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Cultists on the rampage in Lagos, behead two, kill three others

Residents of Alasiya in Abraham Adesanya Estate area, in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, were thrown into panic on Sunday as a suspected clash by rival cults left five corpses on the streets.

Eyewitnesses said the clash started around midnight, adding that two of the five corpses were beheaded.

It was gathered that one victim was shot dead, another was slaughtered and the last one was butchered to death.

It was learnt that the police were able to recover four corpses because the family of one of the victims refused to release his remains.

A resident, Black Che, said he heard multiple gunshots around midnight.

The Enugu State indigene said, “Last night, when we were inside the factory around midnight, we heard gunshots. But when we came out this morning, we saw five corpses. The police evacuated four corpses but the last corpse was not released to them, because the family of the person who was killed prevented them from taking his corpse away.

“Two of the corpses that I saw were beheaded; another one was shot dead and his assailants slit his throat; another was slaughtered; and the last one was butchered. The corpses were dumped at different locations around the Alasiya bus stop.

“One dead body was by the road divider at General Paint; one was in front of the bus stop; another was in front of a school; one was not far from the Total filling station; while the last one was by the recycling area around the bus stop.”

A security guard, Uka Kalu, said when he heard the gunshots around midnight, he immediately closed the gate of the company he was hired to secure, adding that he was surprised to learn of the death of five people in the morning.

He said, “I was inside when I started hearing gunshots and the noise of people. I came out to observe what was going on. When I got outside, I asked the people I saw what was going on and what they told me was that some people who disembarked from a vehicle were the ones shouting. I immediately got inside and locked the gate.

“It was in the morning that we realised that the noise was in connection with the killing of five people, and when one of our workers visited the scene, he came back saying the sight was gory.”

A welder, Isiak Adebayo, while condemning the rate at which youths were killing themselves in the name of cultism, charged security agents to restore normalcy in the area.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said four corpses that were probably dumped in the area were recovered, adding that the command had commenced investigation into the matter.

“Four corpses were recovered from the scene of the incident and what we are suspecting is a cult supremacy fight. We have launched an investigation into the case,” Elkana said.

Lagos medium, high capacity buses to start operations

 

The Lagos State Government is set to roll out 820 medium and high capacity buses under its public transportation Bus Reform Initiative to meet the yearnings of its citizenry.

The State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, who disclosed this on Thursday at the Secretariat, Alausa, noted that the deployment of the new buses will address the inadequacies of the present unreliable transportation system in Lagos metropolis.

According to him, the State Government designed the Bus Reform Project to correct the many challenges inherent in the present system, through the replacement of yellow mini-buses with air-conditioned vehicles of uniform specification, predictable bus schedules, and routes supported by appropriate infrastructure.

Lawanson recalled the first implementation of the bus reforms which began with the construction and commissioning of the Ikeja Bus Terminal by President Muhammadu Buhari, followed by the completion of other terminals at Yaba, Oyingbo, Ojota, Agege, and Ajah as well as the Oshodi Transport Interchange masterpiece to be unveiled by the President before the end of the administration’s tenure on May 29.

He maintained that the Bus Reform Project which will be technology driven will ensure seamless integration of transport modes and passenger movement through 23 routes for efficiency and effectiveness that will restore the confidence of Lagosians in the use of public transport facilities.

Explaining further, Lawanson said 75 of the 100 bus shelters earmarked for the first phase of the Bus Reform project have been completed to support the operations of the buses.

Allaying fears that the existing transport unions members will be sent into labour market, Lawanson stated that 800 of the buses will be released to private operators through the operating lease model which has incorporated the current road transport operators – National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) – as part of the Bus Operating Companies.

While congratulating Lagosians for being part of the laudable project aimed at ensuring a better life for all, Lawanson urged citizens to take ownership of the project by guiding against misuse and vandalisation when the buses commence operations.

Ship carrying over 2,000 cars bound for Lagos sinks

The fire stricken Italian ship, MV Grande America, owned by the Grimaldi Group, has sunk in the Bay of Biscay in water depths of 4,600 meters off the coast of France.

