Breaking: Gunmen have abducted the mother of the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello

Unknown Gunmen

The victim, Mrs Seriya Raji, was reported to have been abducted from her residence on Monday evening at Inese/Ovakere New Layout in Nagazi community.

Nagazi community is located in Adavi Local Government Area of the state. Police authorities in the state have yet to confirm the incident.

In an interview on Tuesday, a resident of the community told Channels Television that the gunmen storm Seriya’s residence at about 7:40pm shortly after she observed the evening prayer at a mosque within the premises.

He explained that the abductors, numbering about six and dressed in black suits with masks, came with a polytene bag suspected to be concealing guns and other dangerous weapons.

The source said they entered the victim’s house through the mosque and whisked her away to an unknown destination, using the car they brought for the operation.

As of the time of filing this report, the abductors are yet to make any contact with the family of their victim.

Relationship: BedRidden Man Weds Partner

Bed ridden man

A 45-year-old bedridden man who has been begging members of the public since March this year to assist him raise 1.5million for spinal cord surgery has wedded his 27-year-old partner.

The groom, Terkimbir Benjamin Tyough, an electrician from Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State has resigned to his fate since he has been unable to afford the bill for his treatment after falling off an electric pole in March this year injuring his spinal cord.

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He was rushed to the hospital following the accident but has since been taken home for inability to pay the bill (1.5million) demanded by the hospital management for his surgery.

The officiating priest and Pastor of St. Luke’s, Yaikyo, Makurdi, Father Kenneth Agede who described the wedding as a true demonstration of love appealed to Nigerians to assist the groom to get back on his feet by donating for the cost of his surgery.

Marriage Pictures

“It will be a shame to humanity, Benue State and Nigeria to leave this man to die because of 1.5million. This is not a deathbed wedding because his condition is not terminal. He can walk again and enjoy his marriage if we pay for his surgery,” the priest said.

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Bedridden and helpless, Tyough lives in a one-room, cramped apartment in Welfare Quarters, Makurdi with his spouse, Christiana Ngumimi Pine and their all-male three children.

Wedding Pictures

Speaking to journalists shortly after the wedding, the wife said she loves her husband and is committed to living with him forever despite his poor health.

“I have made decision to live with him out of love. I am praying and hoping that God will touch the hearts of good people to sponsor the surgery of my husband, but even if that does not happen I will love him to the end” Christiana said.

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Children

The wedding took place on December 11, 2021 at their residence in Welfare Quarters Makurdi.

BREAKING: Jussie Smollett Found Guilty On Multiple Counts In Hate Crime Hoax Case

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

After about nine hours of deliberation, a jury has found former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett guilty on counts related to an apparent hate crime hoax he orchestrated in 2019.

Smollett was found guilty on five out of six counts of disorderly conduct. He has not yet been sentenced.

According to Fox News reporter Matt Finn, “Smollett was found not guilty about lying about aggravated battery. That charge was because his attackers were wearing masks.”

Notably, Smollett was late arriving to court after the verdict was reached. The judge gave everyone a 30-minute window to make it back, but the actor came back after that timeframe.

The actor faced a total of “six counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law that prohibits false reports to police,” according to NBC Chicago. The charges were listed as class 4 felonies, “which are among the least serious felonies in Illinois,” the report said, adding that possible “convictions can still carry potential prison time of up to three years.” The report detailed the six counts:

Count 1 accuses him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck. Count 2 refers to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.

Counts 3 and 4 are when Smollett made the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, at just before 6 a.m.

Count 5 accuses Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 refers to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.

Back in January 2019, Smollett claimed he was targeted and attacked by apparent supporters of President Donald Trump in an anti-gay, anti-black hate crime. His alleged attackers, whom he initially described as white males who yelled “This is MAGA country,” were brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, Smollett maintained. Notably, the brothers are both black men who knew the “Empire” star before the incident and have claimed Smollett orchestrated the “hoax.” The Daily Wire detailed Smollett’s claim at the time:

Smollett contends he was targeted by two Trump supporters, who verbally and physically accosted him as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Chicago on January 29. The actor says the men called him a “f*****” and a “n*****,” tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and kicked him in the ribs.

Photostory: Rap Mogul, Dr Dre Celebrates Getting Divorced

American Rap Mogul

American rap mogul, Dr Dre is pictured with balloons marking his new status as a divorcee. This signals the finalisation of the bitter divorce proceedings between him and his ex-wife of over 20 years, Nicole Young.

His colleague in the industry, Breyon Prescott shared the photo with the caption, “Hey Well My Brother @drdre Just Told Me It’s Final !!! Congrats 🍾 Still Dre 🐐 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾”

Dr Dre has yet to say anything publicly on the matter.

Credit: Instagram | therealbreyonprescott

Woman (Okada Rider) Dumped by Hubby Builds Beautiful Home,

Eunice Otieng and her daughter in their newly constructed rentals.
Photo: Eunice Otieng.
Source: UGC

In 2017, Eunice Otieng thought her life was crumbling to pieces after her husband duped her into taking loans and left her to service them on her own.

She also had months-long rent arrears and her landlord even closed down her house, leaving her and the baby out in the cold

Now, four years later, the Busia woman inspired many after becoming both a landlord and homeowner.

If anyone had told Eunice Otieng that one day she would be a landlord in 2017 when her life was falling apart, she would never have believed the person.

By then, she was having a myriad of challenges; her husband whom she had financially supported had ditched her for another woman, leaving her with huge loans to service.

Speaking to Kenya’s leading media platform TUKO.co.ke, the mother of one recounted how she and her daughter became homeless after the landlord closed down their house due to months-long rent arrears.

However, being the strong woman she is, Otieng, who works as a nurse said she decided to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life from scratch.

Eunice’s lovely home. She worked as a boda boda rider by day and nurse at night in order to make ends meet.
Photo: Eunice Otieng.
Source: UGC

“I almost ran mad with my small salary. I had no option but to think about how to start life from zeros. I had a motorcycle which I took and I started boda boda job,” she said.

Working as an Okada rider

Being that her salary as a nurse was going into the repayment of the loans that she took for her ex-spouse, she did night shifts and so during the day, she hustled as an Okada rider. She saved a sum of N94,000 and started a small business in 2018. Since she had a piece of land that she had bought before marriage, she started building her house.

Eunice gifted her daughter the rentals to wipe the tears they cried when a landlord locked their home. Photo: Eunice Otieng.
Source: UGC

“I decided that I will work hard for my baby to get the best. I think I was working hard with a lot of anger to change my life. That’s why I was able to finish the house,” Otieng said.”

She also had savings for her baby and she decided to use them to build the rentals which she recently finished.

The hardworking Busia woman said she gifted her five-year-old daughter the rentals to heal the pain they went through when the landlord closed their house due to rent arrears.

“I gifted her the houses to wipe the tears we cried when the landlord was locking our house. I vowed to make her a landlady at this tender age,” she said.

Source: Legit

Dr Rabe Nasir, the Katsina State Commissioner of Science and Technology has been assassinated.

Dr Rabe Nasir, Commissioner-for-Science-and-Technology assassinated (Chronicle)

The assassins reportedly killed the commissioner and locked up his corpse in the toilet of his bedroom.

Dr Rabe Nasir, the Katsina State Commissioner of Science and Technology has been assassinated.

According to Daily Trust, the commissioner stabbed to death at his residence in Fatima Shema Estate in Katsina on Thursday.

A source, who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity said Nasir was “stabbed in the stomach in his sitting room while his body was dragged into a toilet where it was locked.”

Another anonymous source said the late commissioner was shot after Asr (evening) prayer in his residence.

The deceased was the Special Advisor to Governor Aminu Masari on Science and Technology before he was eventually appointed a commissioner.

Nasir also worked with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

Billionaire Nwoko accuses his ex-wife of hooking up with a ‘strange man’ while on vacation.

Ned Nwoko and his Moroccan ex-wife Laila Aura [Instagram/PrinceNedNwoko]

Nollywood actress, Regina Daniel’s husband, Ned Nwoko has called out his ex-wife, Laila and popular ‘Kayamata’ vendor, Jaruma on Instagram.

In a statement released via the billionaire’s Instagram page on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, he gave a detailed account of how his marriage to the Moroccan crashed.

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He, however, began by dispelling the rumours that his marriage to Laila ended because of the influence of a local aphrodisiac called “Kayamata”, sold by one Hauwa Saidu Mohammed also known as Jaruma.

Regina Daniel’s husband Ned Nwoko calls out ex-wife Laila and ‘Kayamata’ vendor Jaruma on Instagram

The former federal lawmaker wondered why people patronised the aphrodisiac from Jaruma when same product could not save her marriage.

Regina Daniel’s husband Ned Nwoko calls out ex-wife Laila and ‘Kayamata’ vendor Jaruma on Instagram

According to the Delta State-born politician, trouble started after Laila visited London with her kids on vacation.

During the trip, the mother of three allegedly abandoned her kids in the hotel and went clubbing, where she contracted the dreaded coronavirus.

Regina Daniel’s husband Ned Nwoko calls out ex-wife Laila and ‘Kayamata’ vendor Jaruma on Instagram

Regina Daniel’s husband Ned Nwoko calls out ex-wife Laila and ‘Kayamata’ vendor Jaruma on Instagram
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It didn’t end there as Nwoko revealed how his now ex-wife hooked up with a strange man in the UK.

According to the statement released, Laila and the yet-to-be-identified man got into a fight and the police were invited. 

She went on to get cosmetic surgery without his approval while in the United Kingdom.

Regina Daniel’s husband Ned Nwoko calls out ex-wife Laila and ‘Kayamata’ vendor Jaruma on Instagram
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Nwoko said he decided to release a statement to clear the air because Laila has continued to play the victim.

He finally distanced himself and his family from Jaruma and her business.

Source: Pulse

Persons with disabilities lament stigmatisation, humiliation, call for prosecution of rapists

persons with disabilities

People Living with Disabilities in Bauchi State have lamented that the stigmatisation and maltreatment they encounter in their homes, which often leads them to beg for alms, thereby making them vulnerable to sexual abuse.

The representative of a Non-Governmental Organization, Heal Initiative Development, Aisha Adamu, stated this in a goodwill message during a one day programme to mark 16 days of activism organized by the Development Exchange Center, Bauchi.

She said, “Most of the challenges we often face, first come from our parents and then the community. For example, when parents give birth to a disabled child, they begin maltreating them as if they are not humans. Their needs are not being catered for and they are treated with disdain.

“It is from there that we start facing this stigmatization in our hearts and low self-esteem that since we are not being catered for even by our immediate family, then, we are not useful in the society. When a child faces such stigmatization from home, he’s not sent to school, his needs are not provided for and because he is humiliated and despised at home, they end up begging on the streets especially the female child.

“The moment she starts begging for alms, that’s when miscreants will take advantage and abuse her sexually, emotionally and sometimes even physically. This happens because they see you cheaply looking dirty without help and they take advantage of you.

“Even if they rape you and impregnate you, nobody will fight and get justice for you because you are a disabled person as if it was your making. So, we call on the government to also prosecute perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence to serve as a deterrent to others,” she stated.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Bauchi State office, Yachi Dala, lamented the rising cases of violence in the home pointing out that children end up being affected.

“We have rising cases of domestic violence. Most of the cases we have are spouses beating their spouse; apart from physical violence, there is also psychological, emotional, and economic violence where a spouse is deprived of going out to work or intentionally depriving them of the upkeep of the family. The children are most affected because of their vulnerability.

“When there is an issue between a father and a mother, the children may not be directly involved but it will always affect the children. Denial of access to children is also another form of violence,” Dala stated.

Dala called on the government to be proactive saying, “it’s a call to action and it’s not just the government but every stakeholder. For the government, where there are laws, they should implement them and they should have the political will to ensure that those laws are implemented and hold perpetrators accountable.”

Source: Punch

Manchester United signed off the 2021 European efforts with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford

Man U FC

Manchester United signed off the 2021 European efforts with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Young Boys of Switzerland. in the final Champions League match in Group F.

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With qualification as group winners already secured, interim boss Ralf Rangnick took game as an opportunity to see more of his players in action.

The German made 11 changes from the United XI that started his first match, against Crystal Palace at home in the Premier League win last Sunday.

Rangnick’s Reds took the lead with an athletic hit by Mason Greenwood after just eight minutes, but Young Boys equalised late in the first half through Fabian Rieder.

A competitive second half then played out in wet conditions at the Theatre of Dreams, where senior debuts were handed to Tom Heaton, Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal, as well as Champions League bows for Amad, Teden Mengi and Shola Shoretire.

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FIRST HALF – MASON HITS A BEAUTY BUT YOUNG BOYS REPLY

United made the perfect start by capitalising on their command with a spectacular goal after just nine minutes.

Feeding off the relaxed manner of the dead rubber but with the need to impress, the Reds were all over our Swiss opponents and Greenwood made it count.

A sweeping move down the left wing saw Luke Shaw keep pace with the attack and, after being fed by Anthony Elanga, he delivered a tempting waist-high cross into the box. It arrived slightly behind Greenwood, but he shifted his body to brilliantly to hit a bicycle volley home with his left foot.

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Goalkeeper Dean Henderson had been acting as a sweeper to keep the Swiss from his goal, earning much appreciation from the audience. But he was called on to make a save after 32 minutes from Fabian Rieder and almost immediately after Jordan Siebatcheu headed over.

The Reds responded to this spell with a move that saw Greenwood set up Juan Mata with a cut back pass. The Spaniard, and most of Old Trafford, was celebrating our second goal as he struck but Young Boys captain Fabian Lustenberger stuck out a hopeful trailing leg, blocking and deflecting the effort over the bar.

Then, three minutes before half time, Young Boys levelled the match up.

The Reds were caught attempting to play the ball intricately out of defence and Donny van de Beek’s loose ball was seized on by Rieder. He curled a stunner past Henderson to make it 1-1.

The visitors almost took the lead before the interval when Michel Aebischer crashed in a shot that Eric Bailly needed to hack away to safety to ensure our lead wasn’t completely overturned.

SECOND HALF – MATCH REMAINS ALL SQUARE

Both sides swapped moments to go on the front foot at the start of the second half. Elanga was lively for the Reds, forcing keeper Faivre to push away an inviting cross and then Jesse Lingard inspired a move that saw Anthony thwarted by a block from the goalkeeper.

Sandwiched in between, Meschack Elia pulled a shot wide from a decent chance and in the 66th minute a golden opportunity fell to Quentin Maceiras, but he screwed his effort wide – much to the relief of the Old Trafford crowd.

One-time Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner’s side were certainly enjoying their visit to Manchester and performed well in this final group match, and their last in the Champions League for this season.

Meanwhile, Rangnick used the second 45 minutes to see a few new faces in action, with Mengi, Shoretire and Heaton all making appearances.

Mengi made an impression in the 72nd minute when he handed sub Kanga a chance after he slipped, but the 19-year-old Mancunian rescued the situation when he got back to his feet to brilliantly block the striker’s effort.

More Academy faces got their chances when Savage and Iqbal came on for the closing minutes for their senior debuts.

Given the wholesale changes, this was a decent draw for United and the Reds can now look ahead to the last-16 draw next Monday.

MATCH DETAILS

United: Henderson (Heaton 67), Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Matic © (Shoretire 67), Shaw (Mengi 61), Van de Beek, Mata (Savage 89), Amad, Lingard (Iqbal 89), Greenwood, Elanga.

Subs not used: Kovar, Hardley. 

Goal: Greenwood (9)

Young Boys: Faivre,Maceiras, Camara (Lauper 76), Lustenberger (c), Lefort, Martins Pereira, Aebischer (Sierro 62), Elia (Maier 86), Rieder (Hefti 62), Moumi Ngamaleu, Siebatcheu (Kanga 62).

Subs not used: Zesiger, Laidani, Sulejmani, Jankewitz, Bürgy, Toure, Zbinden.

Goal: Rieder (42)

Source: Man U

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UK bans foreign travelers from Nigeria

Nigerians with visiting visa cannot enter the United Kingdom until the ban is lifted.

President Muhammadu Buhari and UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson.

In a bid to slow down the incursion of Omicron COVID-19 variant, the government of the United States has banned foreign travelers from Nigeria.

The UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid announced the development on Twitter on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

Javid said, “From 4 am Monday, only UK/Irish citizens and residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.”

He added that “From 4 am Tuesday, anyone travelling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status.”

This means, Nigerians with visiting visa and valid passports cannot enter the United Kingdom until the ban is lifted. 

This is coming three days after Canadian Government added Nigeria to travel ban listover Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Source: Pulse

Youths kill man in Imo market after Mkpuru Mmiri was found on him

The youths reportedly administered jungle justice on Ugboaja after they saw him coming out from a bunk where drugs are sold.

Mkpuru mmiri

Some angry youths have reportedly beaten one Darlington Ugboaja to death at Anara market in Imo state, after a local drug, Methamphetamine, better known as Mkpuru Mmiri, was found on him.

According to Punch, Ugboaja’s killing has caused panic in the market as traders shut their stalls out of fear of a reprisal attack from the victim’s kinsmen.

A source, who spoke to the newspaper said some youths administered jungle justice on Ugboaja after they saw him coming out from a bunk where drugs are sold.

The mob reportedly searched him, found the substance on him and tied his hands to an electric pole.

The source said, “They saw him coming out from a bunk were drugs are sold. They suspected he had Mkpurummiri in his possession. They quickly searched him and found the substance. They immediately tired his hands on an electric pole and started beating him.

“He lost consciousness and he was rushed to Anara Health Centre but unfortunately there was no doctor on duty. They rushed him to another hospital at Umunachi where he was pronounced dead. ”

Lately, the distribution of the substance has raised eyebrows in the southeast, with many youths getting addicted.

Trending: My wife died trying to save my sick mother (Video)

Nigerian Soldiers set our house on fire in Izombe Imo state.

Mr. Sunday Okebata a native of Izombe in Oguta Local government Area of Imo State recalls how he lost his wife on Friday 8th October, 2021 when the Nigerian Military invaded and burn houses and properties in the area. Mazi Sunday Okebata who spoke with BBC New Igbo said ; ‘’my wife died trying to save my sick mother and my children who couldn’t get out of the house when the Nigerian Soldiers set our house on fire when I went to work. We didn’t do anything. I have gone to work, my wife called me that the Army and the youth had some altercation which resulted in the death of a youth and Army officers. She told me that the Nigerian Military is burning people’s houses and properties in our community.

Wicked Nigerian Soldiers

According to my wife, a Military man came inside our house during the time they were burning houses in the area and saw her, my two children and my sick mother. The Soldier told them that someone ran into our house, asking them to bring the person so that they will executive the person. My wife told him that no one ran into the house, but the Army officer pointed gun at my wife and my mother and told them that if they failed to produce the person, that they will shoot both of them. My wife and my mother continued to plead to them, at the end, they went out and came back to put the house on fire. My wife, my children and my sick mother who had stroke since 2014 were inside the house when they put the fire. My mother cannot walk, except with the help of a walking stick due to her condition. The Army did not show any empathy about her condition and her age. As the fire was engulfing through the direction of my mother and my children, my wife was trying to get my sick mother and the children out of the house which she succeeded, but her clothing caught fire in the process.

Mr. Sunday, his late wife and children

After the Army left, a number called me and ask me to go to a nearby hospital that my wife was injured as a result of the fire the Nigerian Army put in the building. When I heard it, I was heartbroken. I got a car and made my way to the hospital immediately and got her transferred to Federal Medical Center FMC Owerri.  At FMC Owerri that Friday night, getting intravenous (IV) access  was difficult because of the amount of burn she had, but they tried  and got a vein that night.

In the morning after several test were carried out on her , the Doctor informed me that she had 41% burn in her body , indicating that her condition was very critical because of the amount and areas affected(face, two hands, heart, back, some part of the liver etc) .

I was with her when she died; she died lying in my leg and told me certain thing before she died. I have never had any criminal record or anything illegal all my life. I want real justice for my wife’’ he said.

Watch the video here

EXCLUSIVE: SOLSKJAER’S FAREWELL INTERVIEW

Ole Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the opportunity to deliver a departing message, as he leaves his role as manager of Manchester United. 

It was announced on Sunday morning that Solskjaer will step down from the position, after nearly three years in charge at Old Trafford.

Jumia Black Friday Appliances Deals

As a result of the impact he has had, and the work he has done to rebuild the foundations for long-term success, there has been an outpouring of warm messages for a man that will forever be a legend at Old Trafford, for his contributions both on and off the pitch.

Upon the announcement, Ole wanted to take the opportunity to voice his appreciation for the players, the staff, the fans, and everyone at Manchester United, for their efforts and support during his reign.

He sat down with club media’s Stewart Gardner to conduct an emotional interview, which you can read, and watch, in full, below…

Ole, this is a sad day for a lot of people who admire you, but you’ve chosen to speak…
“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here. For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth. I don’t want to answer all… there’s going to be journalists asking me about interviews but no, I’m not going to do any interviews. I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club. This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside.”

It is very nearly three years that you’ve been in charge. When you look back, are you proud?
“Very, very proud. Of course, it’s one of those things you dream of in your life. When you’ve been a player, when you’ve been a reserve team coach, the next job then, the only dream and the only thing you haven’t done is to manage the club, and I have now. It’s been a ball, it’s been absolutely enjoyable from the first to the last minute, so I have to thank all the players because since I came in, they’re top lads, top people. Some have come, some have gone, but all of them, they’ve been such an enjoyable bunch to work with. First of all, I want to thank the board and the owners for giving me the opportunity because it’s not for everyone and I’ve had the opportunity. I’m so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward, and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came. I’ve made great friends, I’ve reconnected with some great friends, new staff coming in I’ve become really good friends with. The other staff that was here when I was there, we’re good friends and we have connected and that’s what it’s about at a club like this. With the fans, the fans have been amazing. From day one at Cardiff until the last one now. [They’ve been] top, and we’ll see each other again.”

Thank you so much

Something you touched on there about day one at Cardiff. I was thinking about memories of the last three years and what we could touch on. That in itself was a special day, wasn’t it?
“Of course, Marcus [Rashford] scores in three minutes or whatever it was, and we went on a great run, I don’t know how many games we won but that’s something I’m proud of as well, the runs we made together. That is a record in itself probably, the first 10 wins or whatever we had. I’m not great for numbers exactly, but I know we did well. The away run, the unbeaten away run. That’s something we don’t speak about when we’re in it because that’s not us, me, Mick [Phelan], Michael [Carrick], Kieran [McKenna], we’re not that type of people. But that’s something for me now that I can look back at and be proud of.”

We should mention Paris as well…
“Yeah, what a night. That’s probably the first night that these boys experienced what Man United is really about, some of these boys. Because we were down and out, everyone thought we had no chance against a very good team with good players. But they showed the Man United character and pride. That performance, I’ll remember that of course and I’ve got a very nice picture of me, Sir Alex [Ferguson] and Eric [Cantona] celebrating, and some videos from the dressing room. So, good memories.”

What about rebuilding the squad? We talk about the squad you walked into three years ago and the squad that you’re sadly leaving now. Do you look at that now and say that you can see the improvement?
“Well, as I’ve said many times in interviews, I’ve been backed. The board and the owners have backed me in [terms of] bringing good people in, good players in and I think, or I know, I leave this club with a better squad. The environment is fantastic, it’s an environment I’m proud of leaving because you have to enjoy coming in here working. I don’t want to pre-empt anything but the two times I’ve left Molde, they’ve won the league the year after, so all the best to whoever takes over – that’s the expectation!”

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The platform is there…
“I think there is potential in this club. We all love the club, and we all want to see it continue.”

And the Academy was a part of what you did, bringing younger players through that as well. I think the Academy has clearly been revitalised in your time…
“That’s Man United, that’s in the Man United DNA. We have to bring good people and good players through, and we’re good at it. The Academy now with Nick Cox in charge and of course my good mate Demps [Mark Dempsey] is very involved, and I’m one hundred per cent sure that it’s left in good hands, and we’ll see players coming through.”

Daily Flash Sales

I don’t expect you’ve been trawling through social media today but there has been an absolute outpouring from fans. You’ve always had a great relationship with the fans, not just in the three years, but 25 years. So, what would be your message?
“It’s been a ball. Let’s keep supporting this team, you’ve got to stick with them. They [the fans] have been amazing with me since one of my first kicks of the ball, I scored with one of the first ones, until now. And I’m sure we’ll meet again because if there’s anywhere I’m going to watch football games, that’s at Old Trafford.”

So, we’re going to see you…
“Definitely. If you want me pitchside with you, I’m there! No, I’m very happy and proud with what I’ve done with the good friends I’ve made, and I wish all the best to everyone. You know the staff here, we’ve been through criticisms and blah, blah, blah, but the way they conduct themselves and the way they work, the knowledge and the attitude, I admire them. Normally, I drive in at seven, half seven at times and I think, ‘I’ve caught them today, I’m in before them’ but no chance. There’s not been a day.”

Obviously when you came in, it was a difficult position in the league, but you built from sixth in that first season, to finish third and then second. When you look back at that, is that something you see as a decent achievement? 
“Well, I’m proud of what we did. The first run first of all, that was enjoyable. But then to finish third, I loved that last game, Jesse [Lingard] scored. The way we put the run together and got the third position, fantastic. Great effort by everyone, the team, the squad. Second place last season ahead of arguably one of the best teams in Europe, I think that’s a great achievement as well. And we were so close in Europe. Sometimes that’s the fine margin for you, one penalty. We were close and that’s something I’ll always remember as well. Semi-finals. I know the foundation is there, I know they’re ready to kick on and I’m sure they will.”

Is that one thing that will keep eating away at you, [being] so close to lifting that one trophy everyone kept talking about at every press conference, the importance of a trophy? It was so, so close…
“Yeah, you might say so and go back and say if you won the Europa League, that would have been a success. But you know, it’s not always the trophies all the time that is the be all and end all. I know that day, we needed to celebrate [by winning] that trophy. But that’s fine margins, we know the work we’ve put in is so important, to get to that final and to get so close, we’ve had to make so many good decisions along the way. Unfortunately, we couldn’t score 11 penalties on the bounce. You can laugh about it, but I look back at every single second here with pride.”

It must have been a tough time of late, Ole, but what next for you?
“I’ll spend some time with my family. That’s been probably the most difficult part, through the pandemic, with Norway being open and here being closed, my family moved back to Norway and the young one, he loves it back there, so we’ve lived apart. So, I’ll spend some time with them. Then, I’ll watch the team of course and hopefully, the next manager comes in and I want to support him. I want him to be successful, hopefully I’ve laid the foundations for that to happen because I know I’m good at what I’m doing. I’m one hundred per cent sure to create a football environment, that’s where I’m good at and at some point, I’ll probably be back [working in football].”

So, you’re going to be a fan still from afar?
“I am a fan and I wish the players all the best. There are some very, very good players there, some good people. I’m sure we’ll see them puff their chest out and they’ll go on a run.”

You’re going to be watching clearly, Ole, so what would you to say to the players ahead of another big game which is just a couple of days away, against Villarreal?
“As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this. We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Man United player, in the Champions League, on the biggest stage. If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round, Michael [Carrick] is going to be in charge. Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top. They’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”

You’re always going to be welcome at Old Trafford…
“I hope so anyway.”

It’s been brilliant, dealing with you. Thank you very much.
“Thank you very much. See you soon.”

Ole will always be a legend—Manchester United

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER

Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role a Manager

Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

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Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.

Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.

I Charge N30 per Bag of Cement

People said he should have been paid more money. Photo source: Olayiwola Rasheed Olawumi
Source: Facebook
  • Olayiwola Rasheed Olawumi, stirred admiration for his hardworking spirit when he revealed how he fends for himself
  • Olayiwola said he was able to make N900 a day as he charged N30 per bag for lifting many bags of cement at a construction site
  • Many people who reacted to his story said he was underpaid and should have made more from what he did.

To get that kind of money, he helped offload 30 bags to a three-storey building. Some of the snaps have him lifting and working.

See his post below:

God bless you

When another Facebook user, Ayo Oyeniyi, reshared his post, it gathered even more reactions. Below are some of them:

Olukunle Durodolu said:

“God bless you richly, God will elevate you. I hold you in high esteem far better than those sorosoke Alariwo children.”

Edris Temitayo said:

“₦900 is this present economy amount to nothing, it can’t even feed one for a day.”

Bamigbade Ayodeji Saheed said:

“Underpaid, I expected N100 or more per bag. 3 storey! Well done.”

Abdr-Rahman Gbolagade Adewale said:

“God bless your hustle. For those who feel Yahoo is an alternative, well done.”

Prince Adenekan Gabriel Damilare said:

“Just wanna tell you that ur hustle can only get you 1kg of cooking gas.”

Oseni Ayodeji said:

“God bless the guy for taking this path. However, this is wicked. How can a paltry #30 be paid for offloading a bag and taking it from the ground floor to the third storey of a building? If the story is true, then the people are wicked.”

It’s tormenting mum and I watched my brother die –Dangote

Aliko Dangote

The President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Friday narrated the pain of how he watched his brother, Sani Dangote, die. He described the experience as tormenting.

Dangote disclosed this when a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, paid a condolence visit to the family in Kano.

Sani, who served as the Vice-President of the Dangote Group, died in the United States of America on Sunday and was laid to rest on Wednesday at the Alhassan Dantata family cemetery in Koki quarters (Sarari) of Kano metropolis.

Dignitaries, including the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, governors, businessmen and many others expressed their condolences to the family.

The News Agency of Nigeria quoted Dangote as saying, “It is a very tough time for us; it has been very trying, especially for myself. Having a brother like him; once you lose him it is really very painful. He died in front of me, our mother and all his children.

“The most painful thing is when you are told that your brother will pass on in about an hour and you stand by watching as the machine was going down until it stopped working. It was very tormenting.”

Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, thanked Tinubu for visiting the family. He also thanked others present, adding that their presence would help to reduce the pain of their loss. He added, “Your Excellency, you are our host because you are the governor of all of us and we really thank you for taking almost the whole week struggling with the crowds, it’s not easy.

“I thank you all for all your prayers and your support. This will actually help us to reduce the pain that we are going through.”

Tinubu told Dangote that he was shocked to hear about Sani’s death. He described the deceased as a gentleman during his lifetime.

“I call on the family to take heart and continue to pray for the repose of the soul of late Sani Dangote. We are here not to just commiserate or console you, we are here to mourn our dear brother.’’

BREAKING: “I Will Consider Releasing Nnamdi Kanu”. – Buhari To Southeast Leaders

South East Leaders with Buhari at State House

▪️Chief Mbazulike Amaechi had pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, for the situation in the southeast, requesting that Nnamdi Kanu be released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive.

Chief Amaechi said he could control Kanu, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”

He had described the situation in the Southeast as painful and pathetic, lamenting that businesses have collapsed while education is crumbling with fear everywhere.

State house

Chief Amaechi said twice he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu in the past and the latter rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.

“I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”

In response to the request by the elder statesman, President Buhari promised to consider a lighter resolution but worried that such would interfere with the principles of separation of power between the Executive and Judiciary.

Buhari said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it,” he said.

Other members of the delegation to the President include Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Barrister Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Mbazulike Amaechi.

Source: The News Cable

Nnamdi Kanu: Abia Court restrains security agencies from court premises

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (Leader of IPOB)

In a hearing today (19th November, 2021), the High Court of Abia State, sitting in Umuahia, issued an order restraining security agencies from deploying their personnel to the court premises each time Nnamdi Kanu’s case is heard before the court. The court also restrained them from arresting anybody who attends the court to witness Kanu’s proceedings.

What prompted the order was that over 100 security agents cordoned off the premises of Abia State High Court at Umuahia at the resumed hearing of Nnamdi Kanu’s human rights Suit against the Federal government and 7 others, which was filed by his special counsel, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor on 7th September, 2021. The suit is primarily aimed at challenging Kanu’s abduction in Kenya and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.

The matter came up for resumed hearing today before Justice Benson Anya. The security agents were out in strength and blocked all the entry points to the Court house, allowing only court workers, judges, lawyers and a few media people to get through. This reporter is one of the few lucky media people allowed to pass through, as many others were turned away.

High Court Complex Umuahia

It will be recalled that at the two previous hearings of the matter, there was also a sizable number of security agents deployed at the perimeters and premises of the Court, including a large contingent of soldiers.

In making the order, the judge noted that he saw no necessity for deployment of such high number of security agents to the court, stating that in the future, if security agents saw need to deploy to the court, they should apply to the court for permission to do that.

The matter was adjourned to 10th December for adoption of processes and a hearing on the substantive application seeking Kanu’s release from detention and his repatriation to Britain. The early date was insisted on by Kanu’s lawyer, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, who argued that fundamental rights are special cases that must be concluded on time, especially in this instance where Kanu has been in detention since June this year.

Ejimakor was in court with several lawyers including Barristers Patrick Agazie and Max Ozoaka of Alaigbo Development Foundation.

© Duncan

Hotelier, Adedoyin tried to bribe me—Family Member to missing Adegoke

Missing Timothy (37) and Chief Rahman

More light has been shed on the murder case of Adegoke Timothy Oludare, a 37-year-old who was running a masters’ program at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Investigative journalist, Oriyomi Hamzat, during a Facebook live, today, 19 November, brought in a family member who gave first-hand information into what actually happened and how the hotelier involved tried to bribe him.

Timothy a father of three children, was a Chartered accountant from Eruwa in Oyo State and he shuttled between Ife and Abuja where he was a Director of Finance.

He would usually lodge at Hilton Hotels and Resorts owned by Chief Rahman Adegoke Adedoyin, the Maye of Ife, who also owns Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu & Ife City Polytechnic, Ife.

According to Mr. Hamzat, following the exposure of the case, there have been various reports similar to it indicting Chief Adedoyin, especially involving the hotel.

However, the people involved in the cases mourned within themselves, because they didn’t know how to go about reporting the case, as he happens to be a very influential person in Ile-Ife.

According to the journalist, there are about five or six similar cases that have happened in the same hotel where Timothy lodged.

Narrating the whole experience, the family member said: ”I am the elder brother of Adegoke Timothy Oluwadamilare, a chartered accountant, doing his masters’ in Ile-Ife who was based in Abuja with his family.

Mother of the murdered Timothy Adegoke. She’s been dejected, sad and in a terrible condition since news of the unfortunate murder of her son broke.

”He came for his masters’ exam, he landed in Akure airport, and he called me before heading down to Ife, after which he lodged at a hotel which is called Hilton Hotels and Resorts in Ile Ife.

”It’s been said that the hotel is owned by Rahman Adegoke Adedoyin. My brother paid to lodge for two nights at the cost of N37,000, at N18,500 per night.

”His wife called him on Friday night, November 5, at about 8 pm to ask about his wellbeing, he told his wife that he was in a hotel and would like to rest for a while so that he could read for his exams taking place the following day. That was the last time she communicated with my brother.

”She called him all through on Saturday to no avail and when she still could not reach him on Sunday, she called his immediate family.”

Mr. Timothy’s elder brother immediately rushed down to Ile Ife and went to report at a police station located at Eduagan, Imoro local government in Ile Ife, where he gave a statement regarding the situation.

He then left Ife for Oshogbo, the capital of Osun state, on Monday to report at another police station where they were directed to the anti-kidnapping department state CID Oshogbo command.

”When we got there, we told them we were searching for a missing person and his number was collected from us, with the promise that it will be tracked, which they actually did.

”After the number was tracked, it was confirmed that indeed he arrived at Akure and from there to Ife. His number was also traced to Ajigbo in Ife.

”by past 12 pm on Monday, when we tried calling again, his number rang but someone else picked up the call, the person claimed to be in Ajigbo and told us where exactly to meet with him to pick up the phone.

”When we asked where he found the phone, he said he found it randomly on the street, when we pushed further he hanged up on us.

”The inspector in charge of the case requested for the National Identity Card of my brother which we could not find but we were able to get the voters card, which the inspector said will not be useful to the case.

”My brother’s wife then called to say that she found a receipt of a hotel that is located in Ile Ife, it happens to be the previous receipt he was issued the last time he came for an exam.

”We also checked his bank account and discovered that he made a transaction of N37,000 on Friday to an individual identified as Adedeji Adesola Tobiloba. The police then requested the bank for the address of the receiver, we then discovered that it was located at Ile Ife too and so we went there.

When they arrived at the hotel, they requested for Adesola who identified herself as a receptionist and attested that she was the one on duty on the said Friday Mr. Timothy arrived in Ile Ife.

She denied knowing anyone with the name Timothy, but stated that truly someone came into the hotel on Friday, wanting to lodge and transferred money to her account, but that the person went outside and said he was coming back and since then she has not seen the individual.

The Police then requested for the hotel’s lodge book and receipt book. While going through the receipt book, it was discovered that a page in the book was missing.

”It was at this point I began to realize that something terrible had happened to my brother,” he said.

The receptionist was later arrested and taken to Oshogbo where she was questioned. It was through the answers she gave that the police were able to go back to Ife to arrest other individuals.

Also on the receptionist’s phone, the actual list that had Mr timothy’s name on it before it was torn was discovered.

It was eventually discovered that sixteen individuals were lodged at the hotel on the said day, and Mr. Timothy’s name happened to appear as the first person on the list and he was allocated room 305.

According to Mr. Timothy’s brother, this was not the first time a case similar to that of his brother will happen in the hotel, as reports have it that his brother’s case was the seventh case.

According to him, individuals get missing within the hotel but because relatives of these individuals are not connected or financially capable, they do not push further.

The elder brother also revealed that Chief Adedoyin sent a lawyer from Ile Ife to Oshogbo to meet with him to bribe him and pervert the investigation process and also arrange a meeting, which he refused.

”Adedoyin sent a lawyer to meet with me in Oshogbo from Ife, I don’t know the name of the lawyer, but I know him if I see him. The lawyer called me ‘my brother come, I want to talk to you.’

”he said my brother what do you think we can do on this matter? Can we have a round table meeting? I asked him are you trying to bribe me?

”I am representing my whole family here and you’re trying to do what?

Eventually, the Commissioner of Police in Oshogbo made an order for the arrest of Chief Adedoyin, the owner of Hilton hotel.

”When we went to arrest Chief Adedoyin in Ife, my brother’s case was the talk of the town, people said that’s how the chief behaves, that he got his money through rituals and his hands are filled with blood, he said.

”When we got to Ile Ife, a staff of the hotel who was arrested, identified simply as Alfa and the manager took us to where my brother was buried.

”He was buried very close to the hotel. He was wrapped with the bedspread of the room he logged in and placed in a carton before he was buried in the bush.

”As I speak here today, Chief Adedoyin is in the custody of the police in Oshogbo. Seven people have been arrested in connection with my brothers’ case.”

37 Year Old Adegoke Timothy Oludare ‘Disappears’ After Lodging In Hilton Hotels And Resorts

Timothy and Chief Rahman

37-year-old Timothy was a Chartered accountant and also an MBA student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He shuttled between Ife and Abuja where he was a Director of Finance.

In Ife, he usually lodge at Hilton Hotels and Resorts owned by Chief Rahman Adegoke Adedoyin – the Maye of Ife, who also owns Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu & Ife City Polytechnic, Ife. On November 5, 2021, Mr Timothy landed in Akure and then travelled to Ife to sit for an exam, he contacted his wife that he had arrived safely in Ife.

Hilton Hotels and Resorts

The following day, his wife tried to reach him but to no avail, his phone reportedly rang throughout the day but he didn’t pick.

The wife contacted relatives and the relatives immediately sent delegates to the examination centre of the OAU to confirm whether their son was in the examination hall. The examination coordinator checked the attendance and they discovered that Timothy did not come to take the exams. The man was declared missing. His family members and the OAU management quickly reported to the police.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that he made a transfer of ₦37,000 into a young lady’s account, the account owner was traced and she happened to be a staff of Hilton Hotels and Resorts. She was arrested and taken to the police headquarters in Osogbo where she confessed to have allocated room 305 to Timothy.

Her confession led to the arrest of 6 other suspects. They later confessed to have killed Timothy, wrapped him with the hotel’s bedsheet and buried him in a shallow grave on the order of their boss, Chief Rahman Adegoke.

Reports have it that the body has been exhumed for autopsy, and the proprietor of the hotel has also been arrested. Sources alleged that visitors have always been missing at the hotel.

On the other hand, a family member has cried out that the hotelier tried to bribe him

Government Nyash Open Far and Wide Today—Burna Boy

Burna Boy at Hollywood Bowl. (Spaceship)

Nigerian singer Burna Boy has joined the growing list of celebrities who have reacted to the Lagos panel report that indicted the army and police in the Lekki toll gate shooting.

The music star took to his Instagram Stories on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, where he slammed the government 

“I just sleep wake see say government nyash open far and wide today. You cannot clean innocent blood with lie Mohammed,” he wrote.

Burna Boy reacts to Lagos panel report indicting Army in Lekki shooting
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In the heat of the protest, the music star released a song ‘20 10 20‘ dedicated to the victims of the shooting at the Lekki toll gate.

The Lagos state judiciary panel on the Lekki toll gate shooting recently released its report.

According to the report, there was an attempt to cover up the incident of the 20th of October by the cleaning of the Lekki tollgate and the failure to preserve the scene ahead of the potential investigations.⁣

U.S. welcomes panel’s report that Nigerian soldiers massacred Lekki Tollgate #EndSARS protesters

President Muhammadu Buhari, Mary Beth Leonard, and Lagos State governor, Babajide-Sanwo-Olu

The United States has welcomed the report of the ‘Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses & Lekki Tollgate Incident’, which concluded that the Nigerian Army massacred unarmed and peaceful protesters at the Lekki facility.

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“The United States welcomes the conclusion of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry with the transmission of its final report,” the U.S. said in a statement signed by the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Consulate General.

After months of hearing testimonies of witnesses, lawyers, experts, among others, the panel submitted its report on the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll-Gate, to the Lagos State government on Monday.

“The panel finds that the firing of live bullets by the Army at genuine protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, resulted in grievous injuries and the loss of lives of the protesters,” the report said. “The panel also found that the conduct of the Nigerian Army was exacerbated by its refusal to allow ambulances render medical assistance to victims who required such assistance.”

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In its report, the panel described the incident as a massacre and established that the Nigerian military shot live bullets and killed several protesters, as well as taking corpses away in their vans.

#EndSARS protest

Evidence also showed that police officers arrived at the protest ground and killed protesters after the army left. Nine persons were killed, four were missing, and several others were injured at the tollgate.

Reacting to the report, the U.S. charged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to address the abuses.

“We look forward to the Lagos State government’s response as part of a process that represents an important mechanism of accountability regarding the #EndSARS protests and the events that took place near the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020,” added the American government. “Those events led to serious allegations against some members of the security forces, and we look forward to the Lagos State and federal governments taking suitable measures to address those alleged abuses as well as the grievances of the victims and their families.”

Mr Buhari’s regime has repeatedly denied that there were casualties at the protest ground despite video evidence. The information minister, Lai Mohammed, had also claimed that the videos were doctored and were deliberate attempts to tarnish the president’s image.

Missing Cute Abiola in our detention cell—Nigerian Navy

Cute Abiola

The Nigerian Navy has confirmed that it detained popular Instagram skit maker Ahmed Gafar aka Cute Abiola, declared missing by his relatives, for violating its social media policy.

“The young man was found to have breached the social media policy while he was on leave. So he was recalled, asked to come back, but he refused until he completed his leave which is a disobedience to particular orders,” the spokesperson for the navy, Commodore Suleman Dahun, told Gazette.

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He reiterated that Cute Abiola was not missing but locked up in his unit for breaching the “Armed Forces social media policy.”

“So, when he came back, we took him into custody for him to face the consequence,” Mr Dahun added.

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Cute Abiola, a naval officer, was last seen on Monday morning after he left his residence for his office at Navy Town. 

He was said to have spoken with his wife over the telephone upon arrival at the office, but several attempts to reach him afterwards were unsuccessful. 

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According to Mr Dahun, naval officers have been cautioned against making certain information public on social media by sharing photos.

“You know, sometimes if you snap your picture in one of these our sensitive units, you are giving intelligence advisory. You’re giving away the information you’re not supposed to give, and we have told them several times to desist from exhibiting themselves on social media.”

Last year, Cute Abiola was arrested for posing in his navy uniform on his birthday.

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Source: Gazette

Concerned Catholics Threaten Bishop Okoro Over Suspension Of Father Odey

Bishop

We Will Expose Rev. Fathers That Are Sleeping With Married Women In Abakaliki Diocese – Concerned Catholics Threaten Bishop Okoro Over Suspension Of Father Odey

“…..If these demands are not immediately met, we shall take the following actions:

  1. Stop every other priest in the diocese from officiating Sunday masses and consign them to private masses as Fr. Odey is consigned to.
  2. Open the pandora boxes on the clergy of Abakaliki Diocese by chronicling and exposing one after the other the many scandals, crimes and abominable acts of the priests of the Diocese including but not limited to abortion, sleeping with married women, married-but-single priests, illegal child-bearing, ownership of choice properties, murder, rape, gay-practices Pedophilia, child molestation.etc, starting with Emiretus Bishop Michael Okoro and Fr. Obuna.

At the end we will know between Fr. Odey and the priests we shall expose here who merits suspension.

Let us make hay while the sun shines. Enough is enough.

Concerned Catholics,
Diocese of Abakaliki.”

Comedian Cute Abiola declared missing

Cute Abiola

Nigerian Instagram comedian, Cute Abiola has been declared missing.

According to his colleague, Mr Macaroni, the comedian was last seen on Monday, November 15, 2021.

He took to his Twitter page on Tuesday, November 16, where he shared messages he received about the missing comedian.

“I have just received news that Cute Abiola is missing,” he captioned the message.

Tweet from Mr Macronii

He went on to appeal to the Nigerian Navy to help with any information about the whereabouts of the missing comedian.

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“If the Nigerian Navy has any information to help Cute Abiola’s family and friends confirm his whereabouts or if he his in their custody, I think the honorable thing to do would be to clarify details surrounding his detention and put everyone’s mind at rest. Haba!” he tweeted.

Tweet from Mr Macronii

Abdulgafar Ahmad Oluwatoyin, professionally known as Cute Abiola is a Nigerian comedian, who is also a Naval officer, entertainer, video producer who is popularly known for his comedy skits on social media.

Cute Abiola missing
Cute Abiola missing
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Nigerian professors don’t earn more than N416,000 —ASUU Chairman

ASUU Chairman, Lagos chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Lagos chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru, has revealed that Nigerian professors do not earn more than N416,000 as monthly salary.

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Ashiru disclosed this during an interview on the Sunrise Daily programmed on Channels Television, stating that university lecturers deserved better welfare packages.

He said, “No Nigerian professor earns more than N416,000 in a month as the total package. We are saying let us renegotiate this agreement so that people’s conditions of service will improve.

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“As I speak to you, our members have been earning the same salary since 2009 till date. I don’t think there is any section of the Nigerian economy and society that has been so treated.

“The highest-paid professor which means that if he remains in the university system for the next 10-15 years will not earn more than the same amount he’s been earning since 2009.”

On Monday, ASUU issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the agreement they had reached in 2020 following their strike action that lasted for nine months.

The Federal Government and ASUU had reached an agreement to improve the welfare and remuneration of university lecturers, settle unpaid allowances, and provide a fund to revitalize Nigeria’s universities.

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Ashiru, however, noted that the Federal Government had not signed the Memorandum of Agreement since May, despite a renegotiation.

11-Year-Old Irish Girl Who Got Ronaldo’s Shirt

Cristiano Ronaldo gave a young Irish fan a memorable night when he handed her his match jersey after the World Cup qualifying game.

Young Addison Whelan skipped past a number of security officials before racing to meet her idol who immediately hugged her.

Ronaldo called on the security men to leave her, before the kid pleaded with the star, saying she remains his fan.

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A young girl who raced onto the pitch to meet with Cristiano Ronaldo has narrated all that transpired before the five-time Ballon d’Or winner handed her his match shirt, ESPN reports The 11-year-old Addison Whelan will remember the moment forever as she beat security to run and then hugged her idol who, in turn, embraced her.

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Addison who is a footballer herself with Shelbourne U-13s disclosed how the Manchester United striker helped her to enjoy the moment.

Ronaldo handed her his shirt immediately after the final whistle blew at The Aviva, and she has narrated how it all went down immediately the match ended.

She told Morning Ireland via SunSport:

Addison Whelan hugs Cristiano Ronaldo’s match-shirt.
Photo: Tim Clayton Source: Getty Images

“I jumped over the barrier because I was in the second row. I jumped over the first row and over the barrier.

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“Then I sprinted onto the pitch, but there was security guards running behind me and there was another two coming from the other corner so I just kept sprinting.

“When I saw the other two coming from the other corner I ran more towards the halfway line so then I could swerve around them but then they caught me.

“I was screaming his name as I ran towards him and he heard so he turned around. He said ‘leave her, leave her’ (to the stewards behind her).

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“So then I was just calling him over to me and he came over and asked if I was ok.

“I was in tears as I was so in shock and screaming ‘can I have your jersey please, I’m a huge, huge fan’.”

Despite being frustrated all night by the Irish defence, the Portugal captain embraced the little girl who beat the security operatives stationed inside the stadium. Ronaldo, in his disappointment, still showed class in handing her his priceless shirt which Irish keeper Gavin Buzunu had asked for.

Malaysian Court Acquits Man Sentenced To Death For Drug Trafficking In 2018 |

Jonas Chihurumanya

The Nigerian man outside court in 2019 and on Thursday November 11, 2021 after acquital

A Nigerian national escaped the gallows after the Federal Court set aside his conviction and death sentence for drug trafficking by the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Kuching, Malaysia.

The Nigerian, Jonas Chihurumanya was arrested for allegedly trafficking 158.3g of methamphetamine in a car park at Jalan Canna at about 12.05am on June 7, 2016.

He was charged under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 and punishable under Section 39B(2) of same Act, which carries a death sentence or imprisonment for life and with whipping, upon conviction.

He was found guilty and sentenced to death on Jan 30, 2018, by the Kuching High Court.
His counsel appealed the High Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal but was dismissed on Oct 23, 2019. He subsequently appealed to the Federal Court.

Jonas Chihurumanya

A three-member panel led by Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh together with Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli unanimously discharged and acquitted Jonas Chihurumnanya after allowing his appeal in Zoom proceedings on Thursday, November 11,2021.

The Federal Court found that the circumstantial evidence did not irresistibly point towards Chihurumnanya having knowledge of the alleged drugs in the boot of the car he was driving.
In the absence of knowledge, the panel held that the element of possession as required under the law was not established by the prosecution.

The Federal Court also held that there was a serious missdirection by the trial judge in invoking the statutory presumption under Section 37(da) of the Dangerous Drugs Act and at the same time relying upon Section 2 of the same Act to prove the element of trafficking, which prejudiced the appellant in terms of the burden of proof placed on him.

5 killed, 3 others injured in Bauchi auto crash

Bauchi auto crash

A Thursday auto crash in Bauchi, involving a tricycle and a bus, took the lives of five persons.

Three other persons sustained serious injuries as the tricycle had a head-on collision with the bus.

Sector Commander of the FRSC in Bauchi State, Yusuf Abdullahi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the accident occurred at Gubi village on the Bauchi-Kano Road.

Abdullahi attributed the cause of the crash to speed violations and overloading.

“Eighteen persons, all male, were involved in the crash, but 10 of them escaped unhurt,’’ he told NAN.

He said the dead and the injured were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.

Abdullahi advised motorists to always be conscious of road traffic rules and regulations as well as weather conditions at all times.

It was the second auto crash in Bauchi State that took lives in 24 hours.

On Wednesday, five persons were also killed while nine others were seriously injured in a road crash at Nabordo community on the Toro-Bauchi Highway.

U.S. trains 300 Nigerian schoolgirls on coding, web design.

U.S. Consul General in Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo

The United States has commenced training of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in Osun State as part of its effort to spur them into future careers in computer science, robotics and artificial intelligence and other related fields.

In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. consulate said the 300 girls will receive training on coding, web design, and product creation for six months under the “Osun girls can code” program.

Funded by a public diplomacy grant from the U.S. Consulate General, the project will be implemented by a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, Dayo Adeniyi.

The U.S. consulate said the program will also equip the students with all key skills needed to thrive in the corporate world.

“The 300 schoolgirls will receive training on coding, web design, and product creation, all key skills needed in today’s increasingly competitive job market. The goal of encouraging the role of girls and women in STEM fields has been the cornerstone of the technology-learning programs supported by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria,” statement by the U.S. consulate read.

U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo at the inauguration of the project said that the capacity building program will foster a supportive community where the young girls can be mentored and share internship opportunities in STEM fields.   

The  Osun Girls Can Code is one of the initiatives of the U.S. Mission geared towards ensuring gender parity and providing women and girls with opportunities to contribute to creating sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity for Nigeria.    

The project will end with a pitch competition to showcase the participants’ achievements, with U.S. Consulate representatives taking part on the panel and the winning schools receiving prizes.   

The U.S. government in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Education in October completed a five-day training program for teachers in the state. 

They were introduced to various aspects of implementing an integrated approach to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the classroom.

Medical education in Nigeria is almost free—Mr Ngige

A composite of Chris Ngige and Striking Doctors

To address the challenge of brain drain in the health services sector, Nigeria-trained medical doctors and other health workers must be bonded to a nine-year post training service to the nation.

This proposal was advanced by Labour Minister Chris Ngige while lamenting how healthcare providers “just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost.”

Mr Ngige while defending his ministry’s 2022 budget before the House of Representatives, decried how the government utilises its resources to train medical practitioners who soon relocate abroad for jobs.

“Medical education in Nigeria is almost free. Where else in the world is it free? The Presidential Committee on Health should come with a proposal for bonding doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists, and other health workers so that they don’t just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost,” he stated.

Further drawing analogy with the cost of medical education abroad, the minister said: “In London, it is 45,000 pounds a session for medical education in cheap in universities. If you go to Edinburgh or Oxford, you pay $80,000. If you go to the USA you pay $45,000 but if you go to the Ivy leagues, you pay $90,000 for only tuition, excluding lodging. You do it for six years. So, people in America take loans,” he said.

He thus emphasised the need to placed medical practitioners on government bond so that they cannot play their trade outside the country until they have fulfilled a stipulated year of service in-country.

“We can make provisions for loans and you pay back. If the government will train you for free, we should bond you. You serve the country for nine years before you go anywhere,” Mr Ngige said.

Nigeria in recent years has seen a flux of its medical doctors emigrating from the country to practice elsewhere due to poor conditions of service.

Recent statistics released by the General Medical Council had indicated that the United Kingdom employed about 353 Nigerian doctors between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, about 862 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed in the country between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021.

In August, Nigeria’s secret police SSS opened fire to scatter a recruitment process for hordes of medical doctors seeking to undertake interviews for job placement in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Mr Ngige himself had once dismissed the brain drain in the health sector, boasting that the country has enough doctors to cater for the population.

Medical practitioners have on different occasions gone on strike since the president assumed office in 2015, over lack of medical equipment, unpaid salaries and harsh work environments.

Don’t let officers search your phone without court warrant—Police Chief

IGP Usman Baba Alkali

Deputy Commissioner of Police Bassey Ewah has cautioned Nigerians against allowing police officers to search their phones at checkpoints without a court warrant.

“No policeman can ask for your phone unless there is a warrant. Unless you are being investigated as a person,” Mr Ewah said.

Nonetheless, Mr Ewah who spoke at a community relations program organised by the police in Lagos state, highlighted that the only condition where an officer is requested to search phones was if the individual is being investigated.

“I stand to be corrected; please do not give any policeman who stopped you at the checkpoint your phones,” he reiterated. “It’s not our schedule. If we are investigating you, we will present a warrant and then demand for your phone. Please take note,” he added.

Former Inspector General of police Mohammed Adamu in October 2020 banned personnel of the police from indiscriminate searching of mobile phones and laptops.

The ban came in the wake of several complaints of extortion and harassment made by Nigerian youths.

Despite the ban, operatives continue to barge in on Nigerian youth indiscriminately, seizing their phones to assess their account balances and communication with a view to extorting them.

People who resist such invasion have suffered incrimination, illegal detention, harassment, brutality or in dire cases, extrajudicial killing.

In 2019, a #StopRobbingUs campaign was launched to put an end to the practice of unlawful arrest, attack, kidnap and forcible withdrawal of funds from young people with laptops or any electronic gadget by officers of the Nigerian police.

The #EndSARS protests in October 2020 also followed from cases of harassment, invasion of suspects privacy and police brutality.

Authorities in the wake of the historic demonstrations disbanded the notorious police unit SARS and promised sweeping reforms in response to youths demands.

Though cases of harassment markedly subsided in the wake of #EndSARS, upsurge in police excesses are now being reported by young Nigerians who say the disbanded notorious unit has metamorphosed into new police departments, continuing the tradition of brutality and extortion.

Son-In-Law Impregnates Mother-In-Law Who Came To Take Care Of Newborn Baby

Priscilla and family

A woman, Priscilla Kwange is presently in a dilemma after being impregnated by her son-in-law during the period she spent in their home for Omugwo, that is babysitting their new born child.

It was a bad life experience for an ex-military officer, Silvanus Kwange as well having discovered that his son-in-law Christopher Chori impregnated his second wife, Priscilla Kwange.

Mr. Christopher Chori, son-in-law is also in a state of confusion after impregnating his father-in-law’s second wife, Priscilla Kwange.Story:

Kwange’s marriage misfortunes

Mr. Kwange, a Tiv from Taraba State, has been married to his second wife for about 10 years. Their marriage came after he lost his first wife, Rose Kwange, to a fatal motor accident. But before she met her untimely death, the late Rose had a daughter and the only child with Mr. Kwange. It was after her death that her widower husband got married to Priscilla. But unfortunately, in the past 10 years, the couple never had a child. And this development had always caused quarrels in their marriage as the man’s family members strongly believes that the fault is Priscilla’s. They cited Rose’s daughter as proof of Kwange’s virility.

Kwange who was in a quandary over his wife’s inability to conceive, equally believed that she is the problem and made several attempts to send her packing. But Chori, their son-in-law, a Mada from Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State who got married to Faith, the man’s only daughter, prevailed on him not to do so. He was said to always intervene, telling his father-in-law that God is the only One who gives children. He is said to have also advised him to seek medical attention or try some fertility drugs if he was not too keen on seeing medical or fertility experts. But he had always refused, noting that there was no problem with his body and citing Faith as a proof of the point he was trying to make.

Chori was said to always been on the phone with his father-in-law and mother-in-law trying to appeal to them to see reasons and that their inability to have a child should not constitute a clog in the wheel of their marital bliss. All the same that did not deter Kwange from looking for other ways out of the problem. Unconfirmed sources told Saturday Sun that he is into all sorts of extramarital relationship with other women in his bid to get a child but so far none had produced the expected result.

On Priscilla’s part, as Africans would say, during those years, she traversed seven lands and seven seas in her search of a child she would call her own. In her desperation to keep her home, she did a lot but without any of her numerous medical efforts yielding tangible result. Sources say there is no known fertility hospital she has not visited in Taraba, Makurdi, Abuja and Jos, with the help of their son-in-law, Chori. But it was all to no avail. It was in the course of these fruitless search for solution that the devil chose to strike in a most embarrassing and shameful way.

Living with fate after the departure of Faith:

Sometime, towards the end of 2018, Faith, who had been married to Christopher for about four years but without a child to bless their union, suddenly took in and gave birth to a baby boy in May 2019. Good news! But the sad news is that she died shortly afterward, leaving the poor baby without a mother. She was said to have died from complications which resulted from her delivery of the baby through caesarian section. She was buried within one week of the incident. Faced with such a difficult situation, Kwange asked his second wife to move to Lafia to assist with taking care of the newborn baby Faith left behind.

One thing led to the other, and after spending seven months in Lafia with her son-in-law who works with one of the federal government agencies, Priscilla was found pregnant. Investigation shows that within that period, she had regular sex with her son-in-law. Pregnancy later became the result of her sexual escapades.

Kwange’s regrettable story:

Right now, her husband, Mr. Sylvanus Kwange, an ex-service man, is livid with anger over the sordid development. Speaking exclusively with our correspondent in Lafia on his arrival from Jalingo, the man who is boiling like a kettle of hot water, threatened to deal with both his wife and his son-in-law for daring to commit such sacrilege. He vowed that his wife would never step her foot into his house again, come what may. He affirmed that his wife had been in Lafia for about seven months.

“That is to say, it is about seven months that I have not seen her. We only talk on the phone,” he said. “I know the importance of her coming to stay in Lafia for some period of time, to take care of the new born baby whose mother is late. I thought it was my own responsibility to help my son-in-law and the new baby of my late daughter. So, I allowed my own wife to come and help.” Then he turned to you and asked rhetorically: “Is that an offence?”

You asked how he learnt about the abominable news. His words: “Two weeks ago, a friend ran into my wife in Lafia and called to tell me that he saw her with bulging stomach. I was speechless with shock and asked, how come? I didn’t want to believe it or confront her on the phone. She has been here since June last year. I decided to visit them to also see how the little boy is doing. I was coming with so much joy, not knowing that I was coming to meet disaster waiting for me. When I got to the house of my son-in-law, I met the shock of my life as I saw my own wife with a protruding stomach. I stood transfixed to the spot as I looked at her, trying to recall if there was any time she told me she was pregnant but I could not remember.

“I quickly asked my wife what happened and she broke down and confessed that Mr. Chori seduced her and they had sex and it became frequent and the result was the pregnancy. She started begging me for forgiveness. She said that she actually allowed him to have his way as a way of checking her fertility status and it turned out to be this way and that she refused to abort it because she has spent 10 solid years with me without a child. She said it is almost getting late as she is no longer getting younger. She pleaded with me not to cause her any embarrassment or disgrace by exposing her to ridicule and shame. She actually begged me to handle the matter in a mature way, but I’m yet to get out of the shock seeing my own wife impregnated by my own son-in-law. My anger knows no bounds. If it were during my days as a military man, I would have used my gun to kill the two of them. But if I do that now, I will be taking the law into my hands. What I will do now is to go back to Taraba. I have asked my wife not to come back to my house. As for Christopher Chori, I leave him to his conscience.”

Chori’s side of the story and battle with conscience

That, Christopher Chori insists, is even a worse punishment than being killed as he doesn’t know how to deal with the continuous tugging of his conscience. For him, it would have been better if Kwange had used the military-issued rifle he was talking about to kill him outright. It would have shortened the emotional trauma he is going through right now.

His story: “After the death and burial of my wife, my mother-in-law came to stay with me here in Lafia, to help look after the baby because my mother is no longer alive; she died many years ago. I work with one of the federal government agencies in Lafia. My younger sister who is equally staying with me is in SS2 and could not combine her studies with taking care of the baby. So my father-in-law asked his wife to come because his first wife who happens to be my real mother-in-law is late.

“I live in two-bedroom apartment. So when she came to take care of the baby with the assistance of my younger sister, I left one of the rooms for them to use while I stay in the other room but I come home regularly to check on them and to ensure that she does not lack anything especially when my younger sister is out in school.

“In the first one month of her stay with me, nothing happened but during the second month, which was July 2019, something happened that left me with so much guilty feelings. My sister went to school. I did not go to work that day, leaving me and my mother-in-law alone in the house. It rained the previous night all through and the weather was very cold. I was checking on them in their room to see how my newborn baby was doing. But when I opened the door, I was shocked to see my mother-in-law almost naked as she wore only lingerie with no underwear. I could clearly see the outline of her firm Bosom s and her private part. I tried to turn back but she said I should come in. When I hesitated, she walked up to me and grabbed me, asking me why I was behaving like a small boy. She asked whether she was not looking attractive to me. I told her I could not do what she had in mind with her as I saw her as my own mother as well as mother-in-law.

“But she disabused my mind and insisted that I must sleep with her. As a human being, I fell for the temptation and slept with her that day, and somehow it continued at any given opportunity. It became a daily routine as I was not going to work regularly. As soon as my sister leaves for school and the boy is able to sleep, we would stay indoors and have sex all day and it later resulted in pregnancy but she refused to abort it. She said she has been longing for a child of her own. I cannot but blame myself for falling into such a temptation but then the deed has been done. I feel very bad because there is no way my father-in-law would thump his chest and claim to be the owner of the pregnancy because she has spent some months in my house and she missed her period while staying here, not in her husband’s house.”

Inasmuch as he feels bad about his action, he feels worse about his father-in-law’s decision to go public with what he feels was supposed to be a family affair and should have been settled internally. “I’m confused at the moment,” he said. “I don’t know what to do but the days ahead will surely bring a solution to this embarrassing situation.”

Priscilla’s lamentations:

Of the three people involved in the tragedy, Priscilla seems to be the worst hit. She explained: “I’m not proud of myself because apart from being a housewife, the victim is my son-in-law. My reason for teasing him was to test my fertility status since there was a golden opportunity and sticking to my husband in the past ten years has not yielded any result. I wanted to be sure of where the problem lies.

Unfortunately, I took in. It was a wrong decision but I didn’t want to take the risk of aborting the baby as it may not come my way again. Although, I didn’t want it made public, my husband has succeeded in exposing it. I admit I am guilty of allowing my son-in-law to impregnate me but I was also considering my condition, even though I never expected pregnancy to come. But since it has come, I will want to keep it even if he decides to push me out of his house, I can’t afford to die childless.”

A Wealth Of Sorrow: Why Nigeria’s Abundant Oil Reserves Are Really A Curse – THE GUARDIAN UK

It is known as the resource curse: assets that should bring wealth and stability but instead lead to corruption and poverty. And for Nigeria, oil is the culprit.

Workers at Nigeria’s first refinery, built in 1965 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in September 2015
Nigeria’s first refinery, built in 1965 in Port Harcourt, in September 2015. Nigeria has failed to realise the economic potential of its oil resources. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

In Nigeria oil has been more of a curse than a blessing. Weak institutions of state and poor governance in managing the vast revenues have led the country to fail to realise its full potential in a textbook example of what academics know as the “resource curse”.

First coined by Prof Richard Auty in 1994, the term refers to the inability of nations to use their windfall wealth to improve their population’s lot and bolster their economies. The rich natural resources bring corruption and poverty to a nation, rather than positive economic development and, counterintuitively, these countries end up with lower growth and development than those without natural resources.

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The subject of extensive research, the resource curse, or “paradox of plenty”, points to an inverse relationshipwhere wealth brings a detrimental impact. Nigeria – the largest oil producer in Africa, the sixth-largest global exporter, holds the tenth-largest proven oil reserve in the world – is arguably such a “cursed” nation.

Dependent on their natural resource exports, these countries have on average, lower growth rates, lower levels of human development, and more inequality and poverty. They also have been found to have worse institutions and more conflict than resource-poor economies.

It arises predominantly due to poor political governance and weak institutions, coming from the distinct phenomena around oil exploitation rather than possession – and is shaped by the multinationals, national and foreign governments, the foreign financiers and investors, alongside the structures of states and private actors in oil exporting countries.

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Resource wealth can have a devastating impact. Oil-exporting nations such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Angola and DRC have seen livelihoods and economies devastated, but there have been many countries throughout history, such as Norway, Canada and Botswana who have bucked the curse through strong state management and institutions that can stand against corruption.

This is crucial, because the key thing the resource curse is indicative of is corruption: a global phenomenon that is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development, significantly so in less-developed countries. Worldwide, an estimated $2tn is siphoned away annually by corruption. This amount could eradicate poverty, educate all the world’s children, cure malaria and bridge the global infrastructure gap.

A protest against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, January 2012
A protest against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, January 2012. Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa but suffers from the ‘resource curse’. Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

As defined by Transparency International, corruption is an “abuse of entrusted power for personal or private gain.” In 1996, the World Bank’s then president James D Wolfensohn called it a cancer and challenged all countries to strive for transparency and accountability to combat the pernicious impact of corruption on society, defining the consequences as redirecting resources from the poor to the wealthy, inflating business costs, discouraging foreign direct investment (FDI), draining public expenditure, misdirecting aid and undermining equitable national development.

Corruption erodes the integrity of people and institutions. A synthesis of social, political and economic forces, it disempowers sovereign states, undermines democratic institutions and contributes to instability fuelled by the distrust and resentment of citizens. It attacks democracy by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and building new bureaucratic hurdles whose only reason for existing is to solicit bribes.

Numerous reasons are behind corruption – self-interest, fear, greed and desire for power – but its consequences are always the same, enduring and deleterious.

To absorb an influx of petro-dollars is a complex issue for any nation. Countries with these windfalls struggle to responsibly process the excess liquidity. Often they initiate large, capital-intensive projects without meaningful due diligence or feasibility studies, sacrificing wise investment. Expenditure on lesser prioritised projects takes precedence. They accelerate existing projects accompanied by lavish expenditure. Then, faced with rising inflation as a result of unmatched productivity, they race to absorb the liquidity and therefore relax financial discipline and propriety. The combined effect of these factors leads to the appreciation of the currency, which hastens the worsening performance of the economy and renders the non-oil sectors uncompetitive as exchange rates soar. This particular phenomenon, sometimes know as the “Dutch disease”, resulted in the near demise of the non-oil sectors in the Netherlands.

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Studies have shown that following an oil boom, an imbalance results as the non-oil sectors are left underdeveloped. As demand rises for capital and labour, the booming oil sector draws away those same factors from essential but less-lucrative sectors, such as agriculture, leaving them enfeebled. The windfall, having created a concomitant abundance and ensuing vast revenues, higher wages, and better returns on investments, leads to administrations finding themselves in new territory. Incompetence and inexperience in managing state finances creates higher incentives to attract corruption.

A woman washes her child in the Makoko riverine slum settlement in Lagos, November 2020
A woman washes her child in the Makoko riverine slum in Lagos, Nigeria November 2020. The oil-exporting nation has seen its economy devastated. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Newfound wealth creates expectations by citizens and demands for resources increase, not just from state bodies but also from civil society. The middle class demands more social spending, unions demand higher wages for the same jobs, and the unemployed demand the creation of jobs. Bureaucracies are formed and quickly become ineffective or incompetent, contributing to accumulating foreign debt and operating at trade deficits.

An economic trap or “rentier state” evolves. The state earns most or all its total revenue from the rents paid by foreign individuals, companies or governments. Non-oil sectors shrink, causing spiralling inflation, imports increasing in quantity and costs, wasteful expenditure on political vanity projects, subsidies and welfare programmes to counter increased cost of living and the depletion of foreign exchange.

With astute management and determination other countries have beaten the resource curse and steered their economies to success. So far, Nigeria has failed in much of its population’s eyes. Whether it is fated to become a failed state, only time will tell.

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Kenneth Mohammed, MA Corruption and Governance, The Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, is a senior adviser at Intelligent Sanctuary

Some Potential Implications Of The ENaira – FBNQuest

eNaira

After an earlier postponement due to a clash of date with the Independence celebrations, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, recently launched the much-awaited Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or the eNaira. It is part of the apex bank’s initiatives to deepen the nation’s monetary sector.

Unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari the eNaira is the digital form of the country’s physical currency. At that event,the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that  500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) had already been minted. The CBDC’s digital currency app and its merchant wallet also became available for download after going live. Also, on launch day, the eNaira already had 33 banks integrated into it, recording a daily hit of over 2.5 million visits to the website. With N200 million already issued to financial institutions, over 2,000 customers on-boarded and over 120 merchants successfully registered on the platform at inauguration, it’s safe to say that CBN is properly primed for the digital experience.

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The introduction of eNaira is a milestone for the country as Nigeria is one of only a few countries in the world and certainly the first in Africa to develop an official digital currency. For most Nigerians, there is still some level of confusion over what an ecurrency exactly is and what difference, if there is, between it and the physical cash.

It is important to state for the purpose of educating the public that eNaira is simply a home-grown digital currency equivalent to the paper Naira. It is issued by the CBN in line with Section 19 of the CBN Act and in essence, it is a direct liability of the CBN. The eNaira is built on a blockchain open ledger technology that prevents duplication or creation of fake units, each eNaira note will be unique and different. It is pegged against the traditional Naira and will not fluctuate due to market influence at a different rate from the traditional Naira.

The eNaira wallet is required to access, use and hold the eNaira which will be made accessible only through it as the digital storage that holds the eNaira. The digital currency is also exchangeable for other Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and it is also a legal tender. It will form part of the currency-in-circulation. More importantly, the e-naira will be at par with the physical Naira, maintaining the same exchange value as the Naira.

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Experts are exuberant about the in-built benefits of eNaira. According to them, the major advantage that the e-naira brings to the table is the capability to deepen financial inclusion a major policy plank of the Emefiele administration and is expected to ease financial transactions and affect individuals, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), religious institutions, Diaspora Nigerians, ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs as well as other users of financial instruments.

As this newspaper understands it, the eNaira, will be easier for banks as well as the government to track spending as a way of increasing credit, particularly for small and micro businesses. The apex bank has assured that with eNaira, things cannot possibly go wrong because it gives it the leeway to exert a measure of control on the market to discourage abuses, fraud and sundry unforeseen happenstances that usually assail the fintech space.

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We are encouraged that the CBN deliberately built safeguards around the eNaira, in a manner that will make it a safer medium of financial transaction than the cryptocurrency. Like every other policy instrument, the CBDC is work in progress that will require regular fine-tuning to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness. It was in this regard that eNaira wallet taken off the platform for upgrade purposes and was restored in no time.

It’s projected that within the next decade, national digital currencies would become the dominant player in the e-transaction ecosphere. Players in the financial sector are impressed about its seamless efficiency and ability to improve monetary policy operations across frontiers.

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However, it is not out of place to recall the hesitancy that greeted cryptocurrency around the world. But there are assurances that the apprehensions hovering around it will not affect national digital currencies.  It is pertinent to point out that whereas cryptocurrency tend to compete with respective local currencies, CBDCs only complement local currencies. In Nigeria, the eNaira complements the physical naira.

Furthermore, CBDCs have the capacity to foster economic growth through better economic activities, increase remittances and improve financial inclusion. We note at this point that Nigeria is a heavy beneficiary of remittances, commanding one of the highest numbers of Diaspora transfers in the world. The eNaira will play a bigger role in this regard.

As we welcome this new financial instrument, we are compelled to advise the issuing authority, in this instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that it achieves the purpose for which it was developed and presented to Nigerians.

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INEC has suspended the collation of results for the Anambra State governorship election.

The Returning Officer for the Anambra State governorship election, Professor Florence Obi, and others in Awka on November 7, 2021.

INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Florence Obi, announced this on Monday at the commission’s head office in Awka.

Party agents, reporters, and observers among others had waited until about 12:15am for the declaration of a winner before events took a different turn as a result of Professor Obi’s announcement.

“We have collated results from 20 out of 21 local government areas,” said the chief returning officer who doubles as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar in Cross River State.

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Rather than declaring the winner of the election after announcing the total votes scored by the participating parties, Professor Obi said a declaration would only be made after a supplementary election was conducted in the remaining local government – Ihiala.

She added, “The outstanding results are for Ihiala Local Government Area where for various reasons, the commission could not deploy materials yesterday (Saturday).

INEC has suspended the collation of results for the Anambra State governorship election.

“Consequently, based on Constitutional considerations and provisions of the Electoral Act, as well as revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of election issued by the commission, a supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala Local Government Area.”

She, therefore, announced that a supplementary election would be conducted in the 326 polling units across Ihiala on Tuesday, November 9.

Ihiala is the only one of Anambra’s 21 LGAs where elections could not hold.

“Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary elections shall be conducted where the commission due to logistic challenges is unable to deploy on Election Day,” Professor Obi said.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala Local Government Area at par with the other 20 local government areas in this election before we can make a valid declaration in this election or take any further action based on the extant laws.

“Therefore, I, Professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as Returning Officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.

“I have conferred with the commission, being the body that fixes the date for the election, and the commission has decided that the supplementary election will take place on Tuesday, 9th November 2021. Therefore, the collation of results shall resume thereafter.”

She appealed to party agents and the people of the state to support INEC during the supplementary election to ensure that the election “is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, for the good of the people of Anambra State, the people of Nigeria, and to the Glory of God”.

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Results were announced for all other LGAs with the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Charles Soludo, winning in 18 of the 20 LGAs for which results were declared.

Similarly, candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Valentine Ozigbo, and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, each won a local government.

But the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, was unable to win any local government in the election.

See the breakdown of the results announced so far before collation was suspended:

S/NLGAAPCAPGAPDPYPPREMARK
1AGUATA4,7739,1363,7981,070APGA
2ANAMBRA EAST2,0349,7461,380559APGA
3ANAMBRA WEST1,2331,9181,401357APGA
4ANAOCHA2,0856,9115,108868APGA
5AWKA NORTH7551,908840381APGA
6AWKA SOUTH2,59512,8915,498919APGA
7AYAMELUM2,4093,4242,804407APGA
8DUNUKOFIA1,9914,1241,6801,360APGA
9EKWUSIGO1,2372,5701,857727APGA
10IDEMILI NORTH2,2915,3582,312902APGA
11IDEMILI SOUTH1,0392,3122,016752APGA
12IHIALANo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo Election
13NJIKOKA3,2168,8033,409924APGA
14NNEWI NORTH1,2783,3691,5116,485YPP
15NNEWI SOUTH1,3073,2432,2261,327APGA
16OGBARU1,1783,0513,445484PDP
17ONITSHA NORTH3,9095,5873,781682APGA
18ONITSHA SOUTH2,0504,2812,253271APGA
19ORUMBA NORTH2,6724,7871,847655APGA
20ORUMBA SOUTH2,0604,3941,672887APGA
21OYI2,8306,1332,484900APGA
TOTAL42,942103,94651,32220,917
Total Valid Votes229,521
Total Rejected Votes7,841
Total Votes Cast237,362

Watch video here

Germany bids farewell to Angela Merkel

Within six minutes of warm applause, the whole country applauded the spectacular example of leadership and defence of humanity.

The Germans elected her to lead them, and she led 80 million Germans for 18 years with competence, skill, dedication and sincerity. She did not utter nonsense. She did not appear in the alleys of Berlin to be photographed. She was dubbed “The Lady of the World” who was described as the equivalent of six million men.

During these 18 years of her leadership, no transgressions were recorded against her. She did not assign any of her relatives to a government post. Nor did she claim that she was the maker of glories. She did not get millions in payment, nor did anyone cheer her performance, she did not receive charters and pledges, she did not fight those who preceded her.

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Merkel left the party leadership position and handed it over to those after her, and Germany and its people are in the best condition ever.

The reaction of the Germans was unprecedented in the history of the country. Germany stood as one body bidding farewell to their leader, a chemical physicist who was not tempted by the fashion or the lights and did not buy real estate, cars, yachts and private planes, knowing that she is from former East Germany.

She left her post after leaving Germany at the top. 18 years and she never changed her wardrobe. God be upon this silent leader.

At a press conference, a female Journalist asked Merkel : “We notice that you’re wearing the same suit, don’t you have any other? She replied: “I am a government employee and not a model.”

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At another press conference, they asked her : “Do you have housemaids who clean your house, prepare your meals and so on? Her answer was: “No, I do not have servants and I do not need them. My husband and I do this work at home every day.”

Then another journalist asked: “Who is washing the clothes, you or your husband? Her answer: “I arrange the clothes, and my husband is the one who operates the washing machine, and it is usually at night, because electricity is available and there is no pressure on it, and the most important thing is to take into account the possible inconvenience for the neighbours, thankfully the wall separating our apartment from the neighbours is thick. She said to them, “I expected you to ask me about the successes and failures in our work in the government?”

Mrs. Merkel lives in a normal apartment like any other citizen. She lived in this apartment before being elected Chancellor of Germany. She did not leave it and does not own a villa, servants, swimming pools or gardens.

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PHOTOS: Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Arrives Federal High Court Abuja

Pictures of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been seen all over the media as he appears in Federal high court Abuja today.

See pictures and descriptions below

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with IPOB legal counsel led by Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with Barr. Aloy

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with His Younger Brother Prince Kanu.

Boy who returned N20m found on road gets N4m from the president and juicy job

The boy was rewarded handsomely Photo Credit: BBC.co.uk, The Executive Mansion Source: UGC

An 18-year-old school dropout has become a millionaire owing to his act of honesty that has now being rewarded handsomely. The young adult named Emmanuel Tuloe had found $50,000 (N20,543,500) belonging to a businesswoman on the road and returned it. His honest deed has caught the attention of the president who has offered him a juicy job, scholarship and N4 million.

fortunes of an 18-year-old lad Emmanuel Tuloe has turned around in rapid fashion thanks to his honest deed. The school dropout who makes a living as a bike rider had found $50,000 (N20,543,500) on th eroad and returned it.

He was said to have been showered with gifts by the owner of the huge sum who happened to be a businesswoman.

He has now bagged presidential rewards

The story of his honesty went viral and got to the hearing of the President of Liberia George Weah who has now rewarded Emmanuel handsomely.

Liberian Observer reports that President Weah gifted the young man $10,000 (N4,119,000).

In addition, Emmanuel was offered scholarship up to master’s level to study in any Liberian institution of his choosing, two motorcycles as well as a chance to work in the Presidential office. Speaking in a meeting with the honest lad, the president also announced plans to bestow on Emmanuel one of Liberia’s Highest Orders of Distinction while affirming that the scholarship will continue whether he remains in power or not.

“This scholarship is personal from me and my family, and will be valid whether or not I am President of Liberia.”

Emmanuel said he was afraid at first when he found the money

Recalling the incident that happened the day he found the money, Emmanuel said he was afraid because it was plenty.

The Associated Press has it that he took it home to his aunty to keep it until the owner asked for it.

Trading app Public lists shiba inu coin on its trading platform as the Robinhood rival broadens crypto offerings

  • Crypto traders can now buy and sell shiba inu coin on trading app Public, the company said.
  • Public added cryptocurrency trading to its platform earlier this month.
  • Public users can trade multiple coins including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and dogecoin.

Public, a retail trading app, added shiba inu coin to its list of cryptocurrencies users can buy and sell on the platform.

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The trading app added cryptocurrencies to its platform earlier this month, allowing users to invest as little as a dollar in digital assets including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, dogecoin, litecoin, and cardano, among others.

The latest addition comes as shiba inu coin, inspired by dogecoin and its namesake dog breed, has been on an epic rally this month, thanks in part to hype from Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. Even as shiba inu coin has deleted several zeros from its decimal, it’s still worth just a fraction of a penny.

In an email to Insider, a spokesperson for Public said, “Because the prices of cryptos can be volatile in the short-term and tend to follow different patterns than stock market securities, Public will have Volatility Reminders on crypto pages to ensure investors can make their own decisions with context.”

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Users who already activated crypto trading in the app can begin buying and selling the token, Public said, adding that any user can view the shiba inu page to learn more about it. Apex Crypto provides execution and custody services for the app’s crypto-trading feature, Insider reported previously.

tweet from shiba

Public, which launched in September 2019 as a more social investing app, has more than a million users and a market value of about $1.2 billion, according to the spokesperson. On its website, the firm says that it does not make money through payment for order flow, unlike rivals like Robinhood. It says eliminating PFOF from its business model in February was meant to align their interests with those of their users.

Source: Insider

Watch: Nigerian police caught on camera spraying pepper into an Uber driver’s eyes

Photo of the Uber man police sprayed red pepper spray into his eyes in Lekki

Just as the memorial of the #Endsars protest goes higher, Nigerian police were filmed spraying a red pepper spray in the eyes of an Uber driver who has refused arrest.

According to the police, he accused the Uber driver of using matchet to threaten people during the memorial of the people killed during the October 20th, 2020 #endsars protest in Lekki Lagos state.

Nevertheless, the Uber driver who refused entering the police van was seen begging for his dear life as he screamed to be innocent of every accusation.

