Richard Mofe-Damijo Leads Cast of ‘Three Wise Men’ At Premiere

mofedamijo1New comic flick, ‘Three Wise Men’, starring three of Nigeria’s finest veteran actors, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Victor Olaotan and Zach Orji, premieres in Lagos.

The movie which was produced by Opa Williams, hosted friends, associates, and colleagues at the premiere, after many years of the producer’s self-imposed hiatus.

Opa Williams stated that after his long break, he needed to come out big with a unique movie, relating to real life experience, family, and the likes. This took a long time, he told Channels Television.

He stated that he needed to evoke the characters, better interpret the story and make it believable and not the regular type-casting. he then explained that the actors, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Victor Olaotan and Zach Orji actually contributed majorly to the story as they gradually grew into their various characters.

The movie which was directed by Patience Oghre was chronicled on three retired aged men who, after retirement benefits, opted to relived their youth. The pack is led by Erikefe played by Mofe-Damijo, a divorcee with three failed marriages after five children.

He decided to live alone while refusing to remarry, as his covetous children who are now grown and live on their own, patiently wait for him to die so they can scoop on whatever is left of him.

Speaking to Channels Television, Richard Mofe-Damijo explained that he fashioned his character after the late Highlife singer, Fatai Rolling Dollars.

He said he only had to immerse himself in a beautifully written script and take from as many life characters as possible.

Mofe-Damijo who is regarded as a veteran of the industry suggested that the time is now for the government and individuals to key into the industry and grow it to the next level.

“The movie sector requires full attention of the government an encouragement.

“The sector requires elevation and enthronement to attain institutionalization, which will enhance budgeting and deliberate policy to push the industry forward.

“The industry entails of not the movies, but entertainment, comedy, music, dance, and the rest. The Performing Arts is a body of inexhaustible body of values calling for government attention,” he said.

Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the movie industry contributed 54 billion Naira to the Nigerian GDP.

This silent achievement has gradually won over skeptics including financial institutions.

Bank of Industry, (BOI) representative, Uche Nwuka, also stated that they were initially skeptical about the movie industry and not sure of their performance but later, resolved to support it.

“The result so far has been amazing. The first two projects paid off in record time before maturity, she said.

The highly anticipated ‘Three Wise Men’, hits the cinemas this holiday seasons.

Kaduna Residents Plead With Govt. To Intervene In Food Price Hike

Kaduna Residents Plead With Govt. To Intervene In Food Price HikeAhead of the Christmas celebration, residents of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria lament over the hike in cost of food items and other commodities needed to make the occasion a memorable one.

While some residents complained that prices of essential commodities have gone up, traders on the other hand groan over low patronage.

The Sheikh Gumi market in the state capital, according to them, was unusually dry unlike other festive seasons; a situation traders attribute to the current economic recession in the country.

Residents lamented over the high cost of rice, which has moved from about 9,000 Naira to nothing less than 17,500. They equally complained that a live chicken now goes for about 4,000 Naira as against prices from last year’s Christmas.

They believe that the ban on importation of rice is the reason for the hike in prices and therefore, called on the government to relax the ban on rice and other essential commodities in order to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.

This request is not coming as something new, as residents in some other states such as Ondo, as well as Ekiti states protested the hike which led to a forceful reduction in price of some commodities.

In November, Ekiti state monarchs under the Council of Traditional Rulers, in conjunction with Market Women Association of Nigeria ensured the reduction in prices.

Speaking to Channels Television, some residents expressed that they are left with no choice than to celebrate the yuletide in ‘low key’, due to lack of money and high cost of goods in the market.

Although some have complained bitterly about the situation, many others still believe that celebrating Christmas to herald the birth of Jesus Christ is a must, regardless of the economic situation.

Officers Should Remain Committed Despite Progress In Fighting Insurgents- GOC

Lafiya Dole, Sambisa Forest, Boko haramThe General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter Dauke, has tasked officers and men of the Armed Forces in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria, to remain committed despite successes being recorded in the war against insurgents.

The GOC said professionalism and dedication are strategic and both attributes must be observed at all times in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

In a news conference in Maiduguri, Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, revealed that troops had dominated most parts of the Sambisa Forest including notorious Boko haram enclaves, rescuing a total of 1,880 civilians between December 14 and 21, 2016.

