Commuters stranded as commercial bus drivers protest on Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Punch)
Commuters were on Saturday stranded along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway as drivers of commercial bus popularly known as ‘Danfo’ protested alleged extortion and constant manhandling by louts.
No commercial shuttle was seen plying the roads while several commuters were spotted trekking.
Only commercial motorcycles were seen having a field day bargaining and conveying passengers on an agreed payment condition. Read more
Gunmen attack Kaduna airport, staff quarters, abduct families (Vanguard)
Staff quarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), at the Kaduna Airport, was attacked by gunmen who abducted some families in the wee hours of Saturday.
Locals near the airport said the gunmen were armed with dangerous weapons and whisked away some members of staff and their families.
According to reports, “It is not yet clear how they gained access into the quarters, but some staff of FAAN living in the quarters who managed to escape said some staff members with their families have been taken away by the armed men.”
However, the number of persons abducted cannot be ascertained at the moment, even as some said about 11 were abducted. Read more
Buhari, Osinbajo receive COVID-19 vaccines in Aso Villa (Punch)
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo were on Saturday vaccinated against COVID-19.
Buhari was vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr Suhayb Sanusi, about 11.51am at a brief ceremony witnessed by top government officials at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shortly after the President, Osinbajo was also vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr. Nicholas Audifferen, about 11.57 am.
The President and his deputy were the first among the nation’s strategic leaders to take the vaccine after some frontline health workers at the treatment centre of the National Hospital, Abuja, were vaccinated on Friday. Read more
FG denies budgeting N10.6b for COVID-19 vaccine distribution (Leadership)
The Federal Government has dismissed insinuations that it has budgeted the sum of N10.6 billion to transport COVID-19 vaccine to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this is after the brief ceremony, where President Muhammadu Buhari together with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Saturday in Abuja received the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Shuaib explained that Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), have already undertaken to distribute the vaccines to states at no cost the government.
He said: “I mean, I’m hearing this from you for the first time. It doesn’t make any sense that on the one hand, we’ve communicated very clearly to Nigerians that the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector initiative, has provided a cargo plane that will help deliver the vaccines from Abuja to all states that have functional airports.
“For those that do not have functional airports, there is a delivery van that will convey the vaccines from those airports to the states without functionality.
“I do not see how that is going to cost N10 billion. So there is no truth in that information. Read more
Obaseki: I bear no grudge against Oshiomhole (DailyTrust)
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, says he bears no personal grudge against his predecessor and immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Obaseki stated this at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Auchi, Edo State, during the Centenary Birthday Thanksgiving of Msgr. Thomas Oleghe and 18th Canonical Erection Anniversary of the Diocese of Auchi.
Obaseki, who exchanged greetings with Oshiomhole, said he and his predecessor are both sons of Edo with interest of the state at heart.
“I don’t have anything personal against Oshiomhole. I may not like his politics, but he has not done anything personal against me. We are interacting with the interest of the country and the development of our community at heart,” he said. Read more
CBN to pay recipients of diaspora remittances N5 for every $1 received (Tribune)
Introduces ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’
To sustain and further boost inflows of diaspora remittances into the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria will pay recipients of diaspora remittances through CBN licensed IMTOs N5 for every $1 received as remittances inflow.
In a Circular seen by THISDAY, the apex bank announced the introduction of “CBN Naira 4 Dollar Scheme” as incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.
This takes effect from Monday March 8 and will end on Saturday May 8, 2021.
The Circular dated March 5, 2021 and signed by A.S. Jibrin for the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, read: “In an effort to sustain the encouraging increase in inflows of diaspora remittances into the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hereby announces the introduction of the ‘CBN Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’, and incentive for senders and recipients of International Money Transfers. Read more
Mobile Court sentences 33 for various offences, including not wearing face masks (Guardian)
A Mobile Court in Benin on Friday convicted 33 people for not wearing face masks, improper disposal of refuse and displaying wares in unauthorised places.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Edo government imposed the use of face masks as a strategy to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The prosecuting counsel, Mr G. O. Odeyibo and A. Ayo, told the court that the 33 accused, who subsequently pleaded guilty, were apprehended within the Benin metropolis. Read more
Marwa warns NDLEA commanders against illegal detention (DailyTrust)
The Chairman/Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), has warned commanders, officers and men of the agency against the detention of suspects beyond the limit allowed by law.
This is as he also prohibited the arrest of a relation, spouse or acquaintance of a suspected drug offender, often referred to as hostage arrest, in place of a suspect.
The directives were contained in the reviewed operations and investigations guidelines to all commands of the agency across the country.
In a statement the agency spokesman, Femi Babafemi, issued on Saturday, Marwa said the order has become imperative due to the current democratic dispensation in the country and the need to adhere strictly to constitutional provisions regarding arrest and detention of suspects. Read more
US detained nearly 100,000 migrants at Mexico border in February, sources say (VOA)
US border agents detained nearly 100,000 migrants at the US-Mexico border in February, according to two people familiar with preliminary figures, the highest monthly total since a major border surge in mid-2019.
The figures, which have not been previously reported, show the scope of a growing migrant influx at the southwest border as US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, seeks to roll back some of the restrictive policies of former President Donald Trump, a Republican. February was Biden’s first full month in office.
Last month’s total would represent the highest tally for the month of February since 2006. The sources who provided the figures to Reuters spoke on the condition of anonymity. Read more
Microsoft hack: White House warns of ‘active threat’ of email attack (BBC)
The US is expressing growing concern over a hack on Microsoft’s Exchange email software that the tech company has blamed on China.
“This is an active threat,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. “Everyone running these servers – government, private sector, academia – needs to act now to patch them.”
Microsoft said hackers had used its mail server to attack their targets.
