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MASSOB, BIM clash over Biafra Day

The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has disassociated itself from the Biafra Independence Movement (BIM)’s celebration of 51st anniversary of Biafra on May 22, 2018.

In a statement signed by its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, MASSOB insisted that May 30 is the Biafra Day Anniversary, late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu approved.

Madu said it “will never change the ordinances of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the leader of Biafra nation. Ojukwu declared the Republic of Biafra with the total consent and full support of the elders and the people of Biafra on May 30, 1967.

“MASSOB has no intention or plan to observe our motherland anniversary celebration on any other date except on May 30th because it is sacred to the history and lives of Biafra Republic.

“The ordinances of our great leader, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu must be jealously and eloquently adhered to. Any attempt to change it by disgruntled persons will be strictly resisted.

“Though MASSOB understands that the leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, led by Ralph Uwazuruike was erroneously quoted as MASSOB, planning to observe Biafra Day on May 22nd instead of May 30th, this is deceiving, distorting and taunting of the sacred name of Biafra and an astute disobedience to the ordinances of our great leader, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

“Any celebration on May 22nd is not Biafra Day Anniversary but memorial of hoisting of Biafra flag at Faulks road, Aba on May 22, 2000 by Chief Uwazuruike which is now 18 years.”

 

 

Source: Daily Post

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Tutu laments the loss of De Lille to the City of Cape Town

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has defended former DA member Patricia de Lille’s role as a “unifier in society”.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, Tutu said: “Leah and I are very sad that Patricia De Lille’s services will be lost to the City of Cape Town. Although she represented a particular political party, she played an important role as a unifier in a society still bearing the scars of its divided past.”

The Democratic Alliance confirmed the cessation of De Lille’s membership from the party on Tuesday.

James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, made the announcement at a media briefing in Cape Town.

The DA charged De Lille with misconduct earlier this year, following various claims.

The embattled mayor survived a motion of no confidence in her in February, but in an internal motion of no confidence against her in April, the party voted to recall her as mayor.

The DA cited clause 3.5.1.2 in its constitution, which says that if a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign, then their membership ceases immediately.

De Lille said she will be challenging the matter in court in a bid to clear her name.

 

 

Source: News24

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DA kicks Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille's out of party

The Democratic Alliance has confirmed the cessation of Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille’s membership from the party.

James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, made the announcement at a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The DA charged De Lille with misconduct earlier this year, following various claims.

The embattled mayor survived a motion of no confidence in her in February, but in an internal motion of no confidence against her in April, the party voted to recall her as mayor.

The DA cited clause 3.5.1.2 in its constitution, that says if a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign, then their membership ceases immediately.

DA federal council deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone and Selfe said De Lille did just that on a Radio 702 interview with Eusebius McKaiser on April 26.

After being grilled by McKaiser, De Lille reportedly said she would “walk away from the party”, once she had cleared her name.

She also reportedly said that she no longer wanted to be part of the DA, as “the writing’s on the wall” that people didn’t want her to be there.

“Accordingly, the federal executive resolved last night to endorse the finding of the (party’s) federal legal commission that her membership had ceased as of April 26, the date of the 702 interview.

“We have informed Ms De Lille and City manager of this fact.”

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson would take over as acting mayor immediately and a new mayor would be elected “as soon as possible”.

Council has 14 days to elect a new mayor, according to the Municipal Structures Act.

De Lille, meanwhile, is poised to address the media at 11:00, following the party’s announcement.

 

 

Source: News24

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Obasanjo Says ‘My Mind Is Made Up About Kicking Buhari Out In 2019’

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has denied the allegation that he is supporting the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a press statement by his media aide Mr Kehinde Akinyemi on Wednesday in Ogun State, he described the report as malicious and unfounded.

He also denied the claim that Obasanjo met with some leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday at his house in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Akinyemi said his boss was neither in Abuja on May 1 nor does he own a house in the Federal Capital Territory, as he usually stays in a guest house or hotel anytime he visits.

The media aide maintained that the position of the former president remains unchanged as stated in a statement he issued on the state of the nation in January.

According to him, Nigerians know that Obasanjo has only spoken the truth about poverty and would continue to exercise his right to free speech.

Also Read: ‘Nepotism, Poor Economic Management’ – 6 Key Points From Obasanjo’s ‘Letter Bomb’ To Buhari
The statement read: “In this desperation, everything is fair, including telling libellous lies against persons and institutions, instead of addressing the fundamental issues of statecraft and economic management.
“In the last 24 hours, the internet has been bombarded with deliberate falsehoods aimed at hoodwinking the unsuspecting Nigerians to believe that Obasanjo has now supported Buhari for his second term because of some perceived Buhari’s ‘superlative’ performance in his encounter with (U.S. President Donald) Trump during his visit to the White House in Washington D. C.

