Facebook deactivates accounts of Tunisian political bloggers and activists | Global development | The Guardian

The Facebook accounts of several high-profile bloggers and activists in Tunisia were among those deactivated without warning over the weekend.

Up to 60 accounts are understood to have been deactivated, including that of journalist and political commentator Haythem El Mekki.

At least 14 accounts have since been restored, but no explanation has been given for the action by the social media giant.

“They received no warning, no advance notice and still have no explanation,” said Emna Mizouni, an activist and journalist who campaigns for an open internet. “In the end we were able to get 14 restored by going to [the anti-corruption watchdog] IWatch … but know nothing about the rest.”

Facebook use is high in Tunisia, with many people crediting the platform for providing a rallying point for activists and bloggers during the country’s 2011 revolution that overthrew Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

“In Tunisia, the internet equals Facebook,” said Mizouni. “It was a really important tool during the revolution. We used it to organise events and share videos of what was happening across the country.”

After cementing itself at the centre of much of Tunisia’s public conversation, politicians and ministries use Facebook to communicate directly with the people. According to online advocacy group AccessNow, around 60% of Tunisian are Facebook users, one of the highest uptakes of the platform within the region.

El Mekki first became aware that his account had been deactivated last Friday. “It just said that my account had been deactivated and that was my final notice,” he said. “There wasn’t really any negotiation.”

Given his high profile and occasionally incendiary comments, El Mekki is not a stranger to controversy. However, having his account arbitrarily deactivated came as a surprise.

“I still don’t know what happened,” he said. “It would be flattering to believe that we had been targeted, but I think it’s just as likely that an algorithm got out of control.”

Whatever the causes, over the past nine years the country’s relationship with Facebook has changed. “I think one of the main dangers is that it’s not transparent to Tunisians,” said Mizouni. “For instance, during last year’s elections, we were unable to find out who was paying for what political adverts and why, despite several requests from NGOs to do so.”

Facebook did eventually respond to the NGOs’ requests some months later, although its letter failed to address the specific concerns raised. 

The Guardian contacted Facebook about the deactivated accounts and the company said it was investigating. 

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Mitch Cronin death: Rugby league player dies after backyard training accident during lockdown | The Independent

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Australian rugby league player Mitch Cronin, a Queensland Cup grand final captain, has died after a training accident in his garden, aged 27.

Cronin was found by family members in the swimming pool of his back garden in Brisbane on Friday, having just completed a training workout under Australia’s lockdown restrictions.

It’s understood that the Wynnum Manly captain had carried out a weights session and went into the pool to cool down afterwards, where he is believed to have suffered a suspected heart attack. An autopsy will now be carried out to determine what happened to Cronin.

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The rugby league player spent time with NRL sides Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos but did not make an appearance for the senior sides, but last year he skippered Wynnum Manly to the Queensland Cup grand final last September, where they suffered a 28-10 defeat against the Burleigh Bears.

Speaking to Australian outlet NewsCorp, Cronin’s manager, Paul Hogan, confirmed his death and said it was a “tragic loss of life”. 

“This has left Wynnum club, their players and myself totally shocked,” Hogan said. “He was an outstanding young man and my thoughts are with his family. We are all shattered.”

The QRL competitions manager, Dave Maiden, added. “He was a quality human being who will be mourned by many and missed by all. The people who came across him will be in a state of disbelief. He’s one of the good ones.”

Wynnum Manly chief executive, Hanan Laban, said in a statement: “We are devastated, and we send out love to Chris, Andrea, Ben, Amy and the Cronin family. 

“Mitch was an exceptional young man who was loved and respected by his teammates, his coaching staff, our supporters and the wider rugby league community.

“From the moment he arrived at Wynnum he embodied the values of the Seagulls through his positive attitude, strong work ethic, and deep care for his teammates and his club.”

Shape Created with Sketch.
Sporting deaths in 2020

1/9 David Stern, 77

Legendary former NBA commissioner David Stern died on New Year’s Day, having led the sport for 30 years between 1984 and 2014 (22 September 1942 – 1 January 2020)

2/9 Kobe Bryant, 41

NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others (23 August 1978 – 26 January 2020).

3/9 Harry Gregg, 87

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, dubbed ‘the hero of Munich’ for his efforts in saving teammates and strangers in the Munich air disaster, died at the Causeway Hospital (27 October 1932 – 16 February 2020)

4/9 Mickey Wright, 85

Mickey Wright, who won an incredible 44 titles in the space of four years between 1961 and 1964 (14 February 1935 – 17 February 2020)
Former Wales rugby player Matthew Watkins died after a battle with cancer (2 September 1978 – 7 March 2020)

6/9 Roger Mayweather, 58

Ex-world champion boxer Roger Mayweather, who was also the uncle and former trainer of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather (24 April 1961 – 17 March 2020)

7/9 Peter Whittingham, 35

Former Cardiff City and Premier League footballer Peter Whittingham died after suffering an accidental fall at a pub (8 September 1984 – 19 March 2020)

8/9 Radomir Antic, 71

Former Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona manager Radomir Antic died after suffering complications with pancreatitis (22 November 1948 – 6 April 2020)

9/9 Tarvaris Jackson, 36

Former Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills quarterback died in a car crash in Alabama (21 April 1983 – 12 April 2020)

1/9 David Stern, 77

Legendary former NBA commissioner David Stern died on New Year’s Day, having led the sport for 30 years between 1984 and 2014 (22 September 1942 – 1 January 2020)

2/9 Kobe Bryant, 41

NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others (23 August 1978 – 26 January 2020).