According to France’s Marine Nationale, the ship, a container-roro carrier, sank on Tuesday at 1526 local time about 180 nautical miles off the French coast.

Fire broke out on the Grande America on Sunday night as the ship was underway in the Bay of Biscay during a voyage from Hamburg, Germany to Casablanca, Morocco.

The fire was primarily located in cargo containers in the forward portion of the ship. Several containers fell off the ship into the water while it was burning before it eventually sank on Tuesday afternoon.

All 27 crew members abandoned ship in a lifeboat and later rescued by British frigate HMS Argyll and were taken ashore to the French port of Brest.

No major injuries were reported, although several of the crew members were treated for smoke inhalation.

The 213-meter, 27,965 dwt Grande America was built in 1997.It was carrying 2000 cars and 365 containers bound for Lagos, Nigeria

BREAKING: Occupants trapped as yet another building collapses in Lagos

Occupants of a building in the Oke Arin part of Lagos Island are currently trapped following the collapse of a house at Egerton Square.

A resident said that the incident happened at around 3.30pm on Monday.

Eyewitness said the building located at No 57, Egerton square in Alakoro area, Lagos Island, collapsed just as Lagos State Building Control officials were demolishing a building beside it.

The affected building itself was earmarked for demolition.

It was gathered that many people are still trapped in the rubble as rescue mission by residents and sympathizers is underway.

This is coming after a school building collapsed at Itafaji area of Lagos Island on Wednesday, March 13th.

Over 20 residents including pupils of a Nursery/Primary School operating within the building lost their lives while tens of others were rushed to different hospitals on Lagos Island on Wednesday.

SERAP seeks compensation for victims of Lagos, Ibadan building collapse

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged “the governments of Lagos and Oyo states to “take immediate action to address the numerous ongoing human rights impacts of the deadly and catastrophic building collapse in their respective states, including by taking meaningful steps to avoid further damage to the human rights of the people affected.”

The organization said: “The Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode and Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi should ensure as a matter of priority, access of victims and their families to effective remedies in a transparent manner, specifically, access to justice, adequate compensation, reparation, and guarantees that incidents like these can never happen again.”

According to the organization: “These tragedies point to weak enforcement of building regulations and oversight by the two states and urgent need for effective action and reforms. SERAP is concerned that the responses so far by the governments of Lagos and Oyo states have been insufficient to deal with the massive extent of the human costs of the incidents.”

In a statement Sunday, SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said: “These incidents come as a tragic reminder of the mismanagement, weakness in the regulatory and monitoring regime. The governments should have done more to prevent them from happening. The governors should act decisively on their commitments to do everything in their powers to prevent more such tragedies, and to bring to justice those responsible, to serve as a deterrent and end the negligence at which many are carrying out their duties.”

The statement read in part: “Schools should be a sanctuary – a place where children can learn, develop and play with their classmates, and prepare for their future lives in society. Collapse of school building due to weak enforcement regulations or corruption is an implicit attack on the right of Nigerian children to education, life, and human dignity. Such situation creates an environment of fear and severely diminishes the quality of children’s education.”

“The tragedies demand accountability and both Lagos and Oyo states should accept responsibility for these incidents; promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate exactly how they happened, and publicly apologise to the victims, their families and Nigerians. Building developers and contractors can only be properly held to account if the two states do the right thing for the harm they have caused.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned about the frequency of building collapse in the country. Many buildings within Lagos and Oyo states reportedly remain in breach of minimum standards. Both governments should urgently take effective monitoring and enforcement action and provide conclusive evidence that buildings within their states are safe, strong, stable and meet applicable legal and building standards.”

“In order to prevent other tragedies, authorities at both federal and state levels should monitor and effectively enforce compliance by public and private actors with their regulatory and environmental standards. President Muhammadu Buhari and all the 36 state governors should publicly commit that they will do everything possible to prevent new tragedies like those of Lagos Island and Bode, Ibadan.”

“We condemn the collapse of a three-storey building in Ita Faji area of Lagos Island with over 20 people including school children reportedly dead and 45 injured, and the collapse of a two-storey building in Ibadan, Oyo State, with some people reportedly injured.”

