City Voice Newspaper Just another WordPress site Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:44:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Osinbajo, Ambode and others extol Jim Ovia at his book launch Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:44:29 +0000 Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday highlighted the contributions of the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia to the accountancy and banking professions, calling on leading entrepreneurs in Africa to take time to expose the younger generations to their inspiring story with the view to showing them how to become successful business owners.

The book, launched at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, is essentially about the story of how Zenith Bank commenced operation in the 80s with N20million and is now grown in worth to over $16billion.

Ambode, who spoke at the public presentation of Africa Arise and Shine, a book written by Ovia, said it was important for successful entrepreneurs like the author of the book to tell the story of how they were able to navigate the business climate to inspire others who look forward to be like them.

According to him, “There is nobody that will read this kind of book and will not be inspired and I want to recommend it to everyone.

“It is always very good when people who have been successful in their careers or profession decide to say something about how they really toiled to get to where they are.

“Some people just think people get to be successful without knowing that they actually toiled to become successful and this kind of book inspires our younger ones to become more resourceful and then more inspiring”.

While urging Ovia to write more of such book, the Governor said such was necessary to properly guide and inspire the younger generation and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Governor specifically commended the author for taking out time to write the book, saying Ovia’s contributions to the banking and accountancy professions could not be downplayed.

Ambode, who is a former Accountant General in the State, said it was on record that Ovia contributed significantly to the successes he recorded in office at the time.

Extolling Ovia’s virtues, the Governor said: “Obviously, the truth is there is no person that has actually gone through the profession of accountancy that would not have had something to do with Jim Ovia.

“If you are a professional banker, a professional accountant and you have actually lived your life in Lagos, you will know that brand called Zenith and one way or the other, it would have actually permeated your story,” he said.

The book, launched at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, is essentially about the story of how Zenith Bank commenced operation in the 80s with N20million and how it has grown in worth to over $16billion now.

Aside from Governor Ambode, other dignitaries who graced the event include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Governors Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ibrahim Shettima (Borno), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti Governor-elect), Godwin Emefiele (CBN Governor), National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole; APC Chieftain, Chief Segun Osoba; elder statesmen, Christopher Kolade, Emeka Anyaoku, Chief Akintola Williams; captains of industry including Tony Elumelu, Folorunso Alakija, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu I, among others.


Nigeria cannot progress without a visionary leader – Saraki Mon, 17 Sep 2018 16:58:58 +0000 Senate President,  Senator Bukola Saraki on Monday disclosed  that Nigeria is currently  where it is because it lacks good visionary leader, insisting that only good visionary leader would make the country progress and develop.
He spoke while meeting with the Ogun State chapter of People’s Democracy Party (PDP) led by its State Chairman, Sikirulai Ogundele on his Presidential ambition in Abeokuta, the State capital.
He also ascribed the security challenges and economic hardships facing the country to inability of the country leadership to act courageously, disclosing that Nigerians are suffering.
Saraki disclosed that the country is currently at crossroads, saying there is so much disunity in the country.
He explained that the unity of the country comes first before progress and development.
His words; “Today in Nigeria, we are at a cross road. There’s no sense of belonging in Nigeria again. We want a President that belongs to all Nigerians, that will unite Nigerians.
“Our people are suffering because you cannot give what you don’t have.  We need a visionary leader. It is time not to vote for sentiments, but vote for someone that can perform.
“There’s a new order all over the world. We have seen bringing dynamic, youthful, energetic and digital president.”
On his presidential ambition, he said: ” I believe I have the capacity, ability and track record too, it is time we have a leader that stand for justice and I believe I represent such person.
 “Our elders, I know many aspirants have come here, tell them your son has come out, they should mellow. In October 5&6, I want ogun delegates to vote for me”.
Speaking on behalf of the state PDP,  Oladipupo Adebutu, a member of the House of Reps. said if average Nigerians do not have sense of belonging, it is impossible  to prosper.
He said “We have a problem and if we don’t have sense of belonging, Nigeria cannot prosper. It is clear you stand for that position. We must have a United and just nation. In you, I believe I’ve found that.
“I like you because you go on mission impossible and make it possible. I’m in love with you sir. I’m not compaigning but it’s my opinion”.
Some of those in Saraki entourage included former Minister of power and his campaign Director-General, Mohammed Wakilu; Alhaji Kawu Baraje; former kogi governor, Idris Wada; Senator Dino Melaye and Doyin Okupe among others.
Senator Dino Melaye dazzled the party faithfuls with his song prowess canvassing support for Saraki.
Wole Soyinka: THE ROAD-MAP OF A NATION: Twenty Years On! Mon, 17 Sep 2018 14:21:59 +0000 Following an increasingly commonplace epic journey between Lagos and Abeokuta this last weekend – 5hrs 10 minutes outwards (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Saturday Sept 15) and 4hrs 25 minutes return journey the following day via Otta – I feel compelled to offer this article in recognition of a national commitment to the predictable, and a passion for time travel – backwards!  It formed part of a recent publication – THE ROAD-MAP OF A NATION for the 30th Anniversary of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).  It did however appear in the dailies over two decades ago. Hopefully it will contribute to the general debate on the existence or not, of what is known as a‘national character’.

