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Nollywood mourns again as Mr Ibu dies


Veteran actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu, who was loved for his comic roles in movies and skits, was confirmed dead on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at a hospital in Lagos. He was said to have suffered a cardiac arrest.His death came barely 24 hours after another actor, Quadri Oyebamiji, aka Sisi Quadri, passed away in Osun State.Paying tributes to the late Okafor, the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, wrote on his Instagram, “Sad day for the Actors Guild of Nigeria. Kate Henshaw lost her mother earlier today, and Mr Ibu suffered cardiac arrest, according to his manager of 24 years, Don Nwuzor. I announce with a deep sense of grief that Mr Ibu did not make it. May his soul rest in peace.”On her part, an actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie, wrote, “It is well…rest well, sir.”

Recall that had battled ill health for some time, leading to the amputation of his legs. This was after he had appealed to his fans and members of the public to prayer for him and render financial assistance to cover his medical bills.

However, as the actor lay on his hospital bed, members of his family were in a fierce battle, During this period, his family seemed to have been in a fierce battle, as they accused one another of wanting to embezzle the money raised by members of the public.

It was also alleged that the actor was involved in an affair with his adopted daughter, Chioma (Jasmine); though both parties denied the allegations.Indeed, the actor’s last years had been tumultuous. On different occasions, he claimed to have survived several poison attempts. According to him, three attempts were made on his life but he survived them all.Actors who have passed on this year include Sisi Quadri and Deji Akinremi, aka Olofa Ina.

Kano Hisbah boss, Daurawa resigns


The Commander General of Kano State Hisbah Board, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, has resigned.Daurawa announced his resignation in a viral video shared on Friday, March 1 2024, in Kaduna where he is presently attending a retreat organised by the state House of Assembly.He said that he has tried his best to uphold the morality of the Kano people including TikTokers.He however attributed his resignation to some comments made by Governor Abba Yusuf regarding his work during the week.

Recall that recently, Hisbah operatives arrested a popular TikToker in Kano, Murja Kunya, over her activities which are against the Shari’a.

The TikToker was later released before the adjourned date in court which generated a lot of controversy among the residents.

Yusuf, had on Thursday, expressed dissatisfaction over the way the Hisbah operatives are carrying out their operations.

He made the remark during a meeting he held with Imams from the 44 local government areas of the state.

Yoruba monarchs seek support for Tinubu’s administration


Traditional rulers in the South-West have called for strong support from the Yoruba race for the administration of President Bola Tinubu.This is contained in a communique issued and signed by Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, and eight traditional rulers at a one-day Yoruba Security Summit held at Ife Grand Resort, Ile-Ife, on Thursday.The summit convened by the Ooni of Ife, was attended by Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun and traditional rulers across Yoruba land.Those in attendance included the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III; Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo; the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade; Owa-Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole; and Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi.

Others were Olowu of Owu, Oba Saka Matemilola; Olojudo of Ido-Faboro, Oba Ayorinde Ilori-Faboro; Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Akure of Ikire-Ile and among others.

The summit noted such support for the president would benefit the Yoruba race and Nigeria at large, and ensure development.

The summit condemned what it called organised systematic attacks on traditional rulers and eminent sons and daughters of Yoruba land by suspected herders.

“That the Yoruba, especially the traditional rulers should make recourse to their natural resources including natural powers to combat banditry and kidnapping; that Yoruba Obas should not jettison traditional values.

“That government at all levels should recognize the roles of traditional rulers and factor them into the national security architecture.

“That the entire Obas in Yorubaland should work in unison to ward off the evils of banditry and kidnappings as each of the states could only succeed in chasing the marauders to another state.

“That any Oba who is disinterested in Yoruba culture and customs should abdicate his throne for anyone who is deeply versed and interested in Yoruba tradition,” the communique said.

It called for the strengthening of the Amotekun Corps in terms of motivation, finances, training and retraining of personnel and equipment.

The summit charged local, state and Federal Governments to employ the use of drones and other appropriate technology for the effective surveillance of forests and roads.

I know how to manage pressure from 200 million Nigerians – Peseiro


Super Eagles coach, José Peseiro, whose contract with the NFF expired on Thursday, in this interview with Goal.com talks about the pressure of managing Nigeria’s national team, his experience at the last Africa Cup of Nations, his relationship with Africa and his future with the team

First of all, how are you? Were you able to rest a little after the African Cup of Nations?

Yes, I rested and I am still resting. My contract ends in two days. The AFCON was an exhausting tournament, I must admit. We did a good job, me, the staff and the players. There was a lot of energy expended.

