Abdulwaheed Usamah

Air force goes into air, after Dopchi missing 110 schoolgirls

By NewsDesk,

After Federal Government declared that 110 schoolgirls from Government Girls College in Dopchi axis of Yobe State could not be yet accounted for, the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), has deployed additional air assets, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms to North East Zone to intensify efforts at locating the missing girls.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Vice-Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said that the deployment of ISR was a renewed effort at locating the missing Dapchi girls.

Speaking through a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, Adesanya stated that NAF, following confirmation of reports that some of the girls were yet to be accounted for, had deployed some ISR platforms and helicopters to search for and possibly locate the missing girls and the Boko Haram Terrorists.

“Although these search operations were conducted in a covert manner for obvious reasons, the efforts did not yield the desired results.

“Accordingly, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, directed the immediate deployment of additional air assets and NAF personnel to the Northeast with the sole mission of conducting day and night searches for the missing girls.

“It is noteworthy that the renewed efforts at locating the girls are being conducted in close liaison with other security forces while the NAF will spare no efforts at possibly locating the girls via its air operations.

“It also seizes this opportunity to call on anyone, especially the locals, who might have any information that could lead to the location of the girls to bring such information forward to NAF authorities or other relevant security agencies,” he said.

Manchester city lifts Carabao Cup, beat Arsenal 3-0

By SportDesk,

Pitch hostility has paid off Manchester City after it won Carabao Cup on Sunday, the first trophy of the Pep Guardiola, brushing Arsenal aside 3-0.

It was an impressive statement of intent from Guardiola’s team at Wembley after a shock FA Cup defeat to lowly Wigan last week ended their bid for an unprecedented quadruple.

City opened the scoring in the 18th minute when a long punt upfield from goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was controlled by Aguero, who coolly lifted the ball over a helpless David Ospina in the Arsenal goal.

Captain Vincent Kompany doubled the lead in the second half with just over half an hour to go and David Silva put the game out of the reach of Arsene Wenger’s team.

The runaway Premier League leaders will be hoping to use the victory as a springboard to greater glory as the season approaches its final stretch but defeat for Wenger means he has never lifted the League Cup.

On a bitterly cold, clear day in London, City, in their light blue kit, took control early, playing measured football and enjoying the lion’s share of possession against a side who have made Wembley a second home in recent years.

But Arsenal went closest to taking the lead within the first 10 minutes, with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seeing his scuffed shot saved by a sprawling Bravo.

Seconds later Aguero found the side netting after an incisive break from City, who looked short of their fluent best.

But it was Aguero who broke the deadlock, controlling the ball as Arsenal’s defence failed to deal with the danger, silencing the boisterous Arsenal fans.

The Argentine striker has scored in each of his past five games in all competitions against Arsenal and this was his 199th goal in City colours.

It was an unusual goal for Guardiola’s team, who have been lauded for their silky passing game this season, which has already seen them hailed as one of the finest sides in Premier League history.

City made a bright start to the second half and captain Kompany was in the right place to steer home Ilkay Gundogan’s shot from the edge of the box after a Kevin De Bruyne corner in the 58th minute.

It was no more than City deserved against a lacklustre Arsenal and the Belgian celebrated wildly in front of his own fans.

Just seven minutes later Arsenal were left with a mountain to climb when Silva smashed the ball past Ospina into the far corner of the net to make it 3-0.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola kept faith with reserve goalkeeper Bravo for the Wembley showpiece ahead of first-choice Ederson. Bravo has played in every round of the competition so far.

Wenger also played his number two between the sticks, fielding Ospina ahead of Petr Cech.

City look nailed on to win the Premier League and have virtually guaranteed a place in the Champions League quarter-finals after a 4-0 first win in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Basel.

NLC holds ground on minimum wage increment, conducive work environment for employees

By NewsDesk,

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has maintained ground that it would not go back on its effort to ensure government approves a living wage and provide decent working environment for Nigerian workers.

It restated that the need for decent working conditions for Nigerians and that clamour for improved welfare for Nigerian workers could not be overemphasised.

The  President, NLC,  Ayuba Wabba, said that in last 40 years, God has been faithful to the movement of the union and that it became necessary to seek divine intervention in efforts to address challenges confronting Nigerian workers.

Speaking during a thanksgiving service at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Abuja to mark NLC’s 40 years anniversary, he sated that the union had gone through a lot of travails and we have recorded a lot of successes; so going forward is to thank God for where we are coming from.

“And definitely, the grace of God will be sufficient to carry the organisation forward.