The four-lane Expressway that links Lagos with the interior  – two inwards and two outwards from Lagos – advertises the most conspicuous characteristics of the educated elite, albeit with keen competition from the commercial driver. Let us however concentrate on the nature of what example is set for the ‘illiterate’ classes by the presumably better educated, and often more traveled car owner – businessman, lecturer, technocrat, senior bureaucrat, banker, medical doctor etc. Less sanguinary in the main, the manoeuvres executed along these ill-maintained ‘Express’ motorways, differ in routine from the junior, interior dual carriageway spectacle, where the ‘luxurious buses’ exercise their unique, undisputed laws.

The provocation is, shall we say, a normal back-up from a toll-gate – now dismantled – or a mild hiccup caused by any of the arrogant conduct of those religious camps that now infest both sides of the Expressway, presumably on the divine authority of whatever deity they claim to worship. One moment, the traffic is sanity itself. The next moment, whatever the cause of the temporary delay, at the first break in the otherwise solid barrier of concrete blocks erected to keep the permanently warring troops apart, or drains dug abnormally deep to serve the same purpose – that is, keeping inbound and outbound lanes separate – our educated, sophisticated, ‘been-to’ motorist decides that, rather than suffer a delay of a few minutes, he or she must encroach on the lane assigned to oncoming traffic. Each commences the process of slithering down, then clambering up those trenches, wheels churning mud and often becoming firmly held. Does it serve as a warning to others? No, that warning is translated in the brains of his fellow sophisticates, not as a signal to desist altogether, but to try “a little to the left or a little to the right” of the pioneering voyager, now firmly held prisoner by the mud!

Sometimes, motorists even make a U-Turn on their own lane, attempting to return to starting point, thus confronting other traffic going in the legitimate, outbound direction, especially if they are still not too distant from Lagos. Retain that scenario as Look me, I look you. I no fit go, you no fit pass!

Next, Rain! The effect of rain on most of the living species is tranquilising. Rain slows down motion, cools the brain, and soothes the viscera. Rain on the Naijaman/woman motorist is however the harbinger of a collective, infectious dementia, and most especially in the heart of Lagos. An imaginative entrepreneur would make a fortune with helicopter tours just after a downpour, although of course, the moment to begin would be with the very commencement of rain. Still, one cannot have everything, and the spectacle that is unveiled the moment a puddle has formed on the streets beats any stampede of rhinos, elephants, giraffes or warthogs in a National park. Even an aerial still photo would reveal the trademark spectacle of these variegated objects in steel and wooden frames caught in the final throes of motion. Animate that photo just a little and you will observe the last illusions of motion, a succession of still frames as these strange objects in total frenzy head for the same space as if they would clamber over one another.

