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Nigeria’s leading independent TV and radio broadcasting company, TVC Communications has today announced a major programme output deal with BBC News.

The agreement means that the two television channels (TVC News and TVC) operated by TVC Communications will broadcast 368 hours of BBC News brand new African focused content over a two-year period commencing May 2018.

The deal sees superior quality, ground breaking documentaries, lifestyle programmes, youth news, sports features and finance programmes broadcast on TVC Communications 24hour news channel, TVC News and the family/general entertainment channel TVC.

TVC Communications Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Hanlon said “I am delighted to announce this landmark deal today with BBC News which forms part of a major on-going investment in our TV and radio business with the aim of dramatically enhancing services to audiences and advertisers alike.”

TVC Communications is undergoing substantial, positive change which is now delivering benefits to all stakeholders. This collaboration, with one of the world’s most respected content producers, provides further proof of that change.” He said.

The Director of the BBC World Service, Jamie Angus said: “We are pleased to be partnering with TVC Communications. This deal will see more people in Nigeria getting access to brilliant BBC News content. The World Service delivers accurate, impartial and independent journalism to all countries. We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of the world.”

The following programmes to be taken as part of the deal are as follows:

Investigation

Africa Eye will promote the culture of investigative journalism across Africa and strengthen the skills of African investigative journalists. All of the programmes will be based on in-depth reporting that holds power to account.

Sport

BBC Sport Africa will bring the issues, the personalities, the buzz, the key moments and the trends in sport from across the continent. The 30 minute programme will cover many different sports including those that are little-known, and will be featuring everyone from the most famous sports stars to rising stars and the fans.

Business

A daily and weekly business programme capturing the dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit of Africa. The programme will offer constructive guidance and advice on money, business and economy matters specific to African audiences.

Health

A weekly health show exploring African health, food and lifestyle trends alongside medical and scientific research to provide practical solutions and advice.

Children’s

A lively factual childrens TV show with all things that the 10-16 year olds care about. The programme will give African children a voice and connect them with youngsters from around the world.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration to seek for a second term as Nigeria’s leader on Tuesday received a boost at a closed-door meeting he had with governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This was as the 24 governors of the party gave him their assurance by endorsing his re-election bid.

The development was made known to State House correspondents by the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha after emerging from the meeting with Buhari.

“We came to welcome the President back and to commend him for his boldness and courage to declare his intention to run for second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which we the 24 governors of the APC duly support.

“And we have come to encourage him that he must go ahead with his vision,” Okorocha said.

The governor further disclosed that they also used the meeting to talk about the issue of the party’s national convention slated to hold on May 14 and the party ward, local and state congresses.

Nothing that the meeting resolved to make the forthcoming exercise hitch-free, Okorocha added, “We also agreed that we will not allow the issue of many contestants destroy our party.”

On whether the meeting endorsed former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as its next national chairman, the Imo State governor said that the public would be duly briefed in due course.

Meanwhile, a presidency official had earlier on condition of anonymity, told newsmen that one of the Major reasons the governor’s called for the meeting was for President Buhari to seek their support to ensure that Oshiomhole succeeds John Odigie-Oyegun as APC’s next national chairman.

Oyegun, also a former governor of Edo State, is yet to declare if he would be seeking re-election as the chairman of the party.

He had however on Tuesday, while responding on the issue of split in South-South over who to support between him and Oshiomhole, told newsmen in Abuja that the purported endorsement of Oshiomhole was childish.

Four out of six APC South-South state chairmen had on Monday refuted an earlier report that the zone had endorsed Oshiomhole as the party’s next national chairman.

Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District is currently been detained at the facility of Special Anti Robbery Squad ( SARS ) of Nigeria Police ay Guzape District of Abuja.

It was gathered that the controversial senator decided to end the hide and seek game between him and the law enforcement officers which has been on since the deployment of armed policemen to his house on Monday.