3/9 Harry Gregg, 87

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, dubbed ‘the hero of Munich’ for his efforts in saving teammates and strangers in the Munich air disaster, died at the Causeway Hospital (27 October 1932 – 16 February 2020)

4/9 Mickey Wright, 85

Mickey Wright, who won an incredible 44 titles in the space of four years between 1961 and 1964 (14 February 1935 – 17 February 2020)
Former Wales rugby player Matthew Watkins died after a battle with cancer (2 September 1978 – 7 March 2020)

6/9 Roger Mayweather, 58

Ex-world champion boxer Roger Mayweather, who was also the uncle and former trainer of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather (24 April 1961 – 17 March 2020)

7/9 Peter Whittingham, 35

Former Cardiff City and Premier League footballer Peter Whittingham died after suffering an accidental fall at a pub (8 September 1984 – 19 March 2020)

8/9 Radomir Antic, 71

Former Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona manager Radomir Antic died after suffering complications with pancreatitis (22 November 1948 – 6 April 2020)

9/9 Tarvaris Jackson, 36

Former Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills quarterback died in a car crash in Alabama (21 April 1983 – 12 April 2020)

A number of teammates and ex-colleagues have posted tributes on social media to Cronin. Ex-Raiders player Jordan Rapana, who played with Cronin, wrote: “Man I still don’t want to believe it! You got me through some of the toughest times of my life! I love you my brother, fly high you absolute legend, love you forever brother! Okioki teina… QUEENSLANDER!!!!”

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Scottish international makes long-awaited return to action for Derby County – Derbyshire Live

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Ikechi Anya made his long-awaited comeback from injury for Derby County’s Under-23’s today.

Anya played 80 minutes of the 2-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League 2 Division One fixture at Brockhall.

The Scottish international suffered a calf injury in pre-season and he has had a number of setbacks in his bid to regain fitness.

Rams new loan signing from Aston Villa, forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, started while another of the deadline-day loan arrivals, left back Ethan Sephton, came off the bench for Lee Buchanan during the second half.

The Rovers’ side included former Rams midfielder Bradley Johnson.

Derby had a golden opportunity to take the lead when awarded a penalty early in the second half after Jahmal Hector-Ingram was brought down, but Hector-Ingram saw his spot kick saved.

Derby County latest

This is your round up of all things Derby; the one-stop shop that will keep you updated on the latest goings on at Pride Park and beyond.

Transfers, injuries, match-days and managers, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll be bringing the very latest on the Rams throughout the week and around the clock.

Make sure you keep yourself updated with our handy daily catch up…

You can follow our Rams reporter Steve Nicholson on Twitter, and his email address is Stephen.Nicholson@reachplc.com

Rovers then struck twice through Derrick Williams and Ben Brereton to win the game.

It was the Rams first league defeat in six matches and leaves them third in the table and five points behind leaders Chelsea.

Blackburn Rovers U23s: Hilton; Carter, Thompson, Davenport, Williams, Magloire, Samuel, Johnson, Brereton, Buckley, Vale (Mols, 74).

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Paton, Whitehall, Wright-Phillips.

Derby County U23s: Ravas; Brown, Anya (Rogers, 80), Thompson, Wassall, Buchanan (Sephton, 68), Shonibare, Cresswell, Hector-Ingram, Hepburn-Murphy (Cashin, 88), Babos.

Unused substitutes: Yates.

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In the wake of Brexit, turns out racism is a very British thing

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On Brexit day, CBBC shared a video clip from its Horrible Histories programme on Twitter. Comedian Nish Kumar introduced the clip, which was intended to be a lighthearted history of “British things” aimed at children.

Unfortunately, some flag-waving Brexit fans didn’t respond too well to being told that tea, sugar, and cotton aren’t really British. Kumar received a racist backlash from people who clearly aren’t big on history:

Ooh Nish Kumar is trending. Let’s take a l-

*a tsunami of gammon washes through the screen

English supremacists are literally losing their shit at Nish for telling them where tea, sugar & cotton actually come from.

😂✊🏾❤pic.twitter.com/qqcUK93Zyf

— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) January 31, 2020

Even the likes of BBC presenter Andrew Neil joined in the pile-on. Meanwhile, blame for the video’s “anti-British” message fell squarely on Kumar, despite the fact that Kumar only introduced the clip. In fact, the clip itself has been around for a while and wasn’t even made for Brexit:

Interesting that nobody had an issue with this song when it was first shown in 2009… It’s almost as if they have a problem with Nish Kumar, not the message? 🧐 https://t.co/TZ2tieyXlX

— oh look another fool (@ElenaBjxrn) January 31, 2020

Your racism is showing

Much as many people at Brexit Day celebrations might argue that they aren’t racist, just proud of being British, their true colours keep showing. And they are, quite frankly, disgusting:

Nish Kumar was born in Wandsworth.

