Fun seekers express disappointment over cancellation of activities at National Theatre (Guardian)
Some fun seekers have expressed disappointment over the cancellation of film shows and other activities at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, due to the second wave of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the fun seekers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, urged the management to inform the public of the cancellation for the sake of fun seekers who reside far away.
They also appealed to the management of the theatre to upgrade the facilities in the complex to bring them up-to-date.
Mr Akeem Akanbi, an educationist, who has been patronising the theatre for years, said he was surprised to meet the place quiet, adding that the development would discourage many families from patronising the facility in future. Read more
Oba Akiolu returns to palace two months after #EndSARS riots (Thisday)
Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu yesterday re-entered his palace, about two months after a mob forced him to evacuate, during the ENDSARS protests.
The royal father, whose palace, Iga Idungaran, in Lagos Island was looted and vandalised by rioters, danced into the renovated facility, amid drumming, singing and chant of welcome in Yoruba, as captured in a tweeted video that has gone viral on the internet.
The Oba, who wore a nose mask, was obviously performing a traditional rite, as he was guided by some palace chiefs and priests, who were bare-chested, wearing only white skirts. Read more
Subscribers must now present NIN for SIM card replacement – FG (Tribune)
A new condition for SIM card replacement is that subscribers must present their National Identification Numbers (NIN).
This is part of new conditions the federal government has announced for subscribers to replace lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged SIM cards.
In a statement signed on Friday by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde; and Head, Corporate Communication, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, telecommunication companies are expected to comply with other SIM replacement guidelines already in place.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will verify the NIN that subscribers supply before the telecommunication company can replace the affected SIM card. Read more
How we rescued Bishop Chikwe – Police (Sun)
The Imo State Command of the Nigeria Police has announced the release of the abducted Auxiliary Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe who was abducted last Sunday at about 6 30 pm in Owerri after officiating a mass at World bank road.
State Police Public Relation Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu who announced his release in a Police platform social media handle said the priest was rescued unhurt on Friday alongside his driver and without any ransom paid.
According to Ikeokwu, “it took a sting operation” by the men of the Imo State police command to track down the kidnappers, although the location where he was rescued was not disclosed but a church leader who spoke to our correspondent under anonymity said “it does not matter where he was rescued, rather the good news is that he has been rescued.” Read more
Allege police brutalisation of Sowore sparks protest (Thisday)
Following yesterday’s reported arrest of human rights activist and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, along other activists allegedly by the police in Abuja, some Nigerians, including his colleagues, have shifted the battle to Twitter, alleging brutalisation of the arrested activists.
SaharaReporters reported that Sowore and other activists were arrested while carrying out a peaceful procession to mark the New Year. The activists were almost done with their crossover procession when about seven loaded vans of the Nigerian security forces swooped on them, brutalising everyone at sight.
The publication adds that eyewitnesses said police officers suspected to be the Rapid Response Squad stormed Gudu junction in Abuja, wounding Sowore before whisking him away with other activists from the location. Read more
Save your administration from going into extinction by embarking on people’s oriented programmes, Mbaka warns Buhari (Tribune)
Catholic Priest and Founder of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against regime change, urging him to embark on people’s oriented programmes to save his government from going into extinction.
Fr. Mbaka gave the warning during his 2020 edition of the Crossover Night ministration, advising the federal government to take swift moves to create jobs to prevent Nigerian youths from embarking on restiveness that may consume the regime.
The event, which held at the AMEN Arena, Enugu, was tagged, “Cornucopia of New Miracles from God.”
The Spiritual leader of the Adoration Ministry also took a swipe at the country’s legislators, especially members of the National Assembly (NASS). Read more
Tomato sellers in Enugu attribute drop in price to a glut (Sun)
Some tomato sellers in Enugu have attributed the current drop in price of the commodity to its harvest season which has led to a glut.
A visit by a Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to some of the major markets in Enugu on Saturday, showed that a big basket of tomatoes now sells for N11,500 as against the previous price of N16, 000.
According to the traders, the price of tomatoes usually dropped during its harvest season.
