Joshua Dongoyaro Dies at 80

Former Chief of Defence Staff to late Gen. Sani Abacha, Lt-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro, has died.

He died at the age of 80

Joseph, first son of the deceased, disclosed this in a telephone interview in Pankshin on Thursday.

“Daddy has been sick for some time until yesterday when he had a stroke and we rushed him to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for medical attention.

“Unfortunately, early this morning (Thursday), around 3 am precisely, he breathed his last.

“His death comes as a rude shock to us as a family. We are going to miss his love and warm as a grandfather, father, brother, uncle and supporter,” he said.

Joseph said that the family was trying to cope with the shock of the general’s demise and would discuss the funeral arrangements soon.

He described his father as “a General who was so faithful and loyal to the nation, Nigeria.”

“He was a general who had no bias mind as a detribalised Nigerian. He served this nation faithfully and identified with all Nigerians and Africa as a continent.

“We and Nigerians are going to miss him having served humanity in this country and Africa as a whole, ” Joseph said.

According to him, the corpse of the general has since been deposited at the JUTH mortuary.

Dogonyaro, a soldier and an administrator, was born on September 12, 1940 in Vom, Plateau State, though a native of Taroh in Langtang North Local Government Area.

Dogonyaro had his early education at Boys’ Secondary School, Gindiri, and there after was enlisted in the Nigerian Army, 1964.

He was commissioned Second-Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps, 1967; Officer Commanding, 1 Recce Squadron, NA, 1967-69; Quartermaster General, I Infantry Division (Main), 1969-70.

The late general became Chief Instructor and Adjutant, Rece Training School, NA, 1970 to 1972; Commandirg Officer, I Recce Regiment, NA., 1972 to 1976.

He was appointed Principal Staff Officer, Headquarters, Nigerian Army Armoured Corp, 1976 to 1977; Commanding Officer, 24 Armoured Brigade, NA., 1977-79.

Between 1984 and 1985, he was made the Task Force Commanding Officer, 203 Armoured Battalion on the Peace-keeping Force in Chad; Director of Manning (Army), Army Headquarters, ‘A’ Branch, N.A and Director of Armoury, 1985.

He was also the General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division, N.A, Jos, 1985 to 1987; mm: Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), 1985; General Officer Commanding 2nd Mechanised Division, N.A, Ibadan, 1987;promoted Major-General, 1988; Promoted Lt. General; former ECOMOG Commander; retired in 1993;

Dogonyaro attended also the National Institute for Policy and Suategic Studies, Kuru, Jos and obtained National Institute (mni) in addition to the Staff College (Psc) and Forces Service Star (FSS).

NNPC Picks 16 Companies for Multi-million Dollar Crude Swap Deal

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has picked 16 consortia for its new crude-for-fuel swap contracts for one year starting in August.

A report by Reuters listed the consortia to include major Swiss trading firms, Trafigura, Vitol and Mercuria, oil major Total as well as large Nigerian traders, Sahara Energy, Oando and MRS Oil.
Other companies which qualified for the contracts, according to the list include: AY Mai Kifi, based in Kano; Litasco, a South African firm; Bono Energy, Lagos; Duke Oil, an NNPC subsidiary; Eyrie Energy, based in Abuja; Asian Energy Services; Prudent; BP and Mocoh.

The contracts, known as Direct Sale, Direct Purchase (DSDP), are coveted since they are used to supply nearly all of Nigeria’s petrol needs as well as cover some of its diesel and jet fuel consumption.

