Pedro: Conte Made Us Believe We Can Win The League

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Chelsea midfielder, Pedro believes Antonio Conte’s revival of the blues is down to the Italian imbibing trust in the squad.

Chelsea’s defence of the epl title was futile, as they finished 10th, with the former Juventus manager hired as replacement for Mourinho.

And Conte has completed the turnaround, with Chelsea sitting six points clear at the top of the table.

“In my career, I have worked with really good managers, like Pep Guardiola and Vicente del Bosque,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“But one thing that has really surprised me about Antonio is how he managed to turn around the team so quickly.

“He put trust and belief in all of the players and then we started winning matches. Quite easily, he just turned things around. He put the trust, the belief in all of us that we could win matches, that we could win the league.

“It’s just like everything turned really quickly. We started to go really well, our trust started growing and everything became really positive. We’ve got a lot of trust and that really helps.

“One of the key things is the trust we have with everybody. Everybody trusts each other and it means we work really well together as a team.

“When we get a chance we take it and that makes the team feel more relaxed and play with more confidence.”

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Sam Allardyce Is A Better Man After Losing

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Sacked England manager, Sam Allardyce says he is looking to put that behind him, as he is a different man since he was appointed as Crystal Palace manager.

The former West Ham boss was relieved of his duties as managed of the three lions, 67 days into the job, after he was caught on video stating that there are ways to get around the Football Association’s rules on third party ownership.

And the 62-year-old just returned to football, as he was picked to replace Alan Pardew as manager of Crystal Palace.

Allardyce admits it was tough to get over losing his job with the Three Lions, but insists he has learned from his mistakes as he looks to keep his new side in the Premier League.

“The first four weeks was one of the darkest moments of my career,” he told Sky Sports.

“My family and I have had that problem, we’ve all had to deal with that problem but eventually time passes and you overcome those adversities and move on.

“I know I’m the same man. I’m probably a better man for the experience. In adversity you have to become stronger and make sure you don’t make those mistakes again so you learn from it.

“Moving on and finally putting this to bed is taking this job and being determined to be a good manager at Crystal Palace again.

“It was a black, dark moment – one I wish had never happened in my life. But I can’t dwell on the past. I always think of what I can do in the future.

“Hopefully I can come to Palace and enjoy working with young people, I always like working with young people, it keeps you young. There is a lot of pressure at first when you first take over a club that’s struggling but you want to go and do your best for yourself, your family and the club that employ you.”

The London side sit just one point above the relegation zone ahead of Monday’s encounter with Watford. And Allardyce is confident he can get the club out of their precarious position if they make good signings in the coming transfer market.

“Players, club, ambition, it has all that.

“If we get recruitment right, the atmosphere right and the players here play to their full potential we should get out of trouble. But there is no guarantee of that.

“Part of this job is finding quickly what the faults are and making them better. First and foremost, I have to improve the players on the field in terms of getting a result.”

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Liverpool Is Perfect For Me, Says Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp is out to realise his premier league dream, and he believes Liverpool is the perfect club for that.

The German coach spent seven years at Borussia Dortmund, he won five trophies before leaving in 2014-15.

He was going to take a sabbatical, but was convinced to replace Rodgers at Anfield and Klopp doesn’t regret the decision.

“I was always really interested in the Premier League and being involved now is great. It’s intense, but great,” he told Sky Sports. “Being at Liverpool shows I’m a really lucky guy.

“For the third time it’s an unbelievably good decision, the perfect club for me.

“Obviously we don’t fit too badly to the club too and that’s really good. We like working together here, we have a really good atmosphere at Melwood.

“The club is already a great club, but there is still space to develop.”

After stabilising the club in his first season at the helm, Klopp has turned the Reds into title contenders this season and he is loving the challenge the Premier League brings.

“I love it. It’s the most challenging league in the world, one hundred per cent,” he added. “There is six teams always who really can be champions here. You have this in no other country.

“In Spain in a very good year it can be three. In Germany it’s always two; Bayern and somebody else.

“Maybe in France there’s a few teams, but it’s really a challenge to be involved in this.

“It’s really a challenge because you usually don’t lose the points against the big opponents, you lose against all the other teams.”

