Terrorists bomb Abuja-Kaduna rail track, attack train passengers
Suspected terrorists on Monday evening bombed Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks and attacked a train with about 970 passengers onboard.
It was gathered that the Kaduna-bound train derailed after the explosive device planted by the terrorists went off underneath one of the coaches.
Anas Iro Danmusa, who claimed to be a passenger on the train, said the attackers shot at the train and that passengers hid under the seats to avoid being hit by bullets.
“Villagers along Abuja-Kaduna road called to confirm hearing multiple gunshots and attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists,” Shehu Sani, a former Nigerian senator from Kaduna State said on Twitter.
The passengers were later rescued by Nigerian troops, a Kaduna State official later said in a statement. Read more
Lagos mother fights off suspected ritualist attempting to abduct kids (Punch)
A suspected ritualist, Temitayo Olafisoye, has been arrested after a failed attempt to kidnap some pupils of a private school on Omole Estate in the Ojodu area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Olafisoye and an accomplice, Kayode Akinola, visited the estate on Sunday and started loitering around the school premises.
Their suspicious movement was reportedly noticed by some of the estate guards.
However, on Monday, a woman, who used her car to convey her children to the school, reportedly parked close to the premises so the pupils could disembark from the vehicle.
After parking, the woman got down to open the door for her children to alight. Read more
LAWMA boss tasks residents on sorting of waste, urges cooperation
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, has stressed the need for waste sorting for residents, hinting that come April, residents who comply would get reduction in waste bills and increase for those who don’t.
Odumboni, who disclosed this while interacting with newsmen in his office, said LAWMA was engaging recycling as a veritable tool to tackle the challenge of plastic pollution, as the state generates about 13,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, with plastic materials constituting 17 per cent.
He said, “From April, you will get a reduction in your waste bill if you sort your waste at source and vice versa if you don’t. I am appealing to estates, companies and all residents to comply. What we face in Lagos is challenging. In fact, Lagos is the 5th largest economy in Africa; and population wise, we have over 25 million people living in the city.
“Scientifically, we’ve estimated that each individual generates about 0.69 kg daily. That’s what we are dealing with, over 13,000 metric tonnes of wastes daily, seventeen percent of those are plastic related wastes.”
Odumboni stated that recycling initiative for waste management had gained traction, since the inception of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, with the number of recycling companies operating in the state growing from only three to 78. Read more
Eko Bridge fire: Lagos traders kick against quit notice, demand alternative (Punch)
Traders at the Oke Arin Market, Ebute-Ero, in the Lagos Island area of Lagos State, on Monday, asked the Lagos State Government to reconsider the seven-day quit notice issued to them.
Following a fire that gutted some makeshift shops and containers in the open space under the Eko Bridge last Wednesday, the state government had shut down the bridge, which was affected by the inferno.
The state then gave a seven-day quit notice to traders and squatters under the bridge.
On Monday, leaders of the traders and shop owners pleaded with the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who visited for an on-the-spot assessment, to give them an alternative place.
The Iyaloja Romoleti Esho of Lagos Island, Alhaja Rukayat Balogun, said the traders needed more time to leave the area. Read more
Fighting inflation’s my focus, not rumoured presidency bid — Emefiele (Vanguard)
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has said he was focused on fighting inflation and designing a robust monetary policy for the country.
He stated this against the backdrop of reports that he had the intention to contest for President in 2023.
Recall that several groups have been piling pressures on the CBN governor to throw his hat into the ring and contest the presidential elections.
But Emefiele in his official Twittter handle yesterday, said he was more concerned about how to bring down the high inflation rate in the country than worry over contest for the presidency, which he described as a rumour. Read more
Azman Air halts flights to Kaduna after gun attack (DailyTrust)
Following Saturday’s incident where a local guard of the Kaduna International Airport was gunned down, Azman Airline, one of the carriers operating to the airport, has suspended its operation.
The airline confirmed this in a notice posted on its Twitter handle.
Daily Trust learnt that the airline stopped the operation on Monday, leaving many passengers stranded at the airport due to limited flight connectivity in and out of Kaduna.
The airline said the suspension of operation to the airport was to re-evaluate security at the airport.
It said, “The Management of Azman Air will like to inform the general public that we will be halting our operations into Kaduna Airport for a few days. Read more
Court orders transfer of DCP Abba Kyari, 6 others to prison custody (Vanguard)
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the transfer of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari, and six others that are facing drug trafficking charges with him, to the Kuje Correctional Center.
Trial Justice Emeka Nwike ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to transfer the Defendants to prison custody, shortly after he denied them bail.
The court held that the NDLEA placed sufficient materials before it to warrant the refusal of bail to Kyari and his Co-Defendants.
