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President Buhari orders military to crush bandits in ‘language they understand’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday ordered the military to crush bandits operating in Zamfara and Kaduna in the language they understand. The president condemned repeated bandit killings in Zamfara and Kaduna States, urging the nation’s military to respond to the worrying situation in a language that the bandits understood. Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu noted that the military and other security agencies were now working on new methods and policies that are yielding good results in many of the troubled parts of the country. He called for a crushing response to the killing of innocent citizens in the rural communities. Buhari also averred that the nation, its military and the entire population needed to summon the courage required to defeat the bandits and ...

Roberto Martinez to stay on as Belgium coach

Roberto Martinez will stay on as Belgium coach despite the country’s European Championship exit and attempt another tilt at a major title at next year’s World Cup, he said in an interview with Belgian newspapers on Friday. Martinez, whose contract runs until after next year’s tournament in Qatar, had not given any clarity on his plans since Belgium were beaten 2-1 by Italy in Munich in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals a week ago in a major disappointment for the team, who have spent the last three years top of the Fifa rankings. “I’m staying as coach. When I feel I no longer have anything to contribute is when I will leave,” he said. “But I don’t have that feeling now. I was a bitterly disappointed to be knocked out but now I’m looking ahead to the World Cup in Qatar. And also the Nations Leag...

UNICEF to supply AU states 220 million coronavirus vaccines

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply up to 220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine to all 55 member-states of the African Union (AU) by the end of 2022. Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of this year, UNICEF stated in a statement issued on Thursday in New York. The agreement, between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen last March. That agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022. The AU established AVAT in November 2020 to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continen...

PDP vice chairman: Electronic transfer of results, a must for free, fair polls

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-south has called on the National Assembly to retain electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act The National Vice Chairman, South-south of the party, Dan Orbih, made the call on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin. He was reacting to the purported removal of the provision for the electronic transfer of result provision from the proposed amendment Act currently being debated by the National Assembly. “Nigerians should resist the removal of electronic transmission of election results during elections from the Electoral Act because it is an invitation to unending electoral fraud,” Mr Orbih said. The introduction of electronic transmission of election results from the polling units to collation cen...

Minister: Why Nigerian government insists on removing petrol subsidy

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, on Tuesday, reiterated the need to deregulate the downstream petroleum through the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit. According to him, only the wealthy were currently benefiting from the subsidy. The minister spoke during the leadership and governors’ discourse on open government partnership held in Abuja, on Tuesday. He said, “Some will say if you take out fuel subsidies the ordinary man will suffer, how will the ordinary man suffer? Is it in terms of food? Vehicles that are used for moving food are heavy-duty vehicles. And they don’t use PMS, they use diesel and that has since been deregulated. Those that we are actually subsidising are the very rich. “Those who drive the Rolls Royce, the Lamborghinis and other ...

NUT: Nigerian government not interested in curbing insecurity

The 1st Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr Kayode Akosile, has said insecurity is getting worse at schools and other places in the country because the government is not seriously invested in curbing the situation. Akosile said government could as well use the money being embezzled and wasted on other not too important things to combat insecurity in the land. The NUT boss said this while speaking with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday on the sidelines of a workshop on privatisation and commercialisations of education organised by NUT in partnership with International and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. He said teachers and students’ minds were no longer at rest while in schools, saying the future of the nation was already in jeopardy. He said everything should be done t...

Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘proud’ of Portugal’s efforts after elimination

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo said on Monday he was “proud” of holders Portugal’s efforts despite bowing out of Euro 2020 after the weekend’s 1-0 last 16 loss to Belgium. “We did not get the result we wanted and we leave the competition sooner than expected,” the 36-year-old Juventus star and five-time Ballon d’or winner admitted as his side failed to match their 2016 exploits. “But we are proud of our showing. We did everything we could to retain the title of European champions and this group proved it could still give the Portuguese people much joy,” the former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker posted on social media after Sunday’s loss. “Congratulations to Belgium and good luck to all the teams left in. As for us, we shall return stronger,” vowed the veteran who at least could cons...

Lagos traders send SOS to police, governor over planned market raid

Traders, shop owners and stakeholders operating under the aegis of Balogun Business Association (BBA) in Lagos have raised the alarm over a rumoured threat to raid their market by thugs loyal to a former chairman of the association. The aggrieved traders who addressed reporters yesterday at the Association Secretariat at the popular Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Ojo, alleged that credible intelligence at their disposal indicates that the planned invasion of their peaceful market would take place between Sunday, June 27 and Wednesday, July 28. Warning of imminent bloodshed of innocent traders should the alleged invasion happen, the Principal Stakeholders, recalling that similar attacks by the same person in the years 2005 and 2007 had led to the loss of lives, ...

Romelu Lukaku backed to succeed Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich

Former Belgium striker Emile Mpenza has tipped Romelu Lukaku to succeed Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old has excelled at Inter, scoring 64 goals in just 95 matches since joining the Serie A side from Manchester United in 2019. The forward has a similar record for the national team, having struck 63 times in 96 caps for the Rode Duivels, including three at Euro 2020. Mpenza has been amazed by the ex-Chelsea and Anderlecht player’s development and believes Bayern would be smart to look at him if they need to replace Poland sensation Lewandowski following his 48-goal campaign in Germany. “Romelu’s strength in a duel and his speed are outstanding. That makes it so difficult for the defenders against him,” Mpenza told Sport Bild. “If they go into a duel with him, he uses his...

Amnesty: Nigerian government highly sensitive to criticism

The country director of Amnesty International (AI) Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, says the federal government is “highly sensitive to criticism” and only focuses on appearances. Ojigho stated this on Thursday while addressing the topic “Is Freedom of Speech in Danger in Nigeria?” during a virtual conversation, tagged ‘Thursday Talks’. The virtual conversation, which is a monthly programme focused on engaging thought leaders, was moderated by Adeboye Adegoke, senior programme manager at Paradigm Initiative. The AI country director described the government’s ban on Twitter and its proposed amendment to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) code as attempts to gag criticism. “What we are seeing is a government that is highly sensitive to criticism and, as such, seeks to work more on the public re...

Private polytechnic owners set to clamp down on illegal operators

The National President of the Association of Private Polytechnic Founders/Rectors in Nigeria, Pastor Bassey James, has said that illegal school operators across the country would soon run out of business. He stated this in Uyo while briefing newsmen as part of the activities marking the maiden matriculation of Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, scheduled for Saturday, June 26, 2021. James mentioned that a total of 300 students would partake in the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, even as admissions were still ongoing in the institution. According to him, the association had written to both the national and state assemblies to inform them of the ugly incident even as he had met with some of the perpetrators of the illegal business and had given them a timeline...

Bishop Oyedepo: We must deal with social media monster

President, Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo, has urged the government and well-meaning Nigerians to deal with the monster of social media. Bishop Oyedepo called for an urgent step to device means of checking free and unhindered access to social media. He added that the present generation may lose her heroes to social media disaster, adding that “we must wake up from our slumber to deal with this monster.” The clergyman made the call at the weekend during the seventh convocation ceremony of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Irepodun local government area. 46 students of the institution graduated with first-class honours in the 2021 academic session He spoke on “combating the challenge of education without integration”. Oyedepo said putting measures to check free acces...