May

Official: PDP focused on taking over government in Anambra

File Photo The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Ndubuisi Nwobu, said the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll. Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka on Tuesday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state. He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state which he said was a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election. “We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll. “This is not (the) time for distractions. We are focused on taking over the government from the ...

Brazilian president fined for not wearing mask

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, has been fined for not wearing a mask as he joined thousands of motorcyclists at a rally in Sao Paulo. Bolsonaro waved from his bike to the cheering crowd as he used the occasion to insist masks were useless for vaccinated people. The rally snaked in and out of the city, arriving back at Ibirapuera Park, where the far-right leader addressed supporters and said mask-wearing for vaccinated people was pointless. However, President Bolsonaro’s claim has been disputed by most health experts. “Whoever is against this proposal is because they don’t believe in science, because if they are vaccinated, there is no way the virus can be transmitted,” said Bolsonaro. Under 12% of Brazilians have had both doses of a vaccine, the ministry of health says, and many expe...

COVID-19: Hard choices made by Nigeria responsible for successful impact – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the hard choices made by his administration to tackle the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world have yielded successful impacts. The president, who addressed Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast on Saturday to mark the 2021 Democracy Day, was referring to some measures, including travel restrictions across the states of the federation and beyond, compulsory use of nose masks, hand washing protocols and other relevant protocols instituted to limit spread of the virus. Mr Buhari said; “Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns. “You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of proactive measures put in place. Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed. “...

Rapid spread of Delta variant throws England’s re-opening into doubt

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hopes of ending England’s coronavirus lockdown on June 21 hung in the balance on Friday as data showed a further rise in cases of the rapidly spreading Delta variant. Johnson is due to announce on Monday whether the planned lifting of restrictions, which would see an end to limits on social contact, can go ahead on time. But the rapid spread of the Delta variant, officially a “variant of concern”, has thrown those plans into jeopardy, prompting speculation that the June 21 date will be pushed back, or that some restrictions will remain. “We have to be really careful. We had a very big opening on the 17th of May where people could meet friends indoors, in a restaurant, in a pub, and socialise indoors as well,” COVID-19 vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi t...

Nigerian airlines record low patronage over insecurity

Nigerian airlines have confirmed that passenger traffic has reduced in the last four weeks. This, they attributed to the growing insecurity in different parts of the country. Those who spoke to newsmen insisted that high airfares could be a factor, but insecurity was also identified as major reason. They noted that even at the peak of high cost of tickets in May and April, passenger traffic was still high. Newsmen learnt that some airlines that resumed flights to some destinations in the north had to withdraw, while the south-east airports, which used to be lucrative routes after Lagos and Abuja have recorded reduction in passenger movement. Head of Communications, Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa, told newsmen that there is slight reduction in the airline’s load factor in its flights to Enugu, O...

House backs bill to prohibit bank employees from operating foreign accounts

A bill seeking to prohibit bank employees from operating foreign accounts has passed second reading at the house of representatives. The bank employees’ declaration of assets act amendment bill also seeks to mandate the bankers to declare assets of their spouses and children less than 18 years old. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in March ordered those in the banking sector to declare their assets in accordance with the act, raising questions as to the legality of such directive. Newsmen reported that the bank employees’ declaration of assets act requires bank board members, managing director, general managers, clerks, cashiers, messengers, cleaners, drivers, and any other category of workers — whether part‐time, casual or temporary — to declare their assets. Leadin...

Nigerian Army reshuffles senior officers in major shakeup

The Nigerian Army has redeployed some of its senior officers in a major shakeup. Outgoing Army spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, a brigadier general, made this known in a statement on Thursday. Notable amongst the new appointments was that of C.G. Musa, a major general, who was named the new Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, the counter insurgency operation in the North-east region. Also, Onyema Nwachukwu, a brigadier general, has now been appointed as the army spokesperson. Another brigadier general, A.M. Umar, was named the chief of staff to the COAS. The reshuffle, considered normal when there is a new leadership in the force, was expected when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Faruk Yahaya, a major general, was appointed on May 27. He replaced the late COAS, Ibrahim Attahiru, who di...

Manchester United ready to listen to offers for Dean Henderson

Manchester United are willing to listen to offers for goalkeeper Dean Henderson amid concerns over his attitude, Football Insider claims. The England international started last season as the back-up goalkeeper behind David de Gea, but he became a regular during the back end of the campaign. Despite this, he was ignored for the Europa League final against Villarreal. The club lost via a penalty shoot-out, with De Gea failing to save any of the 11 spot-kicks. Ahead of next season, the club are planning a radical overhaul of the goalkeeping department, and they have already released Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira. The club are also open to offers for Henderson and De Gea but acknowledge that they may struggle to offload the latter due to his hefty £350,000-a-week wages. Henderson is said to b...

Morocco says Madrid seeks to ‘Europeanise’ its crisis with Rabat

Morocco’s foreign minister on Wednesday accused Spain of trying to turn a political crisis between the two countries into an EU problem by focusing on migration and ignoring the root causes. The row blew up in April after Spain admitted the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, for medical treatment without informing Rabat, which regards the disputed territory as its own. Morocco then appeared to relax border controls with Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta on May 17, leading to an influx of at least 8,000 migrants. Since then Spain and Morocco have traded accusations of violating good neighbourliness, with Spain saying Morocco used the migrants while Rabat says Spain acted in connivance with “adversaries” of its territorial integrity. “Spain tries to Europe...

Israel lawmakers to vote Sunday on anti-Netanyahu government

After weeks of political wrangling, the Israeli parliament is set to vote Sunday on whether to install a “change” coalition and end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12 consecutive years in power. Announcing the date for the confidence vote, speaker Yariv Levin, a Netanyahu ally, said on Tuesday “a special session of parliament” would debate and vote on the fragile eight-party alliance, after the country’s fourth inconclusive election in two years back in March. Later in the day, the prime minister’s office announced that a march by Jewish nationalists through Jerusalem would go ahead in a week’s time, potentially de-escalating tensions with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which went to war with the Jewish state for 11 days last month. Israeli right-wing groups had the day b...

Nigerian government asks judiciary, parliamentary staff to call off strike

The Federal Government has directed members of the striking Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) to “urgently” call off their over-two-month-old strike. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, gave the directive in a statement on Tuesday, threatening that the government might be forced to invoke “sections of the Trade Disputes Acts” if the strike persisted longer. The threat is a government’s familiar warning of possible introduction of “no-work-no-pay” policy to break adamant striking workers. “The ministry will not be happy to be pushed into invoking sections of the Trade Disputes Acts capable of eroding all the gains made so far in the negotiations since May 6, 2021,” the statement signed by the ministry of Labou...