Cairo-bound girls nabbed in Lagos with tampered passports (Punch)
Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, have apprehended two girls with tampered passports.
The suspects, Adebayo Kazeem and Babalola Kehinde, were about to board a Cairo-bound Egypt Airline flight on Thursday, but the Migration Information and Data Analysis System failed to scan their passports due to “an imposed fake identity of the true holder.”
A statement by the NIS spokesman, DCI Sunday James, said, “They were duly subjected to interrogation when caught against their claim of traveling for business as the journey was arranged by a suspect, Muri, whose number was called many times without response.” Read more
Community alerts Sanwo-Olu to alleged illegal construction works (Guardian)
Home and land owners at Alma Beach Estate, Lekki, have raised the alarm over on-going construction of several buildings without government permits by suspected land grabbers terrorising the community with policemen and thugs.
The concerned home and land owners have called for urgent intervention of the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to stop the illegal activities of the alleged trespassers who they accused of distorting the estate master-plan with indiscriminate building construction under the cover of the police.
The property owners had, in a letter to the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA) signed by Dr Olumide Famuyiwa, informed the regulatory body of the threat such development posed to residents and safety within the estate. Read more
60-year-old man jailed for assaulting Ikeja disco worker (Punch)
An Ifo Magistrates’ Court has sentenced 60-year-old Bakare Buraimoh to six months’ imprisonment for assaulting a worker with Ikeja Electric.
It was gathered that Buraimoh, a resident of Isheri-Olofin, assaulted one Abiodun Fakoya attached to the Olowora branch of the electricity company.
Buraimoh was arraigned before Magistrate A.I. Arogundade on counts bordering on assault.
The magistrate sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment with an option of fine of N100,000. Read more
NEC okays local production of COVID-19 vaccines (Nation)
The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday endorsed efforts being made to produce COVID-19 vaccines locally.
It also said Nigeria was open to partnership and outsourcing arrangements with foreign producers of the vaccines for the production of the anti-COVID-19 drugs.
Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) whose members constitute the majority of NEC members, had earlier in the day distanced itself from Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello’s “ill-fated pronouncement” on Sunday that COVID-19 vaccines were meant to kill people and reduce population.
A major drug manufacturer, May & Baker and a Federal Government team headed by Prof Oyewale Tomori, are spearheading the drive for either local production or partnership arrangement for the manufacturing of the vaccines outside the country. Read more
Nurses raise the alarm over inadequate medical personnel for COVID-19 vaccination (ThisDay)
Nurses yesterday warned that inadequate medical personnel could jeopardise the efforts of the federal and state governments to administer COVID-19 vaccines on Nigerians.
They spoke just as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) announced the composition of a committee to oversee the procurement and administration of the vaccines, whose first shipment is expected to arrive in the country by February ending.
National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwife (NANNM) President, Mr. Abdul Adeniji, told THISDAY that the country does not have adequately trained manpower to administer the vaccines on a large scale. Read more
Tackle insecurity now before it’s too late, Alaafin tells Buhari (Guardian)
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, yesterday, alerted President Muhammadu Buhari to growing feeling of frustration, disappointment and despondency among Yoruba people caused by nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers, which, if not immediately addressed, could lead to other serious national catastrophes and security challenges.
The revered monarch, in an open letter to Buhari, lamented the security situation in the country, especially in the South West geo-political zone, as well as Yoruba-speaking areas of Kwara, Kogi and Edo states. He blamed the situation on incessant menace of Fulani herdsmen who have laid siege to almost all highways in Yoruba land.
The monarch alleged perpetration of all forms of assault on Yoruba people, including raping of the women, and in some occasions, in the presence of their husbands. Read more
New retirement age for teachers takes effect Jan. 1, says minister (Nation)
If the words of Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu are anything to go by, the implementation of the 65 year retirement age and 40 year of service approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday have taken off.
The minister, who spoke yesterday at the 2020 ministerial briefing in Abuja, said the policies took effect from January 1.