One of them, Miss Oge Madu, a tomato seller, at Garki Market, said that the major reason for the sudden reduction in price of tomatoes was due to the cultivation of tomatoes in Enugu (Nsukka) Read more
Bauchi Assembly asks govt to re-demarcate Yankari games reserve to save lives of farmers (Tribune)
Bauchi State Government has been called upon to as a matter of urgency re-demarcate the boundaries of Yankari Games Reserve and Safari in Alkaleri Local Government in order to save the lives of residents of the area.
The call was made by Bala Abdullahi Dan member representing Duguri/Gwana Constituency in the State House of Assembly when he moved a motion on the issue during the plenary of the Assembly last Thursday.
While Leading the debate on the motion, Bala Abdullahi explained that during the rainy season, Elephants use to penetrate nearby farms and villages consuming the produce and distracting the villagers, causing serious havoc to the local communities. Read more
D’banj announces birth of baby girl with wife (Vanguard)
Nigerian musician and businessman, Oladapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj welcomes his new born baby girl with wife, Lineo Didi Kilgrow.
Kokomaster a.k.a D’banj took to his verified Instagram handle on Friday to announce the birth of his newborn child and welcomes her with a warm message.
“As I Hold My Daughter, My Own babylet In my Arms On This Day all the proof in God I need is in Her Eyes, you are a gift from the heavens and my God indeed honored His words in Psalms 65:11
“And to my Beautiful Wife lineo, I watched how you changed by the day and I marvelled at your strength. I couldn’t imagine the stress you had to go through carrying another human in a body . But You taught me what real strength is as you endured every kick and change just to give us our baby girl,while still Taking care of all of us. Read more
Plane crash deaths rise in 2020 despite Covid pandemic (BBC)
More people died in commercial plane crashes in 2020, an industry group has said, despite the number of flights plummeting due to the pandemic.
Dutch aviation consultancy To70 found that 299 people were killed in commercial crashes worldwide last year, rising from 257 in 2019.
This is despite a sharp drop in flights due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Tracking site Flightradar 24 reported that commercial flights had dropped by 42% last year. Read more
UK allows mixing COVID-19 vaccines as experts warn of risks (NYPost)
British health officials will now allow people to mix COVID-19 vaccines as the pandemic rages on — but experts warn it could be risky.
The tweak in vaccine advice, which comes as the country grapples with a new, highly contagious mutation of the virus, marks a surprising departure from previous guidance — and a starkly different approach to the vaccine rollout in the US, the New York Times reported.
The UK protocol now states that a person can receive their follow-up COVID-19 jab with a different vaccine candidate to their first dose, if necessary.
Britain has approved two vaccines for the deadly bug, developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer. Read more
Niger presidential election heads to February runoff (AlJazeera)
Niger’s ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum will face former President Mahamane Ousmane in a presidential election runoff in February, according to provisional results announced by the electoral commission.
Bazoum, 60, led the first round with 39.33 percent of the vote, falling short of the 50 percent plus one needed to win the first round.
Ousmane received 17 percent of the votes cast, the commission said on Saturday.
Former prime ministers Seini Oumarou and Albade Abouba respectively came third and fourth with 8.95 percent and 7.07 percent of the ballots. Read more
US election: Legal bid to get Pence to overturn results rejected (BBC)
The latest in a series of attempts by allies of President Donald Trump to overturn the November US election result has failed.
A Texas judge rejected the case, brought by Republican Louie Gohmert, seeking to stop Vice-President Mike Pence from certifying the final result.
Lawyers for Mr Pence had asked for the case to be thrown out on Thursday.
President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office on 20 January. Mr Trump is yet to concede. Read more
Illegal French ravers clash with police at days-long party (NYPost)
An illegal rave that’s been going on since New Year’s Eve has drawn at least 2,500 revelers to a massive French warehouse — and cops who try to bust it up are being met with violence.
By early Saturday local time, one police vehicle had been torched and several officers had been injured outside the rave in Brittany.
The massive rager just keeps going despite the country’s 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The BBC reported that some ravers planned to stay put until Tuesday. Read more
Algeria frees top officials jailed during mass protests (AlJazeera)
An Algerian military appeals court on Saturday acquitted three top officials who were jailed in 2019 during mass protests, sources close to the officials said.
The three – two former security chiefs and the younger brother of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika – were given 15-year prison sentences in September 2019 on charges of conspiracy against the state.
The presidential aide, Said Bouteflika, was long seen as the real power running the North African country after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.
