UCL: God behind my goals against Man City – Real Madrid’s Rodrygo

Real Madrid hero Rodrygo says God’s face was upon him after his late brace fired them into the Champions League final.

An injury-time double from Rodrygo saw Real defeat Manchester City 3-1 and reach the final 6-5 on aggregate.

He said, “We were losing the match, we were dead and what happened, happened. With this shirt, we learn to always fight to the end. We were almost dead, but with my first goal we started to believe.

“I can’t explain it. I don’t have words for what happened today. God looked at me and said, “Today is your day.”

Real teammate Casemiro also said: “We had two years without the crowd. You have to enjoy them. The great virtue of this club is never giving in, fighting to the end. We have to congratulate everyone. Rodrygo made a spectacular entrance. The key phrase is ‘never give up’. We go to the end.”


Multiple crash claims 2 persons on Ikorodu Road– NEMA

Two people have been confirmed dead following a multiple crash involving four vehicles in Lagos.

The multiple crash occurred at Odo lya Alaro located on the bridge linking Maryland and Ojota, Ikorodu Road, Lagos.

Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, the Zonal Coordinator, South-West, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the incident on Friday.

Farinloye said that the incident occurred at about 2:15 a.m. Friday morning.

He said that the crash involved an empty tanker with registration number FKJ-506XM, an articulated flat bed truck laden with metal coils, a grey coloured Toyota Camry with registration number ABC-261AJ (Abuja), a tipper with registration number T-12015LA laden with 30 tonnes of sharp sand and two commercial buses.

He said that the Tipper truck lost control while on speed and ran into the vehicles, thereby resulting in the multiple accident.

“Unfortunately, two adults (one female and one male) were confirmed dead at the scene.

“The male adult was handed over to the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU) at the scene, while the female was taken by her immediate family.

“Several persons were also injured and taken to nearby hospitals by the FRSC ambulance and the Lagos State. Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS).

The following responders were at the scene of the incident: the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), NEMA, LASTMA, FRSC, LASAMBUS and the Nigeria Police Force.


West Ham United investigare reports of attack on German commentator

West Ham are investigating allegations that two German commentators were attacked during the first leg of West Ham United’s Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt at London Stadium on Thursday.

Reports emerged during the game that the broadcasters were attacked after Michail Antonio had pulled the Hammers level in the 21st minute of the 2-1 defeat.

The pair, said to have been commentating on the match for German radio, were moved to a different broadcasting position at half-time.

According to reports in German newspaper Bild, the reporters commented live on air that one of their headsets was ripped off and thrown on the floor.

A West Ham spokesperson said: “The club is aware of the incident and will be working to identify the offender.

“In line with our zero-tolerance approach, anyone identified will have their details passed to the police.

“They will be given an indefinite ban and be unable to enter London Stadium and travel with the club. There is no place for this kind of behaviour.”


School feeding: FG trains 42 master cooks on healthy, hygienic meal in Kogi

The Federal Government has trained 42 cooks under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in order to build their capacity and ensure a healthy and safe hygienic environment for pupils, tagged: ”Nationwide Documentation and Training of Master Cooks on tNHGSFP”.

Speaking at the venue in Lokoja, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), Hajia Sadiya Farouq, said the training was to build the capacity of the cooks to ensure safe and healthy meals for the pupils.

The Minister, who was represented by the Nutritional Assistant on NHGSFP, Mrs Susan Simpa, said the 42 participants would go back after the training to their various local governments to train others.

According to her, two cooks were selected from each of the 21 local government of the state, who will in turn train 20 cooks each in their localities.

She noted that the NHGSFP is a component of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), established by President Muhammad Buhari to bring poor Nigerians out of poverty.

She said that the training would improve the hygiene pattern of NHGSFP implementation, adding that the federal government has also provided quality feeding utensils for the cooks.

Earlier, Mr Suleiman Onyekehi, the NSIP Focal Person, Kogi State, said the idea is to improve on the quality of food and nutritional values being prepared for the pupils, and increase children’s enrollment in school.

Onyekehi, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, stressed that the federal government is taking the programme seriously because of its purpose and objectives.

He urged the participants to listen attentively to ensure a thorough compliance with the national guidelines.

”So, I want you to take this training very seriously, and also see the programme as a service to humanity,” he advised.

He said that the NSIP Kogi has recruited 2,933 cooks for the NHGSFP, while over 800 recruited additional cooks are awaiting final approval to accommodate remaining schools and pupils yet to benefit from the programme.

He noted that the delay is as a result of the nationwide pupils enumeration exercise.

He appreciated the Minister for doing her best in bridging the structural gaps for effective performance.

He disclosed that the federal government has approved the increase in cost of meal per child from N70 to N100, but this is yet to be implemented.

He, therefore, noted that the federal government is doing its best to commence the implementation probably when schools resume for third term.

Mrs Fatima Abdulmumin, a participant who spoke on behalf of the Cooks, said the cooking had been nice, adding that their major challenge is the cost.

”The cost per child is N70 but we are hoping the federal government will increase it to N100 as they have promised because things are now very costly,” she said.

Earlier, the minister’s representative, Simpa, handed over aprons and feeding utensils to Onyekehi for onward distribution to the cooks after the training.


9 corps members to repeat service year in Abia – NYSC

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has ordered nine corps members deployed to Abia to repeat their service year for absconding from service.

The State Coordinator, Mr Denis Jingi, announced the order on Thursday during the passing out parade of the 2021 Batch ‘A’ Stream 2 corps members held at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

Jingi said that the sanction was in line with the scheme’s bye-laws.
He said that 870 corps members successfully concluded the national service.
He charged the outgoing corps members to respect the oath they took during their induction.

“As you all step into the larger society, remember you are products of NYSC.
“The priceless experiences and knowledge you garnered should be a guiding light in the course of your life pursuit,” he said.

In a speech, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu congratulated the corps members on their meritorious contributions to the development of their host communities and state in general.

The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chris Ezem, said government was determined to improve the welfare of corps members.

“It is in line with this that I approved some funds for the rehabilitation of the Orientation Camp in Umunna, Bende Local Government Area, to ease the problem of accommodation.

“Govermnent will continue to assist the scheme within the available resources in the provision of basic amenities for its operations,” the governor said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Victor Akpan received the State Honours Award for his outstanding performance during the service year.

Akpan, who hails from Akwa Ibom, with registration number: AB/2021A/0292, was honoured for drilling a borehole for Umuobiala Community in Isuikwuato LGA.

Also, five corps members received Commendation Certificates during the colourful ceremony that was witnessed by representatives of different federal and state government agencies.


Guinness Nigeria opens new £6.2m headquarters in Lagos

Dr Omobola Johnson, Guinness Nigeria’s Board Chair flanked by former Board Chairman, Guinness Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Savage and Mr Baker Magunda, Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, during the inauguration of the company’s new headquarters in Lagos on Thursday, April 28, 2022

Guinness Nigeria Plc, a member of the Diageo family, on Thursday opened its new £6.2 million ultra-modern headquarters located at Cocoa Industries Road, Ogba, Lagos.

In her speech, Guinness Nigeria’s Board Chair, Dr Omobola Johnson, said the ceremony also doubled as a celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of Guinness Nigeria’s consistent business in Nigeria.

Johnson noted that the world-class edifice was a testament of the Guinness brand’s confidence in continuing to do business in Nigeria and had rested rumours that the company was relocating from the country.

“It is a testament that Guinness is here to stay and committed to doing business in Nigeria,” she said.

The new Guinness Nigeria complex has a bar, game room, gym and modern office facilities among others.

According to Johnson, the modern edifice shows the culture Guinness stands for and the company’s aspirations for the future.

“It is about working well, living well and also playing well,” she added.

Johnson thanked the management and members of staff of Guinness Nigeria for their resilience and commitment to improving the company’s performance.

Also, Mr Babatunde Savage, former Board Chairman, Guinness Nigeria, said Guinness had contributed so much to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Savage said the approval of the Diageo Group for the new headquarters to be constructed in Nigeria showed that the company had a long term plan of operating in the country.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), lauded Guinness Nigeria for playing a critical role in the food and beverage sector.

Adeyeye, represented by Mrs Eva Edwards, Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, NAFDAC, said the regulatory agency would continue to support Guinness to ensure the success of its business in Nigeria.

Also, Mr Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff, Diageo Group, said Nigeria forms a special place in the history of Guinness being the second place the beer was brewed after Ireland.

Sandys said the new headquarters was a clear indication of the company’s confidence in Guinness Nigeria based on its performance in the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Baker Magunda, Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, said the facility represented Creativity, Collaboration and Connection.

