Category Archives: Breaking News

Breaking!!! Train collides with commercial bus in Lagos


A fatal accident involving a bus and a train occurred at Old Abeokuta Road by Odejobi junction on Friday.

According to the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Twitter handle, the accident occurred on Friday morning. The number of casualties wasn’t stated, except that it hindered the flow of traffic at that end of town.

As of the time of filing this report, the traffic management agency has revealed that the scene of the “fatal train-bus accident has been fully recovered. Our officers are currently flushing the heavy traffic trail it has left behind.”

By Adedotun

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Prince Louis’s christening marked by family portrait


The christening of Prince Louis has been marked by the release of a set of family photographs.

The four images were taken by celebrity photographer Matt Holyoak following the baptism in The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace.

“Everyone was so relaxed and in such good spirits, it was an absolute pleasure,” Mr Holyoak said.

The photos were taken in the morning room and garden of Clarence House.

The christening on Monday, July 9, was the first time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children had been seen together as a family of five.

By CR

chemical factory blast


At least 12 people were injured and taken to hospital after an explosion on Thursday night in a chemicals factory outside Egypt’s main airport in Cairo.

A plume of smoke could be seen rising from at the scene of the explosion:

Egyptian army spokesman said the blast was caused by high temperatures in a storage facility belonging to a local petrochemicals company.

Aviation Minister Younis al-Masri said air traffic at the airport was unaffected by the explosion, which could be heard across the area.

Obama announces ‘African summer read’


Former US president Barack Obama has tweeted a list of books by African authors that he recommends for his annual summer reading list.

They include: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Return by Hisham Matar.

Mr Obama said the authors were the “best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways”.

He made the announcement ahead of his trip to the continent, which will see him visit his ancestral home in Kenya and then head to South Africa where he will deliver the annual Mandela Day lecture.

Alarm over HIV rates in Mozambique army


Health authorities in Mozambique have expressed concern at the prevalence of HIV among the country’s militarily.

They say 11.5% of the force is HIV-positive.

The head of military health, Agueda Duarte, said the force also had a lower level of adherence to anti-viral treatment compared with the civilian population.

The agency has introduced a rapid testing and treatment programme which will see all HIV-positive soldiers receiving treatment immediately after diagnosis.

Mr Duarte said: “One of the biggest challenges continues to be the increasing number of people with HIV starting treatment and maintaining the regimen. What we want is continuous efforts to reduce the prevalence – reduce as much as possible.”

The Mozambican military received a lot of support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

HIV prevalence among Mozambicans aged between 15 and 49 is 13.2%.

However, only 64% know their HIV status.

South Africa launches gold coin for Mandela anniversary


South Africa have launched a limited edition of bank notes and gold coins to mark the 100th anniversary on 18 July of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The South African Reserve Bank said the notes depict key moments of Mandela’s life including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief, his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became president.

The launch forms part of events across the world, which will culminate locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former US president Barack Obama next week.

Mandela died in 2013 aged 95.

The gold coin was designed by Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Nyoni.

“Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have,” he is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

(OPEN LETTER): PLEASE SHOW EMPATHY, LIVES ARE INVOLVED – BY. DR. ALEX OTTI OFR


Dr Alex Otto OFR

Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.

My dear brother, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, I bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I beg to let you know that even though this letter of appeal I am sending across to you bothers on issue of governance in our dear state of Abia, it bears little resemblance to my previous interventions that sought to assess your performance or criticize your programs we found fault in.

I must also plead with you to ensure that this letter is not politicized or trivialized like my previous releases so that its essence would not be lost to attacks and counter media attacks.

My dear brother, facts on ground show that Abia Civil Servants are presently owed up to ten months salary arrears, while pensioners are owed up to sixteen (16) months pension arrears. I do not intend to delve into the issues of Leave Allowances and Gratuity which are also as neglected as Salary and Pension.

