Sunday, 21 January 2018
Items filtered by date: August 2017

Heavy flooding has severely ravaged at least 46 communities in Abia, killing two children, an official of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has said.

Mr Sunny Jackson, the Head, Planning, Forecasting and Operations of the agency, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Monday.

Jackson said that the children drowned when flood submerged their home in Akoli Ohazu Autonomous Community in Aba South Local Government Area (LGA) sometime in July.

He said that SEMA gathered that the mother of the deceased was busy trying to salvage her property when the flood surged into her house and drowned the children.

Jackson further said that the 46 affected communities cut across 13 local government areas of the state and that Aba South Local Government area topped the list with 11 communities.

He said that Aba North came second, followed by Obingwa, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo council areas.

“Some residents of the affected communities can no longer access their homes because their houses had been completely submerged.

“Some of the communities have been cut off from their neighbours because flood has washed off their roads.”

He said that the situation in Abia confirmed the predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency about flooding this year.

According to him, Abia is one of the states that received alert about the impending flooding in the country this year.

“This is why I consider it a pure fallacy for anyone to say that there is no flooding in Abia.”

Jackson expressed delight that succour would soon come to the affected communities.

He said that Abia was among the 16 states slated to benefit from the N1.6 billion Federal Government Flood Intervention Fund.

The SEMA official said that the agency was committed to disaster-risk management in the state but expressed regret that the agency’s operations were adversely affected by shortage of personnel and logistics.

According to him, the agency is in dire need of equipment such as Geographical Positioning System, digital cameras, trucks and ambulances for efficient
service delivery.

Jackson described flooding as a natural disaster but noted that it could be escalated or checked through human actions or inactions.

“Building on flood planes and waterways, deforestation, over-grazing, improper channelling of water, blocking of drains and flood channels are capable of triggering the disaster.”

He said that to checking the disaster required re-afforestation, desilting of the drains and prohibiting the erection of structures on waterways, among other measures.

Published in Headliners
Monday, 14 August 2017 10:38

BREAKING: ASUU begins nationwide strike

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has commenced an indefinite nationwide industrial action.

The National President of the union, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi, announced this on Monday during a meeting of the National Executive Council of ASUU in Abuja.

He said during the strike, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of the union’s branches across the country.

According to Channels TV, Dr. Ogunyemi declared a total, comprehensive and indefinite nationwide strike after a nationwide consultation with members at an emergency NEC meeting held on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Published in Headliners

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina says the relationship between Nigeria and China is one that President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes and values highly.

Adesian said this in a statement signed by Mr Abiodun Oladunjoye, a Deputy Director (Information), Presidential Media Office, Abuja.

Oladunjoye said Adesina stated this when he received the Vice Minister of Information of State Council, People’s Republic of China, Mr Guo Weimin who was on an official visit to Nigeria.

According to Adesina, the fact that the Nigerian President cherishes the cooperation between Nigeria and China automatically means that there will always be areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Adesina explained that media organisations from the two countries should profit from the mutual cooperation.

The presidential aide reiterated the readiness of the presidential media team to build on the existing mutual relationship while also exploring other areas of cooperation.

He assured Weimin that the presidential media office would work closely with the Chinese Ministry of Information to explore areas where agreements were signed during the visit.

Adesina expressed optimism that such agreements would enhance the interests of the Nigerian media in particular and the Nigerian Government in general.

Earlier, Weimin said the delegation, comprising officials of the Chinese Government was in Nigeria to explore areas of exchange of ideas toward deepening the relationship between the Chinese and the Nigerian media industry.

He identified New Media, transparency in governance, broadcast communication and socio-cultural values as areas in which the delegation hoped to share ideas with their Nigerian counterparts.

The vice minister, who said Adesina had had a big role to play in deepening the relationship between the two countries solicited his cooperation.

Weimin disclosed that his delegation had interacted with a broad spectrum of Nigerian media professionals, to get the first hand information from them on their expectations from the visit of the delegation.

Published in News & Stories

The Federal Government has endorsed a new, unified Healthcare and Life Insurance Scheme for the movie and creative industry in order to enhance access to affordable healthcare services by its members. The government’s endorsement is coming on the heels of calls by a preferred provider of health organisation for implementation of universal health coverage requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

While speaking at the recent launch of Nolly Health Insurance, comprising Life Insurance and Pension Scheme for practitioners in the creative industry in Lagos, the Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, explained that the unified insurance scheme was a bold and commendable initiative.

