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Daily Archives: September 7, 2019

Bianca Andreescu denies Serena Williams quest for 24th Grand Slam

Serena Williams’s quest for a 24th Grand Slam title came unstuck again as teenager Bianca Andreescu won her first major in a gripping US Open final.

Williams, 37, could not cope with the 19-year-old Canadian’s quality in a 6-3 7-5 defeat.

Andreescu, seeded 15th, lost a double break in the second set before taking her third match point and falling to the ground in disbelief.

“This year has been a dream come true,” Andreescu told the crowd.
Again, Serena Williams fails to match Margaret Court’s tally of all-time major wins, defeated by Bianca Andreescu in US Open final
Bianca Andreescu

“I am beyond grateful and truly blessed. I’ve worked really hard for this moment. To play on this stage against Serena – a true legend of the sport – is amazing.”
To the disappointment of a stunned home crowd, Williams has now lost four successive major finals.

“Bianca played an unbelievable match,” Williams said. “I’m so proud and happy for you, it was incredible tennis out there.”

Williams, seeded eighth, looked edgy throughout as she aimed to match Australian Margaret Court’s tally of all-time major wins, handing over three of Andreescu’s five breaks of serve with double faults.

By contrast, Andreescu – playing in the US Open main draw for the first time – played with the confidence which has marked her out as a star in a stunning breakthrough year.

She is the first Canadian to win a tennis major and the first teenager to win a Grand Slam since Maria Sharapova claimed the 2006 title at Flushing Meadows.

She is the first teenager to win their maiden Slam since Russian Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.

Andreescu kept her nerve to take a third match point with a forehand down the line, dropping her racquet to the ground and then, after a warm hug with Williams, lay on the court with her arms spread out as she contemplated her achievement.

After returning to her feet, she used a hastily-arranged step ladder to climb into her player’s box and embrace her nearest and dearest, including parents Nicu and Maria.

Hajj 2019: Max Air jumbo jet makes hard landing

A Boeing 737- 400 jumbo jetliner operated by Max Air for inbound airlift of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia suffered serious a incident at Minna Airport today.

The aircraft with 560 passengers and 19 crew on board brushed the surface of the runway with one of its engines during the a hard landing incident

As at the time of filing this report there was no report of any injury connected with the incident.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) which through a press announcement sent to TheNewsMatrics, said it has been informed of the incident with no report of injury, by the airline.

AIB added that its team of investigators has commenced investigation on arrival at the scene of the incident.

“The Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria has been notified on 7th September, 2019 by Max Air Limited if a serious incident involving the Boeing 737-400 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N- DBK which occurred during final approach at runway 23/Minna International Airport, Minna, Niger State.

“The aircraft took off from King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with 560 passengers and 19 crew member on board.

“From the information provided the aircraft on landing screeped the runway while its number 1 engine brushed the surface of the runway and no injury reported.

“Our team of safety investigators has commenced investigations,” said AIB

Also confirming the incident,Public Relations Officer of Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hajia Hassana Isah said, the board would is waiting to be adequately briefed by the experts on what happened to the flight on which she claimed every passenger was safely evacuated”

Isah however assured that all the remaining pilgrims in Saudi Arabia would be safely airlifted back to Nigeria.

One of the passengers who was full of praises to God for averting disaster during the incident said:” I have never seen this type of thing in my life, only God saved us from what would have been a disaster.”

‘Have sex now, get two-week paternity leave for Euro 2020’

Although Euro 2020 tournament will commence June 2020 in 12 cities across Europe, with the final played at Wembley, England fans are already planning a big way to lap it up.

They are plotting how to secure two weeks at home just to watch Euro 2020.

The fans are sharing the top tip on social media, and it is a very simple strategy — get your wife or girlfriend pregnant before mid-September and, pronto, you can expect a baby in time for the championships and enjoy two-week paternity leave.

As reported by the SUN, three Lions fans are sharing the top tip on social media pages dedicated to football.