— rufa ratae (@rufaratae) January 31, 2020

it only ended slavery by spending a king’s ransome by buying off slave owners, learn some history before opening yer cake ‘ole https://t.co/10fp91wnRT #bloodyknowalls

— John Boocock (@JohnBoocock) January 31, 2020

Clearly, Brexit has emboldened those with racist views, which is obvious from the spike in racially-motivated hate crime in recent years. So the far-right leanings of some celebrating Brexit Day come as no surprise:

this is moment we left the EU last night from within parliament square. amongst 1000s of ppl there were sizeable pockets of far-right. lads with swastika neck tattoos, ppl singing “oh tommy tommy”+deification of nigel farage. a big moment that felt a little like a tipping point. pic.twitter.com/eX8jGyqiYm

— Ben Smoke (@bencsmoke) February 1, 2020

“Make Britain Great Again”

The nationalist lines of ‘getting our country back’ and ‘making Britain great again’ has an eerie echo of the Trump-supporting MAGA crowd in the US:

Peak Leavers’ interview. Watch and weep. 😖🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/gQsGLeZQME

🕷Mrs Miggins Esq (@MrsMigginsHere) January 31, 2020

Sadly, Kumar’s experience of racism in the wake of Brexit isn’t the only one. It’s just more visible because of its public nature. Meanwhile, everyday experiences of racism for People of Colour carry on in Brexit Britain:

A friend posted this on another social media platform, left overnight in her neighbourhood. pic.twitter.com/CuFHgr7uTn

— Dorothy Lepkowska (@DotLepkowska) January 31, 2020

Those celebrating Brexit are doing so because they got what they wanted. But if they want me or Kumar to go back to where we came from, there’s bad news. Britain may have left the EU, but people like us aren’t going anywhere.

Featured image via YouTube/CBBC

By Afroze Fatima Zaidi

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Review: Marlins Brewhouse: The most interesting restaurant in Estero

Fort Myers restaurant reviews: The most interesting restaurant in Estero? Marlins Brewhouse


Jean Le Boeuf


JLEBOEUF@NEWS-PRESS.COM
Published 11:00 AM EST Jan 16, 2020

The bowl of ramen came on the same tray as my IPA. 

Painted in a dainty teal print, the bowl cradled a trove of add-ins, from the traditional (wavy wheat noodles, herbs, soft-boiled eggs, glistening hunks of chashu pork belly) to the wholly untraditional (braised collard greens, fat chicken wings).

A French press, the kind used for morning coffee, sat next to the dish, filled with a murky, mahogany-hued broth. Our server pushed the plunger, pressing the aromatic bits of onion and garlic to the bottom, clear of the spout. He poured the broth into my bowl, set my IPA at its side, then went back to his beer-toting duties, leaving me slack-jawed and frozen in awe. 

What the how?!

The French Pressed Ramen ($14) is a shockingly delicious stunner from Marlins Brewhouse in Estero. This fusion take is loaded with braised collards, noodles, soft-boiled eggs, chashu and four chewy-crisp chicken wings. It’s finished with a murky, rich broth that’s pressed and poured table-side. It’s possibly the last thing you’d expect from a taproom.
Special to The News-Press

I’d been to Marlins Brewhouse before. The original one in south Fort Myers and this new, 2-month-old one in Estero’s University Village south of FGCU. I’d eaten at the adjoining Caliburger. I’d snacked on massive, salt-strewn pretzels with pints of Palm City San Carlos Proper, watching the cars go by on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. 

But a fusion take on ramen, served table-side, that looked as stunningly good as this one?

I repeat: What the how?!

More: 40 years of JLB: How I learned to be a restaurant critic

More: Veg out: 63+ vegan and plant-based restaurants from Fort Myers to Naples

It wasn’t just a pretty bowl of soup. It was a masterful one: the noodles lithe and springy, the sunny egg and soulful broth, the complex spice of the collards, the chashu pork with its tantalizingly wobbly chew. 

Two bites in, I grabbed the Marlins menu and pored over it with forensic precision. Dishes I’d overlooked before jumped out now, one after the next: a cauliflower Caesar salad with tapenade and Parmesan crisps; a hot pot loaded with diver scallops, Gulf shrimp and Antarctic salmon in buttered dashi; thick-cut, fried-to-order potato chips dusted in house barbecue seasoning. 

Marlins’ Wild Fried Shrimp Platter ($17) includes fried Gulf shrimp and pickles, a loaded twice-baked potato, braised collards and a duet of dipping sauces.
Special to The News-Press

I’d been going about this taproom all wrong. Marlins Brewhouse might be the most interesting new restaurant in Estero. 

And all the credit goes to executive chef Noel Willhite (with a nod to Marlins’ owners Tim Frederic and Jeff Burns, who had the smarts to hire him). 

Willhite got his start locally as the garde manger at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. His resume includes stints at the former Spago in Chicago and Las Vegas’s Tao — which explains his love for ramen and hot pot, and his knack for the tomato sauces that underlie some of Marlins other great dishes. 

Like its bistro steak frites. 

More: CaliBurger opens at University Village with robots flipping, frying

Willhite takes a 10-ounce hangar steak, sears it till juicy, then teams it with charred cauliflower florets and thinly shaved pommes frites atop a tomato-cream sauce deepened by a touch of sherry. It is steak frites as I’ve never known steak frites. And yet, I loved it. Almost as much as I loved Willhite’s blue-cheese laced Buffalo chicken dip, his pimiento-cheese pretzel bones, his behemoth tray of beer-battered Gulf shrimp and pickles.

The bistro steak frites ($22) from Marlins includes a 10-ounce hangar steak, charred florets of cauliflower, and thinly shaved pommes frites atop a sherry-tomato cream sauce.
Special to The News-Press

This Deep South mashup was brilliant: the curls of shrimp, pink and briny-sweet; the pickles, tangy, bright, almost palate-cleansing. There were more collards, still spicy, still tender. Plus a twice-baked potato and two cups of house-crafted dipping sauces. It was an actual smorgasbord. All for $17. 

The true genius of Willhite’s Marlins work is its accessibility. It is, in essence, elevated beer food sold at beer-friendly prices. It’s food that tastes good with fruity daiquiris and honey-tinged hefeweizens. It’s food that begs to be shared. 

It’s food that’s fun.

