaxing of restrictions, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews’ voice cracked as he declared it an “emotional day”.

“This has been a very difficult year. And Victorians have given a lot and I’m proud of every single one of them,” he told reporters in Melbourne. Asked if ale-loving Victorians could now “get on the beers”, Andrews said he “might go a little higher up the shelf”. Jubilant social media users declared the return to zero cases and deaths “Donut Day”, with the hashtag trending as Twitter users posted selfies with the sweet treats in celebration.

  • Women On 10 Flights Flying Out Of Qatar Subjected To Physical Search

Australia revealed Wednesday that female passengers on 10 planes flying out of Doha were forced to endure “appalling” physical examinations, as Qatar expressed regret for the distress caused to the women. The Gulf emirate had already been facing a huge hit to its reputation after reports emerged that women were removed from a Sydney-bound Qatar Airways flight and forced to undergo vaginal inspections on October 2. The searches were carried after a newborn baby had been abandoned at Doha airport. Qatar’s government said Wednesday in its first account of the events that the baby had been wrapped in plastic and left to die in a rubbish bin. But Australia continued to pile pressure on Qatar, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne announcing that the number of planes targeted was much greater than a single flight.

Facing potentially devastating commercial and reputational damage, Qatar’s government released a statement Wednesday to explain its version of events while promising to ensure the future “safety, security and comfort” of passengers. “While the aim of the urgently-decided search was to prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping, the State of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedoms of any traveler caused by this action,” the statement. Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani had ordered an investigation and the results would be shared with international partners, it added. However, the statement did not specifically detail that women had been forcibly examined, only referring to a “search for the parents”. The statement said the newborn baby was a girl and had been “concealed” in a plastic bag and buried under garbage in the bin.

  • Tanzania Votes In Election Marred By Violence, Fears Of Fraud

Tanzanians began casting their ballots Wednesday morning in an election overshadowed by opposition fears the vote will not be free and fair after years of repression under President John Magufuli, who is seeking a second term in office. In semi-autonomous Zanzibar hundreds of men and women formed separate queues from before dawn in Garagara neighbourhood outside the capital Stone Town, where on Tuesday police fired teargas, live rounds and beat up civilians in the neighbourhood. Long deemed a haven of stability in East Africa, observers say Tanzania has seen the stifling of democracy and a crackdown on freedom of speech under the 60-year-old Magufuli and his Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which has been in power since 1961. In the days leading up to the polls, the opposition said 10 people have died in violence in Zanzibar, while major social media networks — such as WhatsApp and Twitter — have been blocked across Tanzania.

On mainland Tanzania, Magufuli’s main challenger among 15 presidential candidates is Tundu Lissu, 52, of the Chadema opposition party. He returned to the country in July after three years abroad recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in what he believes was a politically-motivated assassination attempt. Lissu’s return has reinvigorated an opposition demoralised by a ban on political rallies outside of election time, multiple arrests and attacks. He expressed fears during the campaign that the polls would be rigged, leading to a seven day ban of his rallies for “seditious” language.

  • Backed By Stormzy, Cambridge Bids To Woo Black Students

Going to Cambridge had always been a dream for Matthew Omoefe Offeh, one of a growing number of black students who are slowly reshaping the elite university’s racial mix, helped in part by rapper Stormzy. The 18-year-old from Luton, north of London, has just started an engineering course at Cambridge’s Magdalene College, which traces its roots to 1428 and whose illustrious alumni include the 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys. Offeh has benefited from Target Oxbridge, a free coaching programme that looks to open up Oxford and Cambridge to more working-class and minority students.

Oxford and Cambridge are the two oldest and most prestigious British universities, synonymous with educating the sons and daughters of the establishment from Britain and around the world. Offeh is among 137 black undergraduates who started at Cambridge this academic year — a 50-percent increase on last year and a huge jump on 2015, when the number was a paltry 38. The increase has brought the proportion of black undergraduates in this year’s intake to 4.6 percent. That compares to 3.3 percent of black people in the overall population, according to the last census in 2011. “That’s the highest figure we have ever had,” said Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice chancellor at the university. “We’ve been working very hard to encourage more black students to apply… we have known that black students are under-represented in the university,” he said.