He said the workplace was structured in such a way that workers would be able to improve their productivity while taking advantage of the innovations created by the new-normal introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through the past 72 years, we have continually invested in the Nigerian economy, and our new ultra-modern headquarters reaffirms our long-term strategic expansion plans and commitment to Nigeria,” Magunda said.


Presidency: I am not too young or too old to run — Tambuwal

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Aspirant, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, has said he is neither too young nor too old to run for Nigeria’s presidency by 2023.

Tambuwal, speaking during his meeting with PDP former Ministers Forum, in Abuja on Thursday, described himself as the perfect bridge between the old and younger generations of the country.

“By the grace of God I am in the middle, not too old to run and not too young not to run.

“So, I see that bridge that is all around, not too far from the youth and not too far away from the elderly and that is the bridge that Nigeria is looking for today that will unify this country.

Tambuwal also advised the party to be more interested in who it could sell to the electorate as candidate to win the 2023 presidential election which he said that he represented.

He said that the only way to rescue the country was for the PDP to produce a candidate who understood the country well through its national convention.

“What is key for PDP is a candidate that we can all work to sell together, a candidate that we can all want to sell together.

“I believe I am that candidate that we can all work to sell together and win this election.

“What is important for PDP is to be able to win elections, not where the person is coming from.”

Tambuwal said that having served as Reps Speaker, a member of the life bencher of the Judiciary and second term governor of Sokoto State he understood he had all it takes to rescue the country.

He said that Nigeria needed a candidate with the understanding of the dynamics of the country, with affiliations, associations and friendships across the length and breadth of the country.

“I can assure you that I have the understanding of the Nigeria situation today. I have the federal administrative experience.

“Yes, I was more in the legislature, but it is a federal government and I understand the nuances and what issues are in governance.”

He also explained why he left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014 and came back to the PDP in 2018.

Tambuwal said it was not because he had personal disagreement with any of former President Goodluck Jonathan or President Muhammadu Buhari, but with some of their policies.

“It is all about this country, nothing personal and nothing selfish. It is about altruism, patriotism and building our country together.”

Chairman of the forum and former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, described 2023 elections as serious business for Nigeria considering the issues of insecurity, leadership failure and injustice.

He said that the forum believed that there was the need for Nigeria to have a leader capable of building strong bridges of friendship across the various divides.

“We need a hybrid kind of leader that will be a little bit to the left and a little bit to the right, while maintaining his stand in the centre.

“We need a leader that is cosmopolitan; we need a leader that can listen to advice; we need a leader that can wield respect of other People.

“We need a leader that while sitting on top of the executive arm of government will also have respect for other arms of government.

“We need a leader, above all, that has proved himself as being capable of aggregating diverse people, diverse opinions and then leading them together without compromising the efficacy of democracy and democratic rule.”

Turaki said that as former ministers they considered themselves as critical stakeholders in producing the candidate of the party.


I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in, says Elon Musk

Elon Musk joked he wants to buy drinks giant Coca-Cola to ‘put the cocaine back in’ as the eccentric entrepreneur enjoyed a series of back-and-forths with Twitter users amid his $44billion takeover of the platform.

‘Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in,’ the wisecracking Tesla and SpaceX founder said in a late-night tweet Wednesday.

The tweet prompted a storm of amusing responses, including one post which implored Elon ‘bring it back’ and shared an image of what appeared to be one of the first publicly sold Coca-Cola bottles in 1894.

The early recipe for Coca-Cola actually included coca leaves, from which popular party drug cocaine is derived.

The original Coca-Cola is thought to have contained 3.5 milligrams of cocaine – an ingredient which remained present in the drink until it was removed by the company nine years later.

Elon also traded jokes with a user who posted a doctored tweet alongside Elon’s profile picture which read: ‘Now I’m going to buy McDonalds and fix all the ice cream machines…’

‘Listen, I can’t do miracles, ok,’ the billionaire entrepreneur responded.

Twitter users delighted in Elon’s coke-joke, before he followed up: ‘Beats the hell out of Red Bull!’

Twitter’s board on Monday unanimously accepted a $44billion bid from Musk to buy out the company and own it outright.

Musk pledged to uphold free speech on the platform so it can fulfil its potential as the world’s ‘digital town square’, while relaxing content restrictions and cracking down on spam posters and bots.

‘Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,’ Musk said in a statement following the announcement of his takeover.

But news of the buyout prompted many left-leaning users to announce their intentions to leave the platform, while others expressed concern that relaxed content controls could lead to more hate speech.

In yet more tweets last night and early this morning, Elon set out some more of his intentions for the platform which outlined his basic visions for the user experience, a desire to make Twitter politically neutral in its content control, and the need for increased security.

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s best-loved brands and its refreshing, if unhealthy, fizzy brown beverage is enjoyed by millions every day.

But when chemist John Stith Pemberton created the original Coca-Cola formula in 1886 in a pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, he labelled it a ‘brain tonic’.

The first Coca-Cola advertisements positioned the concoction as a cure for ‘Morphine, Opium Habits and Desire for Intoxicants’.

But ironically, the two ingredients from which Pemberton’s soda drink derived its name were highly addictive.

The early versions of Coca-Cola contained kola nut powder to deliver a caffeine kick, and coca leaf extract which contained trace quantities of cocaine – around 3.5 milligrams per bottle until 1903, when it was removed.

Other ingredients contained in the original recipe were sugar syrup spiced with citric acid, nutmeg, vanilla and Chinese cinnamon oil.

However, the high levels of caffeine in Coca-Cola remained until the end of World War One.

By 1908, anti-drug campaigners began attacking America’s growing dependence on the substance and started calling for a national ban.

One Texan politician declared in 1909: ‘The reason they put this dope in Coca-Cola is to create a constant craving for more and thus sell the drink.’

Coca-Cola remained steadfast and continued to caffeinate its beverages until World War I sent prices through the roof due to shortages.

In 1918, Coca-Cola halved the quotient to today’s levels – a can now contains about half the caffeine of a shot of espresso.


“Number one undisputed”, Yul Edochie hails first wife after announcing second marriage

Nollywood actor, Yul Edochie, on Thursday hailed his first wife, May, via an Instagram post.

Sharing photos of the mother-of-four, Yul Edochie noted that she was his undisputed “number one”.

He wrote, “Number one @mayyuledochie. Undisputed.”

This came a few hours after Yul went public with his second marriage and announced fellow Nollywood actress, Judy Austin.

The actor caused a stir on social media on Wednesday when he added that his new wife already had a son for him.

Edochie’s first wife of 17 years, May, also reacted to the news, as she called down the judgement of God on the latest couple.

Taking to the comment section of her husband’s announcement post, she wrote, “May God judge you both.”

Commenting on the trending news, ex-presidential aide, Reno Omokri noted that polygamy is not a sin, adding that it is better than adultery or fornication.

While announcing his new son, Yul Edochie added that he loves the child as much as he loved his older four children, which he shared with his first wife, May.

Edochie wrote, “It’s time for the world to meet my son. His name is STAR DIKE MUNACHIMSO YUL-EDOCHIE. Born by my second wife, Judy Austin. And I love him so much, just as much as I love my other children.”

Yul, the last child of veteran actor, Pete Edochie, married his first wife at the young age of 22, and they have four kids together.


Two of Oshiomhole’s commissioners as Edo governor kick against his senatorial ambition

Two commissioners in Mr Adams Oshiomhole’s cabinet while he was Edo governor, Chief Lucky James, (Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) and Mrs Inumidun Idehen (Women Affairs) have kicked against Oshiomhole’s senatorial ambition.

Oshiomhole, also former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) declared his intention on April 4, to contest for the Edo North senatorial district seat on the platform of the APC.

The two former commissioners issued a joint statement in Benin on Thursday, pitching their tent with incumbent Sen. Francis Alimikhena and pledging their support for his re-election.

The statement was personally signed by James, Oshiomhiole’s kinsman and Mrs Idehen whom Oshiomhole dropped from his cabinet in June 2012, one month to the governorship election in Edo.

They submitted that the re-election of Alimikhena, instead of replacing him with Oshiohole would guarantee a bigger deal for the senatorial district.

“Edo North APC youths should work in synergy with their respective leaders to ensure victory for Sen. Alimikhena.

“To show the seriousness attached to Alimikhena’s re-election, his campaign organisation has been strengthened and our principal is the first to obtain the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms,’’ the statement read.

It quoted Idehen as saying: “at my age and with my pedigree, I cannot deceive my own people. I owe it a duty to lead rightly and Alimikhena is the right person for 2023 Senate.’’

She urged the people to do the right thing by nominating and supporting Alimikhena for another term of office.

Reacting to the statement, a leader of the APC in Akoko-Edo, Mr Ayo Olowojoba, said support for Oshiomhole would drag the senatorial district backward.

