News Highlights

NEWS TODAY – Trust Fund Son Comes Out Of The Closet, Sierra Leone Re-orders Lockdown, DELSU SSANU Chairman Abducted…

Former Inspector General of Police Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta Passes Away At 83

Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta

Details are still sketchy but news filtering in has it that Ex IG of Police during the Ibrahim Babangida-led government, Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta, has passed away at the ripe age of 83. The Jimeta-born former police officer who hailed from Jimeta in Yola – in the colonial Gongola area of today’s Adamawa State, was born on April 15, 1937.

The highly decorated Gambo who was a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council during the Babangida junta was appointed IG of Police from 1986-1990, and later served the same government as National Security Adviser. Gambo, like many other of Nigeria’s Ex-IGPs, went under the political radar after his lofty appointments, and played no further public role in the 4th Republic since May 1999. His family is yet to inform the public of the cause(s) of his passing on. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

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Cheery News As Federal Government Reveals Plans To Spend N6.45 billion On 38 New Oxygen Plants Nationwide

Oxygen Plant

It’s been said on the streets that if Covid-19 doesn’t improve Nigeria’s ailing medical sector, then no Jupiter on Earth (or anywhere else for that matter) can bring a positive turnaround. Well, it seems something is cooking right now.

This piece of news should put practitioners of Nigeria’s medical sector (and its many patients) who have had to endure dark, gloomy days in recent times, in light, good mood. Efforts to win the war against the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic received a boost as news emanating from the office of the Vice President has it that the Federal Government would be releasing N6.45 billion to build 38 new oxygen plants in several locations across the country. The move was informed by the government’s attempt to improve Covid-19 treatment by providing more oxygen for patients who are suffering shortness of breath, one of the key symptoms characterizing the variant of the disease which came with 2nd wave of deadly pandemic.

The revelation was made during the first NEC (National Economic Council aka the Cabinet Meeting) of the year 2021, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi “Starboy” Osinbajo. News of the release of funds was made by the nation’s “Financial Distributor-In-Chief,” the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed. Knowing the nation’s medical sector (and by extension what the contract award-and-execution cycle is like around our Nigeria), should we roll out the drums in celebration of the planned Oxygen plants or should we just hold our breaths and keep the proverbial champagne on ice till we see personnel rolling Oxygen cylinders out of the plants first? What say you, good people of Nigeria?

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Trust Fund Son Bolu Okupe Cracks The Internet As He Comes Out Of The Sexuality Closet

Bolu Okupe

You won’t know the true meaning of being in a jam till you find yourself in stuck in an African societal jam. Especially if its concerns a sexuality issue and you’re from a well-to-do family, a big man’s son. Not just a big man’s son, a very popular, big man’s son. That was the situation Europe-based son of two-time Presidential aide, Chief Doyin Okupe, found himself about his secretive sexuality, till he decided he’s had enough and came bursting out of the closet.

The 2015 University of Manchester graduate and cynosure of all eyes (until the big moment), took the load off his well-sculpted chest and made the big revelation on Instagram to his 10.1k followers (too bad he’s not managed by Kris Jenner, she’d have advised him to do at a family dinner or thanksgiving with everyone in a attendance – that would have been more dramatic).

For those who need some reminding, big men don’t come bigger than Bolu’s father. Dr Doyin Okupe, was Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It’s pretty easy to say, “But one man’s meat is another man’s poison,” until you’re the son of a big man. Whatever his father, Chief Doyin, thinks of his son’s latest revelation remains to be seen (we’d giving anything to be a fly on the wall to know if he blew a gasket) but one thing is certain, he’s not going to be looking at the rainbow with the same mindset anymore. Also, Bolu is going to be losing the admiration of lots of ladies who have been ogling his meaty six-packs in times past. It’s a new world, ladies, and Bolu says you’re not invited…Just deal with it.

With all things being bright and beautiful, what do you think of this closet reveal, ladies and gentlemen? Appropriate or shocking?

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Sierra Leone Re-orders Lockdown On Capital As Covid Cases Rise

Freetown, Capital of Sierra Leone

If you’re having plans of travelling around West Africa, consider this a bit of travel advisory. This isn’t the best of times to consider visiting the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, as the government announces a new lockdown order. The reason? Your guess is good as everybody’s a big surge in the rising Covid-19 cases in the West African nation’s capital. The new lockdown order comes with a night-time curfew too (as the pandemic is no respecter of time, day or night).

Freetown has recorded more than half the number of Covid-19 cases in the country and the government deemed it fit to restrict movement in and out of its borders, so they can keep a tight lid on infections under its watch. Four out of five Covid-19 cases were detected during routine testing or in travellers leaving the country.

Sierra Leone has recorded 3,081 Covid-19 infections and 77 deaths since March 2020. Restaurants and bars are ordered to remain closed on weekends and wearing of masks made compulsory in public places.

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Endgame For Racketeers As Ministry of Transport Concessions Abuja-Kaduna Rail E-Ticketing to Indigenous Firm

Abuja-Kaduna Rail

If this bold move materializes and succeeds, then passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna Rail are set to be free from the claws of shady ticket racketeers who’ve had them in an extortionate chokehold since that route came to life some years ago. Nigeria’s Ministry of Transport in an audacious attempt to pull the rug from under ticket black market players and their conniving station staff-buddies, has concession the automation of the Abuja-Kaduna Rail route (that is signed off the E-Ticketing contract) to an indigenous firm, SecureID Limited.

