Author Archives: Nigeria Now

Amaechi: I’ll soon go on vacation… and I’ll also have a medical checkup

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says he will soon embark on a 10-day vacation.
Dismissing the reports that President Muhammadu Buhari is ill, Amaechi told Arise TV that he did not believe that Buhari’s medical history should be discussed.

Buhari is currently holidaying in the UK, where he is also expected to undergo medical checkups, and this has raised concerns on the president’s health.

But Amaechi said when he commences his own vacation, he will also undergo medical checkups.
“Last Sunday, the president stood for one hour; if he was not fit, he would have collapsed,” he said.
“I do not think we should discuss president’s medical history. What are we worrying about? I will soon go for 10 days’ vacation, during which I will go for medical check-up.”
He said the current administration has the plans to develop the Niger Delta, and that it would not be done by “sharing money to political elite” as was done in the past.

“The conversation on Niger Delta is ongoing; recently, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was in Niger Delta to continue with the dialogue. And President Buhari is committed to resolving the issues,” he said.
“But, unlike in the past, where the political elite were interfacing with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Presidential Amnesty Office and sharing money met for the development of the region, we will invest in infrastructure development and capacity building in the area.”
Amaechi also gave reason for the present economic recession in the country, saying it was largely caused by the corruption of the past government.

“We are in recession because when former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was leaving office, he left $68 billion in foreign reserve,” he said.

“What happened to the $68 billion? Don’t forget we were in recession in 2009; we have forgotten that the then President Yar’Adua had to go to excess crude account to take a billion dollars every month to fund the economy.

“By the time Yar’Adua died, about $48 billion was left in the excess crude account. They said the Governors’ Forum said they should share the money; fine. They should also ask why the governors said they should share the money.

“At that time we used to hold monthly economic council meeting. The constitution says there must be at least one economic council meeting every month. Under the watch of former President Goodluck Jonathan, they stopped the meeting.

“Do you know why they stopped it? Because any time we come for the meeting, $48 billion will come down to $47 billion and when we ask, they will tell us the President said they should use it.”

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From Amaechi: I’ll soon go on vacation… and I’ll also have a medical checkup by TheCable

No going back on closure of Abuja airport, says Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says the federal government will not back down from its decision to close the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Speaking at the second presidential business forum in Abuja on Monday, Amaechi said an aircraft belonging to Lufthansa had been grounded for the past three days as a result of damage to the plane’s gear while it was landing.

Amaechi said the entire architecture of the airport’s runway had collapsed, and that the facility built 34 years ago had outlived its 20-year lifespan.

He spoke in response to Frank Udenba-Jacobs, president of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), who expressed the opposition of the private sector to the closure
Amaechi said the works that would be done during the six-week closure is not just repairs but complete “rebuilding of the airport”.

“We are not going back on closure of Abuja airport. I understand that ‎Lufthansa landed and its gear got damaged and it has been here for three days,” he said.

“The runaway was built to last for 20 years but it has been in use now for 34 years.”
On the suggestion that the repairs can be done at night to enable the airport to be functional during the day, Amaechi said: “We cannot do it only at night. We don’t want to lose anybody.

“We are not repairing but rebuilding‎. If anything happens, you will ask us to resign and we don’t want to resign.”

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From No going back on closure of Abuja airport, says Amaechi by TheCable

OPEC: Investor confidence in Nigeria’s oil industry has fallen

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says investor confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has fallen.

OPEC also said if the sector is not fixed, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would be blamed for its failure to do so.

“Nigeria’s action plan can convert the present challenge into an opportunity — failure to do so will be targeted at the President Buhari regime,” OPEC said.
The oil cartel said the country’s reforms, encapsulated in the ministry of petroleum’s ‘7 BigWins’ roadmap, is being greeted by mixed reactions from the industry players.

In its bulletin for November-December 2016, OPEC disclosed that Nigeria needs to combat insecurity in the Niger Delta region and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill to lure waning investors.
“Operators are waiting to see how the road map will materialise and were unwilling to publicly comment on it,” OPEC said via the bulletin.

“Industry expert reactions were mixed, with one senior banking source telling the OPEC Bulletin: ‘I do not believe the new road map (which is a rehash of previous ones) will make an iota of difference on the sector. It remains to be seen what, if anything, will actually be done by this government to improve the tragic situation in the Delta.’”

Josh Holland, senior energy analyst at IHS, said that the plan’s mere publication was a step in the right direction, as this showed transparency.

He said there could be more details about structural changes to the hydrocarbons sector, particularly the NNPC; the government’s plans for forging a political consensus and overcoming vested interests to ensure that reform moves ahead; and Nigeria’s relative competitiveness compared to other oil and gas investment destinations.

Speaking on confidence in the business environment, OPEC said “investor confidence in the petroleum industry has fallen with the coalescence of insecurity in the Niger Delta, the delay to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and failure to meet contractual obligations in the services industry”.
“A major reform of fiscal terms and effective institutional governance, the PIB has stalled in the legislative process for over seven years.

“A divergence of interests has derailed its passage: oil companies are opposed to fiscal terms, arguing they undermine investment plans, while the government has countered that the fiscal terms are competitive.”

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From OPEC: Investor confidence in Nigeria’s oil industry has fallen by TheCable

Police deny death of IPOB members, say 65 arrested

BY JIMITOTA ONOYUMEPORT HARCOURT – Rivers state Police command has denied reports in some media that some persons died during the pro Biafra protest by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOD on friday., adding that 65 of the protesters were arrested by the Police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, in the state, DCP Ahmed Magagi said the timely intervention of the Police saved the situation from recording misfortunes.

He said the protesters did not secure Nyesom police permit before the protest, noting that they took the laws into their hands.

“Some suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) took laws into their hands, organized and staged an unlawful protest in the Port Harcourt Metropolis, thereby disturbing the peace of the State, disrupting free flow of traffic, preventing law abiding citizens from going about their lawful businesses and caused untold hardship to the generality of the populace. In an effort to disperse the rampaging group from carrying out their unlawful intention, reasonable force like Teargas was used to disperse them. Others left lawfully in obedience to our directives, the disobedient ones continued with the intention of actualizing their illegal purpose.

Consequently, about sixty-five (65) of them were arrested, at different points within the metropolis, being suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Items recovered from them include: some flags bearing the inscription of IPOB and other incriminating items.
The suspects arrested have made useful statements to the Police and Investigation is ongoing. Further developments will be communicated to you in due course.

But for the intervention and proactive measures put in place by officers and men of the Command, led by my humble self, what would have turned into a total breakdown of law and order was professionally and tactically managed. It is indeed saddening to note that before embarking on the said illegal protest march, there was no official communication to the command, which in itself is reprehensible, condemnable and unfortunate.

The Police as an Agency of Government has the statutory responsibility to protect life and property at any given time, which was what we practically and professionally did yesterday that forestalled what would have been a total carnage in the State. However, it should noted that men of the Command deployed for the operation were professional and used minimum force in containing the protesters. Note that no casualty was recorded, no death recorded”

From Police deny death of IPOB members, say 65 arrested by Vanguard (News)

Apex, Appellate courts to get full complement of judges – Lai Mohammed

Abuja – The Federal Government has given an assurance that both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal will get their full complement of judges to ensure quick dispensation of justice.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance on Saturday night in Abuja at the 80th birthday celebration of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore.

