Thursday, 28 May 2020

By Taiwo Okanlawon/ PM News

Controversial Nollywood actor, Uche Maduagwu, has stated that he does not regret supporting singer, Cynthia Morgan, because she is born to win like ex-Big Brother Naija star, Tacha.

Cynthia Morgan in an Instagram live video, with Ex-Miss Globe Nigeria, CASSANDRA, had revealed why she disappeared from the music scene despite becoming a household name.

Cynthia Morgan had alleged that Jude Okoye seized her accounts, made her stop using her name as well, and not promote her and does not own rights to the music she produced while still under Northside Inc, losing virtually everything.

However, Cynthia Morgan was dragged on social media after Jude Okoye released copies of the contract between the singer and his record label, Northside Entertainment.

The contract between her and Jude Okoye revealed that she lied about the content of the contract.

Uche Maduagwu, while reacting to the new development stated this in a post he shared on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I dont regret supporting #Madrina, shes born to win like Tacha. It has never been about the contract she signed in the past and this is where a lot of people are getting it wrong, its about her survival as a woman in a male-dominated #music industry…,” the caption read.

Cynthia Morgan, now Madrina, later wrote an open letter of apology to her former record label boss, Jude Okoye and former manager, Joy Tongo, for blaming her career challenges on them.

She wrote, “I Cynthia Morgan, would like to use this platform to appreciate all the love, well wishes and support from everyone… My heartfelt appreciation once again goes to Jude and Joy. It is the pain speaking, not Cynthia. Thanks for giving me the platform to grow the Cynthia Morgan brand.”

Published in Arts & Culture

By Nimot Sulaimon/ PM News

Canadian gospel singer, Jonathan Steingard has said that he no longer believed in God.

Steingard, in a lengthy Instagram post, admitted that after a lifetime as a Christian, he no longer believed in God and would be leaving the band.

He goes further to explain the reasons why he came to such a conclusion.

‘I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically – but it wouldn’t be as true”, he said.

Read his post below:

The 36-year-old Canadian musician went on to write that losing his religion occurred over several years.

His former band ”Hawk Nelson” released a statement on Wednesday, supporting his choice to leave the band.

PM News

Published in Business and Economy

Governor Godwin Obaseki has a big obstacle to overcome to clinch a second term ticket of the All Progressives Congress as the party’s big guns backed another candidate.

He is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from Obaseki’s constituency.

In a major move on Tuesday night, the faction that has been fighting Obaseki picked Ize-Iyamu as its consensus governorship candidate.

The faction is loyal to National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Obaseki’s former godfather now his biggest political foe.

Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu

Ize-Iyamu, was a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) and rejoined the APC from PDP last year. He lost the governorship to Obaseki in the 2016 election.

He is expected to slug it out with Governor Godwin Obaseki for the direct primary of the party slated for June 22.

He was presented by chairman of the screening committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena, the representative of Edo North Senatorial District.

The screening committee has as members a former Edo Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen; Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe; ex-Edo Speaker Thomas Okosun.

Others are former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives Samson Osagie; ex-member of the House of Representatives Patrick Obahiagbon and Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason.

Published in Business and Economy

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday said no man can stop him from being governor for a second term in the state.

Obaseki is having a running battle with his godfather and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Oshiomhole’s faction of the party, had on Tuesday night endorsed the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the consensus candidate of the party for the Edo poll.

But Obaseki, in an interview on Channels TV, said he was confident of returning to power as first man of the state because “power comes from God.”

The governor said he is a man of peace and not a violent person.

“I am not a violent person. But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.

“God gave me power. If he wants me to return I will continue. No man can stop me. Power comes from God,” he said.

He said he had always canvassed for peace and believed election should not lead to bloodshed.

On the rift within his party, Obaseki said that he was not distracted, adding that his focus was on developing Edo State.

“We have always canvassed for peace. What are the issues in Edo and what are the issues that cannot be resolved in a democracy. Our concern is to use the resources of the people to develop the state.

“This shouldn’t lead to bloodshed. We will not accept to be cowed and intimidated because some people think that they can manipulate rules and cut corners,” he stated.

When asked if it’s not the resources of the people of Edo State that was used for him to become the governor, Obaseki said, “I have friends with resources. I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.

“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources…I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.”

Published in Headliners

John Ofikhenua, Abuja/ The Nation

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87 per cent (year-on-year) in the first quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

In a posting on its website on Monday accessed by The Nation, NBS said the performance was recorded against the backdrop of significant global disruptions, resulting in sharp fall in prices and restricted international trade arising from the COVID-19 public health crisis.