The court equally denied bail to former members of the IRT, ACP Sunday Ubia, Inspector Simon Agirgba, and Inspector John Nuhu. Read more
2023: INEC explains delay in distribution of PVCs, confirms fixing BVAS challenges (Sun)
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hinged delay in the distribution of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) to new registrants and transfer applicants on the robust system of cleaning up the register to ensure only genuine registrants are added to the voters’ register using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) for fingerprint and facial clean up.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who made the disclosure, also confirmed that the commission has found a permanent solution to the malfunctioning Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) ahead of the 2023 general election.
He, however, announced that having completed the process, the commission will fix the dates and venues, after the commission’s meeting next week, on how the distribution of the PVCs wouldbe done.
“The commission is encouraged by the response of citizens to the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise. Millions of Nigerians have registered so far. Read more
Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock for ‘unacceptable’ and ‘embarrassing’ Oscars slap (PageSix)
Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday night.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” the Best Actor winner wrote on Instagram on Monday afternoon. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about my Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
During the evening, Smith rushed the stage and socked the comedian for making a bald joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote in his statement. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.” Read more
Oscars launch formal investigation into Will Smith slapping Chris Rock (Metro)
A formal investigation into Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars has officially launched.
The 53-year-old actor shocked the audience when he stormed on stage and smacked Rock, 57, across the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
A short while later, Smith won best actor for his performance in King Richard.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed they would be looking into the matter further.
A statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter said: ‘The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show. Read more
Algeria’s cash crunch: ‘Buying oil feels like buying drugs’ (BBC)
Food prices are climbing sharply in Algeria, where shoppers say cooking oil and milk are so scarce that you need to butter up shopkeepers to get any.
The impact of measures to deal with first the coronavirus pandemic and now the war in Ukraine is making life hard for consumers.
“It feels like buying drugs,” says Samiha Sammer, 31, with a mixture of cynicism and revulsion.
She used to love making cakes for family and friends, even making a side income from her passion, but can no longer find all the ingredients she needs.
“To buy cooking oil from any grocery shop, you need to be an acquaintance of the shop owner,” Ms Sammer explains. Read more
Laos farmers turn to game theory in bid to outsmart rats (AlJazeera)
For more than a decade, Laos has been confronted with an escalating rat problem as the rodents chomp their way through rice, the country’s main cash crop and staple food.
Described by farmers as a “sea of rats,” the vermin chew through at least 20 percent of the country’s annual rice harvest, placing added stress on household finances and food security in what is already one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations.
According to the United Nations World Food Programme, one in five Laotians were already experiencing food insecurity even before the COVID-19 pandemic, while one in three children is chronically malnourished.
In wealthier countries, rodenticides like bromadiolone that prevent blood from clotting are used to combat plagues of rats and mice. But they also poison non-target species, soil, water and sometimes the farmers who apply them, and can be prohibitively expensive. Read more
Dairy Milk bars are getting smaller but the price is staying the same (Metro)
It has repeatedly been crowned the nation’s favourite chocolate bar but Dairy Milk could leave a bitter aftertaste after Cadbury announced its 200g block will shrink – but remain the same price.
The bars will reduced to 180g – shaving off a tenth of their size – but will still be sold at £2, as bosses blame ‘shrinkflation’.
But the decision could stick in the craw of loyal chocolate customers already squeezed by the cost of living crisis.
It is thought to be the first time a Dairy Milk product has suffered ‘shrinkflation’ since a decade ago, when the 49g bar was shrunk to 45g while keeping its 59p RRP – which has since risen to 70p.
Cadbury’s US parent company, Mondelez, blamed the rapid inflation which has squeezed family budgets and business balance sheets alike in recent months. Read more
Roman Abramovich suffered suspected poisoning at talks (BBC)
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning at peace talks on the Ukraine-Belarus border earlier this month, sources close to him say.
The Chelsea FC owner – who has now recovered – reportedly suffered sore eyes and peeling skin.
Two Ukrainian peace negotiators were also said to have been affected.
One report said the alleged poisoning was orchestrated by Russian hardliners who wanted to sabotage the talks.
Shortly after the allegations emerged, an unnamed US official was quoted by Reuters as saying that intelligence suggested the men’s symptoms were due to “environmental” factors, not poisoning. Read more
Moscow to hit most Western states with visa restrictions (RT)
Russia will introduce new visa restrictions for citizens of “unfriendly states” as part of its response to the international sanctions imposed on Moscow amid its ongoing military assault on Ukraine.
Addressing members of the ruling United Russia party, on Monday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that a presidential decree “on retaliatory visa measures in connection with the ‘unfriendly’ actions of a number of foreign states” was being drafted.
“This act will introduce a number of restrictions on entry into the territory of Russia,” Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, the procedure for entry and stay in Russia for people without citizenship and those who ended up on the territory of Ukraine has been simplified. This was done “in order to prevent a threat to the life and health” of these people so that they could safely return to their home countries, the minister explained. Read more
Abuja fans in buoyant mood for Super Eagles, Ghana final showdown (DailyTrust)
It will be a feisty affair this evening at the MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja as the Super Eagles of Nigeria battle the Black Stars of Ghana in the final leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff.