The minister represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event which was also attended by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and many other dignitaries.

In an interview with newsmen, the minister said that the three arms of government were working in unison to reform the judiciary for optimal performance.
“I want to say this is the new dawn of collaboration and co-operation with the executive and legislative arms of government.

“On our own part as government, we will ensure that we give both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal the full complement of judges.

“We will ensure that the Federal High Court is also adequately given enough judges to ensure that the quality of justice would be better and faster,’’ he said.
The minister said that the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, had initiated some reforms which would ensure better delivery of justice.

He said the reforms were in line with the position of government to ensure that the judiciary truly remains the last hope of the common man.

Mohammed said that the Acting CJN was also working closely with government to put through some legislative and judicial proceedings that would result in faster delivery of justice.
Speaking on the celebrator, the minister said he has known Belgore for over 30 years and described him as “a man who is very unique and who has a good knowledge of Nigeria’’.

“One year, I travelled with him from Mecca to Medina and we were in the same car in the journey of about four hours.“Within the four hours, I learnt more about the history of Nigeria than I had learnt in any textbook.

“When you see a man like that who was privileged to have served Nigeria in many capacities and who has mentored many people and he is still alive today we can all tap from his wealth of experience,’’ he said.
Born on Jan. 17, 1937, in Kwara State into royalty, Belgore’s early schooling was completed in Nigeria while he received his professional training at the Inns Court School of Law, London, and the Society of the Inner Temple.

He was called to both the English and Nigeria Bar in 1964 and upon his return home, he was appointed a Magistrate on July 3, same year.

In 1971, Belgore was elected President of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria and on July 2, 1973, he was appointed Acting High Court Judge and confirmed a year after.
He was appointed the Chief Judge of Plateau State in 1977 and two years after, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Belgore was appointed into the Supreme Court bench in 1986 and he rose to the pinnacle of his career on June 12, 2006, with his appointment as the CJN.

He retired as CJN on Jan. 17 2007 when he attained the mandatory retirement age of 70.

From Apex, Appellate courts to get full complement of judges – Lai Mohammed by Vanguard (News)

Focus on job creation, NUF urges new Ohaneze leadership

Enugu – The Ndigbo Unity Forum (NUF) has urged the new leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo to focus on job creation to reduce the level of youth unemployment in the South East and South-South zones.
The President of the group, Mr Augustine Chukwudum, gave the advice while speaking in Enugu on Sunday.

NUF is an Igbo socio cultural organisation with membership drawn from Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo and Rivers States.

Chukwudum noted that youth unemployment had led to social unrest in the zones and ought to be tackled.
“The new Ohaneze chieftains must work hard to bring back industries and enterprise which will provide thousands of workplaces for the teeming unemployed youths as well as under-employed youths in the zones.
“There is a need for Ohaneze to work with state governments to create an enabling environment for industrialisation and enterprise by ensuring constant electricity, good roads and reduced taxes.
“The governors must invest in agriculture and solid mineral exploitation to get raw materials for the new industries and workplaces,’’ he said.

Chukwudum also urged the new Ohaneze executives to use their expertise in different fields in collaborating with stakeholders in the regions to attract investment.
He noted that investment in the regions had become necessary as the nation was gradually drifting to regionalism.

“With the current drift of the country, we need to find a way to appeal to our illustrious sons and daughters who have invested outside to bring their investment home,’’ he said.
He also congratulated the newly elected Ohaneze Ndigbo executives led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, saying the election was free and fair.

“For emerging victorious in a free and fair election, we commend everybody associated with Ohaneze Ndigbo whose effort in one way or the other contributed to a rancour-free election about a week ago,’’ he said.

From Focus on job creation, NUF urges new Ohaneze leadership by Vanguard (News)

Memphis Depay: Mourinho tips Dutch winger for possible Man Utd buy-back

Jose Mourinho says he would not be surprised if Manchester United eventually activate the buy-back clause that they inserted in the transfer of Dutch winger Memphis Depay to French club Lyon.

Depay has suffered an underwhelming 18 months in English football since former United manager Louis van Gaal paid PSV Eindhoven a reported £25 million ($30.7 million, 28.8 million euros) for him in June 2015.
But United insisted on the option of buying the 22-year-old back from Lyon at a prearranged price, should the French club decide to sell him.

United could eventually lose nearly £5 million on Friday’s sale but the fact they inserted a sell-on clause and, more surprisingly, that buy-back option indicates Mourinho’s belief that the winger could eventually fulfil his potential.

“Potentially he is a very good player,” said the United manager. “I think when Mr van Gaal decided to buy him he did well. He knew him very well from the national team and he was very young in the World Cup.
“He had flashes of top quality. He was playing well in Holland. We know the Dutch league is not the same but he was showing some very good things.

“He didn’t succeed in his 18 months but he is very young so I think it’s important for the club to keep control of his talent.

“We all wish he plays well at Olympique Lyon and then why not come back because everyone here liked him?”
Mourinho blamed too many wingers in the United squad for Depay’s lack of first team chances but claimed he was a model professional.

“It didn’t work for Memphis last season but from my perspective he was a fantastic professional,” said Mourinho.

“It is one thing for some picture that somebody takes with him in an amazing car or dressing in a very specific way but that image is totally wrong.
“He’s a kid who respects everyone, a kid who worked very hard to try to have more chances, a kid who was frustrated because he was not having that. I only have good things to say about him.”
‘Not easy market’

The United manager has also seen Morgan Scheiderlin leave the club in the current transfer window, with a permanent move to Everton.

Mourinho admits their departure leaves United short on numbers as they continue to battle on four fronts but the Red Devils boss says he is unlikely to bring in any new players this month.
“For some positions we are comfortable in numbers,” he said. “Probably for some positions we are going to have problems because we don’t have so many options.

“I always think the best time to buy is the summer market. I always consider the January market is an emergency one where you can try to resolve some problems, where you can try to give a little boost to the team for the rest of the season. But it is not an easy market.”

However, the United manager has stood by his insistence that any player unhappy at his lack of first team opportunities would be allowed to leave the club in the final two weeks of the window, as long as the offer matched his valuation.

Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger and, even, England full-back Luke Shaw have all been at the centre of rumours suggesting they may fall into that category.
“I was not even thinking about (selling) Morgan and Memphis but we allowed them to go when the right offer arrived,” said Mourinho.

“As we have said, if a player is not totally happy here because he does not have the minutes they deserve then I don’t think it’s human to stop them going – only a bad offer or no offer stops them going. But when the offer is correct, I don’t think it’s human to stop them going.”

From Memphis Depay: Mourinho tips Dutch winger for possible Man Utd buy-back by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Australian Open: Kei Nishikori powers into last 16

Japan’s Kei Nishikori reached the Australian Open fourth round with a convincing, straight-sets win over Lukas Lacko on Friday.

The fifth seed made it to the last 16 for the sixth straight year with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over the Slovak qualifier in two hours, 11 minutes.

Nishikori will next face his first big challenge against either 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer or big-serving Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych.

