I thought my daughter was dead – Mother of Bethlehem’s head girl (Punch)
Families and friends of some of the victims of Sunday’s explosion in the Abule-Ado area of Lagos State have continued to share their grief over the incident that claimed 20 lives on Sunday.
For instance, Ada Nnaji, the mother of the head girl of the Bethlehem Girls College, Ogochukwu, said she thought her daughter was dead when she saw her in the hospital.
Ogochukwu was among the 50 pupils of the college, who were injured when buildings on the school premises collapsed on them as Mass was being celebrated.
The impact of the explosion destroyed over 50 houses and many vehicles parked in the area. Read more
Passengers stranded as Lagos-Ogun train breaks down minutes after takeoff (DailyTrust)
Hundreds of passengers of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) train from Ido, Lagos to Kajola in Ogun state were stranded on Tuesday when the engine broke down minutes after taking off. The train, which took off from Ido, stopped at the Ebute-Metta junction (EBJ) to pick more passengers spending almost 20 minutes before taking off. Daily Trust learnt that the train took off from EBJ around 6:46 and stopped again on approaching Mushin at around 7:10. Many passengers were oblivious of what happened to the train when it abruptly stopped before getting to Mushin train station. Read more
No special treatment for VIPs, Sanwo-Olu tells airport staff (Guardian)
As airlines demand restriction of flights to Lagos, Abuja airports
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday visited the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for assessment of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN’s) screening of passengers for coronavirus, insisting that members of staff should not show bias in their operations.
Although, he expressed satisfaction over what was on ground, he tasked the management and staff of FAAN to ensure that all passengers with no exception and no matter their status as very important personalities (VIPs) were properly screened.
Sanwo-Olu said what he saw should be the minimum standard, insisting that the staff members should continue to be committed and patriotic, as they needed to do it for their fatherland, adding however, that they should not stigmatised in the process. Read more
Rotary clubs uplift public schools in Lagos, Osun (Guardian)
Students of Orimolade High School II, Ikirun receiving their trophy from the Rotary e-Club of Greater Nigeria
To enhance accountability of members and foster new relationships, the Rotary Club of Akowonjo, District 9110, has rejigged its system and has also refurbished and donated 100 chairs and desks to Rauf Aregbesola Secondary School, Lagos. Speaking at the launch of ‘club-in-club’, president of the club, Rotn. Abdulkareem Musa, said the launch of the initiative is a way of propagating the club’s message of inclusion and growth.
“The club is creating competition among its members to recruit, retain and grow membership on its way to becoming a mega club. The idea of Club-in-Club is to strengthen and retain membership, as well as group bonding, by breaking ourselves into smaller groups to have healthy competitions, which will drive the club forward,” he said.
Chairman Membership of the club, Rotn. Olasukanmi Amoye, explained that the system avails older Rotarians who might not attend meetings the opportunity to be abreast with happenings. Read more
Abiodun dissociates self from attack on Osoba (Nation)
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has dissociated himself and his government from unguided comments by Commissioner for Sports, Oluwadare Kehinde, which were found disparaging to the person and administration of former Governor Olusegun Osoba.
Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, apologised to Osoba, saying the comments do not represent the views of the government about him.
The governor also apologised to the late Chief Lam Adesina (Oyo State) and former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun (Edo State), who were equally disparaged in the comments. Read more
‘Why work has not commenced on Mambilla dam’ (Nation)
THE Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has blamed the Taraba state government for delaying the takeoff of work on the Mambilla hydropower project.
The minister, who spoke to The Nation through his spokesman, Aaron Artimas, on the telephone, said the project’s consultant and contractors can only move to the site when the affected people are compensated and relocated.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari has put everything in place to ensure the project is actualised within four years, but the delays by the Taraba state government will impact negatively on the pace of the work. He disclosed that the cheque for the compensation of the host communities was ready but Governor Darius Ishaku was not ready to collect the money. Instead, he said, the governor has brought another proposal requesting additional funds for “public enlightenment and construction of the Mararaba/Baissa Road” which leads to where the main dam will be constructed. Read more
Abuja doctors begin strike amid new Coronavirus case (Nation)
The Abuja chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD-FCTA) on Tuesday began an indefinite strike to press home their demand for timely and adequate payment of their salary, among other demands.
The strike is coming at a very critical time when the Federal Government has just announced a third confirmed case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lagos State.
