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News & Announcements

Tension As Explosion Rocks Ibadan, Oyo Govt Calls For Calm

An unexplained explosion rocked Ibadan city, the capital of Oyo State, causing panic and shattering numerous buildings on Tuesday evening. The intense vibration from the explosion was felt in various parts of the city, including Oke Itunu, Bodija, Omi Adio, Apete, University College Hospital (UCH), Mokola, and Idi Isin.

The incident, which occurred around 7:25 pm in the Bodija area, significantly impacted many structures. Notably, the UCH School of Nursing experienced damage with shattered hostel windows due to shockwaves from the explosion. While reports suggest casualties, the exact number remains uncertain as of the time of this report.

The cause of the explosion is believed to be a gas-related incident. In response to the situation, the Oyo government has urged residents to remain calm, assuring that Governor [Governor’s Name] has deployed security personnel, including paramilitary officers and firefighters, to manage the aftermath of the explosion.

A statement from the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, emphasized that the government is taking necessary measures to control and mitigate the impact of this unfortunate event.

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My Husband Had 87 Girlfriends When I Met Him- Nigerian Activist, Adetoun

Nigerian human rights activist, Adetoun Onajobi, recently disclosed on the WithChude podcast that when she first met her husband, he had 87 girlfriends. During the podcast, Adetoun shared that some of these women went to great lengths to disrupt her marriage, including one who she described as a “pure mermaid” who frequently appeared to her husband.

In order to address her husband’s promiscuous behavior and salvage their marriage, Adetoun explained that she had to engage in both physical and spiritual battles. Despite the challenges, she expressed her belief in her husband’s ability to change and emphasized that she took a step-by-step approach to overcoming these issues.

Adetoun recounted instances where other women sought revenge, claiming to be pregnant by her husband or stating that they had been in a long-term relationship with him. Despite these obstacles, she believed that she was on a specific mission in her husband’s life and acknowledged the struggles he faced.

The revelations came during a candid conversation on the podcast, shedding light on the complexities and challenges Adetoun faced in her relationship.

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My Father Was Murdered, Says Maradona’s Son

Diego Maradona’s son, Diego Armando Maradona Junior, has asserted that his father was not a victim of natural causes but was intentionally killed. Armando claims to know the responsible party and expressed his determination to seek justice for his father’s demise.

In a widely circulated video, Armando conveyed to Mediaset, an Italian mass media company, “There is an ongoing investigation. We, his children, have strong confidence in Argentine justice. I firmly believe that his passing should not have concluded this way.”

He went on to say, “They took my father’s life. While I have my suspicions about who is responsible, I cannot disclose it. They abandoned him when intervention could have made a difference. I’ve made a commitment: I will relentlessly pursue justice until my last day.”

Diego Maradona passed away in November 2020 due to heart failure and pulmonary edema. At the time, he was recovering from brain surgery at his residence in Buenos Aires. Presently, medical professionals involved in Maradona’s treatment are facing a homicide trial in an Argentine court.

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Sierra Leone Opposition APC Secretary General – Dumbuya Invited By Police For Questioning

Sierra Leone Opposition APC Secretary General – Dumbuya Invited By Police For Questioning
Sierra Leone’s main opposition APC party Secretary General – Mr Lansana Dumbuya, yesterday reported on Twitter that he has been invited by the Police for questioning at the country’s notorious Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Freetown, following a statement he published yesterday on behalf of the APC, announcing the party members’ solidarity with their former chairman and leader, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.

Concerned citizens have said that what is very troubling about Sierra Leone today, is the fact that most opposition politicians that are invited to the CID for questioning are usually detained without charge for several weeks if not months, as a form of extra-judicial punishment by the state.

Former President Koroma is currently in detention under house arrest, awaiting treason trial for alleged involvement in what the government says was a plot to overthrow the Bio-led government on 26 November 2023, despite lawyers representing the former president protesting his innocence.
Writing on Twitter, APC party Secretary General – Mr Lansana Dumbuya, said: “Interesting development, I have just been invited to the CID to issue out a press statement in support of former President Ernest Bai Koroma.”
Not only has the democratic space become smaller, and the political climate is worsening by the day in Sierra Leone, but civil liberty and the right to free speech are dangerously being endangered by the government and the country’s security forces.
This is the statement by the opposition APC, published yesterday by the party’s secretary general that has offended Sierra Leone Police:

The APC Is Confident Of Former President Koroma’s Innocence and Stands With Him
The APC is utterly disappointed with, and livid about the distasteful persecution of our former Chairman and Leader, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma. The former president diligently and inspiringly served our nation as a two-term democratically elected President.
At the end of his presidency, he gracefully relinquished power in a demonstrable respect for Sierra Leone’s constitutional term limit and conducted a peaceful, free and fair election which ushered in the then opposition candidate as president.
Since he left power in 2018, he has dedicated his time and energy to promoting peace, democratic good governance and smooth transitions across Africa. It is therefore exceedingly hurtful and unacceptable for a noble statesman of such high repute and distinguished democratic credentials, to be tarnished with political vendetta and accusations of involvement in a coup d’état.
Those trumped-up treason and other charges represent a dangerous precedent and a credible threat to the peace and stability of Sierra Leone.

The APC has shown incredible restraint concerning what is a sustained political witch–hunt, intimidation, harassment and persecution, as promised by the president during his campaign. While we continue to condemn the events of 26th November 2023 and all forms of unconstitutional change of government, we also strongly abhor the deliberate democratic backsliding and imposition of the increasing tendencies of a one-party political hegemony in Sierra Leone.

Several of our supporters and members at constituency, district, regional and national levels have been arrested and detained for weeks and months without charge. This has been the pattern since 2018.
We have reached a point where the APC would have to face its circumstances with all its strength and wherewithal. We stand firm with our former chairman and leader and our National Organising Secretary, Comrade Bai Mahmoud Bangura.
With the country on the precipice, we strongly urge the SLPP to retract from this dangerous, unproductive path and take concrete strides to promote peace, rather than hate and political divide. All we have is our beloved country, and it is our responsibility to work together to unify it.
In the meantime, let no one be afraid, the APC is confident about former President Koroma’s innocence. The APC will meet to consider our next actional steps, and we shall communicate them to the public.
SIGNED: Lansana Dumbuya, National Secretary General – APC.

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Man Caught After He Disguised As A Woman To Write Exam For His Girlfriend

A young man named Angrez Singh was apprehended when he attempted to write an exam on behalf of his girlfriend in Faridkot, Punjab, India, by disguising himself as a woman.

Reportedly, on January 7, 2024, the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences conducted a multi-purpose health workers exam at DAV Public School in Kotkapura.

Angrez Singh, hailing from Fazilka, opted to take the exam while impersonating his girlfriend, Paramjit Kaur. He adorned himself in a ladies’ suit, red bangles, a bindi, lipstick, and other feminine attire, entering the examination hall appearing as Kaur.

However, this unusual act unfolded into an unexpected comedy as university officials promptly uncovered the ruse and reported the incident to the police.

The police revealed that Angrez Singh went to great lengths, employing fake voter and Aadhar cards to establish his identity as Paramjit Kaur.

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PROF NICHOLAS UCHECHUKWU ASOGWA

THE ASTONISHING, INSPIRING STORY OF DOGGEDNESS TO HIT THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS

*From wheelbarrow-pushing, campus shoe-mending to Professor of Ethics, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The success of men, they say, lies in their story. Life has never been easy even when it appears as if it is, for the rich and opulent in society, the truth is that there is always a stopwatch moment in everyone’s life, and then a moment that halts in precisely as a stumbling block towards whatever we intend to achieve.

There is a story for everyone irrespective of what one’s background might be. For Nicholas Uchechukwu Asogwa, it is one borne out of sheer willed determination to become a success, driven by his admiration of those he chose as models, rather than reclining in self-jealousy.

Prof Nicholas Asogwa’s story is a remarkable epic that heralds the tenacity of purpose by a young African determined to set aside encumbering challenges of poverty, from nobody to a world-class and reputable academic pursuit through the undying strength of the human spirit. The story of the one-time wheelbarrow-pushing to-campus shoe-mending youth represents HOPE for the downtrodden who think success is unattainable without connection or a god-father in Africa,

Welcome to the amazing and inspiring story of Prof Nicholas Uchechukwu Asogwa, an African from Umudiaka Village in Ihe/Owere, Nsukka, in Enugu State, Nigeria.

La Fete: Congratulations Prof on your recent achievement of earning a PhD, seeing the challenges you went through to attain this position. What gave you the drive and power to hold on in the face of obstacles?

