Liverpool Football Club (FC) of England’s fans in Ebonyi are anticipating increased fan base following the club’s clinching of the English Premier League (EPL) on Thursday night.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the Merseyside based club thus ended a 30-year jinx with 86 points with seven games to spare after Chelsea FC beat their (Liverpool) closest rival Manchester City 2-1.
The club which last won the title in the 1989/1990 season and are the European Champions League defending champions nearly lost the title following calls for the EPL cancellation as was applied in other leagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cross section of Liverpool fans interviewed by a NAN correspondent in Abakaliki on Friday, congratulated the team for the victory notwithstanding fans being forced to celebrate it at home and on the social media.
Amos Ogbuehi, a Business man, said that more soccer followers were expected to join the club’s fan base in Ebonyi due to the EPL triumph and the awesome soccer artistry displayed by the team this season.
“We are ‘small in number’ when compared to fans of other established clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
“This triumph will enhance Liverpool’s popularity in the state and across the globe after the club recorded ‘near-misses’ in preceding seasons in the quest to break the 30 years jinx,” he said.
Chukwuma Ogwa, a Civil servant, said that he had yet to recover from the ‘hangover’ of celebrations from the triumph which had ended years of painful wait by the club’s supporters.
“I give much of the credit to German Coach Jurgen Klopp who arrived Liverpool in October 2015 with a record of two German league (Bundesliga) titles with Borussia Dortmund and champions league silver medal with the same club.
“He introduced the fast-paced, high-pressing, attacking football pattern which he describes as ‘heavy metal football’ and this has already gotten the champions league title for us,” he said.
Mrs Adamma Obah, a Youth Activist, hailed the impact of two African Superstars in the triumph, Mohammed Salah of Egypt and Sadio Mane of Senegal.
“These players have been outstanding in Liverpool and their contributions are made more ‘soothing’ with the current ‘Black lives matter’ syndrome across the world.
“Both players are currently Africa’s topmost performers and this shows that the continent is capable of producing ‘world-beaters’ in sports and other spheres of human endeavour,” he said.
Emmanuel Uzor, A Chelsea FC fan and Aide to Gov. David Umahi, urged Liverpool fans to specially thank Chelsea for easing the path of victory for them by beating mighty Manchester City.
“Chelsea are known to assist clubs on the verge of clinching the title to clinch it as we helped Leicester City FC to win the 2015/2016 EPL title with some games to spare by drawing 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur.
“I pray that another team will reciprocate Chelsea’s gesture next season as we are poised to dethrone Liverpool as league champions,” he said
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention: Borno, WHO deploy 8,000 community health workers
Borno Government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) has deployed no fewer than 8,000 community health workers for the ongoing Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in the state.
The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, disclosed this in a statement posted on its website.
SMC is the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial medicine amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.
The objective is to maintain therapeutic antimalarial drug concentrations in the blood throughout the period of greatest malarial risk.
According to the agency, the health workers deployed include drug administrators, recorders, supervisors and monitors as well as community leaders.
The main objective of the campaign is to protect children from malaria during this year’s peak transmission season.
“During a walk-through flag-off of the exercise, the Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur stated that government is committed to improving the health of its citizens.
“The government is committed to improving the health of its citizens by partnering with relevant organisations and agencies especially WHO, to implement evidence-based interventions like the SMC.
“Although, Borno is still tackling the outbreak of COVID-19 which has affected nearly 600 persons, in 11 local government areas, it is equally urgent and essential to tackle malaria which is a major killer of children in the state,” it said.
Through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), WHO received funding from the Global Fund to reach approximately two million children living in 25 LGAs of Borno with the SMC.
Since 2017, WHO has been supporting the SMC implementation in Borno as part of the North East humanitarian response.
Data from the Early Warning and Alert Response Surveillance systems shows that malaria accounts for more than 50 per cent of sicknesses and deaths in children under five in the state,
This situation increases during the four-month peak transmission season, July to October every year.
According to the statement, the door to door campaign, which is the first of the four cycles for 2020, is being implemented in 201 political wards across 25 accessible local government areas of Borno state.
“It focuses on antimalarial drug distribution, community sensitisation and awareness creation, risk communication and social mobilization as well as referral of sick people for facility care,’’ the agency added.