“We cannot be dragging Afemai backward by allowing a new person to go to senate. We will deliver Alimikhena by our unity, especially the Owan and Akoko-Edos,’’ he said.


Chelsea FC’s recruitment plans behind schedule, Tuchel says

Chelsea coach
Chelsea FC manager, Thomas Tuchel said their recruitment plans for next season are running behind schedule due to the uncertainty over the club’s ownership.

He added that the squad would require only “cosmetic surgery”.

Chelsea were put up for sale by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

Sanctions imposed by the British government on Abramovich mean Chelsea are unable to sign new players or renew existing contracts.

Tuchel confirmed at the weekend that Antonio Rudiger would leave after his contract expires, with Andreas Christensen also looking likely to depart.

“You’re never fully sure, but we would have some targets and we would for sure have contacted some players and found out about their situations.

“Now our hands are tied, we can still have the talks inside the building but we cannot act.

“The situation is not ideal. It would be challenging enough with a stable situation. We don’t have that so everyone is doing it for the first time.”

While United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick said last week that his club needed an “open heart operation” to fix their issues Tuchel gave a more positive outlook for Chelsea.

“Cosmetic surgery,” he responded when asked if Chelsea needed the same. “I would be less concerned if we still had the same ownership, if we could rely on our structure.

“As this is also in question we are, not concerned, but aware of the danger that the situation is maybe a bit more complex.”

Chelsea are third in the Premier League on 65 points from 32 matches, while United are sixth on 54 points from 34 matches.


NASA plans longer stay on Moon, Mars

Three U.S. astronauts and one Italian will carry out research that will help the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to prepare for longer duration stays on the Moon and Mars, the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, has said.

The astronauts and the Italian arrived in the International Space Station (ISS) some 16 hours after blasting off from the Earth for the investigation.

They are U.S. astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins as well as Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA).

“Kjell, Bob, Jessica, and Samantha will carry out research investigations that will help NASA prepare for longer duration stays on the Moon and eventually Mars,’’ Nelson said.

NASA said the new crew was to replace the astronauts currently stationed onboard the ISS, including the German Matthias Maurer.


2023 Presidential: We’ll mobilize 5million youths for Tinubu– Group

The Nigerian Youth and Diaspora Forum for Bola Ahmed Tinubu E-Campaign (NYD4BAT) says it is set to mobilise five million youths for the presidential aspiration of the All Progressives Congress aspirant, Sen. Bola Tinubu, beyond the party line.

Speaking at the inauguration of NYD4BAT on Wednesday in Lagos, its Chairman, Mr Tito Philips, described Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, as the best material for the president of Nigeria, come 2023.

Philips said the youth had been impressed by the political dexterity and contributions of Tinubu over the 23 years of Nigeria’s democracy.

The youth leader described the body as a voluntary campaign support group comprising Nigerian youths both at home and abroad.

He said the focus of NYD4BAT included organising Nigerian youths both home and in diaspora into a formidable political movement for good governance in Nigeria.

He said that the forum would campaign for Tinubu through a well-defined ideology and concept devoid of politics with bitterness.

He said: “NYD4BAT is poised to engage Nigerian youths on the state of the nation during electioneering campaign for positive attitudes devoid of violence.

“We are poised to garner five million votes for Tinubu’s presidential aspiration through a responsible campaign both on and offline by reaching out to other critical stakeholders.

“The group will deploy adequately the social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, among others to reach the Nigerian youths through entertainment, sports, technology, fashion and business incubation/training programmes to engage the youth for Tinubu’s presidential aspiration.”

On the choice of Tinubu for the topmost position in the country, Philips said he was the only Nigerian that exemplified the kind of democracy the country needed.

He added that there must be performance based democracy if the citizens must get to the promise land.

According to him, only Tinubu will get results for the people of Nigeria.

“Politicians are famous for their campaign promises that never become reality. Our people are tired of being deceived by politicians with little or no track record.

“They want results. And what better way to judge a person’s ability to deliver the results you want, other than previous results achieved.

“Of all the perceived reservations about BAT, his irrefutable results, most notably in Lagos State is never contested.

“Not only has he laid the master plan on which Lagos has been running successfully for the past 23 years, making it the 5th economy in Africa.

“He is an excellent leader who also recommends the right people for office,” he said.

Also, Mr Ajibola Patrick, who is chairman of the group in Nigeria, said, “Nigerian youths can no longer sit akimbo and watch helplessly the troubles the country was going through.”

Patrick said that Tinubu stood in best position to rescue Nigeria at this time of the nation’s history, noting that the former governor had made major contributions to the development of Lagos State and Nigeria in general.

Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora in Romania, Mr Adeniyi Sanusi, said Tinubu’s contributions to the development of Lagos and Nigeria were quite visible.

He said that Nigerians in Diaspora should consider themselves assets back home as the 2023 general elections draw nearer.

According to him, Nigerians in Diaspora have powers to get things done through attraction.

“We can still add value back to Nigeria and contribute to the development of Nigeria by raising our voice,” he added.


Liverpool take first step towards UEFA Champions League final after beating Villarreal

Liverpool wore down Villareal 2-0 in a UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg tie on Wednesday to keep their bid for four season titles alive.

Pervis Estupinan deflected team captain Jordan Henderson’s cross into his own net in the 53rd minute and Sadio Mane got the second two minutes later.

The result left the six-time winners well-placed for the return leg in Spain on Tuesday.

Villarreal, who had stunned Juventus and Bayern Munich in the previous rounds, had frustrated Liverpool in the first half before being well beaten.

They created no serious scoring opportunity with just one attempt, compared to Liverpool’s 20.

Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have already won the League Cup, are in the FA Cup final against Chelsea and trail Manchester City by one point in a fierce Premier League title duel.

Should they reach the Champions League final on May 28 in Paris, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City could also be their opponents there.

This was after Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-3 in a thrilling other first-leg semi-final on Tuesday.

“They are a very organised team and we knew they would make it difficult.

“It was just important that we kept going and believed that we would eventually break them down. We did that with two good goals,” Henderson said.

But he warned that “the game is still alive and it will be tough in Villarreal.”

Villarreal defender Pau Torres shared this view, insisting that “there’s a lot of football left in this semi-final yet.

“We go home beaten by two goals but we stay confident. Should we score in the first 10 minutes next week we are back in the tie,” he said.

Mane had two early chances as Liverpool made their presence felt.

The first was when he was not able to properly control a ball headed on by Ibrahima Konate.

He then did not manage to head on target when completely unmarked off Mohamed Salah’s cross from the right.

Villarreal sat deep giving the hosts little space as Liverpool mainly tried their luck from a distance.

Thiago Alcantara came closest in the 42nd minute when his long-range drive crashed against Villarreal’s right post.

Fabinho had a goal five minutes after the restart disallowed because Virgil van Dijk was offside before heading on the ball.

Liverpool were finally awarded for their efforts three minutes later.

That was when Henderson’s cross bounced of Estupinan’s foot and high over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli into the far left corner.

And Anfield rejoiced again 120 seconds later when Salah picked out Mane who beat Rulli for 2-0 with a low shot.

Villarreal were now in danger of falling apart against the relentless Reds.

Andy Robertson was offside before volleying home and Luis Diaz aimed inches right.

The visitors settled down again in the later stages but created no danger up front and face an uphill battle to reverse matters at home next week.


If you mess with Rita Dominic…– Omotola Jalade to Fidelis Anosike

Actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde says she will not hesitate to deal with Rita Dominic’s husband Fidelis Anosike if he messes up.

The Nollywood actress said this in an Instagram post while congratulating the couple on their wedding.

Omotola, Genevieve Nnaji, Richard Mofe-Damijo were among the A-list Nollywood actors that were absent at the wedding few days ago.

Omotola, alongside a picture of the couple wrote, “My Caramel Skin @ritadominic. Congratulations Again on this New and Exciting journey.

“It’s been a long time coming and with a heart as beautiful as yours I have no doubts what a beautiful one you’ll make it. Love from Capt and the Cubs from this side. You already know this, Love you to the moon and back.

“Fidelis my friend, you know we love you but won’t hesitate to run you up if you mess with our girl. Trust you though. Love your matured Love and support.

“May God bless your marriage with all things prosperous.”

Rita and Fidelis Anosike got married in Aboh Mbaise, Owerri, Imo State on Tuesday, April 19, which was the talk of the town as Nigerian celebrities graced the ceremony.

RMD had earlier stated that he was absent at the wedding because he was far away from the country.


A$AP Rocky risks up to 14 years in prison if convicted of felony charge

American rapper, A$AP Rocky is reportedly facing up to 14 years in prison If convicted of a felony charge, according to Criminal Attorney Lara Yeretsian.