The Japanese is looking to improve on his three quarter-final appearances at the Australian Open, losing to Andy Murray in 2012, Stan Wawrinka in 2015 and Novak Djokovic last year.

“There were some little tough moments, but I stayed tough in the third set,” Nishikori said.
Nishikori broke the 121st-ranked Lacko’s serve four times and gave up his own service only once.
“I did well with my service games and came up with some important first serves on the big points,” he said.

“I am feeling well physically and mentally and I’ve been playing well in my three matches in Melbourne.”
Nishikori got the early advantage with a service break in the seventh game after Lacko overhit a forehand.

The Japanese star got a double break to lead 3-0 and Lacko got one break back to trail 3-5 before Nishikori served out for a two sets to love advantage.
Nishikori peeled off a ripping forehand return winner to grab an early break in the final set to hit the front and stay there.

He hit 46 winners, 27 of them on his forehand, and dominated the rallies.
Nishikori became the first Asian man to contest a Grand Slam final when he lost to Marin Cilic at the 2014 US Open after defeating three top-10 players –- Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic along the way.

From Australian Open: Kei Nishikori powers into last 16 by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Angel Di Maria: PSG better option than China

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria has insisted he wants to see out his contract with the French champions, dismissing speculation he could move to the cash-rich Chinese Super League.

“There are two years left on my contract,” Di Maria, who joined PSG from Manchester United in August 2015, told ESPN Argentina.

“Of course there are rumours. I’m very happy here, my family too. That’s important for me so I will stay here for the duration of my contract.”

Di Maria has struggled in his second season at the Parc des Princes, with the recent arrival of Germany international Julian Draxler putting his place in the starting line-up under serious threat.
But the 28-year-old said he had no plans to leave Paris as Unai Emery’s men fight for a fifth successive Ligue 1 title.

“Everyone has their way of thinking, we can always have the hope of going to play in China,” added Di Maria.

“For sure, we can be sensitive to the amount of money we are talking about. But I’d rather stay here, be happy here and achieve the goal I’ve always spoken about. I came to Paris to win the Champions League.”

From Angel Di Maria: PSG better option than China by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Pulse List: All the time’s Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz served us couple goals

Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz are undeniably one of our favourite couples of 2016/2017.
The duo ever since they got married last year have turned up at every event together, and all the times…. they have served some hot! hot! couple goals #claps.

1. Just take a look at this picture
play Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz (Instagram)
 
Looking all lovey dovey at The Headies. Such and adorable sight!
2. Then this cuddled up photo she shared on Snapchat

Apparently, whatever they have in mind/plan on doing is a family affair.
3. This photo speaks volumes

We’re short of words….. So heart tuggging!
4. Stepping in the name of love

Two young love birds……walking down the alley hand in hand. All this picture needs is R Kelly belting his hit ‘Step in the name of love’.
5. This photo tells it all

A couple that dances together last forever.
6. What of this time he surprised her with a romantic birthday gift
 
Brings tears to the eyes #sniffs.

From Pulse List: All the time’s Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz served us couple goals by Pulse.ng (Celebs)

Charly Boy: "Jesus is not a gangster" TV personality warns Pastors

Eccentric media personality, Charly Boy Oputa is back with another one and this time, it’s directed at the ‘yahoo’ pastors.

The music star took to Instagram on January 19, 2017, writing about Pastors scamming their congregations, the economic situation in Nigeria and how laws are not made to favour indigenous business and more.

It reads,
“Pastor’s Abegi make una stop all this Wayo. Jesus is not a gangster. Stop making people “offers they can’t refuse”.

You promise Heaven if they accept your nonsense propaganda and threaten spiritual torment if they don’t. Na only una know God, Na only una God dey buy private jets for.
Una own heaven na for this world, our own na when we die,” Charly Boy wrote.

“A Nation without Savings is a Nation Without a Soul; A Nation of 10,000 Companies and 10,000,000 Churches and Mosque is a Nation of Glorified Scammers and Enduring Poverty. We the people gave up and Caved in to the Political Elite whose only interest is their Selfishly Greedy Personal and Egoistic desires. The Nation was Relegated and our Today is the Result of our Failure as a People Yesterday.
 
“Nothing is going to change in a Country where Legislators are Afraid to Enforce Made in Naija; Nothing is Going to Change in a Country where Manchester United is Celebrated Ahead of Enyimba; Nothing is Going to Change with a People who Frown at Hardworking with Every Opportunity and Nothing will Ever Change When Voting for Criminals Becomes a Culture and a Way of Life.

“Bombs are Dropping, people are dying, Prices keep Rising, frustration hits the ceiling. As politicians and pastors keep dealing, Our graves we keep digging. Our docility killing our humanity, as youths engage in frivolity, It is disgusting how they keep succumbing Unbecoming as they keep sagging and dulling.  Holding themselves captive by their complicity. #ourmumudondo.”

From Charly Boy: “Jesus is not a gangster” TV personality warns Pastors by Pulse.ng (Celebs)

CAF Champions League: Rangers bait fans with drinks

Rangers International FC has started negotiations with two beverage companies to supply soft drinks to  entertain  spectators during its matches at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
Rangers Marketing Manager, Ignatius Okafor made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday.

Rangers will be visiting JS Saoura of Algeria on February 10 for its first leg of the CAF Champions League. It will host the Algerian club on February 17 in Enugu for the second leg.

Okafor said that the club had opened talks with Nigeria Bottling Company, makers of Coca-Cola drinks and Chi Limited makers of Chivita drinks.

“We intend to partner with the beverage companies to supply soft drinks at the normal market price during matches at The Cathedral – Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

“The chilled soft drinks from these two reputable companies will provide the needed entertainment and relaxation for our fans, visitors and football spectators in general,” he said.

The marketing manager revealed that one of the companies would also supply some of its snacks to complement the soft drinks.

“We are also looking at having some snacks, which will be supplied by one of the companies – Chi Limited popularly called House of Chi,” he said.

From CAF Champions League: Rangers bait fans with drinks by Vanguard (Sport)

West Brom table £17m for Ighalo

West Bromwich Albion are keen to sign Watford striker Odion Ighalo and have made a £17 million bid for the Super Eagles striker.

Sky Sports News reported that a fee of £17m has been agreed between the clubs but another source claims talks are not yet that advanced.

The 27-year-old Ighalo thrived under Quique Sanchez Flores last season but has struggled to recapture his best form in Walter Mazzarri’s side this term.

He has only scored twice this season in all competitions – after notching 17 last term – while the Hornets have struggled for consistency in both their starting line-up and their general Premier League form.

Ighalo joined Watford from Udinese in 2014 and has scored 39 goals in over 98 appearances.

From West Brom table £17m for Ighalo by Vanguard (Sport)

AFCON 2017: Injured Ghana defender Baba to be flown to Germany for treatment

Ghanaian defender Baba Abdul-Rahman, injured during Ghana’s 1-0 win over Uganda in their Group D match in Port-Gentil, Gabon, will travel to Germany on Thursday for further tests and possible surgery over a knee injury.

Abdul-Rahman sustained the injury two days ago in their opening match of ongoing 2017 AFCON tournament.
A Ghana Football Association (GFA) statement on Thursday said the decision was taken in consultation with his German club Schalke 04 after tests were carried out on the injury in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, on Wednesday.

