Abdulsalami Mourns Shonekan, Describes Him As A Committed Nigerian

Former Head of Interim Government of Nigeria, Ernest Shonekan


Former military Head of the State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has described the late Interim Head of the Nigerian government, Chief Earnest Shonekan, as a patriot and gentleman who gave his all for the betterment of Nigeria.

He said this while reacting to the demise of the elder statesman in Minna, and recalled that Shonekan was appointed head of the government during a critical period of national challenges to pilot the affairs of the nation.

According to a statement by his media aide, Dr. Yakubu Sulieman, General Abubakar noted the finesse, humane and due process Shonekan brought to bear for the smooth administration of the country during his short-lived tenure as Interim Head of State.

Gen. Abubakar also highlighted some entrepreneurial accomplishments of Chief Shonekan as the Chairman of the United Africa Company (UAC) before he was appointed head of the interim government as a technocrat to help find solutions to the political quagmire that arose after the annulment of June 12, 1993, presidential election.

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He said the deceased will be remembered for his meritorious and selfless service to the nation especially during critical times, adding that history will be kind to him for his bravery and contributions to the peace, unity, and development of the nation.

“Chief Ernest Shonekan was a nationalist per excellence. His belief in a United and Peaceful Nigeria was unparalleled. He was dedicated to the progress and development of the county. He will be surely missed.

“His historic and patriotic role in maintaining the unity of the country was one of the many things that endeared him to many.

“He was true, an asset, and his counsels were useful for national cohesion and progress,” Gen. Abubakar said.

The former Head of State prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest while commiserating with his wife, the government, and the people of Ogun State.

Cameroon Senator Killed In Restive Anglophone Region


An opposition senator was shot dead in western Cameroon where a bloody insurgency has been waged by anglophone separatists against the state, his party and an official said.

Lawmaker Henry Kemende, whose body was found Wednesday, “was killed (overnight) by unidentified armed assailants”, a local communications ministry official confirmed on condition of anonymity.

He had been a lawyer and lawmaker for the Social Democratic Front (SDF), one of Cameroon’s main opposition parties.

The killing happened in Bamenda, a major town in the country’s northwest region which, along with the southwest, has seen a spate of insurgent violence by members of the regions’ anglophone minority against the predominantly French-speaking security forces.

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“We recovered his body, his chest riddled with bullets,” Joshua Osih, the vice president of the SDF, confirmed to AFP.

The vehicle in which the victim was travelling at the time of the attack had “disappeared”, he added.

A senate official who requested anonymity confirmed the information to AFP.

No one had come forward to claim the killing as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We assume it’s the ‘Ambazonians’,” Osih suggested, referring to the armed anglophone insurgent groups.

Cameroon has been torn by violence since October 2017, when militants declared an independent state in the northwest and southwest, home to most of the anglophone minority in the majority French-speaking country.

Both the separatists and government forces have been accused of atrocities in the fighting, which has killed more than 3,000 people and forced over 700,000 to flee their homes.

Armed groups are regularly accused of abducting, killing, or injuring civilians whom they accuse of “collaborating” with Cameroonian authorities.

Several SDF leaders have been targeted previously including John Fru Ndi, the party’s president.

Fru Ndi has run several times against President Paul Biya, 88, who has ruled the country with an iron grip for nearly 40 years.

Osih said separatist elements opposed the SDF because it is a predominantly English-speaking party that participates in the political process and is opposed to the partition of Cameroon. 14Z4DQ

It is the third-largest party in the national assembly, the lower house which, like the senate, is dominated by Biya’s RDPC party.

NGOs and the UN accuse Biya of repressing dissent in the English-speaking areas as well as clamping down hard on political opponents.


Former Oyo Governor Christopher Alao-Akala Dies At 71

File photo: Christopher Alao-Akala


A former governor of Oyo State, Christopher Alao-Akala, is dead.

He died at the age of 71.

The news of his death was confirmed to Channels Television by a source close to the family.

Alao-Akala was a former governor of Oyo State and sought re-election under the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 governorship election in the state.