Even when the server spilled a quarter of my beer across the table, giggled, then walked off one night. Even when I was left waiting (and. waiting.) for the check another. 

The fun of this menu overrides things like that. And really, how often do I get to call a place fun? Fancy restaurants are a dime a dozen, as are tasty dishes and classically trained chefs. But fun — as in taproom-french-pressed-chicken-wing-ramen fun — is rare.

Unless you’re at Marlins Brewhouse. 

Sign up for JLB’s weekly newsletter, never miss a bite

MORE: I am proud to be Jean Le Boeuf (I just can’t tell you who I am)

Jean Le Boeuf is the pseudonym used by a local food lover who dines at restaurants anonymously and without warning, with meals paid for by The News-Press and Naples Daily News. Follow the critic at facebook.com/jeanleboeufswfl or @JeanLeBoeuf on Twitter and Instagram.

More from JLB

Marlins Brewhouse Estero

University Village, 19800 Village Center Drive No. 235, Estero

JLB’s stars AREN’T like Yelp stars, here’s why… 

• Call: 239-790-6573

• Web: facebook.com/marlinsbrewuniversityvillage

• Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday to Tuesday, 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday

• Noise level: Conversationally loud to just plain loud

• Etc.: Full bar, outdoor seating, live music on weekends

• Everything pretzel, $11

• Pineapple-salmon lettuce wraps, $12

• Lobster shrimp mac, $15

• Bistro steak frites, $22

What the symbols mean

★ – Fair

$ – Average entree is under $10

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2020 Budget, Trump’s impeachment, Uwajumogu’s death, Adoke’s arrest, others topped this week news

It’s been such a busy week with so many stories. It’s possible that you may have missed some of our most interesting stories from this week.

The 2020 Budget, Trump’s impeachment, Orji Kalu’s dilemma, Uwajumogu’s death, Adoke’s arrest and others topped this week news trend.

To make sure you’re up-to-date, The Nation brings you a brief round-up of the major stories this week in case you missed the mark. ALAO ABIODUN reports.

Here is a roundup of the major political news stories this week below –

Donald Trump impeached by U.S House of Reps

The U.S. President, Donald Trump, has been impeached by the country’s House of Representatives.

The house voted late Wednesday to impeach the president on his 1,062nd day in office for alleged obstruction of Congress and abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine.

A trial will now be set up in the Senate to decide whether he remains in office.

Mr Trump is only the third U.S. President to face such trial and if the odds go against him, he will become the first to be removed from office via the impeachment process.

After several hours of heated dispute on the House floor between two leading parties in the U.S – Democrats and Republicans – the lawmakers voted largely along party lines.

The proceedings on Wednesday began with members of Mr Trump’s Republican Party calling for votes on procedural issues in an effort to frustrate the process.

Democrats control the House 233 to 197 seats over Republicans, with one independent and four vacancies.

According to the Washington post, the Democratic-controlled House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — related to the president’s attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine and pressure its government to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.

Mr Biden is a potential presidential candidate of the Democratic Party and could be Mr Trump’s major challenger in the upcoming 2020 U.S general elections.

The House voted 230 to 197 to approve the article accusing the president of abuse of power. On the obstruction of Congress vote, which followed soon after, the tally was 229 to 198.

Trump’s Republican Party members in the house all voted against both articles, but it was not enough to stop the process.

The Senate trial on whether to remove the president is expected to begin in early January.

Should Trump eventually be removed, Vice President Mike Spence will step in.

Senate confirms new chairpersons for FIRS, AMCON

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Muhammad Nami as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Also confirmed are members and representatives of geopolitical zones for FIRS.

Those confirmed are James Yakwen Ayuba – Member (North Central); Ado Danjuma – Member (North West) and Adam Baba Mohammad – Member (North East)

Others are A. Ikeme Osakwe – Member (South East); Adewale Ogunyomade – Member (South West) and Ehile Adetola Aigbangbee – Member (South South).

Representatives of MDAs confirmed are Ladidi Mohammad – Member Attorney-General of the Federation; Godwin Emefiele – Member Central Bank of Nigeria; Fatima Hayatu Member – Ministry of Finance and Maagbe Adaa – Member Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission

Others are Umar Ajiya – Member Nigerian National Petroleum Commission; T. M. lsah – Member Nigerian Customs Service and Registrar General – Member Corporate Affairs Commission.

The confirmation comes about a week after President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the Senate seeking their confirmation.

It was sequel to a presentation of the report of the Senate committee on finance.

The chairman of the committee, Solomon Olamilekan, who made the presentation, recommended that the Senate confirm the appointment of the nominees.

The Senate also confirmed the appointment of Edward Adamu as the chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) – following the presentation of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.

Alleged Fraud: Maina to remain in jail till 2020

The former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, who is facing trial for alleged money laundering will remain in the Correctional Centre in Kuje, till January 2020.

Mr Maina’s son, Faisal, is also being prosecuted for money laundering by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

At the last adjourned date, the court had granted Faisal’s plea to be transferred to Kuje Correctional Centre from Police Tactical Squad, Asokoro.

Mr Maina is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious accounts and other fraudulent activities.

The former PRTT chairman, who was in hiding for almost two years, was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS).

The SSS then handed over Mr Maina to the EFCC, which had declared him wanted for over a year.

Mr Faisal was arrested alongside his father in September. The father is accused of diverting N100 billion of pension funds.

His son is accused of operating an account he used to divert various sums of money, including N58 million.

The two men were arraigned by the EFCC on October 25 on separate charges. They pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Okon Abang, adjourned Mr Maina’s trial to January 13 to hear his application for bail variation and that of Faisal to January 20, for the continuation of his trial.