But he was arrested in May 2019, a month after the former president quit office following mass protests against his bid for a fifth term. Read more
Man changes name to Celine Dion after having far too much to drink (Metro)
A 30-year-old man decided to change his name to Celine Dion after having a few too many glasses of wine. Thomas Dodd – otherwise known as Celine – had the idea while watching one of the Canadian singer’s concerts on YouTube over Christmas. He thought it would be a great idea to pay £89 to officially take her name, but completely forgot about it when the official Deed Poll documents landed on this doorstep on Wednesday. Once you receive your papers you need to sign them before an independent witness and inform your relevant record holders before your name is considered changed. Read more
Super Eagles striker, Osimhen tests positive for COVID-19 (Vanguard)
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has returned positive for coronavirus, his Italian club confirmed on Friday evening.
The Nigeria international returned to Naples on Thursday having been away to Lagos for the yuletide break. On arrival, the former Lille and Royal Charleroi star was subjected to the compulsory Covid-19 PCR test and his Serie A outfit disclosed that Osimhen posted a positive result.
Fortunately, he had not met with any member of Gennaro Gattuso’s squad, and the goal machine is now set to remain in quarantine for some days.
“Napoli report that footballer Victor Osimhen tested positive for the molecular naso-pharyngeum swab on his return from abroad yesterday afternoon. The player is asymptomatic and has not met the team group,” the club posted on Twitter. Read more
Mauricio Pochettino confirmed as new Paris Saint-German head coach (BBC)
Former Tottenham and Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed head coach of Paris St-Germain.
The Argentine, 48, who succeeded Thomas Tuchel, has signed a deal until 30 June 2022, with the option of an extra year.
Pochettino, who played for PSG between 2001 and 2003, has been out of work since being sacked by Spurs in November 2019. Read more
Knicks’ RJ Barrett in awful shooting slump after sizzling start (NYPost)
RJ Barrett started the new season afire, nailing his first nine shots from the floor, including all three 3-point attempts, in the Knicks’ season-opening loss at Indiana on Dec. 23.
Coach Tom Thibodeau’s team will return to Indianapolis on Saturday night, and Barrett will look to rediscover that shooting touch after his percentages dramatically plummeted in the four-plus games thereafter.
The second-year guard hardly was the lone misfiring culprit in Thursday’s 100-83 loss to the Raptors in Tampa, Fla. The Knicks finished a wretched 3-for-36 from 3-point range against the Raptors, including an NBA record 23 straight misses by the starting five. Read more
Ex-India cricket captain Ganguly ‘stable’ after heart operation (AlJazeera)
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been rushed to hospital where he underwent a heart operation, doctors said.
The 48-year-old, who now heads the country’s cricket board, suffered a cardiac arrest while exercising at his personal gym in the morning and was immediately taken to Woodlands hospital in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state, on Saturday.
“Sourav Ganguly has undergone an angioplasty and he is completely stable now,” doctor Saroj Mandal told reporters outside the hospital, where crowds had gathered after hearing the news about their beloved former captain. Read more
Son and Kane on target as Spurs beat Leeds (BBC)
Son Heung-min scored his 100th goal for Tottenham as they returned to winning ways in the Premier League against Leeds.
Spurs’ first league victory since 6 December lifts them to third in the table, with Leeds remaining 11th.
While Jose Mourinho’s side merited their win, Leeds played a significant part in their own downfall.
Goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s misplaced pass led to Harry Kane opening the scoring with a penalty after Ezgjan Alioski fouled Steven Bergwijn.
Kane then turned provider, with a curling cross from the right that was swept in by Son at the near post as the hosts doubled their advantage. Read more
Neil Lennon slams referee and says Celtic made Rangers look ‘very ordinary’ during defeat (Metro)
Neil Lennon has hit out at referee Bobby Madden after Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers and says his ‘rash’ decision to show Nir Bitton a red card ‘changed the course of the game’ at Ibrox. Celtic were the better side in the first half of Saturday’s Old Firm derby but Bitton’s sending off – for a last-man foul on Alfredo Moreno – and Callum McGregor’s own-goal in the space of eight second-half minutes put the hosts in the driving seat. Steven Gerrard’s men kept hold of their lead to go 19 points clear of their bitter rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership table and Lennon said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ to come away from the match with nothing. Read more