The 33-year-old hip-hop star, who is expecting a child with Rihanna, was arrested at Los Angeles International airport on April 20 by detectives from LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division in connection with a shooting that occurred just five months earlier, in November 2021.

On the night of November 6, two acquaintances were arguing in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, according to the LAPD. “The argument escalated and resulted in the suspect firing a handgun at the victim. The victim sustained a minor injury from the incident and later sought his medical treatment. Following the shooting, the suspect and two additional males fled the area on foot,” police said.

“The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Rakim Mayers, a Los Angeles resident, also known as music artist A$AP Rocky,” according to police.

The alleged victim claimed Rocky shot at him several times, and at least one bullet grazed his left hand.

According to the arrest report, obtained by HollywoodLife, he was charged with a felony by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and released on $550,000 bail

After his release, HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to LA-based criminal attorney Lara Yeretsian, who said that, if convicted, he could face up to 14 years in jail for this felony charge.

Attorney Yeretsian, who has not worked with A$AP, said in the interview that he will have to head back to LA in just a few short weeks to face the charges and that he could be locked away for some time, missing the beginning of his unborn baby’s life.


Petrol sells at N200 in Awka

Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, now sells between N200 and N210 per litre at the independent marketers’ outlets in Awka, the Anambra capital, and its environs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation in the area on Tuesday, reports that most independent marketers had the product with no queues.

However, the product is sold at the official pump price of N162.50 at the NNPC Mega Station at Amawbia, which had little vehicular queues.

NAN reports that petrol had been sold between N220 and N230 in the last two months.

A motorist, who identified himself simply as George, expressed worry that the product was still sold far above the approved pump price in the state as against what obtained in other states.

George urged the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to prevail on the marketers to bring down the price of the commodity.

The Acting Director, Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in Anambra, Mr Charles Ekwunife, said his office had been receiving complaints from the public about the hike in the price of the product.

Ekwunife, who spoke on behalf of the Federal Commissioner of PCC in the state, Mrs Emelda Okoli, said the complaints were taken seriously because it was “economic injustice against the people”.

He, however, said the commission lacked the power to act on the complaints and called on relevant regulatory authorities to wade in and stop further extortion of customers.

“There are also complaints of pump compromise by most of the marketers.

“These things are not healthy for the people,” Ekwunife said.

Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria in the state, Mr Cletus Obiokafor, said the prevailing price was informed by the depot price of petrol.

Obiokafor said some of the marketere selling at N200 and above were those that had old stock.
He appealed to the people to exercise some patience.


2023: APGA cuts nomination fees for women, youth by 50%

The All Progressives Grand Alliance Party, (APGA), says its nomination fees has been cut for women and youths by 50 per cent, to enable them to contest in any position, come 2023 general elections.

The Ebonyi Chairman of APGA, Mr Ricky Okorouka, said this in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area on Wednesday during the party’s meeting with the ward chairmen in the area.

Okorouka said the meeting was to welcome new members who had decamped from other political parties.

He said that so far, the party had received over 90, 000 new members, and reiterated the party’s readiness to take over power from the ruling party in the state.

Among those received was a female aspirant for Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mrs Amaka Engene, founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), “Amaka’s Foundation.”

Engene donated four motorcycles and some cash to APGA’s ward chairmen in the area.

On nomination fees reduction for women and youths, the chairman said that the cut was also in favour of persons with disabilities.

“Yes, our party is gender sensitive. We have already given 50 per cent discount of our nomination form and expression of interest for women, youth as well as people with disability.

“The reduction is made from the national and this is the way we encourage women and we have been receiving new members from the 171 wards of Ebonyi’’, he added.

In her remark, Engene said her move to join politics was to liberate women of the grassroots in the area.

“Yes, i donated the motorcycles to encourage members of the party, the ward chairmen, especially during the campaign. I have promised to give out 12 more motorcycles to youth leaders, women and Secretaries.

“They are to use the motorcycles to preach the gospel of peace and to reconnect people to the most progressive party (APGA) around the Eastern part of the country,” she stated.

Engene decried the way women had lost interest in politics and urged them to be courageous.

“I urge the women out there to be courageous; they should stop seeing politics as game of men. We can do it and do it much better in politics,” she advised.

Earlier, Mr Ene-Odii Ogbonna, APGA’s Youth Leader in Ebonyi, commended all the newly received members and noted that the party was on the move to take over government house come 2023.

Ogbonna tasked the youth on peaceful campaigns and reiterated the party’s readiness to support candidates with capacity without selfishness interest.


Fresh details emerge how footballer Emiliano Sala died in plane crash

Footballer Emiliano Sala died after plane broke up mid-air, inquest jury concludes

Late Argentine footballer, Emiliano Sala died instantly from “head and trunk injuries” when the plane he was in crashed after breaking up mid-air, a jury has found.

They also concluded he was likely to have been “deeply unconscious” from carbon monoxide poisoning on the unlicensed flight.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when the plane they were flying in crashed in the English Channel in 2019.

The 28-year-old had been flying to Wales from France to join Cardiff City.

David Henderson, who arranged the flight, was given an 18-month prison sentence for aviation offences relating to arranging the flight.

The jury concluded Sala died in the crash having been overcome by toxic levels of carbon monoxide from the aircraft’s faulty exhaust system during the unlicensed commercial flight.

The body of Mr. Ibbotson, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, has never been found.

Sala’s younger brother Dario described the impact his death had on the family.

“We just couldn’t believe it, we couldn’t accept it. It was so shocking for us as a family. Even now we can’t believe it and we’ll never really believe it,” he said.

“For me, my brother was always the best, the greatest, even before he became a professional footballer and came over here – he was my brother.”

During the inquest, Dorset Coroner’s Court was told Henderson had been investigated for illegal public transport flights before, but he was not monitored following the initial investigation.

Henderson is serving an 18-month prison sentence for aviation offences relating to the flight.

He arranged for Mr. Ibbotson to take the footballer from Cardiff to Nantes and back again, when the plane crashed en-route to Cardiff.

The inquest jury heard Sala’s blood had 58% carbon monoxide blood saturation, a level a pathologist called “severe poisoning”.

Explaining how carbon monoxide could have entered the Piper Malibu’s cabin, Brian McDermid, who works for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, said it most likely came from exhaust gases seeping into the cabin through a heating system.

Mr. McDermid said it could have been the result of pressure testing not being done on the plane’s exhaust system.

But he said there was no legal requirement for such tests, adding that during its last maintenance check “there was no evidence to suggest that the aircraft was not serviceable or fit to do that flight”.

In a statement, Sala’s family said the inquest had “shone a bright light on many of the missed opportunities in the worlds of football and aviation to prevent his tragic death”.

“The family particularly note the jury’s findings that it is likely that both the pilot and Emiliano suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and that Emiliano was deeply unconscious at the time of the accident, and that the poisoning was caused by a failure in the aircraft exhaust system,” they added.

“The family also welcome the coroner’s decision to communicate to the relevant authorities her concerns about the safety issues arising from this inquest in order to prevent similar future deaths. No family should have to go through grief from a similar avoidable accident.”

Coroner for Dorset Rachel Griffin is recommending that the UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps consider giving the Civil Aviation Authority more powers to tackle the “illegality of these flights and the risks associated with them”.

She is also sending her prevention of future deaths report to the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Nadine Dorries, interested parties and a host of other sporting organisations in order to discourage the use of illegal flights.

Business & Economy

Exportation: Women agro processors wants FG to transform ports

The Women Agro Processors Agricgen and Exporters Initiative (WAPA-GEIN) has urged the Federal Government to modernise and transform the nation’s ports management system.

The President of WAPA-GEIN, Mrs Esther Adebayo, made the call at the inauguration of the Initiative and National Export Centre, on Thursday, in Abuja.

” I am of the opinion that the Federal Government should not be decongesting the ports in Nigeria, but engage in transforming them.

” This must start with the cleaning up of administrative bottlenecks; most of which are unnecessary with multiple government agencies at the port, high transaction cost, or even plain extortion from illegal taxes, which do not go into the coffers of the government.

“Nigeria should rapidly modernise and transform its ports. Ports are not there for equipment revenue generation. They should be for facilitating business and exports, and stimulating industrial manufacturing, and competitiveness of local business and exports.

” Papers and other documents are to be forwarded on Internet to other country of destination, and according to the sector operators.

“The cost of exporting 100 tonnes of cargoes in Nigeria is 35,000 dollars compared to 4000 dollars in Ghana.

” Today, the leading ports for West Africa are in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic. All these countries have modernised their Port Management Systems, leaving Nigeria far behind,” she said.

She also emphasised the need for the Federal Government to increase the training and employment of extension workers and other supportive services to boost increase in agricultural production.