Meanwhile, Justice Abang had said that though it would not be convenient for the court to take trial, but the arguments for Mr Maian’s application for bail variation would be taken.

However, the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, said he was ready for the continuation of the trial and that the prosecution’s next witness was in court.

Buhari signs 2020 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2020 appropriation bill into law.

He signed the bill at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The National Assembly had on December 5, 2019, passed the budget estimates presented by Mr Buhari on October 8, 2019.

The National Assembly increased the budget estimates from N10.33 trillion to N10.50 trillion.

The passage was a sequel to the presentation of a report by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin.

The signing was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Others are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister in charge of Budget and Planning, Clement Agba and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.

A breakdown of the budget showed that N560,470,827,235 was budgeted for Statutory transfer; N2,725,498,930,000 for debt servicing; N4,842,974,600,640 for recurrent expenditure; N2,465,418,006,955 for capital expenditure; and N2.28 trillion for fiscal deficit.

When the National Assembly passed the bill last Thursday, new projects inserted into the budget moved it up to ₦10.594 trillion.

A breakdown of the inserted projects obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the country may end up spending more on what anti-corruption agents and activists have identified as “vague, frivolous, self-enrichment projects smuggled into the budget by federal lawmakers.”

The new projects are expected to cost Nigeria about ₦264 billion.

Mr Buhari signed the budget document into law on the occasion of his 77th birthday on Tuesday, and commended the National Assembly for speedy passage of the bill.

“It is my pleasant duty, today, on my 77th birthday, to sign the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law,” a message posted on Mr Buhari’s twitter page said.

“I’m pleased that the National Assembly has expeditiously passed this Bill. Our Federal Budget is now restored to a January-December implementation cycle.”

FG declares Dec. 25, 26, Jan.1, 2020 public holidays

The Federal Government has declared Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 as well as Jan. 1, 2020 as public holidays for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, announced this on Thursday in Abuja through a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah.

Aregbesola felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on the 2019 Christmas and New Year celebrations.

He enjoined all Christians to live by the virtues and teachings of Jesus Christ.

According to him, those virtues hinge on compassion, patience, peace, humility, righteousness and love for one another.

The minister said that living by them would guarantee an atmosphere of peace and security in the country.

Aregbesola said that the determination of government toward peace and security would engender inflow of foreign direct investment, thereby revitalising the nation’s economy.

He said it would also improve employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the country.

The minister expressed confidence that 2020 would be a breakthrough year for all Nigerians.

Lawan, APC, senators, others mourn as Imo Senator Uwajumogu dies

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu has died.

Uwajumogu (Imo North) attended plenary on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours after, he was gone.

The cause and circumstances of the death of the 51-year-old could not be confirmed last night but sources said he slumped suddenly yesterday morning in his house while having his bath. He was confirmed dead at an Apo hospital.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan expressed shock, especially when Uwajumogu “was full of life” at the chamber on Tuesday.”

Lawan, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, commiserated with the deceased’s family, Imo State and friends over the loss.

He added: “But God gives and takes in line with his supreme sovereignty, so we cannot question His will.

“Senator Uwajumogu’s sudden death is shocking and a painful loss to the ninth National Assembly where he always made robust contributions to debates and other activities of the upper legislative chamber.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us and staff of the Senate.”

The Senate President prayed that God will comfort his loved ones and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described Uwajumogu’s death as a huge loss to Nigeria, his constituents and Imo State.

Supreme Court affirms elections of eight governors

There was jubilation on Wednesday as the Supreme Court affirmed the election victories of governors in eight states.

They are: Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Masari (Katsina) Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).

The Supreme Court held that the appellants against the eight governors failed to prove their cases and dismissed their appeals.

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Scientologist says the church is telling Clearwater members not to vote for Mark Bunker

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[Mark Bunker and Pat Harney]

One of our readers in Clearwater, Florida describes themselves as someone who recently began having doubts about the organization and for a few weeks has been looking around the Internet about Scientology, including this website.

They reached out to us to tell us about something remarkable that happened to them this weekend. On Saturday evening they received a blind copy of a mass email from Scientology spokeswoman Pat Harney that apparently went out to all local members of the church…

From: pat.harney@cos.flag.org
Date: November 30, 2019 at 6:47 PM EST
To: Pat Harney Subject: Please call Pat Harney at the OSA Office


Hello,

Do you live in Clearwater?

This is very important.

Please call me at the OSA office number at 727-467-6860 for a short survey.

Best,
Pat Harney
Director of Public Relations
Office of Special Affairs

When our reader called, they were asked to wait to get Harney herself on the phone. When she did, she asked our reader if they lived in Clearwater. When they said they did, Harney then said that she was reaching out to all local Scientologists to make them aware of an important election coming in March 2020, the election for Clearwater’s mayor and city council.

Three seats are up for election on the council, Harney explained, but they were especially interested in seat two, and that Scientologists should avoid voting for an “SP” — a “suppressive person,” which is Scientology jargon for an enemy of the church.

The reader astutely asked Harney to name the SP so they would know not to vote for them, and Harney then said it was Mark Bunker.

As for who to vote for, our reader tells us that Harney then said that the church couldn’t tell its members who to vote for.

Well, that’s cute. Pat Harney would know quite well that as a tax exempt religious organization, the Church of Scientology cannot get involved with politics or endorse candidates without risking its tax exempt status. But she apparently thinks the church can stay within the lines if it tells its members who not to vote for.

