* Foremost playwright, Prof. Akiwunmi Ishola dies at 78 (Vanguard) * Zamfara killings: Yari vindicates me on $1bn withdrawal, says Fayose (Punch)

* Foremost playwright, Prof. Akiwunmi Ishola dies at 78 (Vanguard)           * Zamfara killings: Yari vindicates me on $1bn withdrawal, says Fayose (Punch)



Foremost playwright, Prof. Akiwunmi Ishola dies at 78 (Vanguard)

A foremost playwright and culture activist, Professor Akinwunmi Ishola has died at his Bolajoko Estate home in Ibadan on Saturday at the age of 78 years. While confirming the incident to Vanguard on telephone, one of his former students, Mr. Sola Ajayi said: “The news of his death really shocked me when I heard this morning. He was a legend and and he left behind good legacies,” praying his soul to rest in peace. The late playwright, who had been down with illness for about two years, had several works to his credit which include, ‘Oleku, ‘ ‘Kosegbe, ‘ ‘Saworoide,’ ‘Agogo Eewo,’ among others. Read more

Zamfara killings: Yari vindicates me on $1bn withdrawal, says Fayose (Punch)

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the claim by Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, that security agencies failed to respond to the alert given them to prevent the massacre of people in Zamfara has vindicated him. Fayose said the statement had validated his stance that no extra $1bn was needed to be deducted from the Excess Crude Oil Account to fund the fight against insurgency. Fayose stressed that funds being spent on security seemed not well used, as instead of insecurity being curtailed, the nation was unfortunately witnessing more killings on a daily basis. Read more

Killings: Senator asks Buhari to ban governors from Aso Villa (PremiumTimes)

The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has condemned the habit of state governors visiting President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Villa while their states are in crisis. The lawmaker wants President Buhari to ban the governors from embarking on such visits. Mr. Sani made this known in a statement on Saturday. His comments came as some state governors are being criticised for visiting Aso Villa even in the midst of violent crisis rocking their states. Governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari, is currently facing such criticism for his response to the recent killings in his state. He stayed back in Abuja days after the attacks. Read more

MASSOB orders members to register for PVC (Punch)

The leadership of the Movement for a Sovereign State of Biafra has urged its members to register en mass at the ongoing continuous permanent voter card registration. A statement issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Friday by MASSOB National Secretary, Ibem Ugwuoke, said that the decision to order its members to register for PVCs was reached in a meeting presided over by its leader, Uchenna Madu. The statement said that the PVC would be useful for MASSOB in the nearest future in its quest for a sovereign state, not just for election in 2019. Read more

Bruce writes Buhari over Benue killings(Vanguard)

The senator representing Bayelsa East constituency, Ben Murray-Bruce, has written a short letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to visit victims of Benue state. Recall that no fewer than 51 persons were reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen in January, which precipitated Benue traditional rulers to visit Buhari at the state house Abuja, along with Gov Ortom. A visit that many stakeholders condemned, noting that Buhari should have been the one to visit them. In view of the above statement, argument and counter argument emanating from different groups and Presidency, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce wrote; Read more

PDP condemns Zamfara killings, calls for prayers (Nation)

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday condemned the gruesome murder of 41 Nigerians by marauders in Zamfara State and urged Nigerians to join forces in praying for the nation. The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to take decisive steps to end the incessant killings in various parts of the country. PDP said it was heartbreaking that Nigerians were daily slaughtered by marauders. The party said: “In the last two months, hundreds of helpless citizens have been murdered by bandits in various parts of the country. Read more

Former Jonathan’s aide decamps to APC (PremiumTimes)

A former presidential aide from Adamawa State on Saturday officially decamped from the People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). Ahmed Gulak, who was political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, and later tried unsuccessfully to become PDP’s national chairman, said he was leading “42,000” people to the ruling APC. He said they were “forced to leave PDP” by “impunity and lack of internal democracy”. “Members of the PDP numbering 42,000 across the 21 local government areas including party executives have today wished to formally dump PDP and join APC officially. Read more

Nigeria able to generate 7000MW — Fashola (PremiumTimes)

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says Nigeria’s power generating companies (GenCos) are now able to produce 7,000MW. Mr. Fashola made this known on Tuesday at the 1st Stakeholders Workshop on- Taking 2000MW Unutilized Power to Eligible Customers, which was held with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). He added that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is able to transport all of this power just as it is expanding its capacity daily, adding that the distribution companies have also increased their load taking capacity to 5,000MW. Read more

JUSUN begins indefinite strike in Nasarawa (Punch)

The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter, has commenced an indefinite strike following the failure of state’s Chief Judge to meet their demands on welfare issues. The Chairman of the union, Mr Jimoh Musa, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lafia on Saturday. Musa said the decision to embark on the strike was reached at a congress held on Friday because of the insensitivity and refusal of the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Suleiman Dikko, to address their demands. Read more

Nigerian selected as finalist in Commonwealth Youth Awards (Punch)

A young Nigerian, Miss Omowumi Ogunrotimi, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards in recognition of her contribution towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 5, gender equality, in Nigeria. Omowumi is the founder of Gender Mobile, which aims to increase the reportage of, and reduce the incidence of, gender-based violence through coordination of linked services. It also works to provide survivors with information, referrals, assistance and longer-term help to close the gap in service delivery through creative use of technology. Read more

Catholic priest sponsors 136 couples in Nasarawa state (Nation)