” We must unleash the potential of the youths of Nigeria. Today, over 75 per cent of the population is under the age of 35.

“More decisive actions are needed to turn this demographic asset into an economic dividend.

“A young productive, youthful population with access to education, skills, social protection, affordable housing, and medical care will power Nigeria’s economy now and well into the future.

“We must move away from the so called youth empowerment programmes. The youth do not need hands out.

“They need investments. Agro business is well loaded with millions of job creation for the youths.”

Adebayo urged state governments to establish farm settlements, clusters of agro producers including women and youths.

She also enjoined the three tiers of government to work together to promote operation “feed yourself” by helping households to access information, and inputs that would encourage them to produce food around their houses to feed their families.

According to her, sustainable household food security is the bedrock of successful export business.

“With sharp focus, relentless execution, fairness, equity, public accountability and transparency, we shall drive for a much better and economically stronger Nigeria.”

Earlier, Dr Funmilola Daudu, the Chairperson, Planning Committee of the event, said the initiative would develop a better agricultural and business management practices.

“This will result in improved competitiveness, productivity, income, gross marginal yields for smallholder farmers and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.”

She stressed the need for increased women potential to participate in high level businesses that could foster high level empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Women Agro Processors, Agricgen and Exporters Initiative (WAPAGEIN) is a non-governmental and not-for profit organisation established to promote agric businesses, entrepreneurships, youth and women development careers.

WAPAGEIN is a network of agribusiness marketing professionals from across Nigeria with chapters located in the six geopolitical zones including the FCT.


Hushpuppi in fresh charges of $400k fraud case while in US prison

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  has alleged that Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, received fresh charges as the United States prosecutors submitted court documents showing that he committed fraud and laundered over $400,000 while in jail.

According to documents submitted before the United States District Court of California on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, HushPuppi committed fraud and money laundering while in a US federal correctional facility.

The documents revealed that Hushpuppi, while in prison, participated in the purchase and laundering of Economic Impact Payment debit cards fraudulently obtained from stolen data of US citizens and residents.

Economic Impact Payments are a key provision of the US Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act legislation that Congress passed to help reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 on individuals and their families. One of the ways eligible US residents receive their Economic Impact Payments is by debit cards.

From the documents presented in court, it was found that hackers use data of US residents to file and obtain Economic Impact Payments debit cards. They sell off these EIP cards in underground marketplaces to other cybercriminals.

According to the agent, Hushpuppi was actively buying EIP debit cards from an underground cybercriminal marketplace called StimulusCard (“”). While being recorded, Hushpuppi bought a total of 58 EIP debit cards with a total value of $429,800 on the site and laundered the money through one AJ.

Reacting, the US authorities, according to reports, said prisoners have limited access to the telephone, video, internet and computer use because of their right to privacy in a court filing.

The authority stated that like the rest of the detainees, Hushpuppi was granted access to the computer network.


COVID-19: Number of marriages in S/Korea hit record low in 2021

marriages in S/Korea
The number of marriages in South Korea hit a record low in 2021 due to the changing social trend and the COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Thursday.

The number of couples who tied the knot was 193,000 in 2021, down 9.8 per cent from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the lowest since data began to be compiled in 1970.

The record-low marriages came amid the rising social trend of delayed marriages, caused by soaring housing prices, higher cost to bring up children and the stubborn youth unemployment.

The pandemic downturn put more pressure on the potential couples to delay marriages last year.

The average age of men getting married for the first time was 33.4 years in 2021, up 0.1 year from the prior year.
The average first-time marriage age for women gained 0.3 years to 31.1 years last year.

Meanwhile, the number of divorces declined 4.5 per cent over the year to 102,000 in 2021.

The average age of men and women getting divorced increased 0.8 years to 50.1 years and 46.8 years respectively in 2021.


FG places emphasis on advancing health of Nigerians– Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, said the Federal Government (FG) has placed great emphasis on advancing the health of all Nigerians.

Osinbajo made this known in Abuja during the Launch of the Lancet Nigeria Commission: Investing in Health and the Future of the Nation organised by University College London supported by its local partner, Nigeria Health Watch.

According to him, the FG has put Primary Health Care at the heart of reform efforts.

“This ensures that basic health care service of high quality is delivered to Nigerians irrespective of where they live in the country.

“We believe that the health of all Nigerians matters. We have, therefore, focused interventions on the people living in the rural areas, women and the vulnerable populations.”

Osinbajo also expressed joy at the report put together by Nigerians which established the indisputable linkage between health investment and socio-economic development.

“I am delighted to be here at this occasion to launch this important report- The Lancet Nigeria Commission: investing in health and the future of the nation.

“A seminal work done by a group of Nigerian academics and health policy experts in our top universities and from the Nigerian diaspora.

“A report aptly described as a report by Nigerians for Nigerians. The report established the indisputable linkage between health investment and socio-economic development.”

He said that the report proposed a new social contract centred on health to address Nigeria’s need to define the relationship between the citizen and the state.

Osinbajo maintained that the report further recommended prevention to be at the heart of health policy, given Nigeria’s young population, requiring a whole-of-government approach and community engagement.

He also said the report recommended a “One Nation, One Health” policy to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) , which would particularly benefit those segments of the population bearing the highest disease burden.

“An ambitious programme of healthcare reform to deliver a centrally determined, locally delivered health system, including providing health insurance coverage for 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums.

“A health system that encourages innovation and engages communities, to ensure that existing nationally driven schemes have local buy-in and are sustainable, and reforming the policy and regulatory landscape to unleash the market potential of the private sector.

“A whole system assessment of the investment needs in Nigeria’s health security, in which the pandemic has exposed weaknesses and that Government should lead the development of standards for the digitisation of health records and better data collection, registration and quality assurance systems.

“And this objective of a new social compact is important if we are to meet constitutional guarantees encapsulated in the right to life to our citizenry and the primary aspiration of the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian States and the well being of the Nigerian citizens.

“We welcome innovation and fresh thinking to further improve Nigeria’s health outcomes.

“This report provides a number of excellent recommendations some of which are already being implemented but many of which we will carefully consider,”he said.

Osinbajo said the timing of publication of the important report was also apt as “Mr President had just inaugurated the Health Reform Committee”.

“The Health Reform Committee which he has asked me to chair and the committee will be benefiting from the input of the experts who authored this report.

“The need to provide our people with Universal Health Coverage led to the enactment of the National Health Act, 2014.

“Based on this important legislation, this government and future administrations are well placed to expand coverage and provide much needed health care.”

He thanked the Health Minister and all health officials for all their work and commitment in advancing the health of Nigerians.

“Our government will continue to promote the welfare of all in the health sector.

“We are also grateful to the commissioners who authored this report and to the Lancet who has provided their global platform to publish this report.

“On this note, I would like to formally launch the Lancet Nigeria Commission Report: Investing in Health and the Future of the Nation,” Osinbajo said.

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Buhari backs Buni-led CECC, warns APC Governors against divisive utterances

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Governors of the All progressives Congress (APC) to stop further utterances that lead to disunity ahead of the National Convention.

A statement by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday in Abuja, quoted a letter personally signed by the president, addressed to Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.

Bagudu is also the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum.

The letter was also copied to the Chairman of Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee (CECC), the Acting Chairman of the CECC, Gov. Sani Bello, the Director General of the DSS as well as the Inspector General of Police.

In the letter, the president said the multiplicity of cases currently rocking the party had the prospect of invalidating the activities and actions of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The president said that since the party could not change the leadership of the CECC without infringing on the time limit set by INEC, and the fact that the current uncertainties and controversies “pose a real threat to the party,” he has therefore directed as follows:

“The issue of the leadership of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee (CECC) should immediately return to status quo ante;

“All members of the Governors Forum and their followers should desist from any behaviour or utterance that will likely lead to disunity in the ranks of the party, and ultimately jeorpadise the transition to the convention;

“The Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee should accordingly be allowed to proceed with all necessary preparations to hold the convention as planned- unfailingly on March 26, 2022.”

FELLOW PRESS reports that the presidency also announced the meeting between the president and the Chairman of the CECC, Buni, in London via pictorial reports.


Buni meets Buhari in London

Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe on Wednesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London, where he is currently on a medical check up.

This is contained in a release by the Director-General, Press and Media Affairs to Buni, Malam Mohammed Mamman in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mamman said that Buni, also the Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) had been in Dubai, UAE on a medical trip before he flew to London to meet with Buhari.

“Buni had a brief stop over in London after a medical trip to Dubai the United Arab Emirates.

“Their Excellencies, Buhari and Buni held brief and fruitful discussions on measures to move APC forward preparatory to the March 26 National Convention and the 2023 General Elections.