Investigation revealed that Dino who has been indoor since the siege on his house began, came out and surrendered himself to the police in front of his residence before he was taken to the SARS’ office.

The Senator had earlier annouced on Twitter on Tuesday morning that he will give himself up to the Police to end the siege on his residence.

The Senate has reacted to the snatching of its mace during Wednesday (today) plenary, alleging that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege led the suspected thugs into the chamber.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly, in a statement issued by the Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, said the act was treasonable, adding that it was an attempt to overthrow the legislature.

It read, “Today, some armed hoodlums led by suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege walked into the Senate’s plenary and seized the symbol of authority of the upper legislative chamber, the mace.

“This action is an act of treason, as it is an attempt to overthrow a branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria by force, and it must be treated as such.

“All security agencies must stand on the side of due process and immediately mobilise their personnel to retrieve the mace and apprehend the mastermind and the perpetrators of this act.

“This action is also an affront on the legislature, and the leadership of the House has come to express their support against this action.

“The Senate is now in an executive session. An updated statement will be released immediately after the closed door session.”

The session was opened at 12.07pm.

Renowned gospel singer, Tope Alabi and her entire family are in a joyous mood as the singer’s husband, Soji Alabi turns a year older today.

It was a surprise celebration of the life of the celebrant as his wife, Tope Alabi in company of a good number of celebrities surprised him with a party at their residence.

The birthday party video was shared online by actress, Ronke Odusanya. Yomi Fabiyi, Wole Agba, Ayo Ojewole and a host of other celebrities were seen in attendance.

The celebrant’s wife and singer, Tope Alabi also took to her Instagram page to celebrate her husband.

She wrote;

“Help me to celebrate my wonderful Husband on his birthday. Happy birthday to you my husband, God has assigned you for my destiny and the angel of my life. I pray for more grace and and strength for you. You will be there for me till our old age in Jesus mighty name.”

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress has written a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission on its plans to hold congresses and convention across the country.

Investigations by one of our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday showed that the letter was written to the commission on Monday.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said the letter was sent to the electoral body immediately after the party’s National Executive Committee meeting, which was also attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), and governors elected on the platform of the party.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party decided to hold the convention before May 16, 2018, because of the Ramadan.

He said, “We have sent a letter to INEC concerning the congresses and the convention we are planning to hold.

“While I will not disclose the proposed dates of the events because we want the commission to acknowledge our letter, but I can confidently tell you that we are determined to hold it before May 16.

“We have checked the Islamic calendar and it showed that the Ramadan might start on that date.

“Due to stress associated with congresses and conventions, we don’t want our members to have difficulties attending or playing their roles in the events.”

Also, the party said only the National Working Committee, led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, that was constitutionally empowered to select members of the convention committee of the party.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, stated this on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, while responding to insinuations that there was power tussle between Odigie-Oyegun and a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over the selection of members of the APC convention committee.

Abdullahi said he was not aware of any power tussle between the two leaders, adding that the party’s constitution was clear on who was empowered to constitute the committee.

He noted that the dates for the APC congresses would be fixed before the end of the week.

Abdullahi said, “The National Working Committee will fix the dates for the congresses as quickly as possible because we now have the mandate of NEC to proceed.

“So we are going to announce the dates as soon as possible. They will be announced probably before the end of this week.

“The party has not selected the members of the convention committee. We are still in the midst of that.”

When asked about the tussle between Odigie-Oyegun and Tinubu, the APC spokesman said, “None that I am aware of. You probably need to ask them. Look, the responsibility to constitute the convention committee is squarely placed in the hands of the National Working Committee, led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

“That is the only organ of the party empowered by the constitution to set up the convention committee.

“But the NWC as a matter of courtesy to our leaders will need to get them involved saying what their input or opinion is. But that does not remove the fact that the primary responsibility to constitute the committee lies with the NWC.”

It was not clear on Tuesday whether Odigie-Oyegun would seek re-election at the proposed convention.