It said that the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, also flagged off the campaign by administering the anti-malaria drug to a number of eligible children.
He urged the government and partners to ensure that internally displaced persons were not left out of the campaign since they are the most exposed, living in make-shift tents and unprotected from mosquito bites.
According to WHO National Consultant, Malaria in Emergencies, Dr Ini Abass Nglass, SMC has proved to be effective in reducing the prevalence of malaria in children.
She said, “SMC delivery will be conducted during peak rainy season (July -October) using the house- to- house strategy to ensure that all children between 3 months and 59 months receive the medication.”
Giving effective antimalarial treatment at monthly intervals during this period has been shown to be 75 per cent protective against uncomplicated and severe malaria in children under five years of age.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Major shake-up in Nigerian Army as 37 Generals redeployed
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has approved new postings/deployment and appointments of 37 Generals and five Colonels to different formations and units in his effort to rekindle the spirit of professionalism in Nigerian Army (NA).
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Musa said that the posting which was approved by Buratai was a routine/normal exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.
The major highlights of the postings include – the postings and appointments of Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor from Defence Headquarters Department of Training and Operations to Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Minna as Commander.
Maj.-Gen. FO Agugo was redeployed from 6 Division NA Port Harcourt to Headquarters NA Signal Corps Apapa Lagos as Corps Commander Signals, while Maj.-Gen. M Mohammed was moved from Signal Corps Apapa Lagos to Office of the COAS as Special Adviser NA University Biu.
Also, Maj.-Gen. AM Dikko was moved from Administrative Staff College of Nigerian Badagry to NA Training Centre Kontagora as Commander, while Maj.-Gen. US Yakubu moves from Corps of Artillery Kontagora to Army Headquarters Abuja (AHQ) as Chief of Administration (Army).
Maj.-Gen. BO Sawyer moves from AHQ Department of Policy and Plans to NA Armour School Bauchi as Commandant, Maj.-Gen. IO Uzamere was redeployed from NA College of Logistics Lagos to AHQ as Chief of Logistics (Army).
Also, Maj.-Gen. JO Irefin has been redeployed from Headquarters 81 Division Lagos to Headquarters 6 Division Port Harcourt and appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC), while Maj.Gen. JO Akomolafe moves from Headquarters NA Armour Corps Bauchi to DHQ Abuja as Chief of Defence Standards and Evaluatmove
Others according to Musa are Maj.-Gen. CO Ude from NA Resource Centre Abuja to DHQ as Chief of Defence Training and Operations, while Maj -Gen HR Momoh moves from Defence Space Administration Abuja to AHQ as Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans/ Director Special Duties, Policy and Plans.
Maj.-Gen. AT Hamman has been moved from DHQ to AHQ Garrison as Commander, Maj.- Gen. OA Akinyemi moves from Administrative Staff College of Nigeria to Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre Oshodi Lagos as Deputy Commandant.
Maj.-Gen. MH Magaji was redeployed from NA Amour School to Headquarters NA Armour Corps as Commander, while Maj.-Gen. MA Masanawa moves from DHQ to NA Ordinance School Lagos as Commandant.
Maj.-Gen. JI Unuigbe has been redeployed from AHQ Department of Logistics to DHQ Chief of Defence Logistics, Maj.-Gen JGK Myam the erstwhile Commander AHQ Garrison Abuja is now the Commander NA Corps of Artillery.
Also, Maj.-Gen. GA Umelo has been redeployed from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Headquarters 81 Division as GOC, while Maj.-Gen. SE Udounwa moves from AHQ Department of Policy and Plans to Army War College Abuja as Commandant.
Maj.-Gen. MO Enendu from Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre moves to NA College of Logistics as Commandant, while Maj.-Gen. GS Abdullahi moves from DHQ to Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria as Director General.
Maj.-Gen. BN Salami has been redeployed from NA School of Supply and Transport to Headquarters NA Corps of Supply and Transport as Commander.
Others affected are Maj.-Gen. FO Omoigui from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE Maiduguri as Deputy Theater Commander, while Maj.-Gen. IO Ehiorobo moves from NA School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering to Headquarters NA as Commander, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Maj.-Gen. KI Mukhtar moves from AHQ Department of Administration to the Depot NA Zaria as Commandant, the erstwhile Commandant Army War College Nigeria, Maj.-Gen. C Ofoche has been redeployed to AHQ Department of Policy and Plans as Director Plans.
