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NUJ Felicitates With Imo On Xmas

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My dear colleagues, as the year is finally winding up with the usual Christmas and New year festivities, I want to thank God who has been our shield and defender since the beginning of the year. The year 2020 has been very challenging. The Corona Virus crippled a lot of activities.

 The #EndSARS Protests and now the second wave of Covid-19 is already taking its toll on society. As media professionals, it has not really been easy to do what we are trained to do. Government, organizations, and even private individuals have not assisted journalists much in carrying out their responsibilities. I understand the constraints in our profession added to the fact that a lot of journalists practicing in Imo are not being paid as and when due.

Many are not even paid at all. Our colleagues work without the necessary tools and equipment. Even with the ravaging and rampaging Covid-19, yet journalists are not provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), thereby exposing them to the risk of infection. However, despite all these towering challenges, God has been faithful and has kept His watchful eyes over us all. The NUJ Legacy Awards has come and gone with its sweet memories. I thank you all for your support to make it a huge success. Imo successfully hosted the SouthEast Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) Meeting of NUJ. Hopefully, we shall engage in more activities next year. I know that there has been bickering among some. It is normal with human beings. I urge us all to eschew bitterness and rancor with peace and an open mind.

We are all colleagues and united by one profession. We wish to most sincerely express our gratitude to Imo citizens for their support to the NUJ and journalists in Imo and urge them to continue in their support. As we all celebrate Christmas and New Year, may we celebrate with moderation and caution. It is good we obey and inform society on the need to adhere strictly to the Covid-19 protocols to stem the tide of the second wave. I pray to God to continue to guide and guard each of us and to make the year 2021 a better one for us all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in advance.

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crimewatch

Three construction workers kidnapped in Ondo

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Nigerian Police

Three construction workers have been kidnapped along Ikaramu-Akunnu Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State on Tuesday evening by some unknown gunmen.

The workers whose name has not yet been revealed were working at the ongoing rehabilitation of Ikaramu-Akunnu road when the hoodlums struck.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident, saying an investigation had commenced into it.

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“Our men are already in the area to rescue the victims,” the PPRO stated.

The traditional ruler of Ikaram, Oba Andrew Momodu, in a reaction, confirmed that the workers were kidnapped after they closed for the day’s job.

According to him, the hoodlums struck when the expatriate contractor handling the project had just left with his policemen.

The monarch appealed for more security men to comb the forest for a rescue operation.

Similarly, the Alauga of Auga Akoko, Oba Samuel Agunloye, added, “The incessant kidnapping and other criminal acts are now worrisome in the area.”

It was gathered that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Okeagbe Akoko, Mr Ade Akinwande, has led other officers to search the forest in a bid to rescue and release the victims.

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Business

Airtel signs $500m loan with Bank of America, others

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Airtel signs $500m loan with Bank of America, others

Airtel Africa has announced the signing of a new $500m loan facility with a group of relationship banks to partially refinance the group’s €750m Euro-denominated bond (c.$880m) due May 20, 2021.

In a statement signed on Wednesday, by its Group Company Secretary, Simon O’Hara, the banks that participated in the facility include, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank, and two Indian relationship banks, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

O’Hara said the new committed facility consisted of a combination of a revolving credit facility and term loans with tenor of up to four years.

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He stated that the balance of the Euro-denominated bond would be repaid with existing group cash to reduce gross debt and associated interest costs.

“The new loan facility further strengthens the core liquidity of the group,” the group said in the statement.

The telecommunication company also said it had prepayment flexibilities that would allow the group to optimize the efficiency of its capital structure with the free cash flows and cash receipts anticipated over the next 12 months, following the recent announcements related to tower sales and mobile money minority investments.

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Entertainment

Reigning Mrs. World, Caroline Jurie resigns, runner up takes over

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Reigning Mrs. World resigns, runner up takes over

The reigning Mrs World, Caroline Jurie, has resigned her title, the organization running the pageant, said late on Tuesday, weeks after she was involved in a controversy at the Mrs Sri Lanka event.

I stand proud today, knowing that I stood up for what is right. I believe the Mrs World Crown stands for a purpose,” Jurie wrote in a statement shared on her Instagram page.

She continued: “I know Mrs World Inc. does not condone malpractices. Therefore, wearing the Mrs World crown and holding the title on unfair grounds go against the purpose of ensuring a fair and equal stage for every woman.”

” Hence, I am stepping down from the title of Mrs World 2020 and I am handing over my Mrs World 2020 Crown. I hereby terminate the Mrs World 2020 contract I entered into on November 4, 2019, with Mrs World Inc.”

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Jurie was arrested and released on bail this month after a fracas at the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant in Colombo, where Jurie forcibly removed the winner’s crown, claiming the other woman was a divorcee and not qualified to win the title.

“Her voluntary resignation decision was made solely by Caroline herself,” Mrs World Inc said late on Tuesday, in a news release on social media.

Jurie was not immediately reachable for comment.

Kate Schneider of Ireland, the runner-up in the 2020 contest which Jurie won, will be the new Mrs World 2020, the organization said.

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