The first leg of the third round of the qualifiers between the two West African nations ended in a barren draw after 90 minutes last Friday in Kumasi.
Part of efforts by the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Nigeria Football Federation to ensure the Super Eagles win the return leg is the mobilisation of thousands of fans to storm the stadium to cheer the Super Eagles to victory.
And having secured the approval of CAF to fill the 60,000 capacity stadium against the initial 30,000, the government has provided over 100 buses to give fans free rides to the venue of the epic clash.
In addition, with fans scrambling to get the tickets, the Sports Ministry and the NFF have purchased 20,000 tickets to be distributed free to them. Read more
Nigeria claims 41-run victory over Sierra Leone at Women T20I (Guardian)
A Half-Century by Nigeria’s Salome Sunday was instrumental to Nigeria’s 41 runs victory against West African rivals, Sierra Leone at the Access Bank Sponsored NCF Women’s T20i Invitational in Lagos.
The match was the second match of the opening day of the five-nation event that bowled off at the newly renovated Tafawa Balewa Square.
Rwanda had earlier knocked Ghana’s Women Team to an 85 runs victory in the opening match at the event. The Nigeria Cricket Federation had conceived the tournament as part of the developmental drive for Women Cricket in the country.
Bookmakers had tipped Nigeria for victory over the visitors given the country’s level of female cricket development, as well as being ranked 37th by the International Cricket Council, seven places above Sierra Leone.
But it didn’t appear to be such an easy game for Nigeria. Read more
Nigeria vs Ghana: FG orders closure of Abuja offices 1 pm Tuesday (Punch)
The Federal Government on Monday night ordered the closure of government-owned offices in Abuja by 1 p.m on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in support of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying match against the Black Stars of Ghana.
This was contained in a memo by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
FG reiterated the need to mobilise support for the Super Eagles.
“As you are aware the super eagles of Nigeria will be meeting the black stars of Ghana in continuation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier, playoff(return leg).
“There is a need to mobilise support for the Nigerian Team. Consequently, I am directed to inform you that all offices will be closed at 1 pm on Tuesday, March 29, 2022,” the memo read in part. Read more
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk II set for Saudi Arabia in June (Metro)
Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua will contest their rematch in Saudi Arabia (Picture: Getty Images)
The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will be held in Saudi Arabia in June after an enormous fee was agreed, according to reports.
Usyk beat Joshua in September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and a rematch seemed likely to be in London as well, but Saudi Arabia’s offer has proved too good to turn down.
The Daily Mail report that a fee of around $120 million (£91.6m) has been agreed, with 25 June the likely date for the fight.
It will be the second time Joshua has fought in Saudi Arabia, after his win over Andy Ruiz in December 2019 in their rematch. Read more
Lewandowski, Ibrahimovic seek World Cup place as Poland, Sweden clash (Guardian)
Either Robert Lewandowski or Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss out on the chance to play at the 2022 World Cup when Poland and Sweden clash in Tuesday’s play-off.
The winners in Chorzow will go into Friday’s draw for the World Cup group stage.
It could be the final chance to play at a World Cup for Swedish striker Ibrahimovic, who will be 41, and Poland’s Lewandowski, who will be 34, when the finals kick off in Qatar this November.
“A World Cup without Zlatan is not a World Cup,” said Ibrahimovic.
The veteran has endured an injury-blighted season and last played a full 90 minutes for his club AC Milan in January. Read more
We’ll surprise Nigeria, secure World Cup ticket – Ghana coach, Otto (Punch)
The coach of Black Stars of Ghana, Addo Otto, on Monday, said that his team would surprise Nigeria by securing the 2022 Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s World Cup ticket in the second leg qualifiers in Abuja.
Otto made this known to newsmen at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s match.
He said he was optimistic, that since Black Stars played well in Ghana, they would improve on their performance to secure the ticket at the expense of the home team in the return leg fixture in Abuja.
“We have a good team, we played well in Ghana, we will improve on it, we are here to push more, we are determined.
“I don’t see myself under pressure, it is a privilege to play Super Eagles in Nigeria, we are not better than Super Eagles and Super Eagles is not better than us. Read more
John Herdman: the English manager behind landmark Canada World Cup qualification (BBC)
In England, memories of the 1986 World Cup centre around Diego Maradona, the ‘Hand of God’ and the wonder goal he scored for Argentina in that quarter-final win en route to lifting the trophy.
Canadian memories of that tournament in Mexico are somewhat different.
Three games, no points, no goals. At least they got there, though.
Until now, 1986 remained the only time Canada had qualified for a World Cup.
That all changed on Sunday, when a 4-0 win over Jamaica booked Canada’s place at the 2022 Fifa World Cup. And it promises to be a golden period for them, since it is anticipated – but not yet confirmed – that their status as co-hosts for the 2026 tournament will bring automatic qualification. Read more