“From the Buhari/Trump meeting, Chief Obasanjo only saw through three points: One, the US will continue to reduce purchase of crude oil from Nigeria and there is nothing Nigeria under Buhari can do about; two, the US will export agricultural products to Nigeria and Buhari’s government will encourage that; and three – all the killings taking place in Nigeria by herdsmen are being done by expatriates trained by Gadaffi and no Nigerian is to blame and Buhari cannot do anything to stop it.

“For whatever the meeting was worth, President Buhari again bungled another opportunity to self-redeem. Therefore, Chief Obasanjo is more convinced in his statement of January 23rd and will not change his position.

“Chief Obasanjo understands that the internet has good and bad uses. Those abusing the media should desist from this barbaric act as it will only expose them to greater ridicule at the end of the day. Obasanjo will continue to speak out.”

 

Source: Nigerian Monitor

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Ngozi Okonjo Mention those who planned to destroy her for fighting corruption

Erstwhile Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has revealed how oil importers and marketers wanted confine her to a wheelchair.

She also alleged that the marketers wanted to force her out of office during the time she served under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Okonjo-Iweala said that a friend to one of her brothers attended a meeting where the discussion held.

She said the friend advised her brother that security should be beefed up around her.

The former Minister said this in her new book entitled, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines.’

She said, “My mother’s ordeal was not the end of frightening events that occurred in late 2012 and early 2013.

“A few months after my mother’s escape, I had just wrapped up a meeting late one afternoon when my cellphone rang. It was again my brother, Onyeama.

“My first thought was that something else had gone wrong in the family. He frantically asked me, ‘where are you, where are you?’

“I was surprised and I said I was in my office. He said I needed to immediately seek additional security and I must vary my route for travel.

“I asked what was wrong and my brother told me a very strange story. One of my brother’s old friend had just called him to say he had just left a secret meeting where the subject was to inflict maximum physical damage on me, just short of killing me.

“The agreement reached in this meeting was to attack me in a way that I would end up paralysed and bound to a wheelchair and forced to leave the Finance ministry.

“The meeting was held by a group of oil importers and marketers to whom the Federal Government ‘owed money’. It was held in the house of the chair and owner of one of the oil marketing companies.

‘’They were angry I was withholding the subsidy payments that they thought were owed them for their refined petroleum imports.

“My brother’s friend participated in this meeting but felt what was being planned was unjust and cruel and I did not deserve it.”

Source: Daily Post

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Steven Gerrard Says Messi? Ronaldo? Salah is world's best player

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is the world’s best player.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is the best player in the world right now, according to club great Steven Gerrard.

Salah produced yet another irresistible display to guide Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 5-2 win over Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

The Egypt international scored a first-half brace and set up goals for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino after the interval at Anfield.

Gerrard believes Salah, who has netted 43 goals this season, is currently better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He’s in the form of his life,” he said on BT Sport.

“It’s difficult to compare him to your Ronaldos and Messis because they’ve done it for so long and they’ve been consistent year in, year out.

“But without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best player on the planet right now.”

A late lapse saw Liverpool concede two goals, leaving Roma with hope heading into next week’s second leg.

 

 

 

Source: Fourfourtwo.com

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Immigration Officials Arrest Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye

Men of the Nigeria Immigration Service have arrested the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye.

Senator Melaye was on Monday arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja on his way to Morocco.

His arrest may not be unconnected to his refusal to report at the Force Headquarters in Kogi for questioning.

Melaye took to Twitter to announce his arrest.

“I have just been arrested at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport on my way to Morocco for an official engagement sponsored by the Federal Govt after checking in,” he said on Twitter.

Neither the service nor the police had yet to confirm the arrest.

The police had on May 3, warned the Senator to appear in court ahead of his arraignment on May 10, 2018.

He was arraigned on a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms already filed before a Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State.

However, the lawmaker failed to honour the invitation and a court summon issued him by the Force on March 24.

According to the police, the Senator is wanted on grounds of criminal offences of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms.

Melaye’s summon follows the arrest of two men in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, on January 19, after they confessed to having committed various crimes such as kidnappings and armed robbery.

They also disclosed that the Senator had handed them a bag containing firearms.

The police while parading Kabiru Seidu and five other suspects who escaped from a detention facility in Lokoja, said it is in the interest of Senator Melaye to voluntarily report to the Police in order to forestall the execution of an arrest warrant issued against him.

