House on the Rock extends love to the needy at Christmas (ThisDay)
The House on the Rock church has expressed love and support to no fewer than 30,000 persons in Lagos state.
The act was part of the church’s ‘‘Project Spread’’ initiative, held annually to identify with the needy during Christmas celebrations.
The project held across three locations simultaneously in the state, with a variety of staple foods distributed to over 30,000 that thronged the collection centres.
Speaking on the project, Senior Pastor of House on the Rock Church, Paul Adefarasin stressed that the project aimed to identify with the needy and less privileged especially at Christmas. Read more
Yuletide: Aviation fuel, petrol scarcity, insecurity compound travellers’ woes (Punch)
Twenty-four hours to Christmas, many Nigerians have been unable to travel to different destinations due to astronomical rise in bus fares, acute petrol and aviation fuel scarcity, rising insecurity and declining household income.
Usually in this period, many citizens travel to different parts of the country to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. While some return to their ancestral homes to reunite with their kith and kin, others take breaks from their regular schedules to visit tourist destinations.
However, the situation this year has left many unable to embark on such fancy journeys, while those who have travelled or are planning to do so are complaining of high fares and raising fears about their safety.
Saturday PUNCH reports that road transport operators have significantly increased the fares to different destinations across the country and this has left many intending passengers stranded, while others have simply abandoned plans to travel. Read more
Emefiele chronicles gains of cashless policy, assuages lawmakers’ concerns (ThisDay)
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, said the Nigerian payment system had recorded significant achievements since the introduction of the cashless policy in 2012. Emefiele said this while addressing the House of Representatives on CBN’s implementation of the cashless policy and new withdrawal limits.
The CBN governor was represented at the hearing by Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate, Dr. Aisha Ahmad.
Emefiele said following the successes achieved in the payment system, Nigeria had been adjudged Africa’s undisputed real-time and digital payments leader, with over 3.7 billion real-time transactions in 2021. He also pointed out that electronic banking adoption had significantly increased among the Nigerian populace while the cashless policy had further spurred policy innovation that had expanded the breadth and depth of financial system participants, transaction channels, and financial access points. Read more
African Christmas movies to watch on Netflix this holiday (Leadership)
It won’t feel like Christmas if we don’t have the typical Christmassy movies to make us feel at home. So, besides popular, classic and evergreen Christmas films that we are used to like Home Alone I & II, Uncle Buck, Die Hard I & II and It’s a Wonderful Life, it is time we treated more contemporary and African Christmas movies.
African movie industries have begun to produce Christmas targeted movies since the past few years, which are easily accessible to watch online. So, this holiday season, we are encouraging film lovers to be more openminded, and watch African holiday movies. And if they are in any way lacking in specific areas, be free to share their thoughts, as that’s the only way they can get better.
Below are African Christmas movies to binge watch this holiday season:
Christmas In Miami
We are starting with an oldie, a 2021 holiday movie by Nigerian comedian AY titled – Christmas In Miami. What happens when six families from across six diverse countries and cultures, come together under one roof, for one week, to battle for $1 million? Read more
Apapa road rehab: Lagos shuts 2nd rainbow axis till January (Vanguard)
The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to shut the Second Rainbow Bus stop, along Apapa/Oworonshoki Expressway to traffic from tomorrow, December 24, 2022, to January 5, 2023.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde who announced this on Friday, at Alausa Ikeja, said the closure has become necessary to allow the launching of beams at the Second Rainbow Bus stop necessitated this diversion to prevent vehicular interference and ensure the safety of motorists.
Oladeinde, therefore, urged motorists along Apapa bound lane from Cele Bus stop heading inwards Mile 2 axis to utilize the Festac link road at Second Rainbow and make a left turn, after which they are to follow traffic signs to continue their journeys.
Also, motorists on the Oshodi bound lane towards Cele Bus Stop should be advised to make a right turn at the Second Rainbow bus stop and proceed to their desired destinations. Read more
Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Benue (DailyTrust)
Gunmen have reportedly kidnapped a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Mark Ojotu, along Okpoga-Ojapo road in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.
It was learnt that Ojotu, who is the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga in Okpokwu LGA, was abducted Thursday evening.
The Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in a letter from the Diocesan Secretariat addressed to all Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful by the Diocesan Chancellor, Reverend Father Joseph Aboyi, confirmed the abduction of the priest.
“We write to notify you of the kidnap of one of our priests, Rev. Fr. Mark Ojotu. He is the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga. The sad incident occurred today (Thursday) December 22, 2022 at about 5pm along Okpoga – Ojapo Road, Okpokwu LGA, Benue State. Read more
Fuel scarcity: NANS threatens nationwide protest (Punch)
The National Association of Nigerian Students has said it will take a strong stance against the scarcity of petrol if the Federal Government does not do anything to end the problem.
It further stated that the unavailability of fuel had made it extremely hard for students to cope in their various universities with the hike in fares.