The ARD-FCTA is the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) chapter of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, comprising doctors practising in the 14 districts and general hospitals, departments of public health and primary health care development boards under the federal capital territory administration (FCTA), excluding the consultants. Read more
Nigeria’s visa on arrival issuance drops by 60% in 30 days (DailyTrust)
The amount of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) coming to Nigeria may have reduced drastically in recent weeks as the issuance of Visas on Arrival (VoAs) has declined by over 60 per cent in the last one month, Daily Trust investigations have revealed. Our correspondent’s findings show that VoAs’ reduction was largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world which has caused substantial drop in air passenger traffic globally. Sources at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos Command, confirmed that COVID-19 had taken a huge toll on the number of VoAs issued on a monthly basis. Read more
Activist asks female lecturers to team up against sexual harassment (Punch)
A Human Rights Activist, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, has challenged the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other relevant academic unions to rise up and fight the rising cases of sexual harassment in Nigerian universities.
She advised that if ASUU and other academic unions were reluctant in standing against the menace, women lecturers should form their academic unions to fight sexual harassment and gender-based violence which she added was a “disgrace” to higher institutions of learning.
Akiyode-Afolabi, who is the Founder Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, stated this in an interview at the end of one-day training support for lecturers and administrators on protection of girls in tertiary institution in Bauchi State. Read more
Chad ‘repaying $100m debt to Angola with cattle’ (BBC)
Chad is repaying Angola a debt of $100m (£82m) with cattle, Angola’s state-run newspaper has reported.
The unusual agreement is seen as creating a win-win situation for both nations – Chad is short of cash while Angola needs cattle.
More than 1,000 cows arrived by ship in Angola’s capital, Luanda, as the first payment, Jornal de Angola reported.
In total, Angola would receive 75,000 cattle over 10 years, meaning it has accepted payment of $1,333 per animal. Read more
Zimbabwe VP in China for medical check (DailyTrust)
Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga was flown at the weekend to China for medical checks, an official said Tuesday. Presidential spokesman George Charamba told AFP Chiwenga, a former army general who led President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to power following a brief military takeover in 2017, “flew back to China for his medical checkup”. Chiwenga spent four months undergoing treatment in China last year and returned home in November. Read more
White House looking at sending ‘Americans cheques’ (Nation)
United States Treasury Secretary Sreve Mnuchin said the administration is “looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately”.
“Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash now. And I mean now, in the next two weeks.”
Mnuchin did not disclose how much would be distributed but said he was discussing with Republican lawmakers.
But Mnuchin said the administration is working on a big economic stimulus package, reported to be worth some $850bn, which he’ll be discussing with Congress in the coming hours.
Under the plans, Americans will be allowed to defer up to $300 billion worth of taxes. It also includes payments to small businesses and loan guarantees. Read more
China to restrict US journalists from three major newspapers (BBC)
China has effectively expelled journalists from three US newspapers in retaliation for restrictions on its news outlets in the US.
Its foreign ministry ordered reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal to return media passes within 10 days.
The ministry also demanded information about their operations in China.
The measures were in response to “unwarranted restrictions on Chinese media agencies” in the US, it said. Read more
Tech’s biggest companies issue unprecedented joint statement on coronavirus (Metro)
Technology companies were among some of the first to isolate their employees as the coronavirus started to spread around Silicon Valley. Now the biggest names in the industry have issued an unprecedented joint statement that they will be working together to try and manage information on their platforms. The likes of Facebook, Google, Reddit, Microsoft and Twitter among others have said they are ‘jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus’ According to reports from the US, the White House asked the technology industry for help in managing the response to the pandemic. Read more
COVID-19: Govts ramp up new restrictions around the world (Nation)
The battle to contain the coronavirus reached new urgency on Tuesday, as more governments locked down borders and ordered new closures and restrictions.
The shift in the battle lines was made clear by tallies showing cases outside China have surpassed those inside it and Spain now has the fourth-most cases in the world. The central Chinese city that was the former epicenter where the viral illness was first detected in December was down to just one new case yesterday.
The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures list 173,000 infections globally and 7,000 deaths.
A surge of patients in Madrid’s hospitals also fueled worries across Europe of what lies ahead. Read more
Biden crushes Sanders in Florida and Illinois primaries (BBC)
Joe Biden has steamrolled rival Bernie Sanders in primary elections in Florida and Illinois.
Accelerating his momentum in the race, the former US vice-president trounced Mr Sanders in both states by wide margins.
Arizona also voted on Tuesday, though results are still being counted.