Maj.-Gen. AB Ibrahim was moved from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Defence Space Administration as Director Support Services, while Brig.-Gen. IO Adewa was appointed as Acting Managing Director at NA Properties Limited.
Similarly, Brig.-Gen. KA Kazir has been posted from Headquarters NA Engineers to Headquarters 43 Engineers Brigade as Commander, while Brig.-Gen. MU Abdullahi moves from NA Intelligence and Cyber Warfare School to 58 Signal Brigade as Commander.
Brig.-Gen. MB Dala moves from Army Resource Centre to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command Minna as Director Exams, Brig.-Gen. BR Sinjen moves from Headquarters NA Corps of Artillery to AHQ Department of Training and Operations as Acting Director of Operations.
Also, Brig.-Gen. SI Igbinomwanhia was redeployed from 7 Division Garrison Maiduguri to AHQ Department of Training and Operations as Acting Director Campaign Plan, while Brig.-Gen. HG Tafida moves from AHQ Department of Logistics to NA School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering as Acting Commandant.
Brig.-Gen. AO Arogbofa moves from 102 Division Equipment Support to AHQ Department of Logistics as Acting Director Equipment Maintenance, Brig.-Gen. EC Lot from Land Forces Simulation Centre to Headquarters 52 Signal Brigade as Commander.
Others appointments according to Army spokesperson are, Col. B Sarki from Defence Intelligence College to 6 Military Intelligence Brigade as Acting Commander, while Col. KO Ogunsoya moves from DHQ to Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations as Chief of Staff.
While the erstwhile spokesperson for Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena, Col. Timothy Antigha moves to Defence Headquarters as Acting Executive Director Armed Forces Radio, Col. Mohammed Dole moves from Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations to Headquarters Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena as Military Public Information Officer.
Also, Col. AF Maimagani remains in Headquarters Directorate of Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic)as Acting Director Chaplain.
According Musa, all the postings and appointments take effect from July 20, 2020.
“While wishing all the officers well in their respective appointments, the Chief of Army Staff enjoins them to take their new responsibilities/appointments seriously and discharge all duties professionally with utmost loyalty to the Nation and the Service,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Bournemouth boost EPL survival hopes as they stun Leicester
Bournemouth breathed life into their English Premier League (EPL) survival bid on Sunday, coming from a goal down to beat fourth-placed Leicester City 4-1 for their first win in 10 games.
Leicester were in command after Jamie Vardy’s scrappy first-half goal.
But with the relegation trapdoor creaking underneath their feet, Bournemouth turned the match around in stunning fashion with Dominic Solanke scoring twice.
For Leicester, defeat was a huge blow to their hopes of a top four finish.
Junior Stanislas equalised from the penalty kick spot in the 66th minute after a mistake by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The goalkeeper was at fault again one minute later when he allowed Solanke’s shot to trickle over the line.
To make matters worse for the foxes, defender Caglar Soyuncu was shown a straight red card after tangling with Callum Wilson immediately after Bournemouth’s goal.
Leicester then collapsed in alarming fashion.
Stanislas’s shot in the 83rd minute went in off Leicester defender Jonny Evans before Solanke seized on more dreadful Leicester defending to add his second.
With Aston Villa winning earlier in the day, Bournemouth began the match second from bottom, six points behind fourth-from-bottom Watford.
The victory —– their first since Feb. 1 —– means that with three games remaining they still have hope of securing a sixth successive season of top flight football.
They moved back above Aston Villa to 18th place on 31 points, three behind both Watford and West Ham United, who face each other in the next round of fixtures.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Motorists, residents decry deplorable condition of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway
The road users said in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday that the condition of the road had caused loss of materials and human lives.
According to them, apart from fatalities being recorded on daily basis, especially between the Ajala Bus Stop in Lagos and Toll Gate in Ogun, several productive hours were being lost due to the poor condition of the road.
Speaking to NAN at Kola Bus Stop along the highway, Mr Seun Jaiyeola, a Commercial bus driver, said that all the features that qualified the road as a highway had been washed away.
Jaiyeola, who decried the neglect of the road by governments, said that no day would pass without two or three trucks falling on the section between Ahmadiyya and the toll gate.