The statement noted that the Ghanaian medical team, led by Dr Adam Baba, said the defender suffered “a rupture of the meniscus and a particular tear of the anterior cruciate ligament with fluid collection in the left knee’’.

It added that a Ghanaian team official will accompany the defender to Germany on Thursday evening.
“The GFA will offer all the support to the dedicated and hardworking Rahman on his road to recovery,’’ it said.

Rahman was flown to Libreville on Wednesday, as there was no MRI facility in Port-Gentil, the team’s base.

The state-owned Graphic newspaper reporting from Port-Gentil, quoted an unnamed member of the Black Stars technical team as saying the player and his colleagues were shattered by news that Baba Rahman’s participation in the 2017 AFCON was over.

From AFCON 2017: Injured Ghana defender Baba to be flown to Germany for treatment by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Emmanuel Adebayor: Togo international wants Premier League return

Despite his bad reputation in England, former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor wants to return to the Premier League.

Adebayor who has had his own share of controversy in England, left Crystal Palace at the end of last season.
 
Since leaving Palace, the striker who is currently representing Togo at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, has been without a club.

The 32-year-old wants to return to the Premier League because of his love for the league and life in England.
“You know me well enough – I love England, love the Premier League and want to find a way to get back there,” the striker told The Guardian.
 
“I want to hit the top level again, that’s for sure. If not, I just want to play football and have fun, so if I get an offer somewhere then I’ll go.”

Adebayor also does not understand his reputation as a controversial figure in the Premier League, insisting that none of his former teammates would have nothing bad to say about him.
“I have a bad reputation in England and I don’t know why,” said the striker.
 
“Maybe it’s something that has just followed me. But one thing I always say is that 90 percent of the people I’ve played with would say I’m an amazing guy, a great teammate.

“Other people, those who work on the gate at every stadium I’ve played at, will tell you I am a humble guy and a nice person. But the press will say what they want, and in my career, I’ve been unfortunate enough to have a lot of negativity.”
 
Adebayor became a hated figure at Arsenal after forcing a move to Manchester City and then running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Gunners’ fans after scoring against them at the Etihad.
At Spurs, he was made to train with the youth team after falling out then coach Andre Villas-Boas.

From Emmanuel Adebayor: Togo international wants Premier League return by Pulse.ng (Sport)

2017 AFCON: Injured Ghana defender Baba to be flown to Germany for treatment

Accra – Ghanaian defender Baba Abdul-Rahman, injured during Ghana’s 1-0 win over Uganda in their Group D match in Port-Gentil, Gabon, will travel to Germany on Thursday for further tests and possible surgery over a knee injury.
Abdul-Rahman sustained the injury two days ago in their opening match of ongoing 2017 AFCON tournament.

A Ghana Football Association (GFA) statement on Thursday said the decision was taken in consultation with his German club Schalke 04 after tests were carried out on the injury in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, on Wednesday.
The statement noted that the Ghanaian medical team, led by Dr Adam Baba, said the defender suffered “a rupture of the meniscus and a particular tear of the anterior cruciate ligament with fluid collection in the left knee’’.
It added that a Ghanaian team official will accompany the defender to Germany on Thursday evening.

“The GFA will offer all the support to the dedicated and hardworking Rahman on his road to recovery,’’ it said.
Rahman was flown to Libreville on Wednesday, as there was no MRI facility in Port-Gentil, the team’s base.
The state-owned Graphic newspaper reporting from Port-Gentil, quoted an unnamed member of the Black Stars technical team as saying the player and his colleagues were shattered by news that Baba Rahman’s participation in the 2017 AFCON was over.

From 2017 AFCON: Injured Ghana defender Baba to be flown to Germany for treatment by Vanguard (Sport)

Another PDP Senator, Effiong dumps party for APC

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA- SENATOR Nelson Asuquo Effiong, Akwa Ibom South on Thursday dumped his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, saying that any politician worth his salt will not remain in PDP.
Senator Effiong who hails from the same senatorial district with his governor, Emmanuel Udom who is of the PDP, said he was moving to APC that according to him, was bringing peace and direction to the country.

Senator Nelson Effiong (Akwa Ibom South) while announcing his defection from the PDP to APC at Thursday’s plenary, said, “I have decided that no reasonable politician who is worth his salt would remain and allow his people to be drifting about without a direction. So I have decided today, the 19th day of January, 2017 to resign from the PDP and move to the party that is bringing peace and direction to this country, the APC. So I move.”

But reacting, the Deputy Minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha who was at the chambers during the defection, PDP, Taraba South warned Senator Nelson Asuquo Effiong to be mindful of his comments and consequences of his action.
Also in his remarks, Senate Minority leader and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio who noted that the Senator was free to decamp to APC as an individual, but he should know that he got elected on the platform of a party and not as an individual, adding that there is no crisis in Akwa Ibom PDP, the party is intact and United and would go to court to challenge the decision of Effiong.

It would be recalled that Senator Yele Omogunwa, Ondo South had in November last year dumped the PDP for the APC.
Details later.

From Another PDP Senator, Effiong dumps party for APC by Vanguard (Politics)

IK Ogbonna: ‘Can I just marry you every day?’ Actor celebrates wife with tender words

IK Ogbonna is so in love!

The actor proves this in the loving message he penned to his wife Sonia Morales on her birthday, today, January 19, 2017.

He posted an image of his wife alongside an affectionate message on Instagram:
“I asked for a princess and God gave me a queen , a woman with the most beautiful soul , a heart of gold , a smile that makes the sun blush , words that creates stars in my heart,” he wrote.

“You have held me through rough times and good times , you have encouraged me in times when I felt like giving up. Truth is I don’t only celebrate today Coz it’s ur birthday but it marked the beginning of the rest of my life.
“Since I met you I have only experienced growth , blessings , favor , magical grace and peace. Thank you for bringing our son into this world , thank you for embracing my culture , family and friends.
“I cherish you my Bebolinna and if I was to die and come back to this life .. I will still choose you over and over again. I am sorry for times I failed u but I promise I will live my life making you happy and doing all I can to keep a deserving smile on ur face . Thanks for always believing in me baby. Can I just marry you every day?”
 
Ogbonna and Morales got married on June 29, 2015 at a courthouse in Belgrade, Serbia in a private ceremony. They have a son named Ace together.

From IK Ogbonna: ‘Can I just marry you every day?’ Actor celebrates wife with tender words by Pulse.ng (Celebs)

FIFA appoints Pinnick into Organising Committee for Competitions

World football ruling body, FIFA, has named the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, into one of its most important committees – the Organising Committee for Competitions.

Hitherto, the world body had different committees for organization of its several competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA U20 World Cup, FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U17 World Cup, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Pinnick was a member of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U20 World Cup.

However, at its 66th Congress in Mexico City on 12th – 13th May 2016, and in accordance with the revised FIFA Statutes that came into force on 27th April 2016, the model of the standing committees was reviewed, cutting the number from 26 to 9.

The new model has only the following committees: Governance, Finance, Development, Member Associations, Referees, Players’ Status, Football Stakeholders, Medical, Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions.