Mr Biden is the favourite to become the Democratic candidate who will face President Donald Trump in November. Read more
Birds of Prey gets early digital release as people self-isolate during coronavirus (Metro)
Birds of Prey will be released on digital platforms early as people self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic. Warner Bros. announced on Monday (16.03) that the R-rated Margot Robbie film will be available for digital purchase on 24 March, according to Variety. The film opened in February and has generated $199 million (£165 million) to date at the worldwide box office despite a shaky start.
People will be able to purchase the film on Amazon, iTunes and other platforms for around $19.99 (£16.50). Read more
Coronavirus: French Open tennis moved to September (BBC)
The French Open has been moved to September and October as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event at Roland Garros was due to be played from 24 May to 7 June, but instead will take place between 20 September and 4 October.
That means it will begin just one week after the completion of the US Open in New York.
All professional tennis across the world is currently suspended until at least 20 April. Read more
Trabzonspor terminate Mikel’s contract over refusal to play amid Covid-19 crisis (Guardian)
Turkish club, Trabzonspor yesterday terminated the contract of former Super Eagles’ Captain, John Obi Mikel following the Nigerian’s refusal to continue playing during the current Coronavirus crisis, reports goal.com.
A statement by the club read that they parted ways with Mikel by mutual consent.
Mikel only joined Black Sea Storm as a free agent on a two-year deal last summer, at the end of his brief stint in the Championship with Middlesbrough. Read more
LMC mulls postponement of NPFL over coronavirus concerns (DailyTrust)
Following the postponement of the 2020 National Sports Festival, the League Management Company has stated that it will take a definitive measure on the on-going 2019/2020 Nigeria Football League after today’s week 25 matches. This is understandably coming on the heels of the Coronavirus pandemic that has seen major leagues in Europe being suspended or played without fans. In a chat with Daily Trust yesterday, the Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko revealed that there will be a meeting after today’s matches to decide if the league would continue or be played behind closed doors. Read more
Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympic Games plans ‘irresponsible’, says IOC member (BBC)
International Olympic Committee member Hayley Wickenheiser says that plans for the Tokyo Games to go ahead are “insensitive and irresponsible”.
On Tuesday, Japan’s Olympic minister said the nation is still planning for a “complete” staging of the Games, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“This crisis is bigger than even the Olympics,” said Wickenheiser.
“We don’t know what’s happening in the next 24 hours, let alone the next three months.” Read more
Coronavirus: PGA Championship in San Francisco in May cancelled (BBC)
The PGA Championship, one of golf’s four major events, has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The tournament was scheduled to take place at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California from 11-17 May.
It comes after The Masters, which was due to begin on 9 April at Augusta National in Georgia, was called off last week. Read more
Wonderkid Eze may leave QPR, Les Ferdinand admits (DailyTrust)
QPR director of football, Les Ferdinand, admitted that the club might lose talented Eberechi Eze in the summer with rumours swirling around his future at Loftus Road. Eze has been a standout player in Mark Warburton’s team this season, starting every one of their league games, and he has a tally of 12 goals and eight assists in 37 Championship appearances. The 21-year-old playmaker has been recently linked with a move to the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace reportedly interested in his services. Read more
Anambra win Anosike South-East Cricket Championship (Guardian)
Anambra State has emerged double winners in the male and female categories of the Chuma Anosike Cup Cricket Championship concluded at St. Paul’s University, Awka, the state capital on Sunday.
Anambra State’s male cricket team, captained by Somto Okafor, beat Enugu State, represented by University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC), to lift the 10th edition of the championship trophy in the male category.
The tension-packed final tie between Anambra and Enugu male teams saw Enugu batting first in the first inning, scoring 77 runs in 19.1 overs.In the second inning, Anambra State scored 81 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 13.1 overs. Read more
Rohr’s Eagles too defensive – Bonfrere (Punch)
Bonfrere Jo believes Gernot Rohr needs to be more attack-minded with the Super Eagles, Sports Extra reports.
Despite having in his ranks exciting attacking talents like Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon, Bonfrere, former Eagles coach, stated that the team have not been spectacular under Rohr.
“Under the coach (Rohr), the Eagles have not done well,” Bonfrere told Sports Extra.
“There haven’t been any good team tactics or team play despite having in their ranks exciting players. The way Nigeria have played lately is with much defensive tactics and it’s boring to watch, which is not good enough. They haven’t really improved.” Read more