Addressing officers and men at the decoration of four Lieutenant Colonels who were promoted to the rank of colonel in Yobe state, the GOC said even as the war is being won, security forces must remain committed to ensuring that the insurgents are defeated completely.

“Despite the successes being recorded at the theatre of war, I want to call on our officers and men to stay firm and ensure that the insurgents are totally defeated and peace restored.

“We expect you people to do that within the next few moments we have in this battle, in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff towards ending the war” Major General Dauke said.

He then tasked the promoted officers to justify the confidence the Chief of Army staff and the military hierarchy has in them.

“Promotion comes with more challenges, but it is believed you are capable, that’s why you are being elevated to handle such challenges. You must be determined to succeed in handling such challenges if you must reciprocate the confidence reposed in you”.

Dauke assured the officers and men that the highest military hierarchy would do everything possible to ensure normalcy is restored not just in the northeast but across the country as a whole.

Speaking on behalf of the promoted officers, Colonel Aboi thanked the Chief of Army staff and the entire military hierarchy for the confidence they have in them and pledged their total commitment towards the restoration of peace across the country.

“I want to thank the Chief of Army Staff and the entire military hierarchy for the confidence reposed in us and on behalf of my promoted colleagues.

“I want to assure all Nigerians that we will continue to do our best in the quest of restoring peace and normalcy across the country” Aboi assured.

APGA Holds First NEC Meeting To Strengthen Party Democracy

apga-2The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has made resolutions to ensure the strengthening of the internal democracy and maintenance of discipline in the party.

Other issues relating to the development of the nation, were equally discussed during the party’s first National Executive Committee meeting at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, the Anambra state capital.

In a massively attended meeting by almost all the members of the National Working committee, the board of trustee members, and members of the National Executive Committee, the National Chairman, Victor Oye, outlined in his address, that the progress APGA had made as a party, the challenges it faced and the way forward for a stronger and united party, were key aspects of the meeting.

The National Secretary, Mr Labaran Maku, briefing newsmen on the proceedings of the party, stated that the meeting touched on so many issues such as:

“Expansion of party membership base through registration in all the states, reconciliation efforts made in Lagos and Imo states, strengthening the internal democracy of the party through enforcement of discipline with the suspension of seven members of the NWC including Mr Campbell Umenzekwe and Ozo Nwabueze from the party.”

Other issues included: the funding of the party for stability, the need for support for Governor Willie Obiano ahead of the 2017 governorship election, the appeal to the judiciary to end the lingering litigations, which has been withholding the representation of Anambra Central Senatorial zone in the senate, as well as passing a vote of confidence on Mr Oye.

According to Mr Maku, “the meeting exhaustively discussed very important issues relating to the development of our country and the progress of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and we took quite a number of decisions which will define the motion of our party in the coming months and years.

“We also discussed extensively the transformation of Anambra state under the able leadership of our National Party leader, Governor Obiano, since inception in March, 2014.

“We discussed the revolutionary programme of development in Anambra state which cuts across different sectors of the state’s economy and social life, he added.

Furthermore, Maku stated that “the NEC rose with unanimous confidence that going forward, APGA remains the most visionary option for the country in terms of its policies, in terms of its vision, in terms of its programme and its slogan to be our brothers and sisters keepers at this time in our country”.

Ambode, Bagudu Launch ‘Lake Rice’ In Lagos

Ambode, Bagudu Launch Lake Rice In LagosThe Lagos state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Kebbi state counterpart, Atiku Bagudu, have launched the locally made rice known as ‘Lake Rice’.

This move according to the governors is to encourage the local production of rice, as well as other staple foods.

Lake rice is a product of the partnership entered earlier this year, Lagos and Kebbi states involving the cultivation of rice and other staple foods.

It was  presented to the public at the state house in Lagos.

Plastic Rice

This is coming in the face of the economic recession, and at a time when the federal government has insisted that Nigeria can no longer sustain the importation of rice, which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

Several talks have been ongoing as to how to create alternatives also as there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag, to over double that amount.

Barely 24 hours ago, the Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians, thereby increasing the risk of consuming poor quality foods, which may pose serious health risks to innocent citizens.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme however, is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

Now with the new initiative by the Lagos and Kebbi state governors, local rice production has received yet another boost.

Vehicle Explodes After Driving Into Australian Christian Lobby

car-crash1A vehicle, filled with gas bottles exploded in Australia, after the driver, rammed into the country’s Christian Lobby (ACL), headquarters in Canberra.

Police say, the man appeared to have ignited the gas cylinders within the vehicle, however according to them, the incident was not “politically, religiously or ideologically” motivated.

The 35-year-old driver suffered serious burns after the explosion destroyed the vehicle and damaged the empty office.

The incident took place on Wednesday night after which the man walked to Canberra hospital for treatment.

The police confirmed that he remains in a critical condition.

“We do not believe there is any threat to the community as a result of this particular incident,” Commander Mark Walters said.

Argentina End 2016 As Best Playing Nation

Argentina FlagArgentine will end the year on top of the world, leading the way in the final World Ranking of 2016 from neighbours, Brazil in second.

The Argentines therefore take the ‘Team of the Year’ title from Belgium, who they overtook at the summit in April 2016, and where they have stayed for the subsequent eight editions of the ranking.

In all, La Albiceleste, won 10 of their 15 games in 2016, losing three and drawing twice.

All other playing nations retained their spots in the top ten.

Army Rescues 1,880 Civilians From Boko Haram Enclaves

Lafiya Dole, Sambisa Forest, Boko haramTroops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have dominated most parts of the Sambisa Forest including notorious Boko haram enclaves, rescuing a total of 1,880 civilians between December 14 and 21, 2016.

This was according to the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, in a news conference in Maiduguri.

Amdaga, Bitta, Sassawa, Tokombere, Jefe, Ndenema, Turori and Sambisa Gate one, are some of the areas General Irabor listed as liberated.

“On 15 Dec 2016, our troops conducted robust clearance operations in the general areas of Kangarwa, Metele, Dogon Chuku and environs.

“The troops cleared all Boko Haram Terrorist enclaves in both Kangarwa and Metele villages killing one of them and capturing an elderly man who confessed to be the Amir of the adjoining Tumbus ahead of Dogon Chuku. The arrested Amir later died of gunshot wounds.” Irabor stated.

According to the force, clearance operations around Masa and Gulumba Gana areas also led to the rescue 67 female adults, 23 male children and 19 female children held hostages at Masa village.

The theatre commander said 600 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition were discovered hidden in a plastic container and buried in a River around the Gwange area of Maiduguri, the capital city.

Similarly, “a total of 564 BHT were arrested while 19 others surrendered to our troops. Seven suspected kidnappers and 37 foreigners were equally arrested”.

Alleged Maltreatment of Soldiers

The news is coming barely 24 hours after a video portraying alleged maltreatment of soldiers, surfaced the internet.

Mr Irabor, addressing the issue, said:

“The video clip was shot on 31st March by “some mischievous and disgruntled” elements when troops captured Alagarno Forest during Operation CRACKDOWN on 28 March 2016.

According to him, the Board of Inquiry instituted to investigate the matter, actually showed that at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water but a soldier mischievously concealed it.

The soldier was charged and punished accordingly.

NDLEA Re-strategises On War Against Drugs

NDLEA Re-strategises On War Against Drugs The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has convened a summit to enable commanders of the agency brainstorm and strategise on improved ways of combating the drug menace in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Agency, Muhammad Abdallah, in his address during the 2016 command officers’ summit held at the Regional Academy for Drug Control in Jos, said the agency is committed to the war against illicit drugs as well as the syndicates involved.

“Furthermore, I desire an agency that will be highly proactive and intelligence driven.

“An agency that is committed to the dismantling of drug syndicates and the provision of best treatment and rehabilitation services to problem drug users.”

The convergence of NDLEA officers for the 2016 command officers’ summit with the ,

The event themed: ‘Change Begins With Me: Repositioning NDLEA For Effective And Efficient Performance Towards A Drug-Free Nigeria’, had many dignitaries in attendance.

In his address, Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, challenged the agency to strengthen its collaboration with other agencies in the fight against illicit drugs in the country for maximum impact.

“Let me however challenge the agency to ensure that as part of its preventive measures, it strengthens its collaboration and cooperation with vital ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government that would help the war to succeed.”

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Symington W. Stuart also tasked commanders of the agency on best global practices in counter-narcotics campaign with an assurance that America is firmly behind Nigeria in the campaign to eradicate illicit drugs from the country.

“I am delighted that we have started and we must continue to work together and talk to stakeholders of our collective responsibilities.

