Kidnapped Kaduna Catholic priest dies in captivity (Leadership)
A Catholic Priest, Rev Fr. Joseph Aketeh Bako, has died in the hands of his abductors eight weeks after he was abducted.
The Chancellor, Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Rev Fr. Christian Okewu Emanuel, disclosed this on Wednesday in Kaduna.
It would be recalled that late Rev. Fr Bako was kidnapped from his residence in Kudenda community of Chikun local government area of Kaduna State on March 8, 2022.
The Chancellor also disclosed that late Fr. Bako had died between April 18 and 20, 2022. Read more
PDP drops zoning, throws presidential contest open (Guardian)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has officially thrown the contest for its presidential ticket open despite conceding that its constitution supports zoning.
“After a very extensive deliberation NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the Presidential Election should now be left open,” PDP spokesman Debo Ologunagba said. “The Party should also work towards consensus candidate where possible.”
At its 96th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night, the party named former President of the Senate, David Mark, as chairman of the planning committee of the May 28-29 national convention where the presidential flagbearer would be nominated.
Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa will serve as the deputy chairman of the committee. Read more
APC Group applauds Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to youth inclusion (Independent)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been commended for his continuous commitment to youth inclusion by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth High-Level Working Group on Youth inclusion in the 2023 election set up by the APC National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel.
The group gave the commendation on Tuesday night during their visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.
The group’s election delegation was led by its co-chair, Ahmad Salihijo (Director-General, Nigeria Rural Electrification Agency).
Other members of the group in the delegation were Ginika Tor (Commissioner, Federal Character Commission), Wole Aboderin (Special Adviser to the President) and Ibrahim Hamza (Special Adviser to the Speaker). Read more
Maritime insecurity: NN to extend anti-piracy operations to neighbouring (Vanguard)
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, yesterday in Lagos, disclosed plans by the Navy to extend its operations on anti-piracy to neighbouring nations’ waters.
This move, according to him, became necessary owing to cases of piracy/kidnappings, allegedly by some Nigerians, in neighbouring countries, with distances between 100 nautical miles and 200 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria.
The CNS dropped the hint while delivering a keynote address at the 10th edition of SECUREX West Africa 2022 International Exhibition, themed ‘Protecting Critical National Infrastructure: Tackling Maritime Crimes; Protecting Nigeria’s Ports”, held in Victoria Island.
He, however, said that the move would place an additional burden on Nigeria and the NN, as more ships and logistics would be required for the extended and prolonged patrols. Read more
Fresh expansion imminent for new Lagos $100m int’l terminal –FAAN (Leadership)
Foreign airlines have abandoned the newly commissioned $100million international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to continue to operate at the terminal 1 of the international airport over space constraint for wide body aircraft, LEADERSHIP investigation has shown.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in March, 2022 commissioned the President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the newly commissioned international terminal will fast track over 14million passengers yearly and create 3000 direct and indirect jobs.
The terminal, it was gathered, had 66 check-in counters, five baggage collection carousels, 16 Immigration Desks at Arrival, 28 Desks at departure, 8 Security Screening Points, 6 passenger boarding bridges with remote boarding and arrival.
Other facilities include 2 food courts, 4 premium lounges, 22 guest rooms, 16 airline ticketing offices, visa on arrival and port health facility, praying areas, 3,000sqm duty free spaces and over 5,000sqm let-table utility spaces. Read more
Davido, Burna Boy to release songs off next albums same day (Punch)
Internationally-recognised Nigerian singers, Davido and Burna Boy, are both set to release songs from their respective next albums on the same day, May 13, 2022.
Born Damini Ogulu, Burna Boy announced that his new song, “Last Last”, off his next album, Love, Damini, will be released on May 13.
The Ye crooner tweeted late Tuesday, “Finally, breakfast will be served midnight 13/05 WAT #lovedamini”, as he shared an image with the words, “Last Last”.
His announcement came a few hours after Davido announced his first song, “Stand Strong”, off his next album. Read more
6 soldiers, Policeman killed in Taraba clash, military commander missing (DailyTrust)
Police in Taraba State have confirmed that an Army officer, Lt Col Eminike is missing while six military personnel and a mobile police officer were killed during a bloody clash between Kutep and Fulani herdsmen at Tarti area in Takum Local Government Area of the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, DSP Usman Abdullahi, disclosed this to Daily Trust in Jalingo on Wednesday.