He said: “I am a daily user of this road, I carry passengers from toll gate to Oshodi, running few trips everyday. The condition of this particular Kola Bus Stop is very bad and dangerous.
“Apart from the heavy traffic that we experience, big lorries and containers fall here, most times. The poor condition of the road has reduced the number of trips we run daily.
“We are begging Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun to do something about this road as fast as they can, even though it is a Federal Road. Both Lagos and Ogun sections are bad.’’
Another commercial driver, Mr Ismail Kolawole, said that the road needed total repair, saying that the government should declare a state of emergency on the road.
Kolawole urged both the Lagos and Ogun State Governments to collaborate and give prompt attention to the road.
According to him, the deplorable condition of the road is partly the reason for the increase in the fares between Toll Gate and Agege, Toll Gate and Iyana-Ipaja as well as Ikeja and Oshodi.
He noted that the problem of the road started with small potholes which did not receive any attention until it got to the present deplorable state.
Mr Titus Oyedeji, a private car owner, residing around Obasanjo in Ogun, said that the road had failed completely and required urgent attention.
Oyedeji, a Welder, said: “The question I ask myself daily is why should the government allow a road get to this kind of condition. It is really sad.
“Each day we go through hell here. The road condition has continued to damage vehicles each day.
“As if this is not enough, when we get to Ojuoore-Odiroko road, it is another nightmare.
“You will spend long hours and have one or two things to fix in your cars everyday. Few days ago, my exhaust pipe pulled out because of this road”.
Kola Bus Stop
Mr Michael Elendu, a private car owner, also told NAN at Kola Bus Stop, that the condition of the road was at its worse state, describing the experience on the road as ‘ harrowing’ each day.
Elendu said: “The road has obviously become worse, particularly since the rainy season started and it’s subjecting the users to serious suffering and hardship.
“Government should not allow its citizens to go through this hardship each day. We can only beg the government to look at our pains and reconstruct this road.
“The road is causing cars to develop problems everyday. We just need the authorities to come to our rescue.
“People are dreading to come to this area because of its deplorable state but we that are residents here have no choice than to face it each day,” he said.
Mr Taiwo Lawal, a trader selling eggs at the Toll Gate, lamented that huge losses were recoded daily because of the deplorable state of the road.
Lawal said: “This road is terrible. Apart from spending several hours, it spoils cars because of the deep potholes everywhere.
“If you carry 300 crates of eggs, be sure that no fewer than 30 to 50 crates will either crack or break before getting to the toll gate. We want the government to help us,” he said.
NAN reports that the several sections of the road between Abule-Egba and Toll Gate had been washed away, leading to gridlock and causing articulated vehicles to fall repeatedly.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Traffic offences: Kwara agency to deploy mobile court
He expressed the belief that the mobile court would help fast track the prosecution of traffic offenders.
“The fact is we have been assigned a mobile court because our Act empowers us to have one. Presently, it has not been constituted although we have done the bulk of what we are expected to do.
“Logistics is the major problem, but the mobile court is underway. In fact, we have gotten the Magistrate for the mobile court.
“When we talk of the logistics, the office space is not there, the vehicle to convey the Magistrate is not there as well as other needs.
“The moment we are able to put all these in place, it will take off because it is in our Act,” he said.
Bello, who also lamented the challenge of inadequate manpower, said this was restricting the operations of the traffic body to only Ilorin, the state capital.
“The personnel we have are not even enough for Ilorin metropolis.
” We have been approved to move to Offa, Omu-Aran, Bode-Saadu and Baruten in Kwara North Senatorial District.
“But it is the challenge of logistics, that of manpower shortage.
” If I take one quarter of what I have here to Offa and Omu-Aran when they are not even enough, how do we cope?
“I have gone round the whole state. There are some areas where residents don’t bother to register their vehicles or motorcycles.
“The moment KWARTMA arrives in those areas, definitely they must all obtain license for their vehicles and this would increase the internally generated revenue of the state.
“This is why we say we are not directly a revenue generating agency but a catalyst,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Seplat Petroleum appoints new Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director
The Board of Directors, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (Seplat) has announced the appointment of Mr Emeka Onwuka as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of the Company, joining the Seplat board effective August 1.