Prof Asogwa: The determination to break the cycle of poverty in my family and to prove to all those who doubted me that a person’s background does not define his potential has been the driving force behind my resolve to persevere in the face of the varying challenges of life. This was the very reason why I persevered even in the face of the numerous rejections, disappointments, and setbacks that came my way. I am thrilled today that I never allowed all those challenges to define me.

La Fete: Tell us which part of Nigeria you come from, how many you are in your family and the names of your parents.

Prof Asogwa: I am from Umudiaka village in Ihe/Owere, Nsukka Town in Enugu State. I was born into the family of the late Mr Fidelis Asogwa and Mrs Roseline Asogwa (nee Ozioko). We are five in number. Of the five children of my parents, I am the second child and the first son. Three of us are graduates, whereas two are not. I inspired and continue to inspire my siblings both in education and in attitude to life.

La Fete: Aside from the wheelbarrow and shoe-making activities you did to keep body and soul going in the past, which other craft or trade did you engage yourself in?

Prof Asogwa: Definitely, barrow-pushing and shoe-mending were not the only menial jobs I did to make ends meet in the past. The two were prominent among the ones that I did. I did a lot of farm work for many academic staff of the Agricultural Faculty of our university who are today professors. Some of them were undergoing their post-graduate programme then while some were in the early stages of their career. The interesting thing is that the majority of them are still in the service. I also sold dried maize and fio-fio (a brand of beans) in our local market, using a wheelbarrow. During my Master’s programme, I was into the business of selling water, commercial phone calls (in a number of the students’ hostels of our university), as well as grinding business. Recall that in my story I narrated how I had to abandon my Master’s programme at a stage due to lack of funds, and how Professor JCA Agbakoba came to my rescue by providing me with an interest-free loan. The loan was the result of my discussion with him on my survival strategy if I must heed his advice to come back and complete my Master’s programme. It was that loan plus the assistance from a few others that helped me to establish these petty businesses in order to sustain myself.

PROF ASOGWA’S JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE

The remarkable story of Prof Asogwa is a thrilling motivation for every young person determined to go through the challenging and impinging road to success. And in telling his personal story after being conferred with the academic title of a professor, in what could be described as an autobiography, he enthusiastically gave the details of the sojourn.

It is a great and momentous occasion in my life as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, announced my elevation to the sublime and prestigious rank of professor. I am deeply humbled to celebrate this momentous occasion. My gratitude goes to God, the undisputed Supreme Power of the universe for making my attainment of this feat possible. I stand before the world today overwhelmed with a profound sense of gratitude, honour, and accomplishment. I am bold to state that I am a living testament to the power of persistence, determination, and unyielding faith in the face of adversity.

I am deeply humbled and happy because looking back at my journey I am reminded of the enormous challenges and obstacles that stood in my path. I was born into a family facing abject poverty, which seriously threatened my educational opportunities. Times were hard, resources were limited, and dreams seemed unattainable. However, I was blessed with parents who instilled in me the value of education and the belief that anything is possible with hard work and perseverance.

My path to the prestigious rank of professor was not an easy one. I had to navigate through financial constraints, societal stereotypes, and a myriad of doubts. As I stepped into the hallowed halls of this university the very day I was offered employment, I knew that I carried the weight of breaking the cycle of poverty in my family and proving to all those who doubted me that a person’s background does not define his/her potential.

Determination

Throughout my academic journey, I was fuelled by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a burning desire to create a better future for myself and my loved ones. There were countless nights spent studying while others slept, sacrificing personal comforts to ensure I could excel in my chosen field. I faced numerous rejections, disappointments, and setbacks along the way, but I refused to let them define me.

The sublime position of professor which I attained today is an affirmation of the truism in the saying that, ‘determination is the key to success.’ I could have been demoralised by circumstances if not for my determination to succeed. I recall with tears my days as a barrow pusher at the popular Orie Oba Market in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, and then my days as a shoe-mender in one of the female hostels (Bello Hall) in this same university where I became a professor. Sometime in 2016, I had a chance to meet with the owner of COU Barrows, the owner of the then-flourishing business outfit from which I used to hire wheelbarrows. In the course of our discussion, he told me that seeing me and getting to know what I have become makes him believe that, ‘what God cannot do does not exist.’