Mr Moshood explains that the suspects whose confession indicted Senator Melaye and Mohammed Audu as sponsors of thuggery in Kogi will be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lokoja on May 10, 2018.

 

 

 

Source: channelstv

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Biafra Protesters Demand Nnamdi Kanu’s Release At Buhari’s Meeting With Queen Of England

Biafra Protesters Storm Commonwealth Meeting In UK

Some Biafran protesters are presently demonstrating at the Pall Mall Street, Westminster, about 650 metres from Buckingham Palace as President Muhammadu Buhari meet British Prime minister Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth II, and other heads of state.

Naija News learnt that the protesters among other things, are requesting the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and a referendum on the state of Biafra.

As the protest is ongoing, the President and other heads of states are currently being received by Theresa May, the British PM and Patricia Scotland, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, at the official opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018).

Biafra Protesters Demand Nnamdi Kanu’s Release At Buhari’s Meeting With Queen Of England

 

 

Source: Naija News

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Atiku Abubakar Says “I Will Never Refer To Nigerian Youth As People Who Sit And Do Nothing,”

Atiku Abubakar, the former vice-president, says he will never say Nigerian youth are lazy reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari said at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster.

On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, while speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, said many Nigerian youth just want to sit down and do nothing.

He said a lot of Nigerian youth have not been to school but they want everything for free.

Reacting in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday, Atiku described Nigerian youth as hardworking.

The former vice-president said the country’s youth are its greatest assets.

“I will never refer to Nigeria’s youth as people who sit and do nothing. They are hardworking. I should know, I have thousands of youths working for me all over the country who have been the backbone of our success,” the statement read.

“‬I’ve always said oil is not Nigeria’s greatest asset. Our greatest asset is our youth‬ who created Nollywood out of nothing and an entertainment industry that is second to none in Africa.

 

 

Source: Nigerian Monitor

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President Cyril Ramaphosa to 'lend a hand' in Mahikeng

President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken his own call to “lend a hand” and “send me” by convening an urgent meeting on Friday over protests in Mahikeng.

On Thursday evening, he announced he was cutting his visit to the UK short to intervene, bringing to mind the Hugh Masekela song he quoted during his inaugural State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

Ramaphosa had been participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London where he led a government delegation.

READ: Ramaphosa cuts short UK visit to resolve Mahikeng chaos

The meeting at 12:00 on Friday will be convened with structures of the African National Congress, the party’s leagues, alliance members and the ANC caucus in the North West.

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and ANC national executive committee members.

Violence broke out in Mahikeng on Wednesday night when protesters took to the streets to call for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Vehicles were also set alight.

Call for calm, restraint

Protests against Mahumapelo brought the town to a standstill on Thursday as burning tyres and rocks were used to barricade the road.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Adele Myburgh said 16 people had been arrested since the protests started.

Her colleague, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, said a man was shot dead during a high-speed chase with police in Mahikeng on Thursday but that it was not linked to the unrest.

He said the chase followed a robbery at one of the hotels in town.

Ramaphosa has called for calm and asked all aggrieved parties to “express their grievances through peaceful means and engagement rather than violence and anarchy”.

He also called on law enforcement agencies to exercise maximum restraint in executing their duties to return calm and normality to the province.

Source: News24

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Did Nigerians truly ‘clamour’ for Buhari’s return?

Although people had speculated widely that President Muhammadu Buhari through his body language,

would seek re-election in 2019, the President had kept mute on the matter till the early hours of Monday, April 9, 2018 when he reportedly made known his intention to seek re-election at the National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress. There is nothing wrong, I dare say, with the President’s declaration as it is his constitutional right to do so. What I find repugnant to my feeling, however, is his claim that he is seeking re-election because of the clamour of Nigerians for him to return.

I want to challenge the handlers of Mr. President to engage in an opinion poll in order to substantiate this claim they made to their principal. I am directing this challenge to the aides to President Buhari because I am confident that they are the ones who misled him with the purported clamour by Nigerians. The President wouldn’t have been able to know whether or not Nigerians were clamouring for his return if his trusted aides hadn’t told him so.

On what basis were Nigerians clamouring for the return of President Buhari? Was it on the basis of the untruth he told during his inaugural speech when he declared, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”? Although this statement was greatly applauded, and raised the hopes of Nigerians, it wasn’t too far into his administration that it dawned on Nigerians that the President was economical with the truth. We have witnessed a high level of nepotism and ethnocentricity from the Buhari government, ranging from his appointments to his responses to the “ethnic cleansing” being carried out by Fulani herdsmen across the nation, according to Lt Gen TY Danjuma. Are we still wondering why the Independent Peoples of Biafra was proscribed, while Benue people are advised to accommodate their “brothers” – armed herdsmen who kill their people with impunity almost on a daily basis?