One male initiated the tip: “Heads up: If you get your missus pregnant in the next week, you can get two weeks off for paternity leave during Euro 2020.”

One supporter commented: “Don’t forget the women who are having the babies. Some will like football as well!!”

Messi ‘can leave’ at end of season – Barca president

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Friday the Spanish giants are not worried about Lionel Messi’s future, despite the Argentinian star being able to leave the club at the end of the season.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a new four-year deal with Barca in 2017, but Bartomeu says he is free to end his contract beforehand.

“Leo Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barca before the final season,” Bartomeu told Barcelona’s in-house television channel.

SARS should arrest people praying for enemies to die —Daddy Freeze

Controversial on-air-personality, Ifedayo Lucian Olarinde, aka, Daddy Freeze, has said that operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad should start arresting Nigerians who engage in praying for their enemies to die.

“SARS need to start arresting people praying for their enemies to die by fire and begin charging them for attempted suicide,” Freeze wrote on Saturday via his verified Instagram handle, daddyfreeze.

One would have thought that Daddy Freeze meant to say that praying for one’s enemies to die was “attempted murder,” rather than “attempted suicide,” but Daddy Freeze said the action was attempted suicide because it was proof that Nigerians hate one another.

“We are, by a wide margin, our own worst enemies,” Freeze wrote.

Some of his Instagram followers didn’t share his view, though.

Someone fires back: “ch.ristian3123: 1corinthians 2 Vs 14 that’s what you are.” Meanwhile, I Corinthians 2:14 states: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them.”

Someone accused him of selling Nigerians cheap: “There is a page on instagram run by a Ghanaian lady that always post bad things about Nigerians. If there is any negative thing about Nigeria, we will post it and there will be making fun of Nigeria. Calling us poor people, thieves, haters etc. It’s been going on for a very long time. But you promote Ghanaians and not knowing how Ghanaians hate Nigerians. The page is aba_the_great1 . Check it yourself and see the hate.” —Efejohnson3

However, one follower shares Freeze’s view: “The stupidity is that all these useless prayers doesn’t work (sic) ..instead, the enemy will still kill them…they have been praying for Buhari to die,what happened? —Ezesolo

Xenophobia: Over 5,000 jobs lost to protest in Lagos —Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that over 5,000 persons have lost their jobs to the protest against xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

It may be recalled that Nigerians had staged anti-xenophobia protests across the nation, during which business outfits perceived to belong to South Africa were attacked.

A press release signed by Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, stated that Sanwo-Olu spoke on Saturday when he visited some of the shopping malls that were attacked in Ajah and Surulere.

“These are jobs where Nigerians are the ones that have been affected. So, we need to be able to take the lessons out of this, be stronger together and be able to take corrective measures to ensure that things like these should certainly not repeat itself in our community,” the governor said.

He also described Lagos State as a safe haven for business and investments, noting that the recent attacks on malls in the wake of xenophobic reprisals by “some hoodlums” is reprehensible and condemnable.

He ordered security personnel to step up protection of all facilities so as to prevent them from further attacks.

The governor, who was at Sangotedo and Surulere Shoprite malls and stores to have a first-hand assessment on the level of destruction of the facilities, described the incidents as “enormous.”

Speaking to journalists after a tour of the malls, Sanwo-Olu said it was sad that several shops and organisations belonging to Nigerians were affected in these mindless attacks.

He said: “We have seen the amount of enormous destruction in both plazas and the first thing is to condemn in strong terms whatever could have led to this. It is an extensive destruction of people’s property.

“As a government, we have come out to condemn this and to assure business community that ease of doing business is paramount to us and security of lives and property is part of the to-do list for us.

“We are charging our security operatives to stop at nothing, to ensure that they keep all of these facilities safe and secure,” he added.

Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that although this xenophobic act took place in South Africa, Nigerians are the ones feeling the hardship and should move to stop such occurrence, while stating that thousands of workers from these businesses have suffered losses as a result of these attacks.

