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I hope I haven’t seen the last of Wenger – Mourinho Sesan

I hope I haven’t seen the last of Wenger – Mourinho
Sesan

Jose Mourinho hopes to cross swords with Arsene Wenger again after his Manchester United side condemned the Frenchman to a galling defeat on his last visit to Old Trafford as Arsenal boss, Independent.ie reports.

Wenger’s long and storied rivalry with United looked to be ending with a point apiece after former Red Devil Henrikh Mkhitaryan cancelled out Paul Pogba’s opener.

That would have represented a minor triumph given the much-changed and inexperienced Gunners XI he sent out, with more than half an eye on Thursday’s Europa League clash with Atletico Madrid.

But there was a sting in the tail, Marouane Fellaini climbing off the bench and flicking home a match-winning header in stoppage time.

Mourinho has had plenty of his own tussles with Wenger over the years but on a day where United paid generous tribute to him through Sir Alex Ferguson’s pre-match presentation, their current boss held out hope of further battles beyond Arsenal.

“I hope that I play against him again, I hope that can happen,” he said.

“If not in the Premier League, who knows, we still have a big match waiting for us.”

Wenger played down the prospect in the immediate future due to his apparent uncertainty over his next destination and – mischievously – Mourinho’s.

“I don’t know if honestly, first of all, he will be at Manchester United next year, certainly,” he said.

“I don’t know where I will be. At the moment I am in a bit of unknown territory, I don’t knew where I go from here or do I take a break? I would be surprised if I meet him next year.”

Wenger would be forgiven for indulging a little nostalgia as he revisited the scene of so many past skirmishes, triumphs and travails but even on a day where he received a pre-match presentation from Sir Alex Ferguson and an unusually cordial welcome from the home support, he stayed focused on the outcome.

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Messi hat-trick seals Barca’s 25th title Sesan

Messi hat-trick seals Barca’s 25th title
Sesan

Barcelona claimed their 25th La Liga title on Sunday as a Lionel Messi hat-trick secured a thrilling 4-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna that wrapped up the league with four matches to spare, AFP reports.

Ernesto Valverde’s men completed a league and cup double after thrashing Sevilla 5-0 in last week’s Copa del Rey final, regaining the Spanish crown from Real Madrid and relegating Deportivo in the process.

Barca knew they just had to extend their record unbeaten streak to 41 La Liga matches to seal a seventh title in 10 seasons, and Philippe Coutinho fired them into an early lead.

Messi’s 38th-minute volley made it two, but Lucas Perez pulled one back for Deportivo before half-time and Turkish winger Emre Colak stunned Barca with an equaliser midway through the second period.

Barca finally saw off their stubborn hosts, though, as Messi pounced after a brilliant one-two with Luis Suarez before slotting in to complete his 30th La Liga treble.

The Catalan giants now hold an unassailable 11-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who have just three games to play, and are closing in on becoming the first Spanish side to go through a top-flight season without tasting defeat.

Andres Iniesta was surprisingly left on the bench after the midfield great announced earlier this week that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

But it was his expected long-term successor Coutinho who broke the deadlock in the seventh minute, bending an exquisite finish into the top corner for his third La Liga goal for the club since signing from Liverpool in January.

Deportivo had to win to stave off relegation for another week, but Clarence Seedorf’s men were denied an equaliser when Perez was flagged offside after tapping in from close range.

Messi went close to doubling the advantage just before the half-hour mark, only for home goalkeeper Ruben to pull off an excellent one-handed save to turn his free-kick around the post.

Deportivo were causing Barca plenty of problems at the back, though, and centre-back Fabian Schaer should have levelled as he headed over when unmarked inside the six-yard box.

But Messi drilled a curling Suarez cross past Ruben at the keeper’s near post to score his 30th league goal of the campaign, before on-loan Arsenal striker Perez swept home to halve the deficit just two minutes later.

Despite the close scoreline, Barca were playing as if the second half was a pure title party, with centre-back Gerard Pique even performing a few ‘keepie uppies’ on the left wing.

Their complacency cost them in the 64th minute, as Celso Borges unselfishly squared for Colak to score.

Suddenly the champions-elect were desperately trying to hang onto their unbeaten record, as goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a smart stop from another Schaer header.

But Barcelona showed their class as Suarez and Messi combined to terrific effect with eight minutes to play — the latter clipping the ball in off the post.

