Channels TV Loses State House Correspondent, Chukwuma Onuekwusi

The Management and Staff of Channels Television wish to announce the passing away of Chukwuma Onuekwusi, our State House Correspondent.

He died at a private hospital in Abuja, in the early hours of today.

He has covered several beats on Channels Television before he was seconded to cover the Presidential Villa as the State House correspondent.

An excellent reporter who joined Channels Television from 1998, he showed great passion for his job.

A perfect gentleman and a great family man, Mr Onuekwusi was a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He also worked at the Imo Broadcasting Corporation, Owerri.

He died at the age of 55 and is survived by his wife and children.

May his gentle soul rest in peace

3 Killed,19 Injured In Lagos Building Collapse

Three people have been confirmed dead and 19 others injured, after a three-storey building under construction collapsed at the Ilasa area of Lagos State.

The building had collapsed on Thursday, hitting adjoining buildings andtrapping many people.

The building, which is located at 2/4, Richard Abimbola, Off Limca Road, Ire Adri Estate, collapsed around 2 pm.

Around 5 pm on Thursday, the National Emergency Management Agency said 16 people had been rescued from the rubble of the building.

Emergency workers, however, rescued three more people and retrieved three corpses afterwards.

Rescue operations are ongoing at the building, which was cordoned off by emergency workers.

It is unclear how many people are still trapped in the building.

The injured were said to have been taken to the Ilasa General Hospital.

North Korea Missile Lands Near Russia

North Korea, defying calls to rein in its weapons program, fired a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russia on Sunday, days after a new leader in South Korea came to power pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.

The U.S. military’s Pacific Command said it was assessing the type of missile that was fired but it was “not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile”. The U.S. threat assessment has not changed from a national security standpoint, a U.S. official said.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the missile could be a new type. It flew for 30 minutes before dropping into the sea between North Korea’s east coast and Japan. North Korea has consistently test-fired missiles in that direction.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the missile landed 97 km (60 miles) south of Russia’s Vladivostok region, prompting the White House to reference Moscow in a statement about the incident.

“With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil – in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan – the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased,” the White House said, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The launch served as a call for all nations to implement stronger sanctions against North Korea, it added.

North Korea is widely believed to be developing an intercontinental missile tipped with a nuclear weapon that is capable of reaching the United States. Trump has vowed not to let that happen.

The missile flew 700 km (430 miles) and reached an altitude of more than 2,000 km (1,245 miles), according to officials in South Korea and Japan, further and higher than an intermediate-range missile North Korea successfully tested in February from the same region of Kusong, northwest of its capital, Pyongyang.

Nasarawa Community Health Workers Defy Planned Strike

Health Workers,The National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria, Nasarawa state chapter has disassociated itself from the industrial action proposed by the organised labour to commence Friday, 12 May.

A statement signed by the association’s chairman, Ali Abubakar observed with dismay that previous strikes embarked upon have not yielded any positive result.

The statement also noted that ‘primary health care service is social and humanitarian in nature so we cannot afford to slack on our responsibilities.

The association which decided not to embark on the strike based on the established reasons established enjoined its members to shun the call and go about their normal duties

Djokovic Forced To Put Up A Fight Against Almagro

Novak Djokovic was made to sweat by Nicolas Almagro in the first match of his Madrid Open defense but eventually overcame the Spaniard 6-1 4-6, 7-5 on Wednesday to reach the third round.

Almagro, ranked 76, broke Djokovic in the opening game but the world number two came back with a vengeance to win six consecutive games, finishing the last with a tidy drop shot.

The Spaniard, who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals in a grand slam, grew in confidence in the second set, however, with the backing of the home support on the Manolo Santana court and saved two break points before forcing a decider.

An upset looked on the cards when Almagro broke Djokovic at the first attempt in the third set and marched into a 3-0 lead but the Serb drew on his experience to battle back, breaking the 31-year-old twice before serving out for the match.

The Serbian, who recently split from his long-term coach Marian Vajda, is on a quest to regain his best form again ahead of the French Open.

Later on Wednesday crowd favorite and four-time winner Rafael Nadal enters the tournament to face Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

In the third round of the women’s singles Eugenie Bouchard plays Angelique Kerber of Germany, having seen off Maria Sharapova on Monday in a thriller.⁠⁠

Fireworks Warehouse Blast In Mexico Kills At Least 14

The death toll from a fireworks warehouse explosion in central Mexico’s Puebla on Monday night has climbed to 14 with 22 more injured, the state government of Puebla announced Tuesday.

The government said the explosion went off at 21:30 in a fireworks warehouse, ahead of a village festival on Monday.

According to early reports from rescue teams, the explosion was sparked by a lit firework outside the house.

Puebla’s interior secretary said the explosion caused the building to collapse, killing the 14 people.

In December, a massive explosion at a fireworks market in Mexico City killed 35 people and injured many more.

Benue Govt. Takes Crowd Funding Campaign To Schools

Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom

The Benue State government has taken its campaign on crowd funding scheme to parents and teachers across the state, to solicit support from communities and individuals for the improvement of public primary schools.

The state coordinator of the Benue People Education Project PEBEP, Mrs. Betty Kajoh in company of the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Philip Tachin inspected the ongoing reconstruction of over 700 public schools says, a lot more can be achieved with public support.

The Samuel Ortom administration, according to the SUBEB Chairman, inherited a lot of dilapidated public primary school structures, but reconstruction work has reached 80% completion in the over 700 projects.

Primary school pupils in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue state are said to be taking classes in one of the many dilapidated public primary schools across the state.