Rev. Fr. Lawrence Soja-Anyembugu, Parish Priest in charge of St Sylvester Catholic Church, New Nyanya, Nasarawa state, has sponsored the marriage of 136 couples within two weeks. Soja-Anyembugu, announced this to newsmen on Saturday during the marriage matrimony of 83 couples in commemoration of his 10th priestly anniversary in St Patrick Catholic Church, Akwanga, Akwanga Local Government Area of the state. He said that the gesture was extended to the people, who do not marry in the church to enable them to receive the sacrament of holy matrimony. According to him, the step will also enable those who did not marry in the church to receive the sacrament of holy matrimony and to get their marriage blessed. Read more

NAPTIP says 2,114 returnees evacuated from Libya (Punch)

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons said over 2,114 Nigerian returnees from Libya had been brought to the country from January till date. The Head, Press & Public Relations of NAPTIP, Mr Josiah Emerole, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday. Emerole quoted the Director-General of the agency, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, as disclosing this at a lecture she delivered at the University of Benin as part of activities marking the 60th birthday of businessman and philanthropist, Capt. Idahosa Okunbo. Read more

Army denies killing any vigilante member in Edo (Vanguard)

The 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin, has denied killing any vigilante member or freeing any suspected herdsmen in Edo. Capt Mohammed Maidawa, Assistant Director Army Public Relations, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen, Benin, on Saturday. According to Maidawa, the attention of the Headquarters 4 Brigade Nigerian Army had been drawn to a malicious story going round mainstream and Social Media alleging that soldiers killed a vigilante and released suspected herdsmen. Read more

Police uncover ritualist den with shallow graves in Osun (Punch)

Residents of Ilobu town in Osun State were shocked as men from the Osun State Police Command stormed the town and uncovered a ritualist den with some shallow graves. The ritualist den which is located inside a big house at Molete area of the town was on Friday discovered by a team of policemen led by the Commissioner in the state, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye. The commissioner of police told our correspondent that the police acted on a tip off and they swooped on the den where two persons believed to be siblings were arrested. He said that the leader of the syndicate was at large but said the police were on his trail and would not give up until he was arrested and everybody, who had connection with the den. Read more

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics: Lizzy Yarnold wins Team GB’s first gold medal (Skynews)

Lizzy Yarnold has won a gold medal in the women’s skeleton at the Winter Olympics. The 29-year-old, who had also won in Sochi 2014, overcame dizzy spells to win her second successive women’s skeleton gold medal. She also became the first Briton to successfully defend a Winter Olympics title. Finishing four runs in 3 minutes, 27.28 seconds at Pyeongchang, she won by nearly half a second over Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling. British team-mate Laura Deas won bronze by 0.02 seconds, giving Britain two medals in the same event for the first time in Winter Olympics history. Read more

Lavrov: US indictments against Russians ‘jut blabber’ (Skynews)

Russia has dismissed the indictments of 13 of its citizens in the US for allegedly interfering in last year’s American presidential election as “blabber”. Sergei Lavrov, the country’s foreign minister, said at a summit of world leaders that the indictments were simply “allegations multiplying”. On Friday, the US special counsel, Robert Mueller, brought indictments that alleged an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 race. The documents also targeted three Russian companies, including a St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency known for its trolling on social media. Read more

UN blames funding cuts and blockade for Gaza crisis (Memo)

Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric blamed on Thursday UNRWA funding cuts, the closure of Gaza’s crossings, and the delay of internal Palestinian reconciliation for the dire situation in the enclave. Answering to questions about the situation in Gaza, Dujarric said: “The dire humanitarian situation has obviously been made more stressful with the funding crisis” facing UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). He added: “So far, UNRWA has not cut back on any services and is striving not to.” Read more

PA security forces raid West Bank houses (Memo)

Palestinian Authority (PA) security services this week raided tens of Palestinian houses, harassed women and arrested men, including relatives of Palestinian MPs, Quds Net reported. In Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank, the PA security services stormed the home of Nidaa Dweek, daughter of Speaker of Palestinian Parliament Aziz Dweek. Nidaa wrote on Facebook: “Just now, forces of the Palestinian intelligence agency have left our house. They searched the house and left much havoc behind. They confiscated my daughter’s PC and camera and my son’s mobile and wallet, which includes his ID, University ID and NIS240.” Read more

May: ‘Ideology’ must not impede Brexit security deal (CNN)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May warned Saturday that “ideology” should not get in the way as she called for a new security treaty to be agreed between Britain and the European Union after Brexit. In a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, May said Britain wanted to continue vital cooperation on security with its European partners after it leaves the EU in March 2019 through a “deep and special partnership.” But she warned that “rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology” should not put the security of UK citizens at risk. Read more

Amid criticism of Vatican’s Handling, Pope revives sex abuse commission (Nytimes)

Pope Francis renewed a commission on clergy sexual abuse on Saturday, confirming an American cardinal as its head, as the Vatican promised to give victims a greater say in its work. The renewal of the commission and the confirmation of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as its head comes as the pope is dealing with an abuse scandal in Chile that has created one of the greatest image crises of his papacy, which marks its fifth anniversary next month. The first, three-year mandate of the commission ended in December, and its future had been uncertain. Read more

‘Reasonably-sized’ earthquake strikes southwest Britain (Skynews)

An earthquake has struck southwest Britain, the British Geological Survey has confirmed. A spokesperson told Sky News it was “reasonably-sized”, with reports on social media of the tremor being felt from Cornwall to Liverpool. The US Geological Survey recorded it as a magnitude of 4.2, coming from 3km north of Clydach, in Wales. It had a depth of 11km and happened at 2.31pm. Read more

Lilian Osigwe Editor

A Creative and Versatile Writer.  
Currently writes for SabiNews Media

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