He, however, said that there would not be a uniform take-off date for all the other policies approved by President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2020 World Teachers Day. Read more
Buhari orders swift response as bandits abduct scores in Zamfara village (DailyTrust)
Suspected bandits on Thursday stormed Nahuche village in Bungudu local government area of Zamfara state and abducted residents including women.
Residents told our correspondent that the armed men stormed the village and started firing shots in the air.
“We were all scared and there was pandemonium in the community as everyone was running helter-skelter. The armed criminals came on motorbikes but stationed them at the outskirts of the community and marched into the village”
“We can’t give the exact number of people kidnapped now but some of our women were among the victims and we have alerted the security operatives to go after them,” a resident said. Read more
Jill Biden: The First First Lady to Hold Two Jobs (VOA)
First lady Jill Biden took leave from her teaching job last year to assist with her husband’s campaign for president, but the longtime political spouse is not planning on giving up on her career.
Biden became the first second lady to hold a paying job outside the White House while her husband was vice president. Now she intends to continue teaching writing at Northern Virginia Community College, just south of Washington, where she taught full time while her husband was vice president.
“Many of my students don’t know that I have two jobs,” the first lady said. Read more
IS says it was behind deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad (BBC)
The Islamic State (IS) group has said it was behind a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday that killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 100.
The target had been Shia Muslims, a statement from the Sunni Islamist militant group’s Amaq news agency said.
It was the biggest suicide attack in Baghdad for three years.
The bombers blew themselves up among a crowd of shoppers at a second-hand clothes market in Tayaran Square. Read more
US pledges to join WHO COVID Global Vaccination Initiative (VOA)
The leading infectious disease expert in the United States says the country will participate in the global initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to new U.S. President Joe Biden, told the executive board of the World Health Organization Thursday during a videoconference that the U.S. will join the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, an international alliance led by WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, an organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates to vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries.
“President Biden will issue a directive later today which will include the intent of the United States to join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator to advance multilateral efforts for COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development,” Fauci said. Read more
Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia (BBC)
Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation’s attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers.
Australia is introducing a landmark law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.
But the US tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services.
Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to “threats”. Read more
Seth Rogen takes break from pottery to call Ted Cruz a ‘white supremacist fascist’ (Metro)
Seth Rogen has made his views on Senator Ted Cruz very clear. The Knocked Up star took a break from creating ceramic works of art to call Cruz a ‘white supremacist fascist’ and a ‘f***ing clown’, after the Texas senator criticised President Joe Biden for rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. It all started with Cruz claiming the Paris Climate Agreement would ‘harm the livelihoods of Americans’, and seemingly believed that the agreement – which was named as such because it was signed in Paris – was tailored for Parisians, rather than being a multinational effort. He tweeted: ‘By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans.’ Read more
UN: More peacekeepers needed in Central African Republic (VOA)
The United Nations’ top diplomat in the Central African Republic said Thursday that significantly more peacekeepers are needed to quell election-related violence that has caused nearly 60,000 people to flee the country.
“The current capacity of the [U.N.] mission will be tested even more at a time when, more than ever, it must protect civilians and ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance, which is severely impacted by acts of violence by the CPC,” Mankeur Ndiaye, head of the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, told the UN Security Council.
The CPC (Coalition for Patriots for Change) is made up of armed groups allied with former CAR President François Bozizé. They initially sought to disrupt last month’s elections. Having failed at that, they are now trying to oust President Faustin Archange Touadera, whose reelection was confirmed Monday by the country’s Constitutional Court. Read more
James Bond movie “No Time To Die” delayed again as October release date confirmed (Metro)
James Bond movie No Time To Die has been delayed again, with a new October 2021 release date being confirmed. The highly-anticipated movie will no longer be released on April 2, with the new date being announced on Twitter alongside a poster of Daniel Craig as the secret agent. While previous delays have included longer announcements, the latest simply said: ‘NO TIME TO DIE 8 October 2021.’ No Time To Die, which is set to see Daniel on his final outing as 007, has faced a string of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more
Erico complained of body pains before death – Wife (Punch)
Mosunmola Eric, wife of former Super Eagles goalkeeper and assistant coach, Joe Erico, who died on Thursday at the age of 71, says her husband had been ill for three days and complained of body pains before his death, The PUNCH reports.