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Real, Zidane look to overcome BayerReal, Zidane look to overcome Bayern in Champions League semis Agency Report

Real, Zidane look to overcome BayerReal, Zidane look to overcome Bayern in Champions League semis
Agency Report / 4 hours ago

Zinedine Zidane may have won two consecutive Champions League titles but he refuses to admit a third would brand this his very own era at Real Madrid.

Real stand on the brink of a trio of finals ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the last four on Tuesday, when they will carry a 2-1 lead, and two away goals, to the Santiago Bernabeu.

It makes them favourites to go through and, for many, heavy favourites to win the tournament after already beating Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in the knock-out stages.

For Zidane, a third European crown as coach is now in sight, which would put him level with Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley in the pantheon of successful managers.

Only the three triumphs of Paisley, however, came at one club, Liverpool, and over a single era, in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Ancelotti’s treble stretched across 11 years, with two clubs, Real and AC Milan.

“We cannot talk about this,” Zidane said on Friday. “Coaches like this were given a lot of time, they did a lot of things.

“I am comfortable, we have done well, it is two and a half years that have been good but the rest, ‘Zidane’s Real Madrid’, let’s wait a bit.”

Even Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have lifted Europe’s biggest prize only twice, all with more years in management under their belts.

But Zidane’s merits as a coach and tactician continue to be downplayed, at least in part because the Frenchman owns arguably the most talented squad in the world and, in Cristiano Ronaldo, the Champions League’s greatest ever player.

READ ALSO: Salah faces ban

– Zidane’s brave call –

Ronaldo’s 15 goals in this year’s competition have certainly been key, but it was Zidane who made the brave call to leave out Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at the Allianz Arena against Bayern.

The preferred but less established duo of Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio combined brilliantly for the winning goal, with the former also switched to right-back late on, where he held off the threat of Franck Ribery.

Bale, harshly treated in recent weeks, may not agree but the majority of Real’s first team are now regularly hailing Zidane’s man-management, his preparation and his tactics.

“When Zizou has to gamble, he does, because he is the boss,” captain Sergio Ramos said. “We are very happy that he is steering the boat.”

There is certainly work still to be done to overcome Bayern, who dominated large parts of the first match and perhaps deserved to emerge with a more flattering result.

“We earned a lot of extra credit for winning the match,” Zidane said. “But we cannot make the same mistakes again and I think on Tuesday we’ll have to go into the match with more determination than we’ve ever had before.”

Real are likely to be without Isco and Dani Carvajal, who sustained shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively during the first leg.

“We are always damaged losing two players but at the same time we cannot do anything about it,” Zidane said.

While Ronaldo was among a number of first-team players rested for Saturday’s win over Leganes, Bale started, a sign the Welshman is set for another snub in midweek.

Bale did not play a single minute against Bayern in Germany and, along with Benzema, has now lost his place in the side for Real’s crunch games in Europe.

“We need everyone,” Zidane said. “I will do everything possible to convince them they are important.

“The important thing is also the key message — for Gareth and Karim, for everyone — that we stay connected. We have a month and we have to give it all we’ve got.”n in Champions League semis
Agency Report

Zinedine Zidane may have won two consecutive Champions League titles but he refuses to admit a third would brand this his very own era at Real Madrid.

Real stand on the brink of a trio of finals ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the last four on Tuesday, when they will carry a 2-1 lead, and two away goals, to the Santiago Bernabeu.

It makes them favourites to go through and, for many, heavy favourites to win the tournament after already beating Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in the knock-out stages.

For Zidane, a third European crown as coach is now in sight, which would put him level with Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley in the pantheon of successful managers.

Only the three triumphs of Paisley, however, came at one club, Liverpool, and over a single era, in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Ancelotti’s treble stretched across 11 years, with two clubs, Real and AC Milan.

“We cannot talk about this,” Zidane said on Friday. “Coaches like this were given a lot of time, they did a lot of things.

“I am comfortable, we have done well, it is two and a half years that have been good but the rest, ‘Zidane’s Real Madrid’, let’s wait a bit.”

Even Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have lifted Europe’s biggest prize only twice, all with more years in management under their belts.

But Zidane’s merits as a coach and tactician continue to be downplayed, at least in part because the Frenchman owns arguably the most talented squad in the world and, in Cristiano Ronaldo, the Champions League’s greatest ever player.