“Let me quickly assert on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria that the launch of the unified Health /Life Insurance and Pension Scheme (LIPS) is a thing of joy and it gladdens my heart to be associated with it. We shall compliment and back it with full faith and credit of the government under the auspices of Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC),” Maduekwe said.

Maduekwe added that government lauds the film Directors Guilds of Nigeria (DGN) and other guilds and associations for putting in place the insurance scheme for the industry.

Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lagos State, Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, stressed that the scheme was long overdue in view of the health challenges, including kidney and heart problems, which had claimed many lives in the industry due to lack of fund for medicare.

She commended the leadership of the movie and creative industry for the laudable programme, explaining that Lagos State Government had planned to establish art theatres in the five geographical zones of the state in order to bring the industry closer to the people.

President, Actors Guild of Nigerian (AGN), Mr. Fred Amata, noted that the initiative was the first collective decision to be taken by the operators in the creative industry to bring into force the imperative of healthy living as a necessary condition for effective and efficient performance of creative artists. Amata urged practitioners to take advantage of unity of purpose to ensure the success of the scheme, saying it has potential to ensure the wellbeing of the practitioners in the industry.

Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pinewood Medicare, Dr. Olasimbo Davidson, described Nolly Health Insurance initiative as historic in view of the deplorable state of Nigeria’s healthcare system. He bemoaned the effects of poverty on access to healthcare services in Nigeria, saying only two per cent of Nigeria’s population could afford pre-paid health coverage.

Davidson, however, called for adoption of a unified approach to solving Nigeria’s healthcare challenges, saying everyone has a right to enjoy high quality healthcare.

Published in Entertainment

Idara Inokon, Miss Nigeria USA contestant representing Akwa Ibom, has emerged winner of Miss Nigeria USA 2017 beauty pageant held on Saturday night into early Sunday morning in New York.

Idara, who was crowned by the out gone holder of the title, Miss Lola Adeoye, beat 13 other contestants to emerge winner.

The new Miss Nigeria USA, who was the fourth to be crowned in the pageant, would cart home $10,000 in prizes, according to Ms Joy Fakhoury, the organisers of the annual beauty pageant.

She would also embark on a pet project that would impact on the less privileged back home in Nigeria.

Each of the contestants represented her culture in the pageant that was meant to promote the richness of Nigerian culture, the diversity of its people, the beauty and intellect of the Nigerian lady and to promote togetherness and unity among Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Miss Ondo – Ayoyemi Ajimatanrareje, emerged the First Runner-up, Miss Lagos – Susan Adeyemi, emerged the Second Runner-up, while Miss Rivers, Lucy Edosomwan, emerged Miss Congeniality, in the keenly contested pageant.

The contestants were tested in intelligence, carriage, beauty, knowledge about Nigeria, Nigerian culture, and planned contributions to Nigeria through a pet project during their reign.

Judges said that they had a hard time determining the winners as all the contestants performed outstandingly.

Fourteen contestants made the finals on Saturday, whom were; Miss Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers States.

The new Miss Nigeria USA, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after her crowning, expressed surprise at her emergence, pledging to devote her reign to impacting the lives of the less privileged in Nigeria.

“I was very surprised, I felt very shaky in the whole competition, you know how nerves get to you but I just said ‘Idara, whatever the outcome, you did your best and so I went out with a smile’.

“I wanted to compete in a different pageant in New York back in April but it happened to be the same weekend as one of my close friend’s.

“And so, I said well, let me reconsider and find a pageant here in the U.S. that has good values and is something I want to stand behind.

“So, when I found Miss Nigeria USA and I found that the pageant was located in New York, I was extremely excited.

“I see it as a moment to share women empowerment and to represent my culture, which is a perfect opportunity. I really want to start to get to work to see how I can serve my community.

“My platform is to create awareness on prevention. As a registered nurse, I do health education on a daily basis.

“It is something I am very passionate about and I believe that if people are educated about their health, they can live healthier lives. So that would be what I would pursue during my reign,” she said.

Inokon, a registered nurse in the U.S., and born to a Nigerian father from Akwa Ibom, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science and Psychology.

She was also attended the Accelerated Nursing Programme at the University of Delaware and graduated in 2014, and currently a Masters Student in Family Nursing.

The event was attended by many Nigerians across the U.S., Africans and other nationalities resident in America.

Published in Arts & Culture

MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho says he is "keeping his feet on the ground" despite watching his Manchester United team thrash West Ham on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Two goals from new £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku helped United to a 4-0 win at Old Trafford which left Mourinho's side top of the table.

It was United's biggest opening-day win since beating Fulham 5-1 at Old Trafford in 2006 and Mourinho's biggest league win as Red Devils manager. United went on to win the title in the 2006-07 season, ending a four-year drought under Sir Alex Ferguson. 

Mourinho, though, insists he is not getting carried away.

"We finished the [last] season winning the Europa League and qualifying for Champions League," he told a news conference. "We start the second season with a very good performance at home. We had many players on the pitch with a very good game. We have reasons to be optimistic.

"For me, years and years of experience and experience in the Premier League, my feet are on the ground and I am calm. Last season we were also top of the league in the first match and we finished sixth so this means nothing. It just means we played well and confidence levels will be high and now our challenge is to keep this confidence level."

There were plenty of positives for the United manager. Lukaku scored twice on his league debut for the club following his move from Everton, while Nemanja Matic, a £35m buy from Chelsea, ran the midfield in a manner that made it hard to believe he spent most of the summer training alone at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley 24 hours earlier made Matic's performance even more noteworthy.

Mourinho said afterwards he had wanted Matic, who was named Man of the Match, at Old Trafford last season.

Manchester United eased to victory against West Ham.

He added: "It depends on what is happening or what was happening behind doors and we don't know.

"The only thing I know is that of course with Chelsea money I brought him to Stamford Bridge because I thought he was a player with special qualities, and since I left I always thought he could be a perfect player for us, but I didn't disturb him, I didn't disturb Chelsea.

"I never thought it was possible unless something special was happening and his agent told me we could have him and we were very happy with that. We have him and we are very happy. He was a player this team needs."

West Ham were one of the 10 teams who got a point at Old Trafford last season, a statistic that cost United any chance of challenging Chelsea for the title.

In the 1-1 draw in November, United had eight shots on target but only scored once, while six on target this time produced four goals.

Lukaku has scored more goals against West Ham than any other team and took his tally to 11 in 13 games with a double.

Mourinho said: "Romelu scored in the Super Cup, scored twice today, he's playing well and he's working hard. He likes the team and the team likes him. Strikers can play phenomenally well, but if they don't score goals, the pressure's on them.

"So I think it was good for him to score and for all the guys arriving at new clubs who scored goals on their first games. It's always oxygen, it's happiness and confidence for them.

"Romelu knows we well. He knows sometimes strikers can play well but not score, but from me there will be no pressure. But today was very good and he was very effective, with the first goal especially."

Published in Sports
Sunday, 13 August 2017 22:04

Kenya opposition urges strike over vote

Kenya's opposition leader has urged people to stay away from work on Monday over the disputed election result.

Raila Odinga said it would be a "day of mourning for the fallen patriots" after a rally in Kibera, the largest slum in the capital Nairobi.

The international community has urged calm following the election, which Mr Odinga alleges was fixed.

But after Mr Odinga spoke on Sunday, renewed violence broke out between his supporters and their opponents.

Police fired tear gas in Mathare - a slum where Mr Odinga met the family of a nine-year-old girl shot by a stray bullet.

AFP is reporting at least 16 people were killed between Friday evening and Saturday night. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said on Saturday 24 people had been shot dead during protests since election day on 8 August.

It is unclear how much these two figures overlap.

Tear gas was fired at opposition leader Raila Odinga's supporters

In a tweet sent after the rally, Mr Odinga said they had died at the hands of "Jubilee mandated death squads", referring to Mr Kenyata's party.

A man was also killed in Kisumu county, an opposition stronghold and the centre of post-election ethnic violence in 2007, when 1,200 people died and 600,000 were displaced.

"This is a failed regime that is resorting to killing people instead of addressing the real issue. The vote was stolen. There's no secret about that," Mr Odinga told the 4,000 people who had gathered to hear him talk on Sunday.

The official results gave President Uhuru Kenyatta 54.3%, and Mr Odinga 44.7%.

He added: "We had predicted they will steal the election and that's what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow.

"But for now I want to tell you not to go to work tomorrow Monday)."

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses thousands of his supportersImage copyrightEPA
Mr Odinga has promised a response to the election results on Tuesday

The BBC's reporter in Nairobi said his claims were contrary to reports from both local and international observers that the poll was free and fair.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are among those who have urged Mr Odinga to seek redress through the courts - something the opposition coalition says is not an option.

The Elections Observation Group (Elog), which had 8,300 observers, said its projected outcome put Mr Kenyatta on 54%, just short of the official figure of 54.3%.

Published in Business and Economy

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election as President of the Republic of Kenya.

Mr Laolu Akande, the acting President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said the congratulatory message was contained in a letter signed by the Acting President and addressed to the Kenyan leader.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kenyatta’s electoral victory was formally announced by the country’s electoral commission on Friday amid allegations of voting fraud by his rival, Raila Odinga.

Osinbajo, however, noted that President Kenyatta’s re-election was a clear testimony to his selfless service to Kenya and the giant strides he took to transform the country in the last few years.

He said: “I have the honour on behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to congratulate you on your successful re-election as the President of the Republic of Kenya.

“Permit me, therefore, to use this momentous occasion to reiterate Nigeria’s support and cooperation with Kenya in our collective determination to advance the development of Africa and its people.’’

The acting President also congratulated and extended his best wishes to the people of Kenya on the successful conclusion of the Aug. 8 general elections in the country.

He wished President Kenyatta “a very successful new term in office.’’

The official figures released by the Kenya’s electoral commission indicated that Kenyatta secured 54.27 per cent to defeat Odinga who scored 44.74 per cent of the ballots cast.

Published in Headliners

Deputy National Chairman south of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Segun Oni also said that the former President should not be talking about what he did or failed to do concerning corruption. 

He said the former President failed in his bid to fight corruption as there were no results to show for his efforts, saying he should just apologize to Nigerians for his failed efforts.

He said: “I haven’t read his comment. But let me say that it is very unfortunate that a former President of this country will say that. There is the saying that there is no mark for effort. The only mark you get is for results. 

“It does’t matter how much a man tried, if he does not have a result to show, what he should just do is to keep quite and that is what I will advice him to do as far as corruption is concerned. 

Published in Politics

Neymar scored a goal and provided an assist as Paris Saint-Germain defeated Guingamp 3-0 in the former Barcelona star's club debut on Sunday.

Neymar, who sensationally moved to PSG from Barcelona for a world record fee of €222 million last week, started alongside fellow South Americans Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria up front.

The Brazil No. 10's debut created an electric atmosphere in the Stade municipal de Roudourou, but expectant fans were forced to wait until the second half to see goals. And it was the home side who provided the opener, albeit for the visitors.

Neymar's through ball for Cavani was initially cut out by a lunging defender, only to see the ball fall to Jordan Ikoko, who inexplicably back-passed past goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson and into his own net in the 52nd minute.

Ten minutes later, PSG worked a goal of their own -- Neymar, working on the left, sliding a perfect through ball behind the defence for Cavani, who shaped his right-footed shot around the keeper and inside the far post.

And Neymar collected his debut goal eight minutes from time. This time, Cavani turned provider. After dancing around a defender, the Uruguay international found a free Neymar at the goalmouth, where he side-footed into the roof of the net.

The win gives Unai Emery's men two wins from two matches in the young Ligue 1 campaign.

No Kylian Mbappe for Monaco but Radamel Falcao picked up the slack with this hat-trick against Dijon.

Radamel Falcao netted a hat trick while Kylian Mbappe watched from the bench as champions Monaco made it two wins out of two Ligue 1 games so far with a comfortable 4-1 triumph at Dijon.

Nine days on from Mbappe limping off in the 3-2 victory over Toulouse, and amid considerable speculation linking him with a move to Paris St Germain, the 18-year-old was named as a substitute for this contest by boss Leonardo Jardim.

And he remained unused as fellow forward Falcao took centre stage at the Stade Gaston Gerard.

The Colombian opened the scoring in the third minute, producing a close-range finish after Kamil Glik headed goalwards.

The visitors' advantage was subsequently doubled 22 minutes later by a wonderful Jemerson overhead kick, before Falcao added his second in the 37th minute via a curling effort from the edge of the box that may or may not have taken a slight deflection off Cedric Yambere.

Dijon pulled a goal back a minute prior to the break when Wesley Said controlled a long ball over the top and prodded neatly through Danijel Subasic's legs.

Falcao then wrapped up his treble with a powerful header six minutes after the break.

Earlier, Strasbourg secured their first top-flight win following promotion as they beat 10-man Lille 3-0 at home in a game that saw two outfield players spend time in goal for the away side.

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan was shown a straight red card in the 63rd minute for violent conduct having clashed with Strasbourg midfielder Benjamin Corgnet.

And with the visitors having made all three substitutions at that point, it was striker Nicolas de Preville who initially replaced Maignan in goal.

But after De Preville was beaten by Jonas Martin's low shot into the bottom corner that gave Strasbourg a 74th-minute lead, defender and captain Ibrahim Amadou then took over between the posts.

He was then unable to keep out a penalty from Dimitri Lienard in the 82nd minute and an 88th-minute strike from Jeremy Grimm.

Published in Sports
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