The initial appropriation is always the hesitant stage. After that, attitudes harden – if one lane, why not both? A newly aggressive column comes up from behind the first marauder to reinforce that challenge and expand the front, eating voraciously into the second Lagos-bound lane. There is no more nibbling, no more prospecting, the headlamps are ablaze, the hazard lights have gone demonic, and the throttle foot has found its resting place. Motorists on the Lagos bound lanes – suffering from varying degrees of cardiac arrest – although of course many have become inured to it –  swerve madly onto their own fast lane shoulder, and begin to scrape along as best as they can, bouncing over discarded tyres and tyre rims, wood blocks, rusted hubs, rocks and logs abandoned by broken down trailers. Yet even this inhospitable territory becomes contested by outward bound interlopers from across the barrier as reinforcements are brought up from the rearguard of the invading force until….again the inevitable!

An absolute immobility, a snarling, frustrated bunch of directionless ants in the midst of whose columns a little stone has been thrown, corrupting the scent of orientation that was laid by the head of the advance – not yet defeated, not yet conceding self-defeat, simply incapable of confronting their total loss of both rational and moral compass. The sight of any unoccupied patch of space – sidewise, forward, backing up in a futile endeavour to gain an inch of advantage over the neighbouring vehicle –  each niggardly opening is the signal for a new round of multi-directional manoeuvering, a starting pistol for a new race towards individual salvation, yes, a mirage of  individual salvation that guarantees collective perdition – get in there quickly, get in there, occupy that space  – never mind that it is only a cul-de-sac barricaded by other contenders, and that the maximum span of motion before a final shutdown is perhaps no more than the circulation of a car wheel

It would be kind to imagine a populace in flight from some man-made or nature disaster – a  volcanic eruption, an expanding Chernobyl bubble, an invasion by aliens from outer space or by pitiless, hostage-eating rebels swooping down from hidden redoubts. Or maybe to imagine a people caught in a gold-rush – in short, to see them merely as deluded human beings whose rush for wealth or salvation comes up against and reinforces a solid, implacable grid that holds them firmly, sometimes till the early hours of the following morning.

No, that would be much too unkind to genuinely menaced humanity, terrified by the unknown, or the maddened sand-elves of Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode.  Much more truthful an image is the progression of woodworms scampering from rotted wood under a fire, or maggots scrambling from a freezer after the notorious NEPA – the Nigeria Electric Power Authority – has inflicted a blackout on a household blissfully away on vacation for over a month. Or perhaps, most apposite of all: a pack of rats fleeing a flooded edifice. And the scene repeats itself again and again, day after day and week upon week, its participants incapable of grasping that the unchecked ego of one is the guaranteed ruin of any community. With a mind-numbing predictability, these drivers and passengers are left staring into space, maybe into the fading apparition of a magic carpet that keeps floating just beyond the ridge of the nose of each individual motorist, promising an escape from the remorseless logic of gravity, of the delimitations of space and occupancy, self-made prisoners of an epidemic of plain, collective – stupidity!

The foregoing, we might point out, is the benign, mostly non-lethal scenario, usually of limited catastrophe. Any damage is mostly incidental – stress, the unnoticed attrition of stability, missed engagements, missed flights, missed opportunities, and the unpublicised lives lost as an ambulance finds its spinning lights and sirens helpless against the final erosion of a people’s collective common sense. On the main highways, the exaction is instant and brutal. I have joined in cleaning up after the mess at many such scenes, but it is always a different experience altogether to witness an impact, to see it coming and watch it happen. Before all else, before pity or empathy, the emotion is one of rage, for such a moment is hardly ever inevitable.