Are Nigerians clamouring for the return of President Buhari based on the economic hardship his administration has brought upon our dear nation? Bill Gates recently bared the truth about our economy before our President; has anything been done since then? We don’t need a Bill Gates to tell us that our economy is in trouble. The untold hardship in the land is enough to prove to us that another four-year term of this government will be a nightmare.

I am not unaware that the vocal supporters of Mr. President would start shouting that he is fighting corruption. Well, if that is the basis upon which Nigerians are clamouring for his re-election, I think it is all a hoax. What shall we say about “Mainagate”? How about President Buhari’s dead appointees as federal board members and chairmen? Has anyone been able to tell us how many people have been convicted since the President began to fight corruption?

The primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and property of the citizens. If we wouldn’t deceive ourselves, the Buhari-led administration has woefully failed in this regard. How would Nigerians clamour for the return of a government that does not place much premium on the lives of Nigerians who have been under siege of sorts from herdsmen attacks in recent months? How would we want the return of a government whose “body language” appears to encourage the slaughter of other citizens without caution, from Taraba to Benue, Adamawa to Asaba? How would we want to allow someone who is not really in charge of his government to return to governance? What does a man who prefers to attend wedding parties rather than visit and condole with victims of herdsmen killings have to offer us again?

We can go on and on.

Truth be told, those clamouring for the return of Mr. President are his “sacred cows” – those who enjoy his protection because of their closeness to him.

If the Buhari-led government has achieved anything tangible that would make the President deserve a second term, let his handlers educate us on such things and show us how their “paperworks” have translated to the comfort of the average Nigerian.

It is obvious from the reactions of Nigerians to the tweet that informed us of President Buhari’s intention to seek re-election that Nigerians do not want him again! If President Buhari never returned to rule us as a civilian president, we would think that our Messiah was being prevented from ruling us. Now he has, and we have seen that he is no Messiah. What else can our dear President offer?

My take is that it would be honourable for President Muhammadu Buhari to take a bow and join the association of ex-presidents as an elder statesman, and from there offer his counsel to the younger generation who should come on board as is being experienced in Austria, Canada and France currently. Also, as an old man that our President is, he should retire and look after his health so that he can live longer to enjoy the fruits of his labour.

If the handlers of Mr. President truly love him, they should stop misleading him. They should ask him to retire and rest. He has done his bit; he should let others try. Nigerians deserve better. Nigerians aren’t clamouring for his return.

 

Source: The Punch

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Fayose Says Buhari enjoying in London while herdsmen are killing Nigerians

The Governor of Ekiti State, AyodeIe Fayose has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari for enjoying in London while Fulani herdsmen were killing innocent Nigerians in Benue State.

DAILY POST reported that the president left Nigeria last Monday for the UK where he had held discussions on Nigeria – British relations with Prime Minister, Mrs Theresa. May.

While in London, Buhari had pledged that the killings in some parts of Nigeria would soon come to an end.

He said his administration was finding lasting solutions to the menace.

The President said this while receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in London.

Buhari also met with British Prime Minister, Theresa May in London on Monday where they discussed security issues affecting Nigeria.

But in a series of tweets on Monday, Fayose frowned at the London visit, saying “I have never seen a President anywhere in the world staying abroad when 67 of his people were killed in just one State (Benue).

“President Buhari is in London, wasting resources belonging to Nigerians while the same Nigerians are being killed in Benue by herdsmen? This is sad!”

 

 

Source: Daily Post

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Former Egypt striker Mido Says Mohamed Salah ready for Real Madrid move

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is ready for a move to European giants Real Madrid, according to former Egypt striker Mido.

Salah, 25, has enjoyed an incredible season at Liverpool, scoring 40 goals in all competitions.

Those performances have seen the Egypt international linked with Europe’s biggest clubs, including LaLiga giants Madrid and Barcelona.

Mido believes Salah has shown he would be more than capable of delivering for the likes of Madrid.

“Real Madrid want him, and we have all seen the poor performances of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema with the 4-4-2,” he said, via KingFut.

“I was afraid that Salah might fail at Liverpool, but I think he is ready to jump to the next level.

“Real Madrid would be able to use his strengths.”

 

 

 

Source: Fourfourtwo.com

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APC chief Says Tinubu’s panel halts Oyegun’s tenure elongation

The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in the South-East, Mr. Hyacinth Ngwu, has said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s reconciliation panel saved the party from imminent trouble by halting the process of extending the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee’s tenure by one year.

Speaking with our correspondent in Enugu on Saturday, Ngwu said the committee ensured that the APC was not consumed by impunity, which he described as the undoing of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He stated that the committee had made it possible for the APC to be put first before individual interests.

He stated, “I think that committee is one of the best things that have happened to the APC since its formation. It made it possible for all the bigwigs to come together and talk to themselves and this ensured that the party was put first before any other issue. It was the committee that resolved the issue of tenure elongation, which would have become a major problem. Now, everybody is on the same page in the party.

“The committee has achieved 80 per cent of its mandate. It made the party to avoid impunity, which is the problem that destroyed the PDP. Without the committee, we wouldn’t have come to that realisation. Also, the committee made us realise that we don’t need a caretaker committee in our party.”

 

 

Source: The Punch

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Prince Tony Momoh Says he asked Nigerians to stone President Muhammadu Buhari

A former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh has explained why he asked Nigerians to stone the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government if he failed to perform.

Momoh had during the build up to the 2015 general elections called on Nigerians to stone the APC government if they don’t leave up to expectations.

Speaking with The Sun, the former minister said Nigerians were already stoning the president despite his monumental achievements.

He said, “We are in a democracy. As Minister of Information, I gave Nigerians information; one, to satisfy your need for information; secondly, to give you the information to do what you like to do with it.

“So, people who are saying that APC has done nothing have a right through the information they have to achieve the aims they want, but that does not reduce from the fact that objectively, APC has done something.

“Whatever happens, I said stone us if we don’t perform, but some people are stoning us, not that we didn’t perform, but because they are in opposition and cannot appreciate that we are preforming. In the area of security, nobody would say that we have not tried.

“Nobody will say that the challenges we have in the Northeast, Middle Belt, South-south, Southeast, Southwest and even in the Northwest, are not being attended to. In the area of agriculture, nobody can say that we have not attended to eating what we grow, and growing what we want to eat. We came out of recession. There are a lot of things we have done.”

 

 

 

Source: Daily Post

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Real Madrid negotiating Harry Kane transfer with Mohamed Salah a smokescreen

REAL MADRID are sensationally negotiating a deal for Tottenham’s Harry Kane and using Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as a smokescreen, shock reports from Spain have claimed.

Real Madrid continue to be linked with Tottenham and Liverpool players Kane and Salah ahead of the summer transfer window.

Los Blancos are primed to sign a striker after Karim Benzema was benched for tonight’s Champions League defeat to Juventus.

And Spanish outlet Diario Gol claim Kane is the one club president Florentino Perez wants.

The England international has been in brilliant form for Tottenham this season, scoring 25 goals in the Premier League alone.

Real Madrid were linked with him in January and, at the time, many thought their interest had cooled.

Since then, reports have claimed Liverpool’s Salah is the player they really want.

The Egypt international has bagged 39 goals for the Reds across all competitions following his move from Roma last summer.

Yet Diario Gol say their interest in Salah is nothing more than a smokescreen.

Instead, Real Madrid are focusing their efforts on Kane and have entered tentative talks with the north London side.

The England star could cost as much as £261million.

And, in order to raise funds for a spectacular Tottenham raid, Real will supposedly let Gareth Bale go.

Bale was hooked at half-time after failing to impress Zinedine Zidane.

And a move away now beckons, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham all in the race for his signature.

 

 

Source: Express.co.uk

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AS Roma 3-0 Barcelona: Roma stun Barcelona at Stadio Olimpico to reach Champions League semi-finals

Roma secured a dramatic 3-0 victory over Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico to book their place in the Champions League semi-finals on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate result.

Trailing 4-1 after the first leg, Roma went ahead on the night after six minutes as Edin Dzeko latched on to Daniele de Rossi’s long-range pass before poking the ball beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

De Rossi doubled their lead from the penalty spot after Dzeko had been brought down in the box early in the second half and Kostas Manolas headed in late on to clinch Roma’s spot in the final four.

Barcelona were on the front foot in the opening exchanges, with Sergi Roberto and Lionel Messi both having chances in the first four minutes.

But it was Roma who broke the deadlock after six minutes when De Rossi’s pin-point pass was met in the box by Dzeko, who got the ball under his spell with a brilliant first touch before prodding past Ter Stegen from six yards.

Barca had an opportunity to hit back less than two minutes later after Juan Jesus tripped the on-rushing Messi 25 yards from goal but the Argentina forward missed the target with the subsequent free-kick.