Mark Bunker, of course, has been very open about his opposition to Scientology and his desire to get elected so he can help Clearwater stop being such a doormat to the aggressive, bullying organization. So it’s really not all that surprising that Scientology wouldn’t want its members to vote for him. But we find it entertaining that the church feels compelled to fire up an OSA operation to get the word out.

“I’m not at all surprised that Scientology is getting out the word that I must be stopped. It’s an unlikely job for a PR person, but Pat Harney and her associates have long been used by Scientology as attack dogs,” Bunker told us when we informed him about the Harney email. “The day after I released a video saying I planned to run, Pat Harney was on the phone to downtown business owners asking, ‘What do you think of Mr. Bunker running for city council?’ and adding, ‘We can’t let him do that.’ I’m sure Scientology will do everything in its power to keep me from winning. It’s what they do but I don’t believe they can succeed. Scientology has spent decades cultivating an oppressive, intimidating facade, gleefully letting people know they are not a ‘turn-the-other-cheek religion.’ Well, people are sick of being intimidated. Everyone I speak with on the campaign trail is excited that someone is willing to take on Scientology.”

We called the number on Harney’s email and we were greeted by a sunny “Public Affairs!” from a young woman. We said that we wanted to speak with Pat Harney and we were put on hold. We were then told she was in a meeting, so we left a message for her and asked her to call us back. We also followed up with a detailed email message to her.

We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.

 
——————–

Leaked document of the day

From the Valley Org documents release comes this item.

This is a fun find in the Valley Org documents. It was attached to more recent items, but it’s a great snapshot of 2004, when Scientology’s Criminon front group was more visible than it is today, and was supported by militant Scientologist celebrity Jenna Elfman, as well as actress Catherine Bell.

And the “Greg” who signs this commendation is Greg Capazorio, who happens to be brother-in-law to Top Gun himself, actor Tom Cruise.

 
——————–

“In the final run of it, he gets up to a fairly comprehensive idea of what he’s been and done….He gets himself one Godawful amount of time blocked out. Oh, some terrific amount of time blocked out. He gets up to trillions to the eighth power. Time, you know. Oh man, time, you see. First he gets horrified, you see, at the idea of twelve trillion years ago or something like that. He gets finally, up to a point where trillions to the eighth power take him back to some of the earliest implants. And he’s perfectly happy at this level that there’s an awful lot of track….Now, his track goes sizzling back to trillions to the 200th power. Well that’s, of course, one of these ridiculous figures. That’s trillion written two hundred times. Or one with two hundred times you write all the ciphers of a trillion. That gets to be quite a few ciphers and every one of those things is a year. You’re getting into the sweep of time by this time. Well, I myself have had, I just thought I was doing fine when I was doing some research this last summer. I said, ‘Gee, you know we’re getting clear back here.’ Trillions four, you know. Whew, you know? Dizzying. Concepts of time. Trying to date one of these confounded things, you know. Trying to handle these fantastic periods of time with arithmetic, and trying to dream up other methods of going into all this. Rough! Because it just took the auditor too tall, too long to say anything so you got crude rough approximations like, trillions 4.5, see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 3, 1963

 
——————–

“For some weeks late in 1982 I remained conscious, even when my body slept. I found that four hours of that kind of sleep was equal to eight of the usual, unconscious sleep, in terms of resting the body. Anyway, one night I was up late, standing nightwatch at Van Org, working on the word ‘postulate.’ When I figured I had it cleared I thought, ‘I want twenty bucks.’ I walked outside onto the street, walked about half a block, and there on the sidewalk were two ten-dollar bills, neatly folded. I picked up the twenty bucks, went back inside and signed off on the word ‘postulate.’ I’m past-life Clear and don’t know what-all I might have had run on me after going Clear way back then, but it was the early ’50s and research was raging ahead. I’m finally getting my Grades now and intend to complete the Bridge, eventually to regain that mastery over unconsciousness that I attained for a short while in the early ’80s. It’ll come in handy next time I want to leave a body for a new one.”

 
——————–

“The really scary thing to me about Carla Moxon is that there are literally millions of others like her in this world that are seriously mentally deluded due to magical thinking and they are among us doing jobs that could cause the rest of us harm if they just go off a tad too much at the wrong time. Anybody keeping track of all the problems going on with members of the ICBM defense system? And that’s not even due to magical thinking.”

 
——————–

Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Thar she blows: The ‘whales’ who are keeping Scientology afloat in 2018
[TWO years ago] Scientology loses another outlet for attracting young acting talent in Hollywood
[THREE years ago] In Scientology, dancing in a conga line might end up costing you thousands
[FOUR years ago] Augustine: How Scientology changes its story to fit what it’s trying to get away with
[FIVE years ago] About that Tom Cruise Scientology ‘co-leader’ nonsense spreading in the media
[SIX years ago] Our Experts Prepare Us for the Wall of Fire — Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Capsize: Commenters of the Week!
[TEN years ago] David Cross Endorses Scientology In a Way Only He Can

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,647 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,776 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,280 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,800 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 820 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 711 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,018 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,886 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,660 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,434 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,780 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,346 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,265 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,433 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,014 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,275 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,313 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,026 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,552 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,078 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,641 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,781 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,101 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,957 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,076 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,431 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,734 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,840 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,242 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,114 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,697 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,192 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,446 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,555 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on December 3, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 14 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

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15 Nollywood Actors Who Have Faded Out | P.M. News

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By Funmilola Olukomaiya

Nigeria’s Nollywood industry has evolved over the years while progressively producing beautiful actors we cannot forget in a hurry.

The industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the years and has witnessed a lot of resharpening from what it used to be.

