Another batch of 27 stranded Nigerian girls evacuated from Lebanon by the Federal Government and the Lebanese government, as well as its community in Nigeria arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday.
Receiving them, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who represented the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said the evacuation was in fulfillment of the Nigerian government’s promise to ensure no Nigerian is left stranded in Lebanon.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there have been several pleas from Nigerians stranded in Lebanon appealing for assistance to enable them to return home.
Nwonye said the Nigerian government was aware of the unfortunate situation they experienced in Lebanon, hence the collaboration to ensure their safe return to the country.
“I am here on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs who facilitated this return, together with the Ministry of Aviation, Embassy of Nigeria in Beirut, the Lebanese Embassy in Nigeria and the Lebanese community in Nigeria.
“These are the individuals and institutions that made it possible for you to be here today.
“It is unfortunate the situation you passed through; which is why the Ministries concerned made sure you are here today and we are telling you that you are now home today and nothing will happen to you.
“Make sure you follow the protocols they advised you on; you know what to do to recover your passports again.
“You are welcome back home and I wish you journey mercies to your various destinations,’’ Nwonye said.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman told newsmen that the stranded Nigerians were evacuated in line with the Federal Government’s guidelines on COVID-19 evacuations.
He said the girls tested negative for COVID-19 before embarking on the journey and would be allowed to go home after 14 days self-isolation, in line with the Federal Government’s guidelines for COVID-19 evacuations.
He explained that their passports were retrieved from them upon arrival and they are expected to collect them back with proof of COVID-19 tests which they are expected to take again once they complete their 14-day self-isolation.
The spokesperson said the girls were tested in Beirut before embarking on the journey and they were also profiled on arrival.
Also speaking, Mr Philip Webbe, a representative of the Silver Wings Group in Nigeria, said the Lebanese community and its Embassy in Nigeria had facilitated the return of the girls with the support of the Nigerian government.
Webbe said it was in fulfillment of their word that they would not leave any Nigerian girl stranded in Lebanon.
“We are the company, silver wings that brought the Chartered flight to Nigeria.
We are evacuating stranded Nigerian girls that are in Lebanon. These girls had nobody to assist them to bring them back to Nigeria.
“The Lebanese Community is assisting them with the help of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Lebanon, and they have put great efforts to bring them back.
“We had 27 girls that came on this flight and just like we promised last time, we will not leave any stranded Nigerian girl in Lebanon.
“On this flight, Mr Fassai Khalid supported 20 girls to come and there were another seven girls facilitated by the Lebanese community.
“They all came today and they are finishing the process. Some came yesterday, some will come tomorrow, we won’t leave anyone of them behind.
One of the returnees who spoke on condition of anonymity appreciated the Nigerian and Lebanese governments for ensuring their safe return back home.
She said that if not for the assistance, they would have been left stranded in Lebanon as they could not afford to buy tickets to return home.
The returnee said they encountered many challenges in Lebanon with many of them being owed seven to eight months salaries by their employers.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says
Ndudi Edede, Secretary-General of Nigerian Teqball Federation (NTF), says Nasarawa state will host the first edition of the National Teqball Challengers Series scheduled to kick off on Nov. 7.
Edede disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday after a meeting between the federation’s national and state officials.
He urged Nasarawa state officials to step up preparations for the series.
”Nasarawa state will serve as a litmus test for the series in view of the fact that the 2020 series will be the maiden series in the country since the commencement of the sport in Nigeria.”
Edede said the first phase of the event would be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and would provide an opportunity for youths to learn something new.
He added that the second phase of the event would then hold on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 also in Lafia.
“We had Nasarawa state and the FCT bidding for the hosting rights, and now we are certain that this event will take place in Lafia.
“The national challengers series is a qualifier for the Teqball World Cup slated for Europe towards the late part of this year. So, I am sure Lafia will be a good host,” Edede said.
Speaking also, Promise Uwaeme, NTF’s Director of Competition, said the event in Lafia would be streamed live internationally.
He added that athletes from various states of the country would compete in the singles and doubles events of the competition’s male and female categories
Uwaeme added that winners in various categories would represent Nigeria at the international level.
“Teqball is an interesting game and you have to be skillful to play teqball. It is played on a curved table with a regular certified ball. You can play with all parts of the body apart from the hands.
“Then the championship will help our players to get world ranking,” he said.
David Allu, The Nasarawa State Chairman of NTF, expressed happiness with the hosting rights given to the state.
He assured the national officials of a strong synergy between the state’s Ministry of Youths and Sports and the NTF, saying this would ensure the events were a huge success.
