Explosion victims narrate ordeals, count losses as death toll rises to five (Guardian)
After the raging fire following Sunday night’s pipeline explosion at Abule Egba area of Lagos State was put out by a combined team of firefighters and emergency responders, the death toll rose from two to five persons, comprising three adult males, one adult female and a female child aged three.
By the dawn of the morning yesterday, the explosion had torched nine streets in the Ile-Epo, Ekoro road of Abule Egba, burning to ashes 38 vehicles, four tricycles, 71 shops, 30 rooms, two blocks of flat and a church auditorium, rendering hundreds of Lagosians homeless. Most hit were properties in Hamed Sodiq street, Joel Nnadede street, Musa Erimo street and NNPC power line road.
When The Guardian visited the scene of the incident yesterday, tales of woe from residents who lost their loved ones and property in the inferno rent the air. Read more
Diesel-laden tanker falls, catches fire in Lagos (Punch)
A tanker conveying 33,000 litres of diesel fell on the NEPA Road in the Alaba-Rago area of Lagos State on Monday.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the yet-to-be-identified driver of the tanker was manoeuvring his way to get ahead of other vehicles when he rammed into an electric pole in the area.
The impact of the crash was said to have resulted in a spark and the tanker fell on its side and spilled its content on the road.
It was learnt that the spark ignited the diesel and the inferno created panic in the area. Read more
Amaechi decries delay in Lagos-Ibadan train project (Nation)
Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi will meet on Friday with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on how to resolve the challenges stalling the project’s pace into the nation’s foremost ports.
Amaechi scheduled the meeting yesterday when he discovered that the project may not be delivered in May due to the slow pace of work between Ebute Metta and Apapa, both in Lagos. He noted that given the pace, delivering the Lagos-Ibadan speed train project in May was uncertain.
The minister described the pace of work on the Ebute Metta to Apapa axis “as painful,” adding that he would focus more on it during subsequent inspections. Amaechi spoke in Omi-Adio, Ibadan, the
Oyo State capital, during the monthly inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project. Read more
Estate residents accuse power firm of extortion, overbilling (Punch)
Residents of the Ashamu Estate in Oke-Afa, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have accused the Ikeja Electric of extortion and outrageous billing.
According to the residents, the bills given to power consumers by the IE do not reflect their actual consumption as the charges are often increased intermittently.
The residents reiterated their position that the electricity distribution company should supply them prepaid meters so that they could be in control of their power consumption.
A landlord in the estate, Isa Bakare, said the IE charged him N120,000 for four prepaid meters, alleging that when he wanted to pay, the officials deceived him to pay into the individual meters’ accounts and the prepaid meters would be provided. Read more
Minister urges more efforts to tackle power shortage (Nation)
The Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, has called for coordinated efforts among stakeholders to address the growing challenges in the power sector and propel it to become a viable avenue for national development.
Mamman spoke yesterday at the 11th International Conference on Energy, Power Systems Operations and Planning (ICEPSOP 2020) in Abuja.
The three-day conference has the theme: Empowering Micro Grid With Smart Grid Attributes Development in U.S. and Africa.
He said the coordinated efforts should be in line with market reforms resulting from a clear policy imperative, taking cognisance of the country’s journey in the reforms since 2005. Read more
Isabel dos Santos: Africa’s richest woman ‘ripped off Angola’ (BBC)
Leaked documents reveal how Africa’s richest woman made her fortune through exploiting her own country, and corruption.
Isabel dos Santos got access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds and telecoms when her father was president of Angola, a southern African country rich in natural resources.
The documents show how she and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals.
Ms Dos Santos says the allegations against her are entirely false and that there is a politically motivated witch-hunt by the Angolan government. Read more
Prince Harry meets Boris Johnson for ‘catch-up’ behind closed doors after royal exit (Metro)
Prince Harry has met in private with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a summit, just days before he quits the UK. The Duke of Sussex and Mr Johnson met for an ‘informal catch-up’ behind closed doors at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London’s Docklands. Prince Harry also met with other world leaders, just hours after saying he had ‘no other option’ but to step back from royal life. Read more
Immune discovery ‘may treat all cancer’ (BBC)
A newly-discovered part of our immune system could be harnessed to treat all cancers, say scientists.
The Cardiff University team discovered a method of killing prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests.
The findings, published in Nature Immunology, have not been tested in patients, but the researchers say they have “enormous potential”.
Experts said that although the work was still at an early stage, it was very exciting. Read more
New Isis leader unmasked as man who led enslavement of Yazidi women (Metro)
The new leader of Isis has been named as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi. His identity was revealed by officials from two intelligence agencies, who managed to uncover his real name after Isis had been using a number of aliases for him, the Guardian reported. Al-Salbi took over from previous leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 48 hours after the latter blew himself up after being cornered in an American military raid in October last year. He is believed to share a very similar outlook to al-Baghdadi and took over operations from him in July after the leader struggled with his health following an airstrike. Read more
Hundreds of US-bound migrants cross river to reach Mexico (BBC)
Hundreds of migrants have waded into a river on the southern Mexico border as they try to reach the United States.
The migrants, mainly from Honduras, took to the water after being refused permission to cross a bridge over the Suchiate river.
Mexico has cut off migration routes to the US under pressure from President Donald Trump.