It was an AFCON with a lot of strong emotions. How did you experience this competition on a personal level?

It was a fantastic experience. It was my first AFCON. Some of my colleagues told me that it is different from other tournaments. The context changes. And I felt it. It was full of emotions. The public’s enthusiasm is unique. There was also some great competition. All the teams and players gave their all for their country. And African football was able to display all that it has in qualities. There was also a lot of pressure on the teams, not just from their fans but from their countries as well.

And what differentiates the AFCON from other tournaments you have played like the Copa America (with Venezuela) or the Asian Cup (with Saudi Arabia).

In terms of atmosphere, it is incomparable. Already, with Venezuela, there was none at all because we were playing during the Covid period. The stadiums were empty. In Asia, it’s different. I believe that here in Africa, there is greater proximity with the supporters or even the media. Which makes it more alive. But that also means there’s more pressure. And when it comes to the football produced, it’s different too, that’s for sure. The level of commitment and standards are different. This can be seen in particular with matches that are more open. Even teams that are less technically well equipped manage to provide beautiful football through the enthusiasm and commitment they offer. And then, it must be said that there are very good players in Africa. 90 per cent of them play in Europe, in very good championships. And the Europeans may be pretending not to be interested in this tournament, but I can tell you that they all have their eyes on it.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. How do you manage popular pressure when you are Nigeria coach?

For me, considering my age and the experience I have, it’s not that difficult. I prepare in advance. I knew it. The media and social networks can have a positive side for our lives, but sometimes it is negative. But we have to be understandable. And also accept it, because we can’t change anything. Sometimes it wrongly criticizes us and it’s not pleasant, and it’s not only in football that we see this. But I can bear it. I never respond to criticism or fake news. It’s not easy playing for the Super Eagles. It’s a heavy jersey to wear. Not like the others. You have 200 million Nigerians behind you. And who put pressure on you and complain. Sometimes they also use bad terms when talking about players. Against me too, but I know how to manage. On the other hand, when it comes to the players, it upsets me. Because the players feel it and they suffer from it.

Do you enjoy the work of a coach more than that of a club coach?

These are different contexts. I like both. Before, I liked clubs more because we are in contact with the players on a daily basis. But I adapted to this new role as coach. I would say that I love both jobs equally. Coaching also means choosing players, watching a lot of matches throughout the week. But in both cases, we remain a coach. It’s the best activity in the world. It’s very motivating and it gives us a lot of emotion. In fact, the most important thing for me is the project.

What can we wish you for the future?

Earn. I would like to play in the World Cup, I would like to work in England, work in Brazil… I have already been to many countries. Nine countries and four continents. All the experiences I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed. Because there were connections and emotions, even in the teams where we did not have good results. I would like to continue working, with projects where we will be able to aim for success. And where I will continue to do my job.

In Ogun, it’s one doctor to 6,400 patients – NMA


The Nigerian Medical Association has expressed worry over the shortage of doctors in Ogun, with the current ratio of one doctor to 6,400 patients in the state.

The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Azim Ashimi revealed that in the last four years, about 25 percent of doctors practicing in the state, had left the state for other states in the country and other countries outside of Nigeria, while some have retired from active service.

Ashimi exclusively told PUNCH Healthwise that the state, with over six million people has only 1,000 doctors in the public and private hospitals across the state.

The World Health Organisation recommends a 1:600 doctor-to-patient ratio for member countries, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals target in healthcare.

Based on the NMA’s list of active doctors in the state, the association insisted that the ratio in Ogun State was approximately ten times worse than the WHO-recommended ratio.

Available statistics show that almost all the government health institutions are battling health worker shortages as they cannot cope with the high number of patients that throng the government hospitals.

Findings by PUNCH Healthwise indicated that approximately 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors moved to the United Kingdom since May 29, 2023, to date.

According to the register of the General Medical Council of the UK, Nigeria is set to overtake Pakistan and become the country with the second-highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

Currently, India remains the country with the highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

Though about 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed between May 29, 2023, and December 1, 2023, the total number of Nigerian doctors licensed to practice in the UK is now 12,198.