Roma had a spring in their step and were attacking in numbers as they looked for a quickfire second.

Patrik Schick headed Aleksandar Kolarov’s corner well wide in the 14th minute before Radja Nainggolan shot wide from range as a vociferous home crowd urged their team forward.

Dzeko cleared the bar with his long-range effort in the 25th minute, while it took a well-timed challenge from Gerard Pique to prevent Kolarov from getting a shot away in the box a minute later.

Barcelona looked rattled as Roma pressed with high intensity and threw everything at them when in possession.

Schick nodded Alessandro Florenzi’s searching cross wide from the middle of the area in the 28th minute, while Ter Stegen was forced to tip over Dzeko’s close-range header eight minutes later.

The visitors won another free-kick from shooting range in the 38th minute as Luis Suarez was brought down but once again Messi could not find the target from 25 yards.

Roma began the second half as they had finished the first – in complete control – and were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute when Pique fouled Dzeko in the area.

Captain De Rossi rifled the ball beyond Ter Stegen to double Roma’s advantage and the home side were not finished there.

Ter Stegen was called into action once again in the 68th minute to keep Nainggolan at bay before Messi sent his 20-yard shot straight at Alisson six minutes later.

And after substitute Stephan El Shaarawy had been denied by a last-ditch save by Ter Stegen at the back post in the 79th minute, Manolas nodded Cengiz Under’s cross past the German to make it 4-4 on aggregate with eight minutes left to play.

Barcelona threw the kitchen sink at Roma late on but with Messi and Ousmane Dembele unable to convert their chances, Roma held on to complete their unlikely comeback win.

Source: PA

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Prof Nwabueze Says IPOB Can’t Be Declared As Terrorist Organization

Former National Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof Ben Nwabueze, has called on the federal government to delist the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

He also gave the de-proscription of the group, as a condition for him to engage in any form of negotiation or peace talk, accusing the government of double standard in dealing with IPOB and the Boko Haram group as well as herdsmen.

According to him, the federal government tagged IPOB a terrorist group and proscribed its activities for just agitating for Biafra, while groups like Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, “who have been slaughtering people”, are moving around freely, the sun reports.

Nwabueze made the submission when he received members of IPOB, led by the African Representative, Mr. Gorge Onyibe, at his country home, Atani, in Anambra State, to apologise for disrupting the summit organised by Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) at Enugu on February 27.

The group, had in its entourage, the Secretary-General of ECA, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko.

IPOB, in their apology, promised that such incident would not repeat itself in future.

Prof Nwabueze said: “IPOB cannot be asked to negotiate for peace when they remain proscribed.

“I don’t think the federal government wants peace because if they want peace, the first thing to do is to de-proscribed IPOB.

“I will not be part of any peace talk with anybody until IPOB is de-proscribed and until the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group is removed.

“If they have the courage to do these, okay, we can talk peace. I will not participate in any kind of peace talk so long as IPOB remains proscribed or tagged a terrorist organisation.

“There are groups and associations that have done more terrible things in this country; IPOB is only agitating for Biafra and they have not done anything more than agitation, they have killed nobody, but in contrary, they are the ones being killed.

“If we talk of the people that have massacred and slaughtered people, it is the Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani herdsmen, which should be declared terrorist groups and proscribed.

“The federal government used double standard in the proscription of IPOB; what standard did they use to proscribe IPOB?

“They used another standard for Boko Haram, used another standard for Fulani herdsmen, these are the people they should proscribe.

“The people who gave quit notice to Ndigbo to leave the North in 90 days by October 1, last year, you have not proscribed them.

“This is what has destroyed Nigeria over night. Arewa Youths organised hate speeches intended to bring about ethnic cleansing, yet, they are still moving about. Nobody proscribed them, nobody declared them a terrorist group.

“But, IPOB group doing nothing, but agitation for Biafra, was declared terrorrist group.

“And those who have slaughtered and killed innocent citizens, the Fulani herdsmen, are moving about freely with AK47, still killing people.

“They turned around to castigate Gen. T.Y Danjiuma for calling on Nigerians to defend themselves, can you imagine that. In the constitution, Section 33 guarantees the right of self defence. Somebody is attacking you with AK47 and you use stick in defence. I can’t image such idiotic thing like that.”

Addressing IPOB on its agitations, Prof Nwabueze said: “You will win the cause of agitation, the agitation must continue, but, you should not make fatal mistake that will jeopardise our future, we will win.

