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‘I was attacked, abused ’ – Adekunle Gold speaks on battle with Sickle Cell

Nigerian singer, Adekunle Gold, has gone down memory lane remembering how he was attacked and abused for publicly speaking about his struggle with sickle cell disease.

The ‘Orente’ crooner, during a recent interview with CNN, said he decided to create awareness about sickle cell disease after summoning the courage to speak.

The singer, who noted that he has been aware of his ailment since he was a child, said he’s on a mission to make people living with sickle cell feel safe and feel they have support.

He said, “I want people living with sickle cell to feel safe, to feel like they have help and support.

“They call you a sickler… Recently, when I talked about it [my struggle with sickle cell] on the song [‘5-star’], I saw a lot of tweets from people attacking and abusing me.

“I’m speaking about sickle cell disease now because I just got the courage to come out and speak up openly about it. A lot of people can’t share their stories like I can.”

Adekunle Gold said he has been aware of his diagnosis since he was a child, adding that growing up, he constantly put himself in situations that made him sick.

“I’ve known about my sickle cell disease all my life. I knew since I was a child that I couldn’t do certain things. They said, ‘You know you have sickle cell, you can’t play football in the rain just like your peers.’ And I was like, ‘No, I want to play.’ I’ve always been rebellious,” he recalled.

“I’ve known about my sickle cell disease all my life because growing up, I had crises every time. I was in the hospital back-to-back.

“As a child, I constantly put myself in situations that made me sick. And it affected me a lot. For example, I’m not supposed to be in the rain, so what happened to me was that I would have pains in my joints from being in the rain. But I always knew that I didn’t want this thing [sickle cell] to define me.”

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Entertainment

Sani Abacha was obsessed with me – Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has recalled his experience during the regime of late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

In an interview with TheNEWS to mark his 90th birthday, he said the former military president was ‘obsessed’ and ‘mad’ with him.

“I consider it a bit of a miracle that I managed to survive that period. Because Abacha was mad. He was obsessed. He was really obsessed with me. Many people paid heavy price simply because they were associated with Wole Soyinka, and they were available,” he said.

Soyinka shared a story about a driver who worked for Abacha and later approached his new boss, asking to meet Soyinka, the person who had given Abacha “such nightmares.” The driver had heard Abacha and his visitor discussing Soyinka and wanted to know the person behind the name that triggered such a strong reaction.

“A story which I told the other day at The Metropolitan Club in Lagos was one of my favourite stories. A driver who was now working for yet another military officer had worked for Abacha. And he heard the host and the visitor talking about Wole Soyinka. It was the host who told me the story.

He said, “After the visitor left, the driver went to his new boss and said, ‘excuse me sir, this Wole Soyinka you are talking about, is it the same one who my master used to talk about? Please, just do me one favour. I want to meet him.’ The boss said, Why do you want to meet him? ‘I want to know the person who gave my boss Sani Abacha such nightmares.’ He said, I want to know that person. Because anytime he heard the name Wole Soyinka, he went into a frenzy. Abacha was desperate.”

Soyinka also revealed that Abacha’s regime set up fake consulates and trading companies to trap and monitor him and others in Atlanta. He revealed that he had to be accompanied by policemen when flying out and returning due to security concerns.

“One was situated in Bayswater, where I used to stay, not far from where Muhammadu Buhari attempted to kidnap Umaru Dikko in the UK. It was purely to trap, to get hold of us. Several security units of police added us on their watch list. Afterwards, watching for us and for those who they were tracking. I wasn’t the only one.

“In Atlanta, they set up fake consulate. We fought to make sure that the consulate in Atlanta, where I was teaching at Emory University at the time was not set up. The envelope that passed to some of the city counsellors was heavy. They admitted it. By the way, you know that I am an honorary citizen of the state of Georgia. And so, our American friends told these stories on the day of my investiture about what happened.

“They eventually succumbed to the pressure to set up that consulate, that fake consulate. And the President of my university insisted— because he got his report from the secret service in the US— he insisted that any time I was flying out, I had to be accompanied by policemen. On returning, they would send the police to come pick me up right at the door of the plane. It was quite touching,” he said.

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Alleged fraud, terrorism funding: Crypto billionaire, Linus Williams released from Police custody

Cryptocurrency billionaire Linus Williams, known as Blord, has been granted bail after spending three days in police custody.

Controversial self-proclaimed social media activist VeryDarkMan announced this on his Instagram page on Friday.

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spokesperson for the Nigerian Police on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of Blood in a short statement he published on his X handle.

He said Blord was arrested because the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID in investigating allegations of internet fraud, computer-related fraud, terrorism funding,
and non-compliance with regulatory frameworks among others against him.

“The FCID (NPF-NCCC) is currently investigating complaints lodged against BLORD GROUP, BLORD REAL ESTATE LTD, BLORD JETPAYE LIMITED, and BILLPOINT TECHNOLOGY. These offences include allegations bothering on cryptocurrency fraud, aiding internet fraud, computer-related fraud, terrorism funding, and non-compliance with regulatory frameworks.

“We will do due diligence in our investigations. Our cyber space in Nigeria must be safe and secured by all means. We are committed to achieving that,” the Force Public Relations Officer said in the statement.

Adejobi did not elaborate on the nature of the crimes or whether police acted on complaints of alleged victims of Blord fraudulent activities.

However in an update on friday VeryDarkMan stated that Blord was released after much ‘begging and crying.’

“After much begging and crying, Blord is out. He will be returning next week to answer for all his alleged crimes. I believe the @npf_nccc will not compromise, and justice will be upheld. See you next week, Mr. Influential,” VeryDarkMan posted.

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Entertainment

Despite stiff-person syndrome, Celine Dion to perform at 2024 Olympics

Celine Dion is contemplating a return to the spotlight despite battling a rare neurological disorder known as stiff-person syndrome, Metro UK reports

The iconic 56-year-old artiste has reportedly been offered a prestigious opportunity to perform at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics despite the progression of her illness.The Canadian singer, known for her powerful voice, revealed she’d been diagnosed with the progressive neurological condition – that affects the muscles, causing stiffness and spasms – in 2022.

In spite of this, Celine has previously expressed her eagerness to return to live performances, which have been a cornerstone of her career.

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