“We stand in solidarity with those affected and ready to help by providing free legal advice, assistance and support in order to ensure that justice is not only done, but also seen to be done in these cases.”

BREAKING: Lagos begins demolition of marked buildings

The Lagos state government has commenced the demolition of buildings likely to collapse at Lagos Island.

Government officials are currently pulling down such houses on Freeman street in Ita Faji area.

The development comes two days after a three-storey building on Massey street in the same area, caved in.

Twenty people, including nine children were killed in the incident while 50 were rescued.

BREAKING: APC retains Lagos as INEC declares Babajide Sanwo-Olu Governor-Elect

The candidate of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been declared the winner of the governorship election held on Saturday, March 9.

Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, made the declaration on Sunday at INEC’s collation centre in Yaba, Lagos.

APC wins all 20 LGAs in Lagos Gov poll

Following the announcement of the results of all the local government areas in Lagos State, the All Progressives Congress has won in all the LGAs.

Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the collation centre when the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, protested against the announcement of the results.

He argued that the election in the state should not have taken place at all given that the number of electoral materials were incomplete, as discovered during the distribution in the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria branch in the state on Wednesday.

Awamaridi, whose insistence drew comments from the audience, said, “On Wednesday, we pointed out that the election materials were not complete and the law says election should not start until that is resolved.

“INEC told us it would invite us when the matter is resolved, but that didn’t happen until the election took place yesterday. It is wrong.”

Tinubu kicks against ‘O to ge’ in Lagos

Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says “O to ge”, the slogan used to dislodge Senate President Bukola Saraki is not applicable in Lagos.

Loosely translated as “enough is enough”, the slogan yielded massive rewards for Kwara APC as the party displaced all the three sitting senators in the state, won all house of reps seats and President Muhammadu Buhari defeated Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), with over 150,000 votes in the state.

Some politicians and activists opposed to Tinubu had attempted to use a similar strategy to stop the emergence of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his preferred candidate.

But fielding questions from reporters after casting his ballot at polling unit  047, ward 3, Ikeja local government area of the state, Tinubu said in Lagos, the people should consider “o to pe”, translated as “it’s worthy of praise”.

He said there is a limit to copying concepts from other states, expressing confidence that his party would emerge victorious in the exercise.

“The O to ge slogan is for Ilorin; Lagos is not Kwara state, and there is a limit to copying. Lagos should be O to pe, not O Toge,” he said.

“We are going to win because we are the only party in Lagos state, others are pretenders; they come and they will go away. Leopard cannot change his skin.

“Lagos belongs to the progressives; we are progressives and we will remain progressives. For Lagos, it has seen tremendous development since I was the governor; before then, the highest internally generated revenue (IGR) was N600 million, per month, now it is over N30 billion.

“No other state has achieved what we have achieved, financial independence, as Lagos state; no other nation, they all depend on allocation from the federal government. Lagos State today will not depend on any allocation before we take care of capital needs; we build roads and bridges everywhere from Oregun to many parts of the state.

“The real estate value of Lagos state has exponentially increased than any other state in the federation. We are the fifth largest economy in Africa; let me see that governor who will do better than that.”

Tinubu said the the violence which erupted in the Okota area of state during the presidential and national assembly elections, is not enough to give the impression that the state is prone to violence.

He blamed the media of giving hype to negative stories, saying that such attributes would not bring the necessary progress.

“I take exception to what happened in Okota two weeks ago. I am very upset about that incidence placing Lagos as if we are violent-prone,” he said.

“We have about 1,325 polling units in Lagos State and only five units were affected in Okota. That should not mean that the election was a failure in the state.

“If we should rate it, the election should be about 97 per cent rate of success if right mentally. An incident in Okota should not be used to generalise the whole election in Lagos State.

“The success rate should have been the story, not the ugly incident that should be the story. For the media, how can five units out of 1,325 units constitute a violent election and were given hype that Lagos is violent; we cannot do justice to that.

