5,000 Nigerian refugees repatriated from Cameroon (Vanguard)
Nigerian refugees who fled to Cameroon due to Boko Haram insurgency began returning to their homeland on Monday in a voluntary repatriation process, an official said.
Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Nji said this in Maroua, the chief town of Cameroon’s far north region just before take-off for Nigeria’s Borno state.
The first batch, consisting of 5,000 refugees who spent six years in Cameroon’s Minawao refugee camp, boarded buses as they began the journey.
“We have taken all the precautions and all the necessary measures for you to have a safe trip,” Nji said. Read more
Controversy as police recover lovers’ corpses from Lagos hotel (Punch)
The remains of a man, identified simply as John, and his girlfriend, Darasimi, have been recovered from a hotel in the Fagaba area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the lovers might have been poisoned.
John and Darasimi were said to have lodged in the hotel, but their motionless bodies were found in the hotel room.
Chronicling what transpired after the corpses were discovered in a post on Instablog9ja, a source was quoted to have said that Darasimi’s sister, who came to claim her corpse, hinted that she was supposed to be in school instead of lodging in a hotel with John. Read more
Drivers, cyclists clash with union members over extortion in Lagos (DailyTrust)
Many persons were injured in a fracas on Monday morning when some commercial motorcycle riders and bus drivers clashed with members of transport unions at Iyana-Oba bus stop on Mile 2, Badagry expressway.
The melee started over what the drivers and okada riders referred to as extortion of money from them by the union members.
Commercial bus drivers plying the Iyana-Oba/Badagry axis of the road went on strike last Thursday to express their displeasure over the recent hike in the cost of the transport union tickets from N200 to N1000.
The drivers alleged that the different unions made it mandatory for them to purchase the tickets without which they (drivers) would not be allowed to operate in the area. Read more
Hurdles for Lagos motorists as FG closes Marine Bridge for repairs (Guardian)
Lagos road users are in for another season of hurdles as the Federal Government yesterday announced partial closure of the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa for emergency repairs.
The government, however, pledged that the repairs would not inflict much pain on motorists plying the facility.Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, said this in a chat with The Guardian. He added that alternative routes had been put in place and were in good condition.
The Marine Bridge is a popular facility used by haulage trucks and other utility vehicles 24-hours for inward and outward Apapa port community. The bridge, which was affected by fire on several occasions in recent times, is critical to the economic sustainability of Nigeria. Read more
COVID-19 vaccination: Lagos to prioritise health workers, petrol attendants, others (Punch)
As Nigeria began its COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, on Monday, listed priority persons to receive jabs of the vaccine in the first phase of the vaccination programme.
The agency, in a statement titled, ‘Covid-19 Vaccination In Lagos State’, said the vaccination will be done in four phases in consonance with the Federal Government plan.
The statement partly read, “The vaccine will be conducted in four phases until all eligible persons are vaccinated as more vaccines become available. Read more
Mind your language, Army warns Gumi (DailyTrust)
The Nigerian Army has described as disturbing, the statement credited to a respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, that non-Muslim soldiers are behind attacks against bandits.
Gumi was quoted to be telling some bandits in a video clip that the soldiers involved in most attacks against them were non-Muslims.
However, the Nigerian Army in its response to Gumi’s claim warned the Islamic scholar and those it described as “opinion merchants” in the country to exercise restraint with their utterances and stop dragging the military in the mud.
The Army, through its spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said it does not deploy troops along religious or ethnic lines. Read more
Kwara Hijab Imbroglio: Government shuts affected schools indefinitely (Vanguard)
Following irreconcilable differences between Kwara state government, and Christian schools in the state over wearing of Hijab to schools by Muslim students in their schools, which should take off today, the government in the wee hours of Monday announced the postponement of their resumption until a later date.
At the last count, the Baptist Church which has about 23 schools scattered in the state, ECWA, and Cherubim and Seraphim have all stuck to their guns that they will resist their Muslim pupils to wear hijab to their schools and further demanded the return of their schools by the government.
The current Hijab controversy was blew opened penultimate Thursday evening, after series of consultations with stakeholders, when Kwara state government approved that interested Muslim students attending Christian public schools in the state can be wearing Hijab to schools, stressing that the government affirms the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship. Read more
PTF chairman, others take COVID-19 vaccine (Punch)
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday led other members of the task force and journalists covering its activities to take the COVID-19 vaccine publicly.