Alao-Akala was born in Ogbomosho on June 3, 1950. He had his elementary education at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso, and proceeded to the Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.


VIDEO: Fayemi Meets With Alao-Akala Over Oyo Elections

Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

He was enlisted as Cadet Inspector of Police in June 1974, at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja. He was later recommended for overseas training at the Hendon Police College, in London, among others.

The former governor also participated as a Nigerian delegate at two INTERPOL conferences in Nice, France, and in Málaga, Spain. From the position of Station Officer in the Nigeria Police, he became the Administrative Officer, Federal Operations at the Force Headquarters, Lagos.

He later rose to the position of Operations Officer, FEDOPS, Lagos. He became the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and subsequently the ADC to the Inspector-General of Police.

Alao-Akala started his political career as a member of New Dimension. He contested and won the chairmanship seat of the Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors under the platform of APP in 1998. He was elected the vice-chairman of ALGON, Oyo State Chapter between 1999 and 2002.

Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum, a political association that later joined the PDP. He was the Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.

He served as the Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003 to January 2006. Following the impeachment of then-incumbent Governor (Rashidi Ladoja), Alao-Akala was sworn into office in January 2006 and served for 11 months. In December 2006, the impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court, and Rashidi Ladoja was reinstated.

Alao-Akala later contested and won the governorship election in 2007 under the platform of the PDP and became the Executive Governor of Oyo State, serving a full term till May 2011.

In October 2018, he defected to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) where he won the governorship ticket to contest for the office of governor in the 2019 general elections.

Nearly 8,000 Detained After Kazakhstan Unrest

A demonstrator signs a huge placard reading “Say No To Putin” during an action dubbed #SayNOtoPutin in Kyiv on January 9, 2022. Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP


Nearly 8,000 people have been detained in Kazakhstan after days of historic unrest in the Central Asian country that left dozens dead, the interior ministry said Monday.

“As of January 10, 7,939 people have been detained,” the interior ministry said in a statement noting that several branches of the security services had been involved in the detentions.

Ex-Soviet Kazakhstan on Monday was observing a day of national mourning after the worst unrest in the republic’s independent history.

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The National Security Committee said in a statement that the country, including government and military facilities, was fully under the control of security services.

“Areas, where militants and rioters might be hiding, are being cleared. Evidence of criminal activity is being collected and recorded,” the statement read.

Kazakhstan framed the violence as an attack by “terrorist groups” and has criticised foreign media coverage of the events, which began with protests over a fuel price hike in the west of the country at the beginning of the month.

During the unrest, the Moscow-led CSTO military alliance sent a detachment of 2,500 troops to the country following a request from Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The leaders of CSTO countries — an alliance of former Soviet states — were due to meet via video link on Monday, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


TB Joshua, Sound Sultan, Attahiru, And Other Prominent Nigerians Who Died In 2021



While 2021 is just a few days from being over, it was the year Nigeria lost some of its most prominent personalities. 

From the entertainment industry, sports, and politics, several Nigerians succumbed to death in the passing year.

Although it is near-impossible to keep track of deaths, this post highlights the demise of some prominent Nigerians in 2021.

TB. Joshua

Prophet T.B. Joshua had a teeming followership that stretched beyond Nigeria’s borders.


The founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) died on June 5, hours after he finished service in Lagos State.

TB Joshua, who died at 57, was credited to have predicted several events and attracted a followership that stretched beyond the Nigerian shores.

His burial was held in the Ikotun area of Lagos about a month after his demise and also attracted a global audience. It was attended by dignitaries like Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu among others.

Ibrahim Attahiru

A file photo of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.
A file photo of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.


Barely five months after taking over as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten others died in an air crash in Kaduna State.

Lieutenant General Attahiru was en-route Kaduna from Abuja when the unfortunate incident happened, the Army said in a statement confirming the ex-COAS’ May 21st death.

His death triggered an outpour of tributes from within and outside the country.

President Buhari in a statement said he was sad and sorrowful about the incident, describing the military officers as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.”

Ahmed Gulak

A file photo of the late Ahmed Gulak.