“If you think of any problem to tackle, I trust you to come up with a way to do it better. Whatever efforts you are making in the drug war will not end with you because the benefits are for your children, generations unborn and the world at large,” the ambassador stated.

With the new strategies being put in place, Nigerians are looking forward to a drug free society as the commanders begin to exhibit the strategies adopted at the summit in exterminating illicit drug trafficking and consumption.

Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic Voting

 Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic VotingAbia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has advocated the use of electronic voting systems in the state for future elections.

He said this after commending the conduct of the electoral process of the local government election which took place on December 21.

Although reports from officials said there seemed to be lack of enthusiasm on the path of voters, asides other hitches, the governor believes the turnout was rather impressive because of the strategy put in place by the electoral umpire in the state.

“Some of the people you see around may have voted, it does not mean when you see them outside the polling booth attending to their businesses, that indicates that the turnout was not impressive.

“I think people are voting and going about their lawful duties, the method adopted by ABSIEC enables one to vote at his/her will and not to cluster in one place.

“I rather commend that going forward, even as we are voting, we can also attend to our legitimate businesses, and if we imbibe electronic voting system it will be better”.

The opposition candidate on the other hand, described the conduct of the election as a scam and called for the cancellation of the entire exercise because according to them, “ABSIEC did not adequately prepare to give Abians a free and fair election”.

A Chairmanship candidate, Nkemakolam Ogene, blamed the police and electoral umpire for the lapses, such as delay of electoral materials and even some voters began to lament that they had already been disenfranchised.

The police however countered the claims, stating that there were adequate security and personnel on ground but the people were foot dragging and slowing down the process.

Lamenting, Ogene said: “ABSIEC fixed a date for this election, they are supposed to be prepared, it is a shame to note that they are bringing the materials now and the time is about three o’clock and election is ending by four o’clock.

“Are we going to cast our votes in the night when our elders, are tired and have gone home, the only explanation given by the ABSIEC official for this gross misconduct is that he does not have adequate security but we were told that adequate security was made for this election and the official that is supposed to come here is saying that from the local government headquarters to the polling booth, there is no provision of security to escort the materials.

“So I am saying that the election should be cancelled and rescheduled because this is not an election”.

Police Commissioner, Oyebade Adeleye, refuting the statement said:

“I went there personally, I was at Ubakala, Umuahia South LGA and the recordings made can testify to it.

“The people were foot dragging and signal and body language suggest that they did not want to go on with the exercise.

“I did try to talk to them that there is security; so, that version of inadequate police is not correct,” he added.

Amidst collation of results and call by the opposition to cancel the exercise, the people are anxiously waiting to see where the tides would rest.

King Sunny Ade Joins Hard Rock Hall Of Fame

King Sunny Ade Joins Hard Rock Hall Of FameMusic icon, King Sunny Ade, A.K.A KSA, has recently become the first Nigerian to receive a special honour by Hard Rock.

KSA has consistently wowed many with his music and dexterity on the guitar as well as showmanship that has endeared him to many, both home and abroad.

His beautiful performance has earned him two Grammy award nominations and three features in Hollywood flicks.

The multi-instrumentalist, today stands as a world music legend in his own right, making his induction into the Hard Rock Hall of Fame, something of little surprise.

At the ceremony which took place in Lagos, Mark Redguard, a curator, giving his citation said: “KSA who came to Lagos in 1963, bought his first guitar from Victor Olaiya, also a legend musician, for one pound and nine shillings.

“The journey had continued for over 50 years and still soaring, Redguard stated.

Sunny Ade donated one of his world cherished acoustic instruments, a Fender Telecast guitar to the Hard Rock Hall of Fame.

The guitar which is known for its commercial success dated back to the 1950’s.

According to him, he used the same guitar for his Synchro-System album in 1983, which nominated him for his first Grammy Awards.

Describing how priceless the instrument was to him, KSA said that he communed with it like a human and stated all musical desires to be accomplished by it.

Handing over the autographed vintage Fender Guitar to the Hard Rock Hall of Fame, he was supported by various Nigerian musicians such as Don Jazzy, Iyanya, Tiwa Salvage, film maker, Kunle Afolayan, and comedian, Bovi who equally eulogized him.

Redguard believes that all Sunny Ade’s past accomplishments landed him the first Nigerian to be honoured at the Hard Rock Hall of Fame among other notable mentions like Carlo Santana, Jimmy Hendricks, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and many more.