READ ALSO: Salah faces ban

– Zidane’s brave call –

Ronaldo’s 15 goals in this year’s competition have certainly been key, but it was Zidane who made the brave call to leave out Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at the Allianz Arena against Bayern.

The preferred but less established duo of Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio combined brilliantly for the winning goal, with the former also switched to right-back late on, where he held off the threat of Franck Ribery.

Bale, harshly treated in recent weeks, may not agree but the majority of Real’s first team are now regularly hailing Zidane’s man-management, his preparation and his tactics.

“When Zizou has to gamble, he does, because he is the boss,” captain Sergio Ramos said. “We are very happy that he is steering the boat.”

There is certainly work still to be done to overcome Bayern, who dominated large parts of the first match and perhaps deserved to emerge with a more flattering result.

“We earned a lot of extra credit for winning the match,” Zidane said. “But we cannot make the same mistakes again and I think on Tuesday we’ll have to go into the match with more determination than we’ve ever had before.”

Real are likely to be without Isco and Dani Carvajal, who sustained shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively during the first leg.

“We are always damaged losing two players but at the same time we cannot do anything about it,” Zidane said.

While Ronaldo was among a number of first-team players rested for Saturday’s win over Leganes, Bale started, a sign the Welshman is set for another snub in midweek.

Bale did not play a single minute against Bayern in Germany and, along with Benzema, has now lost his place in the side for Real’s crunch games in Europe.

“We need everyone,” Zidane said. “I will do everything possible to convince them they are important.

“The important thing is also the key message — for Gareth and Karim, for everyone — that we stay connected. We have a month and we have to give it all we’ve got.”

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Joshua fight will definitely happen – Wilder Sesan

Joshua fight will definitely happen – Wilder
Sesan

Deontay Wilder says he does not believe his unification fight with Anthony Joshua is in any doubt, despite his $50m offer not being accepted by his prospective opponent’s team.

This week, Wilder offered Joshua $50m to accept the fight and set him a deadline of Thursday to make a decision.

Joshua responded to Wilder on Instagram, saying “let’s roll”. But despite the Briton’s apparent willingness to fight, the deadline came and went without a deal.

However, despite the latest hurdle in negotiations, Wilder – the WBC heavyweight champion – is sure the fight is still going to go ahead.

When asked about stepping into the ring with Joshua, the American said, “It will definitely happen.” He then added,  “If Joshua and his team are smart enough, they’ll take this fight and take it soon.”

The deadline to accept the bout was allowed to lapse after Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said negotiations with Wilder’s camp were “bizarre”.

He told Sky Sports News, “It’s all very bizarre. I returned the email of Deontay Wilder and said we are very interested in making this fight, please send us a draft contract.

“He replied and said ‘you have to accept the fight and then we will send you the contract’. I’ve never known anything so bizarre since I’ve worked in boxing.

“It’s always nice to call someone’s bluff. What we’ve done is called their bluff here, and they won’t even meet to talk about the deal.”

Abayomi, Quadri win Zenith Bank Tennis Masters
Sesan / 8 hours ago

Unseeded Philip Abayomi   on Saturday  won the inaugural Zenith Bank “Next Generation” Junior Tennis Masters  after beating Godgift Timibra  9-5 at the National Stadium in Lagos.

Abayomi, who was playing his first-ever final on the national stage,  started a bit tentatively but loosened up and started hitting out when he got the first break to lead 4-2. Riding on the loud support of the Mainland Tennis Club,  the revelation of the tournament was hardly threatened as he coasted home with the title.

The girls’ event was  won by Oyin Quadri after  beating  Toyin Asogba 9-1 in the final.

The finals,  which were  played before a full arena,  attracted some personalities including Mrs Toyin Hassan-Odukale, a tennis patron, who was special guest of honour.

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Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka Sesan

Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka
Sesan

Gbenga Adeniji

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said Nigeria is on a terminal nose-dive and that its pilot, who he noted is missing, must cry for international help as many had advised.

READ ALSO: Suspected Imo kidnap kingpin arrested in students’ hostel

Soyinka, who stated this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, “May Day! May Day!! May Day!!!,” in commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day described the ongoing killings in the country as “ethic cleansing.”

The critic, who said May Day,  that he uttered thrice, signified a distress call, adding that long before its adoption for that function, however, and more traditionally, there did exist Labour (or Workers’) Day, dedicated to the entitlement of workers to  the value and dignity of their labour.