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@Ebuka’s Shrine: 10 Most Fascinating Nigerians Of 2016

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It’s the third edition of my ‘Most Fascinating’ list of Nigerians and we can all agree that no year in recent history has been as intriguing as 2016.

Way too many people and events threw up drama this year and as a result, this has easily been the toughest list for me to compile since I started doing this in 2014. Davido topped my first list then while Diezani Allison-Madueke was number one in 2015. Who will make the list and top it this year? Well, here goes…

  1. TEKNO
Fascinating

Tekno

He has been in the Nigerian music industry for a few years now but 2016 turned out to be the year of Tekno. From throwing up hits back to back to back to back, he ended up giving Nigerians what could easily be described as the song of the year. Nigerians (and many around the world) regardless of age, cannot afford to sit still whenever ‘Pana’ comes on.

He also ramped up his persona with his weird Instagram posts ranting about any and everything including posting and deleting eggplant pictures. Everyone at some point, talked about Tekno this year.

  1. CHIERIKA UKOGU
Fascinating

Chierika Ukogu

Nigeria at the Summer Olympics this year, was a shambles, except for the bright spot of the football bronze medal and a certain medical student who represented Nigeria in the rowing event for the first time and went all the way to the final.

Chierika Ukogu did all that almost with no government funding. She qualified on her own, bought her rowing equipment on her own and thanks to a ‘Go Fund Me’ page, she was able to raise funds to get to Rio. Getting to the final was a big shock, as everyone from Mr. President and the international media sat up and took note. Hopefully, Dr. Ukogu will get closer to a medal in Tokyo 2020.

  1. FALZ
Fascinating

Falz

Folarin ‘Falz The Bahd Guy’ Falana did everything in 2016. He rapped, he sang, he hosted, he acted, he did stand-up, sitcoms, took over social media and even became a choreographer with the sort of performances he has started pulling off on stage. With numerous awards to boot as a result, not many could ignore him in 2016. It’s bad enough to be a double or triple threat in entertainment. But being like a quintuple threat is unusual and with how young he is, the future looks scary for his competitors. He can only get better.

  1. HON. ABDULMUMIN JIBRIN
Fascinating

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

Something unusual happened this year at the National Assembly. A very high-ranking member of the green chamber, decided to speak up against alleged corruption and the revelations were shocking. The honorable member, who was the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, exposed what he said was a budget scandal involving the speaker and many other high-ranking members.

His daring move, earned him a suspension from the house. And while even faced with complete rejection from his colleagues, he continued to fight on. Nigerians saw damning documents for the first time and many believe our budgeting process may never be the same again as a result. Neither will the word ‘padding’.

  1. WIZKID
Fascinating

Wizkid

It’s very rare to have an artiste dominate the news almost throughout a whole year without releasing a body of work. But Wizkid did that in 2016. He made his first moves into the international market by featuring in what was the song of the summer with Drake. He then became the first Nigerian act to top the Billboard charts with ‘One Dance’. Then he got involved with Justine Sky and it was a big deal. Then came the Grammy nomination, which was an even bigger deal. With ‘Artiste of the Year’ awards across the continent this year, it’s almost scary to think how big his 2017 will be when he adds an album to all of this.

  1. GOVERNOR AYO FAYOSE
Fascinating

Gov. Ayo Fayose

I don’t think the Ekiti State governor needs any introduction. Neither do we need to be reminded of all the things he’s done this year to make him easily the most talked about elected official in the country. He has challenged everyone possible, from the president and his wife to even his own party members. At a time when the PDP seemed to have forgotten their opposition duties, Gov. Fayose provided enough of an alternative. Doesn’t matter that his methods have been unconventional. At least everyone paid attention.

  1. BOBRISKY
Fascinating

Bobrisky

Snapchat became huge in Nigeria in 2016 and by the second half of this year, a new star was born and he sure has been a sensation. Bobrisky took to snapchat as his way of expressing himself and gradually every Nigerian on social media tuned in at some point. He gave us makeup tutorials, showed us how to dance, challenged ladies to a contest on who could keep a man, showed off gifts from his “bae”, advertised his bleaching cream and told anyone who cared to listen, how rich he was.

It was nothing like Nigerians had seen before and as much as many loathed him, many couldn’t stop watching. Then he started going mainstream with media interviews and press rounds, appearing on stage at concerts and even being on music videos. Many are still not sure what to make of the Bobrisky phenomenon but one thing is for sure, we all were fascinated by him in 2016 and he may just have opened the doors to Nigerians openly discussing things considered a taboo in these parts.