Ahmed Gulak’s demise also raised concerns among political elites in the country. Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed by gunmen in Imo State in May.

A one-time aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, he was shot while returning to Abuja from the Imo State capital of Owerri.

The police said Gulak left his hotel without security details in the face of insecurity in the southeast state and added that he was ambushed by “bandits” on his way to the airport.

Yinka Odumakin

Yinka Odumakin was the spokesman of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.


Known for his activism, the former spokesman of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere died on April 3 after battling COVID-19 complications.

He died at the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital where was on admission.

The human rights activist played a key role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the regime of General Sani Abacha after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

At some point, he was one of the spokespersons for the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF), the body representing ethnic nationalities in the South-West, South-South, South-East, and the Middle Belt.

The late Odumakin married Dr Joe Odumakin who welcomed a set of twins – a boy and a girl – six months after his husband’s death.

Obadiah Mailafia

Dr Obadiah Mailafia was a government critic


Mailafia was a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and had before his death been invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) over his comments about insecurity in the country.

The 64-year-old died on September 19th in Abuja after a brief illness. Mailafia, a public affairs analyst, was the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the 2019 presidential election.

He hailed from Kaduna State.

Ndubuisi Kanu

Late Ndubuisi Kanu


The former military administrator in Imo State died on January 13th after a brief ailment. He was 77.

Kanu was also a former military administrator of Lagos State and a prominent names in the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an organisation dedicated to the revalidation of the June 12, 1993, election of MKO Abiola annulled by the military administration of General Babangida.


Chike Akunyili

Late Dr. Chike Akunyili.


Until his death, he was a former Information minister and the husband to the late Dora Akunyili – an ex-Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Dr Akunyili was shot by gunmen on September 29th alongside his driver and a police escort around the Nkpor junction in Idemili North, Anambra State.

Sources confirmed to Channels Television that he was coming back from an event to receive an award for his late wife.

In the aftermath of his death, the Anambra State Government placed a N20m bounty on the killers.

Lateef Jakande

The late Lateef Jakande became governor under the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) founded by a former Premier of the Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo.


Aside from the late Akunyili, Lagos State also lost its first civilian governor, Lateef Jakande.

Popularly known as Baba Kekere, the late Jakande died on February 11, aged 91.

His impacts as the governor of the South West state  – October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983 – were majorly in housing, education, health, and rural development.

The former journalist is also credited to have developed several low-cost housing estates across Lagos State.

Mama Taraba

Maybe It's Not In My Destiny To Be Taraba Governor – Aisha Alhassan
Former Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan


The former Minister of Women Affairs, whose real name is Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, passed away on May 7th at an undisclosed hospital in Cairo, Egypt. She was 61 years.

In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed her as the Minister of Women Affairs. But she resigned from the post on July 27, 2018.

She also left the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the United Democratic Party (UDP) where she became the party’s governorship flagbearer in the 2019 general elections in Taraba State.

Mama Taraba, however, lost to Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Al-Hassan had also served as a Senator representing Taraba North under the PDP.

Dare Adeboye

The late Dare Adeboye


Also in May, Pastor Dare Adeboye, the son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Worldwide, Enoch Adeboye, died aged 42.

Dare Adeboye died in his sleep shortly after a ministration, according to senior pastors. The late preacher had a wife and three children.

Baba Suwe

A file photo of veteran Nollywood comedian, Baba Suwe.


With a little over a month to the end of the year, Nollywood lost one of its veterans and comic actor, Baba Suwe.

Babatunde Omidina died on November 22nd aged 63.

The actor hailed from Lagos State and featured in movies like Iru Esin, Ebi Olokada, Baba Londoner, Obelomo, Elebolo, Larinloodu, and Baba Jaiye Jaiye. He was buried three days after his death in a ceremony attended by several Nollywood stars.

Tony Momoh

Late Tony Momoh


Earlier in the year – February 1 – the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Minister of Information and Culture minister- died.

He was a longtime ally and friend to President Muhammadu Buhari and had served as the chairman, Media and Publicity of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) Campaign Organisation in the 2003 and 2007 elections as well as Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Tony Momoh was from Auchi, Edo State, and one of the founding members of the APC.