It said the Q1 2020 performance represented a -0.23 per cent point drop when compared with Q1 2019, and 0.68 per cent point dip relative to Q4 2019, adding that this was a reflection of the earliest effects of disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy. In the review period, the NBS report indicated that quarter-on-quarter, real GDP growth was -14.42 per cent compared to 5.59 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.

Also in Q1 2020, aggregate GDP stood at N35,647,406.08 million in nominal terms, NBS said, pointing out that this performance was higher when compared to first quarter of 2019, which recorded N31,824,349.67 million, with a nominal growth rate 12.01 per cent year-on-year.

The report indicated that relative to Q1 2019, the nominal growth rate was higher by 0.11 per cent points but lower than the preceding quarter by -0.32 per cent points.

NBS said in the review period, an average daily oil production of 2.07 million barrels per day was recorded, stating that the production level was higher than the 1.99 million barrel per day recorded in the same quarter of 2019 by 0.08mbpd and the fourth quarter of 2019 by 0.06 million barrels per day (mbpd).

The report indicated that non-oil sector grew by 1.55 per cent in real terms during Q1 2020, saying this was lower by -093 per cent points compared to the rate recorded during the same quarter of 2019, and -0.72 per cent point slower than the corresponding period of last year.

It said the non-oil sector was driven mainly by Information and Communication, Financial and Insurance, Agriculture and Mining.

It said in real term, the Non-Oil sector contributed 90.50 per cent to the nation’s GDP in the review period, which was less than its share in the first quarter of 2019 put at 90.78 per cent and the forth quarter of 2019 which contribution was put at 92.68 per cent.

The NBS report listed activities that witnessed weaker performance relative to Q1 2019, including quarrying, road transport, accommodation, food, services, as well as real estate.

Published in Business and Economy

Tajudeen Adebanjo/ The Nation

Nigerians on social media have expressed their disappointment over what they described as a public show of shame between the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

Dabiri-Erewa had gone on the social media to accused Pantami of using armed men to evict the NIDCOM staff.

She alleged that she and NIDCOM staff were locked and thrown out of their office.

She said: “In one year, we don’t have an office. The office we got, given to us by NCC (Nigeria Communications Commission)…but we were actually driven away by the Minister of communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami.

“Within two days, they drove us out with guns and what happened? The place was given to us by NCC….

“You know we all help each other, NCC as an agency of government said there is a place you can use to settle in, and just as we settled in, I was in Ethiopia when I got a call. I thought that it was a joke.

“I came back from Ethiopia on Thursday, this happened on Tuesday. By Friday, when I went to the office, guns, armed men had taken over the place. I thought it was a joke. But here is the thing, I’m a government employee, so is he. It’s government business.”

However, Dr Pantami responded on twitter by calling Dabiri-Erewa as a liar.

He tweeted: “This is a fat lie from her. The owner of the building @NgComCommission has faulted her lies on their social media platforms. The minister has never given that directive to any gunman. We need to be very objective in reporting. I have never sent any gunmen there, and I have no one.”

Responding to Pantami’s tweet, Dabiri-Erewa wrote: “An Islamic scholar should not lie, Hon Minister ( Phd). You did that to me because I am a woman. Your disrespect for women is legendary. Left the ugly incident behind me since February. But please release all our office equipment. Public office is transient.”

The public exchange of words between the duo received backlashes from many on social media, who queried their maturity in handling intra-government affairs.

Awwal Nasir said: “I wonder when political office holders will learn to settle internal government politics away from media. These tantrums displays a lack of communication and trust between them, It is really sad and shameful.”

Mazi Olayinka Danladi wrote: “I am so sorry and so sad that this is happening. Public office is indeed a very bad adventure. I hope our dear brother and Shaykh and Mama Diaspora will do their best to see that this is resolved without further hullabaloo. This isn’t good for the image of the nation.”

@sadeniran urged both parties to sheath their sword, adding “@DrIsaPantami, Why not put a call through to @abikedabiri instead of this public show of shame! You are not helping the @NigeriaGov you are both serving with this open name callings… A tree can never make a forest! Hope good reasoning will prevail…”

Nsikanabasi Umoffong said: “Make una fight tear cloth Abeg, if that will send the #GovernmentOfCrooks parking…”

Emma Umeh wrote: “Government of confusion, just imagine the disorganisation going on in this administration. It’s just a shame.”