“I will continue fighting for Ndigbo. IPOB is fighting a just fight because they are treating Igbo people as if they don’t belong to this country, injustice and nepotism everywhere.

“If I said no about injustice in 1965 at University of Lagos, you should say no today.

“If they do not want us to have Biafra, then let them stop the injustice, let them stop the inequity, let them stop all marginalisation.”

“At the moment the agitation is led and spearheaded by you, young people, the old people and my generation are not featuring very much but we all share the same sentiment.”

 

 

 

Source: Naija News

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Chelsea defender thanks Antonio Conte for 'belief' during difficult patch

Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen has thanked Antonio Conte for maintaining his belief in him, following a tough recent patch for the youngster on the pitch.

Gifted prospect

Christensen, a 21-year-old Danish central defender, has been on the books of Chelsea since 2012, when he joined the club’s youth setup from Brondby.

The talented starlet was sent out on loan from 2015 to 2017, enjoying a hugely impressive spell with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach.

He has long been regarded as one of the finest young stoppers in world football, and made his return to Stamford Bridge to join up with Antonio Conte’s Blues last summer.

Impressing

And Christensen has certainly not taken long to adjust to the rigours of English football, already proving himself as one of Chelsea’s most dependable defenders on his way to 24 Premier League appearances this season.

Antonio Conte recently referred to Christensen as ‘the present and future for Chelsea,’ while the club’s loan technical coach, Eddie Newton, had the following to say regarding the young stopper:

‘Andreas is a player that we can definitely have here for the next 10 years. He is another John Terry for me, and has that same kind of stature because he has got that ability.’

‘This season, he stepped in against Tottenham and Manchester United and it was like he has been there all his life. He is an incredible footballer and one this club should keep hold of very tightly.’

‘Made things more comfortable’

However, Christensen’s outstanding form to this point in the season recently took a dip at the worst possible time, when the Dane was at fault for goals conceded by Chelsea versus Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City.

He was left out of the Blues’ starting lineup versus West Ham at the weekend, but revealed in Chelsea’s matchday programme for the clash that the belief of manager Antonio Conte in his abilities proved key in helping him through his difficulties on the pitch:

‘It’s been a difficult time recently but I’m happy with the overall season. It is easy to just look at the recent games, but I try to remember I played probably 25-30 games with no mistakes at all before that. Everyone knows you can’t go through a whole season not making a mistake, as a defender – it is impossible.’

‘That’s the bad part about our job – when there’s a good chance you’re the one getting pointed at, but you still have to take responsibility next time you get the ball and do what’s best for the team. It helped when you’ve got good team-mates who take care of you and a manager who believes in you. That’s only made things more comfortable for me, and now I want to progress even more.’

 

 

Source: 101 GREAT GOALS

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Former president Jacob Zuma goes to war

Former president Jacob Zuma is planning a long, drawn-out battle to fight corruption charges – a battle that will take place inside the courts and on the streets.

But an increasingly dire financial situation could hamper the multipronged strategy that Zuma and his supporters launched this week. City Press learnt that up to R1m had to be hustled together this week to foot the bill for buses, posters and T-shirts. This bled the shoestring budget that had been put together.

Zuma finally had his day in court on Friday after eight years of exhaustive, but failed, legal challenges to fend off the charges. He now plans a fresh round of applications and appeals that could indefinitely delay the start of the trial, which the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) wants to begin in November.

Zuma’s legal representatives said they would lodge a review application against the NPA’s decision to reinstate charges against him which, they said, would be completed by the end of May.

That application — should it fail — is likely to be followed by an application for a permanent stay of prosecution. The case was postponed to June 8 but the state said it was ready for the trial to begin on November 12.

One of the options previously considered by Zuma’s defence team was to raise as a defence the legal principle of double jeopardy — which provides that a person cannot be charged for the same crime more than once.

‘DOWN WITH RAMAPHOSA’

The pro-Zuma campaign has acquired a distinct anti-Ramaphosa tone.

When it kicked off on Thursday night with a night vigil at a park in central Durban, there was denunciation of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the new ANC leadership.

A speaker from the Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans’ Association (MK) chanted: “Down with Cyril Ramaphosa, down,” to which the crowd responded in affirmation.

The speaker, who was not identified by name, boasted that although he was not educated he was trained to use guns. He said he rejected the directive of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) not to associate the party with Zuma’s trial.

Urging the crowd to defy directives from the “rotten” NEC, which served the interests of the “Ruperts and Oppenheimers”, he called for an urgent national general council (NGC) which would remove the current leadership. NGCs are normally called halfway through the term of the leadership to assess the implementation of the resolutions of the last conference.

