Nigeria at 61: Don’t despair over current challenges, Buhari tells Nigerians (Guardian)
It’s a mixed feeling today, the 61st anniversary of Nigeria’s attainment of independence. Amid the celebration of nationhood in the national colours of green and white, symbolising natural wealth and peace, the reality for citizens is the exact opposite, gloom and a state of fear.
Acknowledging this reality, President Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence Day broadcast, today, said “the past 18 months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period.
“Our original priorities for 2020 were to continue stabilising our economy following the deep recession while restoring peace in areas confronted with security challenges, but the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on all nations meant we needed to shift gears and re-strategise.
“Despite the global inequity in access to vaccines, the government has continued to explore all available options to ensure Nigerians have free access to safe and effective vaccines. Read more
2 killed as police, kidnappers clash in Lagos forest (Punch)
Two yet-to-be-identified hoodlums have been shot dead during a gun battle between Lagos policemen and suspected kidnappers in a forest at Imota-Emuren, in the Ikorodu area of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said one of the suspects, Peter Thomas, 25, was arrested, adding that the forest was notorious for keeping kidnap victims and collecting ransoms.
Odumosu disclosed this on Thursday during a press briefing at the command headquarters at Ikeja.
He noted that the hoodlums once kidnapped a businessman, Lukman Onabanjo, aka Bugon. Read more
Appeal Court joins Lagos as co-respondent against FIRS in VAT collection (Guardian)
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday, joined Lagos as the third respondent in the fierce legal battle against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on a collection of Value Added Tax (VAT)
The court held that the Lagos State government had established beyond doubt that it has substantial and sufficient legal rights and interests to protect in the revenue collection dispute.
In a unanimous ruling, the court ordered that all processes filed in respect of the suit be served on the Lagos State government as a third respondent to enable the state to respond as required by law to the appeal filed by the FIRS.
Justice Haruna Simon Tsamani, who delivered the lead ruling, fixed October 7, 2021, for the continuation of further hearing in the matter. Read more
Nigeria @61: Abdulsalam, governors, others ask Nigerians to be hopeful (DailyTrust)
A former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), governors and some notable political leaders have asked Nigerians to be hopeful of a better tomorrow, urging them to live together in peace.
In their messages to the country as it marks 61st independence, they expressed hope and sought better working condition for security forces.
Leading the charge, Abdulsalam while noting that the country had attained a milestone that deserved to be celebrated, urged Nigerians to remain hopeful and firm, adding that Nigeria remained an indivisible nation despite its numerous challenges. Addressing journalists at his Uphill residence in Minna, the former military leader charged the federal government on equity and justice, saying that was the only way to keep the country united.
He said, “We have come a long way. Nation building is not an easy thing especially where you have more than 250 ethnic groups and each and every one yearning for a place in governance. Read more
Kukah, media experts kick against regulation (ThisDay)
The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hasan Kukah and some renowned media experts have asked that the media should be allowed to self-regulate, urging lawmakers to desist from enacting media regulation law.
Speaking in Abuja on the topic: “The Media and the Defence of the Civic Space,” organised by the Kukah Centre in conjunction with OSIWA and the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, the panelists submitted that the media has enough mechanism to regulate itself and does not need any new law.
The team of panelists include respected practitioners, Executive Director/CEO, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Motunrayo Alaka, former Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian and Fellow, Weatherhead Centre, Harvard University, Emeka Izeze, Managing Director, Arise News, Christian Ogodo; Head of Current Affairs, DAAR Communications Plc, Amaechi Anakwue, Digital Media Strategist and International Speaker, JJ Omojuwa. Read more
FG, Jigawa governor preach hope as Nigeria marks 61st Independence (Guardian)
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged Nigerians, irrespective of their political, religious, and tribal affiliations, to keep hope alive in the face of national challenges, while uniting for the peace and progress of the country.
Director-General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, made the appeal, yesterday in Abuja, in an Independence Day message issued by the agency’s Assistant Director of Press, Paul Odenyi.
According to him, this period in the life of the country calls for the citizens to believe in the Nigeria project and imbibe attitudes that promote our peace and unity as a diverse people.
