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The Nigerian Government has described as fake and sinister the report that the outbreak of Monkey Pox in some parts of the country resulted from the alleged free medical care by the government in the affected areas. In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigerians should disregard the report which, apparently, is being spread by some unscrupulous persons to fit into a sinister agenda. ‘The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in both states. “Monkey Pox is a virus found only in monkeys and it is rare in human beings. It belongs to the same family as Chicken Pox and Smallpox. ”It is suspected that someone may have contacted it by eating monkey meat, thus triggering the current outbreak,” the Minister said. He gave an assurance that no effort will be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.

The Nigerian Army says it has deployed troops for the commencement of “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the six Niger Delta states. Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said this on Saturday while addressing troops to signal commencement of the exercise. Udoh said the operation was confidence building patrol rather than a show of force as widely reported. “Operation Crocodile Smile is not a show of force but a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers state and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work. “We are ready to work in close synergy and collaboration with other security services and agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security for the people. “Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear,” he said. Udoh said that troops would carry out collaborative patrols with the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Security (DSS). Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Customs Service and personnel of the Nigerian Prison Service. He said the division would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta. “Army, police and other security services was established to ensure peace; enforce law and order and create the enabling environment for economic activities to thrive. “This is our ultimate mandate, and, as such, we urge Nigerians to give us the necessary support to enable us to succeed,” he said. The three weeks exercise is slated for Oct. 7 to Oct. 28.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector to improve health care delivery in the country. Comrade Chinonso Obasi, NANS’ National President, made the call on Saturday in Abuja after receiving the remains of Mr Mohammed Dauda, a former president of the association at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Obasi said that Dauda passed away on Oct. 1, on an Ethiopian Airline few minutes to landing at the New Delhi International Airport. He said that Dauda was on his way to receive further treatment and possible liver transplant due to a diagnosed liver carcinoma which could not be treated in any Nigerian hospital. The NANS president blamed Dauda’s death on the poor medical facilities in the Nigerian hospitals. “If people like us cannot stand firm at our youthful age, there is a big challenge. “Our unborn children may not have a country to call their own because when they are sick, the only option for them is to die. “We are disappointed with where we found ourselves, Dauda did not die because he has HIV; he died because there are no good medical facilities to treat him,” he said. He lamented the increasing number of death among women on daily basis because of pregnancy related issues and other diseases that could ordinarily can be handled. “We want to charge the president of the country who has also enjoyed the privilege of travelling abroad for medical treatment that what he has seen there could be brought back home. “He was sick, no hospital in the country could attend to him and he flew abroad. “So we expect him to bring in those facilities he saw outside the country back home for ordinary Nigerians,” he added

A Nigerian, Jelili Omoyele, 35-year-old cellular phone technician, was allegedly shot dead in Johannesburg on Saturday, the Nigeria Union, South Africa, has said. Its President, Mr Adetola Olubajo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg that Omoyele, a.k.a Ja Rule and native of Ibadan, Oyo State, was killed at a parking lot at Doornfontein, Gauteng Province. He said a fact-finding team to the scene led by him and National Welfare Officer, Mr Trust Owoyele, met an eyewitness, Mr Sipususo Mkalipi, a South African taxi driver, who confirmed the killing. “The deceased and the son of the caretaker of a parking lot had an argument over an unpaid R300 (N11,400) rent. “The witness said that the deceased decided to leave his car in the parking lot till Monday because he had no money to pay, but the caretaker’s son shot him on his way out of the building. “Omoyele gave up the ghost a few minutes later,” he said. Olubajo said Mkalipi was the driver, who brought the victim to the parking lot. According to him, a murder docket has been opened at Jeppe police state near Johannesburg while the case has been forwarded to the union’s legal adviser, Mr Omoreige Ogboro, for a follow-up. The Nigeria Union President also said the incident had been reported to the Nigerian Mission in South Africa. “We implore the mission to give necessary support to the union in order to ensure that justice is served. “Omoyele is survived by a pregnant wife also in South Africa and his parents in Nigeria,” he said.