“Buni is expected back in Nigeria on Thursday, to resume office as the Chairman APC CECPC,” he said.


Fuji music not for touts, says stakeholders

Alhaji Rasaq Balogun, first son of late Fuji crooner , Sikiru Ayinde Barrister

Some stakeholders in the Fuji music industry have faulted claims in some quarters that the genre of music was for touts and dregs in the society.

They, however , said that the genre of music had come to stay

They said this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday at the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister First Colloquium, at Raddisson Blu Hotel , Ikeja, Lagos.

Colloquium with theme , “Fuji Music: Yesterday , Today and Tomorrow- The Impact of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister”, was held in honour of the late Fuji icon.

Alhaji Rasaq Balogun, the first son of late Barrister, told NAN that the impression of touts being the fan base of Fuji musicians was laughable.

“Fuji is for elites, look at the people that my dad sing praise of, check their pedigrees, they are not touts, these are prominent people.

“If you say people fight after shows, people fight at Davido’s and Wizkid’s show too, so it is not peculiar to any genre of music, we have respectable people listening to Fuji,” Balogun said.

Fuji musician, Sule Alao Malaika , fondly called Malaika, told NAN that Fuji music had evolved beyond unruly behaviour.

“In 2022, we shouldn’t be having this conversation, Fuji music has evolved over the years like every other genre of music, and it will be unfair to project past behaviour on modern day Fuji.

“Gone are those days , Fuji is for mature minds, and we intend to keep spreading the gospel of Fuji,” he said

Also, Sulaimon Adio, who goes by the stage name, Atawewe, told NAN that Fuji music is the most popular indigenous and that nothing could change it.

“Fuji is bigger than trying to attribute its root to thuggery, if notable people don’t listen to Fuji, why do we mention them in our music.

“Fuji is for everyone , so, no amount of negativity will change that, we are not touts and our fans are not either,” he said.

Taye Adebisi , known as Taye Currency, said that “associating Fuji music with thuggery is wicked.

“I am a Senior Special Assistant to our Governor in Osun, and you will still associate my job to thuggery, a job that has given me the recognition I have.

“I am proud of how far I have come with Fuji, it will be wrong to deceive young upcoming talents with things that are not true.”


ICJ to rule on Russian invasion lawsuit

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to rule on a lawsuit challenging the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the first such verdict by an international court since the war started almost three weeks ago.

The UN highest court at The Hague will reveal its decision on Wednesday on Ukraine’s urgent proceedings against Russia.

Ukraine is accusing Russia of violating the Genocide Convention of 1948 and is asking the court to order an immediate end to the hostilities.

Ukraine is also asking judges to establish that there is no legal justification for the invasion, Russia boycotted the hearing on March 7.

While the verdicts of the ICJ were binding, the court does not have any executive power to enforce them on a country.


2023: Lagos prince declares NASS ambition, seeks royal fathers’ blessings

The Crown Prince of Isheri Olofin Kingdom in Lagos State, Prince Idris Balogun, on Sunday, officially declared his intention to vie for the Alimosho Federal Constituency seat in 2023 General Elections.

Balogun made his intention known at the palace of the Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, when he led his team to pay the royal father and the chiefs a visit.

The prince said that it was imperative for him to notify the Oba and chiefs of his ambition because their attestation might be requested in the process.

Balogun said: “What brought me here is to openly declare my intention to run for the seat of Federal House of Representatives, Alimosho Federal Constituency, before you-our traditional leaders.

“As one of your children, I want to run in 2023.

“We are here today to receive prayers from your mouth and to solicit more prayers for the actualisation of this dream. I need your blessings.

“It is a fact that you and my late father were tight friends and inseparable while he was alive, supporting me now for this will not be a misplaced priority. I also want you to know that, I will not disappoint you if given the support.

“The main decision makers will eventually call on you as owners of the land to know more about me, that is why we started from our home. I have remained with the progressives ever since I joined politics.”

The prince said that he had done quite a lot to bring ease to constituents across the constituency without holding any public office.

The aspirant, who lauded one of the APC Leaders, Sen. Bola Tinubu, said that if given the opportunity, he would contribute his quota to the betterment of the constituency and the country as a whole.

Balogun said his love for the people had made him grade some roads, empower marketers as well as many students by providing free school buses, school kits and other things.

“I will not take the traditional rulers for granted, I will not also take the chiefs for granted. I will not take the constituents for granted. I will not take the politicians in the constituency for granted.

“When I serve a single term and you assess the way I represent you, you will be the ones to tell me to continue for another term.

“If we fail you, you should not give us another term. We have the intention to do it well and better for the good of all indigenes and residents.

“I am not going there to enrich myself but to stand for my people and better their lot,” he added.

According to him, he plans to engage unemployed youths in farming, and that land has been acquired for the purpose in Ogun.

“We need your support and prayers. Carry me, back me up and help me.

” I am going for a representation that you our traditional rulers and be people will be proud of. I will not let you down because where will I run to if I fail. My father’s house is there.”

Balogun said that though aspirants for the seat were many, he had the capacity, competence, vision and strength.

In his response, Oba Gbadamosi, who prayed for Balogun’s success on his ambition, called for harmonisation of all groups to help streamline things for the emergence of the rightful representative.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other traditional rulers at the event included Oba Azeez Gbadabiu, the Onikotun of Ikotun land; Oba Jimoh Hammed Orelope, the Elegbeda of egbeda; Oba Samuel Awoyemi, Onimeran of Meran kingdom; Oba Nureni Alani, the Onijegun of Ijegun among other chiefs in the axis.


Bisi Fayemi named Woman Leader of the Year

The wife of the Ekiti Governor, Bisi Fayemi and Chairperson of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum has been named as the Woman Leader of the Year.

This is contained in a statement issued by Ms Funmi Ajala, Senior Special Assistant (Media) Office of the Wife of the governor on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti.The award was presented to Fayemi at a Gala night to celebrate the inaugural International Women’s Day Awards.

The Gala night was jointly hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, European Union, British High Commission, and the Embassies of the United States of America, Germany and France, to commemorate International Women’s Month.

The Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

The #IWDNaijaAwards is designed to celebrate women’s achievements & recognizes individuals who have championed women’s political and socioeconomic empowerment in Nigeria and beyond. In a statement by the UNDP office in Nigeria: “

Speaking at the event, Fayemi, said that she was extremely honoured and humbled to receive the Woman Leader of the Year Award.

“I am genuinely delighted to be nominated in the company of such great women, all of whom are equally deserving of this prestigious award.

“This award is dedicated to all Nigerian Women. I will like us all to remember that: we are worthy; we are powerful; we have contributed significantly; we are important; we matter.”

Earlier, the UNDP office in Nigeria, said the award seeks to leverage the opportunity of the representation of 11 key countries in Nigeria by women Ambassadors to advocate for increased women representation in political and governance space.

It also seeks to publicly recognise women empowerment champions, encourage decision-makers and policy makers to ensure adequate space is created for women in the spheres of policy and decision making and advance women’s political and socio-economic empowerment.

The UNDP said aside having women in senior positions in the UN and other multilateral organisations, Nigeria is also fortunate to have women ambassadors in; the Republic of Benin, Burundi, Colombia, Cuba, European Union, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, UK and the U.S.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Fayemi is a globally renowned feminist writer, policy advocate, gender and development specialist, and social entrepreneur.

In 2001, she co-founded the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), a foundation which has supported the work of over 4,000 women’s rights organisations in 42 African countries, including Nigeria.

In her role as the wife of the governor’s wife, she led campaigns to enact laws to protect women and girls from physical, economic, mental or sexual violence and improve their status in the state.

She is a writer and CEO of Above Whispers, an online community for women.

In 2021, she was named amongst 107 Nigerian women “choosing to challenge the systems and structures that perpetuate gender inequality in the country”, by Baobab for Women’s Human Rights.


Over 1million refugees flee Ukraine in one of ‘swiftest exodus this century’

More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine in one of the “swiftest refugee exodus this century,” the United Nations said Thursday as Russian military forces escalated attacks for an eighth day on civilian areas of Ukraine’s largest cities.

In one week, more than 2% of Ukraine’s population has been forced out of the country, according to a tally from the United Nations released to The Associated Press. The number topped 1 million on Wednesday.

The mass evacuation could be seen in Kharkiv, where residents desperate to escape falling shells and bombs crowded the city’s train station and pressed onto trains, not always knowing where they were headed. According to The New York Times, Russia captured the southern city port of Kherson and are now bearing down on Mykolaiev, another important city in the Ukraine.

Delegations from both countries are expected to hold talks in Belarus on Thursday, a second round of face-to-face discussions.