He noted that the Nigerian constituency was left to determine which attribution – or both, or none – was deafeningly clamorous on May 1, 2018.

Soyinka stated, “No matter, one feels it a duty to call the attention to the painful convergence of both appropriations. Could such a co-option serve equally as summons for a last-chance, eleventh hour reprieve?”

The celebrated playwright also drew what he termed ‘eerie parallels’ in the country’s current situation to a “certain May Day disorder, one in which that distress call was never heard.”

He further likened the present state of things in Nigeria to the Aeroflot Flight 593 of September 28, 1994 in which all passengers died because the captain unprofessionally left the pilot’s seat for his family members while he went to salute the passengers.

Soyinka said, “After preliminary official denials, the undeniable – and tragically inappropriate factor of the crash was formally acknowledged – a laissez-faire, unprofessional conduct with human lapses, among which nepotism – by that, or any other name-loomed large. The captain was not even in the pilot’s seat – others were! They were the pilot’s family – mostly his children. The family member who actually begun the spiral of disaster by pulling the wrong control leaver was – the Captain’s son, to whom his even younger daughter, some moments earlier, had yielded the controls. The pilot’s seat had been turned into a family game of musical chairs.

READ ALSO: Woman burns daughter with pressing iron for lying

“Where was the Captain? Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers – all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations. He had placed the plane on auto-pilot – just as this nation has been for some time – so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings – it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.

“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the auto-pilot disengaged. The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto? – and the plane was now in unqualified hands. It took ages for the pilot to regain his control seat as some passengers were already tumbling from their seats into the aisle and he had to fight his way through bodily obstacles. All that, from reconstruction of events.

The ‘black box’ – or flight recorder – indicates that the pilot never even got round to shouting ‘May Day’ over the radio – he was too busy struggling to restore the plane’s technical functions, shout  instructions, pull the plane out of a nose-dive, and attempt to right the craft – too late!

“Now flash forwards one decade to our present, and recall the number of desperate organisations calling on the Nigerian captain to bury his pride and cry ‘May Day” across all airwaves. Call out for international help to rescue a nation on its terminal nose-dive!

“There has been no sign of willing, while the screwed-up plane is now in its corkscrew dive. Even if this captain regains his seat before the crash, it is open season whether or not, like SUV Flight 593, it will not stall, and head straight for Zuma rockface. Strangers are in

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Implications of Dino Melaye’s failed recall Sesan

Implications of Dino Melaye’s failed recall
Sesan

Eze Onyekpere

[email protected]; 08127235995

The failed recall of Senator Dino Melaye on Saturday provides an opportunity for lessons to be drawn from the implementation of the recall constitutional provisions. Out of 189,870 signatories to the petition for Melaye’s recall, only 18,742 were verified by the Independent National Electoral Commission. This is a paltry 5.34 per cent of the total number of registered voters in the senatorial district and therefore did not satisfy the requirement of the law demanding a simple majority of the signatures of voters registered to vote in the constituency.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 in Section 69 provides for the recall of senators and members of the House of Representatives. It requires that  a petition signed by more than one half of the persons registered to vote in the member’s constituency alleging that they have lost confidence in that member be presented  to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Thereafter, the petition is subjected to a referendum conducted by INEC and if it is approved by a simple majority of voters registered in that member’s constituency, the member stands recalled. In between the presentation of the petition and referendum, a verification of the signatures of the petitioners is conducted by INEC. For the verification to succeed, 50 per cent plus one of the registered voters in the constituency need to be verified.

The provision for recall of legislators is based on the sovereignty of the people affirmed in Section 14 (2) (a) of the Constitution to wit; that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through the constitution derives all its powers and authority. It is about the right of the people to change their mind on the mandate they gave to a representative, midway into a legislative term. It is democratic and tallies with the right of the people to choose their representatives. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. In the secular world, it is the equivalent of the holy book in the great religions. Every other law derives its validity through compliance with the foundational principles and philosophy of the constitution and any law in conflict or inconsistent with it is void to the extent of its inconsistency. Provisions of such a foundational law are not to be invoked for mere atavism or just to prove an empty political point to a political opponent.