Victor Uwaifo

Sir Victor Uwaifo was a multi-talented musician was also a songwriter, sculptor and professor.
Sir Victor Uwaifo was a multi-talented musician, songwriter, sculptor, and professor.


The man, best remembered by his hit songs, ‘Mami Water’, ‘Joromi’ and ‘Guitar Boy,’ died on August 28.

Aged 80, the multi-talented icon was also a songwriter, sculptor, and professor before his passage in Benin City, Edo State.

Uwaifo was renowned for his mastery of the guitar and the flute. Between 2001 and 2003, he served as the Commissioner for Arts and Culture in Edo State.


Innocent Chukwuma

Founder of the CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma. Credit: CLEEN Foundation


He was one of the leaders in Nigeria’s civil society space and the founder of the CLEEN Foundation.

Innocent Chukwuma died on April 4 and was one of the students within the National Union of Nigerian Students (NANS) platform that opposed the arbitrary powers of military rule in the 1980s.

Regarded as a patriot, Chukwuma established the Centre for Law Enforcement of Education in Nigeria registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as CLEEN Foundation in 1989. He was 55.

Ibrahim Mantu

How I Helped To Rig Elections, Senator Mantu Confesses
File photo of ex-Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu


In the political space, Nigeria also lost a former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu.

He died in Abuja on August 17th after falling ill. Mantu was elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 and represented Plateau Central Senatorial District.

The National Chairman, defunct Peoples Democratic Alliance, and National Publicity Secretary defunct United Nigeria Congress Party was the Deputy Senate President in 1999, a position he held for eight years.

Until his death, Mantu was a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.

Sound Sultan

The late Sound Sultan was reputed for singing social-conscious songs.


Aside from Uwaifo, there were other deaths in the entertainment sector including that of Sound Sultan.

The 44-year-old singer died from “a hard-fought battle with Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma” on July 12, according to a family statement.

Sound Sultan, whose real name is Olanrewaju Fasasi, was also buried on the same day in the US.

He had a wife and three children and came into the spotlight in the early 2000s when he released his first single ‘Jagbajantis’ which became an instant hit in the country.

Ahmed Joda

File photo: Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Former Chairman, NCC Board of Commissioners; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC/CEO) NCC.


While many remembered him for different things, for President Buhari, Ahmed Joda was a true patriot.

Born in Yola, in Adamawa State, Joda was reputed as an icon of public service and died on Friday 13, August 2021, aged 91.

In 2015, he was the permanent secretary and chairman of Buhari’s transition team.

Sadiq Daba

Sadiq Daba


On March 3, Nigerians were greeted with the news of Sadiq Daba’s demise. The veteran broadcaster and actor died following a long battle with leukemia and prostate cancer.

He featured in series and movies, with ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ and ‘October 1st’ as notable mentions. In the 1980s, Daba made waves working with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The Kano State-born actor had in 2017 narrated to Channels Television his battle with cancer.

“I have Leukemia,” he said, adding that was receiving treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife.

“When this thing started, I was referred to Ile-Ife from LASUTH Lagos State. The challenges have been quite enormous; Leukemia has been complicated by prostate by the Grace of God, I will get through this,” he noted.

Sani Dangote

File photo of Sani Dangote


Away from Daba, Sani Dangote, the vice president of the Dangote Group and brother to Aliko Dangote also died during the year.

Sani Dangote died on Monday, November 15th, 2021, according to a statement by the Dangote Group.

Before his death, he was an established businessman with investments in manufacturing, agriculture, banking, and oil services.

He was also on the Board of companies including Nigerian Textile Mills Plc, Nutra Sweet Limited, Gum Arabic Limited, Dangote Textile Mills Limited, Alsan Insurance Brokers, Dan-Hydro Company Limited, Dansa Food Processing Company Limited, and Dangote Farms Limited.

Junaid Mohammed

Junaid Mohammed


Born in Kano State, the second republic lawmaker was a staunch government critic who always voiced his concerns about key national issues.