  • Corruption: South Korean ex-President Lee gets 17-year jail term

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison Thursday as the country’s Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail term for bribery and embezzlement offences. The conservative Lee, who served as president from 2008 to 2013, had been out on bail awaiting the ruling and was not in court for the decision, but police were seen at his Seoul home to take him away, according to reports. The ruling is not subject to further appeal and at age 78 means Lee is likely to die in prison unless he receives a presidential pardon.

All four of South Korea’s living former presidents are either behind bars or have served jail terms — often as a result of investigations begun under successors who are political rivals. Lee was first convicted of embezzlement and accepting bribes in late 2018 and jailed. An appeals court later increased his sentence to 17 years but granted him bail pending a further appeal to the nation’s highest court. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld his conviction for embezzling 25.2 billion won ($22 million) and accepting bribes totalling 9.4 billion won, as well as the 17-year sentence. Lee is also subject to a 13-billion-won fine and must forfeit assets of 5.7 billion won.

Lee’s conservative successor Park Geun-hye is currently serving 20 years in jail for bribery and abuse of power after being ousted in 2017 over a corruption scandal that prompted massive street protests. Another former leader, the liberal Roh Moo-hyun, took his own life after being questioned in a corruption probe involving his family — an inquiry that took place during Lee’s presidency. Roh was the political mentor of incumbent President Moon Jae-in, who served in the Blue House throughout Roh’s presidency, including a year as his chief of staff.


ENTERTAINMENT

  • Lekki Shooting: Burna Boy Captures Grief, Frustration In New Single ‘20:10:20’

Barely one month after the release of his critically acclaimed ‘Real Life’ video featuring Stormzy, international multiple award-winning superstar and Afro-fusion pioneer, Burna Boy, has released a new song born from a place of profound devastation: “20:10:20”. Released on Friday October 30, ’20:10:20′ talks about the recent uprising in Nigeria where, in a space of 12 days, hundreds of youth peacefully protested against police brutality by a special unit of the police force – Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Produced by The Elements, ’20:10:20′ opens in a conversational style with a simple melody that is constant throughout the song. Unequivocally vocal, Burna Boy addresses the social and political injustices in lyrics that will resonate with many Nigerians: “Water runaway my eye! Nothing wey you go talk wey go justify the case of their murder.” It is a clarion call to the appropriate authorities to investigate and bring to book those responsible for this incident.

Profound and deeply moving, this song is in a stand-alone category as Burna Boy talks about corruption, godfatherism, and youth unemployment. ’20:10:20′ is given life in the outro with harrowing audio recorded live from the scene of the attacks. According to him, “the proceeds of this song will be used to support families of victims and people suffering affliction as a result of the Lekki shootings. May the heavens open and celebrate all our fallen heroes who have died for this movement from the very beginning. Rest In peace to all the beautiful lives lost”.

  • Rapper Brian Trotter found dead in car after Florida highway crash

US police have found the body of an aspiring rapper in the boot of a car after a crash on a highway in Miami. Florida Highway Patrol officers discovered the body of 25-year-old hip-hop artist Brian Trotter after being called to the site of the collision. The driver, 25-year-old Robert Deupree Avery Coltrain, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and illegal transport of human remains. An autopsy showed Trotter was fatally shot multiple times. Officers have not suggested a motive for the killing. Mr Coltrain has been friends with Trotter – known by the rap name Kent Won’t Stop – for more than a decade.

A police report said highway patrolmen were called to the site of the car crash on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami on Sunday. They towed the vehicle – a 2009 Silver Acura – to a nearby car park, but became suspicious after noticing buzzing flies and a rotting smell. Inside the boot they found the body “wrapped in a piece of fabric and in an advanced stage of decomposition”. Trotter was last seen on 17 October leaving his home in Triangle, Virginia along with Coltrain.