  1. SOLOMON DALUNG
Fascinating

Solomon Dalung

Nigerians love their sports. Actually scratch that. Nigerians love their football. And honestly, nothing brings us together better than when our teams play. So anyone who tries to ruin that is automatically considered enemy number 1. Interestingly, the one person who almost consistently worked against sports in 2016 was the Minister of Sports.

He made some of the most ridiculous statements almost from the start to the end of 2016 that people only wondered what he was then doing when the cameras were off. Almost no press statement came from him without a blunder, capped at the end of the year by him saying that government couldn’t pay the Super Falcons their winning bonus because he didn’t expect them to win. It’s probably most fascinating that he kept his job till the end of 2016.

  1. AISHA BUHARI
Fascinating

Aisha Buhari

Something happened this year that has never happened in Nigeria before and probably never happened in many countries around the world. The president’s wife granted an interview on BBC and spoke up against her husband. She didn’t like his style of government and his appointees. She went on to say that she wouldn’t campaign for her husband in 2019 if he didn’t fix up. WHOA!!! It prompted the president to let us know that there was “the other room” in his house and the President’s wife never retracted her statements. Going on instead to keep us talking on many other occasions with her dazzling designer accessories and children’s weddings. Opposition parties have called on her to join them and probably run against her husband. Who knows what 2017 will bring. Going by what she pulled of this year, I can’t wait.

 

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10 Most Fascinating Nigerians Of 2016

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It’s the third edition of my ‘Most Fascinating’ list of Nigerians and we can all agree that no year in recent history has been as intriguing as 2016.

Way too many people and events threw up drama this year and as a result, this has easily been the toughest list for me to compile since I started doing this in 2014. Davido topped my first list then while Diezani Allison-Madueke was number one in 2015. Who will make the list and top it this year? Well, here goes…

  1. TEKNO
Fascinating

Tekno

He has been in the Nigerian music industry for a few years now but 2016 turned out to be the year of Tekno. From throwing up hits back to back to back to back, he ended up giving Nigerians what could easily be described as the song of the year. Nigerians (and many around the world) regardless of age, cannot afford to sit still whenever ‘Pana’ comes on.

He also ramped up his persona with his weird Instagram posts ranting about any and everything including posting and deleting eggplant pictures. Everyone at some point, talked about Tekno this year.

  1. CHIERIKA UKOGU
Fascinating

Chierika Ukogu

Nigeria at the Summer Olympics this year, was a shambles, except for the bright spot of the football bronze medal and a certain medical student who represented Nigeria in the rowing event for the first time and went all the way to the final.

Chierika Ukogu did all that almost with no government funding. She qualified on her own, bought her rowing equipment on her own and thanks to a ‘Go Fund Me’ page, she was able to raise funds to get to Rio. Getting to the final was a big shock, as everyone from Mr. President and the international media sat up and took note. Hopefully, Dr. Ukogu will get closer to a medal in Tokyo 2020.

  1. FALZ
Fascinating

Falz

Folarin ‘Falz The Bahd Guy’ Falana did everything in 2016. He rapped, he sang, he hosted, he acted, he did stand-up, sitcoms, took over social media and even became a choreographer with the sort of performances he has started pulling off on stage. With numerous awards to boot as a result, not many could ignore him in 2016. It’s bad enough to be a double or triple threat in entertainment. But being like a quintuple threat is unusual and with how young he is, the future looks scary for his competitors. He can only get better.

  1. HON. ABDULMUMIN JIBRIN
Fascinating

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

Something unusual happened this year at the National Assembly. A very high-ranking member of the green chamber, decided to speak up against alleged corruption and the revelations were shocking. The honorable member, who was the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, exposed what he said was a budget scandal involving the speaker and many other high-ranking members.

His daring move, earned him a suspension from the house. And while even faced with complete rejection from his colleagues, he continued to fight on. Nigerians saw damning documents for the first time and many believe our budgeting process may never be the same again as a result. Neither will the word ‘padding’.