“The effect of Japa syndrome is all-encompassing; from inadequate healthcare practitioners to an increase in disease burden due to inadequate care and the proliferation of quacks to fill the gap created by the phenomenon.“Arguably every agile healthcare practitioner will likely leave. Many are planning to in the coming months while some are not thinking of it immediately.“However, experience has shown that many who left recently did not plan to do so in the immediate past until something triggered them to do so. It is therefore believed that those who are not immediately planning to japa now will do so when a trigger strong enough is evoked.“These triggers from experience include embarrassing events like not being able to meet up with children’s school fees, take care of aged parents, own a home and being molested by landlords, and not being able to care for medical bills of loved ones. All of these would paint such a health worker as a failure.“Other triggers include insecurity (violence against health workers on duty, kidnapping, and so on). Fear is if these continue, Nigeria may lose up to half of its critical health workforce by the end of 2025.”

On how best to stop the mass migration of doctors abroad, the medical expert said the government needs to prioritise the healthcare sector by ensuring adequate and good quality equipment in the hospitals.He stressed that providing adequate security in the hospital environment and generally improving basic infrastructure would help reduce the number of people who left the country.He noted, “Government needs to ensure environmental hygiene including adequate waste disposal system, public toilets, potable water supply (pipe borne water), proper monitoring and regulation of food and drink production and so on to reduce the burden of communicable diseases.

“They should ensure universality of health insurance. Universally improve security architecture to curb kidnapping and other vices“Appropriate remuneration for healthcare workers is close to what they can earn abroad, after all our politicians in Nigeria earn more than their counterparts in some developed countries of the world.“People should imbibe appropriate hygienic practices as well as seek proper attention whenever they are challenged by health.”

Copyright PUNCH

Ekiti declares three days of mourning for Akeredolu


Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has declared three days of mourning for Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who died as Governor of Ondo State on Wednesday.

Akeredolu was, until his death, the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and South West Governors Forum.Gov. Oyebanji, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, declared the three-day state mourning on Friday.

All flags at public buildings across the state will be flown half-mast for the three days of mourning.

Recall that Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, had also earlier declared a three-day mourning in his state in honour of the late Akeredolu.His declaration came on the heels of that of Ondo State, which had led the way in declaring three days of mourning in honour of Akeredolu.

Akeredolu died at 67 in Germany, where he had gone for medical treatment for prostate cancer.

Truck crushes woman to death in Ogun


A yet-to-be-identified woman has been crushed to death by a truck allegedly belonging to the Dangote group, in Ogun State.

The incident occurred at Dalemo-Ota, along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

The Federal Road Safety Corps in a statement on Friday, said the woman was standing by the roadside when she was crushed by the truck.

The FRSC spokesperson in Ogun, Florence Okpe, stated that “the crash occurred at about 2300hrs late hours of Thursday night, involving a Dangote Truck.” The truck is marked XA354WDP.”

She attributed the accident to excessive speed and mechanical fault. The female adult was recorded dead from the crash.“The suspected cause of the fatal crash was excessive speed and mechanical fault (break failure) of the Dangote truck, which later hit a female adult standing by the roadside and she died on the spot.”

RCCCG opens up on ‘takeover’ of traditional ruler’s seat by Pastor Adeboye


The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCCG has described the claim that its General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye took over the seat of a traditional ruler, the Olugbon of Orile Igbon during a ministration visit to his place as false.

The Public Relations Unit of the RCCCG made the denial in response to a trending claim on the allegation, accompanied by a photograph of Pastor Adeboye sitting on a set said to be that of the traditional ruler in the palace.

The traditional ruler was also shown in the picture standing beside the chair where the RCCCG General Overseer sat.

Many commentators on social media, especially from the South West had based on the photograph accused Adeboye of arrogance and denigrating the Yoruba culture by not the giving the traditional ruler the respect due to him.

However, the RCCCG Public Relations team in a statement published on its social media handle denied the claim that Adeboye asked the King to vacate his throne so he could sit on it.

“This is false!,” RCCG said in the statement.

Pastor E.A Adeboye was going to minister from the altar and there was a chair which was the only chair prepared for him which was already placed there.

The seat on the altar was brand new.

“He did not and would never displace any person from his throne for him to sit down”

“Please in the future before you pass any comment on anything that has to do with Pastor E.A Adeboye – kindly find out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from his office. Kindly check the social media handle of Pastor E. A. Adeboye’s office which is @rccg_pr so that you avoid highly dangerous errors,” the PR Unit said.

I served with sense of responsibility, says Buhari’s minister


A former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has denied knowing a contractor, James Okwete, who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly laundering N37bn.

She also said she served as a minister with every sense of responsibility and would defend her actions whenever called upon to do so.

“I remain proud to have served my country as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with every sense of responsibility and would defend my actions, stewardship and programmes during my tenure whenever I am called upon to do so.”