(The Road Map of a Nation)


Pega & Friends Foundation commences PVC collection campaign in Ogun Sun, 16 Sep 2018 18:30:36 +0000 A non-profit group, the Pega & Friends Foundation Foundation has commenced a sensitization campaign across the nook and crannies of Ogun State, and most especially Yewa axis of the  state, on the needs for the residents of the state to collect their Permanent Voters Card to eliminate political apathy and encourage political participation amongst the citizenry in the upcoming 2019 General Elections.
In a statement signed by its Founder, Prince Ekunola Gbenga Abraham (PEGA), a copy of which was made available to the press, the Foundation said the essence of the sensitisation campaign is to engage the citizens of Ogun State on the need to be more active in the electoral processes because based on the recent visit of the foundation led by its Director Prince Ekunola Gbenga Abraham (PEGA) to some INEC offices especially Yewa South Local Government, the number of uncollected PVCs is alarming, he expressed concern over the high level of uncollected PVCs across Ogun State and also base on state-by-state breakdown of the number of registered voters and their PVC collection rate, only a total of 1,125,657 out of the over 1,829,534 registered voters of a voting population of 3,728,098 had collected their Permanent Voters Card.
The foundation defied rain to move round of some of the streets around Ilaro, the headquarters of Yewa South Local Government to sensitise the people about the importance of collecting their registered PVC ahead of 2019 general election.
According to Abraham, “Without your PVC, you are powerless, without your PVC, you can only complain, you cannot contribute. That is why we are calling on those of you that have registered for PVC to go INEC of to collect it and express your political choice on the day of the election.”
The Foundation also said that a review of the Independent National Electoral Commission statistics of PVCs’ collected in Ogun State before 2015 General Election and the recent statistics released showed there was still a large number of uncollected PVC in the State while the number of newly registered voters was not a true reflection of the voting population of Ogun State.
He said further that the self-imposed political apathy embraced by youths in the State will not solve our national challenges or improve governance in the State, rather it will continue to stunt the development in Ogun State compared to its neighbouring Lagos State.
Ekunola, a Political Analyst asserted that a survey conducted by his foundation corroborated earlier claims that the numbers of citizens in Ogun State above the age of 18 that do not have PVC are more than those who have registered and collected their PVCs, stressing that this may disenfranchise majority of the citizens in the State in light of the new e-voting card readers intended to be used for the 2019 General Elections, which will only recognise the PVCs.
On the objective(s) of the foundation, Ekunola, a native of Pahayi-Yewa said he established Foundation with sole aim of promoting the spirit of nationalism and patriotism amongst Nigerians and enhancing the quality of life of ordinary Nigerians through initiatives that promote national development, entrepreneurship and educational opportunities.  Pega & Friends Foundation as a non-profit non-governmental organization that reaches out to the forgotten people in the society (women, youths & children especially) so as to give them hope and make life worth living.  We undertakes the following initiatives: empowering economically disadvantage individuals, creating employments for youths, organizing public enlightenment, talent hunts, free medical care in rural area, character management & rehabilitation programs for inmates. etc.
The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) trained criminologist and Human Rights activist added that the foundation, with the support another non-profit group, the Yewa Connecting Minds (YCM), has trained over empowered youths, children and less Privileged across the nation.
He urged Nigerians to join the campaign for PVC collection nationwide and support the ongoing INEC initiatives towards successful elections in 2019.
Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuff leaves APC for PDP Sun, 16 Sep 2018 18:23:35 +0000 The deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, has joined a long list of senior members of the National Assembly who have dumped the APC for the PDP.

Yusuff, who joined the speaker, Yakubu Dogara in the PDP on Sunday, had unsuccessfully ran for the APC governorship ticket for Osun State.

He has also condemned the choice of direct primaries, as announced by the party leaders for choosing the party’s candidates for the 2019 election.

He said the system is unpopular and targeted at frustrating the will of the majority of members of the party in the state.

“Such a call was capable of causing disenchantment in the party in view of the fact that virtually all the major blocs and stakeholders within the party had registered their resentment to the proposal,” Yusuff said. “We are aware of the depth of pressure daily mounted on the party national leadership by some officials of the Osun state government in cahoots with just four State Working Committee members of the APC in an effort to impose their preferred candidate on the party.’’

Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy makes case for safe and affordable medicines Sun, 16 Sep 2018 17:42:15 +0000 The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has made a passionate case for better, safer, more convenient and more affordable medicines and treatment regimens for diseases that afflict mankind, especially those that are endemic to our region of the world at its annual Investiture ceremony in Lagos.

The well attended occasion was marked by the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe for his huge contribution to the growth of pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria while General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma bagged an Honorary Fellowship of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy.

Speaking, President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that the “bestowal of the award on Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe is a token of our appreciation of his enormous strides not only in the Pharmacy profession but indeed in all other aspects of human endeavor. As he turns 90 in December, it is only fitting and proper that his number one constituency, Pharmacy, kicks off the celebration of an illustrious role model whose legacy of love, sacrifice and service would be forever etched in our hearts and minds.”

“It is in the same vein that we induct General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma’s investiture as only the second ever Honorary Fellow of the Academy. He remains one of the most passionate supporters of the Pharmacy profession and a most generous benefactor of scientific research,” he added.

According to Adelusi-Adeluyi, “the Academy of Pharmacy owes society a duty to help unravel better, safer, more convenient and more affordable medicines and treatment regimens for diseases that afflict mankind, especially those that are endemic to our region of the world.”

The high point of this year’s ceremony was the announcement of the Academy’s Research and Innovation Center which is named after Chief Oludolapo Akinkugbe. According to the Academy, this is a vehicle we created to give enduring impact to research and development in Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical space.

“It is for this reason that research is central to our operations, one of the major reasons, indeed, that the Academy came to being. We want to complement local and international efforts that support scientific research and research activities. Much of the work we have done in this regard has been in the area of advocacy, in engaging government and policy makers on the essence of scientific research and why it is critical to provide better funding and other moral support to scientific research focused institutions as well as individual researchers.”

General Danjuma who is also the Chairman of May and Baker Nigeria Plc, donated N10 million to the Olu Akinkugbe Research and Innovation Centre to support the advancement of research and development in the country.

Professor Ernest Benson Izevbigie, a distinguished scientist and former Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, in his keynote lecture at the event titled, From Plant to Patient: Driving Research and Innovation for Industry called for the translation of research findings into societal values.

Prof. Izevbigie whose ground-breaking work on the use of bitter leaf, Vernonia Amygdalina in cancer and diabetes management has commanded critical acclaim globally provided critical research insights into how he has used bitter leaf in the management of breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer with results better than western drugs.

The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is a specialized academy that among others, seeks to promote scientific research and professional development especially in the health, pharmaceutical and related sectors in order to help overcome challenges posed by pain and disease as well as fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria and beyond.

The event had eminent personalities that included, Senator Daisy Danjuma, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, professor of medicine, Chief Oba Otudeko, former chairman of First Bank Plc, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje, managing director, JayKay Pharmacy; Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director, Alpha Pharmacy; Pharm. Nnamdi Okafor, managing director, May & Baker Plc; Bhushan Akshikar, managing director, Glaxosmithkline Plc; Dr Obi Peter Adigwe, the newly appointed Director General,  National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD); NAPharm Vice President, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, chairman, Merit Pharmaceuticals; Dr Lolu Ojo, Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former managing director, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals;  Founder, Alpha Pharmacy, Sir Ike Onyechi; Prof. Kemi Odukoya, former dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG); Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, former dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), amongst others in attendance.

Mimiko’s presidential ambition: Labour Party leadership warn NLC’s Ayuba Wabba Sat, 15 Sep 2018 17:58:18 +0000 The national leadership of the Labour Party has told the chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabara to focus on improving the condition of Nigerian workers and stay out of the politics of the political party.

Labour party, in a statement by its chairman on Saturday, Abdulkadir Abdusalam, said it is not owned by the NLC and, as such, does not need its consent before taking decisions on candidates it would field for elections.