Media reports monitored last Saturday indicated that there was a very low turnout and the constituents were not in any mood to recall their senator. They were also unaware of the sins of Melaye that would have led to the commencement of the recall process.  They constituents simply stayed away and went about their normal routine business. Again, the media reported “fictitious and forged signatures and names of dead persons affixed to the recall petition by its promoters”. The constitution does not anticipate or provide that signatures would be forged or the names of dead persons be inserted in a petition to recall a serving senator. It is imperative to state that forgery is a criminal offence for which the offenders should face stiff penalties and sanction. It is the expectation that the police and INEC should proceed with the same rigour and vigour with which they moved to recall the senator and go after the culprits and bring them to book.

The constitution anticipates a good faith process based on honesty of purpose. For constituents to lose confidence in a legislator, there must have been some misdeeds or offences committed by the legislator. Maybe, they mismanaged constituency project money and converted the same to their personal use. Or they have committed a grievous offence known to the law. Alternatively, they sleep in the chambers of the Senate and fail to bring up issues of importance to the constituency in the Senate.  Also, the member has

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Doctors, health workers can’t receive equal pay – FG Sesan

Doctors, health workers can’t receive equal pay – FG
Sesan

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Federal Ministry of Health has told health workers who are currently on strike that their demand for the same pay as doctors is unrealistic and unacceptable.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this in a statement signed by the Assistant Director of Information, Olajide Oshundun, on Sunday while responding to an advertorial published by the Joint Health Sector Union.

He said efforts were being made to meet JOHESU’s demand for salary increase but health workers should not expect to be paid the same as doctors.

The statement read in part, “Indeed, the Federal Government has put machinery in place to ensure that the strike is called off by meeting with JOHESU officials on several occasions, the last being on Wednesday April 25, 2018, at the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment in Abuja.

“An offer has been made to adjust the salaries and wages of JOHESU members by the Federal Government. But what JOHESU is asking for is parity with medical doctors, which is neither practicable nor acceptable to the Federal Government.”

Adewole said in September 2017, JOHESU presented a 15-point demand to the Federal Government of which 14 had already been implemented  while the last demand was being attended to by the high-level body set up by the government to look into its implementation.

He, therefore, called on JOHESU to suspend its strike for the sake of Nigerians.

The statement added, “The Federal Government wishes to appeal to JOHESU to immediately call off the strike and allow the high-level body to conclude its assignment as contained in the 2017 agreement.

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not renege on any agreement entered into with any labour organisation, including JOHESU.”

Adewole also argued that there was no agreement between the Federal Government and JOHESU prior to the administration of President Buhari.

He said what JOHESU brandished as 2014 agreement were minutes of meetings they had with the organs of the Federal Government.

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PDP, Ekweremadu lament as explosion rocks Ohanaeze President’s house

PDP, Ekweremadu lament as explosion rocks Ohanaeze President’s house
Sesan / 4 hours ago

Ihuoma Chiedozie and Leke Baiyewu

The country home of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, was on Sunday rocked by an explosion which is believed to have been caused by an improvised explosive device.

One of our correspondents learnt that a yet-to-be-identified person threw the explosive into the compound of the building at Ukehe, in the Igboetiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, around 5.30am.

Windows of a building located close to the gate of the compound was shattered by the explosion.

The ceilings as well as the air conditioning units in the building were equally damaged.

It was gathered that Nwodo was not in the house when the incident occurred, as he spent the night at his residence in Enugu metropolis.

The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Danmallam Mohammed, who led a team of the police Explosive Ordnance Department to inspect the site of the explosion, vowed that the perpetrators of the incident would be apprehended.

A statement by Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said Mohammed described those behind the explosion as ‘enemies of progress.’

“Those behind this are enemies of progress and we have to fish them out. We thank God that there is no loss of life or major destruction, we have to be more vigilant and security conscious and be able to partner security agencies to ensure that there is no repeat of such an incident,” the police commissioner said.

Amaraizu, who described the incident as a ‘minor explosion,’ disclosed that preliminary investigations revealed that the perpetrators threw the explosive device into the compound through the fence.

“The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, has vowed to unmask those behind the dastardly incident of minor explosion at the Ukehe residence of Chief Nnia Nwodo, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“Background checks revealed that the perpetrator, who did not have access through the entrance gate, might have thrown the object through the fence and it landed on the ground near the windows and exploded and gave some impacts,” Amaraizu said. He added that the operatives of the Explosive Ordinance Department collected some of the samples from the debris of the explosion for proper analysis and classification.

The police spokesman added that “the area was rendered safe by the EOD operatives,” even as the state commissioner of police had directed the Area Commander to beef up security and surveillance within the axis.

Mohammed wondered why anybody would be after Nwodo’s life, who, he said, was only serving his people.

He however urged residents of the area to be more vigilant, and report strange faces to the police and other security agencies.

Meanwhile, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned “in strong terms” the bombing of the country home of Nwodo.

Ekweremadu reacted to the attack in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu.

He said, “This is a dastardly act. It is certainly ugly, evil and outrageous. I roundly condemn it. This is quite an unusual development in the South-East and we will not accept it.

“I call on the security agencies to get to the root of this devilish act and ensure that the culprits and masterminds are brought to book immediately.”

Nwodo, who was at the residence during the police commissioner’s visit, commended the police for their prompt arrival on the scene.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Atama, said Nwodo was surprised that some unknown people were after his life.

The statement added that Nwodo vowed that the attack would not deter him from continuing to lead Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

The traditional ruler of Umudele community, in Ukehe, Igwe Lawrence Aroh, thanked God for saving Nwodo’s life.

Aroh assured the police commissioner that the people of t

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Gunmen kidnap Ekiti PDP chief, demand NGunmen kidnap Ekiti PDP chief, demand N30m ransom Sesan

Gunmen kidnap Ekiti PDP chief, demand N30m ransom
Sesan / 1 hour ago

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti

Gunmen on Saturday kidnapped the Financial Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Oni.

Oni was reportedy kidnapped on the Efon-Erio-Ekiti Expressway while returning to Aramoko Ekiti in the Ekiti West Local Government Area around 4.30pm.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, told journalists in Ado Ekiti on Sunday that Oni was returning from where he went to conduct the PDP Local Government Congress in the Efon LGA.

He revealed that the kidnappers had established contact with his wife and younger brother and demanded N30m ransom.

He added that Oni was carrying his daughter and grandson in his car at the time he was kidnapped.

“The family told the abductors that the entire family can’t even raise N1m. Our party is not resting as well. We are trying to ensure that he is safe,” Adebayo added.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdullahi Chafe, said he was out of Ekiti and had not been briefed.

“I can’t confirm now; there is no way I will know because I am not in Ekiti State as I speak to you,” the CP said.Pope decries attack on Nigerian church as Christians protest killings

Sesan / 2 hours ago

 

 

Pope Francis on Sunday decried an attack on a church in Nigeria during which two priests and other worshippers were killed.

 

Associated Press reports that the pontiff spoke on Nigeria during his remarks to the public in St. Peter’s Square.

 

READ ALSO- Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka

 

“The pontiff prayed that Nigeria’s Christian community find harmony and peace,” AP reported.

 

The pope’s comments came just as a large number of Christians in Nigeria obeyed the call by the Christian Association of Nigeria to, after the Sunday services, protest against the killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of the country.

 

The CAN President, Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle, in a statement last Wednesday had said, “CAN urges Christians in Nigeria to hold peaceful protest on the set aside date, on the premises of their churches, asking the Federal Government and security agencies to stop the unending killings and bloodshed in the country.”

 

Benue churches vow to work against Buhari

 

Christian across churches in Benue State on Sunday held the protest on their church premises, vowing to work against Buhari candidacy in the 2109.

 

Our correspondent who visited some of the churches in Makurdi, the state capital, reported that many worshippers of various Christian denominations wore black attire.

 

Some of them displayed placards with the inscriptions, “Buhari is responsible for the killings in Benue, ‘FG must come out to defend us,’  ‘Enough of bloodshed in Nigeria,’ ‘Enough of unlawful killings in the country,’ and ‘FG, stop herdsmen killings,’ among others.

 

At the Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Wadata, one of the parishioners, Mrs. Elizabeth Oduh, said, “President Buhari has not lived up to the expectations of Nigerians.

 

“The Federal Government should protect its citizens and stop paying lip service to security.”

 

At NKST Church, Iyorter, along Makurdi-Gboko Road, the worshippers prayed and laid curses on killer herdsmen.

 

The associate pastor of the church, Rev. Samuel Ackaudu, said, “In Benue state, we have realised that our lives are no longer valuables.

 

READ ALSO: Melaye recall bid fails as INEC releases verification results

 

“There is no way that the Christian community in Benue State will support Buhari’s second term ambition.”

 

The resident pastor, NKST Church High-level, Makurdi, Pastor Fredrick Ikya, said the President had offended the Christian community by allowing Fulani herdsmen to kill God’s anointed people.

 

Kogi CAN urges FG to act

 

The Kogi State chapter of CAN, which joined the protest on various church premises, called for the immediate stoppage of the killings.

 

The Kogi State Chairman of CAN, Bishop John Ibenu, who spoke in his ‘Chapel of Freedom’ church in Lokoja, called on the Federal Government to set up a truth and reconciliation commission over the attacks.

 

Ibenu said, “It is a national day of prayer and protest, Christians don’t protest; if we have to, that means the issues have reached the peak.

 

“Killings have continued unabated and have been taken to the church. There is no grass for cattle to eat in the church, but the herdsmen invaded the church and killed worshippers.

 

“Government must act to make sure that this was not something aimed at the church but started in the farm.”

 

Osun Christians threaten to stop Buhari

 

Many Christians in Osun State on Sunday also staged protests against the killings by herdsmen.

 

Worshippers at the Union Baptist Church in the Odi Olowo area of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, led by their pastor, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria Baptist Convention, Rev. Olumide Kehinde, marched through some adjoining streets to the church after the end of the service.

 

The same happened at the Gospel Faith Mission International in the Agunbelewo area, along the Osogbo-Ilobu Road, where church members were led by Pastor Olatunji Adegbite.

 

Members of the Calvary Baptist Ch

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Is Senate’s call for service chiefs’ sacking justified? Sesan

Is Senate’s call for service chiefs’ sacking justified?
Sesan

How are they (Senate members) sure that if President Buhari appoints new service chiefs, they would perform better than the present ones? There are political undertones to the whole thing; you don’t expect service chiefs to be everywhere there is a problem. Their responsibility is to issue instructions and to ensure that they are carried out. Have they sufficient equipment?

Have they been given sufficient incentives? Have they sufficient manpower? These are questions the senate should ask before saying that the service chiefs should be sacked.

You cannot send security personnel to confront insurgents without ensuring that they are well equipped.

Only recently, Buhari asked for $1bn to fund the fight against Boko Haram, but the senators opposed it.

Will they use their hands to fight the insurgents? They should give the President all the necessary requirements, including money to recruit more personnel.

The current situation does not call for unnecessary bottlenecks; it calls for cooperation between the executive and the legislature. They should work together to provide the security agencies with what they require to do their job and provide security for the people. • Abubakar Tsav (Commissioner of Police, retd.)

I think it will be nice to have a different set of individuals to begin to inject new ideas to address the current security challenges in the country because there is no reason why we should keep those who are there and are not bringing in new innovations on board in terms of how they respond to security challenges.

Their tenure has expired and it is only natural that the government bring on board those who can bring fresh ideas into the entire security architecture. The Senate is very correct. Sometimes we try to politicise issues but I think it is time for us to respond to issues very objectively. President Buhari has also not been able to reshuffle his cabinet despite the lacklustre performance of most of them.

So it is time for him to know that the lives of Nigerians are more important than any personal interest he may have in any individual. Whether he has interests in any of the service chiefs or not, it does not in any way justify the current mayhem.

I think they probably have a succession plan but I know they have a selection process which also is something that we need to critically look at because it must be based on merit. The current insecurity/herdsmen attacks are not good.

It might be an internal security issue but the police cannot effectively take care of the situation like this. The truth is also that the President has the constitutional mandate to deploy military in a situation like this. We are not entirely putting the blame on the military because they are also currently over-stretched.

It is important for leaders within the  Nigerian Armed Forces to also get those who have that capacity to respond to internal security challenges because we cannot continue to manage the wanton loss of lives that we wake up to hear almost on a daily basis. •Mr. Salaudeen Hashim (Secretary, National Peace and Security Forum)

Well, first of all, the Senate was not consulted when the service chiefs were appointed. And their appointments are not subject to Senate or National Assembly’s confirmation.

But as concerned Nigerians elected by the people, the Senate also have the right to advise the President that in view of the escalating insecurity threats and crises, and in their own assessment, the service chiefs have not lived up to expectations.

The Senate therefore has a right in that regard. They have a right to call for the sacking of the security chiefs. But the person who appointed them is the only person who can remove them from office. But if he feels that they are doing well, and decides to leave them, possibly he has some information that we don’t have.

It is up to him if he is retaining them for some reasons. Nigerians too

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