Already, the companies had been invited to submit commercial bids, which were due on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, according to the report.
Those involved in the process said the list of winners was unlikely to change substantially, with the new DSDPs expected to replace those from 2019, which were extended until mid-2021.
Traditionally, if a foreign oil company wins, then it is typically paired with at least one local firm.
NNPC uses a DSDP mechanism to secure Nigeria’s fuel requirements in exchange for crude, a practice that has gone on for years as all the country’s refineries have remained comatose.
In an interview last year, NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the DSDP had resulted in savings of more than $1 billion a year since its introduction.
Nigeria relies almost entirely on imports to meet oil product demand because of significant and prolonged operational problems at its 445,000 bpd of refining capacity.
The country consumes over 350,000 bpd of petrol with the majority sourced from Europe.
Meanwhile, oil prices rose yesterday on signs of a speedy economic recovery and upbeat forecasts for energy demand supported by vaccinations against COVID-19 although waves of infections in India and Brazil curbed gains.
Brent crude climbed 83 cents, or 1.2 per cent to $69.38 a barrel, earlier in the day, with West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude rising 86 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $66.14.
As at yesterday evening, prices of Brent had hit $69.86, a few cents shy of the much expected $70 while WTI was at $66.56.
It coincided with a monthly report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which noted that demand for oil will exceed the output of top producers.
“The anticipated supply growth through the rest of this year comes nowhere close to matching our forecast for significantly stronger demand beyond the second quarter,” the IEA said.
Oil prices were also supported by the outlook from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which on Tuesday stuck to a forecast for a strong recovery in world oil demand in 2021, with growth in China and the United States, outweighing the impact of the coronavirus crisis in India.
Prices were further impacted by data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group showing that U.S. crude oil stocks fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week to May 7.
The fall came before the Colonial Pipeline was hit by a cyberattack last Friday, forcing the shutdown of a pipeline that transports more than 2.5 million barrels of fuel per day

Political Class and Conspiracy of Silence – Muiz Banire

The security situation in Nigeria has become wholly intractable. What started as an isolated case of insurgency in some parts of Borno State has become a national malaise rapidly expanding and threatening the fragile fabric of the nation called Nigeria. The human losses at present have befuddled our capacity to take records and there is hardly an accurate account of people already consumed by the violence of the men of the gun. Thousands of lives have been snuffed out by Boko Haram bombs and guns in the northeastern parts of the country. Suddenly, the North-West caught the fever of banditry, which is operating in a most deadly fashion, leaving behind sorrow, tears and blood everywhere the unscrupulous young agents of death have chosen to carry out their nefarious businesses. Katsina State, the home state of the President, has not been spared the horrors of banditry, killing and kidnap.
The volumes of death, maiming and rape of women by violent herders have left the whole of the North Central states of Niger, Nasarawa and Benue a wide expanse of gnashing teeth and fearsome living. The macabre of death enacted by the orgy of violence by bandits in Niger State has divided the state under two sovereignties as the victims of banditry and Boko Haram campaigns have submitted to the regime of the men of the underworld in order to purchase their peace. Boko Haram now levies and collects taxes from the hapless citizens whose fate is better procured by self-help rather than the constitutional protection that the government ought to guarantee. Bandits have made Zamfara a deadly zone and the allures of gold that the government allowed to be exploited illegally have become a source of destruction and wanton loss of life and property. Kaduna State under El-Rufai has become a theatre of war.
Thousands of lives have been lost in the internecine conflicts between the southern and northern Kaduna characterized by ethno-religious dimensions. Now the bandits have made a beautiful Kaduna another home of kidnapping and huge ransom collection. The raging fire of destruction and devastation has spread to the otherwise peaceful areas of Oyo State as the whole of the divisions of Ibarapaland have been invaded by people referred to as foreign Fulani herders who are in search of land to graze, a home to call their own notwithstanding that any part they visit is not terra nullius, not hitherto occupied by anybody. Forceful eviction of the traditional and original landowners, killing and maiming of dissenting indigenes, kidnapping and laying of siege have combined to make the food-producing parts of Oyo State a place of terror.
The dark and lonely forests of Ondo and Ekiti states where D.O. Fagunwa created the entertaining fables of brave hunters of Igbo Elegbeje, Igbo Eledumare and Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale have today become real forests of horrors as gun-wielding herdsmen have replaced the gnomes, leprechauns and pterodactyls of Fagunwa’s fertile imagination. The nobility associated with the sojourn of the ancient characters of the creative mind of the writer is, however, foreign to the current occupiers of the forests as their articles of trade are kidnapping for ransom, killing and maiming of their victims. The Niger Delta with its characteristic violence birthed under the struggle for resource control in the fate of environmental degradation, has assumed another dimension as the lords of today are those youths born into squalor and violence in the ’90s and who have been deprived of any meaningful future by the terrible system that sees nothing good in good governance. The whole of the South-East today has bolstered itself ready for another civil war in the secessionist struggles of Indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose agitations have assumed a more dangerous dimension. The whole of Nigeria is witnessing all sorts of violent agitations and destructive elimination by dangerous fighters of no noble cause.
In the midst of the conflagration, a new business was born: mass abduction of schoolgirls and boys. Starting with Chibok, later Dapchi and Kagara, the records of mass kidnap today have assumed an unprecedented dimension. Schoolchildren and adults are kidnapped in their hundreds and ransoms are collected by bandits in millions of naira and dollars. A most conniving government has given fillip to all these undesirable elements by paying ransom to purchase freedom for victims.
A poor herder making a few thousands of naira monthly in the business of herding cattle from Kano to Lagos has discovered a more profitable venture in kidnap of Nigerians, terrorizing them until their relatives or the government pay. Thousands of lives have been snuffed out in their glory when these rapacious elements lay siege on our roads and force hapless citizens into forests. The government complains that the violent and dangerous herders who graze animals openly and kill the farm owners are foreign Fulani herders and yet it is not ready to enforce the criminal laws against these foreigners. This lends credence to the accusation that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is pro-Fulani and is only trying to eliminate other tribes to create a huge territorial home for Fulani invaders across Africa. The long silence from the President and his occasional warnings to bandits and Boko Haram elements paint the picture of a eunuch who only gives verbal expressions to his potency to impress women.
The worst aspect of it all is the average demented Nigerian politician who carries on campaigning for power grab in 2023 as if the whole security crisis in the nation is a tea party. We have seen them junketing from one local government to another mouthing their insane promises and wild projections. They keep quiet whenever the horrors being perpetrated by Fulani herders are being discussed. They maintain a tied tongue anytime their opinions would conflict with the sentiments of the Presidency. Their people are daily subjected to bloodshed and devastations and yet the Nigerian politician is insouciant in his reckless ambition to govern a burning entity. They are keeping quiet, except for a few whose conscience would not allow them to give further inordinate protection to party loyalty and collective insanity. It was quite impressive to hear Smart Adeyemi, the senator representing the Kogi West Senatorial District, the other day lamenting the security situation in the country. His genuine emotions could not contain his manliness when he burst out in tears calling on his comrades on the floor of the Senate to rise up in defence of the land. Ali Ndume has been heard on a number of occasions condemning the conspiracy of government and the elite in what is otherwise a consuming conflagration that is herding us towards Somalia, Liberia and Rwanda. Instead of the various political gladiators coming together to find a solution to the challenge of this vanishing country, they are busy strategizing over election into an office that is appearing to be a mirage. The elite in Nigeria, the civil society inclusive, have given all manner of justification in defence of Buhari’s government, from the sensible to the ridiculous.
At first, the body language of the President was dangled as the magic wand that would cure Nigeria of all ailments. Later they relied on the ignorance of the President and the man too was never aware of any evil happening around him. An excuse at a time was the incompetence and corruption of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, as if that was not what prompted us to elect Buhari. The elite community and the political class has forgotten that when Nigeria finally descends into Rwanda, they themselves would be dislodged from their Don Quixote horse and be made to worship the miscreants that would be in charge of the various streets. Many believe they would run away from Nigeria with their families, forgetting that no one can carry both linear and extended families into safety when the threatening war finally begins.
The sentiments against the Igbo have made many to see the demand for Biafra as a ranting of some lunatics. They have forgotten that to still such voices of secession, we need to have restructured the country genuinely to cater for all interests and the present government is too docile and criminally conniving to save the fragile entity that is about to explode.
The politicians have been carrying on as if nothing mattered except securing a place at the top; 2023 is too much of a paradise to jeopardize by the present hell of calling for the country to be preserved. One wonders if there would be anything to govern when Nigeria finally descends into the steaming cauldron of civil war with its unceasingly flowing currency of bloodshed. One wonders if there would be a President effectively in charge of different parts of the country under various warlords the number of which is sufficient in Nigeria of today to make every street a sovereign state under its own government of hoodlums and miscreants. The multitudes of thugs we have produced, sufficiently armed and deployed in the past to unsettle democratic process through rigging and violence, are enough to make Rwanda a child’s play. The last EndSARS protest with the aftermath takeover by vagrants in Lagos and many other cities is a pointer to the lugubrious imminence of government of the thugs, by the thugs and for the thugs.
This is the time for the Nigerian politicians and elder statesmen to rise up. This is the time to call a spade a spade and let the devil both home and abroad be shamed. This is the time for the civil society to jettison its silly and empty sloganeering of fighting corruption in its roundtable approach and call for the government to do something serious about the insecurity in the land. While politicians can afford to run away, the question is where will you run to when the crisis finally embraces the entire land. Few peaceful spots in Nigeria that have not been effectively visited by these so-called foreign invaders are already under the spy gaze of their agents who are only waiting for the call to action.
Nigerian politicians in their elite conspiracy have been in soulful silence of an irresponsible egoism. They dare not voice out their concerns, they do not want to be regarded as an enemy of the government. Remember that when the chips are down, when the die is finally cast, the money you have kept, the offices you currently occupy, the privileges you fear to lose will not be available to save you and the nation. The time to speak out is now.