In a video address to the nation early Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Ukrainians to keep up their resistance but didn’t comment on whether the Russians have seized any cities.

“They will have no peace here,” Zelenskyy said, calling on the Russian soldiers to “go home” and describing them as “confused children who have been used.”


Over 6,400 activists arrested at anti-war demonstrations in Russia

Civil rights site OVD-Info reported on Tuesday that over 6,400 people had been arrested in Russia, since the protests against the war in Ukraine started on Feb. 24.

About half of the arrests, 3,126, were made during protests in Moscow, while 2,084 were in St Petersburg, OVD-Info said.

The invasion of Ukraine was driving many in Russia to protest, and Russian security forces had responded brutally to demonstrators.

Russian authorities urged people not to take part in the unauthorised rallies. They had also repeatedly banned rallies, citing the pandemic.

In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell praised demonstrators in Belarus who were calling for a more democratic approach at home under long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko while protesting the war in Ukraine.

Borrell in a video posted on Twitter and subtitled in in three languages, Belarusian, Russian and English appreciated the people for their efforts in support of Ukraine.

“To the Belarusian people: many of you took huge personal risks struggling for a free and democratic Belarus.

“Now you are raising your voice against Russia’s war on Ukraine and [President] Lukashenka’s decision to support it. Thank you for your bravery. EU stands with you. #StandWithUkraine.’’

Meanwhile, thousands of people demonstrated for peace and democracy in the western German city of Cologne on Monday, as the city’s traditional Carnival got under way against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Traditionally marked by a parade, “Rose Monday” this year was transformed into something quite different. “It is impressive how many people are on the streets in Cologne,” a police spokesman said.

According to the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee and police, some 250,000 people took part.

“This is, I think, the most important Rose Monday procession in my lifetime,” musician Peter Brings, 57, told WDR television.

In speeches, Carnival President, Christoph Kuckelkorn and Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker expressed solidarity with both Ukraine and anti-war demonstrators in Russia. “Mr. Putin, stop the madness! Stop the war!” shouted Kuckelkorn.

Costumed and non-costumed people marched together through the streets. Many carried banners with inscriptions such as “Putin Go Home” and “Dear Russian people, be Russians not Putinians”.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Premier Hendrik Wüst also joined the demonstration. “The best way to be on your feet today is to demonstrate for peace and freedom in Europe,” he said.


Akeredolu: Any party with Northern candidate in 2023 will lose

Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Tuesday February 8, warned that any party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 Presidential election will lose.

Governor Akeredolu disclosed that Governors in the Southern part of the country under the auspices of the Southern Governors Forum are determined to ensure that next President comes from the south.

The Governor spoke in his office during a courtesy visit by members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by the Chairman, Dr Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the Chairman, Middle Belt Forum

Akeredolu to contest another term, says Ondo people asked him to
Governor Akeredolu

Other members of the group include the Co-chair, Rtd. General Collins Ihekire, representing the Ohaneze Ndigbo; National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Abagun Kole Omololu; representative of Yoruba Council of Elders, Hon. Ayodele Oni; National Publicity Secretary of Afenfere, Comrade Jaye Ajayi; National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Hon. Ken. Robinson; and Comrade Kennedy Iyere, National Coordinator of Power-shift Movement & Forty Million Ballots (a movement being driven by the Youth) among others.

Governor Akeredolu, who said those pushing against the power rotation in the country are tinkering with the existence of Nigeria, added that he believes in one fair and equitable Nigeria.

He commended the group for its approach by involving youths in galvanizing support and votes ahead of the 2023 election.

Governor Akeredolu said, “In about two or three meetings, we have come out and declared that power must move to the south.

“Only a party that is determined to lose will field a northern candidate. You are now a movement of members of political parties coming together. What we stand for is fair and equitable power rotation. The only thing fair is that after 8 years in the north, it should come to the south.

“Some of us believe in One Nigeria that’s fair and equitable. We have a reason for it and it can be defended. Some people have argued that the Presidency should be based on competence. Are they saying there are no competent ones in the south?

“My brother Governors from the south, all of us are determined. Whosoever we pick, for as long as it is south, we will support him. We are saying the President must come from the south. There are people who merit it in the South-South, South- East, and the South-West.

“I also support your approach. If you are able to mobilize the youth and do not allow the election to be rigged, then we will win. You should also get our women to support us.”

Business & Economy

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg loses $29 billion

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg‘s personal net worth has taken a nosedive after Facebook’s stock tanked over 20% on weaker-than-expected earnings.

Over $29 billion has been shaved off his personal fortune which now stands, per Forbes, around $88 billion, down from $114.4 billion before the slide.

Shares of the company, which recently changed its name to Meta Platforms, are down over 24% mid-morning and are on pace for the biggest percentage drop in its history.

Over $219 billion in market value has been erased, the most for any U.S. company in a single day, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group.

In the fourth quarter, net income fell to $10.2 billion from $11.2 billion during the same period a year ago, or $3.67 versus $3.88 per share. Revenue rose to $33.6 billion from $28 billion a year ago. Daily active users rose 5% to 1.93 billion.

Zuckerberg noted on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that advertisers’ budgets were impacted by macroeconomic challenges, including inflation and supply chain disruptions. Additionally, Apple’s iOS update is expected to put a $10 billion dent in its revenue for 2022. Meta is forecasting first quarter 2022 revenue between $27 billion and $29 billion, below the $30 billion or so analysts were expecting.

Meta’s Reality Labs segment, which focuses on virtual and augmented reality, reported separately from its family of apps for the first time. The segment saw a fourth-quarter operating loss of $3.3 billion and $877 million in revenue driven by strong holiday sales of the Quest 2 VR headset.

Zuckerberg has teased that the segment will be important in the company’s efforts to develop the metaverse, an immersive online space where users can work, play games and interact with others as avatars in a computer-generated environment.

The company announced its shift in focus to the metaverse in October after rebranding itself amid a public relations crisis. Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower, went public last year with allegations that the tech giant ignored questionable and harmful content to prioritize profits over its users, among other things. Haugen released a trove of documents related to her claims to multiple news organizations at the same time, including FOX Business. Facebook has disputed many of her claims.

The company’s ticker will change from FB to META in the first half of the year while continuing its listing on the Nasdaq.


Dollar to naira exchange rate today 2 February 2022

dollar to naira exchange rate

FELLOW PRESS reports news on the dollar to naira exchange rate today 2 February 2022.

How much is Dollar to Naira Exchange at CBN Rate?

According to available data from the CBN, US dollar to naira exchange rate bought at ₦415.36 and sold at ₦416.36, making an average of  ₦415.86 for $1 on Tuesday February 1.

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Today At Official Rate?

The official rate today, dollar exchange to naira opened at ₦415.18 on Tuesday February 1, and closed at ₦415.75 on Tuesday February 1. This amount to 0.10 per cent increase for naira against dollar.

The CBN adopts the NAFEX rates from FMDQ, signifying that all exchange rate transactions involving the public and the private sector will reference the prevailing NAFEX rate as its official exchange rate.

It is the official security exchange where foreign currencies (FOREX) is traded between naira and dollar and other currencies.

Daily turnover at the forex market stands at ₦165.30m.

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Today at Bank Rate?

Each commercial banks is at their discretion to fix forex exchange rate. Factors can range from currency availability, demand against the prevailing rate.

See below bank rate of dollar to naira:

GTbank: ₦ 480

Ecobank: ₦ 480

Access Bank: ₦470

UBA: ₦510

Sterling Bank: ₦480

FCMB: ₦480

Fidelity: ₦533

How much is exchange rate of Dollar to Naira in Black Market today?

According to Abuja Parallel Market as available with the Bureau De Change (BDC), US dollar to naira as at Wednesday February 2, 2022 opened at ₦570 to $1.

Although, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned individuals who need forex to approach commercial banks.


I’m most qualified for 2023 presidency — Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said nobody is as qualified as himself to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Wike speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on February 1, 2022.

He spoke from Port Harcourt during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said based on his records as Minister as well as the governor of the oil-rich state, he has the requisite experience to govern the country.

“For somebody of my kind and record, a governor and a minister, I don’t even see anybody who will tell me that he is much more qualified than me, I don’t think that is possible,” Wike said.

“Assuming today I want to run for the office of the President, what quality do you think I do not have? Why do you think I cannot provide the right leadership for Nigeria to move forward?

“It is not good for anybody to say ‘my aspirant is the best of the aspirants. I don’t think so. All I preach is that people should talk on issues. Nigeria has a problem. If they have given you the opportunity, what are you going to do to make sure that Nigerians benefit?”

Besides the 2023 general elections, Governor Wike also spoke about the activities of the immediate past government in Rivers State.

He recalled that when he came into power in 2015, there was no handover note from his predecessor on the true state of affairs in Rivers.


