People spreading rumours about One Million Boys – DIG (Punch)
The Nigeria Police Force has advised residents not to panic over rumours being spread about a gang of criminals popularly called ‘One Million Boys’ in Lagos State, The PUNCH reports.
Speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday night, Deputy Inspector General in charge of South-West region, Babatunde Ogunyanwo, said though there have been reported cases of robbery, rape and assault in Lagos and Ogun States in the last few days, the Force does not differentiate or classify criminals.
According to him, a criminal is a criminal, regardless of the gang he or she belongs to.
The PUNCH reports that there have been increased cases of banditry in Lagos and Ogun amid the coronavirus lockdown ordered by the Federal Government to curb the cycle of transmission of the pandemic in the states – and by extension, the country. Read more
‘Don’t attack your neighbour in the name of hunger’ (DailyTrust)
The General Overseer of the Resurrection Praise Ministries for Africa, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, yesterday urged street urchins, widely known as Area Boys, not to attack their neighbours in the name of hunger, saying that the difficult times would soon be over. Benjamin, who also advised the federal government to use the €50 million donation by the European Union (EU) as a palliative for the masses, admitted there was suffering in the land “beyond what anyone can comprehend.” The cleric made this statement at the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area when his ministry visited and distributed food items worth thousands of naira to the needy in the community. Over 200 people benefited from the items, which included rice, beans, garri and condiments, as well as Vitamin C to help boost the immune system of the people. Read more
Tinubu asks government to transfer relief fund to Nigerians via BVN (Guardian)
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has asked the Nigerian Government to transfer relief funds to citizens via their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Tinubu in a statement said the relief fund will meet the needs of many families who the government’s stay-at-home order has exposed to more hardship.
“Most families need relief. If relief is not forthcoming, these families risk hunger and its attendant suffering and woes,” Tinubu said. Read more
Lagos discharges 16 coronavirus patients (punch)
Sixteen COVID-19 patients undergoing treatments at the Lagos State isolation centres have been discharged.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, made this known via his Twitter handle on Thursday.
This, the commissioner said, has brought the total number of discharged patients in the state to 85.
He tweeted, “18 new cases of #COVID19 Infection were confirmed in Lagos on 15th of April, 2020. Read more
Kano records first death from coronavirus, confirmed cases now 21 (DailyTrust)
The Kano State Government has confirmed the death of a coronavirus patient in the state. A tweet by the state’s Ministry for Health via its official Twitter handle: @KNSMOH, read: “Wednesday, 15th April 2020. As at 11:55 pm, 1 death of #COVID19 has been recorded in @KanostateNg.” Details about the late patient were, however, not given by the ministry. As at Wednesday night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 16 confirmed cases for the state but the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, said it is now 21.
Kano is the most populated state in Nigeria, according to the census conducted in 2006. Read more
COVID-19: 63 inmates get amnesty in Plateau (Guardian)
The Nigerian Correctional Service says 63 inmates in Plateau have been granted amnesty by the state government.
ASC Martha Banda, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service in Plateau, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Jos.
Banda said the amnesty was in line with the decision of the Federal Government to decongest the custodial centres in the country, as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country. Read more
Why Nigeria didn’t benefit from IMF’s debt relief – Minister (Punch)
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said Nigeria did not benefit from the recent debt relief by the International Monetary Fund because the country is not indebted to the IMF.
Ahmed, in a tweet on Thursday, said, “It is true Nigeria is not a beneficiary of recent IMF debt relief for 25 countries. As stated in IMF Executive Board statement, the relief ‘provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months’.
“Since Nigeria is not indebted to the IMF, there is no outstanding debt obligation to be forgiven. Nigeria’s application for new IMF financing is under consideration and receiving attention.” Read more
Fuel scarcity looms as FG, oil marketers disagree on pricing (DailyTrust)
There may be fuel scarcity across Nigeria soon as oil marketers on Thursday voiced their disagreement with the Federal Government over the recently announced price modulation, regarding petrol pricing in the country. The oil marketers, under the umbrella of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), is calling for full “price liberalisation” rather than “price modulation” with respect to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol. MOMAN’s Chairman, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, in a statement on Thursday, said that only full price deregulation will bring about long term stability in the downstream sector. Oyebanji said it had become necessary for the major oil marketers to state their position because of what the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said recently. Read more
18 people killed as Nigeria enforces measures to curb coronavirus (Guardian)
Nigeria security agents have killed 18 people in their enforcement of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, the National Human Rights Commission said in a report.