“In both malls, over 5,000 people are out of jobs. These are jobs where Nigerians are the ones that have been affected.

“So, we need to be able to take the lessons out of this, be stronger together and be able to take corrective measures to ensure that things like these should certainly not repeat itself in our community.”

Sanwo-Olu also advised business owners to build positive engagements with their communities so as to be acceptable by the people.

He said Lagosians in turn should see such organisations as part of them and equally own and protect them against attacks such as these.

FSARS, Anti-Cultism officers rob Lagos businessman of N200,000

They were shouting ‘don’t move, don’t move, come out.’ I thought they were armed robbers because they did not look like policemen.” That was the impression Osaretin Erins had when he and his friend, Raymond, were ambushed at a suya joint in Abule Egba, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway around 10pm on Thursday.

The 35-year-old native of Edo State and his friend, a serving corps member in Lagos State, had gone to buy suya (roasted meat) in a Hyundai Sonata driven by Erins.

As they made to enter the car after buying the suya, armed policemen reportedly wearing shirts with the inscriptions FSARS and Anti-Cultism, waylaid them with a danfo bus – a commercial vehicle.

Pronto, they put Raymond in the bus while three of them were inside Erins’ car.

Erins, who narrated the harrowing experience on Instagram, said the operatives led him to an Automated Teller Machine point and forced him to withdraw N200,000 from his account.

He also posted debit alerts of several batches of N15,000 withdrawals running into N200,000

He wrote, “My name is Osaretin Erins. FSARS arrested me and my friend around 10pm at University of Suya in front of Jendol Supermarket along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. As we entered the vehicle, about eight heavily armed men came out of a danfo bus with assault rifles and started to harass us and forcefully dragged my friend into their bus stationed in front of the supermarket making passersby to run for fear of being arrested too.

“After collecting our phones, they took us to an ATM and forced (asked) us to pay a ransom of N500,000. After much pleading, I realised two of the officers were from my state, Edo State. I pleaded with them but they put on deaf ears and insisted we follow them to Alagbon (annex of the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department), that we are cultists and fraudsters, depriving me the access to contact my family for assistance. After much interrogation, they took me to an FCMB ATM and I was forced to empty my account balance. This is Nigeria where police have turned to midnight thieves.

“It’s really heart-breaking considering the fact that we are law-abiding citizens. Nigeria is heading towards a state of anarchy and turmoil if all this continues by FSARS and police. I am really heart-broken. Please use this medium to share this till it gets to the authority. The FSARS are from Area M in Idimu.”

In an interview with City Round on Friday, Erins confirmed the details in the post and gave further revelation on how the policemen took them round different areas and turned down his request to call his parents on the phone.

He said the men tagged him a cult member and frustrated his attempts to convince them that he was not one.

He recalled, “They kept on saying I am a cultist; I said no. I told them I finished from the university nine years ago without joining cultism. When they insisted, I asked them for evidence. They said I was arguing with them and threatened to deal with me.

“I requested that they give me my phone so that I could call my parents, but they refused. They drove us to Agege, from there down to Iyana Ipaja; then to Egbeda and from there down to Idimu. From Idimu, they took us to Ikotun Egbe. They asked us to pay N500,000. My friend is a corps member in Lagos. He came to stay with me because he was ill.

“We were afraid that they might take us to a police station and fabricate all sorts of allegations against us. After a while, they agreed to collect N200,000. They took us to an FCMB ATM point. One of them monitored me as I made several withdrawals.”

He said he withdrew N100,000 before 12am and withdrew another N100,000 after 12am, adding that were later freed around 1.30am.

“Some of them wore shirts bearing Anti-Cultism others wore shirts with the inscription FSARS. All of them were holding guns, except their driver. I can identify them, but my father said I should not expose them so that they would not go after me later. I leave them to God. I posted it to create awareness and warn people to be careful of how they move around. I think they were attracted to my car,” he stated.