While the police kept on forcing him to enter the police van, he eventually sprayed a toxic substance into his eyes in a bid to make him obey.

So many have believed that the policeman has sprayed into the uber driver’s eye a red pepper as they kept on calling on the Lagos state’s governor to see the video.

Don Jazzy who also posted the video clip on his page called on the governor not to deny this later. In his words, he wrote;

“Tomorrow they will tell us no policeman sprayed pepper spray directly into a man’s eyes. #endsars @jidesanwoolu”

Many other celebrities tagged the Lagos state governor while soliciting for proper governance.

Watch video here

FULL VIDEO: As Hausa-Fulani boys destroys Timber-shed in Dei-Dei International market, Abuja.

On the 18th day of May, 2022, Goods worth billions belonging to Ndi Igbo were set on fire by Fulani boys. All efforts by the traders to protect their goods proved abortive as the market was already engulfed in flames.

watch video below:

Video

Remember the fulani boys have been destroying goods and markets belonging Igbos in all parts of the country especially the North and Western part of Nigeria. The Government and security agents are yet to address these issues.

Ronaldo and Mata get what they deserve from Manchester United fans

Man United beat Brentford 3-0 through goals from Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane but Juan Mata stole the show.

Juan Mata’s Manchester United career ended where it should have started. Mata, a No.10, lined up on the right-hand side on his United debut against Cardiff under David Moyes in January 2014 and it set the tone for the next eight years. Back in his rightful role behind the centre forward, Mata was magisterial against Brentford

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The Spaniard’s farewell appearance to United’s season ticket holders – his first start in the league since the final day of last season – seemed charitable yet Mata had earned it through recent vibrant cameos. Occupying the playmaker role usually reserved for Bruno Fernandes, Mata enhanced United’s link-up play and the relocated Fernandes stealthily met Anthony Elanga’s spirited cross to make it 1-0.

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Ralf Rangnick made his mind up about Marcus Rashford months ago and his relegation back to the bench at the expense of Mata, who turned 34 last week and is about to be released, was the final nail. Rashford has the pace Mata always lacked but not the footballing brain.

The only complaint United supporters may have is why Rangnick took so long to promote Mata to the starting XI. Though Brentford’s first league visit to Old Trafford since 1946 occasionally resembled an exhibition match, Thomas Frank’s side were intense and adventurous enough for any pedestrian players to wilt. Mata didn’t.

A scorer in the 2016 FA Cup final and starter in the triumphant League Cup and Europa League finals of 2017, Mata was already assured of a rousing send-off for his two goals at Anfield in 2015. In 70 minutes against Brentford, he confirmed he had been underused in his remaining years, reduced to a spotkick specialist in losing shootouts by Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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It was a night for the old and the new. Recent debutant Alejandro Garnacho was serenaded by the Stretford End and Mata and Cristiano Ronaldo combined, only for the latter to be denied a goal by his offside toenail. Ronaldo earned a shot at his 24th of the season after the interval, winning the penalty he converted. Erik ten Hag has West Ham reject Sebastian Haller spearheading Ajax’s attack and should have no issue finding room for Ronaldo.

Some who had inked Ronaldo’s obituaries a matter of weeks ago have now ripped them up. Ronaldo. He was flexible off the ball and fluid on it, earning a celebratory ‘Siiiiu’ from the crowd for a sliding tackle in his own half, barging Scott McTominay to one side to execute it.

Provided Ronaldo is willing to grace Old Trafford for a second season, Ten Hag has a solution to an attack that is about to see an exodus. Ronaldo was in his element playing with fellow 30-something Mata and was more vexed than him when Mata sliced a shot wide. Ronaldo and Mata’s named were chanted during a swift lap of honour.

Nemanja Matic was removed in the 70th minute, Ronaldo and Scott McTominay going out of their way to clasp hands with the midfielder, who earned a double-high five from Rangnick. Mata soon departed and all four stands rose to their feet.

Fewer did so in the 73rd minute to walk out as part of the protesters’ plan for a mass exodus. One lad in front of the press box yelled at Harry Maguire, sat in the directors’ box, to ‘show some respect, apparently irked by his supposed lack of appreciation for Matic and Raphael Varane’s goal.

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Even those who held a banner aloft calling for a walkout appeared to stay behind. Many sang the throwback ‘We’ll support you ever more’, arguably a counter-protest to the protest.

“Where’s your protest gone?” asked the Brentford fans. The final shrill was greeted with applause and ‘Glory glory Man United’, an anthem rarely heard this season, drowned out any dissenters.

Stewards lined up in front of the perimeter but the atmosphere was one of apathy, not animosity. The United matchgoers maintained standards by denying the returning Edinson Cavani an airing on a rare and final appearance in M16. Anyone who would have dared might have been turfed out, never mind walked out.

There were not enough substitutions for the farewells. Cavani and Jesse Lingard are going, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly want to go and so might Dean Henderson. Jones was among the introductions and that was a triumph in itself. A year ago, the chances of playing in front of a crowd again seemed remote and Jones has stayed fit to prolong his career away from Old Trafford. United fans have been more appreciative towards him this season than in previous campaigns.

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Elanga made an impression in pre-season with a cushioned volley against Brentford and at the same end his precisely-timed run and prompt cross dictated Fernandes’s finish. Elanga’s direct wing play was all the more impressive as he ended up in the ditch by the advertising hoarding.

Very fantastic evening for Man United.

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I’m a reputable businessman not a drug baron — Obi Cubana

Chief Obinna Iyiegbu

Chief Obinna Iyiegbu,  popularly known as Obi Cubana, has said he is not a drug baron as is being insinuated on some online media platforms.

In a statement, yesterday, Cubana warned those using his picture to illustrate drug baron reports to desist from doing so or prepare to face legal action.

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Cubana insisted that he is a reputable businessman with a verifiable interest in several sectors of the economy and warned that any attempt to rubbish his reputation will be challenged in the law court.

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(Vanguard).

“You cannot sell real estate development to people sitting in New York…”–Mian

Pakistan finance minister Miftah Ismail says there is ‘no chance’ of a default [File: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters]

Karachi, Pakistan – Despite its fast-shrinking foreign exchange reserves which will inhibit imports of essential fuel, cooking oil and pulses, Pakistan says it will not be in dire straits like neighbouring Sri Lanka and that it has a “strategy” to boost its reserves.

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“No chance of default, none,” said Pakistan’s finance minister Miftah Ismail in an interview with Al Jazeera. “Yes we have a strategy to increase our reserves and you will see that they will start to increase.”

Ismail, a member of the PML-N which successfully spearheaded a vote to remove the Imran Khan-led government, was recently in the US to meet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to push to resume IMF’s $6bn loan programme to the country, a key source of funding that keeps the economy running. The three-year programme was started in 2019 but this is the third time that it has been suspended.

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Foreign exchange reserves have dropped to a 28-month low in Pakistan to below $11bn, barely enough to cover imports for the next two months. The last time forex reserves were below this level was in December 2019.

But economists are not too alarmed as the country has dealt with such near crises several times in the past years.

“It is not just two events, it has happened at least 13 times during the last 50 years,” said Atif Mian, economics professor at Princeton University, in a talk earlier this month on Pakistan’s economy which was broadcast online.

Pakistan has this chronic balance of payment problem because for years its imports have outstripped its exports, he said.

In the first nine months of the current financial year that started in July, Pakistan accrued a negative trade deficit in goods and services of $33.28bn, government data show. It exported goods and services worth $28.85bn and imported $62.13bn worth of goods and services. The current account deficit for the period had jumped to $13.17bn, up from $275m for the same period of last year.

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The high current account deficit and depleting forex reserves have pushed up the dollar rate which, at 190 pakistani rupee to the dollar in the open market earlier this month, has touched a new high in the country. Higher dollar rates mean the country has to pay more for the same quantity of imports.

‘Unsustainable growth model’

According to main, “India and Bangladesh don’t have to go to the IMF as we have to do repeatedly. It is because Pakistan has a fundamentally unsustainable growth model,”

One major reason for that is a lack of local businesses making goods for exports. The country’s rich, he said, were focused on investing in and developing real estate which boosted their personal wealth, in turn leading to an increase in demand for imported cars and other luxury items.

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“You cannot sell real estate development to people sitting in New York. They are not interested in that. You have to produce something else. Perhaps IT services,” Mian continued.

Another problem was that a lot of the money-generating sectors, like growing and processing sugarcane, were in the hands of a minuscule political elite who had made the business “remarkably unproductive”, Mian said. “China and South Korea also have the issue of elite capture (of lucrative businesses) but they have it in export-driven industries,” he added.

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Ashfaq Hassan Khan, an economist and Principal of Social Sciences at NUST University, agreed that while the country was indeed facing economic problems, it was not bad enough to be called a crisis as yet.

“We have seen the worst reserves level to cover only two weeks of imports in the past,” said Khan. “In November 1998 we had international sanctions and our reserves fell below $400m. Been there, done that, there is nothing to worry of a sovereign default.”

Finance minister Ismail acknowledges that being heavily dependent on imports is a problem.

“Pakistan has an economy that is not geared towards exports,” Ismail told Al Jazeera. “And so every growth cycle leads to an increase in imports but the exports don’t increase much, resulting in a forex shortage that forces a boom-bust cycle.”

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While some of those imports, including for fuel, food and electricity, are spurred by populist programmes that dole out subsidies especially at election time, others are catering to the desires of the country’s minuscule but powerful elite. In the process, they are creating economic landmines for the incoming government, experts warn.

“In spite of such an acute foreign exchange crisis, we continue to import luxury items like cheese, chocolates, exotic fruits and vegetables, cars, mobile phones, dog and cat food etc,” said Dr Shahida Wizarat, head of Economics and Director Research at the Institute of Business Management in Karachi.

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“We need to stop the import of these luxury items to create fiscal space for the import of machinery and industrial raw material,” she said.

Rolling back subsidies

The government is finally taking some steps to remedy that. Islamabad has agreed with the IMF to roll back fuel and power subsidies in the coming days and wrap up the business tax amnesty scheme under which some sectors had their taxes reduced or were exempted altogether, precursors to an IMF delegation’s visit to Pakistan next month to potentially resume its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme which has been on hold since June last year, the third time it has been suspended.

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The subsequent increase in prices, while helpful for the country’s coffers, is also expected to push up inflation.

Finance minister Ismail told a private news channel that the country’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked him not to burden common people. With that goal, the government will make a policy to raise fuel prices in a way that rich people with cars would not be given subsidies while motorcyclists would get fuel at cheaper rates, he said.

That, however, is easier said than done as experts believe this exercise of separate fuel prices would technically be impractical.

For now, the country is already facing an energy shortfall of more than 7,000 megawatts, which has resulted in power cuts across Pakistan that last six to 10 hours.

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“I am acutely aware of the hardships people are facing due to load-shedding,” Shehbaz Sharif tweeted on Tuesday. The previous “PTI government neither procured any fuel nor undertook timely repair & maintenance of plants. After emergency steps are decided today, the power situation will normalize significantly by May 01, insha’Allah.”

Similarly, supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and furnace oil are well below the required amount, adding to the electricity shortages. With those prices shooting up, the government is reluctant to increase their imports especially in the midst of dwindling forex reserves.

To tackle some of that, the country’s central bank earlier this month imposed 100 percent cash margins – under which importers have to deposit with the bank the value of the goods they want to import – on 177 items including memory cards. The cash margins, which are expected to depress imports of these items as not all importers have sufficient cash piles – will remain in place through December.

Last year in an effort to cut back imports in another sector, the central bank imposed restrictions on auto financing as the auto sector imports anywhere between 50 percent to 90 percent of a car’s components and raw material. It reduced loan repayment tenor from seven years to five years; doubled the minimum downpayment to 30 percent and capped auto loans to 3 million rupees ($16,070). But the only thing that slowed down was auto financing, according to research analyst Muqeet Naeem at Ismail Iqbal Securities.

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For now, all eyes are on the upcoming IMF visit. That, and the news that the $6bn programme could be increased to $8bn, had investors cheering.

The KSE-100, which includes the country’s largest 100 listed firms, rose by 520 points to more than 46,000 points on Monday, a day after the finance minister announced the potential resumption of the IMF programme. The index has dropped since.

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