The death toll caused by the security operatives is higher than the number of people killed by the coronavirus in Nigeria. Current figures from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 12 people have died out of 407 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari declared a total lockdown in megacity Lagos, Ogun State and capital city Abuja since March 29.
The lockdown, the government said, will be enforced by security forces, including police and army, has sparked deadly confrontations in some states. Read more
We’re drinking so much in lockdown doctors fear new health crisis of alcoholism (Metro)
Doctors fear that people could be drinking so much alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown that a ‘second health crisis’ is on the way. Scientists at the University of Portsmouth have launched a study to understand how many people are turning to alcohol to handle the stress, anxiety and boredom of being isolated at home. The research comes after worrying figures from global data analytics company Nielsen suggested that sales of alcohol have increased by 291% during the pandemic. Read more
Coronavirus: Japan declares nationwide state of emergency (BBC)
A nationwide state of emergency has been declared in Japan due to the country’s worsening coronavirus outbreak.
The move allows regional governments to urge people to stay inside, but without punitive measures or legal force.
The state of emergency will remain in force until 6 May.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had previously declared a month-long state of emergency in seven regions. Read more
Lockdown extended for at least three more weeks across UK (Metro)
The UK coronavirus lockdown has been extended by at least three weeks, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has confirmed. Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, he said the government was not confident the UK had past its peak of the virus, meaning lifting current restrictions would do more harm than good. Mr Raab said: ‘Our action plan aims to slow the spread of coronavirus so fewer people need hospital treatment at any one time and that’s the way we can protect the NHS from becoming overwhelmed. ‘At every step along this way we’ve followed very carefully the scientific and medical advice we’ve received so we take the right steps at the right moment in time. Read more
North Korean defector becomes first to win parliament seat in South Korea (NYPost)
The highest-ranking defector from the repressive North Korean regime has now won a parliamentary seat in the South Korean elections — becoming the first-ever defector to do so.
Thae Yong-ho, 57, won a seat on the National Assembly of South Korea with more than 58 percent of the vote on Wednesday, giving him a seat under the opposition United Future Party, the BBC reported Thursday.
Yong-ho was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the UK until he defected in 2016, prompting Kim Jong-un’s government to label him “human scum,” and accused him of stealing government secrets. Read more
US Navy accuses Iranian vessels of harassing warships in Gulf (BBC)
The US Navy said the Iranian vessels approached at “extremely close range and high speeds”
The US Navy has accused Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) of “dangerous and provocative actions” in international waters in the Gulf.
Eleven IRGC Navy vessels repeatedly conducted “harassing” approaches of six US Navy and Coast Guard ships on Wednesday, it said. One passed within 10 yards (9m) of a Coast Guard cutter.
The US vessels were involved in a military exercise with US Army Apache attack helicopters.
There has been no word yet from Iran. Read more
Bill and Melinda Gates have been ‘prepping’ for years for Covid-19 (Metro)
When it comes to a global health crisis, the man you can turn to for advice is legendary Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Since leaving the tech company, Gates set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife and turned completely to philanthropy. They have tackled the likes of polio and malaria around the world and warned for years about the dangers of infectious diseases. Addressing a TED Talk five years ago, Gates, 64, warned the next ‘global catastrophe’ would not be caused by war, but by a virus. Read more
Coronavirus: Free our children from lockdown, says Barcelona mayor (BBC)
The mayor of Barcelona said that like other parents she worried about the “psychological and emotional health” of her children
Barcelona’s mayor has called for an end to strict coronavirus lockdown measures in Spain which bar children from going out for any reason.
“These children need to get out,” Ada Colau wrote on Facebook, herself the mother of youngsters aged three and nine.
