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Nigeria’s Famuyiwa to direct upcoming ‘Star Wars’ series

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Series

Abuja, April 15, 2019 Nigerian-American director, Rick Famuyiwa has been enlisted to work on the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ prequel.

The untitled prequel is one of two live-action Star Wars series in the works for Disney+, alongside Jon Favreau’s ‘The Mandalorian’.

The series, set to be released on 2021, is described as a “rousing spy thriller” as the series will follow Cassie Andor’s time with the Rebel Alliance.

It will revolve around at the beginning of ‘Rogue One’, where Cassian Andor had to make the difficult decision of dispatching with one of his sources before they’re found out by Stormtroopers.

According to a statement by Disney, Famuyiwa will be working on the series alongside other acclaimed directors including Dave Filoni (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Deborah Chow (Mr. Robot) and Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok).

Famuyiwa is a director, producer and screenwriter of productions including The Wood (1999), Brown Sugar (2002), Talk to Me (2007), and Dope (2015).

His 2015 coming-of-age film, ‘Dope’ premiered at Sundance Film Festival, winning the Best Editing award for the work of editor Lee Haugen. He went on to direct ‘Confirmation’.

In 2016, Famuyiwa was announced as the director for The Flash after Seth Grahame-Smith dropped from the project.

Foreign

Gunmen kill 21 in NW Nigeria attacks: police

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Twenty-one residents were shot dead by gunmen who stormed six remote villages in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara earlier this week, the police said on Friday.

The gunmen, believed to be bandits, also attempted to steal cattle from the villagers in Talata Mafara and Maru local government areas of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mohammed Shehu, a spokesman for the police, told Xinhua.

The gunmen first shot dead 15 people on Tuesday, when they attacked the villages in those parts of the state. They returned on Wednesday, riding on hundreds of motorcycles, and killed six more people during the burial of the previous victims, Shehu said.

Local sources said the gunmen were resisted by some youths while mourning their loved ones.

The police said they have launched an investigation into the deadly attacks.

Banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities have recently become rampant in the northwest region. The military high command said they are in control of the situation with ongoing multiple operations against the gunmen.

A week ago, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the military to intensify their operations in that part of the country, particularly to root out the gunmen.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Nigerian troops intensify fight against Boko Haram militants

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The Nigerian troops had achieved encouraging results in recent operations against extremist group Boko Haram and other gunmen groups across the restive northern region, a military spokesperson said.

John Enenche, Nigeria‘s defense spokesperson, said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos on Friday that dozens of militants had been killed while many others surrendered in operations by the troops between Monday and Wednesday.

One soldier was killed and another wounded in one operation, Enenche added.

He said in continuation of the clearance operations across the northeast, troops of Army Super Camp 6 on Wednesday in conjunction with Borno state Civilian Joint Task Force, conducted a deliberate ambush operation against Boko Haram militants at Lawanti River line in Konduga of Borno state, killing six of them while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

Relatedly, the military spokesperson said the troops had on Tuesday an encounter with some Boko Haram militants at Daban Magaji in Borno, killing 9 of them and destroying one Boko Haram gun truck as well as capturing one anti-aircraft gun, two rifles and a large cache of anti-aircraft ammunition.

He said troops of 144 Battalion deployed in Madagali of Adamawa state on Monday briskly cleared Boko Haram camps at several villages in the area. During the encounter at Gajinji village, troops killed one militant and arrested 2 adult females identified to be the local Boko Haram commander’s wives.

Furthermore, resulting from sustained artillery bombardments and ground assaults against Boko Haram hideouts in the northeast, more militants are surrendering to the troops in recent days, according to Enenche.

Speaking on the fight against bandits in the northwest, Enenche said troops of Operation Whirl Punch acting on credible information raided on Wednesday a bandits’ camp in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state, killing two of them while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

He said the troops will continue to be steadfast and focused as they sustain the onslaught against Boko Haram and other militant groups.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

Online competition will help Nigerian players prepare for future scrabble events, Jighere says

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Wellington Jighere, the 2015 world scrabble champion, on Friday in Abuja said an online scrabble competition against Team Pakistan will prepare Nigerian players for future events.

Jighere told the News Agency of Nigeria the competition was needed in the face of a gradual return of sports activities after a halt few months ago due to COVID-19.

Nigeria is scheduled to take on their Asian rivals on Sunday in the competition tagged “Online Bilateral Scrabble Showdown’’.

“We (players) decided we need to do something to get busy and we reached out to our colleagues in Pakistan and they accepted the challenge.

“It is a one-day event with 10 games in a round-robin form. We are grouped into Team A and Team B. The same thing applies to our counterparts in Pakistan.

“Each team will comprise 10 players. So, we will have 20 players in all representing Nigeria, with one of them being female,” Jighere said.

The two-time African champion also said efforts were being made to engage other countries to participate in the competition.

South Africa has accepted the challenge and hopefully next week, we will be competing against them,” he said.

(
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Olawale Alabi (NAN)
)

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Nigeria receives medical supplies from IAEA to combat COVID-19

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The Nigerian government has received test kits and a PCR machine from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as part of the efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, an official said Friday.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, who disclosed this in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos, said the country has continued to receive support from development partners and expressed appreciation for the gesture.

He added that the equipment would go a long way in boosting the nation’s capacity to fight the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Nigerian troops sustain massive assault on terrorists in N/East – DHQ

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The Nigerian military has sustained massive assault against  Boko Haram/Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in continuation of its operations across the Northeast, Defence Headquarters has said.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Friday, said that more terrorists have been killed while many others surrendered.

Enenche disclosed that the troops of Army Super Camp 6, Konduga in Borno with the Civilian Joint Task Force, killed six terrorists in an ambush operation at Lawanti River line on June 3.

He added that others escaped with gunshot wounds.

Enenche also said that more terrorists had continued to surrender to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) as a result of sustained artillery bombardments and ground assaults on their hideouts.

According to him, three of the terrorists, namely: Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Pulka in Gwoza Local Government Area on June 2.

He disclosed that the trio confessed to have escaped from their camp in Dabulari Village, Bama Local Government Area after a heavy artillery bombardment that led to the death of many of their erstwhile colleagues.

The coordinator further disclosed that the combined troops of 19 Brigade and 401 Special Forces Brigade conducted a robust clearance operation at Doron Naira and Magaji on June 2.

He explained that the troops recovered one 120mm Mortar base plate, one religious book, metal links for-Aircraft ammunition and a roll of copper wire abandoned by the terrorists in Doran Naira.

Enenche said  the troops, through superior fire,  killed nine terrorists at Daban Magaji encounter.

He added that the troops destroyed one Boko Haram Gun Truck as well as captured one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, and a large cache of Anti-Aircraft ammunition.

“However, one officer paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action.

“The soldier wounded in action is currently receiving treatment in our military medical facility.

Similarly, on June 1, troops of 144 Battalion deployed in Madagali, Adamawa State briskly cleared BHT Staging Area and Crossing Points at Lemu, Gajinji and Tsakiraku.

“During the encounter at Gajinji, troops neutralised one terrorist and arrested 2 adult females namely: Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate identified to be the local BHT commander’s wives,” he said.

In the North West, Enenche disclosed that troops of Operation Whirl Punch had on June 3, raided a bandits’ Camp at Kurmin Dande in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State acting on credible information.

He explained that troops made contact and neutralised two of the bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds during the operation.

According to him, troops recovered two Dane guns, two motorcycles, one locally fabricated short gun, four cutlasses, three cell phones, two small solar panels and some clothing items before destroying their camp.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, congratulates  the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland.

“The high command of the armed forces of Nigeria also encourages the troops to continue to be steadfast and focused as they sustain the onslaught against the enemies of our nation,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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Foreign

UN puts Nigeria’s electricity access rate at 57%

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No fewer than 110.7 million Nigerians out of a 195.8 million estimated population had access to electricity as of 2018, according to the latest global energy progress report.

This represents a 57 per cent national electricity access rate compared with the global average of 90 per cent, says the report launched at the United Nations on Thursday.

It indicates an increase in the number of Nigerians with access to electricity by 34.6 million people from 76.1 million in 2010.

On the global scene, the report says the world has made “promising progress’’ towards ensuring universal access to sustainable energy over the last decade.

According to the document, the number of people without access to electricity dropped from 1.2 billion globally in 2010 to 789 million in 2018.

This, however, is not the case in Nigeria, where the figure rather increased from 82.4 million people without electricity access in 2010 to 85.2 million in 2018.

The reports states that renewable energy solutions played a big role in the global progress, with more than 136 million people receiving basic electricity services from off-grid sources by 2018.

According to the document, the world saw an improvement in renewable energy consumption from 16.3 per cent in 2010 to 17.3 per cent in 2018.

In Nigeria, the report shows that renewables accounted for 83 per cent of the total energy consumed by the citizens in 2017.

But there was a decline in the renewables to total energy ratio in the country from 86.9 per cent in 2010 to the 83 per cent recorded in 2017.

“Still, unless efforts are stepped up significantly, an estimated 620 million people globally would remain without access to electricity in 2030.

“This number could become even higher with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ the report warns.

Titled “Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report’’, the document is published annually by custodian agencies of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, which targets energy access for all.

It provides the most comprehensive look available at the world’s progress towards global energy targets on access to electricity, clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The report also serves to guide international cooperation and policy making to achieve universal and sustainable energy access by 2030.

It is produced by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA), World Bank, Word Health Organisation (WHO) and other relevant agencies.

The report also captures a huge increase in the number of Nigerians with access to clean cooking fuels and technologies between 2010 and 2018.

As of 2018, 20.5 million people or 10 per cent of the population had access to clean cooking energy, up from just 2.7 million people in 2010.

But many Nigerians remained behind on this score with 175.4 million citizens lacking access to clean cooking energy sources in 2018 as against 155.8 million people in 2010.

This also means that the country missed out on the global decline in the number of people without access to clean cooking energy sources from three billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2018.

However, the report reflects an improvement in the country’s energy efficiency by 6.4 per cent between 2015 and 2017, higher than the global average of 5 per cent.

On financing, the document indicates that Nigeria received a total of five billion dollars (about N1.8 trillion) from abroad in support of its renewable energy efforts.

This included funds from the country’s international development partners under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement on renewable energy projects.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

Nigeria records 350 new cases of COVID-19, totaling 11,516

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced on Thursday that it recorded 350 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 11,516.

According to its official Twitter handle, all new cases, as at June 4, 2020, Nigeria has 350 new confirmed cases with eight deaths.

NCDC stated that the new cases were reported from 20 States: Lagos (102), Ogun (34), FCT (29), Borno (26), Kaduna (23), Rivers (21), Kwara (16), Ebonyi (17), Katsina (14), Edo (10), Delta (10), Kano (10), Bauchi (10), Bayelsa (9), Imo (8), Plateau (4), Ondo (3), Nasarawa (2), Gombe (1) and Oyo (1).

The News Agency Nigeria reports that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.

The NCDC said that till date, 11,516 cases have been confirmed, out of which 7,658 are active cases; 3,535 cases have been treated and discharged, and 323 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency called on Nigerians to observe the procedures for quarantine, avoid public places and ensure public hygiene.

“We cannot solve problems of over 60 years in six weeks.

“As we work hard to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection to health care workers on the frontlines, we need a fundamental change in our approach to infection,  prevention and control in Nigerian hospitals,“ it stated.

 


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Nigerian military kills 392 gunmen in major operation

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The Nigerian military said Thursday that it has killed up to 392 gunmen across the northwest and north-central regions in a major operation that has lasted multiple days since last month.

The spokesman for the military, John Enenche, told the media in Abuja that the joint operation, which started in the northwestern state of Katsina on May 14, is aimed at ending the menace of banditry and other crimes in the northern region.

Through that operation, troops successfully degraded the gunmen in the two regions and a follow-up operation was launched on June 1 to further degrade the gunmen who fled and later attacked civilian targets, according to Enenche.

“It is a concomitant operation by all the theaters of operations in the northwest and north-central regions of the country targeted at tackling banditry and other criminal activities. In this regard, all identified hideouts and hibernations of the enemies will be decisively cleared through land and air combat actions,” the military spokesman added.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

3 killed, 10 injured in Nigeria road accident

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A motorbike rider flouted traffic rules and rammed into a moving bus, killing three people and injuring 10 others, in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano on Thursday, the police said.

The bus went up in flames, immediately causing the deaths and injuries between the towns of Sallari and Amasaye near the main city of Kano, said Zubairu Mato, head of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the state.

The bodies of those killed and people who sustained injuries have been rushed to a local hospital, the official said. Further investigation into the incident has been launched by the police, he added.

Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, bad condition of roads, and reckless driving.

(XINHUA)

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