Nigerian Medical Association Applauds Fashola For Signing Anti-Smoking Bill

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The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, has commended the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, for signing into law the bill that prohibits smoking in public places.

The association expressed its approval of the move in a statement released on Wednesday, applauding both the executive and legislative arms of the State government.

“The association commends this bold effort by the Lagos Sate House of Assembly and the Lagos State Government at protecting public health, promoting public decency and safe guarding the health and morality of children in Lagos state,” the statement read.

The bill, signed on February 17, 2014, was passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday January, 20, 2014 sought to among other provisions, ban cigarette smoking in public toilets, tertiary institutions, public transportation vehicles, shopping centres, stadia, and restaurants. The law also compelled management of public places to conspicuously display “No Smoking” sign at appropriate positions within their premises; and criminalise smoking before minors.

NMA, however, expressed fears regarding the implementation of the law.

“Nigerian Medical Association is worried about compliance and therefore, the implementation of the law given the sub-optimal levels of public awareness and health education on the dangers associated with tobacco smoking.

“We are also worried over the absence of cigarette smoking withdrawal programs, particularly as it affects the fate of citizens who have not been prepared for the drastic withdrawal from the highly addictive and cancer inducing substances contained in cigarettes.

Noting that commodities like nicotine patches and e-cigarettes that mitigate the withdrawal symptoms in smoke quitters are not readily available in Nigeria, the medical association called on the governments at all levels to emulate and even out-pace the Lagos State Government in giving biting teeth to the concerns on the dangers of cigarette smoking by promulgating implementable laws, educating the general public, and providing the much needed but scarce commodities for rehabilitating smokers and aid those who want to quit.”

The statement read: “While the much needed role of faith-based organisations and other social groups cannot be over emphasised, we note that achieving a smoking-free society lies in all citizens, families and groups”.

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Funke Akindele, Desmond Elliot, Others Shine As Nominees Of AMVCA

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Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) is less than a month away and nominees of the prestigious and well-celebrated awards have since been announced to the delight of fans, who still have the opportunity to vote for their favourites.

The 1st edition, which held in 2013, had the likes of O.C Ukeje, Mercy Johnson, Tunde Kelani and other notable movie stars as winners of different award categories.

According to organisers, this year promises to be even more exciting as there are speculations as to which celebrities will win in the different categories.

 

Nominees List:

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Stephanie Wilson – Living Funeral (3A)
Veronica Waceke – Higher Learning (3B)
Nse Ikpe-Etim – Journey To Self (3C)
Nkiru Sylvanus – Kiss And The Brides (3D)
Ivie Okujaye – The Volunteers (3E)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA

Juma Rajab Rashid – Siri Ya Mtungi (2A)
Majid Michel – Somewhere in Africa (2B)
Hlomla Dandala – Contract (2C)
Majid Michel – House of Gold (2D)
Tope Tedela – A Mile from Home (2E)

BEST MOVIE (DRAMA)

Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja (6A)
Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life (6B)
Udoka Oyeka & Orode Ryan – Living Funeral (6C)
Frank Rajah Arase – The Price (6D)
Frank Rajah Arase – Groom’s Bride (6E)
Chris Eneaji &  Jumafor Ajogwu – Murder at Prime Suites (6F)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Hlomla Dandala – Contract (7A)
John Okafor – Return of Sheri Koko (7B)
Osita Iheme – The Hero (7C)
Osita Iheme – The Fighter (7D)
Chinedu Ikedieze – The Hero (7E)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Funke Akindele – The Fighter (8A)
Funke Akindele – The Hero (8B)
Funke Akindele – The Return Of Sheri Koko (8C)
Mary Ogbonna – Clinic Matters (8D)
Jackie Appiah – Cheaters (8E)
Yvonne Okoro – Contract (8F)

BEST MOVIE (COMEDY)

Uche Jumbo – Lies Men Tell (9A)
Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Yvonne Okoro & Ken Attoh – Contract (9B)
Elvis Chucks – A Wish (9C)
Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Fighter (9D)
Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Hero (9E)

EPL: Tomas Rosicky Determined To Win With Arsenal

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Tomas Rosicky has pledged his future to Arsenal in the belief that the club has all that they needs to end their lengthy trophy drought.

The Czech playmaker is out of contract at the end of the 2013/14 season, but Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger revealed at the weekend that he expects that Rosicky would sign a new deal in the coming weeks.

The 33-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in 2006, impressed when he took the place of Mesut Ozil in the team against Sunderland on Saturday, crowning his performance with a sublime goal.

Rosicky’s time at the club has been hampered by a number of injuries, and he missed the entire 2008-09 season due to a hamstring tendon problem that almost ended his career.

But he is back in Wenger’s plans and remains convinced he is at the right place to win silverware sooner rather than later.

“I always believed in it here at Arsenal and still do. I knew this club was the right place for me and I want to be here for as long as I can,” Rosicky told the official Arsenal magazine.

“It is obviously very difficult to predict how long I can go on for, (but) I feel very good. I don’t feel any different than in the past, I don’t feel any change in myself.

“All I can say is that I still have a big passion to achieve things and that is really important.

“You must have that force, that drive to go on and achieve something and I definitely still have that.

“I was nearly out of the game because of injury, so I have a different approach now because I know it could end at any point. I just want to be successful with Arsenal.

“I won three titles in the Czech Republic before I left (Sparta Prague), I won the Bundesliga with Dortmund and I still believe I can do it here.

“I wouldn’t stay here if I didn’t believe.

“The idea of winning the (Premier) League and the Champions League really drives me forward, I love it”, Rosicky said.

Arsenal Transfers: Julian Draxler Set To Consider ‘New Challenge

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Julian Draxler has handed Arsenal Football Club a boost in their pursuit of the Schalke star after confessing that he was willing to consider his future if an interested suitor activated his release clause.