Nollywood had in years back been graced with multitalented actors who once starred on our screens, week-in-week-out; it has also experienced the sudden fading out of some of its best acts, more to the shock of their fans.

Below are 15 Nollywood actors who have faded out of our screens.

1. Susan Patrick

Susan Patrick

Beautiful gap-toothed Susan was born in Akwa Ibom state, she came into the limelight after she acted in the movie ‘Sakobi: The Snake Girl’. This made her one of the most sought after Nollywood actresses in the early ’90s. She was alleged to have snatched another woman’s hubby while a student at Lagos State University (LASU). She eventually faded away as a result of competition for most of the roles she acted.

2. Lilian Bach

Lilian Bach

Famous Nollywood actress and former model Lilian Bach who turned 49 recently was shot to the limelight for her prominent roles in blockbuster movies like ‘Ogidan’ and ‘Married to a Witch’. Lilian was born in Lagos Island to a Yoruba mother and a Polish father.
Lilian came into the limelight as a model in the 1990s when she competed in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant. She also featured in several television commercials and she was at some point the Face of Delta Soap. She took a break from doing movies to pursue a career in production and has faded out since then.

3. Hanks Anuku

Hanks Anuku

Hanks Anuku was a Nigerian actor known for his numerous roles as a villain in many Nollywood films. He used to be the go-to guy when producers needed a perfect movie ‘bad boy.’ Trailed by personal controversies and alleged nonchalant attitude while on location, Hanks has gradually faded out of the movie scene. As of 2017, Anuku was said to have naturalized and become a Ghanaian.

4. Shan George

Shan George

Nollywood diva and movie producer Shan George was well-known the ’90s. The beautiful singer, prior to debuting in the movie ‘Thorns of Rose’, had previously featured in a 1997 soap opera titled ‘Winds of Destiny’. She is best known for her role in the movies ‘Outkast’ and ‘Welcome to Nollywood’.

5. Saint Obi

Saint Obi

Obinna Nwafor popularly known as Saint Obi, is a Nigerian actor, producer and director. As a great actor and Nollywood’s ‘bad’ boy, in the 1990s, hje was often called Nollywood’s Mr Quality because of his attention to details when producing or directing movies. He joined Nollywood in 1995 when he started attending movie auditions and featured in a number of soap operas which aired on NTA after which he was called by Opa Williams to star in a movie. Saint Obi is best known for his roles in Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, Heart of Gold, Festival of Fire, Executive Crime and Last Party.

6. Pat Attah

Pat Attah

Patrick Uchenna Attah popularly known as Pat Attah is a famous Nollywood actor, director, television personality, model and musician. He the Nigerian Movie Industry in 1993 upon graduation and rose to popularity in 1994 after a brilliant performance in the movie “Glamour Girls”. In 2015, Pat became a born-again Christian and relocated with his family to Germany where he is a minister of the Gospel.

7. Sandra Achums

Sandra Achums

Popular Nollywood actress, Sandra Achums in the ’90s was probably one of the most popular actresses in the Nollywood industry. She joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1995 and acted in her first movie Deadly Affair. Her acting skills were excellent as she could interpret any role she was given hence, she was known as the bad girl of the Nollywood industry because she majorly acted as a bad girl, one role she always interpreted well. In the early 2000s, Sandra Achums took a break from acting and decided to face her family as she got married and started having children. She has since relocated to Germany with her family.

8. Charles Okafor

Charles Okafor

Popular Nollywood actor, Charles Okafor is recognized as one of the veteran actors in the Nollywood film industry. He was known in 1996 when he appeared in his first movie ‘Domitilla’ and in 1999, he rose to fame after starring in the blockbuster movie ‘End of the Wicked’. He is currently an ordained pastor.

9. Ejike Asiegbu

Ejike Asiegbu

Ejike Asiegbu is a Nigerian film actor and film director who once served as President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. He was also previously appointed as personal assistant to former Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu during the 1994 National Constitutional Conference in Abuja. He joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1996 and was shot into the limelight when he acted in his first movie, ‘Silent Night’.

10.

Rita Nzelu

Rita Nzelu is a renowned Nigerian actress, model, television personality who joined Nollywood in 1990. She made her debut in the movie “Living in Bondage”, a movie that brought her to fame and recognition in Nollywood. She is also known for Ortega and His Enemies (2014), Stigma of Womanhood (2016) and Terrible Sin (2001).

11. Ernest Asuzu

Ernest Asuzu

Ernest Asuzu is an actor, known for Last Wedding (2004), Ògìdán (2004) and Broad Day Light (2001). He was known for being dynamic in with his movie characters. Ernest also helped in contributing to the movie industry during his active years. He suffered a stroke in 2015.

12. Victoria Inyama

Victoria Inyama

Nollywood sweetheart, Victoria Inyama, began her acting career with a soap opera titled ‘Ripples’ between 1998/1999. She was featured after she was discovered by Alex Usifo who saw, the talent in her and invited her over for an audition. Victoria is married to the legendary author, Ben Okri. She relocated to the United Kingdom after she got married and this was responsible for her acting hiatus. She recently returned from her acting hiatus to feature in ‘Talking dolls,’ a 2017 movie which was rated as one of the best dramas of contemporary Africa.

13. Ndidi Obi

Nollywood actress, Ndidi Obi became popular when she took the lead role in the movie, ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’, she has since then been referred to as ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’ because of her epic role in the movie. She was recently featured in Ramsey Noah’s ‘Living In Bondage: Breaking Free’.