Pinnick’s letter of appointment, dated 18th January 2017 and signed by Fatma Samoura, the Secretary General, read inter alia: “We are very pleased to inform you that you have been appointed member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions. We wish you our sincere congratulations on this appointment.

“The FIFA administration is at your disposal through the following Administration Officer, who will be in contact with you regarding the upcoming meetings and any further aspects relating to your office as member of this committee: Colin Smith, Chief Competitions Officer.

“We wish you great success and enjoyment in this role at FIFA and look forward to welcoming you soon to Zurich.”
The Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions is headed by Aleksander Ceferin, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The tenure of members is for 2017-2021.

In line with the new FIFA reforms, each proposed member of any of the committees was made to go through a comprehensive integrity check conducted by several organisations of global relevance and stature.
Pinnick’s appointment, and in particular the thorough and painstaking checks that he passed with full marks, is a big thumbs –up for Nigerian Football, and puts out the light on the unsavoury innuendoes and deliberate mischief of a few individuals intent on putting the country’s game under a cloud.

As a member of the CAF Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, Pinnick is presently at the 31st Africa Cup finals ongoing in Gabon, and will be match commissioner for Saturday’s potentially –explosive West African derby between Mali and Ghana.

The new member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, who swivelled through the ranks of football administration (from board member to second vice chairman, first vice chairman and chairman of Delta State Football Association, to Executive Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission before his election as President of Nigeria Football Federation in September 2014), is also a candidate for election into the Executive Committee of Confederation of African Football.

The CAF elections will take place at the 39th Ordinary General Assembly of the organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 16th March.

From FIFA appoints Pinnick into Organising Committee for Competitions by Vanguard (Sport)

MFM FC: NPFL club promises to deliver next match

After a humiliating 0-4 thumping by Nnewi-based FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Wednesday, MFM FC has promised its fans victory in the Match Day 3 of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MFM will host Lobi Stars of Makurdi on Sunday at the Agege Stadium.
MFM had failed to sustain the Match Day 1 tempo in which the team whitewashed visiting Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at home.
The high-flying MFM was roundly beaten by Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi with goals from Kone Yaya in the 11th minute, King Osanga, 34, Oni Jimoh, 36, and Ifeanyi Onuigbo 82nd.

Commenting on the match, MFM Coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, said that the team had put the defeat behind them to focus on their next match against Lobi Stars.

“We need to put the sorry loss behind us because we have another important game at the weekend against Lobi Stars which is a must win.

“The league has a long way to go and we will do our best not to disappoint our fans. IfeanyiUbah’s game is a sorry one, but we have to move on,’’ he said.

Lobi Stars opened its campaign in the 2016/2017 with a 0-1 defeat in the hands of 3SC of Ibadan at Adamasigba Stadium, while it won the Match Day 2 fixtures against Kano Pillars 1-0.
MFM on its part, started with a 3-0 bashing of Niger Tornadoes after which it was roundly beaten 4-0 by last year’s FA Cup winner Ifeanyi Ubah in Match Day 2.

MFM and Lobi Stars met twice last season in which both team shared spoils. Lobi Star defeated MFM 1-0 in Markudi, while MFM triumphed in the reverse game 3-1.

From MFM FC: NPFL club promises to deliver next match by Pulse.ng (Sport)

#ThrowbackThursday: Check out this picture of Tonto Dikeh as a child

It’s that time of the week where people share pictures from the past just because it’s Thursday.
Today, January 19, Tonto Dikeh has shared a picture of herself from when she was a blossoming young girl.
 
The actress posted the image of herself on Instagram and captioned it with a smiley emoji.
Obviously this image goes way back as Dikeh is now a grown woman married to business man Oladunni Churchill with one child, running her own business and has built a name for herself in the Nigerian film industry.

Just two days ago, the Nollywood actress, took to Instagram to celebrate her son, Andre at 11 months old.

Dikeh and her husband Churchill welcomed their son on February 18, 2016. The couple got married on August 29, 2015.

From #ThrowbackThursday: Check out this picture of Tonto Dikeh as a child by Pulse.ng (Celebs)

African troops on standby as Gambia deadline expires

African forces were poised to enter The Gambia Thursday after President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office, ignoring a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action.

Jammeh’s army chief said his troops would not fight their entry into the country, as the Mauritanian president flew out of The Gambia following hopes of a last-minute deal to convince Jammeh to hand over power.

“We are not going to involve ourselves militarily. This is a political dispute,” Chief of Defence Staff Ousman Badjie said after eating dinner in a tourist district close to the capital Banjul, eyewitnesses told AFP.

“I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men,” he added. “If they (Senegalese) come in, we are here like this,” Badjie said, making a hands up or surrender gesture.
Jammeh’s mandate ended at midnight (local and GMT) but he has steadfastly refused to leave office after losing elections last month to Adama Barrow, prompting west African states to ramp up pressure on the president following weeks of failed diplomacy.

Nigeria sent troops and fighter jets to Senegal, whose own forces massed on the Gambian border.
Witnesses said the situation was calm in Banjul overnight, although troops had been deployed in the city.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Thursday to adopt a statement on West Africa that will reaffirm the demand for Jammeh to hand over power, diplomats said.
“If a political solution fails, we will engage” in operations in The Gambia, Senegal army spokesman Colonel Abdou Ndiaye told AFP ahead of the deadline.

Unsuccessful attempts by the 15-nation Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) led Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to fly into Banjul at the 11th hour for a final round of talks.
Following the discussions he was hopeful of reaching a peaceful solution, he was quoted as saying by Gambian state broadcaster GRTS.
Mauritania is not part of ECOWAS and diplomats have previously reached out to the conservative desert nation in hopes of brokering an asylum deal with Jammeh.

Shortly before midnight Aziz’s plane landed in Dakar, where he was met by Barrow — who is currently sheltering there — and Senegal’s President Macky Sall, the private Senegalese radio station RFM reported.
Senegal has also requested UN backing for regional action against the long-time president. However, a vote on the draft resolution has yet to be scheduled, according to diplomats.

– State of emergency –

Barrow and his team maintain his inauguration will go ahead on Thursday on Gambian soil, and his spokesman said late Wednesday “we do not feel any threat” from Senegalese troops on the ground.
However, the inauguration’s head organiser James Gomez said plans for the transfer of power in a huge stadium outside the capital were now cancelled.

The 51-year-old Gambian leader announced a state of emergency on Tuesday, saying it was necessary because of interference from foreign powers in the country’s December 1 election, but the declaration has had little effect on attempts to remove him.

The country’s vice-president Isatou Njie-Saidy resigned Wednesday, family sources said, along with the environment and higher education ministers, in the latest of a string of cabinet members deserting Jammeh’s government.

– Tourists flee –

As tensions rose, Britain and the Netherlands issued travel advisory warnings, with around 1,000 British tourists expected to leave on special flights on Wednesday alone, leaving the small airport near Banjul struggling to cope.
Brian and Yvonne Souch, from Witney in southern England, told AFP they were unaware of the potential risk of flying to the country 10 days ago and felt tour company Thomas Cook should have kept them better informed.