Wabara and the NLC had kicked against the decision of the Labour Party to allow former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to pick the party’s presidential nomination form.

The statement, titled, What does Ayuba Wabba want?’, reads:

Our attention has been drawn to mischievous statements made at a press event by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba and one Mrs. Ebere Ifendu aimed at misleading the general public about some political happenings in the Labour Party.

We are under no illusion that this meddlesomeness was a misguided misstep sponsored by fifth columnists to tarnish and undermine the leadership of our party and as well distract Nigerians from the presidential declaration of the immediate past governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

Therefore, it has become unavoidably necessary to put the issue in their proper perspective as follows:

1)  That the statement was issued out of malice, prejudice, ignorance, selfishness, greed and motivated by political opponents who are afraid of the growing fortunes and prospects of the party as we inch closer to the 2019 general elections.

2) That the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated categorically that the National Chairman of Labour Party is Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam. It is therefore in bad faith, that Ayuba Wabba was referring to an illegal, unconstitutional and a failed attempt to remove Alhaji Salam as National Chairman.

3) The Labour Party under the leadership of Alhaji Abdulsalam sponsored candidates in the just concluded Ekiti Election and the party is also in serious contention for the upcoming Governorship election in Osun State, scheduled for September 22. All the forms for these candidates were duly endorsed by Alhaji A.A Salam as the chairman of the party.

4) While we acknowledge the solidarity of organized labour with our party, we state that the Nigeria Labour Congress is not and cannot be the owners of Labour Party as argued by Wabba by virtue of section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended), which prohibits any association from contributing to the funds of any political party. It is a criminal offence under section 15 of the Trade Union Act, to use Trade Union Funds directly or indirectly to fund a Political Party. Moreover, once a Political Party is registered it has a life of its own, and it can only be regulated by its constitution (see section 80 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).

5)  We have severally advised Comrade Ayuba Wabba in our previous press statements to focus on his roles as President of the Nigerian Labour Congress and address issues affecting workers. Nigerians are not unaware that workers are in want and poverty occasioned by the current low minimum wage, unpaid salaries and allowances while others have been sacked indiscriminately.

6)  We make bold to say that the return of the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to Our Party, has no doubt  added value and enhanced the fortunes and image of the party. In any case, why on earth would a man allegedly interested in the good fortunes of a party be more concened with turning people away from the party instead of wooing new members?

  1. Let it be on record that the event of 13th September 2018 where the former Ondo State governor declared his intention to run for the office of President of Nigeria, was not a convention but a visit to announce his interest and identify fully with the party. Only people ignorant of basic party procedures will see the collection of expression of interest process as convention!

8)  The current leadership of our party believes in the rule of law and the sanctity of our constitution. We therefore call on Nigerians to disregard all press statements originating from Wabba or his proxies as misplaced, self serving and inconsequential.

9). In closing, we reiterate the fact that we remain friends and comrades of organised labour but abhor the destructive meddling of Ayuba Wabba. We call on all organs of NLC to call him to order.

Arsenal defeat Newscastle with goals from Xhaka and Ozil Sat, 15 Sep 2018 17:38:38 +0000 There was none of the Newcastle battening down of hatches that has provoked such questioning of the manager and a more expansive kind of football to which a sluggish, slack and tentative Arsenal looked vulnerable to.

Diame ran that first half, delivering to the flanks with metronomic accuracy and providing an imposing physical presence. Jacob Murphy, operating on the left, looked most likely to capitalise. Matt Ritchie delivered with the same accuracy from the right. Briefly, all thought of the summer’s mere £20m outlay in the transfer market melted away. Murphy’s header on 21 minutes required the best of Petr Cech’s instincts when palmed away.

Arsenal were stumbling around in a fog, with Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang weak and pitifully loose in possession down their left and the rear-guard constantly vulnerable to an error. A slip by Shkrodan Mustafi allowed Murphy to collect and race in on goal but Sokratis managed to clear the danger.

