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Football viewing centres open, resist FG directive

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Football viewing centres resist FG directive

Football viewing centres open, resist FG directive

In resistance to the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which placed a ban on viewing centres operation in the country, Football viewing centres hosted customers during Wednesday’s English Premier League game.

The EPL, which has a large following in Nigeria, returned to action on Wednesday after it was suspended on March 13 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s return came as a respite to hitherto aggrieved fans, most of who belonged to the lower class and patronise viewing centres for European football.

Some owners of viewing centres in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti states, who spoke to our correspondent last week, expressed delight at the return of the EPL.

They also revealed their plans to maintain social distancing among viewers during live games.

But a statement by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, warning against the re-opening of football viewing centres, dashed the hopes of the operators who have been counting their losses since the global ban on sporting activities.

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“We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place,” Mustapha stated at the PTF’s press briefing on Monday.

“The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guidelines should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.”

But checks by our correspondent showed that several viewing centres opened on Wednesday, with fans trooping in to watch the EPL matches involving Aston Villa versus Sheffield United and Manchester City versus Arsenal.

Several of the centres monitored by source showed that the fans didn’t wear facemasks and failed to observe social distancing. Also, there were no sanitary facilities on ground for usage.

Adeola Ajide, who watched both games at a viewing centre on Ebiere Street, Isolo, Lagos, said, “The viewing centre at my end is open, though no soap and water to wash hands but all I can see here is social distancing and the use of facemasks.

“The population isn’t as much as we used to have it before the lockdown. I guess the rain is another factor too.”

“Social distancing didn’t work here; I can tell you, I’m the only one wearing a mask in a hall containing 23 people. There’s also no social distancing and the operator of the outlet didn’t provide water, soap or sanitisers for the customers,” John Olakunle, who watched one of Wednesday’s EPL games at a viewing centre on Funsho George Street in Puposhola area of Abule Egba, Lagos, said.

In Makurdi, the Benue State capital, our correspondent learnt several viewing centres were open for business on Wednesday.

A fan, Friday Tersoo, who watched the City versus Arsenal game at a viewing centre on Bida Street, Wadata, Makurdi, said, “The hall is overfilled with fans, who were eager to watch a high-profile match live for the first time in three months. The operator said only three people should sit on each bench, but nobody obeyed him because of the large crowd. Only few people wore facemasks. Everyone is just happy that football is back.”

A viewing centre operator in Akure, Ondo State, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, admitted he showed the game.

“Fans still came out to watch, so I didn’t have a choice but to show both games,” he said.

However, checks by The PUNCH showed that some of the operators complied with the FG’s directive.

In Benin City, the Edo State capital, all the centres monitored by our correspondent were closed, but fans trooped into hotels, to watch the opening games of the EPL.

A football fan in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, Edache Abutu, told our correspondent he watched the game from home after the viewing centres in his area refused to open for business.

“No viewing centre is showing around here, they are very strict with the directive not to open,” he told The PUNCH.

Our correspondent also gathered that in areas where viewing centres failed to open, fans trooped to bars to watch the games.

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Naija News

Plateau begins trial of 300 suspected looters

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Looters

The Plateau State Government on Wednesday begun the prosecution of over 300 suspected looters and arsonists in the state.
They were accused of looting, criminal trespass and inciting public disturbance, among other charges.
The suspects, who had been in military and police detention after they were arrested in different parts of Jos and the Bukuru metropolis between Saturday and Sunday, were moved to the Bassa Local Government Area on Wednesday for arraignment.

The defendants were arraigned one after the other at Jebbu Bassa Area Court before several judges including Justices N S Dashe, Adar Roseline Baraje, and L B Longs as well as Lawal Sulaiman, among others.

In all the cases brought before the judges, the prosecutors from the state Ministry of Justice told the court that the accused persons committed the offences against the state and should be prosecuted according to the law.
The defence counsels, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy for the accused persons, particularly as they were first offenders.
The defence counsels also pleaded for short sentencing with an option of fine after their clients pleaded guilty to the offences.

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Customs Corner

Nigeria Customs office adamawa Under attack by hoodlums

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Suspected Hoodlums, on Monday, looted Adamawa Custom Office, the eye witness said hoodlums where seen in their numbers breaking anything that stand in their way, carting away consumable and non-consumable items.

 

residents of Lagos and Ogun state turn vigilantes  as hoodlums raids

nigeria customs checkpoint at agbara attacked by suspected hoodlums/

attack on akbc and facilities in uyo watch video

lagos task-force arrests hoodlums cultists seize motorcycles

 

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Naija News

NBC Fines Channels, AIT, Arise TV Over #EndSARS Coverage

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The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has sanctioned Africa Independent Television, AIT, Arise Television, and Channels Television for what it called a gross violation of the broadcast code, top of which is the use of unverifiable online video footages on social media.

The sanction, according to the Acting Director-General of the Commission, Armstrong Idachaba, will be a fine not less than two million Naira.

He warned that this will be the last warning before a heavier sanction will be introduced.

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COVID-19 PREVENTION

infectious diseases in your community. It is very important to wash your hand frequently with soap under running water.

COVID-19 IS REAL

#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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