Okada Passengers In Areas Where It Has Been Ban Will Be Tried – Lagos CP

A file photo of Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi

 

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, on Thursday, said passengers and okada riders arrested following the ban on motorcycles will be tried and prosecuted in court.

On Wednesday, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, imposed a ban on motorcycles, popularly known as okadas, in six local government areas, citing security concerns.

Alabi, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the move is necessary to decongest cases associated with the arrest of riders and passengers flouting the government’s directives.

READ ALSO: Delivery Riders, Power Bikes Not Affected By Okada Ban – Police Commissioner

“There is a plan towards the establishment of mobile courts that will actually try them on time so that we don’t keep on congesting our cells with all these people who are flouting the laws,” he said.

“Whenever you are arrested, whether the passenger or the rider, they will be tried instantly without necessarily bringing them to any cell.”

Battling crime rate

The latest ban on okadas in the state comes after a sound engineer, David Imoh, was allegedly lynched to death by motorcycle riders in the Lekki area of the state over a fare dispute.

This is not the first time the activities of okada riders have been restricted in Lagos.

Police Commissioner Alabi however said enforcement of the ban this time will be more thorough.

He said most okada riders are criminals and must be taken off the road.

However, the police chief acknowledged that banning okadas may have its side effects.

“We know that banning the Okada riders can actually increase crime rate. And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it,” he said.

“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it.”

Everton Seal Premier League Survival After Epic Escape

Crystal Palace’s French-born Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew scores his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on May 19, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Everton staged a dramatic fightback from two goals down to preserve their Premier League status with a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace, while Burnley climbed out of the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Thursday.

Frank Lampard’s side recovered from conceding twice in the first half as Michael Keane and Richarlison netted after the break before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late winner sparked wild celebrations at Goodison Park.

After a nerve-jangling battle to avoid playing outside the top-flight for the first time since 1954, Everton can finally relax with one game to play.

Their thrilling comeback was a microcosm of Lampard’s reign since he took over in January, with Everton staring disaster in the face before pulling back from the brink.

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Everton are four points above the relegation zone, leaving fourth-bottom Burnley and third-bottom Leeds scrapping for survival.

Burnley, who host Newcastle in Sunday’s final round of fixtures, climbed above Leeds on goal difference thanks to their point at Villa.

They will be safe if they match Leeds’ result at Brentford on the last day.

Whatever happens at the weekend is unlikely to surpass the emotion at Goodison, where fans wept tears of joy during a frenzied post-match pitch invasion.

Once again, Everton supporters had swarmed the streets ahead of kick-off, waving blue flares and cheering the team bus when it arrived.

Palace silenced the boisterous crowed with their 21st minute opener.

Vitalii Mykolenko allowed Jean-Philippe Mateta to get in front of him and the Palace forward headed in Eberechi Eze’s free-kick.

Several bottles were thrown towards Mateta and the atmosphere turned even more toxic in the 36th minute when Jordan Ayew poked home after Abdoulaye Doucoure failed to clear.

But Lampard had labelled the game “all or nothing” and Michael Keane gave Everton a vital 54th minute lifeline, the defender applying the finishing touch from Mason Holgate’s header.

Revitalised, Everton laid seige to the Palace goal and Richarlison hooked the equaliser past Jack Butland in the 75th minute.

With Goodison at fever pitch, Dominic Calvert-Lewin completed the comeback in the 85th minute with a clinical header that sparked a jubilant pitch invasion.

 Burnley out of relegation zone

At Villa Park, Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet won a penalty on the stroke of half-time when he was bundled over by Emiliano Buendia.

Cornet had missed Burnley’s only previous penalty this season and Ashley Barnes stepped up this time, sending Emiliano Martinez the wrong way with a cool strike for his first goal since February 2021.

In the 48th minute, Buendia volleyed Villa’s equaliser from John McGinn’s cross, with Burnley protesting that a foul throw should have been given in the build-up.

Burnley finished with 10 men after Matt Lowton was sent off for a high tackle on Calum Chambers in stoppage-time.

Chelsea effectively guaranteed a third place finish with a 1-1 draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

Given their vastly superior goal difference advantage over fourth placed Tottenham, who sit three points behind them, the Blues will not be caught.

After Chelsea’s painful penalty shoot-out defeat in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday, Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle on Monday had secured a top four finish for the Blues.

James Maddison gave Leicester a sixth minute lead from the edge of the area before Marcos Alonso bagged Chelsea’s equaliser, volleying home in the 35th minute.

Thursday’s drama was only an appetiser for what will be a thrilling final day of the season.

Manchester City will be crowned champions for a fourth time in five seasons if they beat Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

But second placed Liverpool, one point behind Pep Guardiola’s team, would steal the title if City drop points and they defeat Wolves at Anfield.

In the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Tottenham need to a win at Norwich to be certain of pipping Arsenal, who host Everton and are two points behind their north London rivals.

Manchester United can qualify for the Europa League with a win at Palace, although they would drop into the Europa Conference League with a defeat and a West Ham victory at Brighton.

AFP

US Approves $40bn For Ukraine As Biden Rallies Behind NATO Bids

In this file photo, US President Joe Biden (C) and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) arrive to visit service members from the 82nd Airborne Division, who are contributing alongside Polish Allies to deterrence on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank, in the city of Rzeszow in southeastern Poland, around 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the border with Ukraine, on March 25, 2022. Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

 

The US Congress on Thursday approved a gargantuan $40 billion aid package for Ukraine to help fight Russia’s invasion as President Joe Biden rallied behind the historic NATO membership bids of Sweden and Finland.

With unusually bipartisan support, the Senate voted 86-11 to pass the package — the equivalent of the 2020 GDP of Cameroon — after one senator briefly held up the vote, voicing alarm on the costs.