US Court Sentences Nigerian to 15-Year Jail Term

A Nigerian mother, Mrs. Oluremi Adeleye, whose actions led to the death of an 8-month-old baby in Maryland, United States, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Adeleye, 73, broke down crying in court as she spoke through an interpreter, saying, “It was a mistake. I did not want to kill that child.”

Adeleye was found guilty in a bench trial in February of child abuse and second-degree murder.

The US Prosecutors said Adeleye forced milk down the throat of 8-month-old Enita Salubi in Glenarden in October 2016, suffocating the child.

The incident was captured on a nanny camera. The defense had argued that force-feeding was a common practice in Nigeria from where Adeleke came from.

The presiding judge Karen Mason said while she did not believe Adeleye was an “evil-intentioned baby slayer,” Adeleye knew or should have known her actions could result in the death of the child.

Prosecutors said Adeleye was a live-in nanny at a couple’s home in Prince George’s County when one 8-month-old Enita Salubi died on Oct. 26, 2016.

Adeleye was asleep on a couch inside the house when the baby, who was in a walker, began crying and woke the nanny, police said.

Police said a video surveillance camera shows the nanny tried to feed the baby, but without success.

Adeleye then pulled the baby from her walker, removed the nipple from her bottle and forcefully fed her, police said.

Adeleye poured “eight ounces of milk down the child’s throat in less than 30 seconds, essentially drowning her,” the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The baby appeared to squirm and resist while being fed the first bottle, and then Adeleye forced the contents of a second bottle into her mouth, documents said. After the baby became unresponsive, Adeleye called the baby’s father, who dialed 911 as he raced home. Enita Salubi was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Clifton Wanzer, a neighbor, said he saw the little girl’s father carry her to an ambulance. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Speaking on the incident, Susan Jeremy, a child expert based in Washington said Forced feeding is a widespread childcare practice in Yoruba culture.

According to her, I did not expect the sentencing. I thought the Embassy of Nigeria should have also added their voice and try to get a light sentencing for her.
Disadvantages of sending modern African grandmothers to Europe and especially America and Canada to do baby sitting business. Very risky. One Madam Esther Ejiofor, a wonderful woman, force fed every child she babysitted. Nobody died. Why? Because she was doing what she learnt that came through generational experience. American based African grandmothers cannot be Madam Esther Ejiofor. Never. Madam Esther was carrying an experience of over 50 yrs in baby sitting …..

Adeyeye is a Yoruba woman. The practice is learnt by females through socialization process, and practiced as an expected role of a responsible mother.

The desire to feed children forces women to engage in forced feeding practice. Just like the judge said Adeleye did not intend to kill the baby. She added that it was unfortunate the baby died from the incident.

Ini Umoren’s Death: NDDC Staff, Kufre Effiong, Accused Of Masterminding Her Death Speaks

Kufre Effiong, a staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, who was accused of masterminding the death of job seeker, Ini Umoren, has finally reacted to the allegations. 

It will be recalled that freelance Journalist, David Hundeyin reported that Mr. Kufre Effiong was the main person who Frank Uduak Akpan was calling before and after the murder of the Akwa Ibom job seeker.

David Hundeyin’s investigative report reveals that Frank Akpan is just a small fish in the ocean of a secret body parts trading cartel . 

Kufre Effiong in a Facebook post said he only helped to get Frank Akpan who is his cousin get arrested .

Below is the full text of his statement: 

“My name is Kufre Effiong. I am aware of some social media publications attempting to link me up with the gruesome murder of Late Ms. INIUBONG UMOREN. At first, I had wanted to maintain silence and allow the Police and the various agencies involved in the matter conclude their investigations and come up with comprehensive report but it now appears clear to me that silence is not golden in this matter where my hard earned reputation has continued to gather moss in the most misguided, misleading and mischievous manner in the court of the Nigerian social media.

Consequently, I am left with no other option than to make this public statement narrating my role in the trending subject and this I do, not to convince or change the predetermined positions and conviction of people who are bent on imputing ills even on the best of human’s intention for I have already warned myself that no matter how hard and loudly the truth speaks for itself, there are some who would prefer and give themselves to alternative facts. I leave such men and women in the hands of God, time and posterity.

With all modesty and good conscience, I make this statement for the records and information of members of the public who are genuinely concerned about the need to know my true side of the story.

The day was Friday, 30th of April, 2021 and the time was about 2 pm when I was called by my Dad who lives in Lagos, asking whether I have seen a trending article on the social media linking Uduak (who is my cousin) with a kidnap case. Not long afterwards, another cousin of mine who is incidentally the Chairman of Uruan Local Government Council, called to intimate me on the same social media circulations and requested me to come to his house as Uduak’s father, Mr Frank Akpan has been reportedly arrested on account that the son, Uduak has absconded.

On arrival at the Chairman’s house, he told me that he was concerned that the arrested old man was sick and needed medication since he did not carry his drugs to the police station. According to the Chairman, some kinsmen were calling seeking his intervention to explore the possibility of allowing the old man access to his medications.

I was still at the Chairman’s house discussing Mr. Frank Akpan’s case when in the presence of the DPO who had a meeting with the Chairman and another DSP, Uduak called my phone asking if I knew where his father was. Initially, I was upset with Uduak for asking me the whereabouts of his father and immediately signaled the DPO that Uduak was the person who called and somehow, I managed to find the composure telling him that I was seeing the trending social media news involving him. Then Uduak said he had no credit and requested me to call him. Obliging to this his request, I called him back asking where he was and he replied that he was at Oron. Further asking about the missing girl, Uduak claimed that he lose contact with the girl when she got to Ibiaku, stating that he has neither seen nor heard from her since then.

He practically claimed to be innocent.

At that point, I encouraged him to turn himself in by going to the Idu Police Division to clear himself so his father can be released to go and take his drugs or that I can link him up with the DPO who is closed to us. Later, in the presence of one of our brothers, a Barrister who had come to see the Chairman, I forwarded the DPO’s phone number to Uduak. It was not long afterwards when Uduak called the DPO who encouraged him to come out, assuring him that he could personally come to the Shelter Afrique Junction to pick him up on arrival.

While there all waiting and praying that the suspect does not change his mind, Uduak called the DPO informing him that he has arrived Shelter Afrique Junction.

The DPO then suggested that he will not go with his car to pick him so he does not panic and react adversely on sighting his car which has tinted glass. Rather, he requested that I drove him to the location and thus, accompanied by the DSP, I drove the DPO in my car to Shelter Afrique Junction where the suspect was picked up by the DPO.

Meanwhile, before we moved out, the Council Chairman had instructed that the suspect be taken to the Anti-kidnapping Unit directly but the DPO advised that he should first be taken Chairman’s house to calmed him down and encourage him to cooperate with the Police and thus, the suspect was taken to Ewet Housing.

At Ewet Housing, the suspect still denied knowing the whereabouts of the deceased, maintaining that he last heard from her when she said she has got to Ibiaku Junction but when we pressure him further, the suspect requested that he needed audience with the Chairman and myself alone. So, we took him in urging him to tell us the truth to enable us assist him where necessary. It was at that point that Uduak mentioned for the first time that the missing young lady actually got to his house. On hearing that, I could not find any emotional intelligence or coordination other than to ask and I asked straight, “is she alive?” Uduak started crying and shook his head to indicate that she was no more!

At that point, I lose it completely and almost fainted but managed to give him few slaps. I became completely distraught, devastated, incensed and confused at the same time. I was wailing like a woman who has just lost all and so was the Chairman. With that mixed frustration and infuriation, we quickly handed the suspect back to the DPO to take to the Anti-kidnapping Unit and this, we did without any second thought, telling the DPO that we had washed our hands off the matter and would not wish to be associated with it.

Accordingly, the suspect was taken to the Police custody where interrogations and thorough investigations are being carried out by the Police and the sister law enforcement agencies. I have no doubt that the suspect would have made useful statements to the Police to guide their further actions on the matter.

Unfortunately, the social media has been overflowing with so much damaging publications trying to link me up with the crime and further extending it beyond the specific incidence of Late Ms Umoren to an atrocious trade on human parts. Well, I want to state that I do not

know about the suspect’s activities since he never lived or grew up with me. My role in the entire case is as stated and remains verifiably so.

Voluntarily on my own, I have made statement to the Police on record and they are fully aware of my role in the case. I have also assured them of my cooperation whenever and wherever I may necessarily be called upon.

As a human, I am deeply saddened and devastated by the turn out of event as all the three of us namely the DPO, the Council Chairman and myself who facilitated the arrest of the suspect are now facing false, malicious and damaging media attack trying desperately to link us with the offence in respect of which we made lots of sacrifices to ensure the suspect got into the Police net where he is currently being detained, interrogated and investigated.

Personally, I have been receiving threat messages from some over-zealous individuals who have labeled me trader on human parts. Now everybody who has lost friend or family member to kidnap cases, view me as the culprit. I no longer feel safe walking the street as a simple and ordinary man that I have always been but I have no regret that I measured up squarely to that responsibility of bringing out the criminal suspect face to face with the law. I am consoled that the suspect is in lawful custody and will be prosecuted in line with the law of our land. So, if this is the price I have to pay for bringing the murderer of my sister from another mother to face the law, I embrace this very heavy burden and trust that both time and God will be kind enough to redeem my image so misguidedly tarnished.

My only regret is that, there is no absolute reparation and replacement for the tender life so heartlessly and callously terminated at its prime stage. I commiserate with family and friends of the dearly departed and hope that justice will be done in the matter.

Notwithstanding above, honestly being my role in the matter and my conscience being crystal clear, if any person or group of persons know more than the Police do or possess within their exclusive preserves, any evidence linking me or anyone else with criminal act of Uduak Frank Akpan, they should freely approach the Police authority and make useful disclosures on such information rather than submerge the public media with speculative allegations aimed at constituting media trials and securing street convictions for very responsible persons who played sensitive and critical roles leading to the arrest of the suspect by the Police.

Thank you.

After Renovation, National Theatre Will Offer 16,000 Jobs – GM

More than 16,000 jobs would be created during and after the ongoing renovation of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager of the 44-year-old complex, said on Thursday in Lagos.
Mr Ododo told the News Agency of Nigeria that most of the jobs would come from the fields of music, movies, fashion and information technology.

“Some of the jobs will be direct. Others will be indirect. The National Theatre will definitely be a hub for lots of activities,” he said.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Federal Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, for the renovation of the complex.
Under the MOU, the CBN, through the Bankers Committee, will invest N21.894 billion to renovate the National Theatre, refurbish it and run it profitably.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, at the signing of the MOU, said that revamping the complex would unlock a mass of creative talents of thousands of Nigerian youths in various fields.