Abari called on Nigerians to support the governments at the federal, state, and local levels in prayers over the subsisting insecurity challenges in the land and embrace patriotism for a greater Nigeria. Read more
Leaders optimistic as citizens express disappointment over state of nation (DailyTrust)
Many Nigerians have expressed disappointment as the country marks 61 years since independence.
They lamented that Nigeria’s trajectory has in recent years been on a nosedive.
But prominent leaders at the national and state levels expressed optimism that Nigeria will get it right.
They advised citizens to remain hopeful and contribute their quota to the peace and progress of the country.
‘We’re hungry, insecure’
Ruth Pam, an office assistant and resident of Jos, the Plateau State capital, expressed disappointment in Nigeria’s level of development, adding that her basic expectation of security as a citizen of the country had not been met. Read more
Francis Duru Loses Father 10 Months After Mother’s Death (DailyTrust)
Ten months after losing his mother, Nollywood actor, Francis Duru, has lost his father.
The actor took to his Instagram handle to announce the sad incident.
He also shared the last picture he took with is late father.
“My last pix with you.. Dad.. memories of yesterday.. 0 defined my essence…built my being…took the tough and the rough to put me on the turf…of life.. I salute you dad…as you took your last bow and transited to glory…you broke my heart this morning when you refused to wake. Read more
Femi Adesina’s impersonator jailed 28 years, loses house, others (Punch)
Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on Thursday imposed 28 years’ imprisonment on a self-styled Alfa, Jamiu Isiaka, over offences bordering on impersonation and fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on, June 14, 2019 arraigned Jamiu on four counts bordering on impersonation, fraud and obtaining money by false pretences at the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.
The Prosecution alleged that Jamiu presented himself as Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media; and also impersonated a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, to defraud a South Korean National, Keun Sig Kim, of N30m.
The offences, the prosecution alleged was “contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”
Jamiu pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned in court. Read more
Black Widow: Disney and Scarlett Johansson settle lawsuit (BBC)
Walt Disney and Scarlett Johansson have settled a legal dispute over the release of the Marvel superhero movie Black Widow.
Johansson sued Disney two months ago, accusing it of breaching her contract when it offered the movie on its Disney+ streaming service while it was still showing in cinemas.
She said the decision meant that she was deprived of potential earnings.
Details of the deal between Disney and Johansson have not been disclosed. Read more
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy ‘jailed’ over illegal campaign funding (Metro)
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been handed a one year sentence after being found guilty of illegally financing his failed 2012 re-election bid.
But the 66-year-old defendant is unlikely to go to jail, as the judge said he could serve the term at home wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.
Prosecutors had been pushing for six months of actual prison time, along with a six month suspended sentence.
It was the second guilty verdict this year for Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and retains influence among conservatives, despite falling from grace over his legal problems. Read more
China’s Xi ascendant as attention turns to every facet of life (AlJazeera)
As billions across China celebrate National Day on October 1, Chinese society finds itself amid a government-led re-engineering effort on a scale not seen in decades.
Over the past year, the government has targeted major sectors of society from China’s wealthy and powerful tech barons to education, celebrity culture and even citizens’ private lives under the banner of “common prosperity”.
The precise reasoning and timing behind the sweeping crackdown are unknown, but theories include that some regulatory action may have been delayed by COVID-19 or the government may be preparing for next year’s National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
Held once every five years, the 2022 summit will be unprecedented. Read more
Spanish women filmed urinating left humiliated by judge (BBC)
A Spanish judge has shocked women’s rights groups by dismissing a case that involved women being secretly filmed urinating in public and the videos then being posted on porn websites.
Recordings of some 80 women and girls were made as they urinated in a side street because of a lack of facilities.
They were caught by hidden cameras at the A Maruxaina local festival in the north-western town of Cervo.
In many cases the footage showed close-ups of the women’s genitals and faces. Read more
Guy Ritchie’s new action film starring Jason Statham to launch on Amazon Prime (Metro)
Guy Ritchie’s new action film Wrath of Man is set to launch on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and Ireland later this year, and it marks his first time working with Jason Statham in 15 years.
The explosive revenge thriller will hit the streaming platform this December.
The Fast and Furious actor reunited with the visionary director for the first time in over a decade to create the film based on the French film Le Convoyeur.