“We didn’t know anything until we came down for breakfast,” Souch said, sitting in shorts and sleeveless T-shirt in the lobby of a hotel in the Kololi tourist strip as he awaited a bus to the airport.
Thomas Cook said additional flights into Banjul airport would bring home 1,000 package holidaymakers, followed by up 2,500 more at the “earliest possible flight availability”.
But holidaymakers were told that Thomas Cook flights would cease in a few days time, leaving them at risk of being stranded.

The panic caused by the state of emergency could prove financially devastating — experts say up to 20 percent of the economy relies on tourism.

Gambians were taking precautions and stocking up on food and supplies in the few shops that remained open in districts near the capital, with roads quiet and street hawkers notably absent.
A source told AFP that patients at Banjul’s Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, which sits opposite Jammeh’s seat of power, were removed for security reasons. Only those in intensive care remained.

From African troops on standby as Gambia deadline expires by Vanguard (Politics)

Money man Tevez touches down in Shanghai

Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has arrived to a rousing welcome from hundreds of fans in Shanghai, where he will join local side Shenhua in a deal that reportedly makes him the world’s top-earning footballer.

Tevez, 32, is the highest-profile foreign player lured to China’s free-spending domestic leagues in a recent gold rush that has triggered a backlash from Chinese authorities.

Police at Shanghai’s main international airport bundled the smiling Tevez through a crowd of blue-clad Shenhua fans gathered in the arrival hall to greet him. Shouting Shenhua team slogans as they waited, the fans burst into chants of “Carlos! Carlos!” when he emerged.

Tevez’s arrival from Argentine club Boca Juniors comes after that of Brazilian star Oscar, who joined Shanghai rivals SIPG under a 60-million-euro ($63 million) deal from Chelsea.

From Money man Tevez touches down in Shanghai by Vanguard (News)

Man City complete Jesus transfer

Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus has formally completed his move to Manchester City from Palmeiras, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

City agreed to sign Jesus on a five-year contract in August, but the 19-year-old was immediately loaned back to Palmeiras until the end of the Brazilian season in December.

With City having now completed his registration, he could make his debut for Pep Guardiola’s side in Saturday’s home game with high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.

Gabriel Jesus“I want to win titles and Manchester City is a club that is used to winning,” Jesus said in comments published on the City website.

“City is a club that always competes for the title in the competitions it enters, so that was an important factor, and because of the manager, Guardiola, and the squad.”

Jesus, who can play right across the front line, is one of the most highly rated youngsters in world football and is reported to have cost City an initial fee of £27 million ($33.3 million, 31.2 million euros).
He helped Palmeiras to their first league title in 22 years last year and has scored scored five goals in his first six games for Brazil.

“Gabriel is a technically gifted player who was chased by some of Europe’s biggest clubs and we are delighted he decided to join City,” said City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain.
“He has the potential to become one of the best attacking players in the game and we look forward to watching him develop further here in Manchester.

“I think with Pep Guardiola as manager and the squad we already have here, Jesus has the perfect platform to reach his full potential.”
Jesus’s arrival is a timely lift for Guardiola, who finds himself under intense scrutiny after last weekend’s chastening 4-0 defeat at Everton.
It was City’s fifth league defeat of the season and left them in fifth place in the table, two points off the Champions League places and 10 points below leaders Chelsea.

From Man City complete Jesus transfer by Vanguard (News)

Buhari writes Senate, to go on medical vacation for 10 days

*** Says Yomi Osinbajo to act in his absence

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA- PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday wrote the Senate that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will act on his behalf as President for the 10 days that he would be on medical vacation.
In a letter addressed to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, President Buhari said he was writing in line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

According to the letter which was read at plenary today, Tuesday by Saraki, President Buhari said he will be away from Monday 23rd January to Monday 6th February.

The letter read, “In compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended, I wish to inform the Distinguished Senate that I will be away n a short medical vacation from Monday January, 23 to February 6th, 2017 and while I am away, the Vice President (Osinbajo) will perform the functions of my office.
“Please, accept, as always assurances of my highest esteemed consideration.”

It would be recalled that President Buhari had last year written to the Senate to go on vacation on a short medical vacation from 6th-16th of June, 2016.

From Buhari writes Senate, to go on medical vacation for 10 days by Vanguard (News)

BBOG: Chibok girls may have been moved to other locations within Sambisa

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement says there is a possibility that the Chibok girls have been relocated from Camp zairo to other locations within the vast Sambisa forest.

The BBOG movement said this is after Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, its leaders, completed a guided tour of the Sambisa forest with Lai Mohammed, minister for information and culture, Mansur Dan Ali, minister of defence and officers of the Nigerian Air force (NAF).

“There is no contradiction between the recovery of Camp Zero by our troops and the possibility that our girls may have been relocated to other locations within the vast Sambisa forest,” the movement said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Sambisa forest is a vast expanse of land covering several hundred square kilometres, whereas ‘Camp Zero’ is only about 2square kilometres. Whereas Camp Zero is destroyed and desolate, it represents only a fraction of the large expanse known as Sambisa forest. This explains why our troops are still in Sambisa forest even after declaring victory when Camp Zero fell.”

BBOG said it discovered that the air force had only one fighter jet in the theatre of war until recently.
“There had been only one fighter jet in the entire theatre of war until recently when four were added, with one more undergoing repairs,” it said.

It also said the government must embrace the culture of being answerable to citizens.
“The less antagonistic government acts towards those in society who scrutinise its actions and demand accountability, the faster progress [the] society makes,” it read.

“The government must open up to scrutiny. Transparency must be a key tool of the military as much as possible for winning the counter insurgency war. This becomes even more important considering the military’s chequered history of distrust with the civilian population.

“What is the state of the prosecution of those indicted in misappropriating monies for arms procurement. What assurances are there that diversions of monies meant to prosecute the ongoing war. We cannot over emphasise the importance of proper equipping and military welfare.”

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From BBOG: Chibok girls may have been moved to other locations within Sambisa by TheCable

UPDATED: Buhari to embark on another 10-day vacation

President Muhammadu‎ Buhari has written to the senate informing it of his decision to proceed on a 10-day vacation.
‎In the letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday, the president said his vacation would begin on January 23 and end on February 6.

He said that while he is away, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would perform the functions of his office.
In February 2016, Buhari took his first vacation since assuming office as‎ president.
‎Osinbajo was the acting president at the time of his absence.

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From UPDATED: Buhari to embark on another 10-day vacation by TheCable

BREAKING: Another PDP senator joins APC

‎Nelson Effiong, a senator from Akwa Ibom south, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

‎Effiong announced his decision to leave the PDP on the floor of the senate on Thursday, citing the crisis in the party.

“Over the past one year this party has disintegrated; because of the crisis in the party, I have decided to resign from the PDP and join the APC,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Godswill Akpabio, senate minority leader, said Effiong had automatically lost his seat because he became a senator under the platform of the PDP.

‎He said the party would go to court challenge the continued state of the lawmaker in the senate.
In November 2016, Omoyele Omogunwa, a senator from Ondo south‎, had also defected from the PDP to the APC, citing the need to support Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor-elect of his state as the reason for his action.

Follow us on twitter @thecablengCopyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.

