Highlights

News Today; Ebola Virus Makes Deadly Return, Taraba Chapter NLC Chairman Abducted

Ebola Virus Makes Deadly Return As It Kills One Victim In Congo

Ebola Virus Claims Latest Victim In Butembo In DR Congo

Things just got more serious in Africa’s public health sector as news recently hitting the airwaves has it that the virulent Ebola virus has made a deadly return to DR Congo.

News from the health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo has it that a new case of the Ebola virus has been detected in the city of Butembo, and the infected person has died.

The carrier was woman was found with symptoms of the deadly virus in the town of Biena on February 1. She died in hospital in Butembo two days later. Congo has been struggling to contain a double whammy of the Corona and the Ebola virus in recent months.

This new outbreak comes nearly three months after country announced the end to its 11th outbreak, hundreds of miles away in the western part of the nation, which infected 130 people and killed 55.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to contain the Corona Virus which has infected over 23,000 people and killed almost 700.

Which do you think is DR Congo and Africa’s biggest medical emergency now? The Corona virus or its equally deadly friend, the Ebola virus?

(Image Credit – trtworld.com)

Taraba Chapter NLC Chairman Abducted By Unknown Gunmen

Taraba Residents Terrorized By Gunmen Again

Arguably the biggest players in Nigeria’s insecurity, the infamous unknown gunmen, have struck in Taraba State again with news of another abduction. The victim this time is a labour leader.

Chairman of the Taraba State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Peter Jediel, has been abducted by gunmen by abducted from his Sunkani residence in Ardo-Kola local government area.

This abduction is taking place barely two weeks after the abduction and murder of the Ardo-Kola local government chairman, the late Mr Salihu Dovo.

Mr Jediel’s abductors moved in like a thief in the night and snatched their unsuspecting victim around 1.00am in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Reasons for his abduction is yet to be known as his kidnappers are yet to initiate contact with his family.

Kidnapped alongside the Taraba labour leader was another Sunkani resident, Alhaji Bello Kantoma, who was taken from the Ungwar Jauro Manu area of the town.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Taraba State Police Command, DSP David Misal, couldn’t confirm nor deny the development according to news sources.

Distraught younger brother to the labor leader, Boniface Stephen, while confirming the ugly development said the daredevil gunmen came very armed for their wicked mission. They announced their fearful arrival with a fusillade of bullets into the air before snatching their target. They got away unchallenged by the security agencies yet again.

Would you agree with Taraba State Governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, who called on the federal government to allow citizens to own licensed firearms for their own defence and security? Let Your opinion be known here.

(Image Credit – tvcnews.tv)

South Africa Stops Use Of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine For Failing Test On Country’s Variant Virus

AstraZeneca Vaccine Proves A Dud In South Africa

It’s not yet uhuru in South Africa’s quest to put an end to the spread of Covid-19 in the rainbow nation, as the government is pulling the plug on its use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for the treatment of the Corona Virus.

According to data made available by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, AstraZeneca’s vaccine failed to deal with the country’s dominant coronavirus variant. With more than 1.4million infections and 46,000 deaths recorded, Southern Africa is the hardest hit nation in Africa. Sad stuff…

Both trials and tests conducted on the blood of those vaccinated reveal the AstraZeneca shot showed significantly reduced efficacy against the country’s 501Y.V2 viral variant. Dashing the hopes of many who think they’re winning the war against the dreadful virus.

The Healh Ministry came about the vaccine’s disappointing results in a trial conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand.

While all Covid-19 vaccines so far have been effective against the B.1.1.7 variant that emerged in the UK, South Africa’s variant has proven to be more stubborn.

The South African government had intended to deploy the AstraZeneca vaccine to frontline workers, the healthcare workers, after receiving one million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India.

While the plan to use AstraZeneca’s vaccine is currently put in the cooler, it is learnt the country will be turning to Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer in the coming weeks.

(Image Credit – breakingnews.ie)

Fuel Marketers Hint Fuel Pump Price Could Rise As High As N200 As Crude Oil Hits $60/Barrel

Fuel Price Expected To Rise To Between N185 to N200

News of international crude oil prices to $60 per barrel ought to be something for Nigerians to cheer about but its relationship with local pump price of petrol won’t let anyone’s because fuel marketers have said petrol could be selling for as high as N200 per liter soon.