He said Eminike was the commander leading the operation at the trouble area and he was declared missing during the operation.
Abdullahi alleged that Kutep and Fulani militia were responsible for the killings of the military personnel and the mobile police. Read more
Foundation invests in creative industry in Kogi State (ThisDay)
As part of efforts to create an enabling
environment for the teaming youths in Kogi State, a humanitarian foundation has invested in the creative sector in the state.
The Just as the Foundation, unveiled Nollywood Actor, Mr. Ken Erics, and Veteran Igala Gospel Minster, Ms. Abigail Omonu, as its brand ambassadors.
In a press statement signed yesterday by it the foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. William Illah, stated that the Enemona Josh Humanitarian Foundation is poised to move youths out of the streets.
The duo signed the agreement at a colorful event in Abuja on Monday for 12 million and 2 million respectively. Read more
National Assembly begs Chinese govt to rescue 62 kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers (Tribune)
The Joint National Assembly Committee on Land Transport on Wednesday begged the Chinese Government to help rescue 62 passengers abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna passengers’ train on the 28th March 2022 by suspected terrorists.
Addressing journalists after an oversight visit to the Obafemi Awolowo Train Station in Ibadan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Abdulafatai Buhari said that it’s embarrassing that 47 days after some passengers were kidnapped from the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train, they are yet to be rescued.
According to Senator Buhari, “Today makes it exactly 47 days that some Nigerians were abducted from the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train, yet nothing has been done to rescue them.
“Yesterday, some of the families of the abducted passengers met with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and the accusation was that we the lawmakers are not doing anything about rescuing their relatives in captivity. Read more
Gabourey Sidibe wants a nontraditional wedding and gown (People)
The wedding bells are getting louder for Gabourey Sidibe.
The actress, 39, covers Brides’ Style Issue this month, opening up about her fiancé, Brandon Frankel, and the couple’s upcoming wedding in the accompanying interview.
Though many details of the celebration, which she said will take place in spring 2023, are still up in the air, Sidibe told the magazine she knows what she doesn’t want.
“It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can’t be. I don’t want anything done the ‘traditional’ way,” she said. “Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party.” Read more
Al Jazeera pays tearful tribute to journalist killed in Israeli raid (Al-Monitor)
Al Jazeera’s newsdesk told Shireen Abu Akleh they would keep a spot for her “at the top of the hour” after she said in an email she was going to cover an Israeli operation in the Palestinian town of Jenin.
“But she never turned up,” said Mohamed Moawad, the Arabic channel’s head of output, fighting back tears as he told of the final contacts with the veteran journalist on a typically risky mission.
“The last communication was 20 minutes before this heinous crime happened,” Moawad told AFP shortly after staff held their own broadcast tribute to the 51-year-old.
“She sent an email that said ‘Hi, there is an Israeli intervention in Jenin and I am heading there now. I am almost there. I will send you details’.” Read more
North Korea orders strict lockdown with first official Covid cases (BBC)
In recent months North Korean health workers have been spraying disinfectant in public places
North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections.
State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital Pyongyang but did not state the number of cases.
KCNA said it was “the biggest emergency incident” that breached the country’s “quarantine front”, and that leader Kim Jong-un was in emergency talks to prepare the nation’s response.
But observers believe the virus has long been present in the country.
North Korea has not administered a Covid-19 vaccine programme to its population, having rejected offers made to it of both the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine and AstraZeneca jabs. Read more
Rapper Gunna jailed in Atlanta on racketeering charge with Young Thug (Variety)
Rapper Gunna, who was named Monday with fellow Atlanta rapper Young Thug and dozens of others in a massive gang indictment, was booked into Georgia’s Fulton County jail on Wednesday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other news outlets.
The 28-year-old rapper (real name: Sergio Giavonni Kitchens) is charged with a single count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act in the 56-count state indictment, which is aimed at alleged members of the Young Slime Life gang — which is similar to the name of Young Thug’s independent label, Young Stoner Life — and includes charges of murder, drug and gun possession and more. The indictment includes 28 total defendants affiliated with YSL, and charges them with 56 counts related to gang activity and racketeering.