“Wait no more: Free our children!”
Spain – which has the most confirmed cases in Europe – is the only country on the continent where children cannot leave home at all. Read more
Bilbao become latest Spanish club to apply player pay cuts (Punch)
Athletic Bilbao have joined Spain’s leading clubs in implementing cuts to players’ wages in a bid to limit the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bilbao’s announcement on Wednesday night means they become the latest La Liga team to take economic precautions after the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla were all forced to reduce their wage bills.
“The annual salary will drop by 17 per cent if the competition cannot resume and by 6 per cent if the season resumes behind closed doors,” an Athletic Bilbao statement read.
“The players of the Athletic Bilbao men’s first team, under the direction of their captains and in a gesture of responsibility and great commitment, agreed to voluntarily and significantly reduce their pay due to the circumstances which may affect the end of the 2019-20 season.” Read more
Coco Gauff says she had depression a year before stunning Wimbledon run (BBC)
Coco Gauff says she had depression because of the “pressure that she needed to do well” little more than a year before she stunned the tennis world at Wimbledon in 2019.
American Gauff, then 15, reached the last 16 at the All England Club, most notably defeating five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round.
But she says she struggled with a “dark mindset” for a year around 2017-18. Read more
Why I rejected Arsenal, Barca, Juve – Osimhen (Punch)
Lille striker Victor Osimhen says he turned down the chance of joining some of Europe’s top clubs following his impressive performance at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, where he emerged tournament top scorer with 10 goals.
Osimhen in an interview with British tabloid, Independent UK, said immediately after the tournament, he had offers from Barcelona, Juventus and Arsenal, but rejected them to join Wolfsburg in January 2017.
“I spoke with Arsene Wenger after the tournament ended and he wanted me to come to Arsenal,” the 21-year-old Osimhen told Independent UK. Read more
Anthony Joshua says Tyson Fury needs unification fight to prove he’s No.1 and teases Deontay Wilder (Metro)
Anthony Joshua has challenged Tyson Fury to prove he is the No.1 heavyweight in the world by snubbing a rematch with Deontay Wilder and having a unification bout instead. Fury claimed the WBC title from Wilder thanks to an emphatic and dominant display in Las Vegas in February, though the American quickly triggered his clause for another rematch. There have been suggestions that Wilder could be made a step-aside offer so the two Brits can unify the division, and Joshua is adamant that until that fight happens Fury cannot claim to be the best in the division. Read more
Inter Allies of Ghana striker, Utim aims for the top after COVID-19 (DailyTrust)
A Nigerian youngster, Godfrey Aondoaseer Utim who is plying his trade in the Ghanaian topflight with Inter Allies football club has said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not going to stop his dream to play professional football in Europe. Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the over 6ft striker who is managed by Galaxy Sports International said making his debut in the Ghanaian league was a fulfilling experience. He, however, said his ultimate dream is to play for one of the best football clubs in Europe. The product of Dream Football Academy in Makurdi also said Inter Allies is a good stepping stone for him as he maintained that the club which boasts of talented youngsters across Africa is a good platform for him to launch his career. Read more
Wolves captain Conor Coady reveals secret behind Adama Traore’s speed (Metro)
It is no secret that Adama Traore is absolutely rapid on the pitch, but football fans have long debated why the Wolves forward is so quick. Traore has caught the attention of the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool this season after laying on seven assists for his team-mates. The 24-year-old sports a powerful physique and Wolves captain Conor Coady has now given away the secrets to Traore’s speed training. ‘He could’ve played NFL, he got offered when he was younger,’ Coady told Sky Sports. Read more
Premier League clubs to discuss a possible 30 June deadline to the season (BBC)
Premier League clubs will discuss the option of putting a 30 June deadline on the 2019-20 season at a meeting on Friday.
Not all clubs have been involved in informal discussions at this stage but, with a hoped-for May resumption to the season unlikely, club owners are looking at how to avoid potentially difficult contractual situations.
Numerous players’ present deals expire on 30 June, notably Chelsea midfielder Willian and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. Read more