14. Nkiru Sylvanus

Nkiru Sylvanus

Nkiru Sylvanus is a famous Nigerian Nollywood actress who was known for her teary eyes and crying roles. Nkiru is one of the Nollywood actresses who created a niche for others to follow and one of the pillars that hold Nollywood firmly. She has acted in more than 150 movies playing minor and leads roles before delving into politics as the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Rochas Okorocha, former Governor of Imo State.

15. Grace Amah

Grace Amah

Nollywood actress and mother of one, Grace Amah joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1999 when she started her acting career at the age of 13. She made her first debut as a 13-year-old character in the movie ‘Chains’. She became a public figure when she was featured in Teco Benson’s Nollywood blockbuster movie, ‘Elastic Limit’.

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Nollywood: Gov. Ayade, NFVCB Boss honoured at AIFF 2019

Agency Reporter

Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers and Mr Adedayo Thomas, the Chief Executive, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) have been honoured for their contributions to the development of the Nigerian movie industry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they were given the Special Recognition Award in the non-competitive category at the 2019 Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF) on Friday night at the closing ceremony and awards night of the festival.

Mr Allen Onyema, the Managing Director of Air peace, was also honoured in the non-competitive category of the AIFF awards.

Presenting the awards, Mr Fidelis Duker, the Founder of AIFF said the recipients were selected in recognition of their support and contributions to the growth and development of the Nigerian movie industry.

He noted that the NFVCB Chief Executive had repositioned the film and video regulatory body and provided a friendly environment for filmmakers.

“The Censors board under his watch is doing a great job by providing a better regulatory environment for filmmakers to strive.”

Read Also: Dino Melaye joins Nollywood hours after losing in court

In his remark, the NFVCB chief who was present to receive the award, appreciated the organisers on behalf of other recipients.

Thomas, appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 to head the NFVCB, expressed delight that the award was an indication that the society was interested in whatever one did.

“This recognition clearly shows that people are concerned and are watching how we do our work in building the industry.

“I want to assure filmmakers that we are set to do more for the industry, as we sanitise the market of all uncensored and unclassified films.

“As stakeholders, we need their cooperation and support for us to serve them better as government agency,” he said.

NAN reports that the awards in the competitive category include Outstanding Actor and the Outstanding Actress, First Time Director Award, Outstanding Feature Film – (foreign and Nigeria), and the Outstanding Film In Directing.

Others are Outstanding Short Film (Foreign and Nigeria), Outstanding Music Score Nominee, Outstanding Animation film and Outstanding Student Film Nominee, among others.

Now in its 16th Edition, Abuja International Film Festival is a fiesta that showcases films, actors, producers within and outside Nigeria to foster interactions for co-production, distribution and investments.

The 2019 edition was held from Oct. 22 to Oc. 25 at the Silverbird Galleria (NAN).

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Nollywood films IBI, Nimbe, Diced win UK Film Festival awards – NNN

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Nigerian movies IBI (The Birth), Nimbe, Dear Bayo and Unseen Treasure,  have been adjudged the best films in the United Kingdom (UK) at the 2019 UK Nollywood Film Festival (UKNFF), organized by the UK Nollywood Producers Guild.

A statement signed and issued on Sunday by Mr Malcolm Benson, President, UK Nollywood Producers Guild, stated that IBI (The Birth) was adjudged the Best Indigenous (Native language) Feature Film, it also emerged Best Feature Film 2019.

Dear Bayo, won the Jury’s award, as the Unseen Treasure,emerged the best in Best Short film category, while Diced was declared the best script.

Benson said plans were in the pipeline to increase the award categories to include Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Producer.

This, he said would give more recognition to the talents both behind and in front of the screen.

“The UKNFF 2019 has broken its own record set during the first edition; the opening ceremony which took place at Ambassadors Hotel, London Bloomsbury, attended by the industry professionals and stakeholders sold out two days to the event.

“The UK Nollywood Producers Guild promises to secure a bigger venue for 2020’s event in order to accommodate the increasing demand.

“The UK Nollywood Producers Guild will continue to work with stakeholders and play it’s part in bringing Nollywood Producers together, enabling and creating the platforms where ever possible in order to improve standards.

“We will rise above our current barriers if we persist and focus on developing our crafts with genuine commitment to learning from our mistakes, learning from other experts, seeking and working with a good mentor and attending lectures and seminars.

“We will also succeed if we are resilient, avoid being complacent and importantly avoid unhealthy in-fight among ourselves and undue pride.

“We will make our mark and create an industry that will not only make us very rich and famous but also set a long lasting legacy for the next generation of Nollywood filmmakers,” Benson said.

He stated that Councilor Kate Anolue, a Nigerian, who is the Mayor of London Borough of Enfield and current Patron of the Guild, as well as Councilor Victoria Obaze, the Mayor and Speaker of London Borough of Tower Hamlet, received certificates of patronage at the festival.

Benson added: “There were various keynote speakers such as Shantelle Rochester of IDA ROSE Productions, Dapo Oshiyemi, CEO Talking Drums Film Distributions, and Dr Alistair Soyode, CEO of Ben Television.

“Other key guests are Sandie Bogle from Google Box; Prince and Mrs Mike Abiola, CEO, African Voice Newspaper; Sam Anwuzie CEO, ZAFAA Awards; Uche K of Sendwave, Representative from YANGA TV and CEO of Trumpet Newspaper, Mr Femi Okutubo, among others.”

Benson also said that UKNFF would open its online platform on Nov. 1, in preparation for the 2020 edition to be held in October during the Black History celebration.

He urged filmmakers to start submitting their films as soon as the platform opens on Nov. 1, while financial and media partners were also invited to engage with the Guild for early preparation of the 2020 event. (NAN)

EMAF/IFY

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