Junaid Mohammed died at 73 after a sickness that lasted for three days.

The former member of the House of Representatives was the Social Democratic Party (SDP) party’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 2019 election.

He was also one of the founding members of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in 1976 under the leadership of the late Aminu Kano.

Aside from that, Mohammed was the National Deputy Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the northwest.

Rachel Oniga

File Photo: Veteran actress, Rachel Oniga,  died on July 30, 2021, at the age of 64.


Rachel Oniga hails from Delta State but was born in Lagos State. She was 64 and died on July 30.

Before she made her major acting debut in Nollywood with “Onome,” Oniga worked briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch Consultancy firm.

The veteran actress had three children and several grandchildren. She was buried a month later in Lagos State.

Ada Jesus

A file photo of the late ‘Ada Jesus’. Source: [email protected]


Earlier, the entertainment industry had also lost Mmesoma Mercy Obi better known as Ada Jesus.

The comedienne died on April 21, two days after she celebrated her 21st birthday.

Her death followed a fight with kidney disease. She had before then had a battle with a clergyman and the Founder of the Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention Deliverance Ministry, Chukwuemeka Odumeje, also called Indaboski.

Hosa Okunbo

The late Captain Okunbo died surrounded by family members.


The Edo-born business mogul died on  August 8 in London with multiple reports suggesting that he passed on after a one-year fight with pancreatic cancer.

Captain Okunbo was 63. His daughter is married to the Olu of Warri Tsola Emiko.

In a tribute, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State hailed his business dexterity and love for his people.

“A man of unparalleled energy and accomplishments, Captain Okunbo saw opportunities in adversity and from an early age in life, carved a niche for himself to become one of Nigeria’s most outstanding businessmen,” the governor said.

Victor Olaotan

Victor Olaotan


Also in August, veteran actor,  Victor Olaotan, passed away at the age of  69.

Olaotan, known for his role as Fred Ade-Williams in the popular TV series, Tinsel, was bedridden for five years after he was involved in an accident.

“He has tried. It is not easy to be trapped in your own body for five years. He can finally rest now,” the wife, Julia Olaotan, said in a statement announcing the actor’s demise.

Folake Aremu ‘Orisabunmi’

The late actress was reputed for playing the role of an Ifa priestess.


Her death was one of the firsts in Nollywood in the outgoing year. The news of the veteran Yoruba actress’ passage filtered in on January 5.

Folake Aremu died in Ibadan, Oyo State at 60.  The development came a few months after the death of her ex-husband, Jimoh Aliu, better known as Aworo.

The actress was reputed for her role as an Ifa priestess with magical powers.

Ernest Asuzu

Asuzu rose to fame in the 90s.


Weeks after Orisabunmi’s death, Ernest Asuzu, also passed away aged 37.

According to the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, Asuzu was rushed to the hospital after he slumped but died before they got there.

“He has been battling various health challenges like blood pressure. But some kind-hearted Nigerians helped in the past and he was treated,” he told Channels Television.

Known in many quarters as El-cream, Asuzu started his acting career in the ’90s, rising to prominence after he starred in the 1997 Nollywood classic, “Rituals”.

Asuzu was also reputed as one of the “bad boys” of Nollywood for playing the roles of a bad boy and a hitman in movies. In recent years, he ventured into music and released an album titled “The Truth” in 2020.

‘A Giant Has Fallen’: More Tributes Pour In For Desmond Tutu

In this file photo taken on March 19, 2003 This combo picture shows former chairman of South Africa’s Truth Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks during an interview with AFP in Pretoria


South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu died Sunday aged 90, sparking tributes from around the world.

 Barack Obama

In this file photo taken on August 21, 2006, Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Peace Prize winner meets with Barack Obama, US senator for Illinois at Tutu’s offices in Cape Town.(Photo by Rodger BOSCH / AFP)


Former US president Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black leader, called Tutu “a mentor, a friend, and a moral compass” who could “find humanity in his adversaries”.

“A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere,” said the fellow Nobel Peace laureate in a statement.