Yemisi Fakunle wrote: “My take is this, there is something grossly wrong with the seat of power in Nigeria! Where is the Fourth Estate of the Realm? Abike is like a Minister, if not pronounced as one! How on earth can agents of the same government have this kind of altercations in the public domain?

Abu Mu’meen pleaded with the duo to take their fight off the social media.

He said: “I’ll plead with you both, for Allah’s sake to take your fight off social media forum. The only things that are being damaged here are the excellent reputations that you both have.”

Published in Business and Economy
World Health Organisation said it has suspended a clinical trial of the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine in coronavirus patients.

The UN agency said it did so out of safety concerns.

It said it was concerned about safety of the drug, after a study from The Lancet revealed higher mortality rates among COVID-19 patients who took the drugs.

“The authors reported that among #COVID19 patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate”, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

He said hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.

Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by President Donald Trump as a cure for coronavirus.

He even revealed he took the medication for two weeks as prophylactic

Tedros full statement:

On Friday, TheLancet published an observational study on hydroxycholoroquine & chloraquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised.

“The authors reported that among #COVID19 patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.

“The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.

“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and, in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board.

“The other arms of the trial are continuing.

“This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine in #COVID19.

“I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.

“WHO will provide further updates as we know more.

“And we will continue to work night and day for solutions, science and solidarity”

Published in Headliners

By Sheriff Folarin, Professor of International Relations, Covenant University

The traditional leadership and redeemer posture of Nigeria in Africa has, in recent years, been put into question.

Issues like corruption and infrastructural decay have held the country down from playing a leadership role in Africa. As have transitions from one poor leadership to another. A visionary leadership is lacking while public institutions are weak, inept and compromised. Decades of political patronage and nepotism have seen a corrosion of quality and performance in the public service.

In addition, the intractable problem of Boko Haram and Islamic State, coupled with kidnappings, have created a security crisis. All continue to shatter the myth of military invincibility and the might of the Nigerian state.

In the beginning, it was not so. From independence in 1960, Nigeria took upon itself the role of uniting Africa against western recolonisation. The continent, from then on in, became the centre-piece of its foreign policy. The fact that nations were living under foreign rule made it possible to galvanise them around a common cause. This led to the creation of the Organisation of African Unity – now the African Union – in 1963 and Economic Community of West African States in 1975.

Nigeria assumed a leading role in these events as it forged a foreign policy with a strong Afrocentric posture. In fact, so frenetic was its involvement in this role that it sometimes paid little attention to the home front.

Nigeria’s leadership role on the continent was a product of the vision, dreams and, sometimes, whims of the founding fathers. They were nevertheless premised on real national capacity. Jaja Wachukwu, Nigeria’s first external affairs minister noted in 1960 that:

Our country is the largest single unit in Africa… we are not going to abdicate the position in which God Almighty has placed us. The whole black continent is looking up to this country to liberate it from thraldom.

This defined the country’s behaviour and continental outlook and has continued to influence successive administrations – weak or effective.

Assuming a leadership role

The sheer size of Nigeria’s population – the largest on the continent which rose from 48.3 million in 1963 to over 200 million in 2020 — gave the country the idea that Africa was its natural preoccupation.

In addition, its colonial experience and the abundance of its oil resources and wealth have empowered Nigeria economically. This made it possible for the country to pursue an ambitious foreign policy. It also permitted Nigeria to finance its Civil War, strengthening its international independence. And oil made possible an unparalleled post-war recovery.

Nigeria has used its influence to good effect and to good ends. For example, it worked with other countries in the West African sub-region to establish the Economic Community of West African States in 1975. It went on to push for the prevention and resolution of devastating conflicts that engulfed Liberia in 1992. The conflict spilled over into Sierra Leone and other countries in the region. Nigeria spearheaded the cessation of hostilities and created the cease-fire monitoring group to bring a total end to the civil strife and restore democracy in both countries.

Many observers agree that the sterling performance of the monitoring group is unparalleled in the history of regional organisations the world over. It has now become a model to emulate for its operational efficiency and for giving regional actors pride of place in the resolution of regional conflicts.

Nigeria exerted similar efforts to ensure that democratic governments were restored to Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire and Sao Tome et Principe, after military take-overs in those countries.

It spent over US$10 billion in these peace campaigns and also lost soldiers in the process.

Nigeria has not limited its peacekeeping role to West Africa. It has also been engaged in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia-Eritrea.

The country also played the most important role in fighting apartheid in Southern Africa and supporting liberation movements on the continent.

Disappointments

But Nigeria has not been immune to challenges facing countries on the continent. Corruption, misappropriation of public funds, electoral malpractices, insurgency and terrorism have devastated its capacity and weakened its moral fortitude to lead the continent.