It is reported that tens of thousands of US organisations may be impacted. Read more
UN envoy urges Security Council to take action against Myanmar’s junta (France24)
Myanmar security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to break up a protest in Yangon on Saturday, just hours after a United Nations special envoy called on the Security Council to take action against the ruling junta for the killings of protesters.
The Southeast Asian country has been plunged in turmoil since the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, with daily protests and strikes that have choked business and paralysed administration.
Sporadic protests were staged across Myanmar on Saturday and local media reported that police fired tear gas shells and stun grenades to break up a protest in the Sanchaung district of Yangon, the country’s biggest city. There were no reports of casualties.
More than 50 protesters have been killed since the coup, according to the United Nations – at least 38 on Wednesday alone. Protesters demand the release of Suu Kyi and the respect of November’s election, which her party won in landslide, but which the army rejected. Read more
Dad decapitated daughter, 17, because he didn’t approve of her new boyfriend (Metro)
This is the chilling moment a father was filmed calmly walking through the streets carrying his teenage daughter’s severed head after decapitating her in a so-called ‘honour killing’. Sarvesh Kumar was filmed strolling barefoot through Pandetara village in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, on February 3. In gruesome video footage, he admits beheading 17-year-old Neelam because he disapproved of the man she was seeing, NDTV reports. Read more
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: ‘My wife has been used as a bargaining chip’ (BBC)
It’s more than 1,800 days since Richard Ratcliffe waved goodbye to his wife Nazanin at the departure gate at London’s Gatwick Airport, worrying only about how their young daughter would cope with the long flight to Tehran.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had taken Gabriella to spend time with her Iranian grandparents three times before.
And Richard had no reason in the world to think he wouldn’t be back at the airport a fortnight later to pick them up. Read more
Death toll rises after vehicle explodes in Somalia’s capital (France24)
The death toll has risen to at least 20 after a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into a popular restaurant in Somalia’s capital on Friday night, with 30 wounded, the government news agency reported Saturday.
The Somali National News Agency cited the Aamin ambulance service for the death toll.
Police spokesman Sadiq Ali Adan blamed the attack on the local al-Shabab extremist group, which is linked to al-Qaida and often targets Mogadishu with bombings. The Luul Yamani restaurant also was attacked last year.
Some houses near the restaurant collapsed after the dinnertime blast, and police said that caused a number of deaths. Read more
Motsepe set to become new CAF boss as opponents withdraw from polls (Punch)
Patrice Motsepe is set to become the eighth President of the Confederation of African Football after his opponents at the March 12 polls withdrew from the race and threw their weight behind the South African billionaire businessman.
The other three contestants: Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma, Senegal’s Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania pulled out of the race to become the next president of CAF.
This follows reports that the trio had agreed, in a deal brokered by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, to withdraw their candidacies in a meeting in Rabat, Morocco last weekend. Read more
God has turned my cry to joy – Adachi, Heartland of Owerri leading scorer (Vanguard)
Emmanuel Adachi has four goals to his credit so far this season. He is Heartland of Owerri leading scorer in the current 2020/2021 NPFL season so far. Adachi says he’s enjoying a new lease of his career following a missed opportunity to play in Europe.
Adachi had sojourned to Switzerland for trials with Grasshopper FC but ended up being signed by a second-tier league side, FC Kornis.
But Adachi could not kick a ball for the club as he was told to return to Nigeria as the official transfer process was yet to commence.
The lanky forward recalled how his opportunity to play in Europe was truncated.
“The club, FC Kornis, a second division club in Switzerland came here (to Owerri) during a talent hunt organised by former Heartland Chairman. Read more
Xhaka error costs Arsenal victory as Burnley survive late siege (BBC)
Arsenal were denied victory by the woodwork, some heroic Burnley defending and the video assistant referee amid a dramatic late onslaught as Granit Xhaka’s error ultimately cost the Gunners dear.
After Xhaka’s errant pass struck Chris Wood for a bizarre equaliser to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener, Arsenal piled on relentless pressure in the closing stages.
The Gunners thought they had been awarded a penalty against Erik Pieters but the spot-kick and the defender’s red card for deliberate handball were overturned by VAR after replays showed he had diverted Nicolas Pepe’s shot onto the bar with his shoulder.
That was not the end of the late drama as Ben Mee’s block denied Aubameyang a sure-fire winner in stoppage time before Dani Ceballos crashed an effort against the post with almost the last kick of the game. Read more
Thousands of Rangers fans break lockdown to celebrate outside Ibrox (Metro)
Thousands of Rangers supporters broke lockdown to gather outside Ibrox on Saturday. Steven Gerrard’s side took one step closer to winning their first league title in 10 years as they sealed a 3-0 victory over St Mirren. And ahead of the game, thousands of Rangers fans flocked to their stadium to celebrate the team being on the brink of success. Under current guidelines, mass gatherings are banned in Scotland, while a maximum of two people from two households are allowed to meet outdoors. Read more
Benzema to return for Madrid derby, says Zidane (Guardian)
Karim Benzema will be fit to play some part in Sunday’s derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Zinedine Zidane said on Friday.
Benzema has missed Real Madrid’s last three games with a groin injury but Zidane said the Frenchman will return at the Wanda Metropolitano, although would not say if he will start.
“We are happy to see him again with us. He will be with us and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow,” said Zidane in a press conference on Friday. Read more
Claressa Shields: Boxing history made in Marie-Eve Dicaire fight (BBC)
American Claressa Shields made history as she outclassed Marie-Eve Dicaire in their light-middleweight title fight.
A unanimous points victory meant she became the first fighter – male or female – to be undisputed champion in two divisions in the four-belt era.
Her hometown bout in Flint, Michigan, was also the headline act of the first all-women pay-per-view boxing card.All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Shields, who landed 116 punches to Dicaire’s 31. Read more