Erins, who is into rental service and manages his father’s poultry, said his parents didn’t know he went out to buy suya and didn’t bother to call him throughout the time he was being held captive.

He added, “They thought I was in my room. They were surprised when I returned home around 2am. When people were saying end SARS, the government said criminals would be everywhere. I am telling you categorically that those people are actually those aiding criminality.”

When our correspondent demanded to speak with Raymond, Erins said the corps member was traumatised.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, urged Erins to see him so that the command could investigate the incident.

Recall that a rapper, Ikechukwu Onunaku, had taken to the social media on Thursday to call out some SARS men whom he accused of kidnapping him on Lagos Island and extorting money from him.

Samuel Eto’o retires after 22-year playing career

Samuel Fils Eto’o, Cameroon’s football legend, has hanged his boots from the game after a 22-year playing career.

Eto’o took to his Instagram page to make the announcement on Friday after leaving Qatar SC earlier this year.

He is arguably Africa’s most decorated player — a title held in fluid contention with Nigeria’s Kanu Nwankwo.

“The End. Towards a new challenge… thanks to all of you… big love.”

The 38-year-old is best remembered for his glittering spell at the Nou Camp, helping the Spanish giants to win three La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs.

The former African Player of the Year joined Inter Milan in 2009 where he won the coveted European crown for a third time – this time under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.

Among his 13 professional teams he played for, he had a short stint with Chelsea and Everton.

Eto’o, who is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all-time, earned his first international cap a day before his 16th birthday on March 9, 1997.

He scored 56 goals in 118 appearances for Cameroon.

Eto’o was a part of the squads that won the 2000 and 2002 Africa Cup of Nations and was a gold medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia.

Eto’o was voted African Player of the Year four times, a joint-record he holds with former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure.

Every state deserves Ruga, says Miyetti Allah leader

Abdullahi Bodejo, national president of Miyetti Allah Kautel Hore, says every state in the country deserves Ruga.

In an interview with TheSun, Bodejo said Fulani is the largest ethnic group in the country and ought to be given places to settle all over the country.

He also urged Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state, to fulfil his promise of donating parts of Sambisa forest to herders.

“If Borno State governor says he has given the Fulani Sambisa forest to go and settle, let him start to implement it, but it should not be a thing for politics,” he said.

“Fulani are ready to collect not only Sambisa; every state in this country should give the Fulani someplace to settle, as they are the largest ethnic group in Nigeria.

“They are so many that three states cannot accommodate them. Let every governor; both in the north and the south carve out an area for the Fulani in their respective states.”

Bodejo dismissed the claims that the Ruga scheme is an attempt to Islamise the country.

“If a Yoruba, an Igbo or any other ethnic group were the president and Ruga is to be implemented, nobody will raise an eyebrow,” he said.

“The reason they are saying this is because President Muhammadu Buhari is a Fulani and as I said earlier, people are trying to be playing politics with anything that concerns Fulani.

“But if we say give these people a place to stay and let there be peace in the country, why can’t you do that? Why the government is supporting crop farmers with billions of naira, have we shouted; how much have they given to the Fulani cattle rearers to go and do their business, nobody is talking about that one.”

The federal government had suspended the scheme following widespread criticism but states such as Zamfara and Adamawa have accepted it.

Xenophobic attacks: Buhari to visit South Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to pay a state visit to South Africa in October, the South African presidency said Saturday, after a spate of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg caused tensions between the countries.

South Africa’s financial capital and surrounding areas were rocked by a surge of deadly attacks against foreigners this week, many directed against Nigerian-owned businesses and properties.

The violence prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closing of South Africa’s diplomatic mission ins Lagos and Abuja.

At least 10 people were killed in the violence and hundreds of shops destroyed.

Buhari’s visit is meant to “reinforce the strong bonds between the two countries and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria”, said South Africa’s presidency in a statement.

Foreign workers are often victims of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa — the continent’s second biggest economy after Nigeria — where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.

More than 420 people have been arrested since the violence flared up on Sunday.