The product which currently sells at between N160 and N165 per litre at many filling stations, particularly in Lagos, is expected to rise because of exchange rate and landing costs, according to fuel marketers. Marketers are eyeing between N185 and N200.

The marketers are saying it is no longer sustainable to sell at the current price because the foreign exchange headache they’re experiencing can only lead to the return of the cost of subsidy, which the government isn’t ready to bear anymore, hence, deregulation must come into effect on local pump price.

According to Petroleum industry watchers, the rise in local pump price is the cost to pay for the nation’s broken down refineries, which themselves have gulped millions of dollars in Turn Around Maintenance fees. It’s open secret trying to fix the nations refineries is akin to pouring water in a basket. A most wasteful endearvour.

The government is already in talks with the nation’s labour leaders to work out how raising freight rate on petrol products from N7.51 per litre to N9.11 per litre without major implications. Freight is another key component in Nigeria’s local pump price cost component.

It appears there’s no way around a hike in fuel price, the question is how high would it go? If a global rise in crude oil equals a rise in local pump price, how would Nigerians cope when crude rises to $80 per barrel in the coming days? What do you think?

(Image Credit -financialexpress.com)

Osun, Ondo And Ekiti States To Deploy Amotekun To Checkmate Criminal Herdsmen In SouthWest Forests And Boundaries

Amotekun To Checkmate Criminal Herders

Plan are in final gear by Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States to checkmate the criminal activities of killer herdsmen in their forests, highways and wooded boundaries by deploying Western Nigeria Security Network aka Amotekun corps, to the highly heated areas.

The governors are making the moves to prevent the criminal herders from the further use of their wooded reserves for hideout for criminal activities like kidnap-for-ransom and murder as experienced in recent times across the South-West region.

Governors of Osun and other states in the South-West have decided to adopt the vacation order handed to the controversial herders by Ondo governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu.

Akeredolu had earlier on 18 January 2021 ordered herdsmen to vacate Ondo’s forest reserves. He also banned movement of cattle along the highways and within the cities, night and underage grazing. He is taking his resolve to rid his state of further criminal activity by using Amotekun corps members as his muscle.

Ekiti State government on its own part said its forests are devoid of the killer herdsmen but is out to ensure they no longer infiltrate unmanned spaces in the state.

Special adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Security Matters, Brigadier General Ebenezer Ogundana (retired.), said the state is watching its boundaries and is deploying additional muscle through outfit, Operation Flush, which keeps an extra eye on activities in the forests and the highways.

Commendable as the efforts from Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States sound, would they be enough to finally checkmate the activities of the destructive herders? What do you think the Federal Government be doing to support state governments in their drive to stop the criminal herders?

(Image Credit – dailypost.ng)

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu Dragged To Court For Corruption Allegations Mere Weeks Ahead Of Re-election Bid

Israel PM Netanyahu To Face Corruption Charges

Mere six weeks to his re-election bid, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been dragged before a judge to clear his name for corruption allegations.

The court hearing which could not hold earlier than this Monday because of coronavirus restrictions, is where Mr. Netanyahu will open his defence to the allegations. He is the first Israeli prime minister to be indicted while in office.

Mr. Netanyahu was charged last year over allegations that he accepted improper gifts and solicited to exchange favours with media moguls to whitewash his image with positive coverage.

Mr. Netanyahu is he is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Members of his family allegedly received gifts, including luxury cigars, champagne and jewellery estimated to be worth more than $213,000 from wealthy individuals, in exchange for financial or personal favours.

The 71-year-old war hero has denounced the charges as fabricated and ludicrous. Dozens of anti-Netanyahu demonstrators were seen gathered outside the Jerusalem courtroom where the whole drama is playing out.

The trial schedule could see Mr. Netanyahu appearing in court as many as three times a week, while at the same time he campaigns for re-election ahead of Israel’s fourth election in less than two years. The elections are scheduled for March 23, 2021.

He is not without allies as the country’s parliament speaker, Yariv Levin, is urging the court to postpone the upcoming trial.

While accountability is a big part of what governance is about, do you think a sitting Prime Minister or President dragged to appear in court in Africa without fuss like they did in Israel?

