By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
By Olawale Abdul-fatah
Worried by level of insecurity in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the state’s rerun election for April 13.
The new date came barely two days to earlier announced date by the commission for supplementary elections in states with cancelled votes.
INEC commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, discosed the new date at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
He disclosed that the electoral body has decided to resume the collation and announcements of results in the state between April 2 and 5.
By Olawale Abdul-fatah
The former gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, has debunked claims that he had dumped the party over lack of support.
Agbaje’s rebuttal on Wednesday came hours after news filtered in that he has dumped the party to join the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Modupe Ogunbayo, stressed that he remains a member of the PDP.
According to her, “In the past 24 hours, Mr. Olujimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of the PDP) in the recently-concluded 2019 election in Lagos state, has received uncountable calls and messages from numerous friends, teeming political associates within PDP and countless members of his supporters, that he has resigned from the PDP.
“It is another chunk from the ongoing propaganda and disinformation machinery of his foes. Agbaje urges all to treat the rumour with the disdain it wisely deserves,” she said.
Also, PDP publicity Secretary in Lagos, Taofik Gani, debunked the claim, saying, it is not true.
Also, former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, disclosed the conversation he had with the governorship candidate, describing the report of his decamp as fake news.
Fani-Kayode, in a statement on his official twitter handle, also disclosed that Ogun former governor, Gbenga Daniel, told him that he has not join APC.
“I just received a call from my brother Jimi Agbaje.He assured me that he has not left PDP and that the media reports were false. My brother Gbenga Daniel also reached me and assured me that though he has left PDP he has not joined APC. Thank you Jesus!”
By News desk
Mozambique started three days of national mourning on Wednesday after powerful cyclone winds and flooding killed hundreds of people and left a massive trail of destruction across swathes of southeast Africa.
Cylone Idai, which hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira on Thursday before moving inland, brought winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph) which flattened buildings and put the lives of millions of people at risk.
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said in a televised statement on Tuesday that the cyclone had killed more than 200 people in Mozambique but that more bodies were still being discovered.
In neighbouring Zimbabwe, the official death count stands at 98 but is likely to grow as hundreds are still missing.
Rescue crews are still struggling to reach victims, while aid groups say many survivors are trapped in remote areas, surrounded by wrecked roads and submerged villages.
“Challenges remain in terms of the search and rescue of thousands of people, including children,” UNICEF said. It estimated that 260,000 children were at risk in Mozambique. The Red Cross has said at least 400,000 people have been made homeless in central Mozambique alone.
Beira, a low-lying coastal city of 500,000 people, is home to Mozambique’s second-largest port and serves as a gateway to landlocked countries in the region.
Local media reported that there were food and fuel shortages in central Mozambique because Beira was cut off by road.
In eastern Zimbabwe grieving families are rushing to bury their dead because the cyclone has knocked out power supplies and stopped mortuaries from functioning. Zimbabwe’s Grain Millers Association said 100 trucks carrying wheat destined for Zimbabwe were stuck in Beira.
The European Union announced on Tuesday an initial emergency aid package of 3.5 million euros ($3.97 million) to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe for emergency shelters, hygiene, sanitation and health care. Britain has also pledged aid.
By News desk
Former U.S President, Bill Clinton has congratulated the eight year-old Nigerian chess champion, Tanitoluwa Adewunmi and also invited him and his parents to his office for personal introduction.
The young Nigerian recently won the New York State Chess championship for his age bracket.
Adewunmi had won seven chess trophies including the state tournament, where he outwitted other children.
The story went viral and got the attention of Clinton, who was amazed by the accomplishment of the young Nigerian.
Tanitoluwa and his family are taking asylum in a homeless shelter in Manhattan after they fled the Boko Haram insurgency since 2018.
He went undefeated at the state tournament, outwitting children from elite private schools with private chess tutors.
Tanitoluwa rating is now 1587 and rising fast and he is being compared with the world’s best player, Magnus Carlsen, who stands at 2845.