For those who don’t know, SecureID Limited is an indigenous firm which specializes in smartcard technologies and digital security. They have successfully pulled off various identity solutions and digital payment projects in both public and private sectors.

The Minister of Transport, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, made the announcement at the vitual launching of the E-ticketing platform. The automation contract is worth a mouth-watering N900 million and is scheduled to be active for 10 years. The operation would be fully funded by the security and payment solutions firm, and it would hand ownership of the operations baack to the National Railway Corporation (NRC). Going forward passengers would be able to eliminate the stress of dealing with thug or racketeers and can buy their tickets online whenever they want.

This is a Win-Win situation for everyone involved, except the ticket thugs at the Rigassa and Idu Stations, who would be weeping and gnashing their teeth. Here’s hoping for smooth operations on the Abuja-Kaduna Rail route and other routes being built across the country. Their goose is cooked and finally off the table.

The pertinent question is, do you think giving the ticket automation contract to a local firm is a good idea and would they be able to recoup their hefty N900million investment on time? Let us know what you think…

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Abuja High Court Admits More Evidence Against Embattled Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal In N544m Grass-cutting Saga

Ex-SGF Babachir David Lawal

All isn’t yet clear with erstwhile member of cabinet, Babachir David Lawal as an Abuja High Court sitting in Jabi in the FCT, admits more evidence against him in his protracted N544m grass-cutting saga.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued to rattle the former SGF with evidence it tendered through its second witness, Mr Hamza Buwai. The case which borders on diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy and official corruption before Justice Charles Agbaza of the Abuja High Court, was responsible for Lawal being dropped from his lofty appointment during President Buhari’s first term in office.

Even though the wheels of justice turns ever so slowly in Nigeria’s courts, the EFCC is intent on letting thoughts of Lawal getting away scots-free from the infamous grass-cutting scandal perish. Lawal must have thought he’s off the hook till the anti-graft commission dragged him back to court last December 2020, and the commission remains tenacious like a bulldog on the financial scam.

It is understood that Lawal’s lawyers didn’t object as the judge admitted the documents tendered by the EFCC’s witness as Exhibits 1 to 7. Nigerians can’t help but wonder if Lawal has been banished to the proverbial Philistines or if someone would appear from the shadows to save. While the people are watching with keen interest to see if the noose will loosen or tighten around another fat cat’s neck in the halls of justice, do you think the Ex-SGF will end up going to jail or he’d walk away free of charge or with a slap to the wrist? What’s your take on this matter?

(Image Credit – dailypost Nigeria)

DELSU SSANU Chairman Abducted By Unknown Gunmen Along Eku-Abraka Road

All isn’t well with the university community in Delta State, South-South Nigeria, as latest news has it that the Delta State University (DELSU) chapter chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) Mr. Monday Izu, has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

The daring abduction was said to have taken place along in the Erho axis of the road while Mr Izu was reported to have been returning from Warri where he had gone for an official engagement.

The abduction of the SSANU chariman was confirmed by Delta State police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, who said the case was reported at the Abraka Police Station by the labour leader’s wife. The unknown abductors who are yet to make contacts with family of the victim left his vehicle behind on the road when they snatched him.

The whole DELSU community is said to be hoping to hear positive news about Mr Izu’s recovery as the hours tick by following his dastardly abduction.

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IMN Leader Zakzaky’s Wife Zeenah Tests Positive To Covid-19 In Incarceration At Kaduna Correctional Center

Zeenah Ibrahim

Wife of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has contracted COVID-19 at a correctional centre in Kaduna State.

According to feelers emanating from the Correctional Center, this is the second time Mrs. Zeenah Ibrahim Zakzaky would be testing positive to the dreaded disease. Her lab test result came out on the 20th of January 2021. She is said to be receiving treatment in the Correctional Center instead of being transferred to a Covid-19 Isolation Center.

Even though the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Mr Chuks Njoku, couldn’t be reached for comments, Mrs El Zakzaky’s lawyer, the firebrand activist, Mr Femi Falana confirmed his client had test positive to the dread disease.

It’s yet to be revealed how Zeenah Ibrahim contracted Covid but her son, Mohammed, in a message was said to have appealed to Nigerians to help save his mother. No one can afford to be angry right now as the woman’s life hangs in the balance, all hostilities can resume when she’s fully recovered.

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Central African Republic Capital In Jitters As Rebels Surround For Bloody Showdown

Bangui Surrounded By Rebels

Anti-government agitators who have been at loggerheads with the Central African Republic government for a while, are right now surrounding the capital, Bangui.

The rebel fights who seem to have pocketed two-thirds of the country, are now spoiling for a bloody showdown with their sights firmly set on the capital. The CAR government in a move to prevent further advances and an overthrow has declared a state of emergency as the army and UN forces try to repel advancing rebel groups. The UN envoy to CAR has already warned the country was “at grave risk.”

Hostilities began when rebels dispute the validity of President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s re-election in last December 2020 poll. The government on the other hand, is accusing former President François Bozizé, who was barred from contesting in the 27 December election, for the being responsible violence.

Our prayers are with the armless and innocent civilians who are caught in the middle of the power play as they have nowhere to run. It has been reported that at least 60,000 civilians have fled the country due to recent fighting between the nation’s power elite. Is war or threats of war/bloodletting/violence the only solution to African leaders can propose to electoral issues?

What do you think the African Union should do to forestall violence when African leaders contest election results?

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