From BREAKING: Another PDP senator joins APC by TheCable

Marco van Basten: FIFA’s technical director reveals radical vision

Time penalties instead of yellow cards, no off-side rule and more substitutions: legendary ex-striker Marco van Basten, FIFA’s technical director, has a radical vision of football’s future.

“We must keep looking for ways to improve the game, to make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough,” the 52-year-old Dutchman told German magazine Sport Bild.
“There are lots of variations which need to be tested in the coming years.”

Van Basten, who became FIFA’s technical director last October, has a string of revolutionary suggestions, some of which he hopes could be in place for the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026 — and some of which would be hugely controversial.

He wants to see football copy rugby union, where only the captain can directly address the referee and a yellow card means a player is temporarily sent off.
“A yellow card (in football) against an opposing player doesn’t currently give the attacking team much,” said van Basten.

“One idea is to replace the yellow card with a time penalty of five or 10 minutes. That would frighten teams.
“It is hard to play 10 against 11, let alone with eight or nine. We’re also thinking about allowing more than three substitutions during games.

“Last month I met (Manchester City coach) Pep Guardiola, who asked, ‘Why aren’t six substitutions possible?'”
Van Basten also wants to introduce a “shoot-out” where a player has eight seconds to beat the goalkeeper — to replace extra time and traditional penalty kicks.
“Each team would have five attempts. The referee whistles, then the player runs at the goalkeeper from 25 metres out,” he said.

“The goalkeeper can’t leave his area and if he parries, it’s over. It would be spectacular for the spectators and more interesting for a player.
“In a penalty shoot-out, it is over for the taker in a second.”
Former AC Milan, Ajax and Netherlands goal machine van Basten is head of FIFA’s technical areas, ranging from football technology innovation to refereeing.

However, any of the far-reaching changes he wants would need to be ratified by the executive committee of world football’s governing body.

If he gets his way, he would dump the off-side rule.
“Football currently resembles handball where nine players, plus the goalkeeper, pack the penalty area and (the defence) is like a wall,” he said.

“They abolished the off-side rule in field hockey and there were no problems.”
If that is revolutionary, van Basten is also concerned at how some teams have become experts at slowing the game down in the dying stages when they are narrowly ahead.

“We’re discussing how to make the time more effective in the last 10 minutes,” he said, adding that he wants to see the number of competitive matches reduced to protect the game’s top stars.

From Marco van Basten: FIFA’s technical director reveals radical vision by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Italian Cup: Milinkovic, Immobile fire Lazio into Inter Cup quarter clash

Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic struck in the second half as stuttering Lazio overcame Genoa 4-2 on Wednesday to book an Italian Cup quarter-final with Inter Milan.

Lazio enjoyed a bright start at the Stadio Olimpico and were off the mark on 20 minutes when Filip Djordjevic sprung the offside trap to meet Felipe Anderson’s through ball and fire into the roof of the net.
Djordjevic’s first Lazio goal since April 2016 augured well for the hosts, but misfortune followed instead.
Cristiano Lombardi’s angled drive flashed across goal and Gil Patric hit the side netting.
When Lucas Orban pulled Djordjevic down from behind, the penalty was given but Anderson’s tame effort was easily parried by Genoa ‘keeper Eugenio Lamanna.

Although Goran Pandev’s drive at the other end inched wide of the top corner, Lazio doubled their lead 10 minutes later, Wesley Hoedt unleashing a bouncing drive from 30 yards out that beat Lukas Zima.
But Lazio were soon back to earth with a bump.

Mauricio Pinilla curled a superb shot past Lamanna and into the far top corner five minutes before half time and when Isaac Cofie’s drive took a deflection Pandev pounced on the loose ball to pull Genoa level.
Lazio almost fell victim to a Lucas Ocampos screamer that hit the upright shortly after the restart, but the hosts restored their lead in spectacular fashion.

Milinkovic-Savic had come off the bench to replace Lombardi on the hour and when a poor clearance fell kindly he controlled with his chest before volleying home from seven yards.
Pinilla came close to levelling with an overhead kick that was just off target.
But Lazio secured the points on the counter minutes later, Jordan Lukaku setting Immobile up for a fine finish on 75 minutes.

Earlier, Cesena forward Karim Laribi sent parent club Sassuolo crashing out of the competition with a late winner in a 2-1 upset that sent the second division side into the last eight.

Sassuolo were off to a flying start against the current Serie B strugglers when Lorenzo Pellegrini tapped home the rebound from Matteo Politano’s strike after just four minutes at the Mapei Stadium.
But their hopes of hanging on for the win were upset in three second-half minutes, Ciano beating Sassuolo ‘keeper Gianluca Pegolo from the spot nine minutes from the end and Laribi, who is on loan from Sassuolo, sweeping a dramatic winner past Pegolo.

Cesena will now meet either Roma or Sampdoria in the quarter-final after their tie at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Inter Milan edged into the quarters with a 98th minute, extra-time winner against Bologna (3-2).
Napoli will face Fiorentina in the quarter-finals, when Juventus host AC Milan, who have beaten the Cup holders twice already this season, in the league and in the Italian Super Cup final.

From Italian Cup: Milinkovic, Immobile fire Lazio into Inter Cup quarter clash by Pulse.ng (Sport)

AFCON 2017: Le Roy, Renard loom large over key Africa Cup of Nations clash

French coaches Herve Renard and Claude Le Roy loom large over the key Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash between Morocco and Togo in Oyem Friday.

Renard, a Cup of Nations winner with Zambia in 2012 and the Ivory Coast in 2015, was hired by Morocco last year and given a mandate to reach the semi-finals.

Right now, a last-four place must seem a long way off for the blond, bronzed 48-year-old former Paris rubbish collector who always wears a white shirt on matchdays.

Morocco could not translate possession into goals three days ago and a goalkeeping blunder by Munir Mohamedi gifted the Democratic Republic of Congo a 1-0 win.

That loss left the Moroccans pointless and bottom of a table headed by DR Congo with three points followed by title-holders the Ivory Coast and Togo with one apiece.

Veteran Le Roy is at the Cup of Nations a record ninth time and although he can boast of just one title — with Cameroon in 1988 — he has failed to reach the knockout phase only once.
Cameroon, Senegal, DR Congo, Ghana and Congo Brazzaville all benefited from the 68-year-old with a fondness for dark jackets and t-shirts.

Togo are the latest beneficiaries of wisdom gathered over three decades in Africa and they were never overawed when forcing a 0-0 draw with an Ivorian side that appeared much stronger on paper.
When Le Roy coached 2008 hosts and bronze medallists Ghana, his assistant was then unknown Renard. It prove a fruitful relationship for the younger Frenchman.

“He has given me so much in my life,” Renard said after the finals draw. “Not just about football, but how to evolve as a man.

“I would need a lot of time to speak about the good things that Claude has brought to my life.”
Le Roy was equally complimentary recently about the man he mentored and turned into the most sought-after coach in Africa with Morocco dumping ex-star Badou Zaki to hire Renard.
“Herve knows how to lead a group and likes his players,” said Le Roy.

“Liking your players and displaying a great sense of justice and understanding is the best way to work.”
For Renard and Le Roy the pre-match emphasis would have been on finishing as Morocco and Togo created few chances in their opening matches.