“How can we have development to the economy and the medium of information? In terms of security, Lagos has always been ready to celebrate democracy, and violence free. The security officials are doing well and the INEC has started well too with the logistics well managed.

“We will continue to welcome everybody to Lagos State.  We cannot stop people from coming to the state. If Lagos is not good enough, they won’t come. If the state is plagued with disease or insecurity or unemployment, people won’t come. Those leaving their states to come to Lagos are welcome, they are not a threat.”

‘No public holiday in Lagos on Friday’

The Lagos State Government says there is no public holiday on Friday, March 8, advising all civil servants to be at their various duty posts.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

Bamigbetan decried reports currently circulating on social media platforms suggesting that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had declared Friday as public holiday to enable residents prepare for the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

He restated that all public and private schools in the state were expected to proceed on the second mid-term break on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 March, as earlier announced by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule.

According to him, all public and private schools will resume academic activities on Monday, March 11, in accordance with the revised school calendar for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Ambode denies working with Atiku’s agents … insists Lagosians prefer APC

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has denied suggestions that he is working with agents of Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate,  Atiku Abubakar ahead of the March 9 gubernatorial elections.

Ambode is a statement issued by his spokesman, Habib Aruna, strongly debunked the accusations contained in a story carried by The Nation newspaper in its March 1 edition.

The governor insisted that he remained a commited member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, which is the choice of Parisians.

Below is the full statement:

The attention of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has been drawn to a report in today’s edition of The Nation newspaper, Friday March 1, 2019.

Specifically, the contentious report, which was published on the newspaper’s front page without any by-line, insinuated that Governor Ambode might be working with an opposition party through a former member of the Lagos State Executive Council and Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo.

The report also attempted to hold the Governor responsible for the alleged activities of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi because he supported the governor’s gubernatorial ambition during the primaries of the All Progressives Congress in October 2018.

The governor wishes to make it abundantly clear that, having declared publicly his acceptance of the decision of the party on the primaries, he has not and will never take any action to undermine the prospects of the party in the on-going elections.
It is human to aspire and the capacity of each individual to manage the negative outcomes of a legitimate aspiration differs.

But that should never be the basis to link His Excellency to whatever action of certain individuals who might have shared his vision in the past but have proceeded to pursue their own interests as adults and citizens without any influence from or recourse to the governor.

Governor Ambode’s decision to stand by the party that has given him the platform to serve Lagosians meritoriously is based on the principle of justice, responsibility and loyalty. He has everything to gain from the victory of the party’s candidate Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State on March 9, 2019 and he looks forward to handing over the affairs of the state to the candidate of the APC come May 29th.

It is therefore disturbing, unfair and sad that a respected medium such as The Nation which enjoys the goodwill of members of our party and is appropriately positioned to verify the falsehood of these fictitious and sponsored hatchet job chose not to observe the journalistic dictum of “if in doubt, leave out” in the breach.

In this circumstance, His Excellency hereby makes use of his right to a rejoinder and demands an apology for the unjustifiable aspersions cast on his person by wrongly presenting him to right thinking members of the public as a disloyal saboteur trying to frustrate his party’s campaign and electoral victory.
Nothing can be farther from the truth.

Governor Ambode has consistently appealed to those who sympathize with him that the best way to express solidarity is to vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress on Saturday March 9, 2019 in order to ensure that his own legacy is preserved and the gains of the past four years are improved upon.

As we move towards next Saturday’s important election, Governor Ambode urges Lagosians and party faithful not to allow fifth columnists pretending to be overzealous crusaders frustrate our onerous efforts to take Lagos State to the next level.

The governor says as he did in the run-up to last Saturday’s presidential poll, he will leave no stone unturned and spare no effort in ensuring that the party’s flag-bearer in the governorship election, Mr. Sanwo-Olu and all the 40 APC candidates in the House of Assembly poll are duly elected on Saturday March 9.

One shot dead during Buhari’s victory celebration in Lagos

Unknown gunman on Wednesday shot into a crowd celebrating President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in Sabo, Yaba, killing one person, while a police officer was seriously injured by some protesting youths in Okokomaiko, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeri gathered that the unidentified gunman opened fire on the celebrating crowd at Iwaya area, killing one person on the spot.