READ ALSO: ‘I Have Prepared For My Death’: 11 Famous Quotes Of Desmond Tutu

 Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden said he was “heartbroken” to learn of the archbishop’s death.

“Desmond Tutu followed his spiritual calling to create a better, freer, and more equal world,” Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a statement that praised Tutu’s “courage and moral clarity”.

Pope Francis

The Vatican said in a statement that Pope Francis was saddened and offered “heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones”.

“Mindful of his service to the gospel through the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, his holiness commends his soul to the loving mercy of almighty God.”

 The Elders

“We are all devastated,” said Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders, a group of global leaders working for peace and human rights that Tutu co-founded.

“He inspired me to be a ‘prisoner of hope’, in his inimitable phrase,” said Robinson, a former president of Ireland.

The Elders said in a statement they had “lost a dear friend, whose infectious laugh and mischievous sense of humour delighted and charmed them all”.

 African Union

“A man of faith convinced in the power of reconciliation through restorative justice,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the current chair of the African Union.

Tutu, he added, “was a true shepherd of peace”.

Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tutu’s passing was “a big blow” not only to South Africa but to the entire African continent.

“Archbishop Tutu inspired a generation of African leaders who embraced his non-violent approaches in the liberation struggle,” he said.

Bobi Wine

“A giant has fallen,” wrote Uganda opposition leader Bobi Wine on Twitter.

“We thank God for his life — a purposeful life truly lived in the service of humanity.”

UN Secretary-General

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called Tutu “a towering global figure for peace and an inspiration to generations across the world”.

“During the darkest days of apartheid, he was a shining beacon for social justice, freedom and non-violent resistance,” Guterres said in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II called Tutu a “man who tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world”.

“I remember with fondness my meetings with him and his great warmth and humour,” she said in a statement.

Boris Johnson 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Tutu “a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa”.

He “will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour,” Johnson tweeted.

Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tutu had “dedicated his life to human rights and equality between peoples”.

“His struggle for the end of apartheid and for reconciliation in South Africa will remain in our memory,” he tweeted.

 Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba said the life of Tutu, a “deeply spiritual person”, should be celebrated.

“He named wrong wherever he saw it and by whomever, it was committed. He challenged the systems that demeaned humanity.”

 Charles Michel

“A man who gave his life to freedom with a deep commitment to human dignity,” European Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.

“A giant who stood up against apartheid. You will be deeply missed.”

Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Tutu “a lifelong advocate of the principles of humanity, freedom and equality”.

Justin Trudeau

“Archbishop Tutu was a voice for the oppressed and a tireless advocate for human rights — and the world is a better place because he was in it,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Jonas Gahr Store

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store paid tribute to a man who “showed the power of reconciliation and forgiveness”.

Highlighting Tutu’s Nobel award, he added: “Never has a peace prize been so fitting.”


‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Director Dies At 58

(File photo) Director Jean-Marc Vallee, winner of the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for ‘Big Little Lies’ poses in the press room at the 2018 DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.  ROBYN BECK / AFP


Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee has died at age 58, his publicist announced Sunday.

“Rest In Peace, Jean-Marc Vallee. The world is far less interesting without you in it,” Hive Communication Collective wrote on Instagram.

The Quebecois producer and director was Oscar-nominated for “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2013, for which actors Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both took home Academy Awards.

In recent years, he has drawn acclaim for his work on HBO shows “Big Little Lies”, for which he won an Emmy award, and “Sharp Objects”.

US media reported that Vallee died suddenly in his cabin near Quebec City over the weekend.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

HBO said it was “shocked at the news of his sudden death.”

“Jean-Marc Vallee was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker,” the company’s statement to The Hollywood Reporter said.

“Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently,” Vallee’s producing partner Nathan Ross said in a statement shared with US media.

“The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”

His other notable works included the Oscar-winning 2009 film “The Young Victoria” starring Emily Blunt and “Wild” in 2014, for which Reese Witherspoon earned an Oscar nomination.


Anti-Apartheid Icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu Is Dead

In this file photo taken on April 23, 2014, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu gestures during a press conference about the first 20 years of freedom in South Africa at St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town.Jennifer BRUCE / AFP


South African anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, described as the country’s moral compass, died on Sunday aged 90, sparking an outpouring of tributes for the outspoken Nobel Peace Prize winner.  

The small-statured Tutu, who had largely faded from public life in recent years, was remembered for his easy humour and characteristic smile — and above all his tireless fight against injustices of all colours.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured this fight in a tribute to Tutu, announcing the archbishop’s death on Sunday.

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” he said in a statement.

“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” he said.

“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.”

Mourners gathered outside his former parish in Cape Town, St George’s Cathedral, while others massed at his home, some holding flower bouquets, according to an AFP journalist.

“It’s very very sad he died. He was such a good man,” said retired accountant Diane Heard.

The South African cricket team wore black armbands in his honour of the first day of the first Test against India in South Africa.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said, “Tutu inspired a generation of African leaders who embraced his non-violent approaches in the liberation struggle”.

READ ALSOSouth African Court Says Zuma Can Appeal Return To Jail

 ‘Rainbow Nation’ 

A tireless activist, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combatting white minority rule in his country.

Famously outspoken, even after the fall of the racist apartheid regime, Tutu never shied away from confronting South Africa’s shortcomings or injustices.

It was Tutu who coined and popularised the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe South Africa when Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president.

However, in recent years, Tutu slammed even the ruling African National Congress (ANC) — the vanguard of the fight against white-minority rule — for cronyism and nepotism after apartheid ended in 1994.

In the past, he has confronted homophobia in the Anglican Church, challenged Mandela over-generous salaries for cabinet ministers and stridently criticised the corruption that mushroomed under ex-president Jacob Zuma.

Ordained at the age of 30 and appointed archbishop in 1986, he used his position to advocate for international sanctions against apartheid, and later to lobby for rights globally.

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 and underwent repeated treatment.

His public appearances become increasingly scarce, and in one of his last this year, he emerged from hospital in a wheelchair to get a Covid vaccine, waving but not offering comment.

He retired in 1996 to lead a harrowing journey into South Africa’s brutal past, as head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For 30 months, the commission lifted the lid on the horrors of apartheid.

‘Larger than Life’ 

Tutu, with his instinctive humanity, broke down and sobbed at one of its first hearings.

“He articulated the universal outrage at the ravages of apartheid and touchingly and profoundly demonstrated the depth of meaning of ubuntu, reconciliation and forgiveness,” Ramaphosa said.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation called Tutu “an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.”

“He was larger than life, and for so many in South Africa and around the world his life has been a blessing,” it said in a statement.

Tutu was born in the small town of Klerksdorp, west of Johannesburg, on October 7, 1931, to a domestic worker and a school teacher.

He trained as a teacher before anger at the inferior education system set up for black children prompted him to become a priest.

He lived for a while in Britain, where, he recalled, he would needlessly ask for directions just to be called “Sir” by a white policeman.

Tutu relentlessly challenged the status quo on issues like race, homosexuality and religious doctrine and gave his pioneering support for the assisted dying movement.

And he didn’t shy away from his own end.

“I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs,” he said in an opinion piece in The Washington Post in 2016.

“I hope I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of my choice.”

Tutu’s death came just weeks after F.W de Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era president passed away on November 11.


Death Toll In Madagascar Shipwreck Rises To 64

Madagascar map.


The death toll from a shipwreck off Madagascar’s northeastern coast has risen to at least 64 after 25 more bodies were discovered, maritime authorities said Wednesday.

A wooden vessel, believed to be a cargo ship carrying passengers illegally, sank in the Indian Ocean on Monday with 130 people on board. Five children were among the dead.

Fifty passengers have since been rescued and around 15 remain missing. The search for survivors continues.

READ ALSO: Madagascar Minister Swims 12 Hours To Shore After Helicopter Crash

“Twenty-five bodies were found this morning near Sainte-Marie islands, probably due to sea currents, which brings the death total to 64,” gendarmerie general Zafisambatra Ravoavy told AFP.