I chose to make this passionate appeal at this point in time because facts available show that the situation has become very critical and pathetic for serving and retired Abia civil servants.

Like me, I am sure you must have read or been informed of series of reports concerning the untimely, and avoidable deaths of Abia civil servants and pensioners who had need to take care of their health, but had no money, because government chose to owe them unjustly.

I do not just read this sad situation only in the newspapers and on social media, I get text messages and calls that are painful and very pathetic, and which convinced me that the situation has indeed taken a dangerous dimension and thus must not be allowed to continue.

I would not want to bandy figures of Abia’s statutory monthly allocations for the state and the seventeen (17) local governments, internally generated revenues and oil derivation funds, but I do know that they have been more than enough to execute monumental projects as well as pay Abia workers and pensioners up to date if your government had managed such resources with high sense of frugality and responsibility.

Is it not such a provocative tragedy of immense proportion that the state under your watch received little over Thirty Billion Naira (N30B) Naira in Bailout fund and Paris Club Refunds from the Federal Government, and yet could not pay salaries or clear the pension arrears even when the government repeatedly assured it would do so?

Does it mean that Abia State government would have been owing more than one year salary arrears if the Bailout fund and Paris Club Refunds didn’t come in the first place?.

This sincere letter is not anchored on rumour or driven by hearsay, thus I wouldn’t want to believe the insinuation and alleged boast by some agents of your government that you intend to clear the salary arrears just before the 2019 election so as to get the support of civil servants for your re-election bid.

Such selfish political strategy, if it is true, would only increase the number of deaths arising from hunger and sickness due to prolonged non payment of salary arrears. It is only the living that can vote.

It would also confirm the generally held view that your government has the capacity not to owe salaries but intentionally chose to.

In one of my articles, published in my Thisday Column and republished by numerous other media platforms who found it very interesting, I harped on the moral and economic obligations that would have been met when salaries are paid promptly and I would like to revisit and restate a few lines here.

The Bible reminds us that ” We should not muzzle the ox while it threads out the grain, and that the labourer is worthy of his wages”. 1 Timothy 5:18.

God went further to sound more angry as if he was referring to the case of Abia workers when he warned that “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who moved your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty”. – James 5:4.

The Quaran was also very much in agreement when it stated that “The Prophet said, you should pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries up”. Sunan Ibn Majah (Volo 3) (2443)

A similar injunction was made in the Quaran with the message that says “And oh my people! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people, the things that are their due”. Quran 11:85

From the economic point of view, I comprehensively explained the positive impacts of payment of workers’ salaries on the economy in times of recession.

Even though our economy has recovered a bit few months after I wrote that piece, yet my argument on the timely payment of workers salaries and positive impacts of money circulation on a struggling economy like ours remains valid. It therefore follows that the failure of your government to prioritize the payment of workers’ salaries and pension arrears, hurts the economy of the state.

One of the most dangerous developments arising from the failure of your government to pay salaries as has been discovered is that, workers now go about begging and borrowing to sustain their families, only to pay back with interest when they manage to receive the meager salaries behind time, thus they are usually left with nothing. The long term implication of this is that, there would be no room for savings and investment, because they were indebted with interest, but owed by the government without interest; what an injustice!

Another dangerous implication of the maltreatment of Abia workers by your government is that it kills their service morale, slows productivity, destroys patriotism and creates room for corruption.

What of the children and wards of civil servants who have been forced to miss exams, miss academic sessions or completely drop out of school because you failed to pay their parents and guardians?

You can see that the spiral effect of your government’s failure to pay Abia workers and pensioners their salaries and pension arrears is horrendous and far reaching, therefore I am appealing to you to have mercy on Abia workers and show some humanity.

Dear Governor Ikpeazu, even if your government can’t do any other thing, let it try and pay workers’ salaries because lives are involved.

Let me thank you in advance for your anticipated immediate action on this matter.

Signed

Dr. Alex Otti OFR

12/07/2019..

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