* Cynthia Morgan Signs Management Deal With Top US Entertainment Firm

Dancehall singer, Madrina formerly known as Cynthia Morgan, has signed a management deal with a top American entertainment firm, The Facilitator Management. This was disclosed in a statement by the firm, made available to newsmen on Thursday. As the world appears to be increasingly fascinated by the Afrobeat sound, Cynthia’s new PR counsel, Muyiwa Babalola, says together, the firm is committed to utilizing her “raw magic” to continue to exhibit Afrobeat on the world stage and in a more organized dimension.“The Facilitator Firm is a Full -Service Boutique Artist Management, Indie-Record Label, Artist Services and Publishing Company headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. forged by the partnership of Founder / CEO “ Uncle Odis “ Johnson and Co-Founder / President Tabiyah Yetunde. Both are longtime Music Industry Veterans with a combined total of 50 plus years of experience in music and entertainment. “Cynthia resonates with a diverse fan base all over the world because of her feel-good music and vibe,” Babalola said, noting that she’s just as excited to join the new company.

About a month ago and after a long hiatus, Cynthia made a comeback with the release of a new single, ‘Hustle’. Her years-long break is a result of some hardship she went through following her fallout with her former record label boss, Jude Okoye. A source also disclosed to newsmen that the firm is ready to engage Okoye for her royalties, an issue that has been a subject of intense controversy. The Lagos based dancehall star is no stranger to hit tracks and topping charts. She has released a number of award-winning and top 10 hits like German Juice, Lead Me On, I’m Taken, and Simatiniya, Baby Mama and so on.She’s also set to make an international collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist “Snow Cone”.


SPORTS

  • NFF gets FIFA’s $1m palliative, $600, 000 mini stadia fund

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that it finally received the $1 million palliative promised it by world football governing body, FIFA. The federation also said it has received $600, 000 from the football body for the construction of two mini stadia in the country. Announcing the receipt of the funds on his twitter handle yesterday, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, said the federation got the fund on Monday and has also reconfirmed what it is meant for from FIFA. He added, “As a further break down, the $1 million for palliatives is composed of $500,000 for men’s football and $500,000 for the women’s game. FIFA has also promised to send the Federation an additional $500,000 sometime in January 2021, also as part of COVID-19 palliative efforts. “FIFA also sent $600,000 to the federation for the FIFA Forward 2.0 projects in Birnin-Kebbi and Ugborodo. At $300,000 each, it will enable the mini-stadia in both centers to start at a very good pace, as we earmark completion by the end of March 2021.”

He disclosed that the NFF has also received confirmation from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that it would get the expected $300,000 on or before Sunday, November 1. According to Pinnick, “With the $200,000 we have already ring-fenced from our sponsors’ funds for the purpose, the coast will then be clear for us to start the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries, as captured in our approved template, from next week. “Even though we are bolstered by the guidelines from FIFA strictly outlying the purposes of these funds, as well as the approval of the NFF executive board, we will also interface with our auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, on each and every line item, to ensure the disbursements conform to global best practices.”

  • NFF finally decides on Benin for Nigeria, Sierra Leone AFCON qualifier

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has finally picked Benin as host city for next month’s 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sierra. The federation, which earlier said it was looking at either Benin or Asaba for the duel, at the weekend confirmed it will hold at the newly refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City. The match will be the first big event at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, which was refurbished for the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival. The stadium is the first to acquire Video Assistant Referee (VAR) gadget, a facility bought by the Edo State government ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival.
NFF Assistant Director, Media, Ademola Olajire, said the NFF is still working round the clock to ensure the success of the AFCON qualifier, adding that it has set up a monitoring team to keep close tabs on events across the country to ascertain if the qualifiers will be shifted or not.

Meanwhile, former Super Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze, has urged the Super Eagles not to allow the recent crisis in the country affect their performance in the game against Sierra Leone. He believes a good outing against Sierra Leone would help the country deal with the effects of the recent protests and series of crisis witnessed across the nation. “Make no mistake about it, the game against Sierra Leone will be tough. The Eagles should not underestimate the Sierra Leoneans because of the results of past outings against them team. “The Eagles need to book the AFCON ticket to keep Nigerian football alive,” he said.

