Traffic robbers on the rampage in Lagos (Guardian)
There is palpable fear by road users in Lagos over the upsurge in the operation of traffic robbers who have taken advantage of gridlock caused by road construction workers and tanker drivers along major routes.
Chief among the roads where the hoodlums operate are on top of the Apongbon Road bridge, Ikorodu Road, Oshodi-Anthony axis, Oshodi-Isolo expressway, and Mile 2-Ojo expressways, among others.
Irrespective of the time of the day, hoodlums have now taken it as a daily activity to attack vehicles and rob the occupants of their belongings. Only a few are often lucky to escape unhurt without losing any valuables whenever they strike. Read more
Police bust Ogun drug syndicate, recover N10m hard drugs (Punch)
The Ogun State Police Command has recovered N2,722,750 and over N10m worth of hard drugs after raiding a suspected drug cartel in the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, stated this while displaying the exhibits at the police headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.
Ajogun said the police acted on a tip-off and raided the hideout of the syndicate at the Mayas’ area of Lafenwa, in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
He said the police made the recoveries, while the suspects escaped from the scene.
The police commissioner explained that the command was held back from engaging the fleeing suspects to avoid civilian casualties. Read more
Northern elders, Kukah, Obi, others warn of another civil war (Punch)
A former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah and the Northern Elders Forum said on Thursday that Nigeria was repeating its mistakes that led to the civil war which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970.
Speaking at a webinar, they cautioned that unless something urgent was done, the aftermath of the ongoing injustice, poor governance and leadership failure in the country would be worse than what was experienced during the civil war.
The civil war was fought between the government of Nigeria, headed by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.), and the secessionist state of Biafra, led by the late Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu, from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970, during which over one million persons reportedly lost their lives. Read more
Nigerians remain at NIMC offices as MTN targets service rollout (Guardian)
Even as Nigerians throng offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in their hundreds for the National Identification Number (NIN) registration and its linkage with their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), the agency is taking steps to ensure that the over 203 licensed agents roll out services soon.
The Guardian can authoritatively report that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, was a guest of the Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, where they brainstormed on strategies to fast-track nationwide rollout by the leading mobile operator.
It was learnt that the guest told his host that MTN Nigeria planned to begin NIN enrolment with no fewer than 54,000 equipment nationwide shortly. Read more
Varsity workers set for nationwide strike over MoU (NewTelegraph)
There are indications that the non-academic staff of Nigerian universities may declare s strike action in the coming week as all branch chairmen of its unions have been directed to summon joint congresses on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
The congresses are to take a resolution on the possible commencement of an indefinite and total nationwide strike. The directive was contained in a circular issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) to its branch chairmen.
The circular was sighted by newsmen in Abuja, yesterday. According to the circular, the resolution would be based on the non-implementation of the issues contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed and agreed with the unions by the Federal Government on October 20, 2020. Read more
FUTO student charged with $11,522 fraud (Punch)
An undergraduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Michael Uwachukwu, has been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for fraud.
Uwachukwu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice J.K Omotosho on four counts bordering on impersonation and obtaining money by false pretences.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the EFCC, Uwachukwu, under the guise of being evicted by his landlord, obtained $11,522 from a citizen of the United States of America, Krisha Arsenio. Read more
Govs move to take over COVID-19 vaccines’ distribution, meet Wednesday (ThisDay)
Following concerns over the opaqueness of the recent allocation of expected 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states by the federal government, governors of the 36 states of the federation are making moves to take over the distribution of the life saving substance, THISDAY gathered yesterday.
The allocation made by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has come under severe attacks by stakeholders that wondered about the formulae for the exercise as the allotment was disproportionate between the non-prevalent and prevalent states.
Subsequently, the state governors plan to meet on Wednesday to deliberate and take a position on the allocation by NPHCDA, a reliable source told THISDAY. Read more
Mother, two children burnt to death in Bauchi (Guardian)
Fire has killed a mother and her two children while four others sustained injuries in a fire outbreak in Riban Garmin village of Dewu ward, Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Eyewitness accounts said the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the house, which burnt down a four-bedroom apartment. It was reported that the fire started when the deceased and her two children were sleeping at night. The four persons that sustained injuries were admitted at the Kirfi General Hospital where they are receiving treatment.