However, a former Governor of Edo State, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole; a former Governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri; and a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipriye Sylva, were said to be interested in leading the party.

The party had on Monday at its NEC meeting, granted waivers to all members of the party’s executive from the ward to national level the opportunity to remain in office and contest any position they want in the party.

Before the waiver was granted, the constitution of the party had stipulated that any member of the executive who wanted to contest any election must resign from his position a month before the election.

The Peoples Democratic Party has appealed to foreign nations to prevent the APC and INEC from rigging the future elections.

The party alleged that there were plans by the ruling party and the electoral body to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, made his party’s position known in Abuja on Tuesday when the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck, paid a courtesy visit to the PDP national leadership.

The PDP national chairman said instead of the APC-led administration to fulfil its 2015 campaign promises, it has plunged Nigeria into “series of crises.”

He alleged that, both the APC and INEC were planning to start the rigging from Ekiti State.

Secondus, who urged the international community to prevail on the incumbent administration to ensure free and fair elections, said, “In July, the Ekiti State governorship election will be the first test for this administration. We know that the APC and INEC have perfected plans to rig the election.

“It is your duty and that of other foreign nations to make sure that both the APC and INEC give us free, fair and credible elections. We are not asking to be favoured. All what we ask for is a level playing field and free atmosphere for the electorate to make their choices.”

Secondus, who noted that lack of free and fair elections remained a major cause of crisis in Africa, said, “When citizens are deprived of their right to vote; that will generate crisis that might be difficult to control.

“Nigeria is an important country on the continent of Africa. The best we can give to our people is election that will be transparent; election that will be credible, election that all, both local and international observers, will welcome.

“We urge the governing APC that the best they can give this country is one man, one vote. We did that during the campaign in 2015, but they are not assuring us of this, which means that there is a great fear in the land that the election is not going to be free and fair despite all the promises made by INEC.”

The PDP chairman, however, said that they were using two major platforms, which he listed as generation next and rescue mission, to project the party ahead of 2019 elections.

While he explained that generation next was to ensure mentoring for youths, Secondus said the rescue mission was aimed at salvaging Nigeria from APC’s misrule.

The ambassador said he and members of his team would send their findings to Germany, calling on stakeholders to ensure free and fair elections.

Human rights activist and Publisher of Saharareporters , Omoyele Sowore has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to begin to pack his luggage from Aso Rock as he vowed to wrestle power from him come 2019.

He made this revelation while addressing a mammoth crowd of his supporters on his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on Monday, April 10, 2018.

Sowore noted that he is taking over Abuja as the President jetted out of the country for his medical check up.

He wished the President speedy recovery noting that he will be going back to his village in Daura in Katsina State upon his return.

In Sowore’s words:
” In 2014 and 2015 we thought that he has integrity and ability to run this country but what he has done to us today is worse. One of his ministers, three days ago confronted me on a radio station in Ibadan and said 75% of the Nigerian youths are inconsequential. Our arrival in Abuja today is a consequential take over of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT ). It is a consequential take over of the 36 states of Nigeria and the West African region.

He noted that by this time next year, Nigerian youths would be smiling while those in power today will be wailing. He told the crowd that the mobilisation train will be moving to Kaduna and Kano where he will have townhall meetings to explain his program and agenda to the residents.

He pointed out that this government refused to do the townhall meeting because they are arrogant,adding that they relied on ‘Ghana Must Go’ and that is why $1billion was approved for purchase of arms to fight boko haram.

“The same boko haram they said that it has been technically defeated. What they are doing is to technically enrich themselves and technically steal and use the money for the next election. But they will be shocked in 2019,” he stated.

The activist promised that a police officer will not collect less than N100, 000 as salary when he is voted in as President.

Sowore will hold a townhall meeting in Abuja on Tuesday 10th April at Denis Hotel. He is expected to unveil his agenda and programmes for Nigerians when voted to power in 2019 at the event.