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Straight From the Headlines! The Stories that Got People Talking this Week



Atiku Abubakar

Hi guys! It’s Friday already! Not that the week was a full work week though (for those in Nigeria), but we are happy all the same.

From Ondo state outlawing sponsorship of pilgrims, Uganda banning sexting, to category 5 hurricane Irma tearing through the Caribbean islands, and Nigeria’s Women Affairs minister Aisha Jummai Alhassan campaigning for Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential elections, here are the stories that made the rounds this week:

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said that his administration has since made it a policy not to sponsor either Christians and Muslims on Holy Pilgrimage due to paucity of funds and the need for prudent management of available state resources.

Akeredolu made this known when he received the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Reverend Uja Tor Uja on Tuesday.

The governor said that the commission should encourage churches for such sponsorship rather than looking up to government in view of the lean resources accruing to the government at the moment.

He stressed the need to encourage churches and wealthy individuals to sponsor intending pilgrims.

Nigeria is out of recession, the official Quarter 2 GDP report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

“In the second quarter of 2017, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.55% (year-on-year) in real terms, indicating the emergence of the economy from recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since Q1 2016.

This growth is 2.04% higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 ( –1.49%) and higher by 1.46% points from rate recorded in the preceding quarter, (revised to –0.91% from –0.52%). Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 3.23%.

During the quarter, aggregate GDP stood at N26,986,005.20million in nominal terms, compared to N23,547,466.91 million in Q2 2016, resulting in a Nominal GDP growth of 14.60%,” the NBS report said.

The U.S. government is ending a programme that has allowed young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to remain in the U.S., Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said on Tuesday.

Donald Trump’s administration will wind down the programme known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as participants’ authorisations expire, which could last till 2019.

Sessions determined that the programme, enacted by former president Barack Obama, had illegally bypassed Congress, which must draft immigration legislation.

The White House has been reviewing the programme initiated by Obama in 2012 through an executive order.

Nearly 800,000 people had been approved for the programme, which protects participants from deportation and allows them to work or attend university.

The persons, known as dreamers now have six months, as Congress will, within that time draft a replacement legislation.

Obama has since condemned the move.

The newly installed 9-member porn committee in Uganda has said it is placing a ban on sexting.

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo inaugurated the committee and said the Ugandan Government will be spending Ush2 billion ($556,000) each year to fund the activities of the committee.

In a statement released by the leader of the committee, it has said text messages construed to be leading to sex [sexting] will be defined as porn and attract punishment.

The Ugandan Government had previously banned pornography, mini-skirts, homosexuality, and now sexting.

A category 5 hurricane – the highest classification – called Hurricane Irma is currently tearing through islands making up the Caribbeans.

Irma already hit Barbuda overnight, and no contact, not even a radio signal, has come from there since then.

Irma has been observed to have maximum sustained winds of 185mph, which is well above the category 5 threshold of 157mph, making it the most intense hurricane in the Atlantic basin in a very long while.

A suitor in Katsina State Yari Inusa has died while competing in the fulani marriage flogging game “sharo.”

Inusa had been competing for the hand of a lady with another man Ahmed Saidu when he was hit over his head with the cane.

The incident reportedly took place in Durmin Biri village, in the Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Sharo is a fulani game that involves two suitors flogging one another to win a maiden’s hand in marriage.

Inusa had reportedly flogged Saidu without incident.

When it was Saidu’s turn, he flogged Inusa at the back of his head, rather than on his back as the rules of the game states.

Inusa had reportedly passed out and was taken to the hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

Founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, has alleged that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is working with the federal government to destroy Biafra.

Uwazuruike said the plan to destroy Biafra will begin with the forthcoming November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.

“Nnamdi is fighting against Biafra. The security agencies have seen Nnamdi as somebody with a high value that they can use. They heard him shouting on radio and they approached him and he accepted to work with them. No election in Anambra State is aimed at favouring the All Progressives Congress (APC) to edge out Governor Obiano through destabilisation; that’s the only thing and it’s being arranged by the security agencies, using Kanu,” he said.

He said Kanu is being funded, adding that he knows those funding him. He however. refused to mention names.

“I know the mansions that Nnamdi Kanu and people like him have abroad…let Kanu keep disgracing himself like he’s doing now, because I know he’s being funded and I know those funding him,” he said.

Yoruba leaders, at a summit on Thursday, said that restructuring the country is the way forward for Nigeria’s growth and development.

The summit after exhaustive deliberations issued a communiqué signed by Afe Babalola (SAN) and Dr Kunle Olajide, the Aare of Efon Kingdom.

The summit resolved that the greatest imperatives of restructuring Nigeria was to move from a rent-seeking and money sharing anti-development economy to productivity.

It stated that this could be achieved by ensuring that the federating units are free to own and develop their resources, while they pay agreed sums to the federation purse to implement central services.

The summit agreed that the federating units, be it states, zones or regions, must themselves be governed by written constitution to curb impunity at all levels.

It demanded that Nigeria should be a federation comprised of six regions and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while the regions shall in turn be composed of states.

Minister of Women Affairs Aisha Jummai Alhassan has been in the news since Wednesday after a video of her praying that former vice president Atiku Abubakar becomes president in 2019 went viral.

Although, Atiku has not made his intentions known, it is believed that he is making plans to contest in the next general election which is less than 18 months away.

Alhassan, following the release of the video, has said that Atiku is her “godfather” and she will resign her position if incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari also decides to join the race.

Alhassan, also said that Buhari promised to run for only one term, and he has not made his intention concerning 2019 known.

What if the video is a deliberate move to low-key kickstart Atiku’s “campaign”.

Well, that video generated discussions on social media as to who Nigerians want to be president come 2019. Atiku, Nasir El-Rufai, Yemi Osinbajo, Aliko Dangote, Donald Duke, Olusegun Obasanjo, and even Jesus’ names came up.

Atiku also granted an interview afterwards where he insinuated that after claiming victory in 2015, the All progressive Congress sidelined him, saying he’s no longer part of the government.

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will soon release a memoir titled Unstoppable: My Life so Far and excerpts has been released.

Her comment on Serena Williams has been generating buzz on the internet. She talked extensively about Serena Williams – including the time when she beat Serena Williams in the finals of Wimbledon at age 17.

According to Maria Sharapova, she heard Serena crying after the match and she believes Serena has never forgiven her as a result of that.

She says:

I don’t think she’s ever forgiven me for it’ – witnessing this ‘low and vulnerable moment. I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon. I think she hated me for taking something that she believed belonged to her. I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment. But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.

Still talking about Serena, she says:

First of all her physical presence is much stronger and bigger than you realize watching TV. She has thick arms and thick legs and is so intimidating and strong. It’s the whole thing – her presence, her confidence, her personality. Even now, she can make me feel like a little girl.

Celebrities are drumming up support and taking the lead in providing relief for victims of flood in Makurdi, the Benue state capital. You can support by clicking here, here and here.

What are your thoughts about the news? What else happened this week that you’ll like to share?


  1. FLEUR

    September 9, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Bella, someone died in Sharo game in 2017? Someone was doing Sharo in 2017? I thought this was the stuff Mai Sunsaye went through so that nobody else shall endure? Oya now, at least since he has killed his rival, na carry go be dat.

  2. agu

    September 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    sad some people think the are entitled to Nigeria president position. its time we vote people base on what the can offer and there record.

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