A member representing Kirfi in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abdulkadir Umar Dewu, who paid a visit to the victims on behalf of the governor, Bala Mohammed, sympathised with family of the victims, describing it as unfortunate for a woman and her two children to die in such a circumstance. Read more
The Village Headmaster releases trailer ahead of return (Nation)
The promotional trailer of the iconic TV drama series, The Village Headmaster, has begun airing across Nigeria ahead of the series’ return.
This is coming months after it was announced that the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), and Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP) had embarked on a ground-breaking partnership to revive the TV drama series.
According to a recent press release, the new The Village Headmaster series would officially commence airing in April 2021 on NTA Network, AIT Network, and wapTV Network, across Nigeria and several parts of Africa.
The recording, which commenced in early November 2020, was fully-concluded by mid-December 2020. The project, it was further said, is currently undergoing post-production process in line with the producers’ promise to deliver a first-class project of international standard. Read more
Captain America ‘set for return to MCU’ as Chris Evans tipped to make comeback (Metro)
Captain America fans, get excited. It’s been claimed that the much-loved superhero could be making a return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Yup, it’s been reported that Chris Evans is hotly tipped to be making a return as Captain America in upcoming Marvel projects and, boy, are so up for that. According to Deadline, Evans is ‘near closing a deal’ with Marvel to return in the future as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in not one, but two future features. While that might not be another Captain America installment, after the movie trilogy came to a close in 2016, Evans could be back in character for cameo appearances in other projects. Read more
Taliban cracks down on ‘costly’ polygamy (BBC)
The leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan has issued a decree urging the group’s leaders and commanders to forego taking multiple wives, which he said was inviting “criticism from our enemies”, reports the BBC’s Khudai Noor Nasar.
Muslim men can be permitted by religion to have up to four wives at a time and polygamy is still legal in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some other predominantly Muslim nations.
But Taliban sources told the BBC the practice was creating increasing demand from commanders for funds to pay a “bride price” – a practice in force in many Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan by which money is given to a woman’s family to secure her hand in marriage. Read more
Deadly earthquake hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi island (France24)
At least three people were killed and dozens injured when a powerful quake rippled through the Indonesian island of Sulawesi early Friday, toppling several buildings, including a hotel.
The 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours, triggering panic among the terrified residents of the island, which was hit by a huge quake two and a half years ago in which thousands were killed.
A resident of Mamuju, the capital of West Sulawesi, said damage across the city of some 110,000 was extensive, with one hospital severely damaged. Authorities had yet to confirm the information.
“Roads are cracked and many buildings collapsed, including the governor’s office as well as the hospital. The hospital has been flattened,” said 28-year-old Hendra, who goes by one name. Read more
Biden unveils $1.9tn US economic relief package (BBC)
President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) stimulus plan for the coronavirus-sapped US economy before he takes office next week.
If passed by Congress, it would include $1tn for households, with direct payments of $1,400 to all Americans.
The relief proposal includes $415bn to fight the virus and $440bn for small businesses.
Mr Biden, a Democrat, has promised to beat the pandemic that has killed more than 385,000 people in the US. Read more
Samsung unveils Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to rival the iPhone 12 Pro Max (Metro)
Samsung has announced its next flagship smartphone through a virtual press conference this afternoon. The Samsung Galaxy S21 will be the de facto rival to Apple’s iPhone 12 series that was launched late last year. The Galaxy S21 comes in three variants: the Galaxy S21 5G, the Galaxy S21+ 5G and the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. As you may have guessed, all the phones are fully 5G-capable. The most premium of the devices, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G offers up a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits. It’s also compatible with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus. Read more
North Korea unveils new submarine-launched missile (BBC)
North Korea has unveiled a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile that state media described as “the world’s most powerful weapon”.
Several of the missiles were displayed at a parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un, reported state media.
It follows a rare political meeting where Mr Kim decried the US as his country’s “foremost principal enemy”.