The Vice President (External Affairs) of the student body, Akinteye Babatunde-Afeez, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, stated the association in its recent Executive Council meeting held on December 10, frowned upon the issue of fuel scarcity.
He also blamed the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for being ‘mischievous’, noting that the matter was further complicated by ‘some major oil marketers’. Read more
Abuja Train Accident: Federal Govt faults crossing of tracks by motorists (Leadership)
Railway authorities in the country have faulted motorists for illegally crossing train tracks, an act which recently resulted in the death of Selimota Suleiman, a member of staff of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Reacting to the incident, the spokesman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Yakubu Mahmood, said there were two legally constructed overpasses at different locations within the Kubwa Abuja environment for ease and safety of crossing railway lines.
He said: “Motorists have for reasons best known to them, been avoiding those two underpasses and instead resort to using illegal level crossings which have been in recent times fatal as a result of collision by moving trains.
“The NRC management hereby enjoins motorists and other road users to always use the two constructed under passes for their safety instead of the illegal level crossings that portray great risk and danger to their lives and property. Read more
Mariah Carey co-writer slams her claim she wrote “All I Want For Christmas” as a kid (Metro)
She may well be the Queen of Christmas – but the co-writer and co-producer of Mariah Carey’s blockbuster festive hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has slammed claims that she wrote the song by herself as a little girl.
The 52-year-old claims she wrote the song as ‘a kid’ on her ‘little Casio keyboard’, but Walter Afanasieff – who also worked on the star’s 1993 Music Box album – has a different version of events.
Speaking on the Hot Takes & Deep Dives podcast, Walter says Mariah has only been claiming she wrote the song on her own for the past decade.
He said: ‘We were both on the same page about how we wrote All I Want For Christmas Is You, there was never any alternate story until probably 10 years ago. Read more
Tory Lanez guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion (BBC)
Rapper Tory Lanez has been found guilty of shooting fellow hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in 2020.
A jury in Los Angeles convicted the 30-year-old Canadian of felony negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, and carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm.
He faces more than 20 years in prison.
Megan Thee Stallion, a 27-year-old Grammy-winning rapper, earlier testified that she was shot in the feet after leaving a pool party.
Lanez showed no reaction as the verdict was read out. He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on 27 January. Read more
LadBaby make UK chart history with 5th consecutive Christmas number one (Sky)
The social media stars have now had the most ever festive bestsellers, having topped the charts every year since 2018.
Friday 23 December 2022 18:59, UK
The social media stars have now had the most ever festive bestsellers, having topped the charts every year since 2018.1:14
Why you can trust Sky News
LadBaby have claimed their fifth Christmas number one with their reimagining of Band Aid’s “Do They Know it’s Christmas”. Read more
Funny Girl with Lea Michele breaks a Broadway box office record (Variety)
Lea Michele is officially the greatest star. Funny Girl, the once-struggling musical revival, has been selling strong and broke the all-time box office record at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre.
The revival collected $2.005 million over eight performances during the week ending on Dec. 18, setting a benchmark for the highest gross at the August Wilson Theatre and for the production. Prior to “Funny Girl,” the stage version of “Mean Girls” held the house record with $1.994 million in 2018.
The box office success of “Funny Girl” is also notable because it’s been a tough time for Broadway as tourism remains down from pre-pandemic levels. Several musicals and plays, including “Almost Famous,” “KPOP” and “A Strange Loop,” have closed alarmingly soon due to low ticket sales. Read more
Ana de Armas fans told they can sue over Yesterday trailer (BBC)
Film studio Universal can be sued for false advertising after fans complained a movie trailer was misleading, a US judge has ruled.
Two fans of the actress Ana de Armas filed a lawsuit in January after renting the 2019 film Yesterday.
The actress was seen in the trailer, but the pair were disappointed to find she had been cut from the final film.
The plaintiffs, Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza, each paid $3.99 (£3.31) to rent Yesterday on Amazon Prime.
Woulfe and Rosza are seeking at least $5 million (£4.1m) from Universal in the case, which has been filed as a class action on behalf of other disappointed fans. Read more
“Something to Talk About” Songwriter Shirley Eikhard Dies at 67 (AmericanSongwriter)
Shirley Eikhard, the writer of Bonnie Raitt’s Grammy-winning hit “Something to Talk About,” died on Thursday, December 15. She was 67.
Musical throughout her childhood, the Canadian-born singer/songwriter rose to fame in the 1970s. By the time she was 15, country singers Chet Atkins and Anne Murray had both recorded and released two of her songs, “Pickin’ My Way” and “It Takes Time,” respectively.
Eikhard released her self-titled debut album in 1972, and won two consecutive Juno Awards for Best Country Female Artist in ’73 and ’74.
She reportedly wrote more than 500 songs over the course of her career, many of which would go on to be covered by popular musicians, such as Raitt, Cher, and Rita Coolidge. In the 1980s, she made a mega breakthrough, penning “Something to Talk About.” It would become her most notable song, one that would lead to her induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Read more
Viola Davis reveals how much she was paid for powerful Antwone Fisher role (Metro)
Viola Davis has peeled back the curtain on Hollywood and revealed her paycheque for the emotive performance she put in for Antwone Fisher.