Caster Semenya begins ‘new journey’ at football

Embattled athlete Caster Semenya has traded her running shoes for football boots after joining JVW Football Club in the South African SASOL League.

The two-time Olympic 800 meter champion has been barred from defending her world 800m title in Doha this month unless she takes hormone-suppressing drugs.
And while her athletics career is on ice, the 28-year-old has been training with JVW in eastern Johannesburg.

“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team,” Semenya said on the club’s website.

“I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.”Semenya is not able to play first team football for the club this season as the transfer window has closed. Instead she will have to wait until 2020 to make her debut should her hiatus from athletics continue for another year.

JVW founder and South African women’s captain Janine van Wyk, who has recently signed with Danish outfit Fortuna Hjorring, said she was “extremely elated to have such an iconic athlete” join her ranks.

“I welcomed her at her first training session with the team on Tuesday,” she said on the club’s website. “I was impressed to see that she definitely has all the fundamentals.”

Semenya is fighting a case against the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the institution approved the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) new testosterone limit for female athletes.

Under the rule, all athletes with a difference in sex development should reduce their blood testosterone to a specific level for at least six months — and then maintain that for the rest of their athletic career — in order to compete in events from 400 meters to a mile.

South African Semenya, who has naturally elevated levels of testosterone, has remained “steadfast in her defiance” of the rule, according to a statement released by her representative in July.

Tribunal sacks Delta senator, orders fresh election

The Delta state national assembly election petitions tribunal sitting in Asaba has nullified the election of James Manager, lawmaker representing Delta south senatorial district.

The three-man panel led by E.I. Ngene gave the ruling on Saturday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Manager, who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the election but Emmanuel Uduaghan, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, challenged his victory.

Through Thomson Okpoko, his counsel, Uduaghan told the tribunal that the February 23 election in the district was marred by massive rigging.

He had asked the panel to cancel the election and order a fresh election.

Ngene annulled the election and asked INEC to conduct a fresh one within 90 days.


FG refutes report of bomb explosion at South African High Commission


The Federal Government has debunked the report being circulated on the
social media of a bomb explosion at the South African High Commission
in Abuja on Saturday, calling the report fake news orchestrated by the
desperate opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of
Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the video of the
purported bomb explosion, which is being circulated on the social
media, is that of the bomb explosion at Emab Plaza, near Banex, in
Abuja on June 25 2014.

The Minister said it is now apparent that the desperate opposition has
decided to use fake news and disinformation as handy tools in their
avowed determination to make Nigeria ungovernable, having lost
woefully at the polls.

”A pattern is emerging of the antics of the desperate opposition to
latch on to the use of fake news and disinformation as a strategy to
trigger chaos in the country. On Friday (6 Sept 2019), they doctored
and circulated the video of my appearance on Channels Television in
January 2015 (when I was the spokesman of the APC) to make it look
like I was begging Nigerians to forgive President Buhari for not
having a school certificate. Worse still, they posted the video
afresh, giving the impression it happened last Thursday and that I
acted in my capacity as Minister of Information and Culture.

”Unfortunately for them, this doctored video came out on the same day
a report emerged that the PDP had sent lawyers and party agents to the
University of Cambridge to confirm the authenticity of the President’s
West African school certificate, only to be stunned to discover that
not only did the President write the examination, he also passed.

”One would have expected a party that trumpets its belief in the rule
of law, a party that challenged the result of the last presidential
election in court, to wait patiently for the impending judgement on the issue instead of engaging in underhand
tactics and resorting to self help,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed appealed to Nigerians to be very discerning at this
time, and to check the veracity of any information they receive.

”This is just the beginning. Nigerians should expect an explosion of
fake news and disinformation in the days and weeks ahead. This is
because the desperation of this opposition is alarming. But their
strategy will fail, just like every other dubious strategy that they
have been employing in their desperate bid to grab power,” he said.

The Minister warned those behind the orchestrated fake news and
disinformation campaign to stop forthwith or be made to face the