Monday, 20 November 2017
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News & Stories (1602)

Gunmen early hours of Sunday broke into the residence of the Principal Special Assistant on Knowledge Economy and Investments to Benue State Governor, Dr Tavershima Adyorororough and killed him.

According to sources, the unknown gunmen around 12.30am on Sunday stormed his residence at Nyinma layout in Makurdi, Benue state capital where they shot at the man and his wife.

The deceased and family were said to have retired to bed when the assailants invaded the house and shot him dead while his wife was rushed to an undisclosed hospital where she is receiving treatment.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom has demanded for the arrest and prosecution of the killer of his aide.

In a press statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase and made available to our correspondent on Sunday, confirmed that Dr Adyororough was shot and killed by gunmen who invaded his residence.

Governor Ortom described the killing as unacceptable and condemnable, requesting security agencies to swing into action immediately so as to arrest those responsible for the dastardly act.

He described the deceased as a competent and dependable aide who delivered on assignments with dedication and honesty.

He sympathized with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of the state on the loss and pledges that he would support security agencies in apprehending the culprits.

He urged those with useful information that can lead to the arrest to make same available.

It will be recalled that the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on security matters was gruesomely murdered in 2016 at his residence along Mobile Barracks, Makurdi.

Efforts to get the reaction of police are not successful as Benue command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moses Yamu did not pick the call put across to his line.

Posted On Sunday, 20 August 2017 11:53 Written by

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the return of the country’s president from a months-long medical vacation in London is symbolic for the West African country’s economy.

“The recovery of Mr President, in some senses, is symbolic of the recovery of Nigeria,” Osinbajo said on Saturday.

The president left Nigeria on May 7 for London for the second round of treatment for an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the most populous African country. 

His absence in Nigeria since May 7 has birthed rounds of protests and calls for him to resume or resign. There is also a growing level of disenchantment with his government which came to power in May 2015 on the wings of promises to reposition the country by fighting corruption, improving security and remodelling the economy.

While appreciable progress has been recorded in the fight against insurgency in northeast Nigeria and corruption, the country’s economy is in the throes of a stubborn recession that has led to the death of many businesses while inflation continues to journey upwards.

But Osinbajo, who stood in for recuperating Buhari, insisted that the country’s economy would rebound, noting that the government is working to “ensure economic recovery.”

“Our country is on the right path,” Osinbajo said, adding that “we are going to make it as a nation.”

Posted On Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:24 Written by

ABOUT six persons were said to have been feared dead when pro-President Muhammadu Buhari attacked a group known as Our Mumu Don Do led by Charles Oputa, popularly referred to as Charley Boy.

The incident, according to an eyewitness, happened when Charley Boy was about leading other protesters with various placards to Wuse Market in Abuja, on Tuesday, as continuation of their protest calling President Buhari to either resume and continue from where he stopped or resign if his health condition could not cope anymore.

It will be recalled that the protesters under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organisation began their protest penultimate Monday in Abuja, against the long vacation of President Buhari in London hospital.

Investigations by the Tribune Online however revealed that their decision to stage a protest inside the market, on Tuesday, was rebuffed vehemently by pro-Buhari who had earlier warned the former to go back to Unity Fountain, Maitaima to continue their protest.

Eyewitnesses further stated that one of the executive members of the Wuse Market Association came out to persuade Charley Boy and other protesters to leave with a view to allowing peace to reign, having realised that the youths within the market have been mobilising themselves.

According to one of the witnesses, “the chairman of the market came out to persuade him to go but he insisted that he will protest inside the market and as they were arguing, the pro-Buhari descended on him and his members, destroying his BMW sport car with woods and stones.”

Conflicting reports however said about six persons were feared dead from both parties, while others said four people were killed as different weapons were freely used before the arrival of combined security operatives.

Unformed report further said Charley Boy and four others who sustained serious injuries have been rushed to undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

The market has since been closed down to forestall escalation of the civil unrest.

Posted On Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:31 Written by

Official photos from the presentation ceremony of Ambassador Lilian Onoh at State House Namibia.

Lilian Onoh 1

Lilian Onoh 6

Lilian Onoh 5

Lilian Onoh 4

Lilian Onoh 3

Lilian Onoh 2

Lilian Onoh 1

Courtesy: Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu Facebook page

Posted On Saturday, 12 August 2017 23:01 Written by

Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Thursday returned from London, United Kingdom almost one month after joining her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been receiving medical attention in the British capital since May 7.

Mrs. Buhari, who left the country on July 2 had a stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before continuing her journey to London on July 4.

The Director of Information to the Wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna, confirmed on Thursday that the President’s wife returned to the country in the early hours of Thursday.

Haruna added that Mrs. Buhari landed in Abuja and thereafter proceeded to Owerri, the Imo State capital, where she attended the annual August Meeting organised by the wife of the state governor.

“Yes. I can confirm that Her Excellency is back. She returned to the country this morning and proceeded to Owerri for a function organised by the state governor’s wife,” he said.

The July 4 trip was the second time Mrs. Buhari visited her ailing husband since he embarked on his second medical vacation of the year.

Haruna had announced the trip in a statement made available to journalists on July 2.

The statement read, “Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, left for London, United Kingdom on Sunday, July 2, 2017, to visit her husband who is on medical vacation.

“She will convey to the President the best wishes of Nigerians and their fervent prayers for his quick recovery.

“She is expected to stop over at Addis Ababa, to make a symbolic appearance at the meeting of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS on Monday, July 3, 2017.

“She will join other members to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the organisation, and use the opportunity to reiterate the voting rights of Nigeria in the upcoming elections of the organisation.

“She will continue her journey to the United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.”

The first time Mrs. Buhari travelled to meet her husband was on May 30.

She returned to the country in the early hours of June 6 after spending one week in London.

The President’s wife, on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja conveyed the President’s appreciation to Nigerians for their constant prayers.

She said Buhari would soon return to join Nigerians as, according to her, he was recuperating fast.

Mrs. Buhari had also called on Nigerians to continue to be strong in the face of challenges and to support the Federal Government in implementing the agenda for which the present administration was elected.

“Mr. President thanked the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for his loyalty and called on Nigerians to continue to support the acting President in his effort to actualise the mandate of the All Progressives Congress,” Mrs. Buhari was further quoted as saying on her arrival during the first trip.

Posted On Friday, 04 August 2017 03:02 Written by

 

People walk on a flooded road at Okokomaiko in Ojo district of Lagos, on May 31, 2017.Image copyrightAFP
Torrential rainfall left many homes, shops and roads flooded in Lagos

Nigerians are facing at least three months of battling against heavy rains that could lead to deadly, destructive flooding.

At the beginning of July, the government warned that 30 of the country's 36 states could be at risk.

Already, 16 states, including the commercial hub Lagos, have been badly affected.

Five years ago, the worst flooding in more than 40 years in Nigeria claimed 431 lives and displaced nearly two million people, according to the country's National Emergency Management Agency (Nema).

BBC Africa's Ishaq Khalid explores the causes and what needs to be done to protect Nigerians from the scourge of floods every year.

How bad is this year's flooding?

The rainy season usually runs from July to September in Nigeria and every year it poses the threat of devastation and destruction across the country, claiming lives and destroying property.

So far this year, several people have been killed across the country and hundreds of residential buildings, cars and other vehicles have been destroyed or submerged under water.

Car in flood
Vehicles are often submerged or swept away by floods

Thirty-seven-year-old tea seller Sa'adu Abubakar, lost his six children and two wives when water poured into their apartment in the city of Suleja, just north of the capital, Abuja.

"I held two of the children but I could not withstand the force of the water. The children slipped out of my hands," he told the BBC's Hausa Service.

"I was just desperately praying to Allah at that moment. When the day broke, we found my family's dead bodies a short distance from our home."

A Flooded street
Fast flowing floodwaters have battered the streets of the central city of Suleja

Another resident of Suleja told the BBC: "The rain started at 23:30 at night, we heard a loud 'boom'. Before I knew it, I was up to my neck in water.

"We couldn't salvage anything... we have to save our lives. My house was well built but the water brought it down.

"We need help. I haven't been able to cook food since yesterday and I'm living on the goodwill of other people."

The tragedy in Suleja has once again highlighted the magnitude of the devastation caused by floods in Nigeria. Yet despite the yearly loss of lives and property, it seems that so far the country has not taken many concrete measures to tackle the disasters.

Which areas are worst affected?

Niger state in the north of the country has the highest number of casualties so far. Officials have confirmed that 15 people have died and many more injured. Other badly affected states are mostly in the south, near to the River Niger. Lagos has also been badly hit.

A taxi motocyclist rides on a flooded road at Okokomaiko in Ojo district of Lagos, on May 31, 2017.Image copyrightAFP
Torrential rainfall left many homes, shops and roads flooded in Lagos

Why is the flooding so bad?

The frequency of the flooding differs across the regions, but the height of the rainy season tends to be from July to September, and it is often a time of anxiety for many communities living in flood-prone areas.

Heavy rains, combined with poor drainage systems and blocked waterways cause rainwater to flow through commercial and residential dwellings.

Town planning expert Aliyu Salisu Barau told the BBC that Nigerian authorities and ordinary citizens are ill-prepared for such disasters.

"Tackling persistent flooding requires long-term planning," he said.

"In most cases the authorities do not make provision to clear drainage systems until it is already rainy season," Mr Barau added.

A sandal vendor pushes his cart through the flooded streets of Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria on July 5, 2017.Image copyrightAFP
Poor road drainage can cause flooding

Nigeria's swelling population could make matters worse.

Its currently home to 180 million people, and a recent UN report estimates that Nigeria will become the third most populous nation in the world by 2050, overtaking the United States.

This could put pressure on land as the need for more housing rises. But it is the lack of proper town planning and the authorities' inability to accommodate these changes which causes most alarm.

Some residents dump rubbish and waste in the streets, putting extra strain on the few existing urban drainage systems and preventing the steady flow of rainwater.

What about dams?

Nigeria's many dams are also seen to be part of the problem.

Used for irrigation and fish-farming activities, some are located close to towns and villages. But observers say these useful water reservoirs are poorly maintained and during the rainy season they can sometimes burst, releasing torrents of water into nearby communities.

This picture taken on August 27, 2011 shows floodwaters coursing through Ibadan, Odo Ona, in Oyo State.Image copyrightAFP
More than 100 people were killed when a dam burst in torrential rain in Oyo State in 2011

The Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroon, which is on the Benue river that runs through Nigeria, also poses a danger of heavy flooding in Nigeria when the Cameroonian authorities decide to release the dam's excess water.

To add to the problem, the Nigerian authorities have very few arrangements for evacuating endangered communities - even in the face of imminent flood risks. And when warnings are issued they are rarely heeded by the least well off locals.

What should Nigeria do?

Analysts say something concrete must be done to prevent the high death tolls seen in recent years.

Destruction to property can be reduced by introducing effective town planning, respecting construction rules and regulations, and rooting out corruption in the building certification process.

House damaged by torrential rains
Flooding and heavy rains can destroy peoples' homes

The number of fatalities and the impact on communities could be reduced if the authorities prepared themselves to forcibly evacuate those who are at imminent risk.

Raising public awareness and encouraging people to become more aware of their urban environment are also key.

Unless these practical measures are taken, experts say, floods will continue to destroy lives and property.

Posted On Monday, 31 July 2017 01:11 Written by

It's a stretch to claim spending upwards of £40 million on 28-year-old Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic represents great value for Manchester United but you can't put a price on keeping manager Jose Mourinho happy.

Often the embodiment of the phrase "face like a wet weekend" during his fraught-but-ultimately-successful first season at United, Mourinho has kept up his complaining throughout the summer, moaning that the club have not gotten all of his desired deals over the line. 

There were even reports Mourinho was at odds with the Glazer family over slow progress in the market. Hours after such claims surfaced, United have seemingly made a breakthrough. Go figure.

Matic's arrival would placate Mourinho, who is set to be reunited with a player he trusts. Such players tend to thrive in an environment where they have the faith of those in charge, as evidenced by Matic's success enjoyed under the Portuguese, winning the Premier League title with him in 2014-15.

Securing one of the cogs in Chelsea's past two title triumphs, and in a position where United desperately need quality, means a summer that threatened to turn into a damp squib can now be partly salvaged. It seems ludicrous to say United still need to make significant improvements to their squad after spending nearly £600 million since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but that is the reality of the situation.

While it's heresy to criticise the greatest football manager of all time, it's fair to say midfield -- specifically centrally -- seemed to be an afterthought towards the end of his 27 years in charge. Marouane Fellaini was the first central midfielder to arrive at Old Trafford in six seasons when he joined under David Moyes in 2013. The last was Owen Hargreaves in 2007-08.

Matic, therefore, would be an important signing. His arrival will, in theory, unshackle Paul Pogba from the defensive burden he had to endure last season and also push midfield terrier Ander Herrera further forward when needed. Having an anchor in front of the back four will protect a defence that performed well in 2016-17 -- only Tottenham conceded fewer in the league -- and it should improve the attack, too.

Matic was the "1" in a 4-1-3-2 at Benfica, although he sometimes had a midfield partner in a 4-2-3-1 before he returned to Chelsea in January 2014, winning two league titles -- the latter of which included forging a strong understanding with N'Golo Kante in Antonio Conte's now-fabled 3-4-3.

Kante is arguably the best in the world at what he does, but there's an increasingly irritating affliction whereby fans and critics have to compare anyone and everything to the Frenchman. Speak to some Chelsea fans and they'll say Kante put Matic in the shade last season. Elsewhere, he's compared favourably to Pogba when the pair fulfill completely different functions.

At United, while a combination of Matic and Michael Carrick doesn't scream pace, it certainly has poise, and you can imagine Mourinho deploying the pair together in tougher assignments. Mourinho's default setting is control, and having two solid members of his XI acting as a screen and allowing the more exuberant components like Pogba the chance to do damage further forward seems like a sensible move.

Nemanja Matic is set to be reunited with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

At 6-foot-4, Matic would also be the latest recruit in Old Trafford's land of the giants. David De Gea, Eric Bailly, Pogba, Matic and Romelu Lukaku represent a fearsome spine. Yes, this is football and not the NBA, but height and power are nevertheless useful commodities, and Matic is hardly a Marouane Fellaini-style battering ram, either. The Serbia international has a good touch, an impressive range of passing and a ferocious shot. Can you imagine Fellaini even attempting this or this, never mind actually pulling it off?

A midfield masterclass at Manchester City in February 2014, where Yaya Toure was completely surpassed as Mourinho locked down a superb 1-0 win, highlights what Matic can do. Cynics will chime "that was three years ago," but Matic played 35 league matches in 2016-17 and was one of the reasons why Chelsea won the title. These are his peak years, and all being well, he should be able to provide three to four seasons of high-demand service.

United have become predictable going forward, a blight that crept in during Ferguson's final years in charge, and Fellaini's arrival exacerbated the problem. While not entirely to blame for the club's attacking malaise, it has been galling to see United hit long balls for him to chest down or flick on as they chase a goal. It's primitive, but with Matic's arrival, Fellaini is on borrowed time and could be on his way out of the club with reports of interest from Galatasaray.

Matic has been Mourinho's trusted lieutenant in the past and, if United can complete the deal, will play an important role in Manchester United's future.

Posted On Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:57 Written by

Ligue 2 side Valenciennes are keen to add another attacker to their ranks after signing South African forward Lebo Mothiba, and are monitoring Simon Diedhiou and Jerson Cabral.

Faruk Hadzibegic's side began their campaign with a 1-1 home draw against Gazelec Ajaccio on Friday evening, and the Bosnian coach is keen for more firepower before the window closes.

He's already added Mothiba on loan from LOSC Lille, although the South Africa U-23 international is unproven in the second tier.

 

According to French source La Voix du Nord, Hadzigebic has set his sights on Diedhiou and Cabral after identifying them as potential solutions.

26-year-old Senegalese frontman Diedhiou has returned to KAA Gent after a loan spell at Mouscron, but does not appear to be in coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck's plans.

Cape Verdean Cabral - who played for the Netherlands at youth level - returns to relegated Bastia after a spell on loan at Sparta Rotterdam, but is unlikely to be retained following the Corsican club's drop to the third tier.

Another striking option for VAFC is Franco-Moroccan frontman Medhy Guezoui, who scored the equaliser in Friday's draw.

Posted On Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:55 Written by

Manchester United are on the verge of completing a deal for Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, after agreeing a fee in the region of £40 million, sources have told ESPN FC.

The club are hoping to announce a deal for the Serbia midfielder in the coming days and he could make his debut against Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday or in the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid next week.

A leaked picture on Twitter allegedly showed Matic already wearing a United training top. Sources told ESPN FC that he underwent a medical at Carrington on Sunday and United should be able to announce the deal in the next 24 hours once the final details are completed.

The 28-year-old will become Jose Mourinho's third signing of the summer after the arrivals of Victor Lindelof from Benfica and Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to add more players to his squad before the end of the transfer window and, after Matic's arrival, he is set to target one final addition.

Croatia winger Ivan Perisic remains a target although Inter Milan are refusing to budge on their valuation of £48.5m and United have so far resisted attempts from Inter to take Anthony Martial on loan as a makeweight.

Mourinho had targeted Eric Dier to fill the holding midfield role at United next season. However, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has refused to negotiate the sale of the England international and Mourinho turned his attention to Matic.

Matic was a regular at Chelsea under manager Antonio Conte last season, but his place has come under pressure after the £40m arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Chelsea had been keen to sell Matic to Juventus, but after the Serie A side withdrew their interest, the Premier League champions were forced to accept United's offer.

Mourinho knows Matic well from their time together at Stamford Bridge; he was part of Chelsea's title-winning team in 2014-15 after Mourinho sanctioned his return to the club from Benfica in January 2014.

Posted On Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:52 Written by

Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has advised Portugal teammate Renato Sanches to join bitter rivals AC Milan from Bayern Munich this summer, the former Sporting man told reporters on Sunday.

Inter defeated Bayern 2-0 in a July 27 friendly at Singapore's national stadium, and afterward Joao Mario told Gazzetta dello Sport he gave some advice to the 19-year-old ex-Benfica man who is reportedly nearing a loan move to the Rossoneri.

"We talked on Thursday, after the game," Joao Mario said. "He is young and he wants to play, I understand that.

 

"I told him that if he goes to AC Milan he'd join a big club and I'd have one more friend in Milan."

While Inter won all three of their International Champions Cup games in Asia this summer, the Portugal international cautioned that any talk of a Serie A title for Luciano Spalletti's side is premature at this point.

Renato Sanches is reportedly nearing a loan move to AC Milan from Bayern Munich this summer

"It makes no sense to talk about the Serie A title," he said. "Juventus are the favourite team, followed by Roma and Napoli.

"They've been together for the last few years and they know each other very well. Then there is AC Milan. We want to win the Coppa Italia and qualify for the Champions League. A team like Inter must play in the Champions League every year."

An attacking midfielder, the 24-year-old scored just three goals in 33 games over all competitions last season.

He's pointed to Roma dynamo Radja Nainggolan and Napoli captain Marek Hamsik as examples to follow for the upcoming campaign.

"Nainggolan and Hamsik are my role models," he said. "They create many goal chances, they score lot of goals and I have to improve in front of goal.

"I hope I will go the extra mile with Spalletti, many midfielders have really improved after working with him, I hope the same will happen with me."

Posted On Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:48 Written by
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