The MK man said Ramaphosa was not talking radical economic transformation and was instead talking concepts such as “new deal” and “new dawn” that were not known in the ANC. “How can such a person lead us?” he asked.

The defiance of Ramaphosa and his executive was apparent by the presence of several NEC members at the court hearing.

Even the ANC’s elections head, Fikile Mbalula, appeared to be privately backing the Zuma cause. Mbalula was heard in an audio recording on Friday – the authenticity of which was verified – questioning the ANC’s stance on Zuma.

“The only thing which is the problem is the ANC’s new leadership is actually involving itself in a case that they do not know by making stupid calls and many other things,” Mbalula said in a discussion.

Mbalula said it was wrong for the ANC to say that people must not go to court and even treat Zuma as if he is convicted when he is just an accused.

‘MONEY WOES’

City Press has learnt that despite determined fundraising efforts “funders are not as easy to come by as they were in the past and that’s quite a major issue”.

Zuma supporters are now planning to revive the Friends of Jacob Zuma campaign platform — which was the central portal for pro-Zuma messages and fundraising efforts before he became president in 2009.

Zuma suffered a blow on Friday when the presidency took a decision to withdraw an appeal against a judgment for which he personally will carry the costs for his attempts to have former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report set aside.

Adding to Zuma’s legal woes is the DA’s Pretoria High Court application for the state to stop funding his lawyers. DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said Zuma had at least two weeks to file responding papers to its application.

“They have not lodged their papers yet so we will know only in a week and a half what their [Zuma’s legal team] defence will be,” Selfe said.

Zuma camp insiders said delays in the filing of his court papers were as a result of uncertainty about whether the state will continue to pay his legal fees.

‘TAKING THE BATTLE TO THE STREETS’

The loose groupings surrounding Zuma – which include taxi associations, funeral undertakers and charismatic churches – intend to stage a fierce fightback to intensify the “street battle” that began this week.

Speaking to thousands of supporters outside the court on Friday, Zuma signalled that the fight would take place on many levels. He raised questions about whether he would have a fair trial given that these charges had been in the public domain since 2005.

He led the crowd in singing Sengimanxebanxeba, a famous Zulu song associated with regiments and which talks of betrayal by one’s own comrades.

Zuma said that Judge Chris Nicholson had found correctly in 2008 that there were political manoeuvres behind the case, despite the fact that his ruling was overturned on appeal.

In his speech Zuma said he would defend himself. He said several times, to loud cheers, that it was a pity that beating up people was no longer allowed otherwise he would have resorted to that.

He launched into a famous Zulu war song Ngimanxeba nginje, which talks of betrayal by one’s own comrades.

‘DISCREDIT THE JUDICIARY’

Zuma’s corner includes seeking a judicial review based on allegations locally and abroad in the UK that the South African judiciary is compromised and cannot give him a fair trial.

The argument regarding the credibility of the courts is focused on the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), a public interest and human rights law clinic. Many of South Africa’s judges have at some point or another been associated with the LRC, serving as trustees or doing pro-bono work for the nongovernmental organisation (NGO) when they were practising lawyers.

The LRC, according to Zuma supporters, is funded by the same organisations that fund a number of NGOs that have taken government to court and in most cases got favourable judgments.

A UK citizen named Justin Lewis has written to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Ramaphosa calling on them to cease the Zuma trial pending finality of investigations in the UK courts and a UK parliamentary inquiry into “corruption in SA affecting UK institutions”.

Zuma’s son, Edward, told City Press that he was aware of the UK investigations and there was a cooperation agreement between him and those behind the cases to support the charges of state capture that he had laid against business tycoon Johann Rupert.

‘NO FAIR TRIAL’

Close Zuma ally Carl Niehaus said: “The most important argument is that you need to have a free and fair trial, which is provided for in the Constitution and everyone is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“The legal argument for me that is the strongest is that after 15 years of negative publicity and attacks against Zuma, how did that poison the general atmosphere and how does that influence the possibility of a fair trial?”

Niehaus said: “The judiciary has to address this issue.”

He said there had definitely been political interference from the beginning of the case in 2003.

“We seem to have forgotten what (former NPA head) Bulelani Ngcuka did when he held a special briefing with journalists and tried to convince them that there was a prima facie case to influence the whole event.”

Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama said that “the first big question that must be overcome by the state is the question of justice delayed is justice denied”.

“It is clear that they have a very weak case and this is just political persecution.”

He questioned the NPA’s flip-flop on the decision to prosecute, saying “it is political pressure and I think Zuma will make a big point about that”.

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Source: News24

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