Onwuchekwa said that Onwuka had over 30 years experience in financial services within Sub-Saharan Africa.
She said that he had also acted as the voice and face of major financial institutions in Nigeria as former Group Managing Director and CEO of Diamond Bank Plc and former Chairman of Enterprise Bank Limited.
“Mr Onwuka is a Partner at Andersen Tax Nigeria and holds various Board positions as Chairman; FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited; Director FMDQ Holdings Limited; Director, Ecobank Nigeria Limited and Director, Bharti Airtel Nigeria.
“He is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He has attended executive programs at the Lagos Business School, Wharton Business School and Harvard Business School, among others,” she said
According to Onwuchekwa ,the Board of Seplat is confident that the wealth of knowledge and experience the new Chief Financial Director brings will be a great addition to the company.
She noted that the announcement of the Onwuka’s appointment was being made in accordance with Rule 4 of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Amended Listing Rules.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Sudan replaces finance, foreign, energy ministers in sweeping reshuffle
Cairo, July 9, 2020 (Reuters/NAN) Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Thursday replaced the finance, foreign, energy and health ministers and three other senior cabinet post-holders as part of a sweeping reshuffle, the government said.
Authorities had said a reshuffle was coming, but few had expected the exit of Ibrahim al-Badawi, who as Finance Minister led efforts to steady Sudan’s crisis-stricken economy and liaised with foreign donors.
The government said transitional Prime Minister Hamdok had dismissed the health minister and accepted the resignation of Badawi and the others. It named interim replacements to lead all seven ministries.
Hamdok leads a government of technocrats under a 39-month power-sharing agreement between the military and civilian groups, following the removal of long-time President Omar al-Bashir last year.
Badawi’s interim replacement will be Heba Ahmed Ali, a senior finance ministry official, the government statement said.
The reshuffle comes nine days after large street protests demanding faster and more comprehensive reforms from transitional authorities.
On the eve of the protests, Hamdok had promised to take a number of major decisions, without giving details. Earlier this week, he fired Sudan’s police chief and his deputy, who were seen by pro-democracy groups as close to Bashir’s regime. (Reuters/NAN)
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Post COVID-19: Kwara will replicate Calabar Carnival model – Commissioner
Mrs Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, the Kwara Commissioner for Communication, says the state is looking at how best to replicate the Calabar Carnival model with a view to boost its tourism potentials.
According to her, Kwara already has a framework for tourism in the state with the emergence of COVID-19, but presently not at the forefronts.
She however said that the state is looking ahead towards post COVID-19 to enhance the tourism industry and explore the rich cultural heritage of the state as a whole.
“Kwara can replicate Calabar Carnival festival because we are strategically located and blessed with abundant tourist attractions.
“If you look at the film industry in Nigeria, some of the artists are Kwara indigenes,” she said.
The commissioner, however, explained that it may not necessarily be exactly the Calabar Carnival model, but some things that are unique and capture the essence of the state.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Gov. Diri commends FG over fire fighting assets deployment
Diri, who gave the commendation during the inauguration of the facility in Yenegoa on Wednesday, described the gesture as `very symbolic’.
Represented by his Deputy, Sen. Lawrence Ewhirudjakpo, he said the deployment of the fire trucks to the state is a gesture the state government would always appreciate.
He said the federal government had recently shown symbolic presence in the state, saying, “we are very mindful of this development”.
Diri said that the action would not provide the platform to tackle fire threats and protect the state from losses that arise from such incidents.
He expressed the state government’s readiness to partner the FFS to tackle fire outbreaks in Bayelsa.
“Fire can cause a lot of damage, you cannot underestimate its ability to destroy lives and property
“We now have a platform for collaboration, we have assured the federal fire service of our support as a government, we shall stand by such assurances,” he said.
He urged the federal government to site more fire stations across the three senatorial districts in the state.
Earlier, Mr Liman Ibrahim, FFS Controller-General, said the deployment of fire fighting assets across the country was in line the Buhari-led administration’s policy to safeguard lives and property of the citizenry.
Represented by Mr Thompson Mohammed, Head, Federal Operations, Ibrahim commended the governor for the healthy relationship between the state government and the FFS.
“This facility will be used to protect lives and property of the good people of Bayelsa and the general public, it will significantly minimize fire threats in the state,” he said.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
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