  1. WIZKID
Fascinating

Wizkid

It’s very rare to have an artiste dominate the news almost throughout a whole year without releasing a body of work. But Wizkid did that in 2016. He made his first moves into the international market by featuring in what was the song of the summer with Drake. He then became the first Nigerian act to top the Billboard charts with ‘One Dance’. Then he got involved with Justine Sky and it was a big deal. Then came the Grammy nomination, which was an even bigger deal. With ‘Artiste of the Year’ awards across the continent this year, it’s almost scary to think how big his 2017 will be when he adds an album to all of this.

  1. GOVERNOR AYO FAYOSE
Fascinating

Gov. Ayo Fayose

I don’t think the Ekiti State governor needs any introduction. Neither do we need to be reminded of all the things he’s done this year to make him easily the most talked about elected official in the country. He has challenged everyone possible, from the president and his wife to even his own party members. At a time when the PDP seemed to have forgotten their opposition duties, Gov. Fayose provided enough of an alternative. Doesn’t matter that his methods have been unconventional. At least everyone paid attention.

  1. BOBRISKY
Fascinating

Bobrisky

Snapchat became huge in Nigeria in 2016 and by the second half of this year, a new star was born and he sure has been a sensation. Bobrisky took to snapchat as his way of expressing himself and gradually every Nigerian on social media tuned in at some point. He gave us makeup tutorials, showed us how to dance, challenged ladies to a contest on who could keep a man, showed off gifts from his “bae”, advertised his bleaching cream and told anyone who cared to listen, how rich he was.

It was nothing like Nigerians had seen before and as much as many loathed him, many couldn’t stop watching. Then he started going mainstream with media interviews and press rounds, appearing on stage at concerts and even being on music videos. Many are still not sure what to make of the Bobrisky phenomenon but one thing is for sure, we all were fascinated by him in 2016 and he may just have opened the doors to Nigerians openly discussing things considered a taboo in these parts.

  1. SOLOMON DALUNG
Fascinating

Solomon Dalung

Nigerians love their sports. Actually scratch that. Nigerians love their football. And honestly, nothing brings us together better than when our teams play. So anyone who tries to ruin that is automatically considered enemy number 1. Interestingly, the one person who almost consistently worked against sports in 2016 was the Minister of Sports.

He made some of the most ridiculous statements almost from the start to the end of 2016 that people only wondered what he was then doing when the cameras were off. Almost no press statement came from him without a blunder, capped at the end of the year by him saying that government couldn’t pay the Super Falcons their winning bonus because he didn’t expect them to win. It’s probably most fascinating that he kept his job till the end of 2016.

  1. AISHA BUHARI
Fascinating

Aisha Buhari

Something happened this year that has never happened in Nigeria before and probably never happened in many countries around the world. The president’s wife granted an interview on BBC and spoke up against her husband. She didn’t like his style of government and his appointees. She went on to say that she wouldn’t campaign for her husband in 2019 if he didn’t fix up. WHOA!!! It prompted the president to let us know that there was “the other room” in his house and the President’s wife never retracted her statements. Going on instead to keep us talking on many other occasions with her dazzling designer accessories and children’s weddings. Opposition parties have called on her to join them and probably run against her husband. Who knows what 2017 will bring. Going by what she pulled of this year, I can’t wait.

 

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2016 Police Recruitment: 10,000 Successful Applicants To Commence Training On Dec 31

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday said that the 10,000 successful applicants of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) would resume training on December 31, 2016, at the various police colleges and training schools spread across the country.

READ ALSO: Police Recruitment: PSC Releases Names Of Successful Applicants

A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, DCP Don Awunah, stated that the recruitment exercise was jointly conducted by the PSC, the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and the NPF in compliance with presidential directives.

READ ALSO: Complete Names Of Successful Candidates For Nigeria Police Recruitment 2016 [Check Here]

The statement said the decision to commence training for the officers was part of the resolve made at the 18th plenary meeting of the commission held in Abuja.

The statement read: “The 500 recruited Cadet Assistant Superintendents of Police will be trained for 12 months at the Police Staff College, Jos, while the 500 Cadet Inspectors will be at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.

“The 7,500 Constables will be holding their trainings in Police Colleges located in their geo-political zones. The training will last for nine months.

“South west states of Lagos, Ondo and Osun, with a total of 652 recruited constables will be trained at the Police College in Ikeja while 477 others from Oyo and Ekiti States will be trained at the Police Training School, Ibadan. 193 recruited constables from Ogun State will use the Police Training School, Iperu.”