At the Local Government Education Authority school in Lesser, Ushongu Local Government, school facilities like doors, windows and desks, are by far, luxuries these pupils cannot afford.

But all hope is not lost, as the Benue state government has almost completed work on the new class room blocks for them.

Many of the projects have been completed, while finishing touches and dressing is ongoing in some cases.

Pupils and teachers at Saint Anne’s primary school Adikpo, gathered to receive the state government team and made a few request.

“I think the government should provide sound learning environment like good class rooms to enable us improve leaning. The teaching is very good and sound, which is what I love here most”.

“We are 25 teachers in number in the school and pupils are over 300. The challenges we have here, are lack of infrastructure like class rooms, desks and instructional materials.

If the government can look into these problems, we will be happy”.

The Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Mister Philip Tachin, gave assurances on the standard of work and delivery.

“To be fair, I am pleased with some of the contractors on the job done so far. A number of places, they have done the projects according to specifications with solid floors, ceiling and roofing, but in some places, the contractors will have to step up their performance, especially with the finishing because I insist, without good finishing, I will not pay them”.

The state Coordinator of BEPEB, Betty Kajoh, appealed to the communities, parents and well to do individuals to support the rehabilitation work of the state government.

“In grade one level, they have five classes and they had to merge A, B, C and D in one class, you can imagine some of them sitting on windows. Within us here, there are people who can give us N200. 00, N500. 00 and N1000. 00 and it will not hurt them”.

“If we had a million people in Benue state giving us N1000. 00 only, we would raise a billion naira which will translate to these buildings, teacher training, computers and Science Labs”.

“To run a strong academic programme, we need a lot of money, If you don’t have money, give us produce, we are collecting yams, garri and soya beans”.

From the three Senatorial district of the state, work on the over 700 projects of reconstructing the dilapidated primary school class rooms, have reached advanced stages.

Edo Traders Seek Establishment Of International Market

Traders at the New Benin market in Benin City, the Edo state capital, are appealing to the state government to establish an international market, that will help to put a permanent end to the menace of street trading.

The traders under the aegis of the Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria who made this appeal during a peaceful march to the Government House in Benin City also maintained that it is only when alternative measures have been put in place that the government can succeed in its bid to end street trading in the state.

Matching through various streets the traders said they are in full support of the government’s decision to sanitize the state but that should be done with their welfare given careful consideration

A trader, Mrs. Nosa Nosakhare said, “The shops in new Benin market cannot contain 25,000 people and they are very expensive but along the walk way you can do business with as little as 10,000 Naira but you need up to 300,000 Naira to rent a shop in the existing markets before you can set up a business.”

Another trader Mrs. Doris Ehigiamose also added that, “Its not that we like shading on the road but at least the governor should open a market for us to sell, but now it is like he wants us to leave the walk way but didn’t make another provision for us.”

The President of the Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria, Mr. Lucky Orukpe also said the government is being misinformed about the reason why people chose to trade on walk ways.

“Before you can rent a shop in any of the markets here in Benin city you must meet three conditions which will cost you over 300,000 Naira”

The traders were also at the Government House to register their complains, although no government official was available to receive them.

However, this protest by the traders is coming on the heels of the decision by the government to upscale action against street and walk ways traders in major cities of the state.

Kanu Denies Rejecting Bail Conditions

Court Dismisses Six Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu, OthersLawyer to Nnamdi Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has distanced the IPOB leader from his parent’s position, insisting that they would meet the bail conditions within 48 hours.

The family of the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not impressed with the bail conditions given to their son, although they are happy with his release.

Read More: Nnamdi Kani Granted Bail

Mr Kanu was on Tuesday granted bail on health grounds by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He is to present three sureties, one of whom must be a serving senator, a Jewish religious leader and a highly respected person who must own a landed property in the Federal Capital Territory.

The bail sum is 100 million naira per surety.

Justice Binta Nyako warned Mr Kanu against granting press interviews, holding rallies or being in a gathering of more than 10 persons while on bail.

She warned him that the bail would be revoked if he flouts any of the conditions.

The justice, however, denied bail to other persons arraigned with Kanu, stressing that the treason charges against them is a serious offence.

She also refused to vary her ruling on protection of witnesses because witnesses are security operatives.

General Yakubu Gowon Calls For Peace In Nigeria

GowonFormer Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, says the insurmountable problems facing  Nigeria, which include insecurity and the state of the economy, among others, can be solved through prayers.

Gowon, who spoke to journalists shortly after a Church thanksgiving service on Sunday at Umuda, Isingwu, Abia state, noted that such problems are usually obtainable in any country because people have different ideologies.

“Look, I think that whatever problem we have as a country, we should pray concerning it, I know that if we pray sincerely, God will hear the prayer for peace and well-being of the country.

“There would be problems as long as there are human beings living in this country.

“But I can assure you that the problems are there to be dealt with and to be solved, and part of the true solution in the end is prayer, I believe in prayer and I know that this country is heading for the better,” General Gowon said.

Meanwhile, the Abia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who was also at the service, made a commitment to take the state to a higher level of development and promised to ensure that all the youths in the Umuda community will register for the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), as education is priority for his administration.

“I want to assure you that each and every youth in Umuda must register for the Secondary School Certificate Examination.

“I have taken it upon myself to relieve parents of the financial burden, I do not want to hear that any child did not participate in the examination because he or she cannot obtain the form.

“I have no other direction, rather than upwardly mobile to take Abia state from one level of development to another higher level,” the governor said.