Sunday PUNCH had reported that the EFCC uncovered N37bn allegedly laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under former minister, Umar-Farouk.

Details of the ongoing probe exclusively obtained by Sunday PUNCH revealed that the money was transferred from the Federal Government’s coffers and sent to 38 different bank accounts domiciled in five legacy commercial banks belonging to or connected with the contractor,  Okwete.

Following receipt of the funds, Okwete allegedly transferred N6,746,034,000.00 to Bureau De Change Operators, withdrew N540,000,000.00 in cash, purchased luxury cars with N288,348,600.00, and bought luxury houses in Abuja and Enugu State with N2,195,115,000.00

Guardiola says rivals want Man City to fail ‘more than ever’


Pep Guardiola believes many people now want Manchester City to fail “more than ever” after the club won their fifth trophy of an outstanding year.

City return to English domestic action at Everton on Wednesday after adding the Club World Cup with a 4-0 thrashing of Brazilian side Fluminense in Saudi Arabia to their trophy cabinet, having already lifted the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and European Super Cup in 2023.

No club in English football history has enjoyed such a successful year, although Guardiola won six trophies when in charge of Barcelona in 2009 when the Catalan side won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup titles.

“It is a business, you get credit when you win,” City manager Guardiola said ahead of his side’s trip to Goodison Park. “You don’t win you are nothing, zero, what you have done in the past.”

The Spaniard added: “As much as you win, they want you to fail. More than ever. I felt then when we won the sextuple in Barcelona.

“It’s normal. They don’t want (us to win). In these 14-15 years what we have won, the titles, is unbelievable.

“People say ‘how good they play, how genius it is’. But they give credit just because we win. They don’t have to look further than that.”

But Guardiola, who spent Christmas with his family in Barcelona, insisted his focus now was firmly on Everton.

“Nothing else exists than Goodison Park,” he said. “The greatest athletes forget as quickly as possible the success. They celebrate it, but around the corner is another competition.”

City are hoping Rodri will be after the Spain midfielder suffered an ankle injury against Fluminense, but they have doubts over the fitness of Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku.

Lagos sacks five LASTMA officials for corruption, reprimands two others


Lagos State Government has sacked five officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for corruption and reprimanded two others.Adebayo Taofiq, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, in a statement on Monday, said the Personnel Management Board (PMB) found them wanting and terminated their appointments.

He said letters of termination of appointments and reprimand were handed over to the indicted LASTMA officials.

Adebayo confirmed that all recommendations made by the Personnel Management Board on the seven indicted LASTMA officials during their meeting on Tuesday, 19th of August, 2023 were ratified by the Lagos State Civil Service Commission.

Adebayo said, “While Five LASTMA officials who were indicted for corruption received a letter of termination of appointment, the remaining two received letters of ‘reprimand’ for absence from duty posts without leave.”

Oki said that the agency would only get better if and when members of the public shared their experiences, including positive ones, and provided evidence where applicable of perceived misdemeanours.

He implored road users in Lagos to always comply with the State Traffic Law in order not to run foul of the law, which will attract penalties as stated in the law.

10-man Man. United succumb to Copenhagen in seven-goal thriller


Ten-man Manchester United crumbled to 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen on Wednesday in a Champions League match to remain at the bottom of Group A.

United opened the scoring three minutes into the game as Scott McTominay fed Rasmus Hojlund, who tapped the ball into an empty net.

The visitors doubled mid-way into the first half as Hojlund got his brace. He was in the right place at the right time to pounce on the rebound inside the box and gleefully rifled the ball home.

Marcus Rashford was sent off three minutes to the end of the first half after a bad challenge.

Two minutes later, Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one goal back for Copenhagen, He beautifully controlled a strongly hit pass from Diogo Goncalves inside the box. He cut inside his marker and rifled the ball into the bottom right corner. to make it 1-2.

Copenhagen equalised in the first half added time. Diogo Goncalves made no mistake from the penalty spot after firing the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to give the goalkeeper no chance.

Midway into the second half, United made it 2-3 from the penalty spot. Bruno Fernandes played the ball into the top left-hand corner, giving goalkeeper Kamil Grabara no chance.

The homers fought back and equalised seven minutes to duration. Rasmus Falk played the ball into the box, and Lukas Lerager got on the end of the cross to put it into the bottom right corner.

Copenhagen dealt United a blow, as they scored to make it 4-3. Roony Bardghji showed good composure inside the box to fire a first-time shot inside the right post.