The enterprise of the opening period had required some last-third quality to translate into goals, though the brutal truth is that Benitez’s side lacked it. It took a simple ratcheting up of Arsenal intensity to wrap up what had started to become an uncomfortable afternoon for them.

Only three minutes of the second half had passed when Arsenal eased ahead after the re-start. A foul by Federico Fernandez in front of the area brought a free kick which Xhaka stepped up to, curling into the top left hand corner of Martin Dubravka’s net.

The second came nine minutes later. An Alexandre Lacazette shot was blocked out to Mesut Ozil, whose shot evaded the dive of Dubravka, who got a touch to it.

By no means do Arsenal look invincible. Cech’s hapless attempts to play a ball out of defence with a left-foot pass early in the first half exposed a side and a player still adjusting to the way Unai Emery wants them to play. Cech does not look like a sweeper- keeper.

Aaron Ramsey’s deployment in an advance position looks questionable too, removing the influence he can create deeper in midfield.

Emery’s defence went missing in the 90th minute when Ciaran Clark sauntered in to convert a Fernandez cross from the right. But the months ahead look like they will bring a too-familiar struggle era. A further nine months here will surely be the limit of Benitez’s appetite for a task like this. If West Ham implosion under Manuel Pellegrini persists, he may well find himself tempted sooner. It may then a question of which is the less of two evils.

Getting ready for Ashura celebrations Sat, 15 Sep 2018 17:32:15 +0000 Ashura, a day of remembrance for Muslims, has almost arrived.

The holy day is observed on the tenth of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Ashura marks the death of Hussain ibn Ali — the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson — as well as the day Noah left the ark and Moses was saved from the Egyptians by God.

For both Shia and Sunni Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day. It’s observed differently among the two sects, however.

The Shia mourn and focus on the messages that can be derived from the Martyrdom of Hussain. They wear black and parade through the streets chanting.

The Sunni observe Ashura with a fast.

For all Muslims, good deeds and visiting the shrine of Hussain in Karbala, Iraq are encouraged during Ashura.

Ashura significance

Ashura marks the death of Hussain, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, for Shia Muslims. It’s a day of remembrance focused on Hussain’s death in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq.

For Sunni Muslims, it marks the day Moses was saved from the Egyptians by God.

It’s observed as a day of atonement for the Sunni, allowing those participating to be forgiven for the sins they committed in the previous year. For them, Ashura is observed as a fast day.

When is Ashura?

Ashura is celebrated on the 10th of Muharram — the first day in the Islamic lunar calendar. It begins in the evening of September 20 and ends the following evening.

Sunni Muslim’s mark Ashura with a fast. While abstaining from food and drink, they reflect and seek forgiveness. Shia do not fast, as for them Ashura is not a day in which God asks anything of his followers, but rather a day to commemorate a loss.

The Sunni fast typically falls around Yom Kippur, observed on the tenth of Tishrei on the Jewish calendar. For Jews, this is a similarly somber fast day.

Emirates Nigerian staff clinches leadership award Sat, 15 Sep 2018 14:32:16 +0000 Emirates rewards its top performers in the Leadership Award ceremony, hosted in Dubai, whereby Nigerian Mr. Samuel Babatunde Adekanmbi emerged as one of three finalists for the internal recognition.

The Leadership Award, established in 2016 is targeted towards employees in the Retail and Contact Sales under the Customer Sales and Service Team Leaders division, across all regions after evaluating their performance for the year 2017 – 2018.

“I am thrilled to be one of this year’s Leadership Award winners’, says Mr. Adekanmbi after receiving the accolade. “To be recognised for my contribution and team work by an organization like Emirates is extremely gratifying and humbling, and I am proud to be a part of an organisation that values its employees the way Emirates does.”

Other finalists of the Leadership Award included employees from India, UK, UAE and Singapore.