Morocco have failed to score in their last three competitive matches dating back to October and recently out-of-favour Youssef El Arabi might get a start.

Veteran Emmanuel Adebayor, clubless since leaving Crystal Palace last May, remains the main Togolese threat.
DR Congo, less favoured than the Ivory Coast and Morocco before the group kicked off, will seal a quarter-finals place if they defeat the defending champions in the first match of a double-header.
It is a repeat of a 2015 semi-final in Equatorial Guinea which the Ivorians won 3-1 before edging Ghana 9-8 on penalties after a goalless title decider to win the competition a second time.
Both teams would have preferred to play later as the late-afternoon heat had many Ivory Coast and Togo players wearing sweat-saturated shirts.

France-born Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer, who succeeded Renard, is demanding greater “intensity” from a side lacking several key 2015 winners.

Midfielder and captain Yaya Toure has retired from international football to concentrate on his career with Manchester City and China-based winger Gervinho is injured.
“There is no need for panic,” stressed Dussuyer after the Togo draw. “We have two matches left and two victories will assure us of a place in the knockout stage.”

From AFCON 2017: Le Roy, Renard loom large over key Africa Cup of Nations clash by Pulse.ng (Sport)

Made in Nigeria? The bags have it!

THE way things are going with the Nigerian economy, we will be looking up to other  sectors other than oil and gas to take us out of the doldrums. The agricultural sector – touted for so long to have this ability – has been dismally slow, while tourism has become impossible due to the state of infrastructure and security in the country.

Increasingly, not only is fashion being used as a vehicle for development and empowerment, it might be the one sector which continually holds the power to be that forex earner that will surely rival crude oil.
Of course there are all kinds of challenges; not least of all is the fact that finishing issues have remained persistent in that industry in general. Overall, however, Nigerian fashion bag designers appear not only to have surmounted this mountain, but also the markets. We feature five of the best internationals.

From Made in Nigeria? The bags have it! by Vanguard (News)

Pa Sandys Uvwoh assassinated, Itsekiri, Urhobo mourn

By Egufe Yafugborhi

WARRI—The murder of Pa Sandys Omadeli Uvwoh, community leader and hard line Delta State opinion leader, has thrown the Itsekiri and Urhobo nations into mourning.

Sandys, author and former Community Trust Chairman of oil rich Ugborodo community, Warri South-West Local Government Area, known for his fearless hard lines on community, Niger Delta and national issues, was allegedly strangled to death by unknown assassins at his 1, Akugbe Street home, Enerhen, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State.
Police Public Relations Officer, Delta Command, Andrew Aniamaka, who confirmed the incident said: “We have received report of the death of Pa Sandys Omadeli Uvwoh. He was allegedly murdered at about 5a.m., Tuesday, by masked men at his home.

“The DPO, Enerhen Division, is already leading a team investigating the matter before the Command gives a detailed report.”

The attack

Vanguard gathered that the septuagenarian, who would have clocked 77 by February 1, was “killed silently” without a gunshot in his room after they locked up the rest of his family members in a separate room.
A source said: “Some young men, numbering about 10, came in the morning, pretending to be family members from Ugborodo. They locked his children and wife up in a room, went to Papa’s room and killed him silently.
“There was no gun shot or injury on him. It is possible they injected him or strangled him to death. The incident has been reported at Enerhen Police Station and the state Police Command and police have started investigation.”

Reactions

Chief Edward Ekpoko, Torureju of Warri and Secretary, Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, viewed the development as very “very bad.”

He said: “I have not been myself since. Sandys was fearless, always fights for what he believes in, even if he has to stand alone. He is going to be missed not just by Ugborodo, but by the Itsekiri and Urhobo nations. Ugborodo will miss dearly.”

Austin Oborogbeyi, Chairman, Ugborodo EPZ Interface Committee, which the late Sandys was a member of, said: “I do not want to make any statement yet. The family is stressed.”

Chief Ayiri Emami, also a Warri Palace Chief, Ugborodo opinion leader and APC chieftain, said: “This is a very great loss to Ugborodo and the entire Itsekiri nation. Sandys was a father with so much love for us. I pray God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Chief Andrew Desi, famed foundation member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and community leader in Oginibo, Pa Sandys’ paternal roots in Ughelli South, said: “This is shocking and very devastating. He made more marks with his Itsekiri maternal roots.

“He came home (Oginibo) only recently and has been making remarkable impact in community affairs. He has been so selfless since coming to identify with his paternal roots. I don’t know how to relate this to people back home.”

From Pa Sandys Uvwoh assassinated, Itsekiri, Urhobo mourn by Vanguard (News)

Woman commits suicide over argument with husband

By Evelyn Usman

LAGOS—THE wife of a Naval Rating committed suicide over a misunderstanding with her husband at Igando area of Lagos State.

The deceased, Mrs Omojoye, reportedly left home on Sunday, saying she was going to church.
Apprehension set in when she did not return home. Her husband, Seaman Band Omojoye, reportedly went to the church, only to be told that his wife did not come to the church.
Efforts to reach her on her phone failed until yesterday, when she came home looking ruffled, saying she was kidnapped.

Neighbours said that her husband disbelieved her, insisting that she was lying. It was learned that an argument ensued, during which she was said to have gone inside their room and swallowed insecticide.
Apparently thinking she was pretending to be sleeping, her husband ignored her, only to discover later that she was motionless.

When contacted, the Western Naval Command Information Officer, Lieutenant Commander Chinwe Umar, said the Rating was in police custody, adding that investigations were ongoing.

Her Lagos State Police Command counterpart, Dolapo Badmus, also confirmed the incident, but could not give further details.

Dolapo said: “I don’t have much information on it, but I can tell you that investigation is ongoing.”

From Woman commits suicide over argument with husband by Vanguard (News)

FG will NOT increase pump price of petrol, says NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advised Nigerians not to engage in any panic buying of petroleum products.

Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman of the corporation, issued a statement late Wednesday to dismiss the report of a likely increase in the price of the products.

He said the corporation had a 1.3billion litres stock of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 38 days.
“This plea comes on the heels of reports that some motorists have begun panic buying of petrol, following rumours that the government is about to increase the pump price of the white product from N145 per litre,” the statement read.

“NNPC wishes to assure Nigerians that there is no iota of truth in the rumour that government is scheduled to adjust pump price of petrol.

“Indeed, with the resumption of production by the Corporation’s three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri, complemented by imports, there is enough stock of PMS, automotive gas oil (AGO), diesel and kerosene.”
Ughamadu said Anibor Kragha, NNPC’s chief operating officer of the refineries, explained the state of refineries to lawmakers when he appeared before the senate on Wednesday.

“Mr. Anibor Kragha briefed the senate committee on petroleum downstream in a presentation on the current status of the refineries at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja,” he said.

“In the presentation, Kragha told the legislators that the nation’s three refineries produced additional volumes of 4.6 million litres of kerosene and 7.7 million litres of diesel, in addition to millions of litres of petrol being refined daily at the nation’s refineries.

“The assurances of availability of stock by the NNPC Chief Operation Officer of the Refineries yesterday still stand.”

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From FG will NOT increase pump price of petrol, says NNPC by TheCable