Guy plucked Jason, 53, out of a French Connection campaign to star in his first two films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and later Snatch, almost 25 years ago. Read more
Biden signs bill averting US government shutdown (AlJazeera)
President Joe Biden has signed a stopgap bill passed earlier by Congress ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid forcing the US government to shut down due to lack of funding.
“There’s so much more to do. But the passage of this bill reminds us that bipartisan work is possible and it gives us time to pass longer-term funding to keep our government running and delivering for the American people,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday night.
In a separate statement announcing the signing of the funding bill, the White House said that it also includes “supplemental appropriations” for disaster relief as well as for Afghanistan evacuees.
Earlier, the House of Representatives voted by 254 votes to 175 to keep the lights on for another two months with a resolution that had already advanced comfortably from the Senate. Read more
Etebo out of Cameroon 2022 Nations Cup as Rohr names 22 for CAR doubleheader (Guardian)
Super Eagles Midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo, has been knocked out of next year’s African Cup of Nations billed to hold in Cameroon.
The midfielder copped an injury while playing for his English club, Watford, and has been ruled out of the game for six months.
Accordingly, he is not among the 22 players listed for the forthcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against the Central African Republic. Also out of the game due to injury is Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, but he is a minor strain that would not stop him from playing after the international break.
Germany-based Kelvin Akpoguma and Rangers of Scotland star, Calvin Ughelumba, are among 22 players called up by Coach Gernot Rohr for the back-to-back games against the Central African Republic. Read more
Harry Kane comes off bench to score hat-trick in 19 mins 25 seconds (BBC)
Harry Kane came off the bench to score a 20-minute hat-trick as Tottenham recorded their first Europa Conference League win with victory over NS Mura.
After a mixed start to the season, including a draw in their Group G opener against Rennes, Spurs dominated the first half against the Slovenian side after scoring two early goals.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo made nine changes after Sunday’s north London derby defeat, with only Dele Alli and Sergio Reguilon keeping their places.
Alli opened the scoring on four minutes, drilling his penalty into the bottom-left corner after he was fouled by goalkeeper Matko Obradovic.
Giovani lo Celso added a second six minutes later, collecting Harry Winks’ pass before driving the ball into the roof of the net. Read more
Violent scenes as West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans clash at the London Stadium (Metro)
There were nasty scenes in the stands at the London Stadium as West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans clashed during the Europa League clash on Thursday night.
West Ham took the lead through Declan Rice in the 28th minute and the goal sparked violence among supporters in a corner of the ground.
The Sun reports that a number of the Rapid Vienna fans tried to storm a section of the home fans after Rice’s goal, jumping barriers to do so.
Stewards and then police held off the attack from the away fans and order was restored, avoiding what could have been a much worse situation. Read more
Boxing bouts fixed at Rio 2016 Olympics, investigation finds
Boxing bouts for medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics were fixed by “complicit and compliant” referees and judges, an independent investigation commissioned by the sport’s world governing International Boxing Association (AIBA) revealed.
Richard McLaren, head of the investigation, said in a report released on Thursday that the first of three stages of the investigation looked into the refereeing and judging at Rio where controversial decisions in certain bouts made the headlines.
“The seeds of this were sown years before, starting from at least the Olympic Games of the 21st century through the events around 2011 and London 2012,” McLaren told a news conference in Lausanne.
There is no final figure on how many fights could have been affected. Read more
Brazil legend Pele leaves hospital after surgery (BBC)
Brazil legend Pele has been released from hospital after undergoing surgery for a colon tumour.
The 80-year-old had the operation at Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on 4 September.
Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times, left the intensive care unit 10 days later, but was readmitted soon after as a “preventative measure”.
“I am so happy to be back at home,” Pele said in a statement on Facebook. Read more
Fan jailed for racist text about Romaine Sawyers that he blamed on autocorrect (Metro)
A football fan who racially abused one of his team’s players on social media has been jailed.
Simon Silwood, a West Bromwich Albion supporter, tried to blame autocorrect for saying midfielder Romaine Sawyers should win the ‘Baboon d’Or’.
He posted the message on a Facebook group after the team’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Hawthorns in January.
The player said he was left feeling ‘numb’ and ‘extremely upset’ after reading the post. Read more