“Aid for Ukraine goes far beyond charity,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

“The future of American security and core strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this fight,” he said ahead of the vote.

The bundle includes $6 billion earmarked for Ukraine to boost its armored vehicle inventory and air defense system.

Nearly $9 billion is set aside to help Ukraine ensure “continuity of government” as well as humanitarian aid.

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Funds running out 

Congress already approved almost $14 billion for Ukraine in mid-March, weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin stunned the world with his invasion, but most has been spent.

As Russian forces have given up on seizing Kyiv but have stepped up fighting in eastern and southern Ukraine, Biden has been calling for another round of financial support.

The House of Representatives had approved the $40 billion package last week but Rand Paul, like McConnell a Republican from Kentucky, prevented a quick vote in the Senate.

Paul, who opposes US interventionism, voiced concern about the cost and said that lawmakers should have been clearer on how to pay for the package and on monitoring where the money goes.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, a hawkish Republican who has previously called for the Russian president to be assassinated, said: “When it comes to Putin, either we pay now or we pay later.”

Shortly after the vote, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released another $100 million in previously approved funding for Ukraine.

The funding will include 18 new howitzers and some counter-artillery radar, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

The United States tried for weeks to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine and has responded with a sweeping pressure campaign, including sanctions targeting Putin.

In a rare resumption of dialogue, the top US and Russian generals, Mark Milley and Valery Gerasimov, spoke by telephone Thursday for the first time since the invasion, the Pentagon said.

 Rallying behind NATO 

Biden has cast the Ukraine war as part of a US-led great struggle of democracy against authoritarianism.

At the White House, he offered a red-carpet welcome to the leaders of Finland and Sweden days after they applied for NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

“The bottom line is simple. Quite straightforward: Finland and Sweden make NATO stronger,” Biden said, offering the “full, total, complete backing of the United States of America.”

“Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies, and a strong moral sense of what is right,” Biden said alongside Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the White House Rose Garden.

“They meet every NATO requirement, and then some,” Biden told assembled reporters without taking any questions.

Sweden and Finland have historically kept a distance from NATO as part of longstanding policies aimed at avoiding angering Russia but they shifted amid shock over the invasion of Ukraine, which has sought unsuccessfully to join the alliance.

Drawing an implicit contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump, Biden called NATO’s mutual defense promise — that an attack on one is an attack on all — a “sacred commitment.”

“We will never fail in our pledge to defend every single inch of NATO territory,” Biden said, promising as well to defend Finland and Sweden while their applications are pending.

As with military funding, support for the two Nordic nations’ membership is strong in the US Senate, which needs to ratify any move involving treaties.

But all 30 existing members need to consent to adding another nation and Turkey has voiced misgivings due to the presence in Sweden and Finland of Kurdish militants.

Addressing Turkey, Niinisto said Finland opposes “terrorism” and is “open to discussing all the concerns that you may have.”

AFP

Buhari Arrives In Abu Dhabi, To Meet New President

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari alighting from the presidential jet. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates to meet with the country’s new President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In the Arab nation, Buhari will convey his condolences on the passing of the ex-President and ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu said that President Buhari is also expected to extend congratulations to the new President, renewing bonds of the longstanding friendship between Nigeria and the UAE.

Buhari had earlier reaffirmed Nigeria’s cordial relationship with the country, admitting that the cooperation between both governments has helped Nigeria in tracking down illegal assets and tracing terrorist funds.

“Under the new leadership, President Buhari looks forward to a bigger and stronger partnership for peace, stability, and prosperity of both countries,” Shehu stated.

Accompanying the President on the foreign trip are the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Isa Ali Pantami; the Minister of Federal Capital Territory; Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

Others included the National Security Adviser, Major-General Mohammed Monguno (retd), and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

Buhari is expected back in the country on Saturday.

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I Have No Apology For Being ‘Mad About Nigeria’ – Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he is “mad” about Nigeria and he has no apology for being passionate about Africa’s most populous nation.

He stated this while playing host to presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Muhammed Hayatudeen, at his presidential library home in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“Passion means madness; that you are mad about Nigeria. I am and I have no apology for that because I have no other country I can call my own,” Obasanjo said.

“I have no other country I can go to and say that ‘Yes, I have come to live here’. Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo speaks while receiving PDP presidential aspirantMuhammed Hayatudeen, at his presidential library home in Abeokuta on May 19, 2022.

 

The ex-president also spoke on four factors responsible for the low level of socioeconomic and political development of the country despite different opportunities that have presented themselves for real development.

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He said lack of passion, vision, innovation, and knowledge have largely responsible for the low level of development.

On insecurity, Obasanjo maintained that Nigeria can overcome its numerous challenges with the right leader who would be willing to make tough decisions.

This is even as he called on all Nigerians to be ready to make sacrifices to put the country back on the right path.

He added, “It is an agonising situation for you, obviously, and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, as bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.

“And you are right in saying that, wherever you go now, one of the things you hear is that Nigeria is not on the table, but why shouldn’t Nigeria be on the table? What does it cost Nigeria to be on the table?

“I will say four things, of which I was reminded this morning. One is knowledge. If Nigeria is not at the table, maybe the knowledge that we should have of ourselves, of our situation, of our continent, and indeed of the world is not that adequate, if that knowledge is adequate, we will do what is right, when it is right and how it is right.

“The second is vision, what is the vision that we have? And if you have no vision, you may have eyes, but you are blind. And I believe that is part of our situation.”

In his remarks, Hayatudeen said that even as a military Head of State, former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought about many policy reforms that transformed the nation.

He said he was grateful to the former leader for playing host to him and his entourage.