“We are quite excited that we will be the first state to host this Challengers Series in the country and we will put in our best to collaborate with the state Ministry of Sports to see that we get a befitting venue and get all the arrangements to host this tournament done.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that teqball is a ball sport played on a curved table, combining elements of football and table tennis.
Back and forth, the players hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.
Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.
The game is represented at an international level by the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Ebonyi bus accident: FRSC, Police confirm 3 more bodies retrieved from river
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has confirmed the recovery of three more corpses from the Akeze-Ukwu River after a Mercedes 608-model bus plunged into the river on Sept.18.
The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the bus conveying members of a Church who attended their pastor’s burial was returning to Enugu when the accident occurred.
The bus driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake an articulated vehicle on the bridge.
Uchegbu said that the corps sent its personnel to the hospital, where some rescued victims were being treated, to interact with doctors on the true reports concerning the ‘unfortunate’ incident.
“We have been getting conflicting reports on the casualties so we sent our personnel to the hospital to interact with the doctors handling the cases.
“We were able to ascertain that seven persons were actually rescued from the river on the day of the incident instead of five earlier reported.
“One person was confirmed dead, two persons are presently on admission, two have been officially discharged while two opted to return home having sustained no injuries from the incident,” she said.
Ughegbu said that with the 14 corpses retrieved from the river on the second day of the rescue operations and the three other corpses retrieved on Sunday, the total number of retrieval is 24.
According to her, the total number of dead victims is now 18.
Also, the Ebonyi command of the Nigerian Police Force confirmed in a stateement the retrieval of three more corpses on Sunday, adding that a retired police officer was among the deceased persons.
“Efforts are still on to recover the remaining 10 persons,” it stated.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Donald Ugwu
Gov. Matawalle eulogises late Emirs of Biu, Zazzau
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has described as “commendable” the roles played by the late Emir of Biu, Borno state and Emir of Zazzau in Kaduna state.
This is contained in a statement by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication to the governor in Gusau on Sunday.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Emir of Biu, Mai Umar Mustapha the 28th emir, died at the age of 80 years at the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe on the 15th of September, after serving on the throne for 31 years.
The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who was emir for 45 years as the 18th emir, also died at the age of 84 years at the 44 Hospital, Kaduna on Sunday, the 20th of September after a brief illness.
According to Matawalle’s media aide, the governor, particularly commended the significant roles played by the two mornarchs in ensuring the indivisibility of Nigeria, and their great contributions in finding lasting solutions to acts of terrorism and banditry during their historic reigns.
Matawalle said the duo would be remembered for their patience, honesty, sincerity and preaching of peace and unity in Nigeria.
He said, “Allah, Who is the All Knowing, knows best why He chose these trying times to take away the royal fathers from our sinful world.”
The governor prayed that Allah in His endless mercies hosts the departed souls of the two great rulers in Jannatul Firdaus, grant the people and governments of the two states the fortitude to bear the loss and continue to bless members of the families left by the natural rulers.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Atiku Support Groups congratulate Obaseki
The All Atiku Support Groups (ASGs), has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group Chairman, Mr Fabiyi Oladimeji, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja said Obaseki’s convincing victory was due to the resilience and steadfastness of the people of Edo State who did not give room for any manipulation by undemocratic forces.
“Nothing can be more dignifying than the stance and resolve of the good people of Edo for what they truly believed in.
“The good people of Edo state have demonstrated dexterity and spoken very loudly against god fatherism, against arrogance in power just as they have voted for progress and prosperity.”
Oladimeji commended the courage of Obaseki, his deputy, the State campaign council under the leadership of Chief Dan Orbih and all leaders of note in Edo State, Oladimeji said.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for maintaining neutrality in the election.
“We understand there cannot be perfection in any electoral process, but INEC by its conduct in the just concluded Edo election has shown that it is possible if we all decided to do what is right.”
Oladimeji said that the group would not take the role played by the security agencies in ensuring the smooth running of the elections for granted.
He said that although there was a full contingent of officers of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies on ground, no recorded cases of intimidation or harassment of voters were recorded during the election.
He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the good people of Edo to have their say and way.
“Democratic process demands that people should be allowed to freely elect their choices, as democracy is all about the people.”
Oladimeji commended the doggedness of the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Gov. Nyesom Wike, his Colleagues, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and all the National campaign council.
He also commended Atiku Abubakar for his timely intervention and support, as well as the Edo State Chapter of ASGs for mobilising voters for Obaseki’s re-election.
Oladimeji appealed to all stakeholders in the PDP to embrace the same strategy adopted and apply same during the upcoming Ondo Governorship election, Lagos senatorial by-election and Anambra governorship election.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu