Month: July 2015

Osaze declares he isn’t fully fit

Nigeria international, Osaze Odemwingie has declared that he is yet to fully recover from the knee ligament injury that sidelined him for eight months. Despite featuring in his club’s pre-season games against Everton, Brentford and and Singapore, he insists he is still months away from full fitness. “I’m still a few months away from being 100%, but I am happy with where I am now,” he told Stoke City Player . “I do all the necessary work. Fitness now is what I want to achieve – there’s no shortcuts. I just have to make those efforts off the ball as well, which I try my best to do, which will bring me back to my best physical condition,” he...

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Honda promises to live to up to expectations

Keisuke Honda has promised fans of his club, AC Milan to expect more from him next season as he is committed to deliver consistently. Honda expressed his satisfaction over the number 10 role he played in the friendly against Madrid while also relishing the start of the new season. “I want to live up to the expectations of the fans for this season and I am sure that everything will go well. But I want to please our fans. I promise the fans that I will do my best for them and for Milan. The position in which I played in tonight is perfect for me,” he told Milan Channel . “I played there for 10 years. The Japan international joined the Rossoneri on a free transfer from CSKA Moscow in January 2014 but has thus far failed to produce his very best form on a consistent basis, netting eight times in 46 matches in all...

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Balotelli left out of Liverpool squad – ESPN

Mario Balotelli has been reportedly left out of Liverpool squad on a pre-season trip to Finland. The decision affirms speculations that the club are keen on his sale as Manager Brendan Rodgers looks to clear his team of fringe players. Liverpool had already indicated that they were prepared to listen to offers for Balotelli, who has attracted confirmed interest from Sampdoria and Bologna, as well as being linked with their Serie A rivals Lazio. Balotelli was also omitted from the squad for their recent tour of the Far East and Australia. The Italian striker is only 11 months into the three-year deal he signed when joining Liverpool from AC Milan for £16m last August. He scored four goals last season and frustrated Rodgers with a series of disappointing...

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Stephanie Linus’s Movie “DRY” Premiers in Nigerian Theaters Nationwide August 14th

After a successful screening debut in Wales, UK, the critically acclaimed movie ‘Dry’ will premiere nationwide in Nigeria beginning August 14th, 2015. Produced, directed, and starring Nollywood’s A-List actress, Stephanie Linus, the film is an inspired true story that follows a trail of Zara’s (played by Stephanie Linus) trip to Africa, her constant turmoil as a result of inexplicable horrors from her child hood, her experiences and heartaches while working with young girls suffering from complications from early child birth as child brides, against the backdrop of a rich African culture. It is full of intrigue, suspense, unbelievable surprises, the joy of reconciliation and the power of the human spirit that is guaranteed to captivate and engage moviegoers.  The film stars: Darwin Shaw as Dr. Alex, the legendary Liz Benson Ameye as the Matron, Bill McNamara as Dr. Brown, and Introducing Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge as Halima the teenager who had to endure a life not designed for a child: to be married to a man who was more than four times her age. Produced by Next Page Productions, this film was supported by the Office of the special adviser to the president on MDGs Nigeria, Aberystwyth University Wales, Diamond Bank, Ford Foundation, Project Act Nollywood, USAID Acquired fistula,Vlisco and more. Also starring in the film are Olu Jacobs, Tijjani Faraga, Hauwa Maina, Rahama Hassan, Rekiya Attah, Hakeem Hassan and Afamefuna Klint Igwemba (aka...

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Short Story: Life Is Wicked — Amara | By : Oluwafunminiyi Omojola

They sat beside each other on the cold cement floor, their legs stretched out in front of them. Amara stared at hers. They were fat and lumpy, like that of a woman who had given birth to all the children in her belly. And even though her neighbor was further gone, Aniekan’s legs were skinny, like the rest of her. She had bony shoulders and hands that were long and thin like tree branches. Her palms were clasped over her big stomach, a network of green veins visible on them. Her head was hung on one side, an absent look in her eyes. “Are you okay, Aniekan?” Amara asked. The other girl did not respond. She just blinked. She had barely spoken a word in almost two days. She just sat there and stared, and blinked. Amara got up from her sitting position and looked out of the window they had been sitting underneath. It was evening, yet the sun sat in its usual spot in the sky like a cripple. A large hawk crossed its smiling face and punctuated the raucous laughter ringing in the July heat with loud squawks. Amara’s eyes went from the skies to the teenage girls in the compound. They were busy – washing clothes, sweeping, clearing debris, chatting and laughing. Here was a nightmare.  She had thought that it was only children who...

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D’banj might run a Koko Garri soaking competition soon.

If you think, multiple award-winning Nigerian act, Dapo ‘Dbanj’ Oyebanjo  isn’t taking his garri brand Koko Garri seriously, then you might have to think again. Banga Lee as fondly called who is expanding the brand has also slammed Nigerians for paying too much attention on foreign products rather than the locally made ones. Below is his instagram post. “Guys, KokoGarri is available on Konga & in Ebeano Stores! Who owns Ciroc vodka? Who owns Beats headphones? Who own RocknRepublic? The list goes on. What we do in Nigeria is to laugh at people’s hustle. And when it starts paying, creating jobs and moving the person to the next level, we are quick to ask why is the person living so large? Does he know how many people are hustling and going to bed hungry? But we don’t consider the person’s hustle in the beginning worthy of support. I am a strong Supporter of Nigerian Brands. How many politicians bought this Koko Garri to give their supporters? But they gave imported rice abi? When Otunba Ghadaffi started his mobile toilets, people called him “Agbe po!!!” It wasn’t for long, others joined DMT to do what he was laughed at. I know that a few think what’s DBanj thinking to invest in Garri. Newsflash!!!! I bet you all that is a $30b market. KOKOGARRI to be promoted & distributed in hotels...

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Super Falcons, Dream travel for qualifiers

The Super Falcons and Nigeria U-23 team will leave the country on Thursday (today) to Bata, Equatorial Guinea and Pointe Noire, Congo respectively for their all-important  second leg encounters of their 2016 Rio Olympic qualifying fixtures. Both teams are treading on slippery ground (having failed to win convincingly at home) as they face their opponents away on Sunday, August 2, after the Falcons played a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in Abuja, and the U-23 team managed a 2-1 win over Congo’s Red Devils in Port Harcourt. According the Nigeria Football Federation official website, the Falcons are expected to arrive in Malabo at about 3A0 on Friday aboard CEIBA Airline, and then proceed to mainland Bata by 7am. They are scheduled to have their final training at the Stadium Nkoatoma de Bata on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s clash. The U-23 team, led by coach, Samson Siasia, would fly aboard Ethiopia Airline to Pointe Noire, and are expected to arrive just after noon. FIFA has appointed Marximina Luzia Bernardo from Angola as referee for the Equatorial Guinea Nigeria match in Bata, with fellow Angolans Luisa Massanga Luhaco, Bimbi Francisco Jeremias and Tania Marisa Duarte as first assistant, second assistant, third assistant and fourth official...

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Whatever happens, my love for Arsenal will never change – Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas has insisted that his love for Arsenal will always remain regardless of the reception he gets from the fans of his former club. Fabregas who spent 8years at Arsenal before joining Barcelona and then moving on to Chelsea has been tagged by several fans of Arsenal as a traitor for joining their rival club. ‎ He said this over the community shield match that will take place between Chelsea and Arsenal on Sunday at Wembley stadium. “Whatever it is, it is. The love I have for that club will never change whatever happens and what is the most important is what I have with me are the memories,” said Fabregas. “The rest doesn’t matter. I have great memories, love and respect for the club. You will never hear anything bad from me about them. ‎Of course, it is not the most important game but we want to win and compete. It is a big game, a London derby at Wembley in front of all the fans — it’s a nice competition to play in. “Even if it is a preseason game you still want to win. We are not worried that they might be fresher than us — they started 10 days before us — but we are competitors, we will want to win and it will probably be a great game.”...

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Marseille completes the signing of Abou Diaby

French club, Marseille have announced the signing of ex-Arsenal Midfielder Abou Diaby for an undisclosed fee. Abou Diaby whose nine years stay at Arsenal was marred by series of injuries revealed in a statement that he intends to start on a clean slate. He told his new club’s official website: “It’s an honour and enormous joy to join OM. It’s a great club, and I think that to come back, I could not find a better place than here, so I’m really very happy. You could say that it’s a new start, but you could also say it’s a new chapter. In any case, I have joined OM. My goal is to come back and re-find the joy of playing football.” He added: “I understand that people are sceptical about my shape, and the reality today is that I haven’t played for two years. In four years, I have played very few games, but I’m here to get myself in the best position possible to get back to my best. But yes, I totally understand their...

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Opinion: Is It Time for Ndi Igbo to Panic? | By: Chinedu George Nnawetanma

I will keep this write-up as short as possible and straight to the point. Ever since the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government assumed office on the 29th of May, 2015, the Igbos have been massively and thoroughly shortchanged. Out of the more-than-a-dozen appointments that have been made by President Buhari over the past two months, there is no single Igbo man, woman, or child among them. The only Igbo that managed to rise to the leadership of a government parastatal under the present dispensation, NIMASA to be precise, was quickly booted out in controversial circumstances just days after he took over on the so-called principle of seniority. A few weeks ago, the service chiefs that were appointed by ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan were sacked and replaced by four new service chiefs along with two security advisers. Surprisingly, out of the six, none was Igbo. In the legislature, the situation is not different. On Tuesday the 28th of July 2015, the House of Representatives’ All Progressives Congress’ caucus appointed its 4 principal officers. The Majority Leader came from the Southwest (which had already produced the Deputy Speaker), the Deputy Majority Leader came from the North-central, the Chief Whip came from the Northwest, while the Deputy Chief Whip came from the South-south. None of the 4 principal officers of the lower chamber, in addition to the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, is...

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Kunle Afolayan seals mouthwatering endorsement deal.

Award-winning Producer and actor, Kunle Afolayan has just signed a lucrative endorsement  deal with giant commercial flight company, Air France. The hardworking filmmaker  shared the good news with his fans on his Instagram page. ‘It’s all about hard work and God. I have just been appointed as the ambassador for Airfrance and the deal covers several projects of mutual benefits. Thank you to all my my family, friends and fans from r your support so far. Ire lojo gbogbo.’ He...

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Photos: The late Benue Uni medical student didn’t commit suicide. Family tells what happened.

Contrary to reports that Nicholas Idoko, a medical student of the Benue State University committed suicide after he failed a resit and was asked to withdraw from the university, the promising young chap died in a fatal accident. Below is a press release from a family member. “He was driving on Abu King Shuluwa Road, moving at a pretty high speed and without knowledge of a truck spoilt in the middle of the road. He tried to swerve out of the truck’s way but found himself facing the road divider. Without his belt on, Mr Idoko was flunged out of the car, sustained multiple fractures, a cracked skull and died on the spot. The car also hit and killed another commuter on the road while spinning out of control. From where I’m sitting the above statement alone disqualifies it as a suicide, at least technically. It was an accident and another person’s life was also taken in the process. Nothing deliberate, no matter the circumstance confronting Nicholas before his death. His death has not been declared a suicide by the authorities or his family as many other national dailies would have us believe. I am not going to speak against plagiarism and the other numerous crimes we commit in the name of journalism without one iota of care to the consequences, at least not today. But when one of...

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FAAN clears the air on Patience Jonathan’s alleged humiliation at the airport

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has cleared the air on the stories going round that the convoy of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan, was stopped from taking her to the foot of the aircraft on the tarmac of the Port Harcourt International Airport. The convoy carrying the wife of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan, was stopped from taking her to the foot of the aircraft on the tarmac of the Port Harcourt International Airport, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has said. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the FAAN described the report as misleading and mischievous adding that they only stopped the former First Lady’s convoy from gaining access to the tarmac where her aircraft was parked. “The former First Lady’s convoy was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities at the airport in line with international aviation best practices, strictly for safety reasons, as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Our security officials explained this fact to details of the former First Lady. “We wish to recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan, in his recent trips from the same airport, had had to walk to the aircraft from the protocol lounge, in recognition of this ICAO regulation.” “We wish to state that no such thing happened as Dame Jonathan, like other family members of former Presidents and...

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Rotimi Amaechi’s role to free Nigeria of the Polio Scourge |By: Philemon Doro Adjekuko

It has been about a year now since Nigeria recorded any case of polio.  For over 17 years, the disease was on rampage, especially in the northern part of the country. The country accounted for about 50% of global and 80% of African polio cases.  Nigeria was the face of the disease. According to one medical source, “polio is a viral illness that begins with flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, vomiting and/or diarrhea and muscle aching. The virus enters the body through the stomach and intestines. In some people the virus can enter into the central nervous system and produce damage to motor nerve cells, whose function is to instruct muscles to move”. Concerned about the inability of national governments to tackle the rapid advance of the disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) back in 1988 launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with the goal of eradicating the disease by the year 2000.  By 1996, WHO realized that the eradication initiative was not going as planned in terms of reducing the outbreak and spread of the disease. A massive booster immunization initiative “kick out polio” was launched. The initiative was indeed ground breaking as vaccination was taken to the door steps of millions of children across the world, especially in vulnerable regions.  Nigeria was again, the poster child of the campaign. According to Maryam Yahya an anthropological researcher, everything was going on well until July 2003 when three...

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade dies at 85

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade has passed on. The paramount traditional ruler died on Tuesday five days after he was flown to the United Kingdom in an air ambulance after he slumped.  An Osun traditional ruler, who pleaded anonymity confirmed the news to PUNCH. “The Ooni is dead. It is true. He died about two hours ago in the UK. His two oloris (wives) – Olori Moni and Olori Odun – were with him in the UK. He travelled out for treatment anytime he fell ill but he couldn’t make it this time. It is sad but I believe it is God’s time. There was nothing anyone could do to stop it. “Tokunbo, his eldest child, will probably leave for the UK this evening. There is nothing we can do but we take solace in the fact that he lived well. The proper announcement will be done later,” Born on January 1, 1930, Sijuwade became the fiftieth ruler of the ancient kingdom of Ife after he ascended the throne in December...

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Dame Jonathan deserves her humiliation at Port Harcourt Airport – Rivers APC

Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, deserves the humiliation she suffered last week when she was denied access to the Protocol Lounge of the Port Harcourt International Airport, the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said. The party in a statement issued Tuesday in Port Harcourt and signed by the Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, berated the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for splitting hairs over the issue. The party said: “We read with dismay the unwarranted attack by PDP against the Federal Government over the denial of access to the Protocol Lounge of the Port Harcourt International Airport to the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. To us in Rivers State, this attack against the Federal Government is unwarranted and not necessary as Dame Patience Jonathan is merely reaping what she sewed while in power. Which Port Harcourt International Airport are we talking about? Is it the airport which Dame Patience Jonathan ensured was abandoned even as other airports whose rehabilitation was started at the same time were completed? Does the present state of the airport, which has become an eyesore, not enough reason not to allow this misguided woman any space in the airport? The sad state of the Port Harcourt Airport is one of the numerous acts perpetrated by the Jonathans to show the level of their hatred and disdain for Rivers...

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SERIE A 2015 – 16: Fixtures drawn, Juventus to battle Roma in Second week

The 2015-16 Serie A fixture list was drawn up on Monday evening, starting with Fiorentina v Milan, Verona-Roma and Juventus-Udinese. The ceremony was held at the Expo centre in Milan and the campaign runs from August 22 2015 to May 15 2016. It is an unusually early start by Serie A standards, brought forward to help Italy prepare for Euro 2016. There are already some huge games in the opening weeks, as in the second round there’s Roma v Juventus and in Week 3 the Milan Derby. Maurizio Sarri, who replaced Rafael Benitez as Napoli coach after a fine season at Empoli, will take the Partenopei to Sassuolo on the opening weekend. Elsewhere, newly-promoted Bologna have been handed a difficult opening fixture at Lazio, who finished third last season. Serie A newcomers Frosinone and Carpi begin against Torino and Sampdoria,...

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Lukman Haruna scores first goal for Anzhi Makhachkala

Lukman Haruna scored his first goal for Anzhi Makhachkala at home against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Russian premier league. Haruna, 24, put his club forward in the opening 15 minutes of the game although they failed to maintain the lead and suffered a 3-1 defeat which saw them slip to 15th on the log. Haruna joined Anzhi Makhachkala on loan from Dynamo Kiev after failing to get enough playing...

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Schalke ends talk with Juventus over Draxler

Schalke have shut the door on the transfer of Julian Draxler to Juventus after both clubs fail to reach an agreement. Julian Draxler already agreed personal terms with the SERIE A champions leaving both clubs to negotiate and reach a conclusion. However, Schalke rejected the bid tabled by Juventus on Monday and also stated they won’t be entertaining talks from the club any longer. “I can confirm that we received an offer late this afternoon from Juventus,” Horst Heldt told SchalkeTV. “I took a look at it and then decided we would reject it and we have informed Juventus that we are not open to any further talks. We don’t want them to contact our player either. That’s the bottom line.” Draxler had a release clause in his contract valued at a reported €45 million, though that expired at the end of June. Juventus had reportedly bid much less for the Germany international, leading to Schalke’s blank refusal to negotiate further. The 21-year-old is contracted to Schalke until 2018. It is not yet certain whether Juve will attempt to test Held by presenting an improved bid, or instead turn their attentions to Mario Gotze, another of their targets once the transfer of Arturo Vidal to Bayern Munich goes...

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Hazard better than Ronaldo – Mourinho

Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho claimed that Belgian, Eden Hazard was a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo last season. ‎Mourinho hinged his claim on the premise that Ronaldo, despite scoring 61 goals in all competitions last season, failed to win any major title with his club. “I think so,” Mourinho told The Guardian. “I don’t like players or managers to win individual trophies without the team.” “Last season, yes. In spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic. He was fantastic,” Mourinho said. “He scored an incredible number of goals. I am not saying he is not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front and no titles [are important].”‎ ‎ Hazard or Ronaldo may be debatable, but to Mourinho there’s no doubt that Messi remains No. 1. He added: “Football without titles is nothing. Messi won the treble. He won three competitions last year, he reached the Copa America final. He had a fantastic season for him and for his...

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