“Applicants for the 2016 recruitment exercise are to check the national dailies, beginning from Saturday 24, December, 2016 for the publication of the comprehensive list of successful candidates.

“Successful candidates are enjoined to report to their designated training centres along with the original copies of their certificates and credentials, as well as training kits as specified.

“State governments, local governments, religious leaders, traditional rulers, community leaders, NGOs, CSOs and members of the public who have genuine and reliable objection or information to the character, conduct or personality traits of those selected should submit such objections or information in writing to the Inspector General of Police through the Commissioner of Police of the state Command of the selected candidate within three weeks of this publication.”

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2 Dead, Scores Trapped As Lagos Police College Building Collapses On Christmas Day

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Two persons have been confirmed dead while many others were still trapped after a building collapsed inside the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos on Sunday, December 25, 2016.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the tragic incident occurred at W Block of the barracks within the college.

It was gathered that one of those killed was as a sergeant with many others still trapped in the building.

Confirming the incident, Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman of the NEMA said:

“It is true that two person died in a partial building collapse at the Police College. It was a partial building collapse which affected a two storey building  bathroom at Police barrack Ikeja with two casualties.

“Efforts are on the bring down the remaining parts of the structure.”

More details to be added as the story develops…

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Enrique Won’t Open Up On His Barcelona Future

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Luis Enrique, head coach at Barcelona is not shedding any light on his future at Camp Nou, as his contract is soon to expire.

The former Celta Vigo coach has a contract that’ll expire at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, but doesn’t appear close to renewing.

Enrique has been in charge for two seasons and has won Copa del Rey and Liga doubles both seasons, winning the UCL in his 2014-15, and while the 46-year-old is happy at Camp Nou, there is a lot to consider before he recommits.

“I have no doubt that I’m at the best team, with the best club, with the best players, in my house and with my family, winning things and being very involved,” Luis Enrique told Barca TV.

“But there is also one thing about this job that is very hard, it costs me a lot and it’s a negative that I have to factor in when considering the next few seasons.”

“I am aware that I am either here [with Barcelona] or nowhere. I have time and the club will stand by me.”

Barca are second in the table, three points adrift of leaders and bitter rivals Real Madrid heading into the mid-season break.

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Boko Haram: White Man Arrested As Nigerian Soldiers Take Over Sambisa Forest

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A ‘white man,’ whose nationality is not yet disclosed, was arrested inside Sambisa Forest as Nigerian soldiers cleared Boko Haram insurgents out of their last fortress on Thursday.

“The man is under custody and providing positive information”, Daily Trust quoted a soldier, who just returned to Maiduguri from the liberated forest.

READ ALSO: War Against Boko Haram: Army Chief Buratai Lauds Nigerian Soldiers For Their Bravery

The soldier said while hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were killed during the offensive that began about a month ago, many others were captured alive while attempting to flee.

He said: “Hundreds of Boko Haram captives, including men, women and children have been freed and taken to safety.

“All I can tell you is that no big Boko Haram commander is alive in the Sambisa; we are in control of the forest.

“It took months of planning and mapping because of the size, difficult weather and other factors in the Sambisa Forest.”

The source said that one of the major factors that delayed the capture of the insurgents’ hideout was the thousands of people, including those living in villages around the vast forest that were being held as human shield by the Boko Haram leaders.

It was gathered that the 4,200 troops were deployed to the Sambisa Forest through various fronts, including Ngurosoye, Konduga/Aulari, Bama, Fulka and Damboa.

“The 151 Battalion of the Nigerian Army advanced into Sambisa through the Banki-Darul Jamal axis, the 27 Battalion advanced through Mafa, the 152 Battalion advanced through Pulka, while the 222 Battalion approached the dreaded forest through the Maiduguri axis,” another soldier, who participated in the operation, said.

He said the operation was carried out day and night.

“When mine detectors cleared the way, troops moved in to confront the insurgents, who were equally well armed with sophisticated fighting equipment,” the source added.

This is coming after President Muhammadu Buhari had broken the news that troops have flushed out Boko Haram ragtag forces from their long held fortress, Sambisa Forest.