Information minister Lai Mohammed, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government, had also said that the Private-Public-Partnership arrangement would stimulate growth in various sectors of the economy.

Mr Ododo, while assessing the progress of the project, said that work had begun with the contractors fully mobilised to site.
He said he was particularly excited at the prospects of many youths securing jobs at all stages of the renovation.
“The jobs will come directly and indirectly through the ongoing radical restoration, revamping and renovation of the edifice. When completed, the complex, which is 44 years old, will be a huge business centre.
“It will be the place to be. Food sellers and other petty businesses will not be left out. Those coming for events will be served.

“Administration after administrations have ensured the edifice stands. And I must salute our predecessors; I give them kudos. If not for their dedication and efforts, National Theatre would have collapsed long ago.

“It is capital intensive to maintain. So you can now imagine if a huge sum of 21.8 billion naira is being invested to restore the complex.
“If, for instance, we had a maintenance support of a billion naira or even half a billion annually, we will not get to this point where so much is required to fix the edifice.
“That is why we are glad to inform Nigerians that with the new arrangement, there’s a component that says that once the work is finished, a company will be engaged to maintain the facility every day for the next five years.

“If its work is good, it will be re-engaged; if otherwise, another company will be brought on board.
“So, maintenance is part of the new arrangement so that we don’t go back to Egypt,” he explained.

He regretted that hospitality outfits had taken over the business of the centre.
According to him, these outfits make huge profits that could have been taken by the National Theatre.

“When the National Theatre is up and running, some of these event centres will have to be more creative to be in business.
“We don’t want to send anybody out of business, though, but our own prime target is international businesses because we have facilities that can host international events which many of these event centres don’t have.
“We will be making available a media centre that can take care of multi-language interpretation and all that.
“We have a 5,000-capacity main bowl. That one can take any UN event, any World Bank event, and any international event. National theatre will be the centre to beat,” he declared.

COVID-19 May Lead To Erectile Dysfunction In Men, Study Finds

Coronavirus can infect tissue in the penis and potentially lead to erectile dysfunction, according to a study.

A scientific research paper published in the World Journal of Men’s Health observed the difference in tissue composition between men who had contracted the disease and men who had not.
Coronavirus can cause damage to blood vessels, which in turn can damage parts of the body the vessels supply, including the sponge-like tissue in the penis.
Ranjith Ramasamy, associate professor and director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s reproductive urology programme, led the study.
He said that erectile dysfunction “could be an adverse effect of the virus”.

The Covid virus (indicated by the blue arrows) is seen in tissue inside the penis. Scientists zoomed in to 10 nanometers – or 0.000001 of a centimetre – to spot it and said its presence may raise the risk of erectile dysfunction

The study focused on four men who were having penile prosthesis surgery for erectile dysfunction.
Two had suffered with COVID-19, and two had not. They were all aged between 65 and 71.
The pair who had the coronavirus were infected six and eight months before the observations, with one hospitalised for the virus and the other not. Neither had a history of erectile dysfunction.
Remnants of the virus were observed in the penis tissue of the two COVID-positive men.
The damage coronavirus causes to blood vessels is known as endothelial dysfunction.

The virus was also spotted in a separate patient. Miami University scientists checked samples from two men with erectile dysfunction who had had Covid for the virus

“In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of ED [erectile dysfunction] developed pretty severe ED after the onset of COVID-19 infection,” Dr Ramasamy said.
He added: “Our research shows that COVID-19 can cause widespread endothelial dysfunction in organ systems beyond the lungs and kidneys.
“The underlying endothelial dysfunction that happens because of COVID-19 can enter the endothelial cells and affect many organs, including the penis.”
Eliyahu Kresch, a medical student working with Dr Ramasamy, said: “These latest findings are yet another reason that we should all do our best to avoid COVID-19.”
The paper suggested: “For now, history of COVID-19 should be included in the work-up of ED and positive findings should be investigated accordingly.
“Patients should be aware of the potential complication of post-COVID-19 ED.