“Many organisations were not able to live up to the period we have existed looking at their challenges; therefore, today’s event is to thank God and certainly to continue to rely on Him for way forward.

“So, we need God’s grace, to do more for the Nigerian workers, the nation in advancing issues, decent work, unity and national development of the country.

“Certainly we need the grace of God to take us to the next level,” he said.

Earlier, Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese in Edo, Most Rev. Donatus Ogun, commended the NLC in the struggle for better working conditions for workers in the country.

“The congress has done a lot, especially, the way it has been fighting for the rights of people, the quest for justices, so I appreciate that fact and the contributions they have made so far.

“It is a good cause to fight for the common man, not only the public sector but also the private sector,’’ he said.

Also, Mr Abel Afolayan, National President, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) said the thanksgiving was to glorify God Almighty for the sustenance of the organisation in the past 40 years.

“As an affiliate of the NLC, we will continue to do our best to support the NLC in the interest of the Nigerian workers, pensioners and the nation,” he said.

Mr Biobelemoye Josiah, President Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) noted that the 40th anniversary was significant to the live of the working class and the nation.

“We are here to say thank you to God for what he has done for the congress in the past forty years.

“Forty years is not enough for us, we are asking God to make us stronger, united and live long in order for us to stand for what is right and just for workers in the country,” he said.

Dapchi’s 110 schoolgirls missing- FG confirms

By NewsDesk,

The Federal Government has said that 110 students from Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, could not yet be unaccounted for, the situation which has continue generating public criticism after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on a week ago.

Confirming the situation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the figure after a meeting in Damaturu between a Federal Government Delegation and representatives of Yobe state government, the college, the parents, security agencies and Bursari local government, where Dapchi is situated.

He said, based on the briefings from the principal of the College, Adama Abdulkarim, and the state Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lami, 110 out of 906 students, have not been accounted
for and that the students were in the school on the day of the attack

Mohammed also announced that the FG  has directed the police and civil defence authorities in Yobe State to immediately deploy their personnel to all the schools in the state in order to ensure the security and safety of the students and their staffers.

The minister disclosed that the government has stepped up efforts to rescue the girls and return them safely to their parents, saying the security agencies are working on many leads regarding the
whereabouts of the girls.

”This is the second time in four days that a Federal Government delegation would visit Yobe State since the unfortunate incident. This is a measure of the seriousness with which we are addressing the issue. The security forces are leaving no stone unturned in their search for the girls.

”We are back here in Yobe as part of efforts to provide some succour to the parents of the girls, to let them know that they are not alone and also to reassure them that we will not rest until we have found the girls. We will carry the parents along on the efforts we are making,” he said.

For his part, the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Danbazau said the delegation embarked on the trip in order to get the facts right ”so that the approach to the solution can be correct”.

”We must get back the girls and also ensure that this does not happen again,” he said.


Army announces recruitment postponement, no new date yet

By NewsDesk,

The Nigerian Army has announced postponed it earlier scheduled 77 Regular Recruitment exercise which was meant to take place between 26 to March 9 till further notice.

Through a statement issued by Col. Aliyu Yusuf on behalf of Director of Army Public Relations on Sunday, said that a new date for the exercise would be communicated in due course through the media and Nigerian Army Recruitment Portal.

Yusuf disclosed that the authority highly regretted inconveniences caused” by the postponement.

Police raids cultist Church, rescue over 100 sex slaves

By NewsDesk, with Agency report

The South African police has raided a church, allegedly run as a cult, Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry, with no fewer than 100 sex slaves, among them girls as young as 12, nursing tiny babies and with leaders who regard themselves as angels.

The church, called Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry, was raided Saturday after some members of the church attacked a police station in the tiny Eastern Cape Town of Engcobo, killing five policemen.

Leaders of the church, who see themselves as angels, were alleged to be the masterminds of the attack at the police station.

“In this church it is forbidden to have identity documents. Children are not allowed to have birth certificates and they are not allowed to attend school,” said National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sithole.

The rescued girls were kept in about 10 corrugated iron shacks. Inside, mattresses lined the floor and clothes hung from wires or were dumped on the beds.

A high-ranking police officer told City Press that the cult, in the centre of Nyanga village, was established by a Mr Mancoba, who died in 2015.

Mancoba’s seven sons refused to follow their father’s successor. The “seven angels” and their mother subsequently became the leaders of the breakaway cult.

They soon ran out of money, which the officer said could explain why they attacked the police station and bombed two ATMs in town.

“They need money and are desperate. People of that church are brainwashed. They only live in their own world.”