The widow, who confirmed the death to our correspondent, said she found her husband dead when she tried to wake him up on Thursday morning.
“He was ill for about three days and we took him to the hospital, he complained of body pain. He was okay and we came back home. But just yesterday (Wednesday) night, he started feeling somehow and he later slept. I tried to wake him up this morning but he was stone dead,” Mosunmola said.
Erico, alongside Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi, became the first indigenous coaches to qualify Nigeria for the World Cup in 2002 but the they fired before the competition, following a spat with the authorities. Read more
NFCA won’t be distracted, says Ladan Bosso (Guardian)
The President of Nigerian Football Coaches Association (NFCA), Ladan Bosso says critics would not distract the body from fulfilling its obligations to Nigerians, just as he condemned in strong words a statement credited to the former chairman of Gombe State Football Association, Ahmed Shaibu Gara-Gombe.
Gara-Gombe was said to have accused the leadership of NFCA of not knowing its right and responsibility, and also described its president as ‘a stooge.’ Gombe allegedly spoke with journalists while advising U.S.-based President of Football Coaches Association of African Nations, Dr Terry Babatunde Eguaoje, not to accept a purported offer from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to serve as its consultant for coaches.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of NFCA, coach Etta Egbe described Gara-Gombe’s assertion as ‘childish, uninformed, misleading and slanderous.’ Read more
Andy Murray coach Matt Little explains how pre-Australian Open quarantine is ‘dangerous’ for players (Metro)
The complaints of the unfortunate 72 Australian Open players thrust into a full two-week quarantine have fallen somewhat on deaf ears. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, a group of tennis players losing practice privileges pales into insignificance compared to keeping coronavirus out of Australia – one of the countries that has handled the Covid crisis best. In the current climate, sympathy will be in short supply for a group of athletes – all of whom are naturally extremely fit – having to take two weeks off their training schedule. After all, every other person entering Australia is following the same rules. Read more
Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten home league run ended by Burnley (BBC)
Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League came to an end as Ashley Barnes fired in a late winner from the penalty spot to secure a famous victory for Burnley.
Barnes was tripped in the box by goalkeeper Alisson with seven minutes remaining and converted the spot-kick as Burnley won at Anfield for the first time since 1974.
Liverpool’s last league loss on their own ground came nearly four years ago, against Crystal Palace in April 2017, and they are now six points behind leaders Manchester United at the midway point in the campaign.
Divock Origi was given his first start of the season and should have scored when he ran free on goal after pouncing on Ben Mee’s error but struck the crossbar. Read more
Conor McGregor sends message to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 257 press conference (Metro)
Conor McGregor continues to chase a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov and insisted, ‘we’ll get him’ at the UFC 257 press conference on Thursday. McGregor was beaten by Nurmagomedov in their UFC lightweight title fight in October 2018, tapping out to the Dagestani in the fourth round. It was a dominant win for the Eagle, but the Notorious has been keen to meet him again ever since and hopes his clashw ith Dustin Poirier this Saturday will set up a second meeting for the 155lb title. Khabib announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje in October, but has suggested that he will be tempted back to the Octagon if anyone sufficiently impresses him this weekend. Read more
Tokyo Olympics, IOC refute report of cancellation (CBC)
The head of the International Olympic Committee and local organizers are pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled.
Now set to open July 23, the Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and now the event appears threatened again.
The Times of London, citing unidentified government sources, reported that the games will have to be cancelled. It quoted an unidentified senior member of the ruling government coalition. Read more