His feat has attracted commendations from parents and celebrities.
In a tweet on his Twitter handle, the former number one citizen said: “Refugees enrich our nation and talent is universal, even if opportunity is not.”
The former U.S president now joins the queue of people celebrating the boy and his feats.
Clinton said “this story made me smile, Tanitoluwa “ you exemplify a winning spirit – in chess and in life. And kudos to your hardworking parents. You all should stop by my office in Harlem; I’d love to meet you.”
Tanitoluwa placed first in the New York State Scholastic Championships tournament for kindergarten through third grade, a remarkable win for anyone.
In an interview with newsmen the young chess champion said: “I want to be the youngest grandmaster.”
By News desk
The Wales National team Manager, Ryan Giggs, has disclosed that Ethan Ampadu, Sam Vokes and Tom Lawrence will not be available for selection ahead of their first Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.
Giggs also disclosed that Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, is expected to be fit, a claim that was not certain.
Ramsey did not take part in yesterday’s training session and will sit out Wednesday’s friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham, while Ampadu (back), Vokes (groin) and Lawrence (ankle) have not joined up with the squad.
“Aaron’s just got a slight knock to his thigh, so we’re just monitoring that. He should be OK for the weekend. He won’t be involved tomorrow,” Giggs told reporters.
“They (Ampadu, Lawrence and Vokes) have got different injuries. Ethan’s got a slight back strain.
“Tom Lawrence… took a blow to his other ankle. He was struggling with one ankle, then got a knock on the other ankle. And Vokesy’s been struggling with his groin.”
By News desk
Inspite of the high cost of goods in Lagos, the Economist Intelligence Unit has listed the city among the 10 cheapest cities globally.
Caracas (Venezuela) occupies the first position, followed by Damascus (Syria), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Bangalore (India) in second, third, fourth and fifth position respectively.
Karachi (Pakistan) and Lagos (Nigeria) occupy the sixth position while Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Chennai (India) share the seventh position. New Delhi (India) is the eighth on the list.
The survey, which compares the cost of 160 items, such as food, drink, transport, utility bills, and rent, in 133 cities, also listed Paris (France), Hong Kong and Singapore at the top of world’s most expensive cities.
They are followed by Zurich (Switzerland) fourth; Geneva (Switzerland) and Osaka (Japan) fifth; Seoul (South Korea), Copenhagen (Denmark) and New York (US) occupy the seventh position while Tel Aviv (Israel) and Los Angeles (US) share the 10th position.
The annual index was designed to help companies calculate cost-of-living expenses for expatriates and business travellers.
The Economist Intelligence Unit noted that costs in the cheapest cities were low by Western standards, partly because low wages limiting household spending are the norm there.
By News desk
Tunisian special forces has killed no fewer than three suspected Islamic State militants during clashes in mountains near the Algerian border.
The country’s forces killed the militants days after Islamic State had released pictures of militants carrying weapons in mountains where they have hidden for years, a security official disclosed.
“Our forces killed three terrorists suspected of belonging to Daesh after clashes in the Saloum mountains in Kasserine,” Colonel Houssem Jbebli told newsmen, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
One of the Arab world’s most secular nations, Tunisia became a target for militants after being hailed as a beacon of democratic change with an uprising against autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
Some militants operate in remote areas near the border with Algeria.
Tunisia suffered three major attacks in 2015, including two against tourists, one at a museum in Tunis and the second on a beach in Sousse. The third targeted presidential guards in the capital. All three attacks were claimed by Islamic State.
After collapsing, tourism has since gradually recovered.
By News desk
The number of people killed in a powerful cyclone and flooding in Mozambique has risen above 200, more than doubling the country’s death toll from a storm that could rank as one of the worst weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere.
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said in a televised statement following a cabinet meeting on the disaster on Tuesday that the death toll after Cylone Idai now stood at more than 200, up from 84.
Winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph) and flooding swept across southeastern Africa, including Zimbabwe and Mozambique, affecting more than 2.6 million people, United Nations officials said on Tuesday.
Rescue crews were still struggling to reach victims five days later, while aid groups said many survivors were trapped in remote areas, surrounded by wrecked roads, flattened buildings and submerged villages. The Red Cross said at least 400,000 people had been made homeless in central Mozambique alone.
“This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s history,” said Jamie LeSueur, who is leading rescue efforts in Beira for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The organisation said large areas to the west of the port city of Beira were severely flooded, and in places close to the Buzi and Pungwe rivers flood waters are metres deep, completely submerging homes, telephone poles and trees.
LeSueur had said earlier on Tuesday, when the death toll was 84, that the full human impact of the disaster remained unclear, and that the figure was likely to rise.
While the official count has increased, it remains well below the 1,000 deaths Nyusi had estimated after flying over some of the worst-hit zones, witnessing submerged villages and bodies floating in the water.
The cyclone hit land near Beira recently and moved inland throughout the weekend, leaving heavy rains in its trail on Tuesday. More rural areas remained unaccessible.
Studies of satellite images suggested 1.7 million people were in the path of the cyclone in Mozambique and another 920,000 affected in Malawi, said Herve Verhoosel, senior spokesman at the U.N World Food Programme. He gave no figures for Zimbabwe.
In Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, people worried about missing relatives.
Telma fa Gloria, a street vendor, said she had not heard from her mother, who she usually speaks to every day, or her siblings, for days. Her mother’s neighbourhood was in one of the worst-hit areas.
“I’m stitched up, with nothing to do,” she said, adding she was thinking of going to Beira to find out what had happened. “I don’t have the strength to get the news I don’t want to hear, and I don’t wish anyone to hear.”
By News desk
The 2019 Miami Open suffered severe setbacks after rain wiped out the opening day play, delaying the start of the tournament at its new Hard Rock Stadium home.
Having outgrown the cramped quarters of Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park, and unable to secure the necessary approvals to renovate and expand, the Miami Open has moved to the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins but the day-long rain spoilt the moment yesterday.
With a 25 percent jump in ticket sales, tournament director James Blake, the former world number four, had been expecting a record crowd but instead the 14,000 seat temporary show court inside the stadium stood empty and the luxury boxes were silent.
Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova were scheduled to christen the action on the main show court with Mari Osaka, the sister of Japanese world number one Naomi Osaka, taking on Whitney Osuigwe in the nightcap.
Tuesday’s first round play was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s official opening, which will see Serena Williams, who is a part-owner in the Dolphins, Roger Federer and world number ones Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“When we get through the first day or two and see what we are in store for I have a feeling we will be announcing a lot of (attendance) records broken this year,” American Blake told Reuters in a pre-tournament interview.
“I don’t want to be too pie-in-the-sky but I do think we are going to break a records.”
Once the rain disappears fans can expect a wide open tournament if the season follows the current trend.
There have been 19 ATP Tour events this season and 13 WTA events each producing a different winner.
Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian who stunned the field in Indian Wells last week to claim her first career win, is on that list and comes to Miami looking to complete what would be an even more unlikely Sunshine Double.
Sloane Stephens, the reigning Miami champion, and Serena Williams, an eight-time winner of what she considers her home event, can count on having the American crowd in their corner as will John Isner, who is back to defend his crown.
Serena, whose name is not among the 13 women’s winners this season, has sister Venus in her quarter of the draw along with the always dangerous second-seeded Romanian Simona Halep.
The men’s draw is also thick with former champions led by six times winner and world number one Djokovic and three-time winner Federer.
The Swiss comes to Florida in superb form after collecting his 100th career win in Dubai and coming off a finals appearance in Indian Wells but will be on alert after crashing out in the first round here a year ago.
World number one Osaka will also be wary with in-form German player, Angelique Kerber, a losing finalist in Indian Wells, lurking in her quarter.