“As the district attorney of Fulton County, my No. 1 focus is targeting gangs,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said at a news conference Tuesday. “And there’s a reason for that. They are committing, conservatively, 75 to 80% of all of the violent crime that we are seeing within our community.” Willis, a Democrat known for an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and associates committed election fraud in Georgia — has promised to crack down on gangs in Atlanta, which has been plagued with violent crime in recent years.
Gunna and Young Thug (real name: Jeffrey Lamar Williams) were both arrested in Atlanta in 2017 on drug-possession charges after a traffic stop. Thug was indicted on felony drug charges, which are still pending, although Kitchens’ charges were misdemeanors; his marijuana possession was dropped after he pleaded guilty to a window tint violation in 2019. He was sentenced to six months probation. Read more
Coldplay respond to being called ‘useful idiots for greenwashing’ (Independent)
Coldplay have responded to the claim that they are being used as “useful idiots for greenwashing” over their recent efforts to orchestrate an eco-friendly world tour.
The band developed a 12-point plan to minimise their carbon footprint, after vowing two years ago not to tour without finding an environmentally sustainable way of doing so.
Last week, Coldplay announced a partnership with the Finnish oil company Neste to halve their touring emissions. However, the move has faced criticism and claims of “greenwashing”, with some critics highlighting Neste’s own links to deforestation.
The company purports to be the world’s largest sustainable biofuel supplier, but studies have also shown it is responsible for large-scale deforestation in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Read more
Cannes sets Mads Mikkelsen, Javier Bardem, Alice Rohrwacher, Agnes Jaoui for ‘Rendez-vous’ Lineup (THR)
Fantastic Beasts‘ star Mads Mikkelsen, Spanish Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, Italian writer/director Alice Rohrwacher and French multi-hyphenate Agnès Jaoui will be guests of the 2022 Cannes International Film Festival, taking part in the “Rendez-vous with…” program of artist interviews.
Jaoui kicks off the Rendez-vous sessions at the 75th Cannes festival on May 23. The actor/director/screenwriter/singer co-wrote, with her late partner Jean-Pierre Bacri, Alain Resnais’ Smoking/No Smoking (1993) and Same Old Song (1997), and directed the Oscar-nominated The Taste of Others (2000) and 2004’s Look at Me — the latter premiered in Cannes and won best screenplay honors for Jaoui and Bacri.
Danish star Mikkelsen (Another Round), currently onscreen as the villain Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, will hold his session May 26.
Bardem, a best actor winner for No Country for Old Men in 2008, will feature on May 27, as will Rohrwacher, a Cannes regular whose The Wonders won the Grand Prix honour in 2014 and who took the 2018 best screenplay prize for Happy As Lazzaro. Read more
David Cronenberg lines up Next Movie ‘The Shrouds’ with Vincent Cassel in lead role, FilmNation to sell (Deadline)
David Cronenberg has found his next movie: thriller The Shrouds, which will star his Eastern Promises and Dangerous Method collaborator Vincent Cassel.
Cronenberg is heading to the Cannes Film Festival next week with thriller Crimes Of The Future, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux.
Meanwhile, FilmNation and CAA Media Finance will be launching sales on The Shrouds, which heralds from veteran producers Saïd Ben Saïd (SBS Productions), Martin Katz (Prospero Pictures) and Michel Merkt, the three producers behind Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars.
La Haine star and French icon Cassel will play Karsh, an innovative businessman and grieving widower, who builds a novel device to connect with the dead inside a burial shroud. This burial tool installed at his own state-of-the-art – though controversial – cemetery allows him and his clients to watch their specific departed loved one decompose in real time. Karsh’s revolutionary business is on the verge of breaking into the international mainstream when several graves within his cemetery are vandalized and nearly destroyed, including that of his wife. While he struggles to uncover a clear motive for the attack, the mystery of who wrought this havoc, and why, drive him to reevaluate his business, marriage and fidelity to his late wife’s memory, as well as push him to new beginnings. Read more
De Bruyne scores four to send Man City clear (BBC)
Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning four-goal haul helped Manchester City thump Wolves and restored their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s side now need only four points from their final two fixtures to ensure they will finish above Liverpool and win their fourth title in five seasons.