The Gunners were widely expected to sign the 20-year-old during the January transfer window but the North London club failed to seal a deal before the transfer day deadline.

The Germany international, who has a €45m (£40m) release clause has scored four goals and made five assists in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, a performance which had alerting the Gunners and other European clubs.

Draxler says he is happy with his current situation which allows him to weigh a new challenge if a club is willing to pay his release clause, whilst guaranteeing Schalke good monetary returns.

Draxler told German newspaper WAZ “I prolonged my contract because I feel fine here and the long-term deal shows the appreciation and popularity I enjoy at Schalke.

“It’s no secret that I have a release clause and therefore have the opportunity to consider what is best for my development every year.

“Of course, the clause leaves a lot of room for speculation, but it is also good for both sides.

“It’s good for Schalke because the club does not have to let go of me on the cheap and, in their worst-case scenario, they would still get a lot of money for me.

“And for me it’s good because I can make my own decision if a club decides to pay 45 million euros for me and I want a new challenge

Court Refuses To Grant Sanusi’s Ex Parte Motion

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A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole has declined granting an ex parte motion brought before it by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, seeking his reinstatement as the governor of Nigeria’s apex bank.

Mr Sanusi had filed the motion on the 24th of February 2014, before the court praying the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him in any manner whatsoever, from functioning as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.

While urging the court to expeditiously grant his interlocutory application, Sanusi maintained that any delay might cause irreparable and serious damage and mischief on him in the exercise of his statutory duties as the CBN Governor.

Ruling on the application, Justice Kolawole held that the court does not have the judicial powers to declare the suspension unlawful but to order that the plaintiff be reinstated to perform his duties as the Governor of the CBN.

Justice Kolawole added that the court can also, even where the tenure had lapsed, order the defendants to pay the plaintiffs such remunerations and allowances on the basis that the plaintiff’s suspension also carries with it the stoppage of his remuneration and allowances.

The trial judge further said, it is unsafe, judicially speaking to embark on far reaching interim orders which have all the attributes of a mandatory injunction without according the defendant a hearing.

Hearing of the motion has been adjourned to the March 12

Nigerian Senate Directs Army Chief To Relocate To Maiduguri

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The Nigerian Senate Committee on Defence and Army has directed the Chief of Army Staff to relocate his office temporarily to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, in an attempt to heighten the fight against insurgents in the north east.

Alarmed by the killing of students at the Federal Government College in Yobe State on Tuesday, the Senate directed the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah, to provide special security for all schools and health institutions in the crises prone states in the North.

The committee gave the directive when Major General Minimah came to defend the budget of the Nigerian Army.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Thompson Sekibo, urged the Nigerian Army to re-strategize on new ways to curb the incessant killing of Nigerians in the north east.

In his response, Major General Minimah assured the committee that the Army was up to the task of ending insurgency in the country.

The attack on the Federal Government College left at least 29 students dead.

Actors Kevin Hart, Forest Whitaker Win Big at NAACP Awards

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Comedian and actor Kevin Hart won the coveted Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, while Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker was honored with awards for both his career and his latest role as a White House butler.

One week before the Academy Awards, one of the frontrunners for best picture “12 Years a Slave” won the best motion picture award for the real-life story of an American slave, while newcomer Lupita Nyong’o won best supporting actress for her first film role in the brutal drama.

The Image Awards organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are considered the top entertainment honors from an African American point of view and brought together a star-studded crowd that included talk show host and media magnate Oprah Winfrey, British actor Idris Elba and actress Kerry Washington.

Many award winners and presenters made note of the strong year for film based on African American themes and acclaimed performances from black actors, from both the United States and the United Kingdom.

The NAACP paid tribute to the late South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela with a presentation from Winfrey, who opened a girls school in South Africa to honor the statesman, and a musical performance by Stevie Wonder.

The 34-year-old Hart won the most coveted award of the night in a year that has seen the Philadelphia native’s career take off.

He is currently starring in the films “Ride Along” and “About Last Night.” He also stars as himself in “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” for which he won best actor in a comedy series, while the show won the award for best TV comedy.

“I am on my toes right now,” joked Hart, who stands just 5 foot, 4 inches, as he collected the top award.

“Right now I am working hard towards my own dream and the fact that that dream is becoming reality is unreal,” he said.

‘HISTORICAL YEAR FOR FILM’

Whitaker, 52, was honored with the NAACP chairman’s award for his acting career and work as an advocate for peace in some of the most violent places in the world, such as South Sudan and Tijuana, Mexico.

“All I have tried to do in my life and my work is deepen my connection with humanity,” said Whitaker, who won an Academy Award for best actor in 2007 for his role as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.”

Whitaker also won the award for best actor in a motion picture for his role as a butler who serves in the White House over decades and is witness to the historic gains in civil rights in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Whitaker is also a film producer and his independent drama “Fruitvale Station” won the NAACP award for best independent film.

In other top film acting categories, Angela Bassett won best actress for her role in “Black Nativity,” while David Oyelowo won best supporting actor as the civil rights worker and son of the butler in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

The Kenyan actress Nyong’o, who is a favorite to win the best supporting actress Oscar on Hollywood’s biggest night on March 2, said “12 Years a Slave” has inspired a discourse on slavery “long overdue.”

“It’s been an historical year for film for all of us in this room and I feel so proud to be a part of that history,” she said.

The pregnant Washington, who was the big winner at last year’s awards, took home the award for best actress in a television drama series for her role as Washington fixer Olivia Pope in ABC’s “Scandal,” which also won best television drama series.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the historic nature of this character on network television,” said Washington. “I just want to say…that is not because of the lack of talent. It’s because of the lack of opportunity.”