Amidst enormous wealth, poverty in Nigeria is endemic . It could even become the poverty capital of the world, according to The World Poverty Clock. Nigerians have been reduced to the behest of the politicians that tie them to gridlock of “stomach infrastructure”. This is a new trend which reflects institutionalised and structural poverty. Deprivation puts people in a vulnerable and compromised position where the desperation for survival makes them sell their votes and conscience.

The slow movement of the current administration is also killing the Nigerian spirit and leadership posture. South Africa, Ghanaand even Madagascar have acted faster in continental and global politics, including during times of emergency such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. But Nigeria seems content with a spectator position.

What next?

Nigeria has been relegated to the background of international affairs. To turn this around requires a revisit to the roots – and mowing the lawns afterwards. Nigeria must take stock of its own performance and capacities and re-position itself – first from within.

If Nigerian leaders are increasingly determined to proffer African solutions to their problems, then political structures and institutions must be reformed to reflect conditions suitable for sustainable development. Without a formidable political base, the economy will remain weak and fragile. The political base is crucial, because, the state is the repository of all ramifications and dimensions of power – political, economic, technological and military. And the purpose of the state is to authoritatively allocate these resources.

There is also a need to empower people to mobilise their local resources and to use them for development. And, of course, public funds should not be concentrated in the hands of few individuals, who may be tempted to steal them. An accountable system is one in which money management has several checks.

Oil wealth has been the country’s nemesis, a curse that has promoted corruption and blatant bleeding of the economy. But it is declining in value and as source of national revenue. Now is the time for Nigeria to make good its repeated and well-advertised intentions to diversify the economy.

A de-emphasis on oil would open the door to smarter ideas about how to create wealth. It would also herald in getting rid of a great deal of the phlegm of corruption which has played such a central role in Nigeria’s infrastructural decay, eroded its influence and given it such a negative image.

Added to this is the succession of weak rulers since 2007.

African leaders do not look towards Nigeria anymore for counsel, inspiration and help. They think Nigeria has a lot on its plate already and needs help. The potential is still there for Nigeria to return to power; but it takes leadership to (re)build the auspicious atmosphere and to activate the country’s potential – the two steps required to regain that enviable frontliner spot on the continent.

Theconversation.com

Published in Parliament

Nigeria could be about to offer Harry Redknapp a route back into management as the Super Eagles consider their options

Harry Redknapp is being considered as the next manager of Nigeria.

Current Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr sees his contract expire at the end of the month and there is serious doubt over the German's future.

It has led the Nigerian hierarchy to review their options meaning Redknapp could be set for a return to management.

A Super Eagles source told the Star : “The feeling is Harry Redknapp will be coming to manage Nigeria soon.’’

The African nation and the former Tottenham boss have previously held discussions about the role.

That was back in 2016 but negotiations broke down, however they are confident of completing a deal this time round.

Harry Redknapp could be about to return to management (Image: Getty)

The vast majority of Nigeria's players ply their trade in Europe and are well known.

Friendlies are also held in London on a regular basis given the amount of Nigerians playing in the Premier League which could prove advantageous in discussions.

Redknapp has never tried his hand at international management despite being heavily linked with the England job back in 2012.

He was favourite to replace Fabio Capello who had resigned just months before that summer's European Championships.

Nigeria came third in last year's Africa Cup of Nations (Image: REUTERS)

The FA ultimately opted for Roy Hodgson despite Redknapp guiding Tottenham to the Champions League quarter-finals 12 months earlier.

His hugely successful spell in north London came to an end in 2012.

Since then he has taken charge of QPR and Birmingham - helping the former achieve promotion from the second tier back in 2014.

His last job was at St Andrews but he was shown the door in September 2017 and subsequently said there was "every chance" it was his final job in football.

During his career Redknapp has also led Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth and Southampton.

Mirror.co.uk

Published in Sports

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has celebrated his victory at the tribunal with his deputy governor, Edward Onoja and his aides.

The Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal had on Saturday dismissed the case filed by Musa Wada, the PDP candidate against the election of Bello.

Yahaya Bello celebrates victory with deputy governor and aides

The three man panel of judges, led by Justice Ibrahim Kaigama gave its delayed ruling in Abuja on Saturday.

The victory has led the governor to celebrate his victory with his deputy and aides.

Yahaya Bello celebrates victory with deputy governor and aides

Yahaya Bello celebrates victory with deputy governor and aides

Published in News & Stories
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