Rihanna to welcome her first child with A$AP Rocky

Award winning pop singer, Rihanna is pregnant with her first child.

She revealed the news in typically sensational style, stepping out for a walk in the snow with her partner A$AP Rocky in New York, and letting her pink vintage Chanel coat fall open to expose her bare baby bump.

It’s a mic drop moment from the pair, who have honed killer couple’s style. Their late arrival at the Met Gala 2021 was worth the wait: Rih wore a custom Balenciaga overcoat with voluminous puffs, while Rocky looked equally snug in a rainbow patchwork wrap by ERL.

Their bundle of joy joins a roster of celebrity offspring arriving imminently. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lawrence are all expecting, while Cardi B welcomed her second child in September.

Bring on the mini-me looks.


Nigeria-U.K. hold first Security, Defence Partnership Dialogue

UK National Security Adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove and Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno at Locarno Rooms, King Charles Street, FCDO, London.

Nigeria and the United Kingdom have commenced its first ever Nigeria-UK Security and Defence Partnership Dialogue in London this week.

This is according to a statement signed by the Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Miss Ndidiamaka Eze, on Monday  in Lagos.

Eze said that the dialogue was led by the U.K. National Security Adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, and Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno.

It is scheduled to last for three days.

She said that the dialogue, which would end on Feb. 2, included a series of breakout sessions covering a range of issues; counter terrorism, serious and organised crime, civilian policing and human rights.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria-UK Security and Defence Partnership was agreed between the two countries in 2018.

This week’s dialogue will be the first meeting following the 2018 agreement.


2023: Tinubu most qualified candidate for president – Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says All Progressives National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is the most qualified Nigerian to be president in 2023.

Sanwo-Olu said this, while drumming support for the Tinubu candidacy, during the formal inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) Movement’s Working Committee in Ikeja.

The Movement was conceived and set up by members of Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) in Lagos, for the actualisation of the presidential ambition of the former Lagos Governor.

He said that the indisputable capability of Tinubu, to effectively manage human and material resources for visible progress stood him out as the most qualified Nigerian to be president in 2023.

Sanwo-Olu said that Tinubu’s qualification rested on his demonstrated capacity in deploying a mix of genius and statecraft to nurture a city on the brink to a flourishing economy.

He said that the progress in Lagos remained a visible experiment initiated by the APC leader.

Sanwo-Olu said that Nigeria had continued to shoulder the burden of the black race, and the country’s transformation into a stable economy would be a source of pride to the black man.

According to him, in 2023, the country needs a capable leader with progressive ideas to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari and build on the progress recorded by the current administration.

”Tinubu’s practicable ideas in governance makes him the most qualified successor and saleable choice for the job.

”Our country is the most populous black nation in the world and the responsibility that comes with that is enormous. No doubt that the destiny of the entire black race is tied to the greatness of Nigeria.

”If our country must be great, we have the responsibility to choose the leadership that will bring about true transformation across every facet of our national life.

”Who is that rallying figure that should lead us in this journey? The answer is deeply connected to our mission and purpose here today. That person must be a detribalised Nigerian and a bridge builder, who has been tested and trusted.

”A thinker, who must sustain the legacy our current president is leaving behind. That person is the reason we are inaugurating this movement for the actualisation of his presidential ambition. That person is our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that Tinubu’s name was synonymous with growth and development and possessed a midas touch to positively turn around the resources of the country for general good.

He said that the event was to raise foot soldiers, team leaders and cheerleaders, who would pursue the movement’s objectives and cascade down its messages to every voter at the ward level, with commitment and passion.

The governor charged all selected for leadership roles in the movement to reflect Tinubu’s political ideals of openness and tolerance in their engagement and mobilisation.

APC stalwart, Cardinal James Odumbaku, said that the forthcoming general elections presented another opportunity for Nigerians to make the right choice, to keep the country on the path of development.

Odumbaku said that the electorate must get it right by electing a tested and credible leader to steer the leadership of the country, hence, the movement believe that Bola Tinubu remained the right man for the top seat.

GAC leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, described Tinubu as “a genius” in statecraft, adding that the APC Leader was a saleable article in the political market.

”We have to be prepared and determined, because the contest would be a battle of might and strength,” Olusi said.

The Movement’s Director-General, Mr Oyinlomo Danmole, said that ABAT structure was different from other support groups set up across the country for the actualisation for Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

Danmole said that all cluster groups within the Lagos APC had representation in the movement, with the inclusion of every locality in the state.

He said that seven-member committee had been set up in each of the 57 local councils in Lagos, with each committee headed by coordinators.

Danmole said that at the ward level, the movement maintained similar committee structure of seven persons across the 377 wards, adding that registration to be part of the ward committee would be made open to residents in the coming days.


Sanwo-Olu flags off Ojota-Opebi link bridge, road project

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos on Wednesday flagged off the construction of Ojota-Opebi link bridges and approach roads to ease congestion in Ikeja and environs.

Sanwo-Olu, while flagging off the construction of the bridges and roads tagged ‘legacy project,’ said the project was an innovative solution to the perennial gridlock around Opebi/Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way/Ojota/Mende corridor.

He said the project would reduce travel time for Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi; and ease gridlock at the Opebi-Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.

He said the project was another milestone in the implementation of the Traffic Management and Transportation Pillar of his administration’s THEMES Agenda and the State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).

He expressed his administration’s commitment to the welfare and well-being of residents and to the Greater Lagos Vision, adding that the project connecting two local council areas would enhance the livelihood of residents.

“As you are aware, there is presently no direct link between Opebi, Maryland and Ojota.

“The available road infrastructure that links the axis is also limited in its connectivity options, thus during peak periods, the high traffic volume within the axis usually congests the Ikeja Traffic Network.

“Consequently, we recognised the need to provide another Legacy Project by constructing the Ojota–Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads to connect Opebi Road from its tail end with Lagos-Ikorodu Road by Odo Iya-Alaro.

“This will invariably reduce travel time for Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi. It will also ease the traffic situation at Opebi-Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.

“This Legacy Project will provide a new link to commute around Ikeja and its environs. It will also act as a relief to the saturated and over-burdened routes within Ikeja,” he said.

He expressed hope that Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria PLc, the project’s contractor would complete the construction two months ahead of the expected 20 months completion date.

He said he also hoped that the 3.89km Ojota–Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads consisting of 2,829m road length: with 276m Deck-on-Pile Bridge and 474m Mechanically Stabilised Earth Wall would accelerate economic growth.

He said his administration had completed, inaugurated and handed over 65 road projects and several other improved junctions with more than 50 other ongoing road projects at various stages of completion.

“This is in addition to the maintenance of over 832 roads, covering approximately 252km direct intervention in the form of routine maintenance and palliative works on strategic roads (complete and sectional overlay and potholes patching) by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said his government was committed to the development of intermodal transportation network and was constructing quality roads, waterways, and rail infrastructure and had expended billions of Naira to modernise them.

He added that projects inherited from the previous administrations were being completed and the lighting systems on roads were being replaced.

The governor listed interventions in the rail sector to include construction of 37 km track rail project which is progressing, in addition to the complete overhaul of the water transportation system.

He recalled the recently acquired two sets of 10-car-Talgo 330kmph trains for the Lagos Red Line rail project.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said the project conceived in Year 2001 was being actualised by Sanwo-Olu.

She said the project design concept adopted a holistic approach in collaboration between the ministries of Works and Infrastructure and Transport to provide both infrastructure and transportation solutions for easy movement.

She said the road would provide direct link between the Opebi-Maryland–Ogudu-Third Mainland Bridge as conceived in the Lagos State Transportation Master Plan (STMP).


Kwara Govt warns school principals on imposing hijab, berets on female students

Kwara state government has warned school principals against imposing the wearing of the hijab (female Muslim headscarf) or beret on any student.

Chairman of the State Teaching Service Commission, Mallam Bello Abubakar gave the warning as conveyed in a statement released on Sunday January 23.

Abubakar during a meeting on Friday January 21, reaffirmed the determination of the state government to promote religious tolerance among teachers and students and enhance peaceful coexistence.

It was noted that the meeting was held with the aim of resolving the crisis over Hijab which erupted recently at Oyun Baptist Grammar School, Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, according to the spokesman of TESCOM, Peter Amogbonjaye.

The statement added;

“He, thereafter, warned the principals in Oyun axis to abide by the policy of the Kwara State Government and desist from imposing Hijab on any student, instead, it should be made optional.”

While warning that the present administration would not tolerate religious bigotry, enjoined all to shun religious sentiments and respect the rights of individuals, Bello reminded the gathering that Kwara State is a state of harmony and advised everyone to remain good ambassadors for the coming generation.