Two Samaritans

At this juncture, may I, in addition to my parents who laid the foundation of my education, mention the names of two persons who were strategically instrumental to my academic career and achievements? They are Bar Mrs Nkechi Ohanuka and Mrs Proscovia Ndoboli from Imo State and Uganda respectively. My relationship with them dates back to my days as a shoe mender at the university. Both of them were my regular customers then. Upon realising that I attended school up to secondary level in one of my interactions with her, Nkechi Ohanuka asked me why I didn’t want to further my education. I replied that I desired higher education badly, but that owing to my background, I needed to make some money that would help me to forge ahead. Coincidentally, the discussion took place at a time when the JAMB form was on sale. In the evening of that same day, Mrs Ohanuka came back to my shop, tapped me at the back and upon my turning to know who tapped me, she handed a wrapped paper to me saying, “I have discussed with my husband, go and purchase JAMB form.”

When she left I unwrapped the paper, and lo and behold, it contained N620.00, the exact amount JAMB form was sold then. That was in her final year. As GSM was not in place in those days, there was no means for me to contact her, nor for her to even know the progress of the person she invested in!

One thing I did which later helped me was to write her name boldly at the door of my room. Not knowing where and how to locate Mrs Ohanuka became a source of worry to me to the point that I had to open up to people who came around me about what was becoming a big challenge to me. Although I could not locate Nkechi Ohanuka, I dedicated my PhD work which had been scheduled for oral defence in February 2014 to her and Proscovia Ndoboli.

As fate would have it, and through the power of the Internet (Google & Facebook), I was able to reconnect with Mrs Nkechi Ohanuka in late 2013, about two or three months before my PhD oral defence, thanks to the suggestion made to me by my then office mate, Ven Dr Joseph Chukwuma. To the glory of God, Nkechi Ohanuka was present in my PhD convocation. The rest is now history.

In the case of Proscocia, when I informed her that she might not see me in my shop when next she came to repair her shoes, as I was due to leave, having gotten admission to further my education, she was shocked; shocked because she said she didn’t know that I attended secondary school much less sitting for JAMB examination. After congratulating me, she told me that she would like to come and know my place and see my parents. We fixed a date; and after visiting my place, she told me that even though my place is very close to the university, she wouldn’t want me to be attending lectures from my place.

In addition, she told me that she would pay for my initial school fees. She fulfilled her promise and left Nigeria the next year, following her graduation. Proscovia Ndoboli was a student of the Department of Religion. That was how I started. Nkechi bought the JAMB form for me, while Proscovia paid my first school fees and put me in the hostel. From there, my parents and I took over, and the struggle continued.

The concluding part of this amazing story, promises to be a MUST-Read in our forthcoming publication of your favourite magazine.  Watch Out!

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Thousands Celebrate Departure Of French Ambassador From Niger

Thousands of Nigerians gathered near France’s military base in Niamey to celebrate the departure of Paris’ ambassador earlier this week, about a month after the military junta ordered him to leave.

But anti-French activists say the battle is not yet over.

“This victory is not, if you like, a total victory for this revolution, it’s only the beginning. We call on the entire population of Niger to mobilise as one until the last French soldier leaves Niger, said demonstrator Mohamed Abdou-Latif.

Another activist, Ibrahim Boubacar, agreed.
“We’re overjoyed. But just because the ambassador has gone doesn’t mean that we’re going to stay at home and say ‘It’s over, we’ve won’. No, we are going to continue the fight,” he said.

They are now waiting for France to withdraw its around 1,500 soldiers from Niger, which Paris says will take place before the end of the year, in what will be a blow to its influence in the country.

“We are more or less satisfied with the timetable for the withdrawal,” said fellow demonstrator, Issaka Tondi Tassiou.

“Knowing a bit about logistics, it’s equipment that has been deployed over 12 years, installation and so on. So dismantling it, packing it up, and taking it away takes time.”

France has kept soldiers in Niger as part of an anti-jihadist deployment in the region.

Meanwhile, the new regime says it is planning its future relations with Paris, the form of which will be dictated by the people of Niger.

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Seven Dead In Nightclub Fire In Southern Spain

At least seven people were killed in a fire in a Spanish nightclub on Sunday morning, authorities said, with rescue efforts still ongoing.

Emergency services said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that firefighters were continuing to work at the scene and had not ruled out “the possibility of finding more victims.”

Rescuers said they were first alerted at around 6:00 am local time (0400 GMT) that a fire had broken out in the two-storey nightclub.

They finally managed to enter around 0800 GMT and discovered four bodies, then two others around forty minutes later. An hour later, the Murcia town hall confirmed the toll had risen to seven.