Lagos police Spokesman, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incidents, told NANthat the police officer was attacked by some protesting youths on the Lagos–Badagry expressway.

Oti said that policemen, led by the DCO, SP Sunday Oyekanmi, were appealing to the youths as they were causing heavy traffic on the highway.

He said that while the policemen were appealing to the youths to leave the road, the youths attacked them with machetes and sticks during which the DCO was seriously injured and collapsed.

“Many thought the DCO was dead, but the DPO of the station took him to the hospital where he was revived. He is responding to treatment now. He is not dead. The area is calm now as

“The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Zubairu Muazu, has warned that the command will not tolerate any attack of his men who are working to protect lives and property in Lagos,” Oti said.

Oti said the 37 youths arrested for allegedly attacking the policemen at Okokomako were taken to the State CID, Panti for investigation, while detectives were on the trail of the suspect who shot dead one person in Yaba.

On the alleged skirmish on Lagos Island, Oti said there was no crisis between Yoruba and Ibos traders as being spread in the social media.

According to him, some areas boys were having misunderstanding amongst themselves and the police went there to stop them before it degenerates into a full-scale crisis.

“The area is calm, there is patrol everywhere. Members of the public should disregard any rumour of crisis in Lagos Island,” Oti said.

(NAN)

Armed thugs on motorbikes disrupt polls in Lagos

Presidential and National Assembly elections at Okota, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos were disrupted by suspected thugs.

Eye witnesses said the hoodlums came in about 10 motorcycles and forcefully dispersed voters, INEC officials and security operatives with weapons.

It was gathered that elections did not hold in some polling units as a result of the incident.

Witnesses said voters fled for their lives as the hoodlums unleashed mayhem on the area.

Also, late arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission workers at various polling units across Oshodi Isolo and Alimosho Local Government Areas of Lagos delayed the commencement of the polls.

Most of the polling units visited by our correspondents in the areas had one complaint or the other regarding the conduct of the election

The monitoring, which started from the Oshodi Isolo LGA Secretariat showed late departure of INEC ad hoc workers and electoral materials to different polling units.

An INEC official on duty at the secretariat, who declined to reveal his identity, said some ad hoc workers did not turn up, necessitating emergency deployment of new set of workers to make up for the shortfall.

In Bolade/Sopeju, Sogunle/Alasia, Ewuntun Mofoluku areas and Adebimpe Avenue, Alimosho, voting was delayed for a minimum of two hours even though there was high turnout of voters.

Voters, while expressing their anger at the late commencement of the polls, claimed they got to the polling units as early as 7am.

In addition to late arrival of INEC workers, there was an incidence of card reader failure at Polling Unit 035, Sogunle/Alasia Area in Oshodi and late pasting of voters’ lists in most units.

The INEC ad hoc officials were seen pasting the lists in some polling units shortly before accreditation.

A voter at Adebimpe Avenue, Alimosho LGA, Mr Sunday Aja, expressed disappointment at the delay in the polls, adding that he was ready to wait till they arrive.

“We are eager to vote, but we have not seen INEC officials. I arrived here at 7.30am and this is 9.10am. We got information that voting was started in other places. We are ready to wait till they arrive, ” Aja said.

One Shimbura Isaac at Arowojobe/Olatunji Bolade-Oshodi, said INEC officials arrived the polling unit at exactly 10.45am, claiming that they were not organised.

He said, “The place is not organised and no one is addressing us on why they arrived late.

“When will the voting start, because they just pasted the voters’ list.”

Also complaining about the card reader failure, Oladapo Seun at Adewunmi/Ogefon polling unit lamented that INEC officials arrived at 10.20am but the card reader refused to work. However, a new functional one was later delivered to the unit at 11.57am.

Meanwhile, Senator Solomon Adeola, who represents Lagos West Senatorial district, commended INEC shortly after casting his ballot at Adebimpe Avenue Alimosho Local Government at Ward E polling Units 021, at 10.33am.

He said, “I am happy with process so far. But let us still wait till the whole process is concluded.”