A contractor, who claimed to have worked for the Living Faith Church, aka Winners Chapel, Lewis Ihama, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of three pastors of the church. Ihama noted that the Rivers State Police Command had carried out investigation into the matter and found the pastors (names withheld) culpable, but wondered why the persons had yet to be arrested. He claimed that his company handled the building of the worship auditorium of the church at Ozuoba community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, adding that his payment has not been completed. Ihama noted that the pastors, who gave him the contract, had played on him and refused to pay the agreed amount. “The church, when they wanted to build the auditorium, awarded the contract to me and the pastors told me that they had agreed with the church management to pay N120 million. “I have almost completed the work, having concluded the roofing. They have only paid me N49 million and now, they are assaulting and harassing me. They also arrested me unlawfully and are threatening to kill me,” Ihama added. He stated that the police had intervened and concluded investigation into the alleged illegality by the pastors, but expressed worry that the culprits had not been arrested and arraigned in court. Ihama also lamented the delay by the police to charge the matter to court, appealing on the IGP and the State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Zaki, to direct the investigative team to arrest and arraign the clerics. In a copy of the petition obtained by our reporter, Ihama demanded full prosecution of those found guilty of the allegation. Meanwhile, when our correspondent visited the branch of the Winners Chapel, the pastors mentioned in the petition were said to have been transferred out of the place. A senior pastor at the branch, who claimed that the pastors had been transferred, declined to speak on the matter, adding that he was not in the right position to comment..

Satellite TV service provider, TSTV says its TSTV Africa, will begin commercial operation on Nov. 1. Its Managing Director, Mr Bright Echefu, made this known while briefing newsmen on Saturday in Abuja. Echefu added that TSTV would launch its services with about one million decoders nationwide. He said that at least 5,000 decoders TSTV would be released to the public next week for free, adding that it would use the first set of decoders with one month free subscription to test run its services. “Commercialization of our decoders will resume officially on Nov. 1 and by that time, every part of Nigeria would have TSTV decoders for people to buy. “We are releasing about one million which can go round and our target for the first quarter is one million units. “In every quarter we will bring one million units and we are targeting four million units within the next one year. “I can tell you categorically that some decoders will be released next week for Nigerians to test and we are going to cover the 36 states of the federation. “These decoders are going to be free and it close to 5,000 units to test and that will last for two weeks,’’ he said. Echefu disclosed that the delay in releasing the decoders to the public was to ensure that dealers were properly scrutinized so that the decoders do not fall into the wrong hands. He explained that the decoder would be sold to Nigerians at a subsidized rate. According to him, the landing cost of the decoder is N28,000. “We don’t want a situation where someone would pick our decoders and dump them somewhere. “That is why we are very careful because of competition. “ We have received well over 6,000 applications and it has been overwhelming processing these people; but so far, we have been able to accredit more than 748 dealers and we have received applications from more than 3,000 of them. “That is why we have not commercialized our services even though we are the ones losing because we have enough decoders to cover the whole of Nigeria. “But it will be unfair with all the money put in for us to give decoders out and those decoders don’t get to the end users,’’ Echefu added. TSTV boss said that measures had been put in place to ensure its sustainability in terms of services, pledging that the organisation would be envied by many Nigerians in the next ten years. He disclosed that the organisation currently has 250 staff on direct employment, while it expects about 10000 to be engaged indirectly at take off. According to him, TSTV has improved on its transmission facilities to overcome weather challenges while expressing happiness over the acceptance by Nigerians. He praised the Federal Government for the three year tax relief granted to the company to encourage more investors to come to Nigeria. He said that the company would consolidate on the new tax policy to grow its business in the country and recoup its investment. On the alleged copyright infringement on two international content providers, Turner Broadcasting System and beIN sports, Echefu said the company entered into partnership agreement with every concerned organisation. According to him, TSTV will air CNN and beIN sport channels. He commended DSTV for creating value for Nigerian content. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the new satellite pay TV was inaugurated on Oct. 1.

At least five people are feared dead on Saturday after a fuel tanker exploded at Tafa village along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. An eyewitness told Channels Television correspondent in Kaduna State that the tanker laden with kerosene was trying to avoid dangerous potholes on the road when it suddenly fell by the roadside and burst into flames. Two of the deceased were said to have been killed after inhaling fumes from the flames and the other three were burnt by the fire. According to reports, many others who sustained severe burns have been hospitalised while several vehicles parked by the roadside were burnt to ashes. Thousands of Abuja-Kaduna bound passengers are said to have been left stranded following the incident. The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Yushau Shuaib, also confirmed the incident to Channels Television. He, however, said they could not ascertain if lives were lost in the incident or not. The busy Kaduna-Abuja highway links the Federal Capital Territory with the North West and North East, with thousands of vehicles plying it every day. It also links the North with the South through Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

The Super Eagles have confirmed their place at the Russia 2018 World Cup after a hard-fought win against the Chipolopolo of Zambia at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria on Saturday. The Super eagles made impressive display against the Chipolopolo, the Zambian national team to silence them Alex Iwobi’s second half goal guaranteed Nigeria’s place at the 2018 World Cup, earning a 1-0 home win against Zambia. With that win Nigeria now has 13 points from four games while the Zambians are closing in from behind with seven points from the same number of games. It will be recalled that the Super Eagles of Nigeria began their qualification quest for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with a wonderful strikes from the England based duo of Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho that gave Nigeria all the three points that ended in 2-1 win at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. Nigeria has therefore, joined other countries like Brazil, Spain, Mexico, England, Germany, Iran, South Korea, etc. who have also booked their places at next year’s tournament.

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has urged the members of the Indegenous People of Biafra(IPOB) to embrace peace and change the group's name to the Indegenous People Of Brighter Nigeria in the interest of the continued enjoyable coexistence of all the Nigerian people. The Spiritual leader of the Yoruba race said this on Friday at the Government house in Umuahia, Abia state while paying a courtesy call on the state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. He told the governor and the state's traditional rulers who were on hand to receive him that he was in the state in furtherance of his peace and unity project that he has moved within and outside the country saying this will guarantee socioeconomic development as Abia state has the capability to impact positively on Nigeria and solidify the nation's bond. He said that peace and oneness remained the greatest achievement of any society, adding that the strength on Nigeria’s unity was in its diversity. The Ooni added that he was also in Abia to support the state government because of its passion for things that were positive. “The earlier we realise that we are all spiritually linked the better for us. We must chart a positive course for our teeming youths and make this country a better place. The members of IPOB are our children, we love them, I want them to change their name to Indigenous People Of Brighter Nigeria in the interest of our coexistence as one people ". “We are praying for you and we don’t want any war or disintegration of the nation. We know that the youths of Abia will stand together to chart a proper course to make things better. I commend the culture of Igbo people, they are blessed with beautiful tradition especially the aspect that signifies that anyone who brings kola brings life" Ooni Ogunwusi linked the kola nut breaking in Iboland to the strength of the typical Igbo man and woman. He expressed joy that the Igbo's Culture remains sustained irrespective anywhere the people live in the world saying he is always at home in Iboland and noted that Nigerians are spiritually linked and must work together because their strength lies in their diversity. Ooni who is the Co-chairman of National Council Of Nigerian Traditional Rulers concluded his speech calling on relevant agencies in Nigeria to evolve reorientation programmes that would change the thought process of youths because they were the future and energy of Nigeria. In his response, Ikpeazu said that Nigeria had the potentials to be one of the biggest countries in the world because of the human and natural resources that abound in the country. The governor said that the state government was committed to empowering Abia youths to enable them become self-reliant. “The state government has created an office dedicated to providing empowerment for youths with a a minimum loan of N250,000 to start small business. “This is our way of practically supporting our youths that are interested in eking out a living. I believe that is how we can curb youth restiveness ,” he said. Ikpeazu thanked the traditional ruler who he called his father for offering prayers for the state, adding that his leadership style was commendable, saying he is encouraged by the leadership style of the Ooni especially in ensuring the unity of Nigeria and enabling inter-ethnic harmony within and outside the country. The African foremost monarch who was accompanied to the Governor's house by the Secretary of South West Council of Traditional Rulers and Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Oba Adeleke Aderemi, Her Majesty, Queen Dambi of Kasai Kingdom in Congo Republic, HRM Eze Philip Ajomiwe Ndu 1 of Oriendu, Chair Umuahia North LGA Abia state, Eze Ngozi Mathias Nwoko, Ome UDO II of Mgboko Obia Efula Obingwa LGA, Abia state and Eze Ugochukwu Jeromi Ezeneche Eze Ndigbo Mekong River Asia later attended Iriji Yam Festival at Mgboko Ngwa Amaise Ancient Palace at Obingwa Abia State hosted by the Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Dr Eberechi N Dick

Rallies are expected in Spain against Catalonian independence, after Sunday’s disputed referendum. Demonstrations are planned in the capital Madrid and other cities, with supporters calling for a similar rally in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona. Meanwhile, Spain’s government representative in Catalonia earlier apologised to those hurt during police efforts to stop the referendum. But Enric Millo blamed the Catalan government for holding an illegal vote. In the first apology by a Spanish government official over the violence during the referendum, Mr Millo said he could not help but “regret it and apologise on behalf of the officers that intervened”. Hundreds of people were injured as police, trying to enforce a Spanish court ban on the vote, attempted to seize ballot boxes and disperse voters. Thirty-three police officers were also hurt. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont now plans to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT), the speaker of the parliament in the autonomous north-eastern region says. Spain’s Constitutional Court had earlier suspended the Catalan parliament session that had been planned for Monday, BBC reports.

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