The officer said at least three of the seven men killed in Friday night’s shooting were among the “angel” brothers, who had masterminded the massacre. One of them is on the run.

“The guys, known as angels, drive very expensive cars, but do not work. They are well known here in Engcobo,” the officer said.

“There are people here in this town who go to that church. People would give up all their pensions and donate them to the church,” said the officer.

City Press of South Africa reported that three of the seven Mancoba brothers suspected of involvement in the murders of the officers were killed during a shoot-out with police on Friday.

Sithole said the rescued girls were “indoctrinated and brainwashed” girls. They have been taken to social workers for counselling.

As City Press reported, the cult – run by the seven Mancoba brothers and their mother – was flagged by the government since 2016.

A report by chapter 9 institution the CRL Rights Commission, which was presented to Parliament’s portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs in October last year, warned it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva told City Press she interviewed the cult leaders in 2016 during her investigation into church practices and made the parliamentary committee aware of her “serious concerns”.

“Everyone [at the cult] was sitting waiting for Jesus to come. We told Parliament that this was a high risk and these people need urgent attention.

“We warned that there will be something else [that will happen] once their money runs out. Look what has happened,” Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.

“This has been a ticking time bomb. We said either these people are going to commit suicide or something else will happen.

“We questioned the sanity of church leaders, who saw themselves as angels sent by God.”

The Eastern Cape social development department knew about the cult. Spokesperson Mzukisi Solani said officials went there in 2016 and rescued 18 children. They were taken to places of safety after the department obtained a court order. After the raid, they alerted the CRL commission to the cult.

On Friday night, police tracked down those who allegedly attacked the police station. They were found 3km outside Engcobo and about 500m from where two of the five slain policemen were executed before their van plunged into a gorge. Seven cult members were killed in the ensuing shoot-out and 10 were arrested.

Ronaldo’s support during Madrid match against Alaves surprise team mates

By NewsDesk, with Agency report, 

The Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo, selfless gesture to allow struggling team-mate Karim Benzema to score in Real Madrid’s rout of Alaves did not come as a surprise to Keylor Navas.

Ronaldo passed up the opportunity to complete his hat-trick as he let Benzema seal Madrid’s 4-0 victory over Alaves in La Liga Saturday.

Benzema had only scored three league goals prior to the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu before five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo paved the way for the Frenchman to convert an 89th-minute penalty.

“Cristiano’s gesture speaks volumes for the type of team this is and how he is as a person,” goalkeeper Navas said post-match.

“We’re all pulling in the same direction and we have to show our unity more than ever.

“We’re thrilled with Karim’s goal, as team-mates, we have to stick together. We’re always going to fight for each other and while there is a lot of talk about Karim at the moment, we have to support one another.”

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane also praised Ronaldo for helping out Benzema , who has been under fire for Madrid.

But team-mate Lucas Vazquez wants to see the French forward continue playing well, with Madrid now in the business end of the season.

“He had a terrific game, provided two assists and scored… We’re really happy with his efforts and let’s hope that this continues,” the Spaniard said.

“He’s bang on form right now.”

Defending champions Madrid are third in La Liga, 14 points behind leaders and rivals Barcelona, but are still alive in the Champions League, where they hold a 3-1 lead over PSG heading into the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Abducted pregnant woman delivers newborn shortly after rescue

By NewsDesk,

A pregnant woman, reported to had been kidnapped by abductors, has delivered a newborn shortly after she was rescued by a Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) team on Sunday morning,  from captive.

It was learnt that before the woman was rescued, the team from the FRSC accosted a vehicle at Badagry axis of Lagos where the abductors had been suspected by the personnel of corps.

The Public Education Officer, FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, confirmed that shortly after the abducted pregnant woman was rescued from kidnappers, she gave birth to a baby boy immediately after she was rescued.

Through a statement on Sunday, the office said: “At about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday Feb. 25, 2018, a team from the Badagry Unit of FRSC led by Assistant Route Commander, Peace Danboyi, accosted a vehicle with registration number KTU 356 CE at AP Filling station before Aradagun Bus stop in Badagry, Lagos.

“In the vehicle were two suspected kidnappers (male) and a pregnant woman who was their victim.

“The pregnant woman, who had body injuries, was rescued to Ola-Oki Hospital, Ibereko, where she immediately gave birth to a baby boy,’’ he said.

Kazeem said it took the prompt intervention of soldiers to rescue the suspects from a mob that had attempted to attack the suspected kidnappers.

“The soldiers arrested and handed them over to the police in Badagry, while Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed appreciation to the gallant officers and commended them for their bravery,’’ he said.