See the photos of the disruption:

Ballot papers strewn on the ground by thugs in Okota, Lagos.
Chairs, ballot boxes scattered in Okota, Lagos voting zone by thugs

Obasanjo, greatest election rigger in Nigeria – Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Saturday described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the greatest election rigger in Nigeria.

This came just as the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said unlike the PDP, the APC had never used the federal might to rig elections in the country.

Speaking at the APC presidential mega rally which held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Tinubu said Obasanjo should be relegated to the dustbin.

He drew his allusion from a reported statement accredited to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua who stated in 2007 that the election that brought him into power was flawed. The 2007 election was conducted during the administration of ex-President Obasanjo.

A mammoth crowd of party supporters waited for over six hours under the sun for the presidential candidate of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, and his entourage.

Dignitaries at the rally were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, regional vice chairmen across the country, host Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, governors of Ogun (Ibikunle Amosun), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Ondo (Rotimi Akeredolu), Edo (Godwin Obaseki), Osun (Adegboyega Oyetola), Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi) and Kebbi states (Abubakar Bagudu )

Others include the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, his colleague in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, pioneer National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, and a host of other

Tinubu said during the administration of Obasanjo and Atiku, major companies relocated from the country, adding that the PDP’s move to return to power is to continue the sale of the country from where they stopped.

He urged the electorate to guide their Permanent Voter Cards jealously and troop out en masse to vote for the APC candidates across the board in the February 16 and March 2 elections.

Tinubu said, “Who sent Michelin, Dunlop, Siemens packing out of the country, it was the PDP government. They want to come back to take our money to Europe and America. For the foreign observers, you are truly welcome, observe what you want to observe, write your report in peace and go home, this is our democracy. America is still questioning its own democracy.

“In 2007, the late President Yar’Adua said the election that brought him as president in this country was flawed and he promised to reform it. Who conducted that election? Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger in this country, let him be put in the dustbin.”

Prior to Buhari’s arrival, Fashola listed the ongoing construction of road projects such as the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, the 3050 Megawatts Mambilla Power Plant, among others in Lagos and other parts of the country as the achievements of the present administration.

Lagosians spend over N50bn cash in Yuletide season

 

For the second year in a row, the Lagos State economy received a major, unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season.

Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending well above N50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.

The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.

In a press statement released over the weekend by the State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box offuce earnings captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.

Ayorinde said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.

“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creatuve economy- friendly, which again affirms the state’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.

The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.
According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in this state of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

The statement attributed the state’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping. He cited the state’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”

Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew an two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 yo 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.

Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the state and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.” He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recirded huge spendings in billions over tge yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.

The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.

First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the Mastercard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.

The commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the state security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainmdnt and creative landscape in Lagos.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”

Govt shutdown: US embassy halts operations in Lagos, Abuja

The US embassy in Nigeria has announced a closure of its Lagos and Abuja offices due to the ongoing government shutdown in its country.

The closure will affect thousands seeking to apply for, or renew their visas, as their appointments would have to be rescheduled.

In a post on its official Facebook page, the embassy said the both offices would re-open once the shutdown is resolved.

“Due to the current U.S. government shutdown, the American Centers located in the Embassy, Abuja and Consulate General, Lagos are unfortunately closed,” the post read.

“They will re-open once the U.S. government shutdown is resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience to our valued patrons.”

In US politics, a government shutdown occurs when congress fails to appropriate funds for the following fiscal year.

It could also occur when the president refuses to sign legislation for the funding of federal government operations and agencies

The shutdown, the third in the US this year, began on the midnight of December 21.

The government had partially shut down after the White House and congress reached a deadlock on budget funding deal of five billion dollars for the construction of a wall along the US- Mexico border.

Mick Mulvaney, incoming chief of staff of President Donald Trump, said the shutdown may continue till congress convenes on January 3.

“It’s very possible that this shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney had told ABC.

(VIDEO) Vehicles, houses razed as vandals cause pipeline explosion in Abule Egba

An explosion has occurred in Abule Egba area of Lagos State as vandals broke an oil pipeline in the area, leading to spillage at Tipper Garage Bus Stop.