  • Ronaldinho Tests Positive For COVID-19

Former Brazil playmaker Ronaldinho said on Sunday he had contracted coronavirus but had no symptoms. The 40-year-old ex-Barcelona and AC Milan midfielder, who won the Champions League and World Cup in an illustrious career, will remain in isolation in a Belo Horizonte hotel.
“Hi friends, family, fans, I took a Covid-19 test and the result was positive, I’m doing well, I’m asymptomatic for now,” he said in a video posted on Instagram.

In August, Ronaldinho returned to Brazil following more than five months in detention in Paraguay over a fake passport scandal. The former Ballon d’Or winner and his brother had both been held for a month in jail and another four months under house arrest in a hotel in Asuncion.
Brazil has registered more than 156,000 deaths from coronavirus, behind only the US in terms of fatalities.

  • Rodgers Hails ‘World Class’ Vardy As Leicester Move Fourth On EPL Log

Brendan Rodgers saluted “world-class” Jamie Vardy after he sealed Leicester’s late 1-0 win as spluttering Arsenal crashed to a third defeat in their last four Premier League games on Sunday. Vardy was only fit enough for the bench after a calf injury, but Foxes manager Rodgers sent the striker on with 30 minutes left. Vardy responded with his sixth goal of the season. The 33-year-old has made a habit of tormenting Arsenal and has now scored 11 goals in 12 Premier League games against them.

Leicester climbed to fourth after ending a run of two successive league defeats. “We deserved it, we played against a really good side and have players who can run in behind,” Rodgers said. “To keep a clean sheet and play with the quality and calmness was good.” Arsenal are languishing in 10th after a second consecutive league loss following their 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend. But it might have been a different story when, early in a then goalless game, Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette headed in from a corner only for his effort to be disallowed for offside against Granit Xhaka. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was also disappointed by his team’s lack of cutting edge.

  • World 100m Champion Coleman To Appeal Two-Year Ban

World champion sprinter Christian Coleman will appeal his two-year ban from athletics for anti-doping violations, his manager said Wednesday. “The decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal established under World Athletics Rules is unfortunate and will be immediately appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Emanuel Hudson tweeted from the account of his HSI company. “Mr. Coleman has nothing further to say until such time as the matter can be heard in the Court of jurisdiction.” Coleman, who won the men’s 100 metres at last year’s World Championships in Doha in a world-leading time for the season of 9.76 seconds, was provisionally suspended for three ‘whereabouts failures’ in June.

World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal upheld the charge and banned the 24-year-old American for two years, backdated to May 14, 2020. Should the ban remain in place, Coleman would miss next year’s Olympic Games in Japan, where he would have been among the favourites to win 100m gold. To prove an anti-doping violation, an athlete has to have committed three whereabouts failures within 12 months. However, Coleman had successfully argued that the first missed case should have been backdated to the first day of the quarter — April 1, 2018 — meaning the three failures fell just outside the required 12-month period. But now the missed test on December 9, 2019, added to the two failures in January and April, has seen Coleman suspended.


METRO PLUS

  • IGP replies Amnesty, says policemen didn’t shoot #EndSARS protesters

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has rejected reports by global rights organisation, Amnesty International, that police officers shot at #EndSARS protesters. He described Amnesty’s report of October 21, 2020, that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters as “untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence”. Adamu said police officers, instead, “acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.” This was contained in a statement on Friday titled, ‘EndSARS Protests: Police Personnel Were Professional And Exercised Maximum Restraints – IGP Tells Amnesty Int’l’. The statement was signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba. Adamu said, “During the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters. “Even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

“Available Reports show that 22 police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals. “205 police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters. “Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report. “It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland. “The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report. One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.” The IGP noted that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing reforms of the Nigeria Police Force. He also enjoined Amnesty to subject its reports to “adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public”.