The President made this known in a special message to Nigerian troops fighting under Operation Lafiya Dole.

He said: “I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest.

I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at ‘Camp Zero,’ which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa Forest.

I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35pm on Friday, December 23, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.

I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that will expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.

Further efforts should be intensified to locate and free our remaining Chibok girls still in captivity. May God be with them.

I also want to congratulate and commend the able leadership of the Nigerian Army in particular and indeed, that of the Armed Forces in general, for making this possible.

This, no doubt, will go a long way in improving the security situation not only in the North East, but the country in general. But we must not let our guards down.

Once more, congratulations to our troops and all who, in one way or the other, contributed to this most commendable and momentous effort. May the Almighty continue to be with you.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a most rewarding and peaceful Year 2017 ahead.”

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Christmas: The King, His Message And Us

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Christmas: The King, His Message And Us, By Albert Afeso Akanbi

In the prequel to this write up I explained why, even though I do not necessarily believe that Jesus was born on December 25, I would not disagree with those who choose to celebrate him on this date. I made the point that Jesus was more a physical heir who did not ascend King David’s throne despite the lack of awareness of some of today’s Christians of this fact, and also promised to conclude the subject in this article. Finally, I made a point that there is what I choose to refer to as two ‘Jesuses’ – the Jesus of Faith and Jesus of History.

This article was written by Albert Afeso Akanbi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

I believe the latter gave birth to the former. The reason why this is so can be glimpsed from the pattern of early man’s thinking process, right from the dawn of history. Throughout the olden times, from the Sumerians to the Babylonians, Egyptians to the Romans, we have seen how mortal men, kings, pharaohs, emperors and so on have worked so hard to cultivate a divine image for themselves. Because of this, there was a time when gods and angels roamed the earth.

So much so that even the Jewish world in which Jesus was born was not spared of such ideas. In fact, there is an account in the Biblical book, Acts of the Apostles, of how some men tried to deify Saints Paul and Barnabas when they ‘healed’ a crippled man in Asia Minor, if the two men had not stopped them. If ordinary men can be so easily be turned into gods and worshiped, how much more Jesus who was of royal blood, and who did and said many great things?

But the question is, is it possible that from all that we now know about the man Jesus from history, the Bible and even from his own words, did he regard himself as God? I think to guide against reaching this conclusion, there is one among the plethora of sentences that abounds in the Holy Bible that answers this question. ‘…the father is GREATER than I…’. But starting from the council of Nicea till date, Christians have refused to pay attention to these very profound words of their ‘King of Glory’ who we are all celebrating this season as they have to almost every other of his most important admonitions.

All around the world, throughout the years, there have been no shortage of testimonies of encounters with the Jesus of Faith, chief amongst which was that of Saint Paul. To non-Christians, I can imagine how incomprehensible it would be for them how the certainty of an encounter would move certain people to a conviction that such encounters was with the real historical Jesus himself. How do we so easily decide that this spiritual Jesus was the same Jewish rabbi of 2000 plus years ago? I can not pretend to have an answer.

Jesus was a Jew and he made this clear a thousand times. We must all accept this and understand the fact that he lived at a time and among such a people who are quite different from us, at least in their thought. Those to whom he belonged – the Jewish people – that ‘saw’ and recorded those stories and passed it down to those who belong to him – the Christians, and had certain beliefs about God, the universe and man which they took for granted. For example, in Jesus’ days, as is still the case in some places today, it was axiomatic that an epileptic was possessed of the devil and illnesses were caused by demons, and so the demon must be chased out for the individual to regain health.

I am sure if we look at these things with logical eyes and not through the eyes of faith, we would see things differently.
Jesus wrote no books. His words and deed have been reported through the ages, across great geographic and cultural chasms, by people holding varying degree of moral beliefs. If he were to appear today, will he endorse all – the misdeeds inclusive – that have been done in his name?