It was gathered that unspecified number of houses and vehicles were caught in the huge explosion in the early hours of Wednesday.

Human casualty figure could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report.

The impact resulted in inferno as which razed several houses and cars at the incident scene.

Lagos State Firemen and LRU firemen are on ground to combat the inferno in order to curtail the further spread to adjoining buildings and filling stations, according to eyewitness reports.

Watch video below:

Agbaje: I decided to run for governor because I couldn’t find a younger person

Jimi Agbaje, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he decided to take another shot at the number one position in the state because he could not find a “suitable” younger candidate for the position.

Speaking on Channels Television, Agbaje said after losing the governorship election in 2015, he had made up his mind not to contest the seat but could not get a suitable candidate for the party.

“Even though I didn’t want to run, I felt that we could get a candidate,” Agbaje said.

“After my running in 2015, I felt if I didn’t win, we could get a younger person to run but in all honesty, I’ve spent the last three years trying to encourage younger indigenous Lagosians to see who would be able to run, who we would be able to back up. But unfortunately, we didn’t get any.”

The PDP candidate expressed confidence that he would be victorious at the poll.

He said governance has come to a near-zero in the state, promising the people that he has come to liberate them from “pseudo-democracy”.

Agbaje had been a two-time governorship candidate. He ran under the platform of the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) but lost to Babatunde Fashola in 2007. In 2015 when he ran under PDP, he lost to Akinwunmi Ambode, the incumbent governor.

Lagos joins World Cities Culture Forum

…as global cities unite to show positive impact of culture

Lagos has recorded a major global recognition for its commitment to the arts and culture as it formally joins the influential World Cities Culture Forum.

Lagos’ membership was ratified at the 7th edition if the World Culture Cities Summit which ended in San Francisco, United States of America on Saturday.

According to a press release signed by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, Lagos has now joined globally respected cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo which are celebrated as cultural hubs by the World Culture Cities Forum, an initiative of the Office of Mayor of London.

According to the press release, the profile of Lagos State as an arts and culture hub in West Afruca is also featured for the first time in the triennial authoritative publication of the Forum – World Cities Culture Report (2018).

In the report, Lagos is acknowledged for its multi-faceted infrastructural development of the arts and cultural spheres; using cultural tourism to drive growth and improve the profile of the city and its commitment to diversity in the arts and support for artists operating in the visual, digital and performing arts.

The statement quoted the Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, who together with the Chairman of the Board of Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs Polly Alakija represented Lagos at the summit, of recognising the honour as a validation of the giant strides that the state has recorded in the areas of arts and creative sector in the past three years.

” The honour from World Culture Cities Forum is well deserved and a validation of the commitment that the Lagos State Government has shown to arts and cultural development; more so that it is coming on the heels of Mastercard’s 2018 Report ranking Lagos as the most visited city in Sub-sahara Africa,” the statement quoted Ayorinde as saying.

The statement added that World Cities Culture Report 2018 demonstrates how governments are responding to global challenges with inclusive cultural policies, while describing the Report, which was unveiled in San Francisco on Friday as “the most comprehensive report on culture and cities.”

The report includes data and examples of transformative cultural projects from 35 major global cities including Lagos.

“The World Cities Culture Summit 2018 saw representatives from 32 cities unite to champion culture and share research and best practices as they launched the world’s most comprehensive cultural report.

“The World Cities Culture Report is the first to bring together examples from across the world on how cities are tackling the issues they face with cultural policies. The report outlines the ways in which culture drives regeneration, creates jobs, increases tourism, gives young people positive opportunities and improves health,” the statement said.

It added that “the report will enable city and cultural leaders to learn from best practice across the globe, inspiring new approaches in their own cities.”

The report includes examples of how cities are using culture to respond to universal challenges, such as access to education, social divisions and a rising cost of living:

• In Hong Kong, Rome and Moscow, mobile arts venues and libraries are used to bring culture closer to citizens in every corner of their cities, particularly those areas with traditionally lower engagement with arts and culture

• Projects in Montréal, San Francisco and Melbourne, have been developed in collaboration with, and in recognition of, indigenous populations to celebrate and fully acknowledge the cultures of First Nations.