Mexican National Guard troops with riot shields tried to stop the migrants from climbing the river bank. Read more
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal defeated three times in House of Lords (Metro)
The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal has been defeated three times in the House of Lords. The first defeat for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill was over the rights of EU citizens lawfully residing in the UK after Brexit. Peers backed a cross-party amendment allowing EU citizens physical proof of their status. The vote, by 270 to 229, majority 41, means the Bill will have to go back to the Commons, where Boris Johnson will be able to use his big majority to overturn it. Read more
15-year-old Coco Gauff reacts to knocking Venus Williams out of Australian Open (Metro)
Coco Gauff once again knocked Venus Williams out of a Grand Slam in the first round as she saw off the veteran American in straight sets at the Australian Open on Monday. The 15-year-old tennis sensation announced herself last summer when she beat Venus in the opening round at Wimbledon, going on to make the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep. Her rematch with Venus in Melbourne was one of the stand-out ties in the opening round of matches and once again it was the teenager who prevailed. Read more
Pogba is a nuisance – Keane (Punch)
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane branded Paul Pogba “a nuisance” in the aftermath of the club’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah saw the home side pick up all three points in the Premier League clash, leaving United fifth in the table, five points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
After the match, Keane discussed the state of the club under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the pundit insisted that the Norwegian needed to get rid of the ‘nuisances’ at Old Trafford, mentioning Pogba in the process. Read more
Australian Open: Johanna Konta loses to Ons Jabeur in first round (BBC)
British number one Johanna Konta made her earliest exit from the Australian Open by losing to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the first round.
Konta, seeded 12th, was beaten 6-4 6-2 by the tricky world number 78 at Melbourne Park.
The 28-year-old was playing only her second match in almost five months because of a knee injury. Read more
Marcus Rashford: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘has to take some blame’, says Ian Wright (BBC)
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “thought about himself before the player” when Marcus Rashford picked up a back injury which could keep him out for three months, says former England striker Ian Wright.
Rashford, 22, came on as a substitute and then went off injured during United’s 1-0 home win over Wolves in last week’s FA Cup third-round replay.
Wright, speaking on the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live, believes “someone should be held accountable” because it is likely to cost United. Read more
Roger Federer gives verdict on Jannik Sinner as young Italian looks to extend curious Australian Open record (Metro)
One young man was narrowly denied a first match win at the Australian Open on Monday, but it wasn’t his opponent who kept him at bay. Jannik Sinner, the red-headed 18-year-old Italian who is ranked 82 in the world, lost in the first round of a Futures event in Tunisia this time last year but has rapidly climbed the rankings to become one of the most talked about youngsters in the tennis sphere and only the Melbourne rain denied him a spot in the second round. Sinner, a skiing champion in his youth who grew up in the mountains of South Tyrol near Austria, is the only 18-year-old in the world’s top-200 (the next highest-ranked player of that age is world No. 299 and former junior Wimbledon champion Chun-hsin Tseng) and is just two games away from a first Grand Slam main draw victory. Read more
Zamfara to build new stadium (Nation)
The Secretary to Zamfara State Government, Bala Bello, has said that the state government will construct a new stadium to enhance the state’s participation in sporting activities.
Bello said this in Gusau yesterday during an inspection tour of ongoiang renovation work on the Sardauna Stadium.
He said that the Gov. Bello Matawalle-led government had deep passion for sports, adding that: “we are committed to developing sports infrastructure in the state.”
“We are making arrangements for the construction of a new stadium. we are doing this because we need it in the state. Read more
Chandler Parsons: Atlanta Hawks star’s career in doubt after ‘traumatic brain injury’ (BBC)
An American law firm has said that Chandler Parsons’ NBA career could be over after “a traumatic brain injury”.
His team, the Atlanta Hawks, announced on 16 January that the small forward, 31, had been diagnosed with concussion and whiplash after a car accident.
But lawyers Morgan & Morgan released a statement on Monday saying that Parsons had “suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries”. Read more
Serena concerned over pollution after past lung problems (Punch)
Serena Williams of the United States waves to the TV cameras after winning her Women’s Singles semi-final match against Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine on day eleven of the 2019 US Open. Photo: AFP
Serena Williams voiced concern over pollution from bushfire smoke at the Australian Open on Monday, saying that lung problems in the past could make her more vulnerable.
The 38-year-old American, who is pursuing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, said it was a waiting game to see how conditions develop over the next fortnight. Read more
Mikel Arteta agrees with Alexandre Lacazette’s criticism of Arsenal players (Metro)
Mikel Arteta says he agrees with Alexandre Lacazette’s claim that Arsenal are ‘naive’ and must be ‘nastier’ in the decisive moments of matches. The Gunners have surrendered one-goal leads in their last two matches and ended up drawing to Crystal Palace and Sheffield United to drop yet more points in the Premier League. Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at home to the Blades leaves them languishing down in tenth in the table and there’s no let up for Mikel’s men who take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. Read more
Road to Qatar 2022: Eagles get second round opponents today (Nation)
Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ journey to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will began in earnest today as the team get to know its foes in the second round of the qualifiers when the draw of the continent’s qualifying competition take place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
The 14 first-round winners will be joined in the draw by Nigeria and 25 highest African nations in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking (as of December 2019). The 40 teams will be drawn into 10 groups of four, with only the section winners advancing to the third round.
According to the schedule, the group phase of the second round starts in March 2020 and comes to an end in October 2021. The third round which will be made up of 10 group winners will be drawn into five two-legged knockout ties to be played in November 2021. Read more