The iconic star, 57, portrayed Eva May, the birth mother of Derek Luke’s title character and unleashed a silent acting masterpiece, muttering only a few words but proving actions speak louder.
For several minutes she brought raw acting chops, evoking emotion and tears as she was reunited with her son in Denzel Washington’s directorial debut.
The film is based on Fisher’s autobiographical book, Finding Fish, and details his early life in foster care, where he was abused, before he joined the Navy. Read more
Osimhen key to Napoli winning Serie A – Scarlato (Punch)
Former Napoli defender, Gennaro Scarlato, admits that Victor Osimhen will be crucial to Napoli winning the Serie A title this season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 45-year-old former defender who made 78 appearances and scored four times for the Partenopei adds that Osimhen the Nigerian striker has become a crucial voice in Napoli’s dressing room.
Napoli enjoyed a magnificent first half of the 2022-23 season, sitting eight points clear at the summit of Serie A having qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners with a marvelous campaign that included big wins over Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers.
“It is normal that when there are six to seven important players in a team, the important voice becomes that of the coach, in this case Spalletti,” Scarlato told Napoli Magazine. Read more
World Athletics rank Nigeria Women’s 4x100m Relay Team 4th best (Sun)
The World Athletics has ranked Nigeria Women’s 4x100m Relay Team as the 4th best in the 2022 season, BSNSports.com.ng reports.
On Thursday, the World Athletics published numerous national records that were set across each of the relay disciplines in 2022, including the Women’s 4x100m, where 12 countries went faster than they ever had before.
Nigeria’s feat at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where a new African record was set, made the list.
Recall Nigeria quartet of Joy Chinenye Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha set an African record at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the United States of America. Read more
Oguntuase: Eagles will fail again if preparation for 2026 World Cup doesn’t start now (NewTelegraph)
Ex-international Jide Oguntuase has warned that the Super Eagles may again fail to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup slated to take place in the United States, Canada and Mexico if the Nigeria Football Federation does not draw up a viable and workable action plan that will start to be executed immediately.
Eagles failed to make it to Qatar 2022 after the Nigerians lost the ticket to the Black Stars of Ghana to the chagrin of football-crazy Nigerians. Eagles World Cup miss triggered a sense of anger from Nigerians who watched the tournament end with an African team, Morocco, reaching the semifinal for the first time.
Oguntuase said the Eagles could break the country’s heart again if all the elements that inhibited the team’s progress in recent times are not wiped out. He said it could be fatally dangerous for Nigerian football if the national team does not make it to the World Cup in 2026, a scenario he described as plausible despite the fact that Africa has a guaranteed nine slots in the expanded competition. Read more
Pep Guardiola claims Kalvin Phillips returned to Man City ”overweight” (RTE)
Pep Guardiola has claimed Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips returned to training following the World Cup “overweight”.
City manager Guardiola was initially vague when asked why the 27-year-old England international did not even make the bench for Thursday’s Carabao Cup tie against Liverpool.
Guardiola simply said the player was not fit and had not been in the right condition to train after rejoining the City squad.
However, pressed further after City’s 3-2 win over the Reds at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola made clear the injury-hit Phillips had not picked up another knock. Read more
Unai Emery wants World Cup hero Emi Martinez’s antics kept in check (IrishIndependent)
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is set to hold talks with Emiliano Martinez after the Argentina goalkeeper’s controversial World Cup celebrations.
Martinez made a crude gesture with the Golden Glove trophy after the victory over France in Qatar on Sunday. The French Football Federation has made an official complaint over Martinez’s “abnormal” behaviour and his repeatedly taking aim at France forward Kylian Mbappe in the aftermath of the final, which Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Martinez emerged as one of the heroes, first for making a stunning stop in the final moments of extra-time from Randal Kolo Muani, and then for his antics in the penalty shoot-out. Martinez saved from Kingsley Coman and then employed intimidatory tactics.
These included throwing the ball away as Aurelien Tchouameni approached the penalty spot and appeared to lead to the Frenchman shooting wide. Read more
Joshua has failed – Fury (Punch)
WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, has given a harsh criticism of his boxing rival and countryman Anthony Joshua tagging the British-Nigerian a failure.
The duo failed to make a fight deal earlier this year and Fury believes it was Joshua who is responsible for not producing a showdown that all boxing fans were eager to see.
The rivalry between the two has always been intense but since Joshua lost his rematch and title to Oleksandr Usyk, his valuation in the division has diminished.
However, Tyson Fury’s father, John Fury believes that Joshua is still worth the shot. John believes that Joshua should go to face Joy Joyce instead of Dillian Whyte to prove his worth. This would immediately set him up against the winner of the Usyk vs Fury fight. Read more