According to photos released by emergency services, the fire broke out in the “Teatre” nightclub, also called “Fonda Milagros”. The photos showed water hoses from fire trucks still spraying the blackened facade of the club.
Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the roof of the building.

A police spokesperson said that a birthday party was being held at the club on Saturday night, and warned that not all the attendees had yet been found.

“According to initial information, the fire broke out on the first floor of the nightclub, which has a ground floor and a first floor,” Diego Seral, the national police spokesman told radio Onda Regional de Murcia.

Video footage released by the city’s firefighting brigade shows the firefighters holding a long hose approaching bright orange flames inside the venue, walking between bar tables that still have drinks placed on top of them.

“Emergency services are still hard at work to put out the fire that occurred in the Teatre nightclub,” the city’s town hall said, adding it “deeply regrets” the accident and offering condolences to those affected.

Four others were injured in the blaze, two women aged 22 and 25 years old and two men in their forties, all suffering from smoke inhalation.

The mayor of Murcia, Jose Ballesta, announced three days of mourning.

He said more than 40 firefighters and 12 emergency vehicles were attending the scene.

Forty people were injured in 2017 in a packed nightclub on Spain’s holiday island of Tenerife when a floor collapsed.

The injured were from countries including France, Britain, Romania and Belgium.

And in 1990, 43 people died in a fire at a nightclub in Spain’s northeastern city of Zaragoza.

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Nasarawa State Governor, Sule, Sacked By Tribunal, PDP’s Umbugadu Declared Winner

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has sacked the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule and declared the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Hon. Devmatics Umbugadu as the winner.

Governor Sule is of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The tribunal delivering judgement virtually held that the APC didn’t win the majority of the votes cast and thus was wrongly returned elected by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

The tribunal concluded that based on the pieces of evidence before it, the PDP candidate scored more valid votes and thus is the rightful winner of the March 18, 2023 Governorship Election in Nasarawa State.

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FG Approves N25,000 Provisional Wage Increase For All Workers

The federal government has said that the N25,000 provisional wage increment announced for low-grade workers is now applicable to all levels of civil servants.

Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS) to President Bola Tinubu, announced the development on Sunday evening.

Speaking at the end of the four-hour meeting with the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the State House, Abuja, Gbajabiamila said the government team and the labour leaders have reached some resolutions.

The meeting was called by the federal government to avert the planned nationwide indefinite strike by the labour to protest against the removal of the petrol subsidy and other issues.

“I am happy to say that after four hours, we have reached certain agreements that are for the benefit of the Nigerian worker,” Gbajabiamila said.

“Agreements on wage bills, agreements on committees on salary increments, CNG buses, on several other things, I believe, both TUC Labour and government side.

“Hopefully, we expect that labour will call a meeting of their various branches and executive tomorrow to present the agreements that have been reached, and we pray and we believe and we hope that the strike will be called off on Tuesday.

“So I want to once again, thank labour for taking time out on a good Sunday like this one when they should be with their families to come and discuss in the interest of the workers. Thank you very much.”

Before the resolutions were reached, the labour had rejected the N25,000 provisional wage increment for low-grade workers announced by the president.

In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national 0rientation, said the federal government is “committed to fast-tracking the provision of compressed natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy”.

He added that the government would see to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises, adding that the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel will be waived for the next six months.

“The Federal Government will commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period from October-December 2023,” the statement reads.

“A sub-committee is to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.”

LABOUR TO CONSULT NEC

While addressing journalists, Joe Ajaero, president of NLC, said the labour body would take all the promises by the government to its organs for consideration.

“I don’t have much to say than what the Chief of Staff has said. We’ve been meeting and we’ve looked at almost all the issues,” he said.

“All the promissory notes from the government and we’ll look at how to translate them to reality and to be workable.

“Then we’re going to take those promises to our organs, of course, you know these people here cannot just wake up and review and call off action.

“So as he said, we’re hopeful that our organs will have a look at them and give us a fresh mandate on what next to do. So it’s a simple one.”

Also, Tommy Etim Okon, acting president of TUC,  said they would confer with their respective organs for the next line of action.

“Let me on behalf of the TUC also point out the fact that we’ve had a series of conversations surrounding the issue raised and we do hope that by tomorrow we are going to get across to our organs so that we can also look at it and cross-fertilize ideas and see the way forward,” Okon said.

“I’m sure we’re coming back again tomorrow for that.”

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