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Lagos, Ogun LG Polls: Security Operatives Enforce Restriction Of Movement As Voting Gets Underway

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Elections into the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State commenced on what was described as slow pace on Saturday with voters trickling in at polling centres across the state. Part of the reasons for this was blamed on the lack of preparedness by Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) by a councillorship candidate for the People’s Democratic Party, Mr. Bolaji Ogunojo, who said this was responsible for the voter apathy being witnessed in the election. The Lagos State Government had announced restriction of movement across the state between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, to enable hitch-free conduct of elections into positions of chairmen and councillors in all the state’s 57 LGAs and LCDAs. Accreditation and voting started at 9. 10 a.m. at Zion African School, Alaagba, Iyana-Ipaja’s wards F 026 and 027 Polling Units in Agege, but there were few voters on ground. Police authorities in both Lagos and Ogun States said they have deployed personnel and logistics to ensure adequate security necessary for lives and property during and after the conduct of the election. It was observed that Police and Neighbourhood Corps personnel were present at some polling units to ensure hitch-free voting.

We Won't Impose Presidential Candidates, APC Says

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) has assured the public that it will not impose any aspirant as its presidential candidate, and all other elective posts for the 2023 general election. This comes after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused President Muhammadu Buhari of having a “self succession plan”, causing jitters among APC leadership. The Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

I Would Not Hesitate To Stand As Surety Again For Nnamdi Kanu - Abaribe

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Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Wednesday revealed that he would not hesitate to stand as surety again for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu given the same circumstances. Abaribe explained that he stood surety for Kanu when the IPOB leader was arraigned because it was a condition imposed by the court. According to him, the court ordered that one of the sureties must be a Senator, and as the Chairman of the Southeast Senators Caucus then, he had to make himself available as the surety. Abaribe said: “There is a difference between jumping bail and escaping for your life. I went back to court and deposed that on the basis of the principle of ‘last seen’, that the last people seen with him were soldiers of the Nigerian army who were invading his father’s residence.

WHO Donates Cholera Vaccines To Bauchi

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Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, the Executive Chairman of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) announced that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated 1.5 million dosages of cholera vaccine to Bauchi State during the kick-off of the vaccination exercise in the state. He stated that the WHO donated 1.5 million dosages of vaccine to support the state’s response to cholera outbreaks.

China Donates 470,000 Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines To Nigeria

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The Chinese Government on Friday donated 470,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria, in a bid to boost the efforts to immunize Nigerians against the deadly COVID-19 virus. The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, made the donation to the Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja. According to Jianchun, the gesture was a result of the good relationship between Nigeria and China. Jianchun noted that the efforts to eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic require worldwide collaborations. The Chinese Ambassador warned against politicizing issues surrounding COVID-19 or blaming China for the outbreak, rather than collaboration should be worked out on ways to eliminate the disease.

BREAKING: Cholera Death Toll Rises To 60 In Abuja

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The Federal Capital Development Authorities (FCDA) has disclosed that fatalities from cholera outbreak in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have risen to 60. FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, confirmed the death toll at the continuation of community sensitisation on cholera and other severe acute diarrhea diseases outbreaks in Pyakasa and Gwagwa communities in the nation’s capital. She also revealed that suspected cases have risen from 604 to 698 within the last 72 hours. Represented by Dr. Iwot Ndaeyo, the acting Executive Secretary of FCT Primary Health Care Board, the minister said that Abaji Area Council also recorded three suspected cases with no death.

CBN Set To Launch Digital Currency In October

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed it will launch the pilot scheme of its digital currency on October 1st, 2021. The resolution was made during a private webinar on Thursday in which CBN and its stakeholders outlined a digital currency initiative. Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele had earlier announced that the bank will be working on a central digital currency during the 306th Banker’s Committee meeting. At the end of the meeting CBN Director, IT Department, Mrs. Rakiya Mohammed, revealed that the bank had been conducting research in regards to central bank digital currencies since 2017 and may conduct a proof of concept before the end of this year. According to Mrs. Mohammed the project is named ‘GIANT’ and will use the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. The Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source project that acts as a foundation for developing blockchain-based products, solutions, and applications using plug-and-play components that are aimed for use within private enterprises.

Ajaokuta Steel Will Function To Capacity Soonest - Minister

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Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, says Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd. will function to capacity before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He further stated that the federal government had made effort to ensure that the Russian company that built the steel industry would come to Nigeria to conduct a technical audit of the company. 

Lifting 100m Nigerians Out Of Poverty Is Achievable – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of the poverty cycle within 10 years is achievable. President Buhari stated the above after commissioning the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje-Daura, Katsina State. The president, in a statement yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said that Nigeria was blessed with both human and natural resources it could deploy to achieve the target. He also solicited more synergy between government and the people, and diligence in diversifying the economy, with agriculture as the backbone to realise the goal. He said: “The country is robustly blessed with good weather conditions, good soil, human and material capacity, and resilience to make a difference by all the hardworking youths. “We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production.” Mr. President also noted that over-dependence on oil has become a drawback on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement, and measure outcomes. According to him, the mainstay of the nation’s economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with effective weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower, and willingness to learn new skills and good soil types for all-season farming.

