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COVID-19 helped us focus more on our people in South Africa – Union

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The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), Mr Adetola Olubajo, on Saturday said COVID-19 pandemic helped the union to assist more Nigerians during the lockdown.

Olubajo said this during a virtual National Congress, hosted in Pretoria, with the theme entitled: “Post COVID-19 Survival of Small Businesses”.

He said the congress had in attendance, staunch members of the union and other stakeholders.

According to him, loyalty of the union to the community is tested but it is able to surmount all challenges.

Olubajo said that for success to be recorded at any point in life, some level of risks had to be taken, adding that the union was happy to have been able to help members in dire need.

“During this pandemic, many of our compatriots in South Africa were seriously affected economically.

“NUSA has designed a programme to help some small scale businesses in the community and our economic team will unveil the plan very soon,’’ he said.

Speaking on the theme of the Congress, Mr Matthew Okafor, Chairman, Board of Trustees of NUSA emphasised the importance of having both digital and online presence because of the new reality.

Okafor said that the pandemic has proved to all that technology and working smart were the future of work.

“If you’re going to work from home, you need to make sure that you create the conducive space for yourself because most times, you find out that the distraction you create is the distraction you allow.

“The right attitude and good habits will get you to work smart,’’ he said.

Okafor added that the period of the pandemic was the best time to invest in thriving businesses, urging members to buy as much shares as they could.

“It is also vital for businesses to stay in touch with their customers in order to avert trepidation and fear.

“When you communicate, you open up Pandora Box, a lot of wonderful things happen and that’s where you start getting feedback from your client on how to improve on your services.

“You cannot be too busy trying to improve your service, than communicating with your client, because your client is the mainstay of the business,’’ Okafor said.

Also featured at the congress was Nigeria’s former Consul General in South Africa, Amb. Uche Ajulu-Okeke, who urged the union to keep a strong bond amidst all challenges.

“We are faced with immense challenges today as a nation, which also impacts further the ability of Nigeria to cater for her citizens abroad.

“Because the country is facing immense challenges in caring for the citizens at home, there is a very big disconnect between government and citizen.

“These are challenges that the union, being outside the homeland, must learn to adapt itself to as the world changes,’’ Ajulu-Okeke said.

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UK orders probe into Islamophobia claims by conservative lawmaker

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into conservative lawmaker, Nusrat Ghani claims that she was sacked as a junior minister in 2020 over concerns that she was a Muslim.

A Downing Street spokesperson announced on Monday in a brief statement to reporters that “the Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP.’’

In an interview published by the Sunday Times, Ghani said that she was dismissed as a junior transport minister in February 2020.

She said following her dismissal a senior Conservative lawmaker told her that her Muslim faith made colleagues “uncomfortable” and that her career would be “destroyed” if she tried to complain.

In a subsequent statement on Sunday, she said that she had directly informed Johnson about the matter but that the prime minister wrote to her that he could not get involved and suggested that she use the internal Conservative party’s complaint process.

Reacting to the launch of a probe, Ghani wrote on Twitter that she welcomed the decision and asked that all that was said in Downing Street, and by her senior Conservative colleague be included in the terms of reference of the inquiry.

“As I said to the Prime Minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate,’’ she added.

The Islamophobia claims came as Johnson was facing calls to resign over a string of parties that were allegedly held in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger involved in car crash

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Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident, his spokesman has confirmed.

The four-vehicle crash, which occurred on Friday afternoon, January 21 in Los Angeles left one person with injuries, Los Angeles Police said.

Photos from the scene published by TMZ show a large SUV on top of at least two vehicles at an intersection in Brentwood while the ‘Terminator’ actor can be seen standing nearby.

Police said that no arrest has been made and ruled out the involvement of drugs and alcohol.

Officers did not identify those involved but the actor and former California governor’s spokesman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he was driving the SUV when the incident occurred.

A report by police, seen by CBS Los Angeles, said that the SUV driver was “near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue, when a collision occurred with a red Prius making a u-turn as he continued through a ‘red arrow’ signal to turn left.”

It added that the SUV rolled on top of the Prius and ended up hitting two other vehicles.

One person was taken to hospital by ambulance, but the injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Schwarzenegger’s spokesman said that the actor was uninjured and had spoken with emergency services and the injured person.

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Minna district head suspended over forceful marriage

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District Head of Allawa in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Mallam Bello Haruna has been suspended by Minna Emirate Council for engaging in forceful marriage.

The district head who was accused of forcefully marrying out a girl (name withheld), humiliating her father and also ordering that she be beaten by vigilantes, was also accused of insubordination by not answering the calls from the Emirate council leaders to explain some of the complaints against him.

In a letter signed by the Emirate’s assistant secretary, Usman Umaru Guni, the district head was accused of not having the leadership qualities necessary for peace and progress of the community he was appointed to lead.

Galadima Allawa, Ahmadu Magaji has now been appointed as the acting district head.

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