They took the vaccine during the weekly press briefing of the task force in Abuja.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, took his first dose at about 5.05pm.
Shortly after the SGF was vaccinated, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, took his turn. Read more
Number plates: Motorists decry cumbersome issuance procedures, urge authorities to ease bottlenecks (Vanguard)
Many motorists in parts of the North-Central and Taraba have decried the cumbersome procedures involved in the issuance of Number Plates and Driving Licences, describing the process as “time-consuming”.
The stakeholders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) urged that the protocols be relaxed to enable them to obtain the documents with ease. In Jos, a motorist, Godwin Adewale, complained about the cumbersome and long procedures involved in obtaining a new number plate.
Adewale, therefore, urged all the relevant agencies in charge of the exercise to make the process less cumbersome “to enable us to invest our time in other human endeavours”. Read more
Boris Johnson, royal watchers react following revealing Harry and Meghan interview (CBC)
Britain and its Royal Family absorbed the tremors Monday from a sensational television interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, in which the couple said they encountered racist attitudes and a lack of support that drove the duchess to thoughts of suicide.
In a two-hour soul-baring interview by Oprah Winfrey, the couple painted a deeply unflattering picture of life inside the royal household, depicting a cold, uncaring institution that they had to flee to save their lives.
Meghan told Winfrey that at one point “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She said she sought help through the palace’s human resources department but was told there was nothing it could do. Read more
Millions return to class as England reopens schools after virus lockdown (France24)
Millions of English children headed back to school on Monday after their second extended stretch of home learning because of a strict national lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The reopening of English schools to all pupils is the first step in a four-stage government plan to ease the lockdown while trying to prevent a new surge in infections after a devastating winter wave that severely strained hospitals.
Since the start of the pandemic, Britain has recorded 124,500 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the fifth highest official death toll in the world and the worst in Europe.
For adults in England, the lockdown remains in force, with social contact severely restricted, people under orders to stay at home except for essential reasons, most shops closed, and cafés and restaurants able to offer only takeaway or delivery. Read more
Biden names two women generals to lead military commands (Guardian)
President Joe Biden on Monday announced the nomination of two women to lead US military commands, who will be only the second and third women to hold such senior military positions in the United States.
US Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost, the only woman to have reached the rank of four-star general, the military’s highest, was nominated to head Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).
Three-star army general Laura Richardson was nominated to lead Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which covers Central and Latin America. She will also receive her fourth star.
If the Senate confirms their nominations, then Van Ovost and Richardson will follow Lori Robinson, who was the first woman to helm a military command. Read more
Italy Surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths (VOA)
Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 100,000 on Monday, a year after it became the first country in Europe to go into lockdown to try to stop the spread of the virus.
Italy’s Health Ministry recorded 318 deaths Monday in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total of COVID-19 deaths to 100,103 and making it the seventh country in the world to surpass the marker, following the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia and Britain, according to a tally by Reuters. Italy has the second-highest death toll from the pandemic in Europe after Britain.
Earlier Monday, the Italian Health Ministry changed course and signed an order approving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and older.
Even though Europe’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, fully approved the vaccine, the Italian government initially balked, as did Germany, at giving the vaccine to people older than 65 because of limited data on its efficacy within that age group. Read more
Senegalese opposition leader’s supporters call for three days of protests (France24)
Supporters of Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko have called for three more days of protests starting Monday following violent demonstrations last week that threatened to erode the country’s reputation as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.
Five people, including a schoolboy, have been killed in days of clashes sparked by the arrest, the worst violence in years in a country usually seen as a beacon of stability in a volatile region.
Sonko appeared before the court in Dakar on Monday to answer questions about a rape charge, which he said was politically motivated, and was then released under judicial supervision, his lawyer told FRANCE 24.