NIN-SIM: FG Extends Deadline To October 31

Personal Tech

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the National Identification Number (NIN)-SIM data verification until 31st October 2021. The reason for the extension was as a result of requests made by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, diaspora, addressing low enrolments in schools and hospitals.

Jeff Bezos Becomes Second Billionaire To Reach Space

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The Amazon founder and richest man on Earth blasted into space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket Tuesday morning with three crewmates which included his brother Mark Bezos as well as the oldest and youngest people ever to fly into space – 82-year-old pioneering female aviator Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, 18, a physics student. Daemen, whose seat was paid for by his father, Joes Daemen, CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, was put on the crew after the winner of an anonymous $28 million auction for the flight had to postpone due to a scheduling conflict.

WhatsApp To Let Users Message Without Their Phones

Tech Security

For the first time, WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that will allow users message from a computer without needing to have their phones at hand. At present, WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook is linked to a user’s phone. It has an app for desktop, but until now users have needed their phones on and connected to be able to send and receive messages and make calls. But the new feature will let users send and receive messages “even if your phone battery is dead.” Up to four other devices, like PCs (Mac or Windows) and tablets, can be used together, WhatsApp said. WhatsApp users will also be able to enjoy video and audio chats on WhatsApp for PC without their phone.

Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron at Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony

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Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan had the distinct honour of serving as the final torchbearer of the Olympic Torch Relay, lighting the cauldron inside Olympic Stadium for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021. The four-time major winner and Japanese superstar in tennis was the final torchbearer as part of the Olympic Torch Relay at the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony on Friday after a year’s pandemic delay and lingering coronavirus threats. Osaka, 23, is a four-time major champion in tennis who is making her Olympic debut. She won her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier in 2021.

Antetokounmpo Leads Milwaukee Bucks To First NBA Title In 50 Years

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Nigerian-Greek professional basketball player, Giannis Sina Antetokounmpo on Wednesday morning at the Fiserv Forum has lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chris Paul-led Phoenix Suns to a first NBA title since 1971 after scoring 50 points. Giannis who was named as the Finals MVP for his performances throughout the series, helped his side clinched 105-98 Game 6 victory that ended the Bucks’ 50-year title drought and cemented his legacy among the pantheon of Milwaukee Bucks’ greats.

Tokyo Olympics Finally Kicks Off

Athletics

The 2020 Summer Olympics (XXXII Olympiad) branded as the Tokyo Olympics has finally kicked off a year after pandemic delay with softball in disaster-hit Fukushima on Wednesday as the Games suffered their first drugs controversy. Japan thrashed Australia 8-1 in the first action of the 2020 Games, which are struggling for public support with Tokyo under a state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases. Fans are barred from most of the Olympics and the game took place in front of empty stands at Fukushima, which was ravaged by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

Plantashun Boiz Reunited at Sound Sultan’s Memorial

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Former members of defunct Plantashun Boiz, Chibuzor Oji (Faze), Innocent Idibia (2face/ 2baba) and Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo (Blackface), reunited after years of breakup to perform one of their hit songs on Saturday in honour of late music star, Sound Sultan, at the Terra Kulture, Lagos.

Wizkid & Tems Spotlight Nigeria on Billboard's Global 200

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Nigerian singer and songwriter Wizkid debuts on the Global 200 at No. 159 with "Essence," featuring Tems, following Burna Boy to become the second and third artists from Nigeria to hit the survey. According to Billboard, "Essence," from Wizkid's 2020 album Made in Lagos, is primarily sung in English but includes lyrics in Yoruba, making it is the first song to feature vocals in Yoruba to grace the Global charts.

Liverpool Delisted From World Heritage List

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City to the list of removed heritage sites and third to be delisted since the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Oman, in 2007 and Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany in 2009. The move follows concerns raised in 2012 about the proposed development of disused dockland near the city centre, which a UNESCO committee decided were “detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity”.

Jacob Zuma Granted Compassionate Leave From Prison

Africa News

Former South African President Jacob Zuma who is serving 15 months behind bars for being in contempt of court over his refusal to cooperate with the state capture inquiry has been granted compassionate leave from prison in order to attend his brother's funeral. The Correctional Services Department released a statement on Thursday morning confirming the decision but it said that a sentenced offender remained a sentenced offender even when temporarily outside.

Zimbabwe Mandates Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination for Civil Servants

Africa News

Zimbabwe's government on Tuesday ordered that all its workers should receive a COVID-19 vaccine and only 10% of civil servants report for duty, with the rest working from home in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic. The head of the public commission, Jonathan Wutawunashe, said in a circular to government departments that all civil servants - about 250,000 - were considered frontline workers who should get COVID-19 shots.

Taliban Offers Ceasefire In Exchange For Prisoners

Middle East & Asia News

The Taliban who recently claimed their fighters had retaken 85% of the territory in Afghanistan has presented a three-month ceasefire to the Afghan government in exchange for 7,000 captured fighters. According to a government negotiator, Nader Nadery, the proposal is a "big demand". He added that Taliban leaders had also requested that their names be removed from a United Nations blacklist. From several soiurces, it was discouvered most of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners who were released has returned to the battlefield.

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