(Image Credit – aljazeera.com)

Lagosians Rally On Social Media To Resist Planned Reopening of Lekki Toll Plaza With #OccupyLekkiTollGate Hashtag

#OccupyLekkiTollgate Gathers Storm As Citizens Plan To Stop Tollplaza Reopening

It seems the Lagos State Government has inadvertently stirred the hornet’s nest with the decision to allow Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to reopen the Lekki tollgate and citizens are already rallying for another protest on social media to that effect.

Plans by Lagosians to stage another protest, the magnitude of last year’s #EndSars protests, is already gathering steam on social media. The protest tentatively fixed for Saturday, February 13, from 7 a.m. is trying to resist the planned reopening of the Lekki Toll Plaza and others on the Lekki-Ajah corridor.

The decision to reopen the toll plaza was taken on Saturday February 6, when the Lagos State Judicial Panel controversially handed the scene of the October 20, 2020 shooting of innocent Lagosians, back to LCC.

The decision which didn’t go down well with the nation’s youth, created a proverbial storm in the teacup, which culminated in the birth of the #OccupyLekkiTollGate hashtag on social media. It appears nothing will stop #EndSars 2.0.

More than 33,000 tweets has been generated by Monday afternoon, with many Lagosians promising to prevent a decision deemed insensitive to the memories of the lives lost at the Lekki Tollgate shooting less than 4 months ago.

The Lagos State Government is yet to officially react to the planned #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest.

(Image Credit – twitter.com)

Police Nab Katsina Ex-council Chairman Cum Terror Sponsor For alleged Collusion With Bandits

Katsina Terror Sponsor Suspect – Alhaji Mota

The long arm of the law has caught up with a former local government caretaker chairman in Katsina State for his ignoble role in thriving criminal attacks in the state.

The Katsina Police Command has nabbed and charged to court the former Jibia local government caretaker chairman, Alhaji Haruna Mota, for allegedly aiding and abetting banditry and terrorist activity in the Northwest State.

While it can’t be established if he’s the mastermind behind the December 2020 abduction of the Kankara School boys, Alhaji Mota was incriminated in a leaked video conversation with the terrorist-bandits involved in the mass abduction.

Confirming Mota’s arrest and arraignment, Katsina Police Command spokesperson, SP Gambo Isah, said the embattled former council chairman has been remanded in a Katsina Correctional Centre pending the completion of the investigation on his case.

Katsina State has recently been held in a chokehold by terrorist-bandits in a spate of violent kidnapping and murder of citizens in their villages and farms. Little did they know the terror sponsor could be one of their own.

While the Police must be given due applause on the arrest of the alleged terror sponsor, it is hoped the case doesn’t get swept under the carpet like most involving big men in Nigeria.

(Image Credit – @redlionmedia)

Ikorodu Bois And Child Comedienne Emmanuella To Battle It Out In Same Category For Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2021

Emmanuella And Ikorodu Bois Clinch Nickelodeon Nomination

It’s great to know that two of Nigeria’s brightest talents hard work in 2020 hasn’t gone unnoticed on the international scene as they both bagged nominations in the forthcoming Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

Young acting group, the Ikorodu Bois, famous for recreating or mimicking music videos, popular TV shows and Hollywood movies, are to share the spotlight with child comedienne, Emmanuella Samuel, a.k.a Emmanuella, in the forthcoming Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2021.

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (also known as the KCAs or Kids’ Choice) is an annual American children’s awards ceremony show that is produced by American pay TV Channel, Nickelodeon.

The Ikorodu Bois ( made up of Babatunde Sanni, Muiz Sanni, Malik Sanni and Fawas Aina) and Emmanuella are both nominated in the “Favourite Social Media Star” category. Nominated in the same category as Ikorodu Bois and Emmanuella are others like the Ghetto Kids and South African star, Bonang.

They both announced their nominations with delight across social network sites like Twitter and Instagram. The 2021 edition of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards will be virtual because of the Corona virus.

These kids are great ambassadors of Nigeria’s creative industry. Do you think more parents now see the creative industry isn’t a waste of time and would be allowing their children live their dreams and tow the path of Emmanuella and the Ikorodu Bois?

(Image Credit – nick.com)

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