Schools in the capital have been ordered closed for a week, as the political opposition has called for three more days of protests beginning Monday. Read more
Penguin escapes killer whales by leaping onto boat full of tourists (Metro)
A penguin has been caught on camera escaping a pod of killer whales by jumping onto a boat full of tourists. The frightened animal was being pursuing by orcas in the Gerlache Strait, Antarctica, and could be seen repeatedly jumping out of the water as dinghies full of tourists watched. Travel blogger Matt Karsten, 40, and his wife Anna, 32, were filming the penguin when it tried to jump into one of the boats, before bouncing back into the sea. The animal then made a second attempt, this time landing on the side of the dinghy. Read more
Rivers Utd maintain perfect home record with 2-0 win over Jigawa GS (Vanguard)
Rivers United put up a good performance to beat Jigawa Golden Stars 2-0 to maintain their 100 per cent win record at home in one of the MatchDay 14 of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Desperate to get back to winning ways after three matchdays (two defeats and a draw), Rivers United were all over their opponents in the opening moments as they controlled the tempo of the game, creating chances but were unfortunate in the final third.
Their pressure finally yielded result in the 17th minute when Konan Ruffin sent a delightful cross into the box which was totally missed by Jigawa’s goalkeeper Sochima Victor. An unmarked Goodwin Aguda was at the far post and he gratefully headed in the ball into an empty net for the opener.
Rivers United kept probing for a second but could not take it when it came as Aguda ballooned his effort wide when a poor clearance from another delightful cross from Konan Ruffin fell nicely to him on the edge of the box. Read more
Akwa United force hungry Wolves to 0-0 draw in Ozoro (DailyTrust)
High-riding Akwa United yesterday forced hungry but ‘clawless’ Warri Wolves to a 0-0 draw in the Nigeria Professional Football League Week 14 match played at the Federal Polytechnic Ozoro mini-stadium.
Neck deep in relegation waters, the Coach Evans Ogenyi tutored side failed to break down Akwa United who have been on ascendency since after their well deserved 1-1 draw at Enyimba in week 12.
It will be recalled that shortly after they eliminated Rivers United from the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup, exhausted Enyimba FC returned home to Aba where they were forced to 1-1 draw by the ‘promise keepers’ of Akwa Ibom.
Buoyed by the result in Aba, Akwa United returned to Uyo where they hammered Rivers United 3-0 in week 13. Read more
Osimhen scores as Napoli beat Bologna 3-1 (Punch)
Victor Osimhen marked his return from a head injury with a goal and an assist in Napoli’s 3-1 win over Bologna in a Serie A clash on Sunday, The PUNCH reports.
It was his third league goal for the club in 11 appearances since he joined the club last summer from Lille for a club-record €70m.
The 22-year-old, who came on for Dries Mertens in the 53rd minute, doubled his side’s lead after Lorenzo Insigne had put the hosts ahead after eight minutes.
Osimhen latched on to a pass from Piotr Zielinski from midfield and out-sprinted Bologna’s defender Danilo before slotting home his first goal for the club in seven months. Read more
Raptors plan to use all-female broadcast crew for televised March 24 game (CBC)
The Toronto Raptors will have women in every on-air role on a televised game later this month.
The NBA team made the announcement on International Women’s Day.
Meghan McPeak will have the play-by-play and national women’s team star Kia Nurse will handle the analysis for a March 24 game against the Denver Nuggets on TSN.
TSN host and reporter Kayla Grey will handle sideline duties, while Kate Beirness and Amy Audibert will host and provide analysis. Read more
NBA All-Star Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo MVP as Team LeBron beat Team Durant 170-150 (BBC)
If there is a time to shoot a perfect record, the NBA All-Star game is it – and Giannis Antetokounmpo did just that.
His 16-for-16, including a 3-for-3 on three-pointers saw him finish with a game-high 35 points – and the Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player (MVP) award – as Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150 in the annual exhibition game.
But this was an All-Star game like no other. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there was barely a crowd, no front-row celebrities, to witness the magic unfold in person at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. Read more
CAF cancels U-17 tournament (Punch)
The Confederation of African Football has cancelled the 2021 U-17 African Cup Of Nations billed to kick-off on Friday in Rabat, Morocco, The PUNCH reports.
There was no official reason given by CAF for the cancellation, but reports claimed that the tournament was cancelled as a result of the closure of the Moroccan airspace until March 21, due to COVID-19.Algeria’s U-17 national team was expected to arrive in Morocco on Saturday but they are yet to be granted entry visa into Morocco. Read more