The statement also said that Oyeyemi assured the public that his men would always be on roads to ensure safe traffic and security of lives by cooperating with other law enforcement agencies.

Mugabe’s wife cries daily over humiliation

By NewsDesk, with agency report

The Zimbabwe former President, Robert Mugabe, has confided African Union chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, how his wife, Grace, cried daily, over harassment she has been receiving, especially over her doctorate degree.

Although, it  was the first time that the former Zimbabwe leader would speak on the emotional torment of his wife, three months after he was forced to step down by the military.

Mugabe, who spoke to Mahamat during a courtesy call he made to the Mugabes at their Blue Roof Harare mansion on Sunday, informed his old time friend that he did not feel safe and that his pension has not been paid by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment?,” Mugabe reportedly told Faki at the meeting on 19 February.

“My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe,” the Zimbabwe Independent quoted Mugabe as saying, citing “detailed notes” supplied by officials who attended the meeting.

Mugabe said his wife was being harassed over her PhD from the University of Zimbabwe. Last week UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura was arrested for alleged abuse of office for awarding her the degree in 2014. Critics say her thesis is nowhere near PhD standard.

Mugabe reportedly insisted to Faki the PhD was genuine: “I used to see her here working hard day and night. I would assist her here and there, so how can someone wake up and claim she didn’t work for it? This is harassment.”

According to the leaked notes, Mugabe told Faki that Mnangagwa’s appointment as president was illegal, and appealed to the AU to help restore democracy in the country.

“We want you to assist to restore normalcy and democracy in the country and stop this thing of ruling through guns,” he reportedly said.

Mahamat had earlier visited President Emmerson Mnangagwa and tweeted about the double visits.

NNPC boss reiterates corporation’s commitment toward oil industry productivity

By NewsDesk,

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru. reiterated how the corporation remained committed to identifying with lofty ideals of the games which he said were aimed not just at mere participation, but fostering unity and cordial relationships among entire oil and gas workforce across the nation.

Besides, the NNPC’s boss charged Oil and Gas workers across the country to work assiduously towards proffering viable solutions to the industry’s numerous challenges.

Dr. Baru, addressing workers during closing ceremony of 17th edition of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Games (NOGIG 2018) heldin Lagos, yesterday also called upon oil workers to get involved in sporting activities towards improving their productivity and service delivery.

He indicated that there were lots of advantages in getting involved in sports and that people who participate in sporting exhibit quality lifestyle both at home and in the workplace.

According to him, since people are more active, their brains proffer some of the most efficient and viable solutions to the challenges of the industry today and a number of ailments are attributable to inactivity characterized by lack of exercise and a care-free lifestyle among people.

The GMD also mplored participants to make integrity and sportsmanship their watchword and that entire workers who were involve in the competition were winners in their respective ways.

“This is because at the end of it all, everyone of you here is considered a winner.”

Congratulating the various sportsmen and women who participated at the biannual sporting showpiece, Dr. Baru called upon them to go back to their respective companies and unleash their potentials towards maximum productivity and effective service delivery for the benefit of the entire Oil and Gas Industry.

He commended the Local Organising Committee for its tireless effort towards ensuring “not only a successful tournament but one that everyone in the industry is proud of”

Earlier in her, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Director, Safety, Healthy & Environment at Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Onyebuchi Sibeudu, who was represented at the event,  described sports as a unifying force among people which should always be encouraged.

She expressed satisfaction over the performance of the sportsmen and women, stressing that some of the talents on display today show that the Oil and Gas Industry has what it takes to take Nigeria to sporting stardom.

Several other chief executive officers of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria spoke on the attraction for sports to forge lasting friendship and strategic partnerships amongst oil workers in the country.

At the end of the week-long games, Shell Nigeria emerged as overall winners, clinching nine gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals to cart home the 2018 trophy.

NNPC placed second with eight gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze medals, while the third place went to Chevron, who amassed seven gold, two silver and five bronze medals.

NLNG beat ExxonMobil to fourth place after winning five gold, five silver and five bronze medals with ExxonMobil, collecting two gold, five silver and six bronze medals. NAOC took sixth position with two gold, two silver and nine bronze.

While Seplat and OVH Energy failed to appear on the medals table, Total, NCDMB, DPR, Eroton and PTI placed 7th, 8th, 9th, 10 and 11th respectively.

The bi-annual tourney, which is the 17th in the series, featured 10 events namely: football, basketball, swimming, 8-ball pool, chess, scrabble, athletics, squash, lawn tennis and table tennis.