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I laughed when I read the story that I gave Israel ultimatum to return Nnamdi Kanu – Lai Mohammed



Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday dismissed social media report that he gave Israel ultimatum over the reappearance of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in that country.

The IPOB leader, who was sighted in Israel last week, had pledged to return to Nigeria soon, after his unceremonious disappearance from the country for about 13 months.

The minister, who fielded questions from State House correspondents, said: “I was in London when I heard the story about Nnamdi Kanu surfacing in Israel. I was not in a position to make any statement.

“But before I knew it, within a few hours, I saw my picture with a story saying that I had actually given Israel ultimatum to return Nnamdi Kanu otherwise, we will send them missiles.

“I just laughed. It speaks to what we are talking about fake news because it is probably the biggest threat in the run-up to the elections.

“Having said that I have nothing more to add, to the issue of Nnamdi Kanu.’’
According to him, the appropriate authorities in the country will speak on the issue at the appropriate time.

“At the appropriate time, the various authorities will make a statement about the issue of Kanu,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the Presidency had on Tuesday, October 23 dismissed the Kanu’s outburst and assured all Nigerians that there was no reason to worry about the hollow outburst by the IPOB leader.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, who gave the assurance in a statement in Abuja, restated that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari was strong enough to defend its territory against any threat.

He said: “Instead, we see the re-enactment of his bizarre, episodic threat as a mere distraction which will not be allowed to detract from the existing cordial relationships between Nigeria and other countries.’’

According to him, the Buhari administration is in constant touch with other friendly nations and has the best assurances that they would continue to reciprocate the respect Nigeria has for the sovereignty of their nations.

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Business News

US Cannabis Industry Tipped To Hit $41 Billion By 2025



The United States’ cannabis industry will increase five-fold and reach $41 billion by 2025, according to projections from market analysts at Nielsen.

The data company estimated that total sales of all legal cannabis reached $8 billion in 2018.

Nielsen sees marijuana and hemp as part of one large movement spreading across the US.

It expects the industry to grow by more than 500% by 2025, reaching total sales of $41 billion as more and more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes.

That will encompass $35 billion in marijuana sales and $6 billion in hemp-derived CBD product sales.

Marijuana is fully legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska. Yesterday Gov. Andrew Cuomo made New York the 15th state to decriminalize cannabis, following in the footsteps of Hawaii, which took the plunge earlier this month. Cuomo’s ultimate goal is to legalize adult-use cannabis and plough tax revenue into fixing New York City’s creaking subway system.

New York and Hawaii are among 13 states to legalize medicinal marijuana and decriminalize adult-use marijuana.

A further nine states have medical-only markets, meaning cannabis is now fully illegal in just 14 states.

Hemp-derived CBD products are already available nationwide following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

“As legal restrictions are loosened, the process of bringing a hemp-based CBD product to market, including the leveraging of mainstream distribution channels, could soon mirror that of other consumer packaged goods products,” said Nielsen.

It expects to see more cosmetics, pet products, and foods and beverages infused with hemp-based CBD going forward.

Nielsen believes that we will see increasing liberalization of marijuana laws while it is excited by the potential of Michigan and Illinois, which will open for business in 2020.

It found evidence of 166 marijuana brands on the market in 2014, and that has risen to 2,650 by 2018. The market is becoming increasingly crowded and Nielsen warned that pioneers creating new and interesting ways to ingest cannabis will be rewarded.

Grizzle reports that marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, but White House hopeful Kamala Harris has launched a bill to see it decriminalized across the country.

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Abike Dabiri Condemns Killing Of Nigerian Pastor In China



Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has called on the Chinese authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the death of a Nigerian Pastor in China, Joseph Nwajueze. 

The incident was said to have happened at Guanzou, Guandong Province, when the deceased, who had lived in the country for 15 years, was being chased by the Police for alleged immigration infractions.

It was gathered that Nwachueze died as a result of injuries sustained at the hands of the police in China, who were said to have used an electronic device to demobilise him.

In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja signed by NIDCOM Head of Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Dabiri-Erewa condemned the death of the Nigerian cleric.

While consoling the family of the victim of the loss, she vowed to ensure that justice was served on the matter.

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Society News

Ugandan lecturer, Stella Nyanzi jailed for 18 months over poem about President Museveni’s mother’s vagina



Prominent Ugandan academic, Stella Nyanzi was on Friday August 2 handed an 18 months jail sentence over a poem in which she used President Yoweri Museveni’s mother’s vagina to criticise his “oppression, suppression and repression” in the country.

Stella who once called Museveni “a pair of buttocks”, was found guilty of cyber harassment over the Facebook post which went viral. 

The academic sat for her sentencing via a video link from a maximum security prison by the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala. Reuters reported that she shouted vulgarities, flashed her breasts and gave a double middle finger on several occasions during the court session.

“My presence in your Court as a suspect and prisoner highlights multiple facets of dictatorship. I exposed the entrenchment of autocracy,” she wrote in her most recent post, a poem about her court case.

“I refuse to be a mere spectator in the struggle to oust the worst dictator.”

The sentencing ignited the outrage of rights activists who accused the government of using laws about electronic communications to stifle political dissent.

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