De Bruyne has played a central role in all of those previous triumphs but this was an individual display that must rank among the finest of his stellar collection in a City shirt.
The Belgian started the move that led to his side’s opener, and finished it too, running on to Bernardo Silva’s pass to slot home.
Wolves did not take long to respond, with a rapid counter-attack ending when Pedro Neto found Leander Dendoncker in space on the edge of the box to fire past Ederson. Read more
Uyo to host 2022 CAF Confederation Cup final
The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), on Wednesday, announced that Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, will host the 2021/22 TotalEnergies Confederation Cup final.
The final is scheduled for Friday, May 20, 2022 and CAF will confirm the kick-off time in due course.
This is the first intercontinental major cup final to be hosted in Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, the home of Nigeria’s Premier League side, Akwa United.
In 2021, the TotalEnergies Confederation Cup was hosted in Cotonou, Benin Republic where Morocco’s Raja Club Athletic beat Algerian side, JS Kabylie 2-1. Read more
Champions League final: UEFA ticket distribution works, says president Aleksander Ceferin (BBC)
The distribution and pricing of Champions League final tickets is “the system that works” as it aids clubs, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp asked why almost half of the 75,000 tickets for the game against Real Madrid in Paris are given to sponsors and officials.
Most Liverpool tickets are £125 or more and 93.5% of revenue goes to the clubs.
“For us, not much will change if all tickets are 10 euros but it will change a lot for the clubs,” said Ceferin. Read more
Jose Mourinho breaks silence on Arsenal’s interest in Roma striker Tammy Abraham (DailyStar)
Jose Mourinho has broken his silence on Arsenal’s reported interest in Roma and England striker Tammy Abraham.
The Gunners were strongly linked with a move for the 24-year-old last summer before he completed his £36million move to the Italian capital from Chelsea. After scoring 25 goals during his first season with Roma, Arsenal are again understood to be targeting a move for Abraham, with the Daily Mirror reporting Roma are willing to sell for around £67.5million.
Roma boss Mourinho has now responded to the reports linking Abraham with a move, telling Sky Sports: “I don’t think it’s an easy decision for a young, local player to leave his club.
“To leave his house, his city, his country, to leave the Premier League – which of course is a competition that, when a player is in it, it’s hard to leave. Read more
Vincenzo Nibali, winner of all three Grand Tours, sets cycling retirement (NBC)
Vincenzo Nibali, one of seven cyclists to win all three Grand Tours and the last Italian to win the Tour de France, reportedly said he will retire at the end of this season.
Nibali, 37, made the announcement after Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia in his hometown of Messina.
“I was waiting for this stage for a while, for years, it’s where I started to ride and train, so I wanted to confirm that this is my last Giro and my last season,” a tearful Nibali said, according to multiple reports. “It’s time to call it a day. I’ve done so much for so long, but it’s the right time.”
Nibali won the Giro in 2013 and 2016. He also won the Vuelta a España in 2010 and the Tour de France in 2014. He has 11 Grand Tour podiums in all, the last at the 2019 Giro. Read more
Nadal crushes Isner to reach last-16 at Rome Masters (RFI)
Defending champion Rafael Nadal maintained his quest for a record-extending 11th Rome Masters title on Wednesday with a straight sets demolition of the big-serving American John Isner.
Nadal, 35, dispatched his fellow veteran 6-3, 6-1 in 76 minutes to set up a last-16 showdown with the 13th seed Denis Shapovalov.
In his last-16 match at the 2021 tournament with the Canadian, Nadal saved two match points before prevailing.
And the Spaniard needed the same grit in his second round match on centre court at the Foro Italico. Read more
Bjorn accepts Ryder Cup vice-captain role (WA)
Thomas Bjorn will be one of European captain Henrik Stenson’s assistants at next year’s Ryder Cup in Italy.
Bjorn on Wednesday became the first vice-captain announced by the European team, which will look to regain the trophy from the Americans in Rome.
It will be the Dane’s fifth stint as a vice-captain, while he was also captain when Europe beat the United States in France in 2018.
“I trust him implicitly,” Stenson said of Bjorn, “and I know any advice he will give me will be honest and direct. Read more