  • Sanwo-Olu sounds tough over inter-tribal clashes in Lagos

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has bemoaned the destruction that trailed a clash between the Yoruba and the Hausa in the Fagba, Ifako-Ijaiye area of the state. Sanwo-Olu, during an assessment tour of the area on Tuesday, however, vowed to deal decisively with the those involved in inter-tribal clashes. He assured residents who were affected by the mayhem that the state government would alleviate their pains. The governor was accompanied on the tour by the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji; Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab; and Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola.

  • Residents Attack NAFDAC Office In Kaduna, Cart Away Fake And Expired Drugs

Some Kaduna residents have attacked the office of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), carting away seized fake and expired drugs and beverages. The affected offices include the NAFDAC warehouse belonging to the investigation and enforcement directorate, as well as the training and research institute for the northern region and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The drugs were seized from illicit drug dealers and meant for destruction. Meanwhile, the Kaduna state government has warned on health risks from drugs and beverages looted from the NAFDAC office and other warehouses in the state capital.

The State Commissioner For Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan in a statement, said the looted items which include expired, prohibited, and dangerous drugs posed a great danger to the health of the people and therefore warns that persons who consume such drugs are at great risk of serious illness and death. Aruwan also disclosed that the management of a food processing company whose stores were looted in the Kakuri area in Kaduna South Local Government has also disclosed that the stolen grains have been treated with chemical preservatives which render them unsafe for consumption. He implored residents of Kaduna State to be vigilant and careful about the source of the food and medications they take and where they buy them, to avoid these dangers.

  • Taraba declares indefinite curfew over looting

The Taraba State Government has imposed an indefinite curfew in the state following the invasion of government warehouses by hoodlums on Saturday.
This was contained in a statement by Musleem Aruwa, the Senior Special Assistant on New Media to the Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu, in Jalingo.
Manu expressed worry that some hoodlums invaded government warehouses containing palliatives and carted away items meant for distribution to members of the public. The media aide said, “Government has carefully reviewed developments in the last 24 hours and decided to extend the curfew to safeguard lives and properties.

“All law-abiding citizens are advised to stay at home and allow security agencies who are under strict instructions to enforce the curfew and equally protect innocent citizens. “However, the government is not unaware of people on essential duties, who are similarly requested to carry with them official identification cards to show security operatives on demand to avoid embarrassment.

  • 520 suspects arrested for arson, vandalism, others in Lagos

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, said 520 suspects have been arrested in connection with the series of arson, vandalism, burglary, and robbing of unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables during the unrest occasioned by the #EndSARS protest in the state. Odumosu, who disclosed this during a press briefing at the command headquarters in the Ikeja area of the state, said the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums, adding that the arrested suspects would be charged to court. While stating the facilities affected in the state, the CP said, “A lot of public and private facilities were set ablaze, our police stations were also burnt and vandalised.

“Based on the incidences, the command swung into action realising that this is no more #EndSARS, where lives and property are lost and vandalised and burnt. We realised that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums, so we moved in and we were able to recover some of the stolen items and arrested the perpetrators. “So far, 520 suspects have been arrested for various offences, ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of firearms. All the suspects we have arrested are not #EndSARS protesters and they will all be charged.”

  • TVC recounts station destruction, says 250 workers jobless

No fewer than 250 staff of Television Continental at Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos State, have been rendered jobless after arsonists burnt the station. The Chief Executive Officer of the station, Mr Andrew Hanlon, added that over 500 direct employees of the station had been struggling to work in temporary accommodation put up by the company. Halon stated these on Thursday when the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited the management and staff of the station. Some hoodlums attacked the station after the #EndSARS protest turned violent. Transmission gadgets, state-of-the-art studios, production rooms and operational vehicles of TVC, including cars of staff, were set ablaze.

Hanlon took the governor round the main auditorium, which was the hub of the TV station’s operation. It was razed. The auditorium housed three main studios, three control rooms, three master control rooms and a central transmission laboratory said to have been equipped with modern communication gadgets worth millions of dollars. All left in the building were charred materials. “People’s hard work and huge investment that went down into the TV station were destroyed in a period of about an hour. The incident was really traumatising for all of us. The rioters left immense devastation. The entire interior of the building was destroyed.