• In Lagos, previously neglected areas are being brought into government’s attention through the One Lagos Fiesta that holds simultaneously across cities and through infrastructural renewal projects that site 500-seater theatres in five areas simultaneously.

• A number of cities are working with migrants and refugees to provide cultural opportunities to marginalised groups, from supporting refugee artist residencies in Paris to Brussels, where their Cinemaximiliaan project provides a welcome to the city, offering film screenings to refugees in parks, asylum centres and people’s homes

• London has established the world’s first Culture at Risk office – a hot line for venues at risk of closure due to rising rates, increasing development and shifting populations, and has been involved in saving 300 venues, from grassroots music venues to LGBT+ spaces

• Stockholm’s cultural administration has teamed up with media company Consigo on a project called Tactsenze, that enables the visually impaired to learn an instrument, an example of social inclusion through technology

• To respond to the needs of a growing ageing population Amsterdam’s Age Friendly Cultural City programme focuses specifically on cultural provision for the city’s older residents

The report also compiles data which paints a detailed picture of the cultural institutions and resources in each city, such as the number of public libraries, museums, art galleries, live music venues and heritage sites. Data on international visitor and student numbers, the percentage of people employed in the creative industries and the foreign-born population are also included by many cities. This data will enable cities to protect and support their existing culture, as well as helping new venues and spaces to flourish.

Co-founder and Director BOP and Director World Cities Culture Forum, Paul Owens, is quoted in the statement as saying: “Through the World Cities Culture Forum we see that our member cities are committed to promoting the common values of openness and inclusivity – and that culture is an essential part of how to make these values tangible for citizens.”

 

With 1100 votes to Doherty’s 742, Agbaje clinches Lagos PDP governorship ticket

Mr Jimi Agbaje was on Friday declared winner of the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State.

Agbaje, who was the party’s flagbearer in the 2015 election, will be taking another shot at the Lagos Oval House, come 2019.

Agbaje was declared winner of the primary after polling 1100 votes to defeat Mr Adedeji Doherty, who scored 742 votes.

Announcing the results about 4.40pm, the Chairman of the Primary Electoral Committee, Senator Victor Oyofo, said that the party had demonstrated democracy in action with the successful conduct of the primary.

He commended both men for the way they conducted themselves throughout the process, saying that the party was proud of them.

“I, Senator Victor Kassim Oyofo, with all humility, announce the results of the PDP primary for the office of governor in Lagos State, which took place yesterday and was concluded this afternoon.

“There were two contestants, Chief Olujimi Agbaje and Chief Adedeji Okuwagbemiga Doherty.

“It was a keenly contested election, very fair. In my view, an example of what democracy should be.

“They fought a good fight, the process was open, everyone expressed their desires and the votes have counted.

“At the end of the exercise, Agbaje had a total score of 1100 votes, and the runner up, Engineer Adedeji Doherty, had a healthy 742 votes.

“By the powers conferred on me by the Electoral Act and the Constitution of our party, I wish to announce and declare Mr Jimi Agbaje as winner of this contest,” he said.

Oyofo congratulated Agbaje as well as his counterpart, saying he had no doubt the party was on the path to win Lagos.

Agbaje, in his speech, said he accepted the victory and congratulated Doherty for giving a good fight.

“Let me first of all formally accept to be the gubernatorial candidate of our party in the 2019 election.

“So, I will of course congratulate specially Engineer Adedeji Doherty, for the keen contest we have just concluded.

“When you are in a race, you must know you either win or lose. Deji has demonstrated the capacity to accept what has happened.

“I congratulate you once again and I will be soliciting your support in the months ahead,” he said

Agbaje said his mission was to take Lagos to greater heights, and called for the support of all party members in pursuing the goal.

Earlier, Doherty congratulated Agbaje, saying that his victory was not for him alone, but for all members of the party.

He said the race to claim Lagos was worth it to bring more development to the state, promising to work with Agbaje to achieve the goal.