Despite these misunderstanding and our overemphasising the spirituality of Jesus, I believe there are some things which cannot be taken away from Jesus’ person which we must all strive to imbibe as we celebrate him today. His love, preparedness to accept everyone – both sinners and saints alike, compassion for the sick and the poor, his insight, knowledge and ability to lay deep spiritual truths bare for even the most lowly of people to grasp and so on. These characteristics, I believe, have managed to dispel every doubt about him and his mission, and even calls from certain absurd scholastic quarters for a reappraisal of the historical plausibility of his existence. This is what I think should form the bedrock of our attitude in our celebrations.
Dr. Robinson was right when he described Jesus in the following words; “…it is in Jesus, and Jesus alone, that there is nothing of self to be seen, but solely the ultimate, unconditional love of God. It is as he emptied himself utterly of himself that he became the carrier of ‘the name which is above every other name’…”

Jesus was a good teacher who made the love for fellow man and total submission to the will of God, the central focus of his message. And this is a thing that is grossly missing in our world, country and daily lives today. A humble rabbi of royal blood, he sought only to teach his countrymen how to be better Jews by treating others as they wanted to be treated. The same message we hypocritically reject by our daily actions, celebrating ourselves, rather than celebrating him in true reflection.

Of course today’s Christian, following the Pauline tradition, would want us to believe Jesus was God himself. Even though I am not here trying to set aside the importance of the Christian doctrine of The Holy Trinity, my deeply held belief is that Jesus was a good teacher who preached love for God and neighbour, and as such we should reflect this in our celebrations and call to question our attitude that has neglected this message.

Today’s Christian must also recognise that the real Jesus was more human than they care to contemplate. That he was a great man of God who called men to reach out to other men with love. That Saint Paul entered the equation, and what he made of him and his message has been the most astonishing theme in human history. That a few centuries after Saint Paul, a few men who claim to get their apostolic calling from Jesus’ disciples, at Nicea, going with the norm of their times, made Jesus into a ‘God of God’, ‘Light of Light’ and ‘Very God of Very God’.

Though I feel unqualified to speak on the development of the great Christian theology over the years, as a man who lives in a largely Christian country, where the actions of Christians may affect me one way or the other, and who knows people’s actions are largely a function of what they imbibe, I think it won’t be out of line for me to speak about these things. And if I say that even though the Romans stuck Jesus on the cross 2000 plus years ago, that so long as that Indefinable Force that men call God used him to touch the lives of many and prove to us that selflessness rather than the bully-boy mentality should prevail in the way we treat one another other, Jesus Christ will continue to live in the minds and through the actions of men like me.

Merry Christmas.

Albert Afeso Akanbi, a novelist, researcher and community worker, writes from Abuja.

This article was written by Albert Afeso Akanbi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Klopp Promises To Deliver Title

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Jurgen Klopp is asking the supporters at Liverpool to forget the past and focus on the present, as he promises to deliver a title.

Liverpool have not won a title since the eighties and sit six points behind Chelsea in second, as the Christmas fixtures come in.

Klopp insists Liverpool have the squad to challenge for the title, but says players and supporters should focus on the present and not think about the last 26 seasons.

“We are not the last 25 years. We are now. We are this generation,” he said in an exclusive Christmas interview with Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp.

“As much as we love all the guys from the past which created this club, we cannot make their job. We have to do our job.

“Let’s do it and let’s try it. We are good enough and the club is big enough. We have the owners we need because they don’t want to sell players. Nobody should leave here because of money. We are not the best-paying club in the world, but we can pay enough to stay.

“This moment at Liverpool is fantastic and we have to use it. We are in the present really good and the future is bright, so go for it.

“That doesn’t mean that we can’t lose games. What really makes the joy a little bit smaller is when we lose a game people say ‘that’s like the season 2004-05 when we lost to I-don’t-know where’.

“It’s not, it’s never the same. We do not have it in our DNA that we lose a decisive game.

“We are young enough, we are good enough, we are strong enough and we have an outstanding, skilled team. The only problem is there are a few teams around that have not a worse team, too.

“It’s still football. The more you wish doesn’t make it more likely, but it’s still possible and we will stay in the race, for sure.”

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Ronaldo Misses Portugal

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Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo says he misses his hometown of Madeira in Portugal and says it is special during Xmas.

The Portuguese forward recently won his fourth ballon d’or, same year he claimed the UCL trophy and euro 2016.

Ronaldo, who also won Euro 2016 with Portugal in the summer, said in a message posted on Instagram that he misses his homeland.

He wrote: “It’s Christmas… am I the only one who gets homesick at this time of the year?! It will be so nice to spend some days in my Island, Madeira, and experience all the fun and joy, typically felt around there!!!”

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