The show of military strength comes days before the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president. Read more
Spike Lee says Chadwick Boseman ‘didn’t want shortcuts’ as he filmed Da 5 Bloods before death (Metro)
Spike Lee has opened up on filming with Chadwick Boseman before his death, saying he ‘didn’t want shortcuts’. The filmmaker directed 2020 movie Da 5 Bloods, which was one of the actor’s final on-screen appearances before his tragic death from cancer. Boseman chose not to disclose his illness to his co-stars and fans, instead battling it in private. Speaking alongside George C Wolfe, who directed the actor in the Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lee said he didn’t know he was ill. Read more
Ighalo eyes MLS move (Punch)
Odion Ighalo told ESPN he would like to stay at Manchester United beyond the end of the month and revealed he would also be interested in a move to Major League Soccer.
Ighalo’s loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua is set to end on Jan. 31 after a year at Old Trafford. The Nigerian is waiting before making a decision on his next move but has said he would “love” the opportunity to play in the US.
“Today, I’m in Manchester but at the end of the month I don’t know where I’m going to be,” Ighalo told ESPN. “If it’s possible I’d like to stay here but if not I have to go.
“I have options. I wait for my agent. He is doing his job and I’m doing mine. At the end of the month, we have to decide what is best and we’ll take it. If it’s possible I’d like to play in MLS but I have to wait to see if it’s possible. Read more
Barcelona penalty hero Puig reveals first-team ‘desire’ (Nation)
Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig says he will continue to fight for his place in the team after scoring the decisive spot-kick in Wednesday’s penalty shootout win over Real Sociedad.
Puig helped his side advance to the Supercopa de Espana final after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes. The 21-year-old scored from the spot to clinch a 3-2 victory on penalties for his side.
While many fans have called for the talented youngster to receive more minutes, Puig has been used sparingly this season by Barca head coach Ronald Koeman. Read more
Marcus Rashford reveals how Jose Mourinho helped increase Manchester United’s penalty count (Metro)
Marcus Rashford has revealed that Jose Mourinho urged him to be more ‘savvy’ in order to win more penalties for Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp mocked United’s high penalty count earlier this month by claiming that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had won more spot-kicks in the last two years than his Liverpool side had been given since he became manager at Anfield in 2015. Since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho at Old Trafford in December 2018, United have been awarded 42 penalties in comparison to Liverpool’s 19 in all competitions. But Rashford has revealed that Mourinho was the one who urged him to change the way he approached situations after receiving contact in the opposition’s area. Read more
Rockets star joins Brooklyn Nets in three-team deal (BBC)
Houston Rockets have traded star player James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets – just a day after he criticised team-mates in a post-match rant.
Harden, the top scorer in the NBA for the past three seasons, will join the Nets in a deal involving three teams.
The 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player and an eight-time all-star, Harden, 31, had been reportedly looking for a move after growing frustrated at Houston.
They are second bottom in the Western Conference with just three wins. Read more
Stubborn Palace end Arsenal’s winning run (BBC)
Arsenal’s recent resurgence was checked by a stubborn Crystal Palace, who claimed a hard-fought point from a forgettable encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Tagged as relegation candidates as little as three weeks ago, the Gunners came into the game off the back of four straight wins in all competitions, but were unable to find their way past the well-drilled and disciplined visitors.
For a side in such good form, Arsenal were a disappointment going forward, their best effort at goal a shot on the turn from Alexandre Lacazette into the side-netting.
Their only other clear-cut chance was an angled shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that Vicente Guaita palmed away. Read more
Hector Bellerin and Mikel Arteta claim Arsenal missed Kieran Tierney in Crystal Palace draw (Metro)
Hector Bellerin and Mikel Arteta were in agreement that Arsenal missed Kieran Tierney in their goalless draw with Crystal Palace, with the left-back ruled out of the match due to a muscle problem. Roy Hodgson’s well-organised Palace team successfully blunted Arsenal’s attack and Alexandre Lacazette fired the hosts’ best chance into the side netting at the Emirates on Thursday night. The result meant Arsenal’s three-match winning streak in the Premier League came to an end and it was the first time ever that the Gunners had failed to find the net against their London rivals in the top flight. Read more