Maritime authorities said initial investigations suggested the vessel’s engine had a “technical problem”, leaving the boat vulnerable to tidal forces and causing it to run aground on a reef.

A Malagasy government minister who travelled to the disaster scene swam 12 hours to shore on Tuesday after his helicopter crashed off the island nation’s northeastern coast.


At Least 12 Killed In Pakistan Gas Blast

Rescuers carry the body of a victim who died in a gas blast in Karachi on December 18, 2021, as at least 12 people were killed and several more injured. Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP


At least 12 people were killed and several more injured Saturday by a gas blast in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, police said.

The explosion went off in a bank building in the Sher Shah area and social media and TV footage showed the two-floor structure’s windows and doors blown out, with documents scattered across a wide area.

Cars and motorcycles parked nearby were also damaged.

Provincial police told AFP a bomb disposal squad was investigating, but “apparently the leakage of gas was the cause”.

They said 12 people had been confirmed killed, and 13 were being treated for injuries.

Explosions caused by faulty gas cylinders — which are used for cooking as well as in cars –- are common in Pakistan.

Karachi, which is responsible for 60 percent of Pakistan’s economic output, has long endured creaky infrastructure, illegal construction and failing municipal services.


Nollywood Actor, Karibi Fubara Is Dead

A family member of Nollywood actor, Karibi Fubara has announced his passing.

“He was a warrior, now he’s an angel in heaven” said a social media post by His sister, Stella Fubara, a top official working with the government of Dubai, where the actor had been undergoing cancer treatment for the past year.

The “God calling” actor had been diagnosed with cancer in 2020.

Karibi, who married popular Nollywood fashion entrepreneur, Yolanda Okereke in 2019, won many hearts in films such as the recent Smart Money Woman and God Calling.



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Soun Of Ogbomoso Jimoh Oyewumi Dies

The Soun of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III has died at the age of 95 years.


The Soun of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III has died at 95.

Although there is no official statement from the palace, the Oyo State Government has however mourned the paramount ruler, saying he made a lasting impact.

Born to Oba Bello Afolabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade II and Ayaba Seliat Olatundun Oyewumi, he ascended the throne on October 24, 1973.

The traditional ruler was renowned for the building of a modern palace in the town, having netted a mud palace after his coronation.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Jonathan, Others Attend ECOWAS Ordinary Session

He attended St. Patrick Primary School, Oke Padre, Ibadan from 1932-1938 and thereafter proceeded to the Ogbomoso People’s Institute, which was later changed to Ogbomoso Grammar School.

Prior to his ascension to the throne, Ajagungbade made fortune from the textile business and a chain of other business initiatives.

The late monarch established a limited liability company called J.O. Oyewumi and Co Nigeria Ltd in 1967 which specialised in wholesale and retail trading. The business expanded to include real estate and hospitality.

He also established Terminus Hotel and El-Duniya Hotel in Jos.

In mourning the deceased, Governor Seyi Makinde described his death as a huge loss to the Ogbomoso kingdom, Oyo State and humanity in general.

The governor in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adisa, said the traditional ruler was a quintessential monarch, a man of peace and a passionate supporter of development.

He expressed his condolences to the monarch’s immediate family, the people of Ogbomoso and the Oyo State Council of Obas.

“I received the news of the passage unto glory of our father, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, the Soun of Ogbomosoland with shock,” the governor said.

“Though Kabiyesi lived up to the age 95, his death at this time is still a huge loss to the state and the traditional institution, because he has created a vacuum not only in Ogbomosoland but also in the entire state and the nation.

“In Kabiyesi, we had a quintessential monarch, who lived and worked for peace and development. In his years on the throne of his forebears, Oba Oyewumi made a lasting impact on Ogbomosoland and by extension Oyo State.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Oyo State Government, I hereby express our heartfelt condolences to the immediate family of the departed monarch and the people of Ogbomosoland.

“I also commiserate with the Oyo State Council Obas, which has lost a prominent member in Oba Oyewumi.

“It is my prayer that God grants Kabiyesi Aljanah Firdaus and also grant everyone the fortitude to bear this loss.”