“Any changes observed in ED after infection should be followed up with the appropriate specialist for treatment and to help further investigation into the condition.
“Future studies are needed to validate the effects of this virus on sexual function.”

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu Returns As Host Of BBNaija Season 6

Nigerian media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will return as the host of the sixth season of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show.

“Well, guess who’s returning as the host of the next season of #BBNaija 😉 Let’s go again guys!!!” Ebuka announced on his Instagram page where he shared a picture of himself and a funny clip saying “E shock you?”.

Ebuka first appeared on the Big Brother Nigeria platform as a contestant in the maiden edition of the show in 2006. The show was put on hold after the first season until 2017 when it was rebranded as Big Brother Naija with Ebuka as the host. He has hosted all four seasons of the Big Brother Naija show.

Ebuka’s future became a subject of debate on social media a few weeks ago when a Twitter user suggested that he be replaced with Frank Edoho — a presenter who hosted the popular TV game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, for 13 years.

The tweet read, “Ebuka don eat small, make him allow another person chop! Frank Edoho as BBNaija host for this season won’t be a bad choice tho. Eviction night go choke gan!!!”(sic)

Edoho, however, tweeted in Ebuka’s defence: “What did Ebuka do to deserve all this? Why would you want to change someone that has done a show successfully for only three years and have him replaced with one who did WWTBAM for 13 years? Leave Ebuka alone! Please.”

Big Brother Naija is a Nigerian reality competition television series, based on the Big Brother television franchise, in which, contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize and other material prizes, at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by viewers who vote for their favourite housemates to remain in the show.

Fela Misses Out On 2021 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has lost out in the race to become an inductee of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation today announced the new inductees of the 2021 class; Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner.

Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s and Jay-Z were on the ballot for the first time this year.
Speaking of the new inductees, John Skyes, the Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said: “This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture. It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”
Also in 2021, LL Cool J, Billy Preston and Randy Rhoads will get musical excellence awards; Clarence Avant the Ahmet Ertegun award; and Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron and Charley Patton get early influence awards.

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, to be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction.
Ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1,200 artists, including current living Inductees, historians, and members of the music industry. Some of the factors considered were an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation, and superiority in style and technique.
Fela was first announced as a nominee for the award in February. And soon after the announcement, a massive campaign to solicit votes for the Nigerian legend began on social media with support from celebrities such as Burna Boy, Davido, Don Jazzy, Banky W amongst others. The campaign gave Fela an early lead.
A look at the result of the final fans’ ballot revealed that Fela came in second behind Tina Turner.

Fela is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music.
If Fela Kuti had won, he would have made history as the first Nigerian artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum and hall of fame located in Ohio, United States. The museum documents the history of rock music and the artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have influenced its development.

African Fashion International (AFI) Nominated For SAFTA Under New Category

AFI Fashion Week 2020, has been nominated for the 2021 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs). Last year, AFI was compelled to reimagine Fashion Week as a virtual runway resulting in its first-ever SAFTA nomination.

The production, curatorship and storytelling elements of AFI Fashion Weeks have evolved with the creatives in our pan-African community. Traditional Fashion Weeks have been a staple of the industry because of its tourism incentive and potential economic growth. Unable to host bi-annual Fashion Week events, during a period where designers and other creatives were under financial stress caused by global lockdown and trade restrictions, AFI pivoted into new platforms in order to ensure their sustainability.

This first pan-African fashion film, filmed by Cardova Productions, reinterpreted the runway space to incorporate several backdrops that express African heritage and culture. Whilst many of these tourist attractions were closed during the period, the aim was to spotlight and maintain their social influence.

Nominated under the new SAFTA category of Online Content, this acknowledgement serves as a testament to AFI’s inventive spirit. AFI has been a pioneering producer of pan-African platforms that showcase and support emerging and established African creatives, bringing together international and continental fashion designers, critics and industry leaders since 2008. Through WezArt, currently in development, a digital marketplace for artists and artisans, AFI is duplicating the fashion approach to facilitate the entrance of African fine artists, sculptors, photographers and other creatives into global markets.