ARTS AND CULTURE
Paul Pogba said he is “always happy” when he is winning after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Burnley that took Manchester United top of the Premier League for the first time in three years on Tuesday.
Despite continued speculation over his future, Pogba has played an increasingly important role in recent weeks to aid United’s first serious title challenge since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men now lead defending champions Liverpool by three points ahead of a top-of-the-table clash between the two most successful sides in English football history at Anfield on Sunday.
“I’m always happy when I win,” said Pogba, who has been consistently linked with a move away from Old Trafford at the end of the season.
“I’m happy we are playing well and happy we are at the top, but there is a long way to go and we have big games coming up.”
United have now taken 29 from the last possible 33 points to recover from just two wins in their opening six games of the season.
The signing of Bruno Fernandes shortly after Burnley won 2-0 at Old Trafford nearly a year ago in the last meeting between the sides has transformed United’s fortunes.
And if Pogba can finally produce consistent displays worthy of the then world record fee United paid for the Frenchman in 2016, there is reason for Solskjaer to believe he can end the club’s eight-year wait for a league title.
“I’ve always said Paul is a big, big player for us,” added Solskjaer. “He is a good character in the dressing room, he is always one the lads look to (because) he’s a world champion.
“We are seeing the best of Paul at the moment. He’s getting better and better every game.”
The manner of victory against a Burnley side that had not lost at home since October also suggests United have the ability of champions to grind out a result when they need to.
The first-half was dominated by controversy over a series of VAR reviews as both sides escaped without having a man sent-off for challenges by Luke Shaw and Robbie Brady, while United had a goal harshly ruled out for a slight push by Harry Maguire when he powered home a header at the back post.
The visitors upped the pressure in the second-half and got their reward 19 minutes from time when Pogba’s volley from Marcus Rashford’s cross deflected off Matt Lowton and through the legs of Nick Pope to head to Anfield leading Liverpool.
“We couldn’t be going there at a better time to play them,” added Solskjaer. “We are in good shape, good form, hungry, these boys want to get better and that’s a test again.”
Everton win at Wolves
Everton moved back into the top four and within four points of United as they overcame an injury crisis to beat Wolves 2-1 at Molineux.
Carlo Ancelotti was forced to start without a recognised striker without Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison only fit enough for a place on the bench.
The Toffees took an early lead when Alex Iwobi converted Lucas Digne’s cross but were pegged back when Ruben Neves levelled for Wolves.
Michael Keane’s towering header won the game 13 minutes from time to bolster the Blues’ European ambitions.
“We adapted really well to the characteristics of the players we had,” said Ancelotti.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield United ended a 20-game winless league run as Billy Sharp’s penalty earned a 1-0 victory over 10-man Newcastle.
The Blades still face an uphill task to haul themselves off the bottom of the table as they sit nine points adrift of safety.
But Chris Wilder’s men ensured they will not set an unwanted record by going a full top-flight season without a win thanks to another night to forget for Newcastle.
“It looked like we got our identity back,” said Wilder. “It was us with the handbrake off, going for it and playing well in and out of possession.”
The Magpies could yet find themselves dragged into a relegation battle as they remain eight points above the drop zone in 15th, but have played two games more than Fulham in 18th.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sabur Dimeji Bankole, will, on Friday, January 15, tie the nuptial knot with Miss Aisha Shinkafi Saidu, daughter of the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.
Bankole, who divorced his first wife in 2017, had, in the past few years, been a much sought after bachelor in the circle of eligible spinsters both within and outside Nigeria.
Friday’s marriage ceremony will draw the curtain on speculations regarding his matrimonial intentions since the divorce.
The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 on Tuesday said schools across the country will resume on Monday, January 18, 2021 pending the review by the federal government.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had on Monday said the federal government would review the resumption date of schools as a result of rising cases of Coronavirus.
“On the January 18 resumption date, we are reviewing it. We are going to review it.
“At the PTF meeting today, we considered it, and tomorrow, the ministry is going to take it up,” he said.
But PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu in a TV programme on Tuesday said what the minister of Education said on Monday was that the ministry was going to do a review of resumption.
He said Adamu never said the Education ministry was going to change the date of resumption, saying that what he said was that “they will review the situation and let the nation know.”
Aliyu stated emphatically that resumption date for schools nationwide remained January 18 until the Ministry of Education comes up with an alternative date.
Force Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba is now the commissioner of Police Force Public Relations, as 20 other Commissioners got new postings with immediate effect.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu approved the postings on Tuesday.
According to a statement issued by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Aremu Adeniran, the redeployment took effect immediately.
Affected by the redeployment are: Haladu Musa, posted to Border Patrol, FHQ, Abuja; Sikiru Akande to Cross River; Aliyu Garba to Ebonyi; Abubakar Bature to Airport command; Yusuf Ahmed to Department of Operations, FHQ); Aliyu Alhaji to Adamawa; Ngozi Onadeko to Oyo; Mohammed Aliyu to Enugu and Frank Mba (Force Public Relations).
While CP Adeleke Bode was posted to Kebbi State; Philip Maku was posted to the Special Protection Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja; Ali Aji was posted to Sokoto; Ohikere Idris to Armament, FHQ, Abuja; Daniel Sokari-Pedro to Commandant, Police College, Ikeja, John Amadi to Port Authority Western, Lagos, among others.
The POSTINGS AT A GLANCE:
i.Kebbi State – CP Adeleke Adeyinka Bode, mni
ii.SPU, FHQ, Abuja – CP Philip Maku
iii.Sokoto State – CP Ali Janga Aji
iv. Armament, FHQ, Abuja – CP Ohikere S. Idris, fsi
v. CMDT Police College Ikeja – CP Daniel Sokari-Pedro, mni
vi.Port Authority Police (PAP), Western, Lagos – CP John O. Amadi, mni
vii. Oyo State – CP Ngozi Onadeko, fdc
viii. Enugu State – Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu
ix. Border Patrol, FHQ, Abuja – CP Haladu Musa Rosamson, fdc
x. Cross River State – CP Sikiru Akande
xi. Ebonyi State – CP Aliyu Garba
xii. Airport Command – CP Abubakar Umar Bature
xiii.Department of Operations, FHQ – CP Yusuf Ahmed
xiv. Adamawa State – CP Aliyu Adamu Alhaji
xv. Training and Department – CP Babaita Ishola
Moyo Thomas, nee Ojo, the former FCMB staff who had two children for Adam Nuru, the managing director of the bank, is now involved in a hide and seek game, on the internet.
She had two children for Nuru while married to Tunde Thomas.
She revealed the heart shattering news to Thomas, after she escaped to the U.S. in 2017.
Thomas could not bear the shock and died on 16 December, 2020.
His friends are now mounting a campaign to get Nuru sacked on ethical grounds.
On her LinkedIn account, Moyo has done an identity change.
She is no more Moyo Thomas, but Mo David.
People who have been tracking her discovered her trick and blew the whistle on Sunday.
She responded by removing her photo from the new profile, but left her history with FCMB intact.
Moyo now claims she works for Park Nicollet Health Services, Minneapolis, in America, as a recruitment manager.
Moyo attended Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife from 1998 to 2004, where she read economics.
She later went for a Masters degree in International Human Resource Management at Cranfield School of Management, in UK.
She worked for FCMB for almost 13 years in the human resource department.
Literary icon Prof. Wole Soyinka may no longer want to comment on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He told an on-line TV in a chat that went viral yesterday that “for the sake of sanity, one must imagine that the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari does not exist”.
The Nobel laureate, who was seen being interviewed onboard a train, described the new Lagos-Abeokuta-Ibadan standard gauge train, as marvellous and long overdue.
He told the Kaftan TV reporter that he would not like to talk about the Buhari administration because he imagined the regime doesn’t exist.
When asked whether the new train was a plus to Buhari’s regime, he said: “I don’t want to talk about Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. I think it is best for my sanity just to avoid that overall question. I can take bits and pieces of Nigeria’s present predicament but I think for one’s sense of balance, one must forget the existence of the Buhari administration.
Famous transporter, Augustine Ilodibe Jnr. was among the three persons who died of COVID-19 complications in Lagos on Monday.
The death of the 42-year old, who inherited his billionaire father’s business in 2007, was made known by a family member.
The two other victims have not been identified.
Lagos now has 250 death toll of COVID-19 patients in the state, according to the NCDC.
Ilodibe’s death was announced by Obinna Ilodibe.
“With great sadness we announce the passing unto glory of our dear son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Ekene Dili Chukwu Augustine Chukwunonso ILodibe (Junior) who died this morning from complications of COVID-19 in Lagos.
“We pray that his soul rests in peace and the Lord comfort his family and all of us he left behind.
“In consideration of the current pandemic, we kindly ask that you respect and maintain safety protocols through calls and messages to the family rather than physical visits.
Augustine Ilodibe took over his father’s transport business in 2007.
He was the first son of Chief Augustine Ekene Dili Chukwu Ilodibe.
From Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Acropolis, fireworks burst in skies above eerily deserted landmarks as the world ushered in the New Year with muted celebrations and said good riddance to a pandemic-ridden 2020.
After a grinding year that has seen at least 1.7 million people die from Covid-19, fresh waves of infection have sparked renewed lockdowns and forced would-be revellers to extend their 2020 tradition of watching events from the sofa.
The eagerly awaited first seconds of 2021 fell on the Pacific nations of Kiribati and Samoa from 1000 GMT. The uninhabited Howland and Baker Islands will be the last to tip over into the New Year.
New Zealand, which has won plaudits for its handling of the coronavirus, followed Kiribati and Samoa, with large crowds gathered in Auckland to watch a fireworks display.
In Australia’s largest city, Sydney, fireworks lit up the glittering harbour with a dazzling display, but few spectators watched in person.
“I think everybody is looking towards 2021 as a fresh beginning and a fresh start,” Karen Roberts, among the lucky few who were allowed past checkpoints around the area, told AFP at a bar nestled under the Sydney Opera House.
– Curfews being enforced – Some Hong Kongers, despite restrictions, ventured out to mark the start of the year, gathering on the Victoria Harbour waterfront to take selfies.
In Tokyo, where residents face the prospect of a state of emergency being imposed after infections touched new highs, people queued in face masks to offer New Year prayers.
Wuhan in China, where the virus first appeared late last year, saw thousands gather to celebrate — and Taipei also enjoyed a more traditionally upbeat celebration with crowds massing to watch fireworks.
Elsewhere, the mood was far more downbeat.
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin acknowledged in a New Year’s address that a second wave of Covid-19 was battering the nation.
“The fight against it does not stop for a minute,” he said.
Italy — where shocking images of makeshift morgues and exhausted medics awoke the world to the severity of the crisis — is on a nationwide lockdown until January 7 with a 10 pm curfew in place.
From France to Latvia and Brazil, police and — in some cases — military personnel are being deployed to make sure curfews or bans on large gatherings are enforced.
Paris and Athens both featured socially distanced gatherings, with a virtual concert and light show over Notre Dame in the French capital and fireworks over the Acropolis in Greece.
In hard-hit London, 74-year-old American singer-songwriter Patti Smith had been due to ring in the New Year with a tribute to National Health Service workers who have died from Covid-19, projected on the screen at Piccadilly Circus and streamed on YouTube.
But due to alarm at rising infections rates, the big screen projection was cancelled with the tribute viewable instead solely online.
A few dozen revellers did arrive in Parliament Square to watch Big Ben chime 11:00 pm — midnight in Brussels — marking the moment that Brexit finally became a reality, with Britain severing its turbulent half-century partnership with Europe.
– Social gathering -A fireworks and laser show was held in Dubai at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, where there has been a slew of new cases. Those watching were required to wear masks and register with identifying QR barcodes.
In Beirut, still reeling from an explosion that devastated the city’s port in August, authorities were also cutting loose.
A curfew was pushed back to 3 am and bars, restaurants and night clubs allowed to reopen to host large parties.
On the banks of Lake Baikal in Siberia, where temperatures plummet to as low as -35 degrees Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit), around a dozen Russians emerged invigorated after a New Year’s Eve ice dip.
The swimmers, known in Russia as “walruses”, ran several kilometres (miles) through a snowy forest in swimsuits and festive costumes before plunging into the world’s largest freshwater lake.
“It’s invigorating. It stings a little!” Andrei Bugai told AFP.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel used her New Year greeting to warn the coronavirus crisis would extend into 2021 even if vaccines bring some hope, as police clashed with revellers near the Brandenburg gate in Berlin.
As the final hours of 2020 ticked away in the Americas, authorities in New York City blocked public access to Times Square, where thousands usually gather to watch a crystal ball drop at midnight.
A star-studded celebration will still be televised from the square with performances from the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Gaynor — but its confetti will fall onto a largely deserted pavement.
With midnight approaching, the US, the worst-hit country in the world, was also nearing 20 million recorded infections and more than 345,000 deaths.
In Brazil — which has already recorded more than 193,000 Covid-19 deaths, the second-largest number in the world after the US — Rio de Janeiro was blocking beach access to prevent the crowds of revellers who traditionally gather.
By Abankula/ PM NEWS
Bea Lewis, an Atlanta, Georgia based lady revealed on New Year’s eve that she dated Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
She also said Aliko went on to break “her heart in 1000 pieces’.
Although she published a selfie of hers and Aliko cheek by jowl, her post was not the typical vindictive post by a scorned woman.
There is no note of hell and fury in her Instagram post. There was no sign of hard feelings.
Rather, Lewis said she learned more from the Nigerian billionaire than from any other person she has ever met.
“Communicating with a billionaire daily makes you see the world different than your humble beginnings in liberty city.
“I became more organized and finally am able to step away from the daily kitchen operations.
“I learned love without strings.
“Give your best without expectations.
“Nothing is forever.
“I realized a half a million dollar restaurant project was a bad investment.
“I purchased two properties.
“I started a consistent fitness regime.
“Obtained a profitable stock portfolio.
“He changed my perspective on work ethic and patience.
“Once my mindset changed the universe gravitated me to people that uplifted me and increased my net worth mentally